Are the cheap Harley Benton guitars too good to be true?

Discussion in 'Standard Guitars' started by Zalbu, Jun 4, 2019.

  1. HeHasTheJazzHands

    HeHasTheJazzHands greg rulz ok

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    I'm wary as fuck over them, but I'm not gonna lie, their PRS Custom clone, Fusion line, and the Pete Thorn ripoff look sweet.
     
  2. GuitarSetup

    GuitarSetup SS.org Regular

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    Curious of this guitar brand, only uk?
     
  3. AltecGreen

    AltecGreen SS.org Regular

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    With all of the Harley Benton hype, my curiosity finally got the better of me. I wanted to answer the same question that the OP posed. When the HP42 Oopsie guitar came out, I ordered one on a whim. The guitar ended up costing me about $300 after shipping.

    The guitar looks pretty nice from a distance and for the most part it tries to look like a much more expensive guitar. The main thing I would say is that the guitar came with a reasonable set-up and fret work. There was a clumsy attempt at rolling the frets. In practice the fretboard feels good and the crappy rolling did it's job but won't win any contests. The wiring is pretty bad and the parts are bargain basement. The nut is a disaster and would be the first thing I would change. On the other hand, the tuning stability has been ok. The P90 pickup has some character to it. In the end, this is a playable guitar. It aims to emulate a very high end guitar and the quality is a bit uneven. Some of the finish is really good like the faux binding. Other bits are clearly where they chose to save money. The important thing is that they did seem to concentrate on the neck and fretboard so the guitar is very playable out of the box. The action is a bit high but that's an easy fix. It can be greatly improved with some parts upgrade. I'm undecided whether it is worth the money to upgrade versus buying a more expensive used guitar. I'm not the best judge of inexpensive guitars. This HB guitar is cheaper than 80% of the pedals I have on my board.

    The big selling point on many of the HB guitars is that they have features you won't find on other budget guitars (Squier, Epiphones, etc.). The guitar is not horrible. I got the information I needed about a P90 guitar and will probably buy something in the future. Now I have to figure out what to do with this. It's not something I would keep because it is never going to get played.

    The nut
    [​IMG]

    Passable fretwork
    [​IMG]

    Some finish elements are nice
    [​IMG]

    Minor issues
    [​IMG]

    The wiring is pretty sketchy and there's a wiring issue.
    [​IMG]

    Ok neck joint
    [​IMG]

    Neck is comfortable but has a weird low spot in one location
    [​IMG]

    The HB guitar and the rest of my guitars for comparison.
    [​IMG]
     
  4. Ulvhedin

    Ulvhedin Phrygianist

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    I had the FanFret DLX six string (was 150euro maybe?), but I paid 200euro for it with BKP Ragnaroks and sold the guitar a few weeks later for what I paid with the stock pickups that came along with it.

    All these things concerned, it was a really good guitar for the price. I wouldn't be afraid to get one, but I'd expect to do a little bit of work to it.

    Pros:
    It didn't feel like a silly cheap guitar. I got Indo vibes from it. Some flaws, but nothing that didn't justify the price.
    Great neck carve. Felt like the Capa Horus I had. Either oiled or satin finished neck. (can't remember).
    Somewhat smaller body and a nice light weight compared to an Ibanez RG (pro for me anyway).
    Played great after some tweaking.
    Sounded brutally good with BKPs. (never tried it with the stock pups)
    Fretwork was fine and dandy.

    Cons:
    Nut was cut too deep on most strings, even at .60 gauge. (could've been the previous owner using some insane strings, so take this point with a grain of salt.)
    Poking fret ends.
    Tool marks on the fretboard and lazy attempts at fixing it.
    Stock switch sometimes needed a few yanks to get into position.
    The lacquer around the neck joint was kinda half-assed.
     
  5. Musiscience

    Musiscience Hail the Ibbyborn!

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    How did it compare to the Regius? :lol:
     
  6. InCasinoOut

    InCasinoOut syncopAZN

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    I remember someone here commenting on how Harley Benton guitars look like what if Agile copied Agile guitars (lol), and I have never been able to shake that thought because holy shit they do. I wouldn't be surprised if they were made in the same factory, but be wary about people blowing them out of proportion. I used to think my Agile Interceptor was the shit, but after owning and playing Prestiges and other professional-level guitars, they (Agile and presumably Harley Benton) are worth as much as they go for, not any more.
     
    Last edited: Jul 20, 2019
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  7. Andromalia

    Andromalia Pardon my french

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    They're rebranded stuff from somewhere, that "fusion" line of guitars was already sold under a different name.
     
