Harley Benton SC-450Plus VB Vintage Series

Electric Guitar

  • Vintage Series
  • Body: Mahogany
  • Arched top: AAA Flamed Maple
  • Glued neck: Mahogany
  • Neck profile: C
  • Fretboard: Blackwood
  • Fretboard radius: 350 mm
  • Trapeze inlays
  • Cream-coloured bindings on body and neck
  • 22 Medium jumbo frets
  • Scale: 628 mm
  • Nut width: 43 mm
  • Double Action truss rod
  • Pickups: 2 Roswell LAF AlNiCo-5 Vintage-Style humbuckers
  • 3-Way pickup selector switch
  • 2 Volume controls with push/pull function for coil split
  • 2 Tone control
  • Chrome DLX hardware
  • DLX Tune-O-Matic bridge
  • DLX Kluson Style machine heads
  • Strings (ex works): D'Addario EXL .010 - .046
  • Colour: Vintage Burst High Gloss
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Further Information

Colour Sunburst
Body Mahogany
Top Maple
Neck Mahogany
Fretboard Blackwood
Frets 22
Scale 628 mm
Pickups HH
Tremolo None
Incl. Case No
Incl. Bag No

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205 Customer Ratings:
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4.6 / 5.0
  • features
  • sound
  • quality
168 written ratings Read all reviews
Total
features
sound
quality

Very impressed and pleased with purchase.

PhilUK, 16.01.2019
Right off the bat this guitar looks fantastic! The flame top is lovely, the pictures don't quite show how nice it is in person. The top is indeed a full maple top, although the flame may indeed be a veneer, it certainly is not a photo-flame.

The rear, mahogany part of the body, on mine at least seems to be made up of 3 pieces but you would be hard pressed to find the seams, the grain has been very nicely matched.

The finish is great, very smooth, no blemishes although came with a few finger prints on it, perhaps QC forgot to polish it again after checking it over.

The "blackwood" fretboard is nicer than I expected, the box said Pau Ferrau but I am certain it is the advertised blackwood. It's very dry and required treatment. Some lemon oil did the trick.

The hardware is OK, the tuners are smoother than I expected for the price and seem to work fairly well. The bridge and tail piece look as one would expect, not the best but they work.

The electrics work fine, no scratchy pots like that which I have had in a couple new guitars of higher price within the inexpensive arena from other brands. They are the small style pots though.

The Roswell pickups sound pretty good actually, great clarity, not too hot. They are much better than I expected and certainly much better than most other import brands.

The neck is thin, it's like having a lacquered Ibanez neck on a LP body and actually feels really nice. The heal joint is great, you don't even notice anything there when playing up the dusty end.

The guitar plays really nicely, feels great in the hand. Sits well in the lap and is not too heavy for standing. Has a good centre of mass and stays in place when playing stood up, which is nice.

Also I would like to mention how well the guitar was packed. It came double boxed and in it's own bubble wrap bag with a substantial amount of padding between the boxes. Very secure.

All of the above is either what I expected or better, below is for Thomman to focus on.

The binding, in general is good. There are however a couple of pretty dodgy areas if you look close. Enough for me to send back? Not for the £150 price I paid no but it's still not really good enough. The binding has been trimmed back to be flush with the top of the fret board resulting in a very rough looking surface. A bit of fine filing for a few minutes fixed it, QC should have spotted and resolved that before it got to the customer.

At the body end of the fretboard where the binding wraps around, there seems to be some tool chatter that has not been cleaned up.

In the cut-away there seems to be some overlap of lacquer that has not been scraped.

Similarly the frets are not great, they feel like it has been shipped half-way through having a fret job. It needed just a couple more passes on each fret using the finest grit to give it that last buff. When bending strings it is noticeable scratchy feeling otherwise, again not really acceptable for an instrument, at any price.

All round, for the money it's brilliant and I would certainly get another. Just be mindful of the facts above and be prepared to finish off the set-up.
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Total
features
sound
quality

An amazing bargain

ZoltanP, 26.12.2015
I'm a passionate Les Paul lover and sunburst afficionado, and this guitar looked just insanely pretty for the ridiculous price so I impulse bought it to see what it's actually worth as an instrument. In short:

- Out of the box, it's a very decent beginner's instrument so beautiful that you'll want to pick it up again as soon as you put it down.

- With a bit of care you can make it even prettier by addressing the minor blemishes that are to be expected from a guitar in this price range.

- If you're prepared to invest a little more money for a couple of replacement parts and quite some time and elbow grease to really upgrade it, you'll be as amazed as I am now.

Pros:
- gorgeous looks;
- unbelievable price point;
- very comfortable neck, much more accessible on the high end than a regular Les Paul;
- very decent tuners and stop bar tailpiece;
- warm PAF flavoured alnico pick-ups;
- robust and reliable selector switch;
- fine and smooth volume pots;
- very nice pot knobs;
- good quality nut;
- very nicely machined, filled and lacquered mahogany body and neck;
- real massive maple cap with fine flamed veneer;
- overall quite good setup out of the box.

Cons:
- stock Tune-o-matic bridge unworthy of this nice guitar;
- rather raspy frets and quite coarse fretboard spoiling bends and vibratos;
- cheap looking plastics;
- minor dents and blemishes on the otherwise nice finish;
- smooth but not very articulate tone pots;
- some loose screws here and there;
- a bit rusty strings out of the box.

