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Harley Benton?

Discussion in 'Other T-Types and Partscasters' started by Marc Morfei, Jan 7, 2021.

  1. Ted Keane

    Ted Keane Tele-Meister Gold Supporter

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    I've got 5 or 6 HB.And a laptop steel.Once you go over $200 the quality is much better.But I have 2 Jrs. that I paid under $200 and I love em.And I hear their cabinets are a great deal.
     
  2. kodiakblair

    kodiakblair Tele-Meister

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    Unless you find one in the used markets You have to buy them direct from Thomann.

    https://www.thomann.de/gb/harley_benton_electric_guitars.html
     
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  3. jvin248

    jvin248 Doctor of Teleocity

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    .


    "How do they do it?"

    It's a different business model.

    Traditional:
    Asia factory -> Brand Owner -> Distributor -> Retailer -> Consumer
    $50 -> $100 -> $150 -> $200
    The Brand Owner does this because the Retailer pays the Brand Owner in 60-90 days and they pay the factory 60-90 days.
    Retailer does this because they add enough margin to cover the inventory time costs the products sit in their warehouse/hang on their walls

    Harley Benton: Asia factory -> Retailer -> Consumer
    $50 -> $100
    Margin covers the inventory time costs just like before

    Glarry/Grote/etc: Asia factory -> Amazon (low flat sales fee, not doubled, 'shipped in two days') -> Consumer
    $50 -> $75

    Snip out the steps between the factory and the consumer and the consumer saves a bundle.
    Notice how the base "$50" guitar is the same for all models ... They will generally have the same woods/pots/switches/tuners with some small +/- variation but all run around the same price. Harley Benton adds a little bigger feature set with a slight price bump as the carrot to draw in new buyers.

    It's a structural business model change. Glarry and Grote are the leaders of factories working with consumers and there will be more factory direct brands because Fender/Gibson/etc/etc brands have been in the habit of moving to a new country when costs at the old factory 'got too high'. Left in the wake are all those factories, tools, and experienced builders with interest in selling something.

    Consumers are the winners in that game.

    .
     
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  4. Nobster

    Nobster TDPRI Member

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    I got one of these for Christmas for my son. He's a good player and we have a lot of guitars.

    Harley Benton SC-450Plus VB Vintage Series – Thomann UK

    I've been a Thomann customer for about 20 years and never had an issue with them, but I was sceptical about all I'd read on how good these HB guitars are. I had the idea that my son would probably swap the tuners/pickups/electronics as needed and it would be a bit of cheap fun to fix up.

    It arrived perfectly playable; the action, intonation and general setup were fine out of the box. The only fault we can find is a very small crack in the neck binding but you really have to look hard to find it. As it happens there is nothing that needs swapping. He's since polished the frets, cut the nut and set the action a bit lower and it's really nice to play, as good as many of our guitars, most of which cost a lot more. The pickups are fine too. I'm convinced.
     
  5. Daddydex

    Daddydex Friend of Leo's

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    I have no experience with these guitars but I would if the shipping wasn't so high. I thought they were going to setup a US warehouse?

    Dan
     
  6. kodiakblair

    kodiakblair Tele-Meister

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    No. That was wishful thinking on the part of a TDPRI member.
     
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  7. bgmacaw

    bgmacaw Poster Extraordinaire

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    They should, either directly or by working with an established US seller, like Sweetwater or Chicago Music Exchange.
     
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  8. Drew617

    Drew617 Tele-Meister Silver Supporter

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    I don't have a lot of experience but have been able to noodle with a couple that came through MGR. My impression was that they (set neck Gibson types) were probably pretty good, maybe aligned in value with something like an Agile. I'd order one myself if they made a 2x P90 DC Special.

    Problem with this stuff is that the humans who review them are unreliable. Confirmation bias is in play, bogus equivalences are drawn, priorities and knowledge differ. The internet's full of gushing reviews for the guitar someone just bought home, will be flipped already in 6 months, so on.

    HB offer some interesting options and don't market like Ibanez et al. have to market, so theoretically more of your cash might go to guitar. Beyond that, it's all commodity stuff and the parameters are in plain sight. At those prices seems likely that a buyer should be prepared to deal with the usual things, a lame setup, cheesy nut, whatever. NBD for a lot of us, might be unforgivable for others.

    Of course, someone will get a good one and spend a year insisting that it's better than his American CS whatevercaster. Maybe it's true, but it'll be subjective, and not the average experience...
     
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2021
  9. Dan R

    Dan R Poster Extraordinaire

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    I'm a bit conflicted about buying anything from China. YMMV

    I wish more instruments were made in say, Korea or Indonesia.
     
  10. Marc Morfei

    Marc Morfei Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    If you go to the website and price it out, shipping seems to be around $40, at least to the east coast where I am.
     
