New Harley Benton Tele Review

Discussion in 'Guitars' started by scozz, Feb 21, 2020.

  1. scozz

    scozz Well-Known Member

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    So I received my Harley Benton Telecaster today, here are my feelings on it.

    Let me say first, I've been playing guitar since I was 13 years old,..51 years! :facepalm: and it's really incredible how nice a guitar you can get these days for not a lot of money.

    So the bad stuff first...

    Nothing bad at all really, 6 frets were a bit high, not very much though. The pickup selector switch is a little stiff, the pickups are ok, maybe better than ok I'm not sure at this point. And that's it! Not a big list for a $82 guitar!

    So the good stuff,... fit and finish is impeccable, not a single thing wrong with the finish and fit of the parts. The guitar sounds ok, the pickups are not great. Who thought they would be on a $82 guitar. The neck is perfectly straight, I removed the strings and loosened the truss rod and checked it with my StewMac Precision Notched Straightedge, and it was perfect! Fret ends are perfectly fine.

    The tuners are cheap but they work, not real smooth but they work. The nut is cheap and plastic but the guitar stays in tune, so far,... that's all I care about. I haven't looked at the electronics yet, but everything works fine.

    So here's what I did.,...

    Loosened the strings and taped off the 6 high frets, leveled them, re-crowned them and used different grades of sand paper to finish them. Ending with 2000 sandpaper, 0000 steel wool, and metal polish for silky smooth frets. Re-installed the strings, tuned it to 440 and adjusted the truss rod, action and relief. Intonation was spot on. Recut the nut, I like my action very low at the first fret. Relief set at .006,...action is at 3/64th on both the high E and low E strings. Quite low action, especially for a 25.5 scale guitar!

    It's ready to rock!

    I played it for about an hour after finishing the set up and fret work,...and it plays great and sounds really good! Better than I expected actually. For an $82 guitar,...delivered from Germany to Florida,..for a grand total of $115,...you absolutely cannot get a better value than that anywhere that I know of.

    Some pics in my music room when it was all done.

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    Last edited: Feb 21, 2020
  2. SkyMonkey

    SkyMonkey Well-Known Member

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    Sounds like you can't go far wrong with the HB guitars, if you have a bit of repair nouse.

    Well done, lovely guitar.
     
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  3. John BNY

    John BNY Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    Congrats. With minimal work, these guitars are perfect "knock-around" guitars, or modding. I've replaced the tuners on mine (strat and PRS versions), and find the pickups sound acceptable.
     
  4. T-Top73

    T-Top73 Member

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    They make nice teles.I used to have this one

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  5. scozz

    scozz Well-Known Member

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    I haven't changed out the tuners yet John, not sure I'm going to. Although the stock tuners are cheapos, so far the guitar stays in tune. I associate that with a properly cut nut that's got a bit of lubrication in the slots. I still might get those tuners from Amazon we talked about, btw, how are you liking them?
     
    Last edited: Mar 2, 2020
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  6. John BNY

    John BNY Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    I really like the locking tuners. String changes are a lot faster, and they hold tune well. If your tuners are keeping tune, there's no need to replace them.
     
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  7. tce63

    tce63 Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    HNGD, looks great, congrats
     
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  8. Dogs of Doom

    Dogs of Doom Moderator Staff Member

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    I'd probably round off that point/corner right here:

    upload_2020-3-2_12-43-48.png

    upload_2020-3-2_12-44-52.png
     
  9. Dogs of Doom

    Dogs of Doom Moderator Staff Member

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  10. scozz

    scozz Well-Known Member

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    You know DOD, I think that's the only thing that's different from a Fender Tele. Everything else seems spot on.

    I was looking at the neck/body joint, and it seems to be perfect! Better than most other Tele's I've seen, I'm gonna take a pic of the pocket joint tomorrow, as well as the volume and tone pots to get a better idea about the quality of these Harley Benton guitars.. Keep in mind, this is the lowest priced guitar, (I think), in the Harley Benton line,....$82.00!!
     
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  11. Dogs of Doom

    Dogs of Doom Moderator Staff Member

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    it'll still be different, I've just never been a fan of those shapes on the headstock...

    It'd be a pretty simple mod, as long as you could find a similar finish coat.
     
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  12. Mitchell Pearrow

    Mitchell Pearrow Well-Known Member

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    HNGD Scozz looks good brother
     
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  13. ricksdisconnected

    ricksdisconnected Well-Known Member

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    are the bodies press board?
     
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  14. John BNY

    John BNY Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    Rick, I believe they use basswood for this model.
     
  15. scozz

    scozz Well-Known Member

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