HBL450 Review

manufacturer: Harley Benton date: 12/22/2014 category: Electric Guitars
Harley Benton: HBL450
I can advice this to those who like to costumize/work/mod their guitars since this is a chance to get a very cheap Les Paul.
 Sound: 6.3
 Overall Impression: 8.4
 Reliability & Durability: 7.6
 Action, Fit & Finish: 6.9
 Features: 7.6
 Overall rating:
 Reviewer rating:
 Users rating:
reviews (7) pictures (2) 13 comments vote for this gear:
overall: 7
HBL450 Reviewed by: unregistered, on june 10, 2010
2 of 2 people found this review helpful

Price paid: € 125

Purchased from: Thomann.de

Features: First I would like to tell you I didn't bought this guitar to leave it standard. 2 Houers after I got it I placed in 2 Seymour Duncan alnico 2 pro's. Anyway the futures: It's a Les Paul Copy with an alder body combined with a glued neck of maple and rosewood fretboard with a nice inlay. It comes with 2 chrome covered humbucker, 2 volume and 2 tone knobs and all the rest of Standard Les Paul stuff on it. It's DOESN'T have a pick-guard. Which is not a problem anyway since I think it's ugly and I I'd removed it anyway. It comes boxed with a cable, polystyrene and the bill. No instruction guide or some kind of documentation included(and if included, it would be chinese anyway) // 7

Sound: I used it 2 minutes on a Marshall mg30fx, but the Standard pups are so bad I instantly replaced them. Ok the 2 minutes: The Standard pups are very noisy(bBZBzzbzbz when distorted) as well as the tone and volume knobs. You can strumm some clean chords with them(which sounds pretty good) but when going to the high notes the sound becomes very dull. When I replaced them with the duncans the guitar sounds awesome(appetide of destruction sound(yes with an alder body). So I guess the Standard pickup quality is bad, rest of the guitar is OK. Replace them and you have an awesome guitar for a cheap price.(making the sound a 9) It sustains VERY well for such a cheap guitar. Pickup selector is also very good(NO noise or soundgap when switching). // 6

Action, Fit & Finish: Pro's: -Looks very very nice(it's personal). -Low action. Con's: -little bit of fretbuz on the low E. -Some screws needed to be tightened. -Low quality pods. No big problems. // 6

Reliability & Durability: Seems OK to me, gonna test it on stage next week saterday's with a concert. I will bring a backup guitar. You're sure to catch some ladies with this guitars looks. // 7

Overall Impression: Since it's very cheap it's worth a 9. Beginners shouldn't buy this since you need to work a bit on this guitar to get it right. I can advice this to those who like to costumize/work/mod their guitars since this is a chance to get a very cheap Les Paul. Of course you can't compare it to a real Gibson but when you replace the electronics(pups, volume/tone) it suddenly transforms from a cheap guitar in a rocket. Now I need the queen. // 9

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overall: 7.4
HBL450 Reviewed by: ron4ik16, on july 06, 2011
2 of 3 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 160

Features: In this review, I am gonna tell you about my guitar - Harley Benton Les Paul HBL 450CS. I gotta be honest - this is my first review, so please forgive me, if there are any mistakes, or if I have written something utterly stupid... And also, to be honest - I don't know, and of which materials(maybe except one thing) when my Harley Benton was made... Since I bought it from a schoolmate in Latvia for 80 lats (160 dollars). Anyway, usually a Les Paul has 22 frets. So does mine. The frets are medium-sized at the lower notes, and they get thin at the higher notes (as usual) and they have perlamuter markers (these thingies at 3rd, 5th, 7th, 9th 12 th and the rest of those frets). If we talk about the neck - there's nothing much to talk about. Just a medium-sized, comfy neck. Although, it sometimes is a little sticky. The guitar has got a solid top, nothing special in it too... As I said earlier - I don't know what kind of wood was used to make this guitar, so - I'm sorry, people... (that includes guitar's finish too). The body style of guitar is Les Paul (my guitar is a copy of Gibson Les Paul). Colors - Cherry Sunburst (if I am not wrong). I am gonna skip the electronics thing (cuz I don't know it) and move on to controls. So - there are 5 control knobs in total. 4 are located below, and 1(rhythm/treble) is located above the strings. 2 of the lower knobs respond for volume. The other 2 - for tone (I think). The one above responds for humbuckers. If turned upside - only the 1st(from the side of frets) will work, if turned downside - only the 2nd will work, if turned "neutral" - both are gonna be at work. I'm also gonna skip the pickups thing (coz I dunno it), and move on t tuners. The tuners themsleves are non-locking. They are made of stainless steel (as usually). Dunno their brand though. As always, with the guitar there is also a gig bag. // 7

