Price paid: £ 130
Purchased from: argos
Features — 9
It didn't specify the year it was made in, but after doing some research I was assured this was a 2014 model. I was advised that the best Benson models were built post 2011. It was made in china with 21 frets. It's a solid body, in a Strat style, with a honey sunburst finish. The bridge is a through body style, but I think it might need a few adjustments. I'm not sure about the electronics, they seem to be active, but the packaging and manuals didn't specify. There is one volume control, 2 tone knobs, and a 5-way selector. There are a neck and mid Standard pick ups along with a bridge distortion pick up, I'm not sure about the make of them, but I'm sure that they are Benson. They are single-coiled. I think the body is Alder or bass wood with maple neck. It came with a padded gig bag (brilliant!), 10 watt amp, a strap, cable, picks, and a LED tuner.
Sound — 8
I play a more metal, punk rock style and it suits it fine and I didn't need to move my pick ups. I use the amp that was included with it, a Benson GA-10. The amp comes with an overdrive setting which I use most of the time. The sound can be rich and full or alternatively it can also sound sharp and aggressive. Depending on the pickup selection it can sound very bright, or it can sound very dark and deep (I prefer dark and deep for my style of music). Also you can make it sound a little like a bass, you switch it to the mid and neck pick ups and turn the tone knobs to 0 and Switch the equalization to 0 for treble, 5 for mid and the bass up to 10.
Action, Fit & Finish — 9
It was set up pretty nicely, I have not changed anything yet because I'm not sure how and what to do. The pickups were set up extremely well, I'm thinking of moving the bridge to a slanted position, and moving the neck one up a little bit, other than the adjustments I'm making for my music style I wouldn't change much except the strings are too light for my style of music. The bridge seems routed right, but this is my first guitar so I can't be sure. I am really impressed with the finish, I have whacked this thing many many times and the finish hasn't even scratched or made a mark! I did have to tighten the tuners to insure the guitar stays in tune, however this is not a problem. I did replace the factory strings for a set of Rotosound... This made a massive difference I'm pretty sure the wood is basswood, but I'm not sure, it does have a rich sound like basswood guitars. Really chuffed!
Reliability & Durability — 9
I haven't played this live at a gig yet (cause my band does not have any gigs yet!), but I have played it through one of my friends' other amps and I think it would do a great job at a live gig. The hardware does seem like it will last, if you want to replace anything, replace the strings first. The strap buttons are pretty solid, my strap hasn't fallen off yet, and I do punish my guitar a lot. I would depend on it when we start to gig and think it would withstand the rigours of a punk metal set up. The finish is pretty good, I'd say it will last me a while, but that's because I don't plan on whacking it against the amp and stage after the last song of a gig. The finish seems pretty tough... Only time will tell!
Overall Impression — 9
I play a metal, punk rock mix, it is a really good match, even without adjustments to the pickups. I've only been playing a few months, most of which were on an acoustic. I don't own any other stuff except strings and the accessories that came with it. If it was stolen I would buy it again, only because you get a lot for your money if you take into account the entire package. I love the fact that it can sound like a bass under certain settings, and that it sounds very dark when played with a heavy hand. My favourite part of the guitar is the set of 3 single-coil pickups, it gives me a broader range for my style of music. I have compared it to my friends' guitars, and most times it is better, I compared it to my friend's Squire, I'm not sure which model it is, but it is a Strat style guitar with one double-coil pick up at the bridge and it out performed both of these guitars!