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NGD: Harley Benton TE-70 "Deluxe"

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

  1. Rookery

    Rookery TDPRI Member

    19
    Jan 5, 2017
    England
    Given the cheap price, I did consider buying one and if it turned out to be a dog, sending it back but that's more trouble than it's worth. The search for my first Tele type guitar continues.............
     
  2. CFFF

    CFFF TDPRI Member

    79
    Oct 31, 2016
    .
    @Cellordin

    It is your call. I have looked at Harley Bentons that friends have bought and most have been fine, maybe just a little cosmetic irregularity here and there but some came with issues such as yourself have experienced. For the price they are very tempting. I just don't feel lucky and sending them back would be another waste of my time too, so no. Have fun anyway :)

    @ Rookery

    Sometimes there second hand models for sale in the local classifieds. Cheaper still and you have the opportunity to try them out before you part with the money. They can't be all bad.
     
  3. jvin248

    jvin248 Friend of Leo's

    Apr 18, 2014
    Near Detroit, MI
    .

    BB King, after trying out Billy Gibbon's guitar, strung with 12s or 13s 'for tone' asked him "Why you working so hard?" when he was playing Lucille with 8s. When Billy Gibbons recounted that old story (in one of the Live At Darryl's House lead-ins) he said he switched to 8s and never went back.

    As for the assembly quality ... I suspect the shifts in the neck and the saddles (I looked at those saddles again and they are all over the bridge, detune with realignment and tune back up could fix a lot) could have easily happened during shipment banging around. The drill holes are a little off but I see how tight the pickguard window is to the bridge. All the guitar manufacturers, even the expensive ones, assume you need a $50 setup tech before you really play anything. I have seen some videos of PRS where they are starting to get the idea to have well setup instruments arrive in 'gig ready' form right out of the box. PRS may drive the whole industry to change in that regard.

    .
     
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  5. CFFF

    CFFF TDPRI Member

    79
    Oct 31, 2016
    .
    I have never tried 8s but I have read that Billy Gibbons uses them before. Was unaware of the BB King story. Interesting. On my Les Pauls and similar I use 10s. A while back I picked up a Les Paul that I had not played for many years and although it was certainly in need of a restring I was struck by how easy it was to play, and then the penny dropped. It had 9s fitted.
     
  6. old guitar player

    old guitar player Tele-Afflicted

    Mar 7, 2007
    the basement
    If you're looking for an affordable "first" tele have a look at the Squier brand. It starts with the Affinity line and goes on up to the most excellent Classic Vibe series. After that it's the Fender Made In Mexico series. A used MIM tele is also a very good option. The great thing about it is they are all endorsed by Fender and parts are easy to swap down the road if you want.

    I would suggest looking at the Squier "Standard" series. For $249 you get Alnico pickups, decent quality electronics and hardware, a nice full size body and really nice neck w/rosewood fingerboard.
     
  7. Rookery

    Rookery TDPRI Member

    19
    Jan 5, 2017
    England
    I've just seen a 2nd hand Affinity Tele come up for about a hundred quid. I may go for that. Watch this space........
     
    old guitar player likes this.
  8. gtrjunior

    gtrjunior Tele-Meister

    Age:
    44
    407
    Nov 14, 2016
    NorthEast U.S.
    Well then! That's quite a nice guitar!! I LOVE the paisley finish....very subdued yet visually appealing. Congrats!!
     
  9. Cellordin

    Cellordin TDPRI Member

    Age:
    41
    21
    Jan 2, 2017
    United Kingdom
    So the original reason I went for the H-B rather than an Affinity - which I could have got for much the same price if not less, as there are more used examples around - was the wider nut and flatter radius, which don't kick in until rather higher up the Squier/Fender price range, as well as the through-body bridge, which was less of a consideration.

    These things might be less important to you though, in which case an Affinity for £100 is a bargain.
     
    john kleeman likes this.
  10. bender66

    bender66 Friend of Leo's

    Jan 18, 2010
    on my bike
    Good looking guitar. Sounds like your getting it squared away.

    I still own the TE-80 "Delxue" & had the faux Rosewood HB. Both exceptional guitars for the price.
     
  11. Rookery

    Rookery TDPRI Member

    19
    Jan 5, 2017
    England
    Well I got the Affinity Tele. It's Indonesian in butterscotch, maple neck with skunk stripe, strung-through body, looks like new to be honest. The neck is a bit narrow which I may or may not get used to.
     
  12. claes

    claes Tele-Meister

    383
    Aug 20, 2007
    sweden
    Id givin up on HB, Sold the prinze because of weight, and I have the 52 here with the same weight issue plus fretbord shrink (fretboard shrink isn't unusual but never happened to me before in 40 years, 25+ guitars and living in f***ing sweden with polarbears and reindeers).
    I also bought a squier 51 a few months ago and in many ways the quality control is better. They are not great but never get so low as tht cheap competitors. Eg. the holes are drilled at the right place (to close to the cavity on both my hb's) so it is easier to upgrade and so on. Tried the new afinnity teles ( 3 of them) just before christmas and get the same impression.
    I do like the wilkinsons pickups on both the prinze and my hb 52. If one should get any HB it is the paisley because it's made out of basswood and I asume lighter (the body alone wheigh 2880 gram on my HB 52). The compensated bridge is highly regarded at this forum to.
     
  13. nicod98

    nicod98 Tele-Meister

    369
    Jul 7, 2014
    Belgium
    I had some issues with a TE-30 I bought second hand a few years ago from a kid that had gotten it as a present, but wanted a strat... The issues being that the string spacing at the bridge was unequal caused by the extra large barrels... And the action was way too high... And even though I have new saddles, I still need longer screws to hold them in place, because of the extra long bridge.

