Price paid: $ 241.56
Purchased from: www.thomann.de
Sound — 9
The weak point is the pickups, nothing wrong with them per se, but as with all single coils, they tend to be a bit noisy, especially when used for home recording with a pc. The overall sound is typically bright. Used with a DigiTech RP50 and a Roland Microcube, I'm more than satisfied with the variety of tones I can get with this set up (I've now replaced the pickups).
Overall Impression — 10
I changed to fitted pickups to a set of Fender Vintage Noiseless, the difference these have made to this guitar is staggering. What was a good solid instrument, is now something very, very special. As this model is no longer made/stocked by Harley Benton/Thomann, I've got a pretty unique guitar, which compared to a mid 50's Fender Telecaster I owned some years ago, is vastly superior in every way. The only thing it lacks, is a 'famous name' on the headstock. For a total price of, inc the new pickups, just over 200, I've got a guitar that would surely cost many times that amount to get equal quality in a named guitar. I showed it to a guy Who works in my local guitar shop, and asked him if he'd heard of the make and what his overall impressions were. He told me he'd never heard of Harley Bentons before, and going off the build quality/sound, he guessed that I'd paid some between 400 to 600. I've got a bargain.
Reliability & Durability — 7
I've not had it long enough to form a opinion, tho' as it's strictly for home use, durability isn't really a issue. As a backup guitar, I reckon it would be perfect.
Action, Fit & Finish — 9
The action was good out of the box, but with a bit of careful adjustment, now has to be seen/played to be believed. I dare say other people will struggle to play this guitar as the action is so low. Overall, the wax/oil finish is good, there is nothing to criticise on this guitar for me, and the hardware appears to be solid enough.
Features — 9
Korean/Chinese manufactured I guess. Flame maple top on a basswood body, set neck in the classic Tele shape, Tele style bridge, bog standard single coil pickups and tone/volume controls, with unknown tuners. The neck is the slimmest I can ever recall seeing, like as not, it will be much to slim for a lot of people. It came supplied with suitable key for both bridge and truss rod, tho' the truss rod key is slightly too large.