Harley Benton TE-30

sandfish1970

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Had a good run of work last month, so bought myself a Harley Benton TE-30. Maple neck and board and an ash body. No complaints so far, although it only just arrived. Quite chuffed with it considering how ridiculously cheap it was. Plays pretty well for an £80 quid guitar, and it's nice and resonant with the body being ash.

Have every intention of modding it, but it's pretty nice out of the box. Needs a setup to polish the frets, oil the board, check the action etc, and I always like a smooth neck, so I'll lightly sand it.

I bought a replacement pickguard right off the bat. Black looks better.


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Any recommendations for pickups to go with that ash/maple combination?

I'm looking at SD Quarter Pounders, Tonerider TRT2's, Fender Custom Shop '51 Broadcasters.. Still not sure. I'd like that ballsy Keith Richards growl, but like to push it a little more rock.

Other mods? Saddles, redoing all the electrics, roller string trees, who knows. I had a 50's reissue Fender MIJ Tele which I sold to help fund our house, and I've been after a replacement since. Lets see what I can do with this.

£80 quid though.. Hahahahahahahaha.. How do they do it?

 

jvin248

Doctor of Teleocity
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Lions & Tigers oh Mi !
.

Don't swap out pickups. Really. Replace the Pots, caps, jack, and switch with regular Fender MIA brands. Spend time adjusting pickup heights and bass/treble tip with your ears. If you still need tone tweaks then source pots and caps in different ends of their tolerance bands (pots have factory spec 20% tol range).

I'd use a four way switch to give you the series humbucking tone of a Les Paul Junior. Rotate the control plate for Vol up front, then Tone, and Switch to the rear. Those are my Tele automatic mods.

.
 

sandfish1970

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The pickups are ok on these? I'm without an amp at the moment, so have no way to test them out.

Why do you reverse your control plate? I never had an issue with mine as stock..
 

1 21 gigawatts

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If the pickups work, they are "OK". Whether or not you like they way that they sound is up to you.;)

I have a Squier strat that I replaced almost all of the parts with Fender, except the pickups. They are extremely low output, ceramic pups that are articulate and chimey. They sound great to me despite coming in one of the cheapest Squier strats made (Strat pack). I had assumed that they were terrible and had every intention of changing them, but I am sure glad that I tried them first!
 

sandfish1970

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So I just noticed the spray on the body isn't consistent. It's a cheap guitar, so I'm not expecting the world.

5cm to the left of the bridge there's a white oval.. not been sprayed enough. Would you live with that or return it? Thomann have agreed to replace it, but it's 15 working days to return it and more to get it back.

Not sure I can be bothered. It seems like a good solid one piece of ash body, and the neck is good. I had bought it with a long term view to maybe respray it candy apple red. I bought this model, as opposed to other red HB's for the tonewood body..
 
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HaWE

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Oct 3, 2015
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545
Location
Germany, somewhere from the countryside
Had a good run of work last month, so bought myself a Harley Benton TE-30. Maple neck and board and an ash body. No complaints so far, although it only just arrived. Quite chuffed with it considering how ridiculously cheap it was. Plays pretty well for an £80 quid guitar, and it's nice and resonant with the body being ash.

Have every intention of modding it, but it's pretty nice out of the box. Needs a setup to polish the frets, oil the board, check the action etc, and I always like a smooth neck, so I'll lightly sand it.

I bought a replacement pickguard right off the bat. Black looks better.


View attachment 1017612

View attachment 1017613

View attachment 1017614

Any recommendations for pickups to go with that ash/maple combination?

I'm looking at SD Quarter Pounders, Tonerider TRT2's, Fender Custom Shop '51 Broadcasters.. Still not sure. I'd like that ballsy Keith Richards growl, but like to push it a little more rock.

Other mods? Saddles, redoing all the electrics, roller string trees, who knows. I had a 50's reissue Fender MIJ Tele which I sold to help fund our house, and I've been after a replacement since. Lets see what I can do with this.

£80 quid though.. Hahahahahahahaha.. How do they do it?

I like it with the black guard ! :)
 

StrangerNY

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Gold Supporter
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Somewhere between here and there
Had a good run of work last month, so bought myself a Harley Benton TE-30. Maple neck and board and an ash body. No complaints so far, although it only just arrived. Quite chuffed with it considering how ridiculously cheap it was. Plays pretty well for an £80 quid guitar, and it's nice and resonant with the body being ash.

Have every intention of modding it, but it's pretty nice out of the box. Needs a setup to polish the frets, oil the board, check the action etc, and I always like a smooth neck, so I'll lightly sand it.

I bought a replacement pickguard right off the bat. Black looks better.


View attachment 1017612

View attachment 1017613

View attachment 1017614

Any recommendations for pickups to go with that ash/maple combination?

I'm looking at SD Quarter Pounders, Tonerider TRT2's, Fender Custom Shop '51 Broadcasters.. Still not sure. I'd like that ballsy Keith Richards growl, but like to push it a little more rock.


Budz Danocaster pickups would fill the bill. They're a little less toppish and more mid-rangey. This demo is more on the clean side, but I use them for rock and they can really roar when you want them to.



