My New Harley Benton

Discussion in 'Other T-Types and Partscasters' started by Kiwi_Neil, Dec 9, 2019.

  1. Kiwi_Neil

    Kiwi_Neil Tele-Meister

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    So here is my Harley Benton TE40 TBK Deluxe Series guitar from Thomann in Germany. There's lots of reviews online so I will only let you know my thoughts and what I've changed and why. But first here's the specs:
    • Body: Basswood
    • Top: Ash
    • Bolt-on neck: Maple
    • Fretboard: Pau Ferro
    • Fretboard radius: 350 mm
    • 22 Frets
    • Scale: 648 mm
    • Nut width: 43 mm
    • Dual action truss rod
    • Pickups: 2 Roswell HAF AlNiCo V humbuckers
    • 1 Volume knob and 1 tone knob
    • 3-Way pickup selector switch
    • Die-cast machine heads
    • Tune-O-Matic string-thru-body bridge
    • Gold-plated deluxe hardware
    • Colour: Translucent black
    The changes made are firstly the tuners because these were not very good. A drop in replacement of locking tuners, 19:1 ratio from Guyker was a no brainer.

    The plastic nut was changed for a bone nut.

    The Roswell pickups were changed not because there is anything wrong with them, but because they are a bit too bright for me. An unbranded set from ebay are much more to my liking. I have a plan for the Roswell's though!!

    For me, the best things are the neck....super smooth satin finish and a very pretty piece of Maple. The fret work is fantastic with just a little polishing done by me, but really this wasn't necessary....it just seemed like a good idea while I changed strings. Also the carved body, with rear routing and a belly cut make it very comfortable to play for ages and it holds tune really well. And it's elegant (imo) with it's cream binding.

    Now to the costs....all of which are in NZD so do your own conversion.

    • TE40 TBK Deluxe Series = $197
    • Shipping = $80
    • Guyker Tuners (inc shipping) = $60
    • Pickups (inc shipping) = $50
    • Nut = $8
    Total cost = $395

    For comparison purposes, a Squier Affinity Telecaster from NZ wide music shop = $499

    So the Harley Benton is $100 cheaper than the cheapest Squier even with the mods...and is a better guitar imo.

    Here's some pics:

    SAM_2935.jpg

    SAM_2937.jpg

    Excuse the fingerprints!!


    SAM_2938.jpg

    SAM_2941.jpg

    SAM_2943.jpg

    My collection, so far!
     
  2. tubelectron

    tubelectron Tele-Holic

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    Congratulations and good job, @Kiwi_Neil ! And you are right... ;)

    Harley-Benton guitars are often considered as low grade (not to say crap) by many who often don't dare to make some setup or mods on it, just to have them work flawlessly... And they are wrong, indeed ! :rolleyes:

    For those who don't believe us, I'll add my Harley-Benton collection to your thread :

    Original condition, bought 2nd hand for peanuts - like new because barely playable (conversely to yours, K_N)...

    [​IMG]

    Once modded and setup'ed - flawless players ! I even bought (still 2nd hand) a second MS-60LH VW...

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]


    Ha ! That's why I do not like too much Black finishes... ;)

    -tbln
     
  3. hotpot

    hotpot Tele-Afflicted

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    Congrats on the new guitar, I have a bunch of Harley Benton guitars & love them.
     
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  4. Kiwi_Neil

    Kiwi_Neil Tele-Meister

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    Thank you!!

    I have seen some people online who scoff at the Harley Benton range, but I wonder how many of those people have actually played one? I know from the reviews on YouTube that many people are impressed by them...very impressed.

    As you say, once some basic mods are done (if needed) and the instrument given a setup to your own liking, then they become very nice instruments indeed.

    I love the look of your collection too...very, very pretty.

    And I agree about black being a colour that shows up all the fingerprints etc. Black is the only colour that mine comes in so I can live with the fingerprints!! :D
     
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  5. Kiwi_Neil

    Kiwi_Neil Tele-Meister

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    Thank you!!

    A friend of mine has these two CST 24's from Harley Benton. One is a trem and the other is a hard tail. They are modeled on the PRS of course, and my friend has a PRS SE as well. He says that he likes the HB hard tail as much as the PRS, with the HB trem model very close behind. The only mods have been to replace the tuners with lockers and a set up.

