Halberd XH300 review by Ibanez

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  • Sound: 10
  • Overall Impression: 10
  • Reliability & Durability: 9
  • Action, Fit & Finish: 9
  • Features: 9
  • Reviewer's score: 9.4 Superb
  • Users' score: 6.8 (60 votes)
Ibanez: Halberd XH300
1

Price paid: $ 285

Purchased from: Guitar Center

Sound — 10
This guitar has a wide range of sounds that it's able to create. But this guitar was definitely designed for metal. The bridge pickup is loud and gives the bright sound required for metal. If you flip it to the middle position (both pickups) you can get a nice full clean sound which with a little gain can be an awesome blues lead tone too, and if you add more gain you can get an awesome AC/DC like tone. And using the neck pickup you can get a good background chording tone.

Overall Impression — 10
I play a lot of metal and this guitar was a perfect fit. The low action makes it possible to play anything. The bridge pickup provides a loud and powerful sound that is perfect for hard rock and metal. Using both pickups you can get awesome clean tones, bluesy and overdriven leads.

Reliability & Durability — 9
The guitar is pretty solid. I have banged into walls and this guitar hasn't gotten a scratch yet. The only thing is when it fell. It was in a squishy gig bag and fell about a foot and the sound cut out. When I took the back panel off the only thing was the battery got knocked loose and once it was put back and it worked fine.

Action, Fit & Finish — 9
The factory setup was perfect. The action was low enough to shred and the lighter gauge strings made hammer-ons, pull-offs, and bending really easy. The Full Tune bridge provides great tuning stability even with really high bends. The bridges black chrome finish is rubbing of a little bit where I palm mute. And the battery slot is in the back panel which you have to unscrew to change the batteries. The volume control is also kinda close to the strings and you pick aggressively you might bump it.

Features — 9
- 2011 Ibanez Halberd - Made in China - 24 Jumbo Frets(No Inlays) - Ibanez CAP-LZ Active Pickups (LZ10 neck, LZ20, Bridge) Requires 2 AA Batteries - Three way pickup switch - Non-Locking tuners - 3pc Wizard III maple neck (Bolt-on) - Mahogany Body - Rosewood Fingerboard - One volume control - Ibanez Full Tune Bridge - Black Chrome Hardware - Black Flat Finish.

