Review: Legator Helio DCH 300-Pro Guitar
It takes a lot for a newcomer to stand out in today’s crowded guitar market, but Legator has already proven that it has what it takes to become a competitor.
Despite its relative youthfulness, the guitar maker has developed an impressive list of endorsees, including Matt Bachand of Shadows Fall, Jon Donais of Anthrax and Josh Travis of Glass Cloud, all of whom helped the company develop signature models.
In addition, Legator offers an impressive variety of original electric guitar models, from its metal-approved Ninja Series to its more classic Helio and Opus series. We took a look at Legator’s Helio DCH 300-PRO, the company’s sole semihollow model and one of its most impressive original designs.
Features: The Helio DCH 300-PRO features a symmetrical double-cutaway body shape and is the size of a standard solidbody guitar, but it features a semihollow body design with a center body block. A single large f-hole on the lower bass bout gives the guitar a distinctive look and provides impressive acoustic resonance. The body on our example was made from two slabs of mahogany joined at the center and featuring an attractive flame maple veneer. The mahogany set neck joins the body at a seamless diagonal junction between the 16th and 18th frets, giving the guitar the smooth playability of a neck-through-body design. The neck provides a 24 3/4–inch scale, 24 frets and an ebony fretboard.
The quality of the hardware is quite impressive, particularly the chrome-plated brass T-O-M bridge and the exceptionally smooth but solid Legator tuners. Pickups are a Legator HNH3 dual humbucker at the neck and a HBH3 dual humbucker at the bridge, which both are split to single-coils when the master tone knob is pulled up. The master volume is placed to allow players to adjust it quickly and easily without interrupting playing.
Performance: Although the Helio DCH 300-PRO costs less than a grand, it has the fit, finish and attention to detail of a much more expensive instrument. All of the surfaces, including the frets and fretboard, are smooth and rounded off, and the wide, flat profile of the neck fits very comfortably into the fretting hand.
Plugged in, the guitar sounds as classy and refined as it feels. The pickups deliver bold, aggressive punch with fast, percussive attack that settles into smooth, singing sustain. This is a very expressive, dynamic guitar that can put out everything from fat midrange for blues to crisp crunch for metal.
List Price: $899
Manufacturer: Legator Guitars, legatorguitars.com
Cheat Sheet: The semihollow design features a single large f-hole that provides acoustic-like resonance while resisting feedback at high output volumes.
The versatile Legator humbuckers provide crisp attack and warm sustain along with very impressive single-coil tones when the coil splitter is engaged.
The Bottom Line: With the looks, feel, and sound of a much more expensive instrument, the Legator Helio DCH 300-PRO offers an incredible value for players looking for a pro-quality semihollow electric guitar.