Halcyon GX review by DBZ Guitars

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  • Sound: 10
  • Overall Impression: 6
  • Reliability & Durability: 10
  • Action, Fit & Finish: 6
  • Features: 4
  • Reviewer's score: 7.2 Good
  • Users' score: 4.6 (9 votes)
DBZ Guitars: Halcyon GX
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Price paid: A$ 169.5

Purchased from: $1695.00 retail, but this was a brand new stock liquidation

Sound — 10
The cheap sapwood mahogany isn't going to adversely affect the sound here. You could put EMGs into a guitar made of plywood and it will still do the one sound they were built for; METAL!!! That's all I want hehehe. In all honesty why else would you be buying this guitar? For an Indie band? The Floyd and Grovers are anchors for the strings.

Overall Impression — 6
The best way to describe this guitar is like putting $5000.00 worth of sound system into a $500.00 car. DBZ guitars are capable of great things, but they need to up their quality control if they wish to justify the AU$1695 price tag. Bought to play metal! Guitarist for 15 years. I only bought this because of the liquidated price. The heel is a serious design flaw that needs to change.

Reliability & Durability — 10
Despite this guitar's flaws it looks tough enough to take on the rigours of metalhead rough housing it. Sans the cavities the finish is even better than some Ibanez's I've seen. Never gig with a Floyd and no backup and always replace strap buttons with Jim Dunlop strap locks.

Action, Fit & Finish — 6
Two critical things here: 1) The spring cavity rout is incorrect for the Floyd because you cannot access the trem arm assembly without taking the bridge completely off! This cavity is for bridges with the non adjustable screw type arms, only found on older style bridges, that this guitar clearly does not have! - 2 points off. 2) I had to take the locking nut off to ascertain what type it was; an R3, but the locking nut shelf was not properly finished at the factory! It looked like it had been aggressively prepared with a router, with significant chunks of the rosewood taken out, and it WASN'T SANDED when they put they installet the nut! Seriously there was still sawdust on the shelf. A little wet 'n' dry sandpaper fixed this, but I shouldn't have to! - 2 points off.

Features — 4
+ What year was it made? Where was is made? Early 2010's build, made in Korea. + How many frets? Neck/Scale 24 frets, 25.5" scale length with jumbo frets, well dressed. +Body and neck woods? Although listed as having a mahogany neck and body the light weight of this instrument leads me to believe that cheaper mahogany sapwood was used, which is not acceptable in a guitar worth over $1500.00 - 1 point off. + Finish The finish on this guitar is a pre printed graphic called "Monster". There is only one word to describe this UGLY! Whoever designed the graphic needs to go back to ART school, and whoever okayed it to go into production needs to be shot. I'm going to wrap it in gaffer tape to conceal it. On the other hand the gloss black finish on the back of the body, neck and headstock is exquisite, but inside the control cavities is appalling! No primer was used, so the paint has started bubbling and peeling off the bare wood. I've seen budget 50 series LTD's with better treated control cavities! - 2 points off. The fretboard is listed as "ebonised rosewood" meaning rosewood dyed black. It was unusually dry for rosewood, but when oiling it I noticed that the dye began to come off onto my oiling rag! This dye had pushed most of the natural oils out of the rosewood and when putting oil back the excess dye started coming out. It could have been tolerable had this been done in the factory. Also it is bound black, which is not listed on the website and increases the maintenance costs when refretting needs to be done - 1 point off. + Body, neck and headstock style. Flat top superstrat with really aggressive bevelling on the inner side of each horn. Forearm and tummy cuts well placed and very comfortable. Neck has a very comfortable soft 'V' shape to it that can feel both thick AND thin at the same time; depending on how you rotate your hand around and place your thumb upon it. Here's where we find the biggest let down of the whole guitar, although this is a set neck instrument THE HEEL IS BIGGER THAN SOME BOLT ONS!!! Seriously this heel begins to thicken aggressively at the 14th fret and reaches almost the same thickness of the body by the 16th! Why DBZ? WHY!!? I have had to alter my playing position so I can reach past the 20th fret - 2 points off. The headstock is a 3 over 3 paddle style that is incongruent to the shape of the body. It should come to a point. But on the plus side the tuners are standard Grovers. I'll let this element slide. + Bridge style Original Floyd Rose in Black. One of the best trems you can buy. + Pickups and controls EMG 81 in the bridge and 85 in the neck. Master volume and a three way toggle switch. Personally I find the toggle to be in a poor position, but others will have no problem with this. I'm replacing the volume with a push/pull volume switch.

