HBR10 review by Harley Benton

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  • Sound: 6
  • Overall Impression: 10
  • Reliability & Durability: 10
  • Action, Fit & Finish: 9
  • Features: 8
  • Reviewer's score: 8.6 Superb
  • Users' score: 7.8 (39 votes)
Harley Benton: HBR10
0

Price paid: £ 92

Purchased from: thomann.de

Sound — 6
I play metal and rock, especially 1980s metal. This guitar certainly has the looks for metal, but unfortunately, not the greatest sound ever. I use it with both my Line 6 spider iv amp (which I hate), as well as my Line 6 pod ux1. For practicing and recording demos, its fine, since the pick ups can cope at lower volumes, but when it comes to playing live or at rehearsals, this guitar is not really quite good enough (especially if your drummer is incapable of playing at anything but as loud as he damned well can) However, for beginners, this guitar would be ideal as the pickups are versatile and will cope with both clean tones as well as more distorted ones. I find adding a lot of gain also helps. Indeed, I accidently stumbled across a fantastic lead tone by turning up the gain and the volume on on of the channels on the spdier iv, and switching to the neck pickup and for a short while at least, it was my "dream tone", especially since it held out well at volume. If you spent a fair bit on replacement pick ups, I'm sure the sound produced by this thing would be improved significantly, but the light woods used in making it are inevitably going to severely limit your levels of sound perfection.

Overall Impression — 10
Overall, I am stunned by this guitar's incredible value for money. 92 for something this good is frankly as good as it gets. I have heard other harley bentons are just as good value, and for anyone looking for either a beginner's guitar or a cheap, back up guitar, this guitar is ideal. Although you only pay 92 (and that includes shipping costs), you recieve a guitar which is easily as good as, if not noticeably better than guitars priced three or four times more. For anyone into metal (especially thrash, but also other genres such as hard rock, hair metal and, if you must, nu-metal). I'm not sure if it will cope with anything heavier than drop C, but that doesnt't really bother me in particular. Obviously, being an offset v shape, its awkward to sit with, but I have coped so far. Its versatile, and will cope with clean tones as well as more suitable distorted tones. It looks great and plays really well. What more could you ask for from a guitar which costs 92?

Reliability & Durability — 10
I have used this guitar as my first choice guitar for several months now, taking it to live performances and band practices in preference to my Ibanez rg370dx, and it has certainly not let me down. Its remarkably tough, and I've certainly put it through the toughest of tests. Due to its low price, I was keen on using it as a stage guitar for really thrashing about...and it certainly is capable of surviving a bit of rough treatment. The only problems I've ever had with the hardware was when I rather carelessly dropped it on a hard surface, causing the tone control to come off. Thanks to my rather hasty, inexperienced repair job, its never been sitting quite straight, but it still works fine. I've only ever broken 1 string on it, which is remarkable, considering I used to break strings at a shameful rate on my previous guitars. Recently, the input jack seems to be playing up, but this can be easily fixed by someone who has an idea what theyre doing. I would take a back up to a gig, but only because I'm a bit paranoid about these things and will even take at least one back up guitar to band practices... this guitar has never let me down yet, despite some energetic performances (think of falling onto knees and rolling on back during solos, etc). The finish has taking a bit of a battering on the corners, but I can't expect much different the way I've been playing it, and I'm sure a more sensible guitarist would find the finish lasts considerably longer. Overall, I find it to be a sturdy, tough guitar, more than capable of surviving surprisingly rough use.

Action, Fit & Finish — 9
The guitar was set up perfectly when it arrived, with the action being exactly as I like it, suitable for reasonably fast intermediate level shredding. Whether or not this was just a stroke of luck remains to be seen, but if it wasn't, then this set up would probably suit the majority of guitarists. The only slight problem I had was a small chip at the bottom of the guitar, but it was barely noticeable and probably unavoidable considering it had travelled so far. The guitar was overall very well made, and I have owned it for nearly a year now, and have never found any problems with it, despite very frequent use. This guitar was intended to be an exciting looking back up to my Ibanez rg370dx, however, within a few weeks of owning it, it soon became my first choice guitar. It was so much better than the Ibanez it was hard to believe at first. The Harley Benton is extremely playable, and made to a similar Standard as the ibanez. Although it is almost 1/4 of the price of the ibanez, it is certainly not 1/4 of the guitar, in fact, I would be tempted to say it was the other way round. Indeed, when the Ibanez's edge iii floating tremolo system goes wrong (as it frequently does), I would say that the Harley Benton is without the better guitar.

Features — 8
This guitar was probably made around 2008/9, since I received it in late 2009. If wikipedia is to be believed, this guitar was made in china by the same manufacturer used by brands such as Ibanez, Epiphone and Peavey. It has 22 frets on a neck similar to that of an Ibanez wizard neck in design. Overall it is a very good looking guitar, that suits a variety of heavy genres, in terms of its appearance, especially thrash metal. It is styled in the shape of a Jackson rr (and it has been mistaken for one by several people), and although its not a perfect match, it still has that evil appearance unique to offset v's. The body is made of basswood and the bolt-on neck is made of maple, and it has a fixed tune-o-matic bridge. The two pick ups are perhaps its biggest weakness, being simple humbuckers that really don't want to growl. However, for 92, it is extremely good value for money.

