1. Win a Broadcaster or one of 3 Teles! The annual Supporting Member Giveaway is on. To enter Click Here. To see all the prizes and full details Click Here. To view the thread about the giveaway Click Here.

Just arrived: Harley Benton single cut Junior!

Discussion in 'Other Guitars, other instruments' started by Doctorx33, Feb 15, 2020.

  1. Doctorx33

    Doctorx33 Tele-Afflicted

    Age:
    65
    Posts:
    1,848
    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2014
    Location:
    Atlanta
    I literally just unboxed it and had a look. My work week ended today and I'm bushed, so it will have to wait until tomorrow before i put it through it's paces, but here are first impressions.

    • Finish superb, I mean it. Shiny, man shiny.
    • Hardware very good. I've seen a lot of cheap hardware and that which is on this guitar looks good, plating doesn't look cheap.
    • Playability has to wait until tomorrow. The action is too high for me and I use 9-42 rather than 10's so I have to change the strings out before I comment.
    • Fret work is very good. No sharp edges, they seem to be well dressed. I'll get my fret rocker out and see how even they are and report back.
    • The nut seems well cut, but the side that faces the neck has some pretty sharp edges. I usually swap out the nuts on new guitars for a bone nut anyway.
    • Haven't plugged it in, we'll see about that tomorrow. I just did a quick tune by ear to play it acoustically for a minute.
    • The neck feels really good to me. The thickness is Goldilocks perfect. Smooth without being sticky.
    • We'll see about the tuners but they seem ok.
    • The body shape is not identical to a Gibson Junior, it has minor variations. One thing I like is a sloped cut away where the neck meets the body for easy access to the high fret area.

    That's about it for now. I'm gonna make a pizza, open a bottle of wine, and watch some kind of crappy horror film and chill tonight. Tomorrow I'll give it a good run through.

    Here are some quick crappy pictures I took:
    IMG_8131.JPG IMG_8146.JPG IMG_8149.JPG IMG_8151.JPG IMG_8153.JPG
     
  2. Greggorios

    Greggorios Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

    Posts:
    3,363
    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2016
    Location:
    NY
    Congrats. Nice looking instrument.
     
  3. shupe13

    shupe13 Tele-Afflicted

    Posts:
    1,015
    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2010
    Location:
    Greenfield, IN
    Congrats!

    Sent from my REVVLPLUS C3701A using Tapatalk
     
  4. Deeve

    Deeve Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

    Posts:
    6,109
    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2009
    Location:
    Ballard
    happy new single pup guitar day
     
  5. FenderGyrl

    FenderGyrl Poster Extraordinaire

    Posts:
    5,430
    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2012
    Location:
    Wisconsin
    Love the Old School Burst.
    Really, really nice.
    Looking forward to your next review.
    FG
     
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2020
  6. PlainAllman

    PlainAllman Tele-Afflicted

    Age:
    45
    Posts:
    1,434
    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2019
    Location:
    Van Zandt Co, Texas
    Oh my! Congrats. So nice! I’ve fallen in love with LP jrs. They’re all I think about lately. I’ve got to get one soon. The single cut is nice but I really want a double cut.
     
  7. Doctorx33

    Doctorx33 Tele-Afflicted

    Age:
    65
    Posts:
    1,848
    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2014
    Location:
    Atlanta
    Back in the seventies when I was just starting to play electric, one of my heroes was/is Leslie West. He played a sunburst junior a lot and I’ve always wanted one.
     
  8. Doctorx33

    Doctorx33 Tele-Afflicted

    Age:
    65
    Posts:
    1,848
    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2014
    Location:
    Atlanta
    Already got one:

    B3F32BEB-DE10-4F22-983D-D664D57C4D1A.jpeg
     
    Goldenshellback and PlainAllman like this.
  9. Doctorx33

    Doctorx33 Tele-Afflicted

    Age:
    65
    Posts:
    1,848
    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2014
    Location:
    Atlanta
    Ok, update.

    Changed strings to 9-42. Looking closer at the bridge it does have a little mottling here and there in the chrome. We'll see how the bridge performs when the guitar gets set up.

    Something weird, at least to me, the bridge post bushing on the bass side of bridge is closer to the bridge by a millimeter or so. I thought that generally it was the other way around?

    I took some measurements.

    Pickup measures 7.01 ohms, 50 mm string spacing. It almost certainly is a ceramic magnet, I don't know how to tell. Can magnets in this kind of pickup be swapped?