Sound: Despite the lack of information on this guitar that I have, it suits any rock or metal music style. Whether it is Punk Rock or Heavy metal. The guitar isn't noisy, and it can make all of the ost common guitar sounds that are used. The sound is not the best, but far not the worst. If we talk about amps - I am using a 15w Hartke combo amp. // 7

Action, Fit & Finish: The guitar was setup pretty okay (if my memory is not playing with me). Everything was well-adjusted and there were no significant flaws (once again - if my memory is not playing around with me). // 7

Reliability & Durability: The guitar is very dependable, reliable and durable. The finish IS lasting. It will surely withstand live playing. // 9

Overall Impression: My style of music is generally Rock (from Punk Rock to Power Metal), so this guitar is pretty okay as a match. I have been playing for about a year on this guitar, and there hasn't been anything to complain about. If it would be stolen from me, I would consider buying another one. If we talk about what I like about it, then I gotta say that I love that this guitar is very comfortable. It is my favourite feature of this guitar. But I don't like that it has only 22 frets, and oly 6 strings. I wish it would have at least 24 frets and also I wish that there would be Les Pauls with more then just 6 strings (7 or 8 for example) and also with more than just one neck(2 or even 3 for example). P.S. I haven't really compared my guitar to other guitars, but I gotta say that Strats are less comefortable to play. But that's it. // 7

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overall: 7.4
HBL450 Reviewed by: unregistered, on april 27, 2011
1 of 2 people found this review helpful

Price paid: € 125

Purchased from: Thomann.de

Features: This guitar is made in South Korea. It has 24 frets on rosewood neck. Solid top alder guitar with built in neck (not bolt on neck with screws). Finish is sunburst and very good for the price. Shape of guitar is Les Paul, just as well as the rest of the features. It has tune-o-matic bridge, 4 pots (2 vol and 2 tone), 2 humbuckers (not so good sound), 3way Switch (switch is very good producing no sound at all), guitar cable is included with no manual. // 7

Sound: It is hard to rate sound with its original pickups since they are pretty bad. But after I went to my friend and rewounded its original pickups, sound gets better then sound on Gibson LP with original pups. I used it on Behringer GMX212 amp and just as I mentioned before original pups are producing some noise, specialy on high gain. After replacing pups you get decent sound. // 6

Action, Fit & Finish: Guitar is not setted up, so it needs set-up. Action is very low, but generally all screws must be tightened and it needs complete set-up. This is the reason why I think that this guitar is not for beginners. I think guitar is built in a good way because even unplugged it produces very good sound and sustain. Sustain of guitar is great, almost like on original LP. With some minor adjustments you can get excellent guitar out of the one that you get for very low price. // 7

Reliability & Durability: This guitar is good enough for live playing, hardware can last after you replace pups. Strap buttons are solid, but a bit small. It can be used on a gig without backup. Finish is solid and it can't be worn off easily. Good thing is that price is low, so you can even play with its finish and its appearance and it will not cost you tons of money. Guitar is very good base for excellent customization. // 8

Overall Impression: After replacing pups guitar can replace any LP like guitar. It is affordable, and in addition to very good hardware price is its main advantage. If it is stolen/lost I am sure I would buy it again. Best thing I like about it is its price and very good base for readjustment. With just a little bit of work you can make almost great guitar out of it. // 9

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overall: 7.6
HBL450 Reviewed by: unregistered, on august 30, 2011
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 160