58 comments sorted by best / new / date

    Oosh.
    icefoxlc1995 wrote: especially if the damn thing needs batteris!!..... no thanks.... id replace the p-ups with dragonfire phat screamers
    All active pickups need batteries, even then they last for years.
    valennic
    Ibeanez wrote: I wouldn't play a guitar made in china if they paid me.
    Not all of us can start on USA models boyo.
    guitarninjaruy
    Jemstar wrote: 9's and 10's for a chinese Ibanez? No thank you.
    9 and 10s within that price range. People keep forgetting this.
    Ibeanez
    wiidude22 wrote: If all active pickups need batteries... what about the deep 6 pickups in the nikki 6 epi blackbird bass? They are said to be active pickups but have no batteries..
    They are passive humbuckers, from what I can find. If they are active, then they need a power source.
    bustapr
    Ibeanez wrote: I wouldn't play a guitar made in china if they paid me.
    Rob Chapman's ML guitars are made in China, and I still havent seen a single bad review on them. And Chapman even says theyre pretty close to the Jayden Rose prototypes.
    swave75
    This guitar reminds me of something from Castlevania. I don't know why but it does.
    Poglia
    Ibeanez wrote: I wouldn't play a guitar made in china if they paid me.
    Really fun how idiots judge guitars without even trying them, just by the country where they come from. I have an Ibanez DN500 made in China and it kicks serious asses. Many professional guitarists plays it (Epica, Asking Alexandria, Sabaton, Deathstars, etc). I used to have USA and Japanese guitars (Gibson, Jackson) and the Chinese Ibanez beats them all.
    captainsnazz
    Looks pretty badass, I have to say. Slightly biased-sounding review though. Maybe he just really likes it that much haha
    HigherThanAMile
    @ Jemstar
    9's and 10's for a chinese Ibanez? No thank you.
    I hear you- Ibanez Wizard neck- no thank you. I can tell you that the Luthier who does all the work on my guitars that I can't, calls an old 80's Squier Strat his favourite guitar. He paid about $200 for it. Original neck (the finish is nearly worn off the maple finger board from so much use) and body, after market p/ups. Granted, he is a Luthier and he can fine tune guitars like custom engine shops can with engines, but it's sum of the parts, and more importantly it's what the player wants in an instrument. For instance, how many Metal players do you know that use .11s in standard tuning? I do, and they sound great. Once you see someone playing on what appears to be a piece of isht but has tone that cuts right through you, you might change your mind. Jerry Cantrell talked about how excited he was to get chance to play Van Halen's Rig many years ago. He said he picked up Eddie's guitar and started playing some of VH licks that he loves and it sorta sound like Eddie, but not quite. He had Eddie's equipment but he doesn't have Eddie's hands, and that's were great tone starts- with you hands. Guitars are a medium for what the player wants to say- the rest is just details and choice.
    MykeeSyn
    I Have the Luna shadow finish Halberd sadly the only colour avalible in my country. nice thin 24 fret neck,intresting pickups though, active pickups that arent 9v but they sound rather good. I will eventaully change the preamp and chuck sum seymour duncan blackouts in it, Seriously its a nice guitar to be honest, i mean come on so much stuff is made in china these days it doesnt make much noticeable diference.
    jetwash69
    valennic wrote: Ibeanez wrote: I wouldn't play a guitar made in china if they paid me. Not all of us can start on USA models boyo.
    Ibanez doesn't make any USA models. When it comes to Ibanez, I've got an MIJ Prestige and an Indonesian Xiphos. The only reason I prefer the MIJ to the MII is the Xiphos doesn't balance well on a strap. It blows the MIJ out of the water feature-wise, and is better for playing sitting, just not standing. As for USA vs. China, yeah, I waited 20 years before buying my first guitar, so I was able to get an MIA (Fender Strat) as my first. Soon I had to go on an extended trip and bought an MIC Squier in case it got F'ed up. It needed a good setup and some of the hardware failed, but after a visit to a luthier for a better setup and another $300 in mods, I now play it a lot more than the MIA (including on stage). BTW, the MIA benefited from a visit to the same luthier. But the Ibbys, an MIJ Fender, and an MIK Schecter didn't need any setup beyond my capabilities. Can't speak for Chinese Ibanez, but MIC Squiers > most MIM Fenders in the things that matter, like good necks and frets.
    ShigglyB00
    Whatever happened to the "Each to his own" policy? Some people aren't gonna like it, some people are. The design of the guitar has nothing to do with how it's going to sound. Stop judging the guitar on looks, past experience and where it's from. If one of your favourite artists was using one and then you read about it, you'd be praising it like it was the new Messiah. Play it, then judge it.
    jetwash69
    Ibeanez wrote: Anyway, keep giving the Chinese your money for crap if you want. They're only using it to enslave you.
    Sure, can't agree w/Chinese politics, but you're going to hurt yourself and your way of life a lot more than you're going to hurt the Chinese "Powers that Be" by trying to boycott Chinese products. Sure, lots of their products are crap (i.e., Behringer & Starcaster guitars). But that doesn't mean it's all crap. This Ibby might be, though Sure looks like crap, (IMHO) but it prabably wasn't designed in China; probably have to blame the Japanese for that.
    Jemstar
    Every single chinese made Ibanez i have seen/ played has had serious flaws in finishing, hardware quality and playability. I do not doubt that this guitar is decent value for under $300, however, the reviewer has neglected to mention any negatives and just splattered 9's and 10's everywhere. Where is the objectivism that is supposed to exist in any review? It is a review not a "hey look at my guitar it is cool" thread.
    EpiExplorer
    Lord_Doku wrote: That guitar screams metal. But only in Chinese opera.
    Prepare to be amazed: /watch?v=lMqZ5-ebl2w
    engineno9
    I personally like the look of this guitar so I don't know where all the hates coming from. It's different sure but it's not BC Rich out there. Not digging the colour schemes though. Or the pick ups. Or the "Made in China."
    DeadlyKombat
    I wish I could paint. The color scheme in the picture gave me a badass guitar finish idea.
    HigherThanAMile
    I concede that the design of the guitar- well, it's not for me. lol Those aggressively pointy horns and the inverted peak on the tail of the guitar won't stay pristine for very long before they chip. An Ibanez with a tuneamatic bridge, too...not to common in my universe.
    Clervaux
