So, while buying a bass....i bought a Harley Benton TE62 on a whim......and.......its bloody brilliant. Shell Pink with photos and review.

Davono

TDPRI Member
Joined
Oct 26, 2021
Posts
24
Age
36
Location
Ireland
I had ordered a Marcus Miller Sire Jazz bass (phenomenal piece of kit btw). With the spare change from recent sales I took a pop at a cheapo tele. Lacked the disposable funds for the Larry Carlton T7 in white that I was thinking about getting. I had sold my mex tele, a HB 70 'rosewood' and a squier cv 70s in recent trades because the money was better than right. There was a Tele size hole in my collection. €120 without VAT or €149 with, well I could not help myself.

Here is my review.
Shell Pink. And spent €5 on intonated brass saddles. Bar that, stock. So......

First, finish was 99%.

The smallest flake on the neck pocket under the neck. Setup was dog rough. I know skilled carribean gentlemen that could limbo under the action was so high. Needed a truss adjustment too as was forward bowed. Used a notched straight edge, it took ¾ of a turn. Did that and the 10s that came fitted were D'Addario, and lively, so they stayed. Scratchplate, hardware, tuners, knobs, pots, bridge, neck plate, strap buttons all lined up nicely and fit well. No issues. Was better out the box than my recent fender player strat. So fit and finish 7/10 (post setup)

Frets: well finished, no sharp ends, no sprout, no high frets, and lightly polished. Totally acceptable. Got the action nice and low. Used a fret rocker and found totally marginal differences. Better than acceptable actually. 7/10

Neck: 2 piece roasted effect. I doubt it's actually roasted at this price. It has a skink stripe too, and generally they don't roast with a skunk stripe as heating different woods without issue is tricky. The fretboard is maple, stuck to a maple neck like a Rosewood one would be. Not a big ol' chunky one. Not small or slight like affinity squires either. Nice feel. Near satin finish. It was straight and true once the truss was done. This came across Europe in a heatwave so that may have had an impact. No shim, but about ½mm space in the neck pocket. Can't fit paper in, can fit cigarette paper. Grain pattern is very well chosen so no dodgy easy snap headstock grain pattern. Radius is a by flatter than most fenders, at 10½. All in all, 7/10

Hardware: tuners are usable and tuning stability is excellent, but a bit cheap or plasticy feeling. Totally functional though. The bridge is chrome plated and not steel. Topload or through body, all well lined up. Nut was really well cut. See the pics, it's spot on, which is surprising. The pickups sound like a stereotype tele pickup. It twangs, middle position is balanced and the neck is usable. Did not need to mess about with heights which was a fluke. For the inside, I have not needed to open it, but....No hiss, pops, clicks or crackles. Mini alpha type pots. Think they are 250 with a 22 cap. Feels really nice on the knob turns and switch is clicky. You won't need to replace any for a gig. String trees were in a good place, but needed a little turn. 6.5/10

Considering this guitar and not considering price, it badly needed a setup, but once done, it is a totally gig-able, practice, starter, pub/bar/road workhorse, student guitar,spare or home studio guitar. It is a fully acceptable guitar. I tried real hard to find fault. I mean real hard.

Considering it based on price.....well, like..... words fail me. It sounds great, likes great, feels great and if you put it in my hands blindfolded, I would struggle to say it was anything less than a €600 guitar.

Comparing it to the 70s Rosewood HB, night and day. This is world's better. As for the CV, this is better.

Comparing it to my recently sold Mex tele 2012, I feel dirty saying this, but the Harley Benton might be better.

It took less work out of the box than my Player strat 2021 by a long way.

I have a Squier CV jag surf green with single coils, a gretsch streamliner with broadtron humbuckers, a HSS fender player strat, a fender newporter. This competes with all of em, for a fraction of the cost. I will never get a guitar near this good for the money, so this guita is for keeps, or maybe for my daughter if she wants a guitar in the coming years.

This is not a good guitar 'for the money'. It is not 'good by comparison' to others. It is just a good guitar, simple as.