Purchased from: jofogas.hu

Features: I found this guitar to be pretty good as far as construction goes. Rosewood fingerboard, maple neck... It's all good. I found it a bit heavy but that's probably only me. As for the electronics - it has two metal covered humbuckers (more about them in "sound") and non-locking tuners. The intonation is okay, but the low E and the B strings are always a bit detuned, doesn't matter how many times you tune them, they're always a bit sharp. Considering that this is a really cheap guitar, featurewise I give it a 9, only 'cus of the bad pickups. // 9

Sound: It sounds okay, without amp it's pretty well sounding. I only noticed some fret buzz on the 1st and 3rd frets of the low E string, but with some adjustments it can be corrigated. As for the amplified sound... Well the pickups just flat out suck. On clean tone it has a "kssh"-like sound wich is not that bad, it can't even be heard when you're strumming chords. The distortion is a-s... It has a loud and annoying "hkzzz" sound and even when playing it's bad. I got myself a noise gate to prevent this noise but that only made it worse. The pickup noise was gone but when I want to bend a string it frets out during the middle of the bend. Without the noise gate it's not a problem 'cus then I can bend well but with noise gate vibrato and bending... Forget them! So just choose your poison. I give it a 6 'cus if you replace the pickups it sounds actually pretty nice. // 6

Action, Fit & Finish: The guitar wasn't really set up well, even though I think it was tuned (to 2 step down tuning). The original strings were really stiff and not that good. When I bought the guitar I instantly went to the closest music store to buy a set of strings 'cus I felt that these string won't last long. It turns out I was right, I tuned the guitar to E standard, started playing and at the 2nd bend the B string broke and cut my right arm. I replaced the whole set of strings with D'Addario 10-52 gauge heavy bottom strings. Now it's awesome. As for the pickup state... All the volume knobs were set to 0 (wich means the pickups were muted). I cranked up both pickups to ~3 but still no sound came out of my amp. I found out that under ~5 the pickups are muted. This is not good. That's just cheap knobs. I'll have to replace them in the near future. I'll give it an overall 5, the factory setup was heavily flawed and really bad. // 5

Reliability & Durability: This guitar does stand live playing pretty well after replacing the pickups. I have played it live with my band and it was pretty good, even though I brought a backup, just in case it f--ks up during a solo or something. The hardware is not the best but it stands well enough. For some reason the tuners feel like they want to break while I'm tuning but that's probably only me again. To tell you the truth I wouldn't use it on a gig without backup. I always say I need backup not only with this guitar but even with more decent guitars. As for the finish, it's good. While we were playing live someone threw a coin at it and the finishing didn't even get scratched. I also dropped it once but it stood it. There still are no problems with the look and I own this guitar for 8+ months now. I'll give this a 10. It's flawless. // 10

Overall Impression: I normally play Melodic Death Metal and Progressive Metal, and I have to tell you: This is a very good choise for those who play heavy music (like rock, metal or powerballad). Also I tried playing blues and it's good for that too. The clean tone & the overdriven sounds are great, I'd recommend it for everyone that is into heavy music or blues. As I said, I own this guitar now for 8+ months and it's pretty good. I really had no other problem than the buzzing of the pickups. If it was stolen from me I'd rather buy an Epiphone Les Paul Special II (wich is about the same price category). I only chose this guitar 'cus I wanted a practise guitar fast and cheap. This really does the job. I just wish it had a better set of pickups. I give it an overall rating of 8. Remember, it's a cheap Les Paul copy so I won't handle it like it was the original. // 8

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overall: 6.6
HBL450 Reviewed by: unregistered, on january 17, 2012
1 of 2 people found this review helpful

Price paid: € 119

Purchased from: Thomann

Features: Made: Either China Korea our in Indonesia and maybe Vietnam because Thomann lays his contracts in different plants, this is basically a OEM product but I will guess by experience that mine is made in Indonesia. Frets and neck: 22 narrow jumbo type Scale: 63cm/24, 75" set neck with a pointed D-shape to nearly V-shape, a rather uncommon neck profile in the budget to medium segment. Body and top: Les Paul style with a solid but carved top stated as made of Alder but in my case Ash is used for sure because there are lots of bluegreyish stripes shining thru the transparent laquer but the dark stripes gives the top a rather cool down too basic look and I myself do not prefer posh "furniture guitars" anyway. Finish: Classic Gibson Cherry red sunburst and the best mimic I have ever seen among copies. Overall specs: Les Paul Accesories: Truss rod key, cable. // 7

