Couple of weeks ago I posted about Harley Bentons from Thomann.  I recently sold a couple of bi

Ninja_RebornNinja_Reborn Posts: 124Member
Couple of weeks ago I posted about Harley Bentons from Thomann.  I recently sold a couple of bits on eBay and decided to order one with the proceeds. I ordered on Friday and it arrived today.  So here are some impressions and quite a lot of photos. Specs - it's mahogany body (3 piece) and three piece mahogany neck.  It has a pair of Wilkinson Alnico V pickups, it's also strung with deadario strings. The Guitar cost a whopping £109 with £7 shipping It arrived having travelled from Germany in very cold temperatures and was in tune when I opened it. The fit and finish is great - the back piece joins are a little obvious at the sides - they form the bottom third, middle two thirds and about 1cm of the upper bout. Frets are well finished and level, there are no sharp edges.  All the electrics work and the selector switch feels very positive.  The neck has a join at the lower heel and about 10 centimetres below the headstock.  These joins are done very well. Tuners work, they hold tune but do feel a little cheap.  The plastics are a bit cheap and the pickup rings don't match the pick guard very well (Pickguard is coming off anyway and I'll probably change the rings and poker chip). Fretboard has had a spray of dye and it's not especially even - it looks a bit dry and blotchy.  This is only a minor issue as it will wear in with play and once I've changed the strings and oiled it all will be fine. All the binding is well applied and defect free.  There are a couple of blemishes in the finish - but to be fair I've seen similar on guitars that cost a lot more than this. All in all given the price I paid for it any criticism I have of cheap plastics are little more than minor gripes. Soundwise - nothing to complain about! sounds exactly like it should.  The pickups are full and rounded - they sound warm when clean and dirty up brilliantly.  I will probably be swapping them out to try some Iron Gears, but if I wasn't going to do that I'd have no problems with the stock wilkos (if you see what I mean).  I'm yet to open up and have a look at the electrics, but will in due course. Here are some pics - video will follow as soon as I can get my studio properly setup!!    

Comments

  • Mark PMark P Posts: 2,314Member

    From what you say and those pics it's like a pretty damn good deal for £106.  Certainly appearance wise I've seen much worse at a much higher price points. I've a friend in Spain who recently took delivery of a Harley Benton E35 VS semi-acoustic - said it plays really nicely and he was surprised how good the build quality was.

     

    I look forward to that video from you at some point.

     

    Just as well I'm not in buying mode or I'd be wondering.

     

    Enjoy your new acquisition.

     

     

  • lancpudnlancpudn Posts: 1,393Member

    What a bargain, that looks really good, Thanks a lot for the review. I've been looking through their online catalogue this week & they have some great models at amazing prices. great set of of pics too.

  • MegiMegi Posts: 7,191Member

    That does look like an awful lot of guitar for the money Ninja, and indeed the sort of thing that can easily justify the odd upgrade e.g. pickups. I guess there are a few details that are maybe not quite as refined as they could be, but given the silly price, that pales into insignificance. It does look the business really, nice acquisition. 

  • Ninja_RebornNinja_Reborn Posts: 124Member

    Thanks guys - I have no idea of how they achieve such specification and standard of work for such little money. I suspect there is probably more variance in production than you would get for a more expensive guitar - that said it does have a Thomann inspection card in the box - so they are checked before dispatch (it would appear).  They also carry a 30 day no quibble returns policy and a full 3 year warranty (which covers everything as opposed to just the wood).

     

    Comparing this to the leading brand of LP copy you would be looking at 2-3 times the buy price for the gain of (probably) 2 piece body with centre matching (usually) and arguably a better residual value.  

     

    There is a certain appeal of cheap gear that works well and these certain do that - at the price point they live at they can't be perfect.  That said they get all the important bits right - both practically and visually.   If you spend a £100 on  guitar you'd be happy if it was playable and stayed in tune - these do that; they also look the part, sound the part and feel the part.  

     

    I should also add I played this solidly for three hours last night - which for a worknight is 2 hours longer than I normally would play.  I've not had NGD like that for a while!

     

     

     

  • Reg SoxReg Sox Posts: 3,121Member

    Bargain!  From your description it sounds like the fit and finish is no worse than a modern Gibson.  Throw in the 3 year unlimited warranty and couple that with the price and it's going to beat Gibson into the ground as far as a value proposition is concerned.  A two year old run of the mill Gibson is likely to have depreciated more than the entire cost of your guitar so I don't think residual values should be a factor to consider.

