Harley Benton TE-52 NA Vintage Series

Electric Guitar

  • Body: American ash
  • Neck: Canadian maple with roseacer skunk stripe, bolt-on
  • Neck profile: C
  • Fretboard: Maple
  • Fretboard radius: 350 mm
  • Dot inlays
  • 21 Frets
  • Scale: 648 mm
  • Nut width: 42 mm
  • Pickups: 2x Roswell TEA alnico vintage TE style single coils
  • 1x Volume and 1x tone control
  • 3-Way selector switch
  • Deluxe chrome hardware
  • Kluson style machine heads
  • Strings: D'Addario .009 - .042
  • Colour: Natural High-gloss
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Further information

Colour Natural
Pickups SS
Fretboard Maple
Tremolo None
Body Ash
Top None
Neck Maple
Frets 21
Scale 648 mm
Incl. Case No
Incl. Bag No

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354 written ratings Read all reviews
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TE-52 NA Vintage Series

micoli, 30.10.2017
The sound of Telecasters has never really impressed me but I just wanted one to fill a gap in my collection, which is mainly hollow bodied, (with the exception of a Tokai strat). I play as a hobby so my guitars never leave the house and I really don't demand top-class instruments, although I would certainly be happy to own one! I first researched the options from different makes and suppliers but wasn't impressed with what was on offer for the £200 mark. As I've bought Harley Benton's before, I was confident I could find a Tele at the right price. After comparing them I ordered the TE-52 but to be honest, at just £122 including delivery, my expectations were not that high, despite glowing reviews on the Thomann site and on YouTube. After all, it's a guitar that sells for £113! It was ordered on a Friday evening and received in the UK on Wednesday at 10:00am, tracked all the way.

My first impression was that this was a stunning looking and a very well made guitar. When I checked it over and played it this is what I found:

~ There were no blemishes on the finish and it was pretty perfect.
~ The neck relief was perfect with the strings just sitting above the frets at the 7th fret.
~ The intonation was perfect on 4 strings and slightly off on the D & G strings, which took 30 seconds to put right.
~ The body looks like a 2 piece body, judging from the join at the base.
~ The neck looks like a one piece neck.
~ The dot markers are sitting central on the edge of the fretboard.
~ There was no shielding inside the control panel, pickups and jack socket.
~ The tuners are fine and hold the strings in tune, but I do find there is some slack spots in them,
~ The control panel is 34mm wide so buying a new control panel would be hard to find, (the American version is 32mm).
~ The pickguard is also not a standard American size so it would be harder to find a replacement, to align the 8 screw holes and have a 34mm gap for the control plate.
~ The cavity at the neck position beneath the pickguard is large enough to fit a humbucker or mini-humbucker at the neck. So if you want a new pickup set-up you will need to find the Asian version of the pickguard, (see above).
~ The C shaped neck plays like a dream.
~ The nut is plastic.
~ The neck was seated into the body perfectly, with not the slightest gap.
~ The Roswell pickups sound good enough to me to keep them in the guitar.
~ The guitar strings were slightly corroded.
~ The frets were not polished - so initially no string bending!

I have had the guitar just over one week and I have replaced the bridge and saddles with the Wilkinson compensated brass version. I was just going to replace the saddles but thought it easier to replace the whole bridge. This upgrade isn't really needed but I like my guitars 'just so'. It has had an effect on the sound and it has now, to my ears at any rate, more of a Telecaster 'twang' . While I was at it, I also shielded all the cavities with black shielding paint and replaced the string trees with roller string trees. I fitted a bone nut which was re-cut to eliminate the sharps on the first fret. The strings were initially cleaned up with some WD40 on kitchen towel, which worked fine, but I put another set of 9's on when I replace the bridge. I polished the frets at the same time. If anything the tuners could be replaced, but at a much later time.

This guitar far exceeded my expectations. It's great looking and it was playable straight out of the box. The quality is amazing for the the price paid - if it was twice the price it would still be good value. There are some very small faults but nothing that can't very easily be put right. Most new guitars need properly setting up but this one didn't. Although I fiddled around with it to get it playing exactly how I like it, my upgrades were not really necessary but for the cost involved, I think they are an improvement.

This is my 4th Harley Benton. I've never had anything except the smallest problem with the build quality on HB guitars and this one is about the best I've ever had. So, from being indifferent to Telecasters I am now a convert and I really love this guitar. It's great value and a great player.
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Total
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Beautiful quality instrument

23.11.2016
I spent ages researching the various tele options available on the market and in the end decided on the HB TE-52 vintage series for it's sound, overall workmanship and value for money. When it arrived I wasn't disappointed ! Out of the box this guitar looked lovely, felt nice and comfortable in the hand, was playable, and wasn't nearly as heavy as I'd been led to believe.

