This was my first blind guitar purchase and my second Harley Benton (first one being SC modern, long time ago) and I went into it with, what I believe were - reasonable expectations.
And I wasn’t disappointed for the most part!
The main thing that really bummed me was the lack of QC on the body finish. I understand this is a lo-cost instrument and ok, I can live with pour job of coating the pickup cavities but the paint buildup on the edges of the guitar near neck pocket and all of the cavities is just bad. Plus the paint coat is really thin. I do believe that this will age quickly and that will give it a cool distressed look but if you are not into it - be aware. Shell pink is a bit light bu I like it! Chrome hardware looks great, the roasted neck is dark enough so it provides nice visual contrast.
It’s a good looking guitar, no doubt.
Another disappointment is the pickups. Again - yes, I get that it’s a lo cost instrument but my God! The single coils are just awful. Trebly, harsh, hollow and super quacky. Humbucker is passable but very flat sounding very little sustain… It has some lo-end bump so at first it sounds ballsy but it’s just undefined.
I record and play through sims and my setup is active DI box (warm audio with cinemags), UAD Apollo twin with Neve 1073 in unison slot and my PRS Tremonti USA, Gretch gt600 and custom Tele with BK pickups set certain sonic benchmarks. Again - I didn’t expect much and was planing investing in other pickups but these Roswells are below acceptable.
Maybe mine are defected somehow?
The wiring job is amazing though! Really, really good job.
Ok, with that out of the way - the good and great things:
The rest of the hardware is punching way above this price range. The trem is good (dives smooth and gets back in tune most of the time), the locking tuners are staggered and (impressively) smooth and the neck is exactly what everyone is raving about! I never had stainless frets so I can’t really compre my impressions but the fret work is good, leveled properly and they don’t stick out. It would be great if they were rolled off a bit better but I’m ok with doing that on my own. The nut is good enough and lubricated as well.
There’s really nothing to complain here about, especially for this price.
The guitar is also extremely light. I personally don’t like this and I hope that with new pickups and a brass tremolo block I plan on installing, this will change but for the guys that actually plan on giging with this axe - you’ll love it! It’s just a bit neck heavy but not to a point of working against you.
All in all - money well spent at n a brand new instrument but it definitely requires additional investment if you wanna make it great.
I hope Thomas will dick this pickups for some future models. It really hurts these instruments.
And if they make a four version of this guitar… I’m gonna be pissed because then I’ll need to sell this one and get that one :))