    The string height was of course easily fixed, but after a while my nail-less fingers seem to have gotten to hard for the fretboard finish. My Affnity (with maple neck) that gets at least as many hours of playing as the TE-30 during the same period of time had none of these issues.

    Of course the pickups on the HB don't sound like high end pickups, the tuners are so-so, and even though I have not experienced any problems with the electronics, I don't expect them to be "high grade". On the other hand, the TE-20 and TE-30 are supposed to be the "cheaper" models, the TE-40 and up are "deluxe" models. I suspect they will have a lot of the same issues, but I still wonder how much the neck differs. The TE-70 in paisley seems to have medium jumbo frets (my TE-30 has very small, vintage looking frets),

    The neck - to me - is one of the most important parts of a guitar. If that doesn't feel good, the guitar sucks. How is the neck on that TE-70?
    The other hardware will do what it's supposed to do until it breaks down, and can easily be replaced, but the neck has to feel good.

    I would NOT keep a guitar with issues the OP had for this thread though, that one would surely go back to Thomann.
     
  14. Teleposer

    Teleposer TDPRI Member

    Age:
    46
    43
    Sep 28, 2016
    UK
    Check out the Aria Pro Teles at this price point. I paid 125 for mine. It is insanely good

    I'm going to get a Harley though, just to check them out. Going for the 110 quid model.

    People don't believe the quality of the Aria guitars, but you have to try one to see just how good it is.

    I'm going to use the Harley to do an extensive mod, but I want a maple neck, and I've heard they are very good to start with. Quick fret job..

    But for now, I know I won't ever get a better quality guitar than this Aria Tele. Not at this price range, or up to 500 quid, I don't think.

    I don't mind getting a guitar that needs a bit of a setup, as long as it is all good to start with. With my Aria Tele I just adjusted the height of the saddles, and everything worked perfectly in intonation as well. Pure butter now up the back of the neck.

    You won't find many Aria guitars about nowadays, but you'd be silly to buy anything else at this price range. 130 quid buys you a fully worked guitar, that is still just cheap enough to mod if you don't like the pups.

    If people think they can't buy an instrument of quality at this price point, they need to buy some more cheap guitars!
     
  15. howlin

    howlin Tele-Afflicted

    Aug 19, 2007
    Who wants to know?
    I saw that episode and would like to point out that Billy likes to tell stories and he's not shy about throwing some light on his heroes. Secondly, he never actually said that BB was using .08's all the while implying that's why he went to .08's himself. Case in point. You be the judge . . . ;)
     
  16. Cellordin

    Cellordin TDPRI Member

    Age:
    41
    21
    Jan 2, 2017
    United Kingdom
    The neck is straight and there is no fret buzzing, though I don't have much to benchmark it against as I haven't played an electric guitar other than this one in 20 years.

    This guitar is strung with 12s now, which necessitated some truss rod adjustment; I did this gradually over a couple of days and didn't run into any problems - this is one area in which I was worried that corner-cutting at the factory might turn out to be disastrous, so I was relieved when this went without issues.

    I think the reasons it didn't go back were fourfold:

    1) laziness
    2) fancy paint job is fancy
    3) having low expectations regarding build quality even prior to ordering
    4) being handy enough to put it right myself

    As I think I observed further up the thread, the price difference between the cheaper HB teles and the unpainted kit of parts is €8, so I suspect I have already spent more time on getting everything dialled in than the child labourer who bolted it together in China, and I probably know more about guitars than he does too.

    If I were playing in public, I'd be more concerned about the defects in this guitar, but if I were playing in public I probably wouldn't have bought a Harley Benton in the first place.

    The only other instrument I own in this price range is a Seagull Merlin, and the H-B came with three times as many frets, twice as many strings, and some pickups thrown in for good measure!
     
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2017
  17. Cellordin

    Cellordin TDPRI Member

    Age:
    41
    21
    Jan 2, 2017
    United Kingdom
    I remember those Aria Teles from the 90s, rest assured that if I had seen one for sale when I was looking then it would be you sitting there with a paisley H-B with a misaligned bridge, as the Aria would have been at my house in its place!
     
  18. Cellordin

    Cellordin TDPRI Member

    Age:
    41
    21
    Jan 2, 2017
    United Kingdom
    The other model I was looking at was the Pacifica Tele-esque model; these are pretty rare and I watched two of them get bid up to north of £200 on eBay, including one with a typo in the auction title that I was hoping no-one else had noticed!
     
  19. middy

    middy Friend of Leo's

    Age:
    46
    Apr 28, 2010
    Dallas, TX
    I've found that with those Wilkinson compensated saddles, I get better intonation if I flip the middle one over so it's uncompensated.
     
  20. oyobass

    oyobass Tele-Meister

    149
    Feb 26, 2011
    Spanaway, WA
    The frets on mine are level enough for shredder style action without any leveling. Truly one of the nicest playing guitars I have had in 40+ years of playing.
    Mine had several cosmetic flaws, but Thomann customer support was good in adjusting the price. Since I am in the US, returns are not practical, so the price was adjusted to a B-stock level.
    The flaws are invisible from over a few feet away. I just think of it as micro relicing...

    Edit: I have to admit that I did set the guitar up to get that action- nut slots lowered, action at the bridge adjusted down, intonation set. The 3 barrel bridge will have light grooves cut into it behind the witness point of the strings to keep them from wandering under hard strumming as well, once I give the guitar a good shakedown cruise.
    I raised the action up a bit from shredder level, since I like the feel better.
     
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2017
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