  11. Daddydex

    Daddydex Friend of Leo's

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    I was looking at a 12 string acoustic and the site estimates the shipping at 75 bucks. I'm in PA. I ended up buying a Mitchell from Musicians Friend. 229 shipped on sale.

    Dan
     
  12. marc2211

    marc2211 Tele-Holic

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    I have a HB 1x12 can with a Vintage 30 - got it on promo for about 90€! It’s been great for 2 years so far, all for only 10€ more than the speaker itself!

    No idea how they do it.
     
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  13. Ricoblues

    Ricoblues TDPRI Member

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    The TE 90 is a really nice guitar for the price, I’ve owned one for about a year, easy to play, good tone, nice finish and fretworks. The only flaw is the heavy neck that unbalances the guitar.
     
  14. marc2211

    marc2211 Tele-Holic

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    I would in general agree, however the ‘local’ shops in Europe are often few and far between. Even if you can find them, there’s no guarantee of a good job being done at a local store.

    I split my time between 2 large cities, and can only think of one store that does decent setups... but you pay 120€ for the privilege. The prices in all the stores are 30-40% markup over internet prices, and have very little stock.

    I’ve bought 4 guitars from Thomann (not HB) but the setup on each was good, with aftercare being excellent.

    If I could I’d buy local, but experience has shown me that it’s not always the best way to go.
     
  15. palethorn

    palethorn TDPRI Member

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    Ordered a HB ST-20 few months ago. I figured it would be quite bad, but what the heck, pulled the trigger. As I was unpacking it I was thinking to myself it would probably need an all around setup and then some more. But no. Guitar came with a very good floating trem setup, had a nice ring unplugged. When I plugged it in it sounded awesome. I was pleasantly surprised. Lotsa guitar for 67 EUR.
     
  16. northernguitar

    northernguitar Friend of Leo's

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    I just believe that almost every guitar needs a neck tweak in its first year. Maybe this is more extreme because of the Central Ontario annual climate? I know the local shop will do a truss rod adjustment on whatever guitar they sell for up to a year and many others will do the same. A new player needs these kinds of services (as well as restringing, etc. until they learn how. I know a couple of very talented players who still get their guitars restrung.)

    That's a drag that these kinds of places are so few and far between for you.
     
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  17. themarkjlee

    themarkjlee TDPRI Member

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    A few years back my band were on tour in Germany, one night and, I'm still not sure how, I bust the selector switch on my strat. When looking up local guitar shops the next morning to find a replacement, imagine our delight to find we were less than an hours drive from the Thomman warehouse?! We were like kids heading to Disneyland.. the place is huge!! We each split up for a bit of 'alone time' in our respective departments, the other guitar player and I made a bee line for the vast wall of telecasters, bottom row was all Harley Bentons, 'I wonder if these are actually any good?' said one of us, probably. 'Dunno, let's find out' most likely said the other. We didn't / couldn't put them down down, great guitars regardless of the price, I'm sure if we were actually making any money on that tour we'd have brought a few back with us.

    Anyway that's my around the houses way of saying, yes, Harley Bentons are quite good.

    Damn I miss playing in Europe!
     
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  18. MarkWW

    MarkWW Tele-Meister

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    I have been buying "cheap" Asian built guitars for years. QC has been all over the board but it has increasingly improved as years have gone by. I have a Grote that is totally awesome and I have had a Harley Benton 12 string for quite a few years. It gets me where I want to play some jangly tunes and Byrd stuff. EVERY guitar should have a good set up if for no other reason then to have another pair of eyes looking the guitar over. For you guys that do your own set up it is pretty quick and cheap.

    Here is my HB 12. It isn't a true Ric knockoff but more a Ric concept guitar. I bought it because of the beefy neck which easily accommodates my fat fingers which is a rare and wonderful thing. I can not remember the neck specs but it is comfortably playable for me. Bigger is better in necks for this person.

    Harley Benton 12.jpg
     
  19. mandofrog

    mandofrog TDPRI Member

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    We'll they don't do it by paying wages where a worker can support a family of four in the western world.
     
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  20. SamIV

    SamIV Tele-Holic

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    Don't mean to the Debbie Downer on this thread, but I bought one off Reverb from someone, and was disappointed in it. Bought the model that was a PRS Semi-hollow clone. It was a decent player, but terribly needed a fret level. The F-holes where the worst I have ever seen. The binding in the f-holes looked like I installed it. It was a good looking guitar from a distance, and the pickups sounded ok, but I traded it to someone who wanted a lighter guitar. He seems to be happy with it. Could not get the bridge to sit level and as well. Maybe that's typical of a wrap around bridge thought. It cured my curiosity with Harley Benton. It did come with some good locking tuners that I pulled off it before trading it. Plenty of used guitar bargains out there to cure my cheap guitar desire.

    Same guitar and he had the same experience.
     
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