  8. Adieu

    Adieu SS.org Regular

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    What's that gorgeous yellow-and-maple superstrat?
     
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  9. Zhysick

    Zhysick SS.org Regular

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    G Life... Daita's brand of guitars.

    http://www.g-life-guitars.com/

    Not cheap but beautiful for sure...
     
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  10. Adieu

    Adieu SS.org Regular

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    $2500 - 4000?

    No kidding... what's a Daita?
     
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  11. Zhysick

    Zhysick SS.org Regular

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    He is a Japanese guitarist, former guitarist from Shiam Shade but playing solo from quite a while.

     
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  12. AltecGreen

    AltecGreen SS.org Regular

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    Compared to the Regius, it's missing a string. :D


    The guitar in the picture is specifically a G-Life DSG Life Ash/Trance Yellow. I didn't know who Daita was when I first discovered the brand. Yashiro, a female Japanese guitar player, was using one and I did a search for the brand. It's become my number one guitar. I'll probably sell the Regius and replace it with a G-Life seven string in the future.

    It's an interesting comparison between the HB and the G-Life. On paper, the HB might seem to have more interesting specs and certainly looks the part from a distance. But once you hold and play each guitar, there is no comparison. It is the things you can't see and the attention to detail that sets them apart. No amount of modding of the HB will compensate for the much higher quality wood in the G-Life. I think that's true even between the G-Life and the Mayones. The G-Life and Regius both have ash bodies but the G-Life is much lighter, resonant, and lively than the Regius.

    The lesson to be learned is that specs and looks don't translate into a better guitar. Still the HB provides someone with limited funds a decent guitar with features that would otherwise cost much more. The HB is one tenth the price of the G-Life. I am fortunate and grateful to be in a position in life to afford these expensive guitars.

    As an aside, Daita is a walking advertisement for his own guitars. I think he changes guitar models and colors on every song during a set. The issue for him is that the G-0Life fans are less willing to buy a particular model if he doesn't play them live.
     
  13. Zhysick

    Zhysick SS.org Regular

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    I became a Daita fan before the G-Life launch and actually I prefer the Schecter aesthetics but I get what you mean. Specially knowing the kind of "fanatics" an artist in Japan gets... It's an amazing and weird country. I still believe that nobody is like the clichés might us think they are but all the people I know that have been there tells me the opposite...

    Amazing country for sure.
     
  14. jwguitar

    jwguitar SS.org Regular

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    200 dollars is pretty impressive for an 8 string. At that price if you wanted to buy yourself a set of EMGs and Grovers and get the fretends smoothed by a tech it might be well worth it.
     
  15. Jeff

    Jeff Banned from Reality

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    Awesome looking guitars. They'd benefit from firing their GeoCities-inspired web developer though. :D
     
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  16. Emperoff

    Emperoff Hasta la vista, Baby Contributor

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    Harley Benton is a very well known "cheapo" brand in EU. Thomann is the biggest store in Europe, and harley Benton is one of their (dozens of) propietary brands. It's specially notorious for selling cabs with Celestions V30 cheaper than what the speakers actually cost.

    As with all of their brands, they are very nice for the price. If you want quality, look elsewhere. Simple as that. I hear lots of people saying that after a setup, nut job, fret dress, yadayada, they're as good as guitars twice the price.

    Now let me tell you a secret: Same happens with the guitars twice the price.
     
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  17. Zalbu

    Zalbu More time than skill

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    Man, I made this thread to ask specifically about their guitars at $200-250 and below, but now I'm gassing for one of the HSH Fusions with a roasted maple neck instead :lol:
     
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  18. Simeon

    Simeon SS.org Regular

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    I'd say they're pretty decent guitars, but just like everyone is saying, expect to do some work yourself. I got myself the TE-52 Vintage Tele style guitar just because I don't have a Tele, and I really wanted to kickstart my modding itch. The guitar came in a good condition, with an avarege setup and pretty ok playability out of the box. It's heavy as hell and has some annoying sharp fret ends. The tuners are cheap and the electronics are not great either. But for a guitar costing barely 140€ its good deal for a modding benchmark. It kinda reminded me of my first ever guitar I got in 2003, a super cheap start copy. But the quality of cheap instruments has become waaay better nowadays. I live in Denmark so there's the whole climate thing too, but mine has been holding up great.
     
  19. Crundles

    Crundles SS.org Regular

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  20. Jarmake

    Jarmake Frost Giant

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    Oh no... That purple sparkle one is calling me and whispering sweet things into my ear.
     
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