24 comments sorted by best / new / date

    TimTheWizard
    anyone thought this was gonna be about a guitar with DragonBall prints on it?
    valennic
    Cheap sapwood? You do realize a good piece of mahogany is light and not heavy right? The heavy ones are saturated with moisture still, the light ones are the good pieces.
    dougmurray85
    Hi Guys, Thanks for all your input on my first ever review. Very good constructive criticisms, without trolling \m/ For an update I have been in contact with Floyd Rose as I became dubious of the bridge's credentials and discovered that DBZ has incorrectly labelled it a Floyd original, when in fact it is a 1000 series. Now the 1000 series is made to the same tolerances as an original; the only difference is that it is made in Korea, not Germany. Floyd Rose is contacting DBZ to have this corrected on the website. @valennic: No I did not know this, but I'm sure you can understand it can be hard to separate fact from fallacy when a lot of guitar media will lead you to believe that mahogany is meant to be heavy. In my defence I used the turn of phrase "Lead me to believe" which opens me up to correction. @Spartan101400: I have played other DBZ's as well and like you said they did not have the same issues as I described, but this review was for this specific guitar. The heel shapes are much better on the Bird of Preys and Venoms, but it's a specific problem for the Halcyons. Also I said quality control needed to be improved, meaning that this guitar could be unique in it's issues that I discussed.
    Ibeanez
    How would the reviewer know that it was "cheap sapwood" under all that finish?
    Spartan101400
    I've played a few DBZ Guitars and have never found the problems you discussed in this review. Then again, you did get this for nearly 10% of the actual retail price, so you get what you pay for.
    Jugulator_cro
    dougmurray85 wrote: For an update I have been in contact with Floyd Rose as I became dubious of the bridge's credentials and discovered that DBZ has incorrectly labelled it a Floyd original, when in fact it is a 1000 series. Now the 1000 series is made to the same tolerances as an original; the only difference is that it is made in Korea, not Germany. Floyd Rose is contacting DBZ to have this corrected on the website.
    Whoa, whoa, isn't that illegal? I mean, it's false advertising. The two models may as well be identical but they sure as hell don't cost the same.
    EpiExplorer
    TimTheWizard wrote: anyone thought this was gonna be about a guitar with DragonBall prints on it?
    Those jokes are too effing old now. However, I would like a DBZ guitar called a 'Big Green'.
    zalant
    Maybe it is a bolt-on and they just wrapped it up in filler material and painted over it so that it looks like a set neck. If so, they might have figured that you'd risk destroying the thing to really find out. Heck, I don't know. That's just my inner conspiracy theorist peeking through. I couldn't conjure up any better explanation for why it would be so thick there.
    Konstantine19
    so you got it for 170 dollars when it normally would cost 1700 to buy at a store new? That's a good deal since it came with emg pickups even though it sounds like it has many excessive flaws from what you said. Also you could possibly sand the heel down carefully to help with the playability.
    Alpha_Wolf
    I'm sure these guitars play great, but those designs look like something a white trash hick would wear on their long-sleeve shirt.
    dougmurray85
    Oh to add more to this: There is no battery box routed for this guitar; it's just crammed into the tiny control cavity. If you wish to perform the 18V mod to your EMGs you have to either lose your toggle switch or break out the router to put a battery box in yourself. *facepalm
    chilby2k
    Hey Guys looking at getting a guitar like this. Are they a heavy guitar I have a LTD EX400 is the weight simular?
    dougmurray85
    Admittedly dude two guitars of the exact same model can significantly differ in weight. It all depends on the moisture content and density of the wood. The only way to tell is picking one up and putting it around your shoulders. If you're buying on line, it's just pure chance then I'm afraid.
    dougmurray85
    Another update. I decided to swap out the stock EMGs for a Duncan Distortion TB and Jazz Neck. I have discovered that the bridge rout and pivot bolts are not centred properly, misaligning the strings over the pick ups slightly. This is only an above entry level guitar with a mid range price. FAIL DBZ FAIL!!!