The list of pros is quite amazing for the price you pay, and I could address most of the list of cons with a bit of effort. In something like 5 hours of work, I did the following:

- I replaced the bridge and its posts with a Gotoh GE103B-T C kit (33¤ at Thomann);
- I applied Loctite to all screws around the body (cavity covers, strap pins, pick-up rings) and tightened them;
- I replaced the thin plastic washers under the strap pins with thicker rubber ones;
- For my personal aesthetics preferences, I replaced the switch plate (the "RHYTHM/TREBBLE" one) with a finer looking Gibson spare (4,88¤) and the bulky hexagonal securing nut of the switch with a leaner round and dented one;
- I filed down the protruding molding flash from plastics like the pick-up rings and the jack socket cover;
- I filed the edges of the trussrod cover to an angle so that the 3-ply structure (black-white-black) became apparent to look much nicer;
- I very lightly wet-sanded the entire fretboard smooth with lemon oil and 600grit sandpaper, debuffed with 1000grit steelwool and soaked in lemon oil overnight;
- Using fret rubber, I polished up all frets to a shiny finish, removing the dull and raspy coating they came with;
- To take full advantage of the beautiful vintage burst around the whole body, I removed the scratchplate and plugged and painted the screwholes to conceal them;
- I restrung with Dean Markley Custom Light 9-46;
- and I set up action, intonation and neck relief.

The end result is such that I must give the guitar a total of five stars no less. With the exception of the tone pots which I did not bother to replace, every item on my cons list was addressed. Now the guitar looks amazing, and even more importantly it plays unbelievably smoothly and well. From a playability and smoothness aspect it is actually perfectly on a par with my original Gibson Les Paul Standard (how ridiculous is that!!!), and comfort-wise it is even better because of the less bulky and more accessible neck joint. The pick-ups have less bite and edge than today's Burstbuckers but they still do a very decent job capturing the vintage alnico humbucker feel.

Overall:

- If you're a beginner, this is a very good choice to start with.

- If you're a more advanced player, it's an equally good choice. Just make sure you polish the frets and sand the fretboard nice and silky, and you'll get the axe to an unbeatable level of smoothness and comfort, perfectly fit for practice, studio and stage use.

- And if you're passionate, this is the perfect beautiful guitar to upgrade into a monster. If you do nothing else but the mods I made, you will still have spent less than 200¤ in total, and what you'll get is a guitar that looks, feels and plays at least as good as instruments worth six to ten times this price. Honestly, mine easily beats Custom Epiphones any time, and it neither looks, nor feels cheap even if I compare it to a Gibson.

With such value for money, buying a setneck mahogany Harley Benton SC is just a no-brainer! Everybody should go for it!
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Show variations of this product
Harley Benton SC-450Plus VB Vintage Series
(205)
Harley Benton SC-450Plus VB Vintage Series
to the product
159 €

Electric Guitar Vintage Series, Body: Mahogany, Arched top: AAA Flamed Maple, Glued neck: Mahogany, Neck profile: C, Fretboard: Blackwood, Fretboard radius: 350 mm, Trapeze inlays, Cream-coloured...

  • Colour: Sunburst
  • Body: Mahogany
  • Top: Maple
  • Neck: Mahogany
  • Fretboard: Blackwood
  • Frets: 22
  • Scale: 628 mm
  • Pickups: HH
  • Tremolo: None
  • Incl. Case: No
  • Incl. Bag: No
Harley Benton SC-450Plus LD Vintage Series
(182)
Harley Benton SC-450Plus LD Vintage Series
to the product
159 €

Electric Guitar Vintage series, Body: Mahogany, Arched top: AAA flamed maple, Set-in neck: Mahogany, Neck profile: C, Fretboard: blackwood, Fretboard radius: 350 mm, Trapezoid fretboard inlays,...

  • Colour: Amber
  • Body: Mahogany
  • Top: Maple
  • Neck: Mahogany
  • Fretboard: Blackwood
  • Frets: 22
  • Scale: 628 mm
  • Pickups: HH
  • Tremolo: None
  • Incl. Case: No
  • Incl. Bag: No
Harley Benton SC-450Plus HB Vintage Series
(130)
Harley Benton SC-450Plus HB Vintage Series
to the product
159 €

Electric Guitar Vintage Series, Body: Mahogany, Arched top: AAA Flamed Maple, Glued neck: Mahogany, Neck profile: C, Fretboard: Blackwood, Fretboard radius: 350 mm, Trapeze inlays, Cream-coloured...

  • Colour: Sunburst
  • Body: Mahogany
  • Top: Maple
  • Neck: Mahogany
  • Fretboard: Blackwood
  • Frets: 22
  • Scale: 628 mm
  • Pickups: HH
  • Tremolo: None
  • Incl. Case: No
  • Incl. Bag: No
Harley Benton SC-450Plus CB Vintage Series
(81)
Harley Benton SC-450Plus CB Vintage Series
to the product
159 €

Electric Guitar Vintage Series, Body: Mahogany, Arched top: AAA Flamed Maple, Glued neck: Mahogany, Neck profile: C, Fretboard: Blackwood, Fretboard radius: 350 mm, Trapeze inlays, Cream-coloured...

  • Colour: Sunburst
  • Body: Mahogany
  • Top: Maple
  • Neck: Mahogany
  • Fretboard: Blackwood
  • Frets: 22
  • Scale: 628 mm
  • Pickups: HH
  • Tremolo: None
  • Incl. Case: No
  • Incl. Bag: No
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Offers include 21% Belgium VAT and are valid as long as stocks last. Shipping costs to Belgium are 2,50 EUR, free shipping on orders above 49 EUR. Please click here for international Shipping rates. We do not accept liability for typographical errors or inaccurate information of any kind. *RRP = manufacturer's / distributor's recommended retail price in Germany
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