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Asher Guitars WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Nordstarnd Pickups Warmoth.com

NGD: Harley Benton TE-70 "Deluxe"

Discussion in 'Other T-Types and Partscasters' started by Cellordin, Jan 13, 2017.

  1. Cellordin

    Cellordin TDPRI Member

    Age:
    42
    26
    Jan 2, 2017
    United Kingdom
    This arrived yesterday, had a play with it today. I haven't played an electric guitar in nearly 20 years, but when I did it was a Fender Tele!

    Anyway, this seems OK, but not great. It needs some setting up - I find the action pretty high, even by the standards of my acoustic - which was professionally set up by a well-reputed store. Intonation (12th fret harmonics) good on all strings except the 'D', which is off by a bit. Paisley finish not "stunning", but nice enough.

    There was some "crud" on the fingerboard that resembled toothpaste by the 17th fret, I wiped most this off before taking the photo, but you can see a bit of it in one of the photos. Also strings covered in something that turned my fingers black, but this seems to have worn off now.

    More crucially, it appears the bass strings are much closer to the edge of the fretboard than the treble ones are once you get above the 12th fret. My impression is that this is down to the bridge positioning rather than the neck being out of line (see detail of bridge and pickguard).

    Plugged in sound (through that Amplug, which is also new): treble strings quite a bit quieter than bass. This could be pickup height, but I haven't ruled out Amplug settings / crappy headphones / poor technique!

    Still, for what I paid for it, and what it's for ("silent" practice guitar), it's good enough for jazz...

    IMG_20170113_184102.jpg IMG_20170113_184251.jpg IMG_20170113_184237.jpg IMG_20170113_184137.jpg
     

  2. 6stringcowboy

    6stringcowboy Tele-Afflicted

    Nice! I love the subdued paisley.
     

  3. Durberville

    Durberville Tele-Meister

    239
    Jun 6, 2011
    Leighton Buzzard
    That looks nice , how much did it set you back ?
     

  4. Cellordin

    Cellordin TDPRI Member

    Age:
    42
    26
    Jan 2, 2017
    United Kingdom
    £130. I ordered some strings and stuff to make it up to €200 for the free shipping from Thomann.

    I spent a while browsing eBay but couldn't find anything second hand - that wasn't a Strat-a-like - that was cheaper than this.

    Under the circumstances, I decided to I could afford to go for the "top of the range" model!
     
    RevBillyG and Durberville like this.

  5. Urshurak776

    Urshurak776 Tele-Meister

    181
    Jul 2, 2004
    Charlotte
    Is it just the angle or are those strings WAY too far to the left?
     
    CFFF likes this.

  6. john_cribbin

    john_cribbin Tele-Holic

    740
    Nov 26, 2014
    London
    That looks like a nicely appointed guitar at the price.

    But the string allignment ..... I couldn't live with that, It would be going back to Thomann for replacement.

    It's giving me OCD just looking at it !!
     
    CFFF and Jangle Django like this.

  7. slinger

    slinger Friend of Leo's

    Mar 7, 2013
    wild west
    that neck needs a shift..(alignment)
     
    Jangle Django likes this.

  8. TmyBmore

    TmyBmore Tele-Meister

    223
    Jul 10, 2016
    Baltimore
    +1 Simple fix. Guitar needs a set up.
     

  9. jvin248

    jvin248 Friend of Leo's

    Apr 18, 2014
    Near Detroit, MI
    .

    That body looks nice. I'd be tempted to pull the pickguard off and play it bare, depending on what routing is back there.

    For the offset strings: Looks like the nut is square, not sure if you can loosen the neck screws and tweak the neck sideways or not, the bridge plate is off-center slightly due to the screw down bolts since I can see body holes off from the plate string holes, and maybe the saddles are slid sideways too. I'd focus around that bridge first and see what could be slid or twisted to get alignment better.

    .
     

  10. Cellordin

    Cellordin TDPRI Member

    Age:
    42
    26
    Jan 2, 2017
    United Kingdom
    IMG_20170113_205707.jpg Yeah, I gave the neck a preliminary yank, and now there's some clear air between the string and the edge of the fret. Need to come 1/16" or so more I would have thought. I'm a bit suspicious of the bridge alignment too, I think that might be the next avenue of investigation.
     
    old guitar player likes this.

  11. Rookery

    Rookery TDPRI Member

    81
    Jan 5, 2017
    England
    I'm glad you took the trouble to start this thread. Being an old but novice acoustic player, I'm looking for my first Tele type guitar and was seriously considering either the TE30 BE or the TE52 NA. The sound samples on Thomann's site and the few You Tube reviews seemed to suggest either of these would suffice, especially as the prices are incredibly cheap. However, poor assembly and quality control as indicated by your experience totally puts me off any of these. The search continues..........
     

