R-457 review by Harley Benton

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  • Features: 7
  • Sound: 7
  • Action, Fit & Finish: 9
  • Reliability & Durability: 8
  • Overall Impression: 8
  • Reviewer's score: 7.8 Good
  • Users' score: 8.3 (3 votes)
Harley Benton: R-457

Price paid: £ 97

Purchased from: Thomann.de

Features — 7
The guitar came as is in its box with just the guitar itself. It has 7 generic tuners in a 4/3 layout on the headstock, the tuners themselves aren't great and need tweaking with occasionally after heavy playing, but can easily be replaced if this is a problem. The bridge is a hard-tail string through body style, which holds the strings really nicely, its in matte black which looks really good against the glossy black body. 24 medium jumbo frets with generic dot inlays, the 24th fret has 3 dots. The fret board is rosewood, with a bolt on maple neck, which is surprisingly thin and fast for such a cheap guitar. The body is basswood like most cheap guitars, but still sounds great. The pickups are generic, but nice and high gain, there's a 3 way selector and a volume and tone knob. Pretty standard layout, but the neck is really nice for a budget guitar, however the tuners put it at a 7 for features.

Sound — 7
I play a lot of folk and death metal, this suits them well, with the extra 7th string giving that brutal low end, the pickups are quite muddy which is a shame because the lower string often drowns out the higher notes in a lot of chords. The sounds from the guitar are very limited, the neck pickup is quite a bit warmer sounding than the bridge, but also more muddy. Despite the muddy high gain pickups, the guitar is almost noiseless when not being picked, which is surprising, the cavity are also shielded from the factory which is good for a budget guitar. Overall the sound of the guitar is what you would expect for 100 quid, quite muddy but not that bad in all honesty, if it was an Ibanez or other well known make it would likely be a lot more expensive, similar prices to the GRG7221.

Action, Fit & Finish — 9
Everything came from Thomann absolutely perfectly, the tuners are lovely and smooth (Although unfortunately do slip after a while), the action was really low to the point where any lower would cause fret buzz. Really easy and nice to play. For a seven string it feels remarkable thin at the neck too, you hardly notice that the extra string is there, making it really easy to play. The finish on the body is a really attractive gloss black, with a decent amount of lacquer on it. The pickups were also level and at a good height from the shop. Finally, the wood on the neck looks to be of good quality, with a strong looking grain, and perfectly straight from the day I got it. All in all I'm thoroughly impressed with the build to say its a 100 quid guitar.

Reliability & Durability — 8
I think this guitar could easily withstand live playing, it feels really sturdy, although the tuners could again do with replacing due to the fact that they slip slightly after a while of playing. The finish on the body seems like it would hold up for a long time, but could do with a nice clean every now and then. The tone and volume controls seem really solid, better than on my Ibanez S470, they are nice and smooth and feel like the will last, the wiring is also top notch with good soldering and shielding from the factory. I would probably take a backup to a gig just incase, I would also want to replace the pickups with some non generic ones, just in case.

Overall Impression — 8
Overall the guitar is a great match for any high gain music such as death metal, the pickups and tuners are the only not so great parts about the guitar as it can sound muddy and occasionally slips out of tuning. The guitar is best suited as a practice guitar or a first/cheap seven stringer. I would maybe consider it as a backup guitar if the pickups and tuners were replaced to stop the earlier problems mentioned. If it was stolen I would probably buy it again, but would most likely save up to afford a better quality but more expensive 7-string such as an Ibanez.

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