Price paid: € 199
Purchased from: Musikhaus Thomann
Sound — 7
Well, I really wanted an 8 string guitar and right now I'm using this for songs like "115" or "We All Fall Down" (Kevin Shrewood) but also more avant-grade stuff like Animals for leaders. It's also good for the djent madness of Meshuggah. I also like to play some metalcore or deathcore songs just for fun and j-rock and Tech-death metal. The guitar sounds nice through my Marshall JVM amp and for the price paid I'm quite impressed, the palm muting sound is chunky and full of gain. The guitar is noisy on small rooms (or very close to the amp) but if I play it for example on my living-room there is no noise. The sound is dark but not moody. The only problem is high to low string transition where noise is made and it doesn't sound very clear, but for riffage and rhythm parts of songs, this guitar is quite good.
Overall Impression — 8
This guitar is a good match for it's price and a really nice practice instrument. It looks good, feels good but it's not an 8 string Ibanez or anything like that (think of it as an mid-end copy of an Ibanez). I changed pots and pickups and now I have a very good 8 string for the price I could buy a Schecter omen (8 string). I love that it has a huge neck and that it also has a belly cut so it sits comfortably to my stomach. They only thing I don't like is that the frets are not extra jumbo, but again, this is a minor problem for the price I paid. If it were lost or stolen I'd just go and take another bigger-brand 8 string since I've started to grow sympathy on the sound and feel of it. This guitar is good for practice and for a cheap but good transition from a 6 string to an 8 string (or 7 to 8) and I recommend it mostly for that.
Video from YouTube:
Reliability & Durability — 7
This guitar has SOME built quality to it and it looks like it can withstand Nagasaki (ok, maybe not) and it feels quite sturdy. The hardware looks pretty decent. I put strap locks to it because it's a huge and heavy instrument. The strap buttons that came with it looked OK, but they are not really all that good and that way I got my strap broken. I'd never use it on stage as my primary since I got this guitar to experiment with an 8 string, so I mostly use it for practice and just for fooling around. The finish is just a big fingerprint magnet (like ALL glossy finishes on every guitar) so I clean it constantly, in order to keep it look sharp.
Action, Fit & Finish — 7
The guitar came to me with bad action (too high for my music taste). The pickups were low and they sounded muddy that way. There were no flaws and I was surprised since I've heard really bad things about Harley Benton's and I was curious how the whole thing would turn out. I adjusted the truss-rod and set the action as low as humanly possible and put the pick-ups higher. The bridge was set up good and the radius was nice. The neck felt very comfortable, despite being as big as my kitchen table and I could even reach the higher frets.
Features — 8
A very good question, in the music world is about how many strings should a guitar have. The 6 strings have been a standard for many years and it has been enjoyed and played by many. But why have 6 strings... When you can have 8 strings? 8 string guitars are starting to become very popular among heavy metal bands, with the infamous DJENT sound and their big and comfortable body. This 8 string is made by Harley Benton (which has quite a bad reputation among guitarists) and is one of the better and newer breeds of their guitar (mine's made in 2012). It has a 24 medium jumbo frets fret-board, on a D-shaped maple neck. The body is made of basswood (my top choice for metal music) and it has a very nice contoured top (curved). It has a classic glossy black finish and it has the very nice super-strat shape. It has a fixed hard-tail bridge (string-thru body). It sports 2 high-gain, high output passive humbuckers (quite a surprise from a Harley Benton guitar). The controls are 1 volume, 1 tone, and 3 way toggle switch. The tuners are some unnamed locking tuners (no info on that) and with the guitar were included all the needed tool to adjust the guitar. No case or bag included.