Sound: First this is a true Les Paul mimic an that means that the guitar actually feels oldstyle, a high string action and with a somewhat hard bended pluckiness and a muddy/barking punch defines it to suit jazz, blues and classic seventies rock and I play those tunes on a Vox Valvetronix VT30 a amp that falls well in to my preferences. Unplugged the sound is nearly as loud and defined as on a acoustic guitar. The pickups is the real issue whit this guitar and my first impression is that they bare the typical Japanese syndrome, a one fit all middleman style synthesized sound and they will probably repeat the same blunt repertoire attached to a broomstick put in a tin bucket. As the rest of the guitar should stay in a pretty good order one might later on decide to change the pickups and that is a minor fix in compare with what else there could bee lurking in a cheap guitar. // 4

Action, Fit & Finish: Setup: Helply tuned in E on a super high string action with an over relifed neck. A very common price cutting praxis. Pickups: Well adjusted Frets: Amazingly well crowned and cut but the dressing is obiusly a rush job with lot of sharpness left beyound the 12th fret. All over impression: Well put togheter with the lot standing in a good order. Flaws: a tiny drop of glue on the top near the bridge a badly polished tailpiece but on a antoher hand there are sure as hell more nits to come and I have experienced much worse for a lot more money paid. // 8

Reliability & Durability: Live playing on a stage: If one want to bee serious I'll do not think so because the neck construction and the bridge studs seems too weak to make it in real conditions. Does the hardware seem like it will last: As mentioned before the bridge studs seems already too be to loose to withstand any excessive stress but the rest surely will last for a long time. Are the strap buttons solid: Yes in fact they are. Kindly used in practice and small events the guitar will withstand years too come. // 4

Overall Impression: Match: A super fit for a man in the middle years crizes and the prize wount upset the lovely wife. Compared: Yes offcourse and with the lot up to 400 bucks and I will say that they are all pretty the same deal. Choosen: By the reviews. Favourite feature: The happy impression of the bright cherry sunburst and I got the cream picguard mounted on mine, nice! Cons: No ones so far. Would I buy it again: Yes and imeditaly if the opportunity still exists. // 10

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overall: 7.4
HBL450 Reviewed by: unregistered, on may 22, 2013
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Price paid: € 150

Purchased from: thomann.de

Features: No information about the year that it was made and neither about the place (but I believe that it was made in China). LP-style, mahogany body, flamed "AAA"-grade maple top, set-in mahogany neck, thomann C-shape, 628 mm scale, 43mm nut width, rosewood fretboard, 22 frets, MoP trapez fretboard inlays, body and neck binding, double action trussrod, 2x Wilkinson Alnico V MWCHB humbucker pickups, 3-way toggle, 2x volume control, 2x tone control, Kluson-style tuning machines, deluxe chrome hardware. This feature what I wanted/expected. So there is nothing more to say. // 8

Sound: This guitar suits my needs, I play Rock, Metal, Punk and Hardcore (Metallica, Black Sabbath, Stiff Little Fingers, Biohazard and many others). It has a surprisingly good clean sound, really fat and defined, when used with distortion it sounds good, the pick-ups do a nice job, though they do not have the smoothness or aggression from the high pick-ups like Seymour Duncan or EMG, but again they won't let you down. I have a Vox VT30 amp at home and another small practice amp and I use this guitar with following pedals, Danelectro Cool Cat chorus, Joyo Flanger, T-Rex Tremonti Phaser and a booster from EHX. I've already tried the guitar with some better amps, Laney Lion Heart 20 and Orange Tinny Terror and my impression was the same (though it sounded much on these amps, as it was expected), nice clean sounds and good, but not amazing distorted/lead sounds. Overall a nice guitar to play where you can cover much ground with it. // 7

Action, Fit & Finish: The guitar came with an acceptable setup, I just had to do some tweaking here and there to adjust to setup according my preferences, like lowering the action a little bit. The guitar has a small flaw on the nut but I was able to fix it and it does not bother me that much because later on I will replace the nut with a better. The other flaw was on the painting where I can see some areas on the back and near the neck joint that were painted in a rush and some flaws on painting are detected but not a deal breaker. The rest is alright, everything works well and does not have any problem. // 7