I played Johnny Cash, and it sounded country, I played Prince and it sounded funky. I played the boss and it sounded right. I played the clash and it sounded punky. I can get within 90% of all the tones a tele needs to do. 90% of the tone for 10% of the price. I don't work for thomann or anything. Thank the lord, cos if they can get a guitar this good our for so little money, they must be paying nothing. Mind you, as best as I can tell, mine is Indonesian. They use 20 different factories in China, Vietnam and Indonesia so I totally appreciate that I may have gotten lucky. I had another harley benton that I would not let my dog play. But his name is Ziggy. He played guitar.

I had no expectation, and I have been blown away. A 7/10 guitar for the price of a meal for 2. What else can I say?

That is all. Hope this interests some of ye. Any questions, shoot.
 

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Last edited:

Fendereedo

Doctor of Teleocity
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Looks great! I'm pleased you got such a great result with it. I'm very tempted, shell pink works well for me, such a soothing colour.
 

StudentGuy

TDPRI Member
Joined
Apr 4, 2022
Posts
49
Age
31
Location
Planet Earth
I had ordered a Larry Carlton Sire Jazz bass (phenomenal piece of kit btw). With the spare change from recent sales I took a pop at a cheapo tele. I had sold my mex tele, a HB 70 'rosewood' and a squier cv 70s in recent trades because the money was better than right. There was a Tele size hole in my collection. €120 without VAT or €149 with, well I could not help myself.

Here is my review.
Shell Pink. And spent €5 on intonated brass saddles. Bar that, stock. So......

First, finish was 99%.

The smallest flake on the neck pocket under the neck. Setup was dog rough. I know skilled carribean gentlemen that could limbo under the action was so high. Needed a truss adjustment too as was forward bowed. Used a notched straight edge, it took ¾ of a turn. Did that and the 10s that came fitted were D'Addario, and lively, so they stayed. Scratchplate, hardware, tuners, knobs, pots, bridge, neck plate, strap buttons all lined up nicely and fit well. No issues. Was better out the box than my recent fender player strat. So fit and finish 7/10 (post setup)

Frets: well finished, no sharp ends, no sprout, no high frets, and lightly polished. Totally acceptable. Got the action nice and low. Used a fret rocker and found totally marginal differences. Better than acceptable actually. 7/10

Neck: 2 piece roasted effect. I doubt it's actually roasted at this price. It has a skink stripe too, and generally they don't roast with a skunk stripe as heating different woods without issue is tricky. The fretboard is maple, stuck to a maple neck like a Rosewood one would be. Not a big ol' chunky one. Not small or slight like affinity squires either. Nice feel. Near satin finish. It was straight and true once the truss was done. This came across Europe in a heatwave so that may have had an impact. No shim, but about ½mm space in the neck pocket. Can't fit paper in, can fit cigarette paper. Grain pattern is very well chosen so no dodgy easy snap headstock grain pattern. Radius is a by flatter than most fenders, at 10½. All in all, 7/10

Hardware: tuners are usable and tuning stability is excellent, but a bit cheap or plasticy feeling. Totally functional though. The bridge is chrome plated and not steel. Topload or through body, all well lined up. Nut was really well cut. See the pics, it's spot on, which is surprising. The pickups sound like a stereotype tele pickup. It twangs, middle position is balanced and the neck is usable. Did not need to mess about with heights which was a fluke. For the inside, I have not needed to open it, but....No hiss, pops, clicks or crackles. Mini alpha type pots. Think they are 250 with a 22 cap. Feels really nice on the knob turns and switch is clicky. You won't need to replace any for a gig. String trees were in a good place, but needed a little turn. 6.5/10

Considering this guitar and not considering price, it badly needed a setup, but once done, it is a totally gig-able, practice, starter, pub/bar/road workhorse, student guitar,spare or home studio guitar. It is a fully acceptable guitar. I tried real hard to find fault. I mean real hard.

Considering it based on price.....well, like..... words fail me. It sounds great, likes great, feels great and if you put it in my hands blindfolded, I would struggle to say it was anything less than a €600 guitar.

Comparing it to the 70s Rosewood HB, night and day. This is world's better. As for the CV, this is better.

Comparing it to my recently sold Mex tele 2012, I feel dirty saying this, but the Harley Benton might be better.

It took less work out of the box than my Player strat 2021 by a long way.

