FV430 review by Harley Benton

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  • Sound: 1
  • Overall Impression: 1
  • Reliability & Durability: 1
  • Action, Fit & Finish: 1
  • Features: 1
  • Reviewer's score: 1 Junky
  • Users' score: 7.9 (23 votes)
Harley Benton: FV430

Price paid: € 130

Purchased from: dealer

Sound — 1
While she was stock... The humbuckers were off the scale. They simply screamed, distorted everything, it sounded like some punk band, you know - distortion effect to the max, amps to the max, guitar to the max... Uncontrollable sound. Then I got it overhauled inside out and fitted one Gibson and one Seymour Duncan pickup just to try it on. Things got much better, but as the sound became recognisable two things came out: it gets out of tune in 2 songs and no matter how gently you hold the neck and touch the strings, the neck is so soft it cannot hold a note. Play a note and it goes PYOOOIIINNNGGGG.

Overall Impression — 1
I am a rocker with thrash metal background. I also play a lot of blues but I like my guitar to sound like it's on steroids. This one - after installing some quality stuff and rewiring, it produced the SOUND, but it just can't hold a note, it can't stay in tune because the wood is so cheap and soft it bends too much. This guitar is just an ornament, a decoration, not an instrument. I wouldn't recommend it even to beginners - even from start you need an instrument that inspires you, not hold you back. My recomendation: go for an Epiphone, it costs just a little more, but at least you can play it and in time, when your knowledge goes forward, you can upgrade it with some serious pickups and wiring to a high-class guitar. This one gives you no perspective, I tried some top-of-the-line gadgets on it and it did nothing. It was like putting a V8 engine on a bycicle.

Reliability & Durability — 1
This guitar... hm... if you're a punk band, go The Who on it and smash it at the end of the song. it will probably produce nice splinters. Oh, another good idea - take some white spirit and wipe off the Harley Benton sign and Put Gibson. Then nail it on the wall with a 9-inch nail and say to everyone that you can AFFORD to do that. This guitar is 25% show, 5% go and 70% firewood.

Action, Fit & Finish — 1
The way this guitar is made - I'd say she's good to be hung on the wall of some bar - she LOOKS hot, but that's it. But even to carry the shape of the Gibson Flying V, a guitar has to be of SOME quality. So in the end I put some Korean (now THAT was an upgrade! - sarcasm) humbuckers that I took off an Epiphone and have it as a reserve guitar in case I tear a string on a concert or something. Bottom line: it's not worth the shape it's carrying. And even the low price is no excuse for this one.

Features — 1
This guitar came with... hm... strings. No suitcase no gigbag not much of anything... Just the Standard piece of wood, two out-of-control out-of-scale humbuckers, bridge was screwed only half way in and the strings pulled it almost out. Typical Chinese handywork, but nice as an ornament on the wall.

1 comment sorted by best / new / date

    Gibson's Flying V is made in Korina or Mahogany: heavy weight woods, whose tight texture gives some resonance and sustain to an odd shape, othervise prone to all sort of sound flows. If not made in these two woods (you can add to them the very rare Eastern Poplar, a species tightly related to Mahogany, only slightly lighter), it won't sound good, no matter what pups and bridge you will put on it. Due to its shape, the guitar will have an inconsistent sound, no warmth, no sustain. The neck should be in Mahogany as well, otherwise it will bend while playing on its 1st half. The conclusion: this Harley Benton is mere firewood. It's not made in proper wood, it has stock mass-produced Chinese pups and hardware, it is badly finished (I've seen quite a few: none was perfect). Very good for those who have nothing to do with a guitar.