     

    Thanks for the review.

     

    Cheers, Reg.

  • Kevin PeatKevin Peat Posts: 3,203Member

    How the hell can that be made, shipped and retailed for £100 ???

  • Reg SoxReg Sox Posts: 3,121Member

    It is mind boggling.

     

    Got to be all CNC machining, obviously sourcing offcuts rather than solid pieces of wood as Ninja has pointed out in his pics - I don't have a problem with that as long as the glue-up is done properly.

     

    I bet the spraying is machine as well - the transitions are a bit sharper looking at the pics of the front of the body than the variability of hand spraying.  And cheap hardware and low labour costs.

     

    If they take a QA rather than QC emphasis on setting up the production (I bet Thomann as a German company have big input on that) then there's going to be little wastage as well.  I reckon shipping and duties are the biggest costs of the whole thing!

     

    None of my comments are meant to be negative - I think it's incredible value and a great platform for upgrading to something special.

     

    Cheers, Reg.

  • lancpudnlancpudn Posts: 1,393Member

    I'll be in the market for a thin line P90 type guitar in a couple of months time & a Harley Benton TE-90QM Trans Red fits the bill perfectly, and at £117 who could argue. They're made at the Saein factory in China which make Shine, Peavey, SX, Douglas, Agile etc.

    image

     

    http://www.thomann.de/gb/harle...e_90qm_trans_red.htm

  • Ninja_RebornNinja_Reborn Posts: 124Member

    Crikey - that tele looks great! I was thinking of their P90 equipped gold top for my P90 fix, but that has me thinking.....

     

    I think Reg has covered most of the areas where I think cost savings go - I'd add that as they are not using a distributor and dealing directly with the factory there is a whole chunk of cost removed from the price almost immediately.

     

    I had a look at the internals yesterday the routing is good overall, but a little rough around where the controls are - the inner pair need to be slightly deeper and the routing for this is a bit rustic.  Electric are OK - they're typical far eastern fare (smaller than CTS or even alpha, but bigger than mini pots)  again maybe not the best but a lot better than is to expected.  I will say that backing down the volume does make the tone a bit wooley - but I have more expensive axes where that has been the case.  Aside from that it just sounds great (it has that "big sound" you associate with LPs and driven amps whenever you hit a G Chord!)

     

     

  • JockoJocko Posts: 7,107Member, Moderator

    The main thing about any guitar is that it plays well and sounds good and you seem to have got that in Spades. Love the look of that Tele clone!

  • The23rdmanThe23rdman Posts: 1,560Member
    Originally Posted by lancpudn:

    I'll be in the market for a thin line P90 type guitar in a couple of months time & a Harley Benton TE-90QM Trans Red fits the bill perfectly, and at £117 who could argue. They're made at the Saein factory in China which make Shine, Peavey, SX, Douglas, Agile etc.

     

    http://www.thomann.de/gb/harle...e_90qm_trans_red.htm

    That's lovely!

     

  • lancpudnlancpudn Posts: 1,393Member
    Originally Posted by The23rdman:
    Originally Posted by lancpudn:

    I'll be in the market for a thin line P90 type guitar in a couple of months time & a Harley Benton TE-90QM Trans Red fits the bill perfectly, and at £117 who could argue. They're made at the Saein factory in China which make Shine, Peavey, SX, Douglas, Agile etc.

     

    http://www.thomann.de/gb/harle...e_90qm_trans_red.htm

    That's lovely!

     

    Yeah I cant wait to order one. the kamp kommandant says I've to be patient & to stop looking at it.

  • The23rdmanThe23rdman Posts: 1,560Member
    Originally Posted by lancpudn:
    Originally Posted by The23rdman:
    Originally Posted by lancpudn:

    I'll be in the market for a thin line P90 type guitar in a couple of months time & a Harley Benton TE-90QM Trans Red fits the bill perfectly, and at £117 who could argue. They're made at the Saein factory in China which make Shine, Peavey, SX, Douglas, Agile etc.

     

    http://www.thomann.de/gb/harle...e_90qm_trans_red.htm

    That's lovely!

     

    Yeah I cant wait to order one. the kamp kommandant says I've to be patient & to stop looking at it.

    I'm looking at their cheap acoustics. The Mahogany one looks and sounds really nice. 

  • lancpudnlancpudn Posts: 1,393Member

    There's a lot of write up's/reviews on a wide selection of Harley Benton models on the agile guitar forum.

Sign In or Register to comment.