HBT16 review by Harley Benton

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  • Sound: 10
  • Overall Impression: 10
  • Reliability & Durability: 9
  • Action, Fit & Finish: 10
  • Features: 9
  • Reviewer's score: 9.6 Superb
  • Users' score: 8.7 (3 votes)
Harley Benton: HBT16

Price paid: € 68

Purchased from: Thomann

Sound — 10
I play funk, which this guitar can do very well. No matter what pickup you use, it sounds awesomely funky. The bridge pickup cuts thru like a HOT knife in butter, and the neck pickup is very percussive. I play through Vox amps, sometimes with WAH effect. The sound of the guitar is extremely bright and good. No noise AT ALL. Extremely good pickups, no need to replace them.

Overall Impression — 10
I have been playing only for 3 years, but I have a range of guitars. I have 1984 Fender Japan Stratocaster, Williams Les Paul copy, Epiphone Explorer GT and this guitar. I own also basses. If this guitar would be lost, I would buy it again. This guitar is totally awesome and totally worth your buck. Flawless thing except the plywood body and strap buttons. Compares at least the Mexican Tele. This guitar would have been even better with maple fretboard.

Reliability & Durability — 9
I think it will last very well. I just suggest that you don't drop it, the plywood body will shatter if it happens. The strap buttons are one of the only flaws in this guitar, they drop off easily. Otherwise, no complaints again. Awesome guitar. The finish will last.

Action, Fit & Finish — 10
The guitar was very well set up and in TUNE. The action was perfect out the box. The pickups are well adjusted. Finish, neck setup... Everything was perfect, this guitar feels and looks just as good as a Fender American Standard Telecaster. This guitar is totally awesome. Only one complaint is the plywood body, which sucks in means of tone, but is at least light. It is not a very bad body but I hate the thought that it is a glued together pile of wood. The electronics are flawless, the tone control and the volume control REALLY WORK. can't say the same from any other guitars or basses I have. The fretboard is really fine and soft, pitch bending can be done way better than on most guitars.

Features — 9
This guitar was made in 2011, in China. It is a typical Telecaster guitar with black finish and 22 frets. It has a rosewood fretboard and SS pickups. The switch layout is the standard tele configuration with one tone ony volume and a 3-way pickup switch. Very versatile guitar.

5 comments sorted by best / new / date

    Extremely good pickups, no need to replace them.
    Doubt it but who would replace the pickups on crappy guitar? Why are people buying guitars this cheap and then spending more money on buying some Dimarzios? The building quality must be pretty crappy if you buy this cheap. So what's the point of upgrading your pickups?
    After 2 weeks of playing I changed the neck pickup with a nice DiMarzio.
    Oh and that 9.6 rating review... Facepalm. "Compares at least the Mexican Tele." No it doesn't! Mexican Tele costs almost 10x more and you say that this is better! This kind of reviews just make me angry.
    MaggaraMarine wrote: Oh and that 9.6 rating review... Facepalm. "Compares at least the Mexican Tele." No it doesn't! Mexican Tele costs almost 10x more and you say that this is better! This kind of reviews just make me angry.
    ... And it doesn't just cost 10x more, it also plays 10x better! Amateurs write "reviews" to express their thrill of being ignorant. Staggs are crap, not axes, for so many obvious reasons, that our explanations would be just a waste of time.
    I have to disagree about what you say about Stagg Guitars. They are not necessarily brilliant guitars, but you get what you pay for, you can't expect a Stagg to be as good as a PRS. I have had a 1957 Strat, a 1963 & more recently, the use of a 1990's Strat. I don't have them any more, they went years ago. About 5 years ago I needed a Strat sound for a recording, but was hard up for cash. I went into my local music shop & looked at a Stagg, which I was dubious about, having seen the price. I have to admit that I picked the best one in there. It seemed really good apart from the setup. Asked the guy to borrow some tools & spent 3/4 of an hour setting it up. It really isn't a bad guitar now. It's quite heavy in weight (like the 1957), plays very well, has a good action. It's not comparable with a real vintage Strat, but plays a hell of a lot better that the CBS Fender Strats & the Horrible "F" Series. I think I know what the F stands for, ha, ha So there you are, Staggs are variable, even if they are cheap. Can be quite good if set up properly, but don't expect them to be custom shop quality.