Harley Benton TE-40 TBK Deluxe Series

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 HAF Alnico-5 Humbucker Pickups
  • 1 Volume knob and 1 tone knob
  • 3-Way pickup selector
  • Die-cast machine heads
  • Tune-O-Matic bridge with string through Body
  • Golden Deluxe hardware
  • Colour: Translucent black
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Further information

Colour Black
Pickups HH
Fretboard Blackwood
Tremolo None
Body Basswood
Top Ash
Neck Maple
Frets 22
Scale 648 mm
Incl. Case No
Incl. Bag No

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372 customer ratings:
  • 5
  • 4
  • 3
  • 2
  • 1
4.6 / 5.0
  • features
  • sound
  • quality
260 written ratings Read all reviews
Total
features
sound
quality

It's not half bad, you know....

06.09.2015
I wasn't in the market for a guitar, but at this price...

I ended up with a small and unexpected lump of money burning a hole in my pocket, so I thought I'd treat myself. I've bought guitars before and ended up chasing a deal and loosing sight of the guitar I actually wanted, ultimately buying the one I didn't want because it was shiny and came with discount. This time, I wanted to read the reviews, make an informed decision, stick to it, and buy the guitar I wanted.

I want to share with you my buying experience, without the 'honeymoon period' of a new guitar fogging up the context. I feel some reviews are composed by starry eyed people who want to share the enthusiasm they feel for thier new guitar with you. That's not a bad thing, but I'll make an effort to be as objective as I can to help you make your own decision.

I'll start by trying to help manage your expectations (always excellent Thomann customer service and support aside). This is a guitar for around £100, don't forget.

Guitars at this end of the market have flaws and imperfections. If they didn't, they wouldn't be at this end of the market. Don't get me wrong, this is nicely finished for the price, but there are some imperfections. None of them are obvious and you really have to look for them, but all of the things you touch are great. The neck is nice and smooth, but offers enough resistance to give your palm good feedback. It's quite thick and chunky. That could be an issue for small hands, but I quite like it. The frets are good. No rough edges, no sharp points. It's not perfect, but it cost around £100. If you want hand luthiered quality, there's no other option but to spend 10 times this amount. The body is quite heavy and thick, but not overly so. The body is also well contoured and very conformable. It's very easy to pick up and play. Good marks for design (even if it's heavily inspired by another, more famous guitar manufacturer).

Despite what you might read, guitars do not come set up out of the box. Not at this price, anyway. They might come roughly correct, but you still tune it up before you play it, don't you? I mean, it's a guitar. It's not going to be strung like a hen house, is it? You will have to make alterations to some settings to taylor it to your taste and to get the intonation exactly right. Such set up changes are usually quite simple, so try it for yourself and you'll be very pleased that you did. My guitar was nearly there, but not quite. That's normal at this price, so to expect otherwise is not fair on Thomann.

Plugging it in to my Peavey Envoy 110, I am quite impressed. This sounds great - not just for the price, but great full stop. Very versatile. Good clean tone. From bright and shiny to muddy and dark, these pick ups hold their own. On the lead channel, they cope well too. Strong rocky tones and punchy enough to produce some sinister metal sounds. To make a comparison, it's quite like my LTD Viper. A guitar that cost three times the amount of this! The pots feel nice and weighted. My only criticism is that the selector switch feels a little cheap, but who cares? It still works! Anyway, I've read that these pick ups will accept a 5 way switch, so upgrade it if it bothers you.

All in all, this a great little guitar. If the finish was slightly better (and it had Squire/fender on the headstock), you'd play more than double the price and be okay with it. It's that good. There are a few rough edges, and the 'gold' hardware will probably look 'bronze' by Christmas, but don't let that spoil things. Good enough for studio work, better at being a quality front room guitar that gets passed around on social gatherings, but stays in tune when all is quiet.

Very usable, very cheap and very good. If you want a great value guitar, buy this and have enough money left over to tell your friends about it in the pub afterwards. If you want a Fender, buy a Fender and turn the heating down.

EDIT :

OK, so, a year or so on, I might have got a little carried away describing the sounds this guitar makes. The pick-ups have become somewhat frustrating. Very high output and kind of flat sounding. Not too bad, but not nearly as good as my LTD Viper, as claimed earlier. They're are two different animals, so comparison is unfair.

It is lasting well, though. Still plays well and looks good. The hardware doesn't look as bright as it once did, but what do you expect for £100? No complaints at all.

I still tell people about this guitar because I'm still amazed that you can buy a guitar this good for the price. It's simply unbelievable.

Things have moved on since the 1990's cheap guitar...
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Total
features
sound
quality

Could be great for the money

30.03.2017
Not a bad guitar but let down by poor quality control and worse after sales service from Thomann.

I already own several guitars but I wanted a cheap guitar to keep downstairs as my toddler has recently been taking an interest in them and I did not want to risk her knocking over one of my more expensive ones.

Pros:
Mine has a nice fast neck which I was very impressed with for the money. It came with setup with a low action and intonation set correctly. The guitar sounds OK, its not as good as my Fender Telecaster (with a HSS configuration) but the Fenders a more expensive guitar so to be expected. Pick ups were not set up particularly well but I can adjust them myself.

Cons:
Came with corroded strings. Thomann make a point of advertising this guitar with having a quality brand of strings but as they are in poor condition its miss selling them.

Frets were also corroded, these can be polished out when you change the strings but it shouldn't be needed on a brand new guitar from their "A" stock.

Volume and tone pots also have corrosion on them.

Switch has colour corrosion.

Strap buttons also corroded.

There was a blob of paint or filler on the fret board from a botched repair.

Paint/stain mark on neck under finish.

Neutral:
A note on guitar colour. The pictures make the guitar look like its a gloss black. The top is in fact some sort of visible wood grain effect (i suspect a print of some kind) with a dark varnish over the top. Its quite attractive but more of a dark brown than the black I expected. Personally I don't mind it, but something to be aware of if you wanted a solid black gloss colour.

TERRIBLE SLOW SERVICE after sales from Thomann.:
I emailed Thomann to ask them about the corroded strings and corroded hardware. It took over 5 days for them to reply to the email and I gave up waiting for a reply to my return email after about another 5 days. I phoned them instead to ask why they were not responding. The lady I spoke to thankfully got a response from their parts department by the next day. Which was much better. However, there is no excuse for not replying to emails in a reasonable time. The parts department replied quote "The guitars department told us that a replacement looks the same as for this price range everything is okay." They are basically saying that corroded parts are normal and acceptable on guitars from Thomann. Pretty disgusting. Ive brought many guitars over the years of varying prices and have never before received one that had corroded hardware on a brand new guitar. I can only imagine their "B" stock guitars must look like they've been run over by a truck or something , if this is normal for an "A" stock guitar. This could have been resolved by sending me 12 euros worth of parts that they advertise as I said I could fix it myself if they sent the replacements. Apparently though they don't have non corroded replacement parts...

I fully realise that on a cheaper guitar you do not expect the playabilty and performance of a high end guitar. I do not expect to be told however that hardware corrosion is okay.

The initial delivery though was quick and flawless. I can only imagine from the positive reviews of Thomann service that they've never dealt with the after sales if there was a problem.

Summary. Good guitar for the money if you are lucky enough to get one that hasn't been stored in a fish tank and don't have to deal with after sales.
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The range of available guitars and amps has never been greater than it is today, and a huge variety of sounds are easily accessible.
Online guides
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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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