HBR7-450FR review by Harley Benton

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  • Sound: 8
  • Overall Impression: 9
  • Reliability & Durability: 8
  • Action, Fit & Finish: 8
  • Features: 10
  • Reviewer's score: 8.6 Superb
  • Users' score: 7.3 (28 votes)
Harley Benton: HBR7-450FR
2

Price paid: $ 201.3

Sound — 8
I'm using it with a Zoom G1X into an amp. The effects are my sound (amp has crap distortion). However it's pretty good on the clean channel (nice, clear, bright, shimmering sound). Pretty confident it would suit most styles (can get a few different tones from fiddling with the pickup selector and tone/volume pots). My only concern is that the pickups are a bit microphonic, I sealed them with a wood sealant solution and have noticed an improvement. Setting were also a contribution to the feedback I was getting and fiddling with them has made it much more controllable.

Overall Impression — 9
I play things from funk to hardcore punk to metal to jazz and would say it can handle all of these styles. I wouldn't recommend it for downtuning as it's an annoyance to tune it in between songs (I wouldn't even try it, same to any guitar with a Floyd Rose). I also felt that the low B string was too loose and would recommend a.60 or higher to guitarists Who wanna tune it to B. If anything I wish it was a HardTail for a bit more sustain and so I could mess around with tunings more, but that's just my preference.

Reliability & Durability — 8
It'll withstand live playing and I'd only recommend the following be added for safety. I dropped my guitar and broke the plastic outer jack cover, replaced it with one that's a black metal one for durability. Thomann could've preempted this and provided bigger strap buttons like the individual ones they sell.

Action, Fit & Finish — 8
Everything came setup except the FR had fallen down at one side, a quick fix later (easier than you think) and it was up and playing with a low action for easy playing. There was a little scratch on the underside but that was my only concern aesthetically.

Features — 10
This guitar features 24 frets, a double-locking Licensed Floyd Rose and two unbranded passive humbuckers. An alder body with a maple neck and a rosewood fretboard complete this guitar. It's Strat-like uniform black appearance is quite conservative, not metal-over-the-top so it's appearance wouldn't go out of place for any style you play. Also features 7-in-a-row non-locking tuners, one volume pot, one tone pot and a three way Switch for fine tuning to get the sound you're after.

16 comments sorted by best / new / date

    von Layzonfon
    I got one of these about a year ago. I've been playing for over 20 years, and I am one of those who wanted to have a go with a 7-string but didn't want to lay out big money. This guitar exactly fit my requirements and I was very impressed with what you get for a paltry 135. It plays very much like my Ibanez RG, even if it doesn't quite sound like it. There are much nastier budget guitars out there.
    rv_phoenix wrote: This guitar is a pure nonsense. A guitarist able to use properly a 7 string guitar will NEVER buy such a thing. 100 quid for some firewood? Either you are too rich or too naive...
    Sorry, rv_phoenix, but your comment is pure nonsense. By your logic, anyone who can drive properly should only be buying Ferraris, Porsches and the like. As with all things, people have different requirements and are willing to pay different amounts, so there will always be a market for budget instruments. As long as they are playable, stay in tune and don't fall apart they are fulfilling their role - and this guitar does that admirably. As for being rich or naive; I'm neither, which is why I wasn't willing to pay 300-400 for a "messing about" guitar that was likely to get very little use.
    leenux5030
    ^ Vow , calm down dude. Beginner guitars are worth for all the learning experience. I started off with a Behringer Strat-copy, after spending an year on it. I knew exactly what type of guitar I must buy. With that price, I don't think there are many things that can go wrong for a beginner. And in case they turn out good (the way it did for the guy who wrote the review), then its super plus.
    F@ Man
    LoW, Harley Benton make budget guitars. they are good for the price, assuming you have someone to do a little setting up.
    DevilMayCare
    They're no worse than Encores or low end Squires in my opinion, they're a significant amount cheaper and in all honesty for the price they're not bad beginner guitars, I've played worse.
    KegumZ
    i had had this guitar before i bought my ibanet rg7321 . you cant compare them. but for someone who just wants to test a 7 string its okay sorry for my bad english
    Metallica-EX50
    it is actually quite good but i agree with KegumZ on it being good for someone who wants to test a 7 string
    evmolloy12
    Got it a few months ago while very skeptical over the price thinking it was too good to be true for a 7 string but it's a very good guitar for its price that's for sure
    rageahol
    Music is something else than driving
    Driving to a car enthusiast is what music is to a musician. I'm sure everyone here knows that this guitar is a beginner/hobbyist guitar just like a 1999 Nissan Micra would be a beginner/get-from-a-to-B-cheaply car. Obviously, to a professional racecar driver, the Micra is scrap metal, but just because they think so doesn't mean they should go around telling people that; it's not constructive at all. Back on topic, I've been considering this guitar, but after reading the few reviews I've found, I think I'll just look for a used Ibanez or something.
    Keveb4
    I've had mine for about a year now and in my opinion it is fantastic value for money. Obviously it needed set up as any new guitar does, but once the action is sorted out and a new set of Ernie Balls are on it, it plays extremely well. Played through a decent amp it can sound as heavy or as clean as you want it. Everyone has their opinion and this is mine, my opinion coming from actually owning and playing this guitar. However to say this guitar is nonsense is complete rubbish. There is a market for low cost guitars, just as there is a market for low cost everything else. This guitar serves its purpose brilliantly as a 7-string for those wanting to try it out without spending Ibanez prices. It's never let me down and the build quality is exactly what you would expect.
    rv_phoenix
    This guitar is a pure nonsense. A guitarist able to use properly a 7 string guitar will NEVER buy such a thing. 100 quid for some firewood? Either you are too rich or too naive...
    rv_phoenix
    Sorry, rv_phoenix, but your comment is pure nonsense. By your logic, anyone who can drive properly should only be buying Ferraris, Porsches and the like. As with all things, people have different requirements and are willing to pay different amounts, so there will always be a market for budget instruments. As long as they are playable, stay in tune and don't fall apart they are fulfilling their role - and this guitar does that admirably. As for being rich or naive; I'm neither, which is why I wasn't willing to pay 300-400 for a "messing about" guitar that was likely to get very little use.[/quote] No, you are absurd. Music is something else than driving, and the difference of prices between a good guitar and this firewood is much, much smaller than the difference between a crappy Ford and a Ferrari. In fact, it's about 150-200 euros. The main difference is not playability nor tuning stability. It's the sound. I don't mind people buying cheap guitars. A world made from guitar players only would be atrocious. I don't mind amateurs playing on crap writing reviews ("opinons" would be a better word). But rating these cheesy axes like real ones is a pure nonsense. The least we can do is to tell people, from our experience, they are wrong when advocating for firewood.