Price paid: € 129
Purchased from: Thomann.de
Features: The Harley Benton HB JA-60SB Vintage Series electric guitar features: the guitar has a basswood body, bolt-on Canadian maple neck, "C" neck profile, thomann rosewood fretboard, with block inlays, C-shape, 21 frets, scale: 648 mm, 42 mm saddle width, double action trussrod, 2 x Wilkinson P-90 vintage-style pickups, 1x volume & 1x tone controls, 3-way-toggle switch, deluxe chrome hardware, fixed bridge, Kluson-style tuners, 010-046 strings. Colour: 3-Color Thomann Sunburst. This model came out in May 2013. // 10
Sound: As far as rock, pop, blues and soloing goes, this Harley Benton guitar really nails all there is! It's unbelievable, unrealistic that a guitar in that price range can sound so good and so similar to the original! It suits my music style very well and I will for sure use it on some of my next gigs! Normally I use a Hiwatt Maxwatt G200R Top and Hiwatt Maxwatt 4x12 Cabinet, 400W. Mostly I use a multi FX board. A Korg Toneworks AX1000G and a Boss GT-100. Also through my Audio Interface, a Line 6 UX2, running it through Cubase 5. It does that very well and I can't really complain! I'm simply blown away. So far I don't find the Harley Benton JA-60 that noisy, surprisingly enough. The pickups and the electronic must be well wired.
The JA-60 sound really smooth and both bright and bassy. The 3-way selector switch gives a wide variety of sounds! I'm not disappointed, not at all. Again, this Harley Benton can produce everything and anything! What ever your heart desire. Really, I can't promote this enough - it's worth every penny! Also a very good and long sustain. // 10
Action, Fit & Finish: When I got it the action was way to low... The high e string, at the 12th fret, wouldn't play and sustain the sound. The frets were also buzzing a little. After adjusting the tune-o-matic bridge and the saddle, the strings played lovely and the buzz was gone. After that I adjusted the intonation, it was almost intonated, but a little fiddle did the job. The guitar intonates fine, and stay in tune! The pickups were adjusted perfect and nothing had to be changed or adjusted. Everything was smooth and running just nice. No sharp frets, none of them were sticking out. Everything was nicely set up.
I found a little flaw on mine... Some of the dark color was a bit brighter than the overall color, but it doesn't bother me. Also, I think the color and so changes a little from guitar to guitar. The JA-60 feels really good and doesn't take much getting use to, it's a great guitar. It's no problem to do the set up changes the guitar needs when you get it, I did it and it took me about 30 minutes or less. It's really easy, I would say that everyone could do it. // 8
Reliability & Durability: I'm thinking about using this guitar as my other gigging guitar. I always like to have at least 2 guitars with me, just in case. I would say that this Harley Benton guitar could do the job just fine, when it's set up right. Of course it's up to you whether you wanna rely on it or not, but it's gonna do the job! For all the hardware, as far as I can see, I will say that it'll last. If the guitar is treated "right" it will last you a long time.
The strap buttons is like on every other guitar coming right from the factory, a standard strap button. I would recommend that it'll be replaced by a proper strap lock. By doing so the guitar won't be able to slip out of the strap. Take this guitar with you anywhere, it'll do you very good, no doubt. Gigging, jams, centests, whatever! Overall the weight of the guitar doesn't feel like much, but that's kind of nice anyway. Personally I don't like for a guitar to weigh much... This JA-60 has a perfect weight. The finish of the guitar will, as the rest of the guitar parts, last, look good and stay shiny! // 10
Overall Impression: When it comes to music style I play almost everything. I play in a cover band and our music taste vary from time to time, but this Harley Benton JA-60 does the job really, really good! The sound of the P-90 pickups are so smooth and nice. It's the first electric guitar with P-90's I've owned. This low budget electric guitar matches me and my style, spot on! As long as I can remember I haven't seen an electric guitar this cheap! The Harley Benton electric guitar series is just outstanding, especially for the price. I've been playing guitar for about 14 years and I will, for sure, buy at least 3-4 other guitars from the Harley Benton brand.
I own an Epiphone Les Paul Slash Gold Top Limited Edition, €1350, only 2000 made, and a Tradition Stratocaster G120 G TS, $765. Compared to those two guitars, I must say that the difference is very hard to tell! Even though some people tend to say Harley Benton guitars are cheap and bad this is not the case with this one! It's simply amazing.
I was very well aware of what this guitar could and could not do before I bought it, still it surprised me. If i got lost, stolen or broken I would for sure buy another one, right away. Most of all I really like the overall look and finish of this guitar! It's so classy and "sexy." The P-90's make a really good finish too. I can't really come with anything I hate about this brand or guitar. Do yourself the honor and buy some of the Harley Benton products, you really wont regret it! // 10