- D
 

THX1123

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Aug 24, 2006
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Gibsonville
One issue with investments on this level is that one often ends up spending much more on upgrades and mods than the guitar actually cost in the first place (or that it could ever be sold on for). Pickups, upgraded bridge and plate, pickguard, pots, strap buttons, tuning machines, a gig bag or case...that process is addictive fun and has value, but I've found it to be a net loss in the end. I've ended up returning many inexpensive instruments to their stock condition and selling them on at no gain. I don't miss any of them.

The plus side is that you get to mess with cheap guitars instead of expensive ones, and you end up with loads of pickups and parts.

Q: "£80 quid though.. Hahahahahahahaha.. How do they do it?"

A: They are crafted using souls preempted from the future
 

sandfish1970

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Location
UK
thanks for the advice everyone..

spent a bit of time on it this morning lightly sanding the neck, frets and board to smooth them down and get rid of the roughness, especially board and frets. it plays like butter now.

changed the pickguard to black, which is much more rock and roll, and restrung it.

the white spot blemish is more apparent here, but for £80 I can't be arsed to send it back. it'll grow on me.

it's a one piece ash body with a great maple neck and it sounds lovely unplugged.

why jinx it?

20220817_115502.jpg
 
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1stpitch

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666
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South Carolina, USA
Congratulations! Obviously you decided to keep it.

I had one of those 2-3 years back. It played well and I thought had good quality for the money.
 

jcarter0032

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I bought one of these a little while back purely to just try mods with. It's honestly ridiculously good for the price. I'm not a fan of ceramic pickups, which is what comes in these, so I would definitely replace them. I'm not sure how much you're looking to spend, but the 64' Pure Vintage Fender pickups are pretty good for all around playing especially for the price. I generally like a twangy Tele more, but those pickups are just more full sounding to my ear.

The Fender CS 51's are super versatile also, but can be extremely treble-y. That being said, if you roll the tone back just a little, you can get some really great sounds from those pickups. The neck pickup from those is super underrated.

Also would say give the Seymour Duncan Five-Two some listens and also the Brad Paisley La Brea Seymour Duncans, those are both great sounding pickups that are versatile.

Hopefully this will give you some to look into!
 

sandfish1970

TDPRI Member
Joined
Aug 11, 2022
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Location
UK
I bought one of these a little while back purely to just try mods with. It's honestly ridiculously good for the price. I'm not a fan of ceramic pickups, which is what comes in these, so I would definitely replace them. I'm not sure how much you're looking to spend, but the 64' Pure Vintage Fender pickups are pretty good for all around playing especially for the price. I generally like a twangy Tele more, but those pickups are just more full sounding to my ear.

The Fender CS 51's are super versatile also, but can be extremely treble-y. That being said, if you roll the tone back just a little, you can get some really great sounds from those pickups. The neck pickup from those is super underrated.

Also would say give the Seymour Duncan Five-Two some listens and also the Brad Paisley La Brea Seymour Duncans, those are both great sounding pickups that are versatile.

Hopefully this will give you some to look into!
appreciate it. thanks.
 

gonzo

Tele-Meister
Joined
Oct 9, 2009
Posts
279
Location
salt lake city utah
just tell everyone that blemish is a 'wear' spot.
not to relic it, but you could push the wear just a little bit,
and make it look more 'lived in'.
roll with it!
congrats!
 

Tele_vox_blsjr

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Oklahoma
I was thinking of picking up one of their strats, anyone have a model they particularly prefer? I checked out the Thomann site but there’s a ton of different models!
 

StudentGuy

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Planet Earth
It seems like a good solid one piece of ash body, and the neck is good.
Welcome to HB Land !

I am a big Fan of the TE 52... I bought one, with the idea of modding everything on the guitar ...

Once I got it, I realized, I did not even have to change anything ! All the components (even the electronics. pots/switches) while being "cost effective"... Work !

Then there is the super cool "caramelized" maple neck... Not only does it look good, and feel good (frets finished well too) But it is more stable, in that it will resist shrinkage more , due to its reduced moisture content . Important in environment where lack of winter humidity causes fretboard shrinkage ... (fret sprout)

But I started buying upgrades even before the guitar arrived (Tusq Nut) Wilkinson/Gotoh Bridge / brass saddles) Gotoh vintage tuners (which I have installed on one already)

One ? Yeah, when I realized I liked the thing stock ... I bought another one to trick out ! Gonna put G&L MFD pickups on that one ...

NOT because it needs it... But because I want an MFD platform, and what better guitar to use, than Leo's initial design ? The stock Alnico 5 pickups sound as Tele, as they 'wanna !

Now ... I'm pretty sure that the bodies on these beasts are multiple piece... I count 4 on my TE 52 's (easy to see as the finish is natural, and very translucent) But the grain matched well and very purty !

BUT ... they are heavy ! I call 'em the Two Ton Teles ! But hey , Les Pauls can weigh that much, or more ...

Just use a 3" strap, Like it were a Bass , then I play sitting anyway ...
 
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