    20190923_111252.jpg
     
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  6. hotpot

    hotpot Tele-Afflicted

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    They look very good as well, The finish & fit on the one's I bought have been excellent. I haven't had a single problem with any of mine, in fact it was cheaper to get them from Thomann's in Germany delivered to my door here in the UK than to get in the car & go buy a guitar at my local music store, Even the price of Squiers were getting more & more expensive here. I've been very tempted by their TE-70 black paisley lately, I might cave in and buy one yet.:D

    Here are my Harley Benton's.

    [​IMG]



    [​IMG]
     
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  7. jvin248

    jvin248 Poster Extraordinaire

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    .

    I really like that pickup arrangement on the "Tornado"

    .
     
  8. tubelectron

    tubelectron Tele-Holic

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    Yes. The HB CSTs are of interest also - and moreover several nice finishes are available LH ! :cool:

    Easy :

    - A pair of Gretsch BT FT and a ARTEC AlNiCo lipstick in the center,
    - Each pickup governed by a on/off slide switch put on a Jaguar plate,
    - A500K pots for Master Volume and Master Tone.

    -tbln
     
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  9. Corvus

    Corvus Tele-Meister

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    Quite astonishing the quality you can get for the price these days and oh how I remember the overpriced unplayable rubbish we had to try and play back in the day! Very fine sounding and playing guitars form Harley Benton and you have to ask how much "better" is something that costs ten times the price?? Have a couple of HB Les Pauls from before Gibson made them change the design and, with some upgrades, really do the job. My pal's HB tele is quite amazing in it's own right without having to add "for the money!" After having chased the "ultimate guitar" for many years and far too much money I guess - "It aint what you've got but what you do with it!" and HB guitars don't put anything in the way of your playing. Enjoy!
     
  10. Ted Keane

    Ted Keane TDPRI Member Silver Supporter

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    I have 3 and trying really hard not to make it 4.The hardtail fusion tele in black is really calling me 469567.jpg
     
  11. Ted Keane

    Ted Keane TDPRI Member Silver Supporter

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    14536848_800.jpg
     
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  12. Kiwi_Neil

    Kiwi_Neil Tele-Meister

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  13. beagle

    beagle Friend of Leo's

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    I just got a Junior, I took pot luck and hoped I wouldn't be disappointed. I can certainly say that I wasn't. I have a feeling another may be joining it before too long.

    s_kenny.png
     
  14. Kiwi_Neil

    Kiwi_Neil Tele-Meister

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    I was just watching a review of this very instrument a few moments ago.....it looks and sounds fantastic!!
     
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  15. Dan German

    Dan German Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

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    I second that. The string arrangement doesn’t work for me, though. :)
     
  16. kaludjerko

    kaludjerko Tele-Meister

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    Beautiful specimens. :)

    Would you have time to comment on profile and thickness of the neck.
    If possible, could I bother you for a set of measurements at 1st and 12th fret?
    Motivation behind this question is that at some point it might be nice to have some sort of database of various less known models and manufacturers.
     
  17. tubelectron

    tubelectron Tele-Holic

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    The necks of the JA-60LH and MS60-LH are C profile, and IMHO are comparable to any normal/modern Fender neck... I'm not very competent, @kaludjerko , to qualify necks, but I mean : they are not especially slim and not at all chunky like bats, I'd say they are smooth and comfortable, "in the norm" for a good neck...

    The JA-60 is 25"1/2 and the MS-60 is 24", and both have double action truss-rod that makes them rock-stable.

    But yes, I'll take measurements for curiosity and post a little table here.;)

    -tbln
     
  18. tubelectron

    tubelectron Tele-Holic

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    Better than a table : pictures ! ;)

    All measurements taken with a Mitutoyo caliper, at 12th box and 1th box or nut, as shown :

    [​IMG]

    -tbln
     
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  19. kaludjerko

    kaludjerko Tele-Meister

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    Many thanks!
    I find this information super useful, particularly when I can compare it to the necks that I've actually tried.
    If you do not mind, I will set up a new thread using this info, including some of mine data.
    Was already asking some people here about this and results were much better than expected.
    Thank you again.
     
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  20. mkdaws32

    mkdaws32 Tele-Holic Silver Supporter

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    Truer words have never been spoken.
     
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