    Pots are 500k. They're going to get changed to Mojotone vintage taper pots.

    The control cavity isn't shielded but the cover is.

    Pickup has external braided shield.

    Using my fret rocker and straight edge, I saw that there are very minor fret height differences that either can be fixed or won't matter anyway. the fretboard is flat up to the 10th fret, the dips a bit lower all the way up. I don't think this will matter and may be compensated by a truss rod adjustment.

    The neck is 42.82 wide at the nut, 52.31 at the last fret. These were measured by my $15 Harbor Freight digital calipers.

    The guitar is balanced, and not heavy at all. Sorry I have no scale to measure the weight.

    Something else, the strap buttons are very good. Wider than the usual cheap buttons found on this kind of guitar. I'll probably put straplocks on it but these buttons are very good.

    Once I restrung and stretched I ran it through my main rig and a couple other amps of mine. It's a bright pickup, lacking it low punch and some mids.

    I don't think I'll be able to live with it.

    The reason being that I have an 86 Gibson double cut reissue junior I love. I has a P90 on it that is probably the best pickup I have every heard. Hot, rich, balanced lows, mids, no brittle high end, it measures 7.67 ohms. I knew this new guitar wouldn't be the same but it doesn't even come close. Now I have to start a search to find one like the double cut has. I don't know if the Gibson pickup has alnico or ceramic. I gotta find out though, cause I need another one.

    The neck on the double cut is a millimeter or so wider, and it plays better because I've spent good money having it set up.

    I measured the dimensions of the pickups of both guitars, they basically are the same so anything I buy will fit nicely.

    Overall It's a very nice guitar, with a couple of tweaks and mods it will be a great one.


    IMG_8177.JPG
     
    Last edited: Feb 16, 2020
    Alamo likes this.
  10. Goldenshellback

    Goldenshellback Tele-Meister

    Posts:
    236
    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2020
    Location:
    Tennessee
    My Jr. is bad to the bone, it’s a rock ‘n roll machine. 82640312-22F7-4124-A55E-58F3F89A1C34.jpeg
     
    saltydg0089, mimmo and Doctorx33 like this.
  11. Doctorx33

    Doctorx33 Tele-Afflicted

    Age:
    65
    Posts:
    1,848
    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2014
    Location:
    Atlanta
    Another update!

    I was wrong about the bridge bushings being offset, it's the way the pickup is mounted, the mounting screw holes were drilled incorrectly. To be fixed.

    The control cavity and pickup cavity are shielded with shielding paint.

    For the story of my mad adventure swapping pots, click here.

    The pickup did have ceramics, I remembered I had a couple of alnico magnets, no idea what kind, and I swapped them. I waxed the pickup tonight, installation tomorrow.

    The bridge they supply with this guitar is really the wrong one. The profile is too tall. It's impossible to lower it enough to get it close to the pickup. I bought locking bridge posts and a Pigtail style bridge but, strangely, the openings for the locking posts were too small, they wouldn't fit. Never seen such a thing. So, I bought a Wilkinson GTB wraparound bridge with an adjustable G and B string section. The profile of this bridge is much more suitable for a Junior. I've taken a comparison picture, check it out. The HB is tallest, the Wilkinson is the lowest. The HB and the Pigtail style both basically weigh the same, and made of zinc/pot metal. The Wilkinson is made of aluminum and clearly has more mass than the other two. I think it will be ok. I don't think it will be necessary but I have some P90 shims if I need them.

    IMG_8939.JPG
     
  12. alnico357

    alnico357 Tele-Afflicted

    Posts:
    1,439
    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2015
    Location:
    Arkansas
    I have a blue DC JR HB on the way. If I have to do all the stuff you did on a $200 guitar I will not be pleased.
     
  13. Doctorx33

    Doctorx33 Tele-Afflicted

    Age:
    65
    Posts:
    1,848
    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2014
    Location:
    Atlanta
    I don’t mean to bum you out. I’m a bit picky and ocd about this stuff.

    It really is a great guitar.

    The original pots were fine, it’s just that I like low torque pots. If you don’t care then don’t worry about it.

    I do think the bridge design is a poor choice. The Wilkinson bridge is only about twenty bucks and with it it’s likely a pickup shim won’t be needed when it’s installed.

    I have hopes the pickup will come alive when it’s closer to the strings.
     
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2020
IMPORTANT: Treat everyone here with respect, no matter how difficult!
No sex, drug, political, religion or hate discussion permitted here.