Purchased from: Amazon
Features — 9
This guitar rocked up last week via Parcel Force. Came complete with a tidy little bedroom amp (10 watt) all from Amazon... So good so far! Came within 24 hours of purchase. Guitar was made in 2013 according to the Quality control blurb inside. We purchased the metallic silver with a black-top pick guard. Really chuffed with build quality. This guitar is the usual strat style with all the trimmings. Nice chrome work and lovely finish. Whammy bar fits fine... Although I don't use a trem arm. Three controls (x1 volume x2 tone) all finished in black with five way selector controlling the three single coil pick ups. All arrived with padded gig bag, strap, picks and cable... Even a clip tuner! WOW!
Sound — 8
I like to bash out a bit of Chilis/Kings Of Leon/Killers/Nirvana so I find this guitar perfect for all the above styles. Although, the guitar arrives with a 10 watt practice amp, I plug into my Line 6 Spider III and it sounds great with all the effects on. The guitar is very quiet when plugged, with minimum background hiss. Without effects got the usual Fender "bell" sound. The reason I picked this guitar was because I can have the 'start style' versatility at very low cost... So I was very nervous prior to the guitars arrival, however I was pleasantly surprised when I gave the guitar the once over... Great sound for the wonga!
Action, Fit & Finish — 8
Arrived factory set I think and very satisfied. I once tried a cheap copy in a local shop that was set too low, so subsequently it was buzzing up and down the fretboard. So I was more than happy with the action... No chocking anywhere. Pick ups were a little to proud for my liking so I adjusted them slightly. The bridge seemed okay apart from some of the saddles needed slightly adjusting to correct the intonation. The finish was really nice (metallic silver), however I am aware this colour would not be every ones choice... It's got the Marmite factor. All the chrome work seems good with no corrosion. Just needed to clean the fretboard (seemed like there was some sort of resin on it) - a bit annoying.
Reliability & Durability — 9
The Benson seems to be well made on the surface and the guitar is quite chunky & weighty... So I would assume it would withstand the "rigours of the road" although I only play once a month at a local pub jammin' session... So I won't know until next month. The body is made of Agathis (not quite sure what this is) and the guitar as stayed in tune since I changed the strings (it comes with a spare set of Ernie Ball - RESULT!). Benson seems to be very generous with the finish and the lacquer seems quite thick without affecting the tone of the guitar. Thumbs up for the overall build quality!
Overall Impression — 9
I know the origin of the guitar is the far east (China), and I am really impressed with this so called "budget guitar." I have been trying to find some minor faults with this guitar without success because all I keep seeing is £99.95 flashing in my head. This is certainly good value although I did not need the practice amp and I wish Benson gave you a guitar only option. Before I purchased this I was using a Vintage tele copy, which as now been relegated to the wardrobe. I know I will probably get bored with this guitar, however for now I am happy bashing out my favourite stuff on me Benson.