Reliability & Durability: The guitar seems to be really well built, it has way heavy and there is nothing shaking on it, the hardware is firmly attached to the body, so until now I had no problem at all, it holds well the tuning and the hardware seems reliable. I believe that this guitar can last for a good time. The strap buttons are average, not very good neither bad. I do not have a band, but if I had a band and I had to play live I would use the guitar. About the finishing it does not seem to be thin and it seems capable to handle some really heavy use. // 7

Overall Impression: As I said, I am more of rock player and this guitar suits my needs, it is a nice overall guitar. I have been playing for about 10 years and I own another guitar which I do not know its brand. To summarize, I am very pleased with this guitar and for the price I have paid there is nothing to complain about it. If it was stolen I would buy it again. If you are looking for a decent guitar without spending a fortune this one is a nice option, though I must highlight this not a Lag, Gibson or ESP guitar but again it costs about 10% of one of the high end guitars. Good value for the money. // 8

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overall: 8
HBL450 Reviewed by: JohnWWGP, on december 22, 2014
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Price paid: € 145

Purchased from: Thomann.de

Features: This is a China made LP copy. The guitar comes standard with Wilkinson Alnico V MWCHB Humbucker pickups. 24 3/4" scale with 22 frets. The tuners are Kluson-style, and feel a bit cheap.The body is mahogany with a "AAA" flame maple top done in a Cherry Burst finish. The C shaped set neck is mahogany with a rosewood finger board, featuring Trapez inlays. Both the body and neck have single creme binding. 3 way LP style pickup switch, and 2 volume and 2 tone controls. Pots are cheapish, but function well. Hardware is unbranded chrome and seems real sturdy and reliable. Came strung with D'Addario 10's. The finish is shin // 8

Sound: I am strictly a blues guitarist, and not a very good one at that. This guitar suits that genre well. The standard pups played through my Fender Champion 100 sound very nice in clean mode and and warm and rich with a little gain. There's no buzzing or humming on any setting that I have found. The natural sound of this guitar is warm, rich, and pretty darn good. I was impressed. I own 7 or 8 LP copies, most which were made in South Korea. This Chinese made LP copy does not take a back seat to any of them. I've found that I'm able to get a wide variety of sounds from this guitar, just by adjusting the tone and volume knobs around in different pickup combination. Again, pretty impressive to my ear. // 8

Action, Fit & Finish: Right out of the box, after a long international journey to get here, this needed some minor tuning and intonation adjustments. I have not made any height adjustments to the pups, as they sound good as they sit. The fit and finish were good all around. No dents, no dings, no rough fret ends and amazingly, the neck was nice and straight. The frets are level, and there's no buzzing anywhere. The action is decent, I might tweak it down a touch. The nut was cut properly and there's no string hang up. Overall, impressive fit and finish. Other than possibly switching out the pots, I'm happy with this guitar. The neck is very comfortable and easy to move around on. // 8

Reliability & Durability: As far as reliability and durability, it seems fine to me. I'm not in a band, so I obviously won't be gigging with this guitar. I play it right here in my home and will soon be done with my studio/guitar room. Once done, I'll use this and my other gear to lay down my own tracks, and play along with canned jam tracks. For that level of use, this guitar feels like it will outlive me. Strap buttons are good and feel reliable. As far as the finish goes, this one is pretty amazing, given the low price. It's as nice as any LP copy I own. That said, my most expensive LP copy was 330$ plus shipping, so it's not like I have anything pricey to compare it against. // 8

Overall Impression: I play Blues only. I've been playing on and off, mostly off, for about 20 years. I'm at best a below average player. Just being honest, so don't hate on me. I like this guitar very much, as it's lighter than all my other LP copies, which are boat anchors in the weight department. I have two more Harley Benton's en route, a T Type and the less expensive L400 Gold Top, which has a basswood body. Should be interesting to see how that effects the overall LP type of experience. I'm happy I took a shot on this guitar, very pleased overall. I'd buy this again and wouldn't hesitate in suggesting it to a friend looking for a nice LP copy at value level price. // 8

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