HBL450 review by Harley Benton

logo Ultimate Guitar
  • Features: 8
  • Sound: 8
  • Action, Fit & Finish: 8
  • Reliability & Durability: 8
  • Overall Impression: 8
  • Reviewer's score: 8 Superb
  • Users' score: 6 (28 votes)
Harley Benton: HBL450

Price paid: € 145

Purchased from: Thomann.de

Features — 8
This is a China made LP copy. The guitar comes standard with Wilkinson Alnico V MWCHB Humbucker pickups. 24 3/4" scale with 22 frets. The tuners are Kluson-style, and feel a bit cheap.The body is mahogany with a "AAA" flame maple top done in a Cherry Burst finish. The C shaped set neck is mahogany with a rosewood finger board, featuring Trapez inlays. Both the body and neck have single creme binding. 3 way LP style pickup switch, and 2 volume and 2 tone controls. Pots are cheapish, but function well. Hardware is unbranded chrome and seems real sturdy and reliable. Came strung with D'Addario 10's. The finish is shin

Sound — 8
I am strictly a blues guitarist, and not a very good one at that. This guitar suits that genre well. The standard pups played through my Fender Champion 100 sound very nice in clean mode and and warm and rich with a little gain. There's no buzzing or humming on any setting that I have found. The natural sound of this guitar is warm, rich, and pretty darn good. I was impressed. I own 7 or 8 LP copies, most which were made in South Korea. This Chinese made LP copy does not take a back seat to any of them. I've found that I'm able to get a wide variety of sounds from this guitar, just by adjusting the tone and volume knobs around in different pickup combination. Again, pretty impressive to my ear.

Action, Fit & Finish — 8
Right out of the box, after a long international journey to get here, this needed some minor tuning and intonation adjustments. I have not made any height adjustments to the pups, as they sound good as they sit. The fit and finish were good all around. No dents, no dings, no rough fret ends and amazingly, the neck was nice and straight. The frets are level, and there's no buzzing anywhere. The action is decent, I might tweak it down a touch. The nut was cut properly and there's no string hang up. Overall, impressive fit and finish. Other than possibly switching out the pots, I'm happy with this guitar. The neck is very comfortable and easy to move around on.

Reliability & Durability — 8
As far as reliability and durability, it seems fine to me. I'm not in a band, so I obviously won't be gigging with this guitar. I play it right here in my home and will soon be done with my studio/guitar room. Once done, I'll use this and my other gear to lay down my own tracks, and play along with canned jam tracks. For that level of use, this guitar feels like it will outlive me. Strap buttons are good and feel reliable. As far as the finish goes, this one is pretty amazing, given the low price. It's as nice as any LP copy I own. That said, my most expensive LP copy was 330$ plus shipping, so it's not like I have anything pricey to compare it against.

Overall Impression — 8
I play Blues only. I've been playing on and off, mostly off, for about 20 years. I'm at best a below average player. Just being honest, so don't hate on me. I like this guitar very much, as it's lighter than all my other LP copies, which are boat anchors in the weight department. I have two more Harley Benton's en route, a T Type and the less expensive L400 Gold Top, which has a basswood body. Should be interesting to see how that effects the overall LP type of experience. I'm happy I took a shot on this guitar, very pleased overall. I'd buy this again and wouldn't hesitate in suggesting it to a friend looking for a nice LP copy at value level price.

1 comment sorted by best / new / date

    I have a Harley Benton SC450 Plus and I must say I'm very impressed with it. Please check out my teardown video on YouTube where I show the woods, measure the neck, scale, radius of the fretboard and tail piece, check out the electrics and scare away the lacquer to reveal the timbers etc. My channel is called G.A.S. All the best to everyone here