24 comments sorted by best / new / date

    VileEtiquette
    Oh my word! Stop being such snobs! Just because it's cheap doesn't mean it has to be useless. Granted most cheapo guitars are not great, but in my personal experience HBs are well made, well set up, sound reasonable and represent excellent VALUE FOR MONEY. The 100 7-string I had off them easily stands up against my two 400 Ibanez. This is a well written, balanced review from someone who obviously has first-hand experience of the instrument. @jr.v: Please, please, please do not, and I repeat, do NOT, comment on anything else until you have something constructive to say and have learned how to use punctuation.
    Lordyboy
    Hmm... If it's as good as he says it is and it was for that price (92) Im gonna go out and get one...
    MorbidBrain
    I have a friend who has a standard v from HB and he said that it was really good and i tested the v and it doesnt sound bad at all for that price.
    Genghis_khan
    I agree in the value for money part. HB guitars can easily go next to guitars that cost 2 or 3 times more. That's about it, but, for a 100 euro guitar to sound and play like a 300 euro is a lot... isn't it?
    Blazedout
    Hey, I'd just thought I'd say I have just bought this guitar for myself it's my first guitar so I'm really a rookie so my opinion on the sound quality is poor, However I do know the guitar is manufactured in the same factory as most Ibanez models, The lacer finish is the same but the wood is poor, I am replacing the pickups with new EMG pickups and the overall guitar is near perfect, My freind has a limited edition Jackson RR3 or somthing and with the new pickups he says it will be near as good as I will get before spending $800
    NHECOS
    8.6 for a harley benton??? Maybe a little too much, but good review.
    jr.v
    please please please do not and i repeat do NOT review anything ever again
    rv_phoenix
    Stankontin wrote: I own it for 4 years. And this is one of the best investment I ever did. All who says it's shit... You got shit instead of brain.
    Or, more likely, you have cotton instead of ears.
    Stankontin
    FireFreak92 wrote: Why are most of you so dumb and yell over a Harley Benton? I have this one and I love it. Playability isn't as good as on my Jackson but honestly, i never expected it to be. You pay 100 for a Guitar that practically is good. Okay the pups suck but what the hell? I put EMG HZ H4 In it and i love the way it sounds now. You don't always need a Gibson or an other expensive Guitar. You need a Guitar you can play with, not to show off how much it costs.
    my own thought
    Stankontin
    I own it for 4 years. And this is one of the best investment I ever did. All who says it's shit... You got shit instead of brain.
    FireFreak92
    Why are most of you so dumb and yell over a Harley Benton? I have this one and I love it. Playability isn't as good as on my Jackson but honestly, i never expected it to be. You pay 100 for a Guitar that practically is good. Okay the pups suck but what the hell? I put EMG HZ H4 In it and i love the way it sounds now. You don't always need a Gibson or an other expensive Guitar. You need a Guitar you can play with, not to show off how much it costs.
    metallicaden
    This is a brilliant guitar if you've been playing for a couple of years but if you're extremely good and in a band I reccomend that you buy a more expensive guitar. But I never had problems with this and I think it's the best guitar you can get for it's value
    rv_phoenix
    VileEtiquette wrote: Oh my word! Stop being such snobs! Just because it's cheap doesn't mean it has to be useless. Granted most cheapo guitars are not great, but in my personal experience HBs are well made, well set up, sound reasonable and represent excellent VALUE FOR MONEY. The 100 7-string I had off them easily stands up against my two 400 Ibanez. This is a well written, balanced review from someone who obviously has first-hand experience of the instrument. @jr.v: Please, please, please do not, and I repeat, do NOT, comment on anything else until you have something constructive to say and have learned how to use punctuation.
    Maybe you've got one of the very few bad Ibanez guitars, or (even more surprisingly) a good HB. In my experience, HBs are poorly built, badly conceived, using low quality materials and cheap labour. How can it be compared to an Ibanez, when it's made in Basswood (a mellow wood, with moderate resonance, eventually acceptable in Strat-type constructions, but not in V-type guitars, designed for metal)? Only GIOs from Ibanez are made in Basswood, but they don't cost 400 pounds... If you think they are about the same, then your ears aren't too good! P.S. Sorry for my bad English, it's not my native language... You pietist!
    metallicaden
    can you put a whammy bar in this guitar cause I never figured out how to do it and I've had the guitar for quite a while
    rajandmaria
    no waaaaay , harley bentons!!!!! this guy works for them.ive know 4 people that have bought harley bentons and 1 of them chucked it away! they didnt even sell theirs! apparently no one wanted it for 50 euros! were getting to a stage where some big companies want to sell their brand of guitars - and they just dont have the experience! im sorry .....but i want to support the music industry.....
    Fender Dane.
    First you say: "...but when it comes to playing live or at rehearsals, this guitar is not really quite good enough" And then you say: "I have used this guitar as my first choice guitar for several months now, taking it to live performances and band practices in preference to my Ibanez rg370dx,...." I understand that it is good value for money but did it become gig worthy guitar after you changed the pickups or is this just a lapse in logic?
    bustapr
    I was left confused when you gave the guitar an 8.6 and gave the sound a 6. Really, a guitar can be as durable as a gibson lp, but if it sounds bad with its stock pickups, its a bad guitar no matter how you look at it. Sure it cost 92,but its still not worth it. And you really lost me when you said that you prefered this guitar over your rg370dx. That has to be the most rediculous thing Ive ever read. And also you said that because its cheap you are more keen on using it for thrashing around at gigs, why do you even have an rg370dx if youre gonna betray it for a cheap uncapable guitar. rg370dx was made for thrasing around!
    gablooddub
    I have this guitar , and with right tune , good skills and distortion it sounds like any other guitars . If its cheap doesnt means its crap . And for those who didnt noticed , even Abbath (ex-Immortal) or Abbath band from today have this guitar
    Banjocal
    dude, its under 100 pounds. it's firewood. that guitar is shite. you wanna spen at least 150 on a guitar.