I have a Squier CV jag surf green with single coils, a gretsch streamliner with broadtron humbuckers, a HSS fender player strat, a fender newporter. This competes with all of em, for a fraction of the cost. I will never get a guitar near this good for the money, so this guita is for keeps, or maybe for my daughter if she wants q guitar in the coming years.

This is not a good guitar 'for the money'. It is not 'good by comparison' to others. It is just a good guitar, simple as.

I played Johnny Cash, and it sounded country, I played Prince and it sounded funky. I played the boss and it sounded right. I played the clash and it sounded punky. I can get within 90% of all the tones a tele needs to do. 90% of the tone for 10% of the price. I don't work for thomann or anything. Thank the lord, cos if they can get a guitar this good our for so little money, they must be paying nothing. Mind you, as best as I can tell, mine is Indonesian. They use 20 different factories in China, Vietnam and Indonesia so I totally appreciate that I may have gotten lucky. I had another harley benton that I would not let my dog play. But his name is Ziggy. He played guitar.

I had no expectation, and I have been blown away. A 7/10 guitar for the price of a meal for 2. What else can I say?

That is all. Hope this interests some of ye. Any questions, shoot.
Well , they do say the neck is "caramelized" ... but if that is not their description for roasting, then what are they doing to the neck ? I love it on my TE 52's ...
 
Last edited:

StudentGuy

TDPRI Member
Joined
Apr 4, 2022
Posts
49
Age
31
Location
Planet Earth
I had ordered a Larry Carlton Sire Jazz bass (phenomenal piece of kit btw). With the spare change from recent sales I took a pop at a cheapo tele. I had sold my mex tele, a HB 70 'rosewood' and a squier cv 70s in recent trades because the money was better than right. There was a Tele size hole in my collection. €120 without VAT or €149 with, well I could not help myself.

Here is my review.
Shell Pink. And spent €5 on intonated brass saddles. Bar that, stock. So......

First, finish was 99%.

The smallest flake on the neck pocket under the neck. Setup was dog rough. I know skilled carribean gentlemen that could limbo under the action was so high. Needed a truss adjustment too as was forward bowed. Used a notched straight edge, it took ¾ of a turn. Did that and the 10s that came fitted were D'Addario, and lively, so they stayed. Scratchplate, hardware, tuners, knobs, pots, bridge, neck plate, strap buttons all lined up nicely and fit well. No issues. Was better out the box than my recent fender player strat. So fit and finish 7/10 (post setup)

Frets: well finished, no sharp ends, no sprout, no high frets, and lightly polished. Totally acceptable. Got the action nice and low. Used a fret rocker and found totally marginal differences. Better than acceptable actually. 7/10

Neck: 2 piece roasted effect. I doubt it's actually roasted at this price. It has a skink stripe too, and generally they don't roast with a skunk stripe as heating different woods without issue is tricky. The fretboard is maple, stuck to a maple neck like a Rosewood one would be. Not a big ol' chunky one. Not small or slight like affinity squires either. Nice feel. Near satin finish. It was straight and true once the truss was done. This came across Europe in a heatwave so that may have had an impact. No shim, but about ½mm space in the neck pocket. Can't fit paper in, can fit cigarette paper. Grain pattern is very well chosen so no dodgy easy snap headstock grain pattern. Radius is a by flatter than most fenders, at 10½. All in all, 7/10

Hardware: tuners are usable and tuning stability is excellent, but a bit cheap or plasticy feeling. Totally functional though. The bridge is chrome plated and not steel. Topload or through body, all well lined up. Nut was really well cut. See the pics, it's spot on, which is surprising. The pickups sound like a stereotype tele pickup. It twangs, middle position is balanced and the neck is usable. Did not need to mess about with heights which was a fluke. For the inside, I have not needed to open it, but....No hiss, pops, clicks or crackles. Mini alpha type pots. Think they are 250 with a 22 cap. Feels really nice on the knob turns and switch is clicky. You won't need to replace any for a gig. String trees were in a good place, but needed a little turn. 6.5/10

Considering this guitar and not considering price, it badly needed a setup, but once done, it is a totally gig-able, practice, starter, pub/bar/road workhorse, student guitar,spare or home studio guitar. It is a fully acceptable guitar. I tried real hard to find fault. I mean real hard.