  12. oyobass

    oyobass Tele-Meister

    172
    Feb 26, 2011
    Spanaway, WA
    Ordered one last week... now it is making the long trip to the Seattle area. My wife handed me her credit card and told me to order it. I love that woman, lol!

    1 Harley Benton Paisley Tele
    1 Thomann Double guitar gig bag
    1 Set of Harley Benton strings (had to order these to get the package discount, only $1.10)
    Shipped to USA for under $190.

    The guitar has a (non-Gotoh) Wilkinson 3 barel compensated bridge and Wilkinson Alnico 5 pickups that would go for about $70 on Reverb.com.

    Was thinking about the TE-30 (killer guitar for about $80) and might still order one as a mod platform, but this looked pretty cool to me for less than the cost of the upgraded parts.

    Will do my own NGD post when it comes in.
     

  13. Cellordin

    Cellordin TDPRI Member

    Age:
    42
    26
    Jan 2, 2017
    United Kingdom
    I fear that poor quality control may be one of the perils of modern life! Or, put another way, the ten minutes I've spent on the neck so far is probably more time than the whole thing spent on the conveyor belt in China!

    I wouldn't write them off completely, some might be better than this.

    For me, this is a cheap substitute for a Yamaha SLG/Aria Sinsonido/etc, but if I were prepared to spend more money on this project, I'd be looking at the Gordon Smith ones (now owned by Auden, of acoustic guitar fame), which have 1.75" nuts, and are now made in Northampton, I think.
     

  14. bettyseldest

    bettyseldest Tele-Afflicted

    Nov 13, 2011
    UK
    Tempted by one of these, I don't need another Tele, but you know how it is.

    Never felt any desire to get a Gordon Smith Tele. I'm a big fan of Gordon Smith, I have a GS1, SG2, Graduate G60, Graf and Explorer, but (with the exception of the Graf) they are all Gibson inspired, which is what they do well.
     
    RevBillyG likes this.

  15. Cellordin

    Cellordin TDPRI Member

    Age:
    42
    26
    Jan 2, 2017
    United Kingdom
    Update: bashed the bridge around a bit, this is a bit straighter now, but not perfectly so. Suspect it may need redrilling to be perfectly straight, but since one of the side effects of said bashing is that the D string is now intonating a bit better I'm tempted to leave well alone for the time being, or at least until the 12-gauge flatwounds I ordered arrive and the intonation goes to pot again!
     

  16. bettyseldest

    bettyseldest Tele-Afflicted

    Nov 13, 2011
    UK
    12 guage flat rounds, you are building a baritone with a standard guage neck! I once put 13 guage flatrounds on a Strat, tuning A-A was a bit flabby, but B-B felt and sounded good. What do you plan to tune it to?
     

  17. old guitar player

    old guitar player Tele-Afflicted

    Mar 7, 2007
    the basement
    With a properly adjusted truss rod and low action .012 flatwounds will work nicely in standard tuning for Jazz. Of course when Leo Fender introduced the first telecaster in 1949-50 there was no such thing as "light" gauge strings and unwound third strings like today.

    I plan on setting up my tele with D'Addario .010 gauge flatwounds on the next string change. My old hands can't handle anything heavier.
     
    silvertonebetty likes this.

  18. Cellordin

    Cellordin TDPRI Member

    Age:
    42
    26
    Jan 2, 2017
    United Kingdom
    This.

    DADGAD and standard tuning for me, and I belong to the church that believes you can have a lower rather than higher action with heavier strings. The baritone sets I've seen start at 13 or 14 and go up from there.

    The main selling point for me is the wound third and the reduced string noise; I'm not much of a jazzer, or indeed a rocker, any more.
     

  19. CFFF

    CFFF Tele-Meister

    184
    Oct 31, 2016
    .
    Send it back and ask for a replacement. Buying Harley Bentons is like a lottery. You might win or you might not. The common trick seems to be, buy two or three, keep the best one and return return the other/s with a demand for a refund.
     

  20. Cellordin

    Cellordin TDPRI Member

    Age:
    42
    26
    Jan 2, 2017
    United Kingdom
    Don't think I can be bothered, AFAIC this is just a case of "cheap guitar arrives poorly set up". It's worth noting that at the cheaper end of the range, the assembled and finished guitars are only 9€ more than the kits! I'm just about handy enough to be able to put it right, and cognisant that every guitar I reassemble is a learning opportunity.

    Had this been a "full-price" guitar, I would have got it from a bricks'n'mortar store, and been correspondingly more fussy about setup details.

    Would I buy another Harley Benton sight unseen? No, but in any case I don't see myself becoming a collector of bargain-basement guitars, and my next purchase is likely to be an acoustic, unlikely to come from Thomann, and likely to have been manufactured within 30 miles of my front door.

    Generally speaking I try to avoid buying stuff - clothes, furniture, appliances, etc - from China, and I did have some reservations about this purchase, but in this particular case I couldn't justify the additional expense given the intended use of the guitar.
     

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