The finish was pretty much flawless, everything was exactly as it should be. Nice wood, comfortable neck, knobs turned freely, switch likewise, and the tuners were reasonably OK (perhaps not quite as smooth as I'd like and possibly the only things I'll change in the future). I looked hard to find something wrong but no, nothing to complain about here. Some other reviews mentioned small problems with the finish, stiff controls, a screw loose here and there but mine was as near perfect as one could fairly expect, nothing that couldn't be fixed in 5 mins anyway.

The guitar was well set up and playable right from the beginning but after a day or two of playing I felt the fret ends were just a little bit uncomfortable so it seemed like a good opportunity to take off the factory strings, spend an hour or so gently rounding the fret ends a little and then replace the strings with a new set. I also tweaked the neck relief and string action a tiny bit to suit my personal preferences but otherwise everything was good. The intonation was almost spot-on already so no worries there either.

I already had several different guitars which I play at home and use for recording also and this TE-52 has become my favourite go-to instrument in the two months that I've had it. It's very comfortable to play, the sound is very good, it stays in tune and performs exactly as I had hoped it would. From a recording point of view it's been excellent too. Used through an amp, DAW and in combination with several effect pedals it's all worked out fine too and I really like the results.

How do Thomann do it ? I don't know but fair play to them for making such a quality instrument available at such a ridiculous price. Would another big-brand guitar costing maybe 5 or 10 times as much be worth it ? I honestly doubt it. There's some decent craftsmanship gone into the production of the TE-52 which makes it a joy to play and I honestly think you just can't go wrong for the money. Even if I'd had a ¤500 budget I think this would still be the better option and leave more than enough left over to consider upgrading the pickups and tuners if so desired.

Overall I'm very happy I decided on the TE-52, I love playing it and I'd reccommend it without hesitation to anyone looking for a great guitar with a tele sound, regardless of your budget. Thanks Thomann ;-)
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Harley Benton TE-52 NA Vintage Series
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Harley Benton TE-52 NA Vintage Series
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Electric Guitar Body: American ash, Neck: Canadian maple with roseacer skunk stripe, bolt-on, Neck profile: C, Fretboard: Maple, Fretboard radius: 350 mm, Dot inlays, 21 Frets, Scale: 648 mm, Nut...

  • Colour: Natural
  • Pickups: SS
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  • Tremolo: None
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  • Top: None
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  • Frets: 21
  • Scale: 648 mm
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  • Incl. Bag: No
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  • Incl. Bag: No
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Harley Benton TE-20 BK Standard Series

Electric Guitar Bolt-on neck, Body: Basswood, Neck: Maple, Neck profile: Modern C, Fretboard: Roseacer, Fretboard radius: 350 mm, Dot fretboard inlays, 22 Frets, Scale: 648 mm, Nut width: 42 mm,...

  • Colour: Black
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  • Tremolo: None
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  • Scale: 648 mm
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Harley Benton TE-30 BE Standard Series

Electric Guitar Body: Ash, Bolt-on neck: Maple, Neck profile: C, Fretboard: Maple, Fretboard radius: 350 mm, Dot fretboard inlays, 22 Frets, Scale: 648 mm, Nut width: 42 mm, Dual action truss rod,...

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  • Scale: 648 mm
  • Incl. Case: No
  • Incl. Bag: No
Harley Benton TE-20 SB Standard Series
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Harley Benton TE-20 SB Standard Series

Electric Guitar Body: Basswood, Bolt-on maple neck, Neck profile: Modern C, Fretboard: Roseacer, Fretboard radius: 350 mm, Dot inlays, 22 Frets, Scale: 648 mm, Nut width: 42 mm, Double action truss...

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  • Pickups: SS
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Harley Benton TE-40 TBK Deluxe Series
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Electric Guitar Body: Basswood, Top: Ash, Bolt-on neck: Maple, Fretboard: Blackwood, Fretboard radius: 350 mm, 22 Frets, Scale: 648 mm, Nut width: 43 mm, Dual action truss rod, Pickups: 2 x Roswell...

  • Colour: Black
  • Pickups: HH
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  • Tremolo: None
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Electric Guitar Body: Mahogany, chambered, Top: Flamed maple, Neck: Maple, bolt-on, Fretboard: Roseacer, 22 Frets, Scale: 648 mm, Nut width: 42 mm, Abalone dot inlays, Ivory binding on the body,...

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Harley Benton TE-90QM HH Trans Blue
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Electric Guitar Body: Mahogany, chambered, Top: Quilted maple, Neck: Maple, bolt-on, Fretboard: Roseacer, 22 Frets, Scale: 648 mm, Nut width: 42 mm, Abalone dot inlays, Ivory binding on the body,...

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  • Incl. Case: No
  • Incl. Bag: No
129 €
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Electric guitars are ten a penny and nowadays there are at least as many models and makers to choose from.
 
 
 
 
 
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