The Harley Benton TE 70 (b-stock) thoughts and info.

Discussion in 'Other T-Types and Partscasters' started by Davono, Oct 26, 2021.

  1. Davono

    Davono TDPRI Member

    Age:
    35
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    Ireland
    Hi all. Just thought I would put this here if anyone was interested. Bought this. Was €116 once the VAT came off. Wilkinson bridge with brass saddles, Roswell pickups and a great looking finish, I figured the rest of the guitar would be dog rough. While not perfect, I have to say with a lot of TLC, it's now very nice to play. Gonna give a little rundown for y'all. Neck to bridge. Here ya go.

    So. I played with it a bit to make a checklist straight out the box. D'adarrio strings, bit dead but can't complain. Machine heads are fine not amazing but functional. Nut too small for the slot but cut well enough. Neck bowed like a fiddler's elbow. 7 very high frets and 3 marginal ones. Some sharp frets and one fret too small leading to a recess at the second fret. Neck radius is probably about 12. Quiet flat compared to fenders. The frets were not polished at all. Maybe sanded to 250/300 grit. Would not be bending notes on this out the box.The skunk stripe is painted on but the gloss is really good. The veneer on the headstock chips super easy at the truss adjustment hole.

    Neck perfectly snug in pocket. Body veneer, control plate and scratchplate were immaculate. The furrels for the string through body are recessed. Which is nice, but one was recessed too far and 4 needed gluing.

    Binding is flawless. Toggle switch is nice and clunky, and there is a really nice feel to the pots. Good resistance when turning them, which all helps with accidental changes while strumming. Mini pots are functional. Not wonderful, not terrible.

    Brass saddles are compensated and really well put together, but there was a little bit of sharp edge in the ashtray bridge.

    To get this right......took loads of work. First...truss rod adjustment to dead straight after 2 weeks to settle into the house, then a fret skim with a straight edge at 320 grit, filed fret ends, and polished to 1000 grit wet paper, then polished with steel wool. Then allowed the string tension provide neck relief. Not a single bit of fret buzz the whole neck through after 2 weeks settling in. Shielded the cavity to reduce 50hz hum, and learned the bridge is spot glued to the veneer. If taking the bridge off, lift from the bridge side and not the neck side or you could balls up the veneer. I got lucky because it chipped the veneer but only under the plate so it's not visible. Input is grand. A load of excess wire, I mean loads. Cut them and soldered it back tidy. While the plate was off, I replaced the springs with surgical tubing to help reduce microphonic feel. Can't say I noticed a difference and the pups are on par, if not better than squier affinity IMO.

    I have to say....I do not regret getting this, but you will need spare strings, a notched straight edge, some inclination on how to skim frets, crown and refinish em and then know how to do the intonation and truss adjustment. This could be a learning experience for many. If you can learn to play you can acquire the skills and tools to do this work pretty easily and cheaply.

    I am glad I bought it at this price. It is a €300+ guitar that Thomann forgot to finish. I love it. I really love it. But boy oh boy did it need a lot of work. And as a B stock, it has had to pass QC not once but twice.

    If you want something ready to go on the cheap, get a squier from a shop. I honestly believe mine currently sits somewhere in the gap between a squier Affinity and a fender Mex. On par with a Squier CV but with a flatter neck. But I have probably got it as good as can be without spending big bucks. I would recommend them. The finish is astonishingly good. It's a steal for low money but will need work. Maybe 6 to 10 hours.

    Hope this helps some potential shoppers. It turned out a lovely axe......eventually.
     

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    Last edited: Oct 26, 2021
  2. fendrguitplayr

    fendrguitplayr Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

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    Welcome aboard and nice work on that guitar.
     
    Davono likes this.
  3. Davono

    Davono TDPRI Member

    Age:
    35
    Posts:
    13
    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2021
    Location:
    Ireland
    Thank you sir or madam. I was a member previously when I first got a mex Tele, but the email account I was set up on is long disused. I also bought it with some of the money from a strat rescue, so I came here from strat talk. Figure half the folks here are on there too. Hehehe
     
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