Considering it based on price.....well, like..... words fail me. It sounds great, likes great, feels great and if you put it in my hands blindfolded, I would struggle to say it was anything less than a €600 guitar.

Comparing it to the 70s Rosewood HB, night and day. This is world's better. As for the CV, this is better.

Comparing it to my recently sold Mex tele 2012, I feel dirty saying this, but the Harley Benton might be better.

It took less work out of the box than my Player strat 2021 by a long way.

I have a Squier CV jag surf green with single coils, a gretsch streamliner with broadtron humbuckers, a HSS fender player strat, a fender newporter. This competes with all of em, for a fraction of the cost. I will never get a guitar near this good for the money, so this guita is for keeps, or maybe for my daughter if she wants q guitar in the coming years.

This is not a good guitar 'for the money'. It is not 'good by comparison' to others. It is just a good guitar, simple as.

I played Johnny Cash, and it sounded country, I played Prince and it sounded funky. I played the boss and it sounded right. I played the clash and it sounded punky. I can get within 90% of all the tones a tele needs to do. 90% of the tone for 10% of the price. I don't work for thomann or anything. Thank the lord, cos if they can get a guitar this good our for so little money, they must be paying nothing. Mind you, as best as I can tell, mine is Indonesian. They use 20 different factories in China, Vietnam and Indonesia so I totally appreciate that I may have gotten lucky. I had another harley benton that I would not let my dog play. But his name is Ziggy. He played guitar.

I had no expectation, and I have been blown away. A 7/10 guitar for the price of a meal for 2. What else can I say?

That is all. Hope this interests some of ye. Any questions, shoot.
So ... I did a quick Google on just what is meant on "Caramelizing "
Here is what Google says :

Roasted Maple (also known as Baked, Caramelized, or Torrified Maple) is maple that has been heat treated in a specialized vacuum oven to remove sugars, moisture, and other impurities.

I did ask them about the use of Ash in my TE 52, as Ash is supposedly scarce and hard to come by. I asked them about Sassafras , as Cort Guitar did a thing on how sassafras has the grain & appearance of Ash, but is not as scarce.

Thomann replied that at the price of the TE 52 (about $140 US) ... they would not be using sassafras ... which made me think it is more expensive ...

Harley Benton has made me think hard about paying Fender / PRS big bags of $$$ for something HB does for a fraction.

My next guitar purchase (after a Sire T7 I have been waiting on )... will be a HB Fusion series ... with the killer neck, stainless frets, locking tuners, Tusq nut and with pickups I may replace , but considering even that, for about $500 US, I'd have a guitar that would challenge Fenders /PRS's going for $1,500 /$2,000 ...
 

Deeve

Doctor of Teleocity
Silver Supporter
Joined
Dec 7, 2009
Posts
10,451
Location
Ballard
These and the stainless fretted, compound radius-ed EART guitars have my full attention, however, I'm on a self-imposed no more guitars for a while pledge, so my own NGD post will not be coming soon. ;)
 

Davono

TDPRI Member
Joined
Oct 26, 2021
Posts
24
Age
36
Location
Ireland
So ... I did a quick Google on just what is meant on "Caramelizing "
Here is what Google says :

Roasted Maple (also known as Baked, Caramelized, or Torrified Maple) is maple that has been heat treated in a specialized vacuum oven to remove sugars, moisture, and other impurities.

I did ask them about the use of Ash in my TE 52, as Ash is supposedly scarce and hard to come by. I asked them about Sassafras , as Cort Guitar did a thing on how sassafras has the grain & appearance of Ash, but is not as scarce.

Thomann replied that at the price of the TE 52 (about $140 US) ... they would not be using sassafras ... which made me think it is more expensive ...

Harley Benton has made me think hard about paying Fender / PRS big bags of $$$ for something HB does for a fraction.

My next guitar purchase (after a Sire T7 I have been waiting on )... will be a HB Fusion series ... with the killer neck, stainless frets, locking tuners, Tusq nut and with pickups I may replace , but considering even that, for about $500 US, I'd have a guitar that would challenge Fenders /PRS's going for $1,500 /$2,000 ...
My sire bass is awesome. I sold a mex fender to buy it, and it wins in every category. Colour, neck, frets, finish, pups, electronics, feel. I sold a mex fender second handto buy a sire bass, a HB tele, 2 cases, 10 packs of strings, 2 straps and 2 leads. I have to say, I am amazed.

