HBL450 review by Harley Benton

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  • Sound: 4
  • Overall Impression: 10
  • Reliability & Durability: 4
  • Action, Fit & Finish: 8
  • Features: 7
  • Reviewer's score: 6.6 Neat
  • Users' score: 6 (28 votes)
Harley Benton: HBL450

Price paid: € 119

Purchased from: Thomann

Sound — 4
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.

Overall Impression — 10
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.

Reliability & Durability — 4
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.

Action, Fit & Finish — 8
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.

Features — 7
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.

2 comments sorted by best / new / date

    rv_phoenix Your opinion is based on that most people belives the guitar to bee equal with Gibson Les Paul. As a guitar as susch this Harley Benton delivers over what one would expect for 100 euro. There is nothing scheap over it and the parts are the same that you will find on any guitar up till 400 euro or do you belive that there is some one out there making rock bottom scheap parts exlusive for Thomann? Belive me that the bridge is exactly the same that Gibson use and the biggest differense lays in the assembling and after contol Gibson tryes to keep a even level of qualty while the rest mainly ames too massproduce as fast and scheap as possible and it that perspectiv I will give the HBL 450 SC 10 points. A dam good guitar it is.
    Haha,.. zeg ut ze jongen! Kennelijk word het niet gewaardeerd dat je een uitgebreide review schrijft. Nou,... wel aan deze kant in ieder geval. :p