    Ibeanez wrote: I wouldn't play a guitar made in china if they paid me. Lot of good guitars come from China. They build better guitars than the US build cars. The guy loves his guitar and yes, a lot of 9's and 10's but the descriptions are nice.
    n00barmy
    HigherThanAMile wrote: ...For instance, how many Metal players do you know that use .11s in standard tuning? I do, and they sound great...
    Word, I play with 11s and I'm in a punk band. My other guitarist's guitar feel like fishing line to me. Anyways, I bet 95% of the people bashing this guitar haven't even tried it. I haven't either, I'm just saying that the guitar I have with the best feel in my hands is my Ibanez RG120. Better than my RG350M, GnL S-500, Epi LP Classic and Damien 6-FR. Sure, the shitty nut binds the strings and the Fat10 tremolo comes out of tune all the time. It all depends on what YOU consider to be the most important thing in a guitar. Mine is, of course, how it feels but for others it could be looks, locking tuners, pickups, what have you...
    collinwood13
    This is supposed to be about REVIEWING the guitar not your opinions on China. Ive been a player for 30 years and I currently own quite a few cool axes: Ibanez (Jem, Geiger Iceman, AR500, Halberd, RG320, 520 Talbot, RG mutt) Jackson (Neck Through Soloist from 1986) Rich (Custom Mockingbird) Gibson (Les Paul Custom) Schecter (Black Jack) Warmoth/Fender (4 Custom Frankenstrats) Fender MIM Strat My point is you review the guitar based on the playability, sound, looks, balance and durability and lastly value for the coin you spent. The Halbred is a mighty fine ax for the money, is has great playability and the pickups are decent. I think most of you should try it first and then comment.
    metal_yami220
    Why all the hate for this guitar? I notice a lot of people talking a bunch of crap about Chinese made guitars. I played this one at a Guitar Center and quite honestly it's a solid and affordable guitar. The whole "get this instead of that" is stupid too because what might work for you may not work for another person. I have a B.C. Rich Beast (Bronze Series) that was made in China and not once have I complained about it being made there. Regardless of where the guitar is made, the instrument is what you make of it. You don't need an incredibly expensive instrument to rock out.
    m4ss3 m/
    The black/purple looks porn as ****. That still doesn't mean it looks good though..
    MaggaraMarine
    stoic wrote: FINALLY! A guitar uglier than the ESP Sambora model.
    Agree that this is pretty damn ugly but I didn't find Sambora so ugly.
    LeakyFlask
    guitarninjaruy wrote: Jemstar wrote: 9's and 10's for a chinese Ibanez? No thank you. 9 and 10s within that price range. People keep forgetting this.
    But that would mean that most every guitar reviewed on here would be one of the absolute best in its price range.
    Randomrings
    CatAmplifier wrote: those pickups suck >.
    Ibanez's official website even slightly hints towards D-Activators as another option. The one of these I played in a store, the pickups in it were dead, so I can't judge, but even Ibanez says "hey, dimarzio, just saying"
    mafuhungy
    lol this guy gives this piece of shit 9s and 10s, wonder what hed give a decent prestige RG...
    Ibeanez
    Anyway, keep giving the Chinese your money for crap if you want. They're only using it to enslave you.
    Insomnia69
    It's too bad most "crazy" shaped guitars are low-end :| I actually really dig this guitar in the white finish, I'd probably buy this if the specs weren't so low-end lol.
    mydian
    Ibeanez wrote: I wouldn't play a guitar made in china if they paid me.
    My Schecter Damien I used to have was made it China and it wasn't all that bad. I traded it in for an Ibanez RG5EX1, not made in China of course, Indonesia I think? Anyway I took it out of the package and it was rusted. The bridge, frets, and all screws were oranage. The rosewood was very dry and flaking apart. It was a total piece of crap. Took it back for another Ibanez, which was perfect might I add. But, just because it's made in China doesn't mean it's crap. I've played a USA Strat that felt like a hunk of junk and had frets coming out of the fretboard. Bottom line, junk comes from anywhere... China more than anywhere else yes. But they're not all junk. I bet a Chinese Ibanez has got to be the worst though lmao.
    icefoxlc1995
    especially if the damn thing needs batteris!!..... no thanks.... id replace the p-ups with dragonfire phat screamers
    Ibeanez
    I'm sorry you guys have never played a really good guitar. China is the worst guitar manufacturer on the planet. Also, if you read my comment and think a little, it's entirely appropriate regarding a communist hellhole where people's lives mean nothing.
    wiidude22
    If all active pickups need batteries... what about the deep 6 pickups in the nikki 6 epi blackbird bass? They are said to be active pickups but have no batteries..
    Braxton12
    Schecter makes the best guitars for metal you can get. you obviously didn't look around
    Braxton12
    Im sorry, but you have to be crazy. Ibanez's low end guitars, in general, SUCK. They have bad frets, lousy pups, and did you say you liked the stock strings ? o.O as for that little "chinese" argument goin on up there^ , You can get some really good guitars made in China, it just depends on the company, and whether you got lucky and it came from the right plant. Some company's chinese guitars are crap (Ibanez) but others can be pretty good for where they're coming from (Schecter before they moved their plants to south korea) Anyways, why get an Ibanez when you can get a Schecter or DBZ? much better companies right there.
    Ibeanez
    valennic wrote: Ibeanez wrote: I wouldn't play a guitar made in china if they paid me. Not all of us can start on USA models boyo.
    I believe I just stated that any other country that is in the guitar game would be better. I didn't even mention the USA. How about considering that before you post something silly? Anyway, what do I know? I've only been a luthier for 16 years, and a musician for about 25.
    K!!LsWiTcH
    Randomrings wrote: CatAmplifier wrote: those pickups suck >. Ibanez's official website even slightly hints towards D-Activators as another option. The one of these I played in a store, the pickups in it were dead, so I can't judge, but even Ibanez says "hey, dimarzio, just saying"
    this is true ive seen this on their site but am i the only one who doesnt like the sound of a thin ibanez guitar with thin sounding dimarzio pickups in it?
    COREYTAYLOR721
    with so many choices out there even in your price range it appears as though you simply ordered this online without playing any others. can you hear notes through all the mud just wondering?
    BrianFantana
    This one is called the "Mars Shadow" finish, there is also a white "Luna Shadow" finish as well