On the Ash, Ash is hard to get in big pieces. Virus damaged the Ash trees. New plantations are producing but it's smaller pieces. If you get a HB, it will be from young trees, in 7 pieces that are glued.
 

Davono

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Posts
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Age
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Location
Ireland
Well , they do say the neck is "caramelized" ... but if that is not their description for roasting, then what are they doing to the neck ? I love it on my TE 52's ...
It arrived with a roasted neck bass in the same order.it does not seem the same.
 

Davono

TDPRI Member
Joined
Oct 26, 2021
Posts
24
Age
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Location
Ireland
These and the stainless fretted, compound radius-ed EART guitars have my full attention, however, I'm on a self-imposed no more guitars for a while pledge, so my own NGD post will not be coming soon. ;)
I am up to 7 now. 8 if you count the ukelele.... my wife counts the uke. So I am done. Hoping for a larry carlton L7 I 3 years for my 40th. But till I start gigging again, I am done.
 

dazzaman

Tele-Afflicted
Joined
Aug 12, 2011
Posts
1,412
Location
Gent, Belgium
I bought a TE20 a few months back - I am away from my own guitars and needed one in a hurry. If i was writing a review the bottom line would be pretty much identical to yours. Just needed setup work - in my case the truss rod was set close to perfect, just needed a bit of work on the fret ends to cure some sprout (not surprising, I got it in March), frets needed a polish, and the nut slots needed lowering, likewise the bridge saddles. In all about a half hour of work. I use .012 strings with a wound third, so I did need to do a bit of a truss rod adjust after the strings settled, but again, I would expect that on any guitar. Great guitar, regardless of price, as you say. I wish something like it existed 45 years ago when I was starting rather than what was available at the time, which was (for me) four times more expensive - adjusted for inflation - and nowhere near as good as an instrument.
 

WalthamMoosical

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Ad Free Member
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May 28, 2020
Posts
1,336
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Vermont
That's a good-looking guitar, congrats! Full disclosure, I just woke up and not quite thinking straight and I came here because I wanted to see what kind of guy rides a pink Harley Davisdon.
 

Brendan

Tele-Holic
Joined
Feb 21, 2004
Posts
621
Thanks for sharing. I just received my second Indonesian-made Harley Benton, the TE-90 Cabronita style, and it impressed me too.
 

Tarkus60

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Salem In
I bought a HB gold top les paul. The color is off, but who cares. At $216.00 it plays and sounds great!
Thinking about a 335 plus.
 

StevesBoogie

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Joined
May 11, 2020
Posts
1,419
Location
North Carolina
That's a terrific write-up you've created! And holy moly, what a great guitar!

My tele has a roasted maple neck then I paid to get stainless frets installed and I'm a little nauesous right now to see how much you paid for your Harley B, LOL!

Congrats on a fine guitar!
 

StudentGuy

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If you get a HB, it will be from young trees, in 7 pieces that are glued.
Not quite 7 pieces...

I count 4 on mine ...But they align them nicely ... And She sure is Purty !

The TE 52 in natural ash is translucent enough to show the beautiful Ash grain, and still look butterscotchy / Black Guard at the same time

There was a discussion on the HB web page regarding the pickups in the TE 52 vs 62, Some were saying the 52's sounded better ... Being more "vintage " biased, while the '62's are more "modern" ...

There are conflicting responses from HB, when asked if the pickups in the guitars are the same or different ...

BUT ... I think either of these guitars show just how much Fender charges for its or Squiers name on the headstock where the guitar might only be as good.
 

Davono

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Joined
Oct 26, 2021
Posts
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Age
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Location
Ireland
That's a terrific write-up you've created! And holy moly, what a great guitar!

My tele has a roasted maple neck then I paid to get stainless frets installed and I'm a little nauesous right now to see how much you paid for your Harley B, LOL!

Congrats on a fine guitar!
Thanks. I do it with every guitar I buy that is unexpected good or bad.
 




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