Price paid: $ 75
Purchased from: Second hand
Features — 7
Features are currently:
- Harley Benton HB-35 V7 Series, semi-hollow body electric guitar with f-holes.
- Maple body with arched top & mahogany sustain-block.
- Canadian maple set-neck.
- Rosewood fretboard.
- Fretboard radius 350mm.
- Dot inlays.
- Creme body & neck bindings.
- 22 frets - a 628mm scale and 43mm nut width.D
- Double action trussrod.
- 2 x vintage style covered humbucker pickups with 2 x volume, 2 x tone controls.
- 3-way toggle pickup selector switch.
- Chrome hardware, tune-o-matic bridge and diecast tuners.
- Finish is high-gloss cherry.
Sound — 9
Sound-wise I really like this guitar! It has all the characteristics that the classic original has, and that makes this copy a really good one! Generally I was looking for a guitar like this, because of it's raw rock and bluesy sound, when adding a bit of grit to your sound! Overdrive and Distortion is no problem for this V7 Series HB-35. Clean tones is also very, very clear and sparkly - adding a bit of reverb, delay and chorus really makes the guitar sound stand out. That really surprised me too, because you can't really expect that much from a guitar that goes for, roughly, 150$.
The guitar suits my style of music very good, no problem! Currently I'm using the guitar with my Boss GT-10 Multi Effects Processor, running it all direct - only using the built-in amp & cab sims. This sounds really good and responds very well, also when adjusting the volume with the volume knobs on the guitar! I owned a Harley Benton LP Copy and that a noisy beast - I really didn't like that! This V7 Series HB-35 on the other hand is a whole other story! It's really quiet and when adding Overdrive/Distortion there is really no noticeable noise! That's perfect and really important for me, I can't stand all that hum and buzz all the time! With this guitar you'll be able to achieve rich and full sounds, as well as bright and sparkly tones too!
Overall you'll be able to achieve a wide variety of sounds with a guitar like this. Everything from rock, blues, jazz, pop. I'm giving the sound of this guitar 9. Some might think this is insane for a guitar like this, but really, guys! The sound coming out of the guitar is superb and for a copy that is fairly rare, that's why I decided to go with the 9.
Action, Fit & Finish — 7
When I got it and played it for the first time, it actually played very nice, considering the transport and change of humidity from the weather. Of course it's always a very good idea to check the Intonation and adjust it. A guitar need that a few times, especially when being played regularly. The action is good, a medium action height, I would say. Fits my playing very well, so no problem there really. The pickups is adjusted right, at least for my taste. Everyone has different taste in how pickups are adjusted. Bridge, tail-piece, tuners and nut is overall fine and will last. Of course, for better tuning stability I would change the tuners to some better ones.
Overall I find the guitar extremely easy and smooth to play. That really came as a surprise to me, because I've owned another Harley Benton guitar, a LP Copy, that wasn't all that good and smooth to play, so this one is good. Not that many flaws, as I can see. Maybe the 3-way switch could be replaced with a better one, but that's optional! Overall I'm giving this a 7, because of the 3-way switch and the fact that some of the wiring isn't hidden that well. Really no biggy, but worth mentioning.
Reliability & Durability — 7
Overall I would say that the V7 Series HB-35 will be able to last a long time, especially if taken care of and maintained once a while. I'm sure that it will withstand live playing and gigging, just like any other guitar you bring to a gig. Looking at the hardware it all seems nice and sturdy, I can't really see that big of a problem there. Of course, things can be upgraded, optional, if wanted, but as it is everything's fine.
Talking about upgrading, when it comes to the strap buttons, I would recommend changing these. The ones who comes with the guitar is dirt cheap and will, at some point, be likely to fail you, so buy a decent pair of strap locks! I do that on all of my guitars, no matter brand, size or shape.
As far as gigging with this guitar goes, without a backup, I would say that no matter what, I always have a backup guitar with me, when gigging live. Just in case anything happens, a string-break or something like that. I can't see why not t gig with this guitar, no matter if you have a backup or not. It really all depends on the person playing. For me, I would say, that I would use it for live gigging, and also for recording in the studio. I really like the sustain and the smooth feel of the guitar. The finish is very beautiful, mine is red, as the original it's supposed to copy. I would say that the finish will only wear off, because of using it, making it relic normally, like any guitar will do in time.
All in all, this comes down to what YOU feel, think and feel. Upgrade if you feel like, leave it be if you think it's as it should be or send it back if you're disappointed. It's all up to the person holding the guitar, this is just my view. I'm giving it 7, because you can/wanna upgrade a couple of things.
Overall Impression — 8
Overall, I'm very happy with this guitar! Even more after I plugged it in! Even unplugged the guitar sounds good and feels fuller, probably because of the F-holes. I'm playing mostly rock, pop and blues and that's really something on this piece of guitar. Suits me and the sound I'm looking for just great! I've been playing guitar for almost 15 years and have tried a lot of guitars and this one is a keeper. The neck is really great and fast - not what I expected, but a pleasant surprise! Makes the playing much greater! For what the guitar is worth and sold for you can't go wrong - it's a guitar that can suit both beginners as more advanced players!