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Harley Benton BM-75 Trans Red Deluxe Series

120 Customer Reviews

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4.8 / 5

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Harley Benton BM-75 Trans Red Deluxe Series
£249
Free shipping incl. VAT
In stock within 6-8 weeks
In stock within 6-8 weeks

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A good guitar in its own right
Norwichbadger 29.10.2020
Although this is a Brian May tribute guitar it is also a good guitar in its own right. It is not an exact copy in that it has a 5 way switch rather than 3 separate pickup switches although it does have a phase reverse switch for each pickup. This means that you get the strat-type inbetween sounds but not the series sounds that the BM original offers. I partly solved this by implementing the widely described series strat wiring. This means that by using the middle phase switch as a parallel/series switch I can get bridge and middle and middle and neck in series as per the original and much like humbucking pickups work. It means that the inbetween sounds are much louder. All other functionality is as before as the phase switches for the bridge and neck can be used to provide out of phase tones. I don't have the Neck and Bridge in series but that could be implemented with a pull switch on the tone control.
I wanted to make these mods but they are not essential. As it stands its a fine guitar with a good range of sounds. The neck is full in the hand without being overly chunky and the finish is superb. I wanted one of these not as a BMtribute but as a Burns tribute! I remember seeing magnificent transparent red Burns Vista Sonic and Vista Artist guitars in a shop window when they first came out (yes I am that old!) and I have always wanted one. I finally got to play a Burns Vista Artist and I was disappointed with the neck. No such disappointment with this! The pickups look the same and sound great. Ok the vibrato is different but the guitar as a whole is excellent. Buy one, don't mod it unless you know what you are doing it is too good to mess up. Mine is now close to perfection.
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F
Well done tribute guitar
FenderPete 23.11.2020
I have had my eye on this guitar for quite some time and when it became available again I had to snap it up, and I don't regret it at all. The price of this guitar is extremely competitive for the quality and sound.

The pickups are nice and bright, as is expected from a SSS layout, and the build quality if good.

Pros:
- switches are solid and positive feeling.
- No crackling when turning the pots, I will come back to this later after extensive use.
- tuning machines are nice and tight, not too loose or tight.
- smooth trem performance with it coming back to tune after use regularly.
- fret ends and bindings are nice and smooth.
- frets are seated properly

Cons:
- although the 5 way switch works well, it's a shame that the individual pickup on/off switches were removed. I like playing with bridge and neck so I will need to modify the tone to be a push/push style to get that functionality.
- guitar was very dirty when received, the but was very dusty so I had to properly clean the guitar before use, but this is more nit-picking.
- neck/body joint seemed to have leaked some adhesive and it was not cleaned properly and just painted over so there is a visible raised imperfection on the top of the guitar and I hope it does chip over time.
-frets are not polished so bending is quite gritty but that is easily fixed.
- wiring seems to be parallel, but would have liked it to be series. Maybe a future mod.

Overall this is a solidly built and sounding guitar. For those who want the red special feel without the BMG or custom made guitar prices then this is the way to go.
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LZ
Near-perfect
Lance Z. 12.07.2021
I have owned 4 or 5 real BMG Special LEs over the past several years. I have tried so hard to like them, but I’ve never been able to get past 3 issues: 24” scale length, serial pickup wiring (though I have performed the serial/parallel switch mod on a couple of them), and the closeness of the pickups to the strings (interferes with my picking style).

This BM-75 solves all of those issues for me, while also being a ridiculously well-built and great-sounding guitar for the money. The 25” scale length is perfect. The parallel wiring is far more pleasant than series, to my ears. And the pickup(s) height is more like a Strat, leaving plenty of room for digging in without hitting a pickup with the pick.

Regarding the pickup options, I lose neck+bridge, with corresponding two out-of-phase options for it. And I lose neck+middle+bridge option with all the out-of-phase options for it. I don’t mind, though. This still gives me plenty of whacky out-of-phase tones to play with and use.

Regarding the middle out-of-phase switch: some have implied that it is redundant. It is not redundant. Sonically, it matters which pickup is out-of-phase. This guitar, in particular, produces a distinctly different tone depending on which is used in (especially) neck+middle or (less noticeably) middle+bridge. This is true on a real BMG, too. It’s true on any guitar that provides a per-pickup phase-switching option. But it is slightly more pronounced on the BM-75 than on the BMG Special LEs I’ve owned.

Anyway, great guitar. After I tested it through the AFX3 for a half hour, I said to myself, “Perfect.” Just a great value. Built well, plays well, sounds great, feels great.
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TD
Excellent value & well worth the investment
Ted D 04.01.2021
I’ve never owned a 24 fret guitar (I have LP’s Strat’s & Tele’s etc.) & really like the design/look of the guitar. However my main interest was in the sound combinations on offer & having read & watched many YouTube reviews, I decided to buy. I should mention my preferred style means I don’t require a whammy/tremolo function (all my Strat’s are locked/hard tailed) … Here goes…
Most or all will know a new guitar takes a while to truly settle in & will require adjustments, but straight out of the box, this was very playable with the standard factory set up. It feels well balanced on a strap when standing up & equally comfortable to play sitting down. I did actually try the whammy/tremolo for a while and it behaved exactly as expected for this Fender style of design … On to my preference for a locked/hardtail set up. Once I had altered the set-up, there were noticeable & beneficial changes in how the guitar played. The fretboard profile feels very flat & that is not a criticism, it is simply different from what I’m used to & not the guitar.
Summary: After a set-up up to suit my needs, I find this to be a really versatile & very impressive guitar. This review is written about two weeks after delivery, so obviously I cannot comment on longer term reliability & how robust hardware is etc. However, I can say it is a very welcome addition alongside my other instruments & gives me new tones both in a recording & live environment. I believe this guitar to be absolutely worth the price paid. Finally, from placing the order to actual receipt was, as always, hassle free & so once again I’m a very happy customer.
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f
Worthy Replica!
flydiego 10.09.2019
Compared to the price it has, I was shocked by its quality. I am not using a treble booster neither a valve/tube amp, I have been trying with just the guitar directly on the BOSS ME20 pedal with some low crunchy distortion, chorus, and of course, playing with a coin. The result is just amazing. Mostly like the original, the control volume and phase switched do all the job, no need for fancy pedals or too many effects. The shape it's very edgy, and not so comfortable to play while seated... just like the original! Things I would refine/change: The pickup selector is fine, but it would have been better to have other 3 switches like the original. Tuning keys are not very precise so after some bendings it looses a bit the tune. The lever of the tremolo bridge is the "Strato like" bar that you screw in and out, if not tightened till the end (which makes almost impossible to move then) it juggles around, and the tremolo movement is not precise and noisy. Volume potentiometer/knob it's not the best, and it's the key of the sound, I will change it soon. But hey, we are talking about a 299€ RedSpecial replica, and these things I mentioned are absolutely understandable. It definitely worth every cent! Good job, HB!
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j
Todays special
johnnyBingo1964 13.05.2020
I bought this for it's unique design and to try this type of pickup. The quality of this guitar is excellent for the money. The finish, bound 24 fret neck and playability are excellent. Tuners are branded with no creep or dead spots. Controls work as required.
The only change i will make is to block the bridge as I don't use the trem.
If you want an unusual guitar thats built to a good standard try this one.
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F
Great guitar when it’s rewired for series / parallel
Frivvie 07.07.2019
The guitar is cosmetically good with no obvious flaws. It’s structurally sound with no major problems with the neck or body. It needed setting up and I replaced the cheap nylon nut. It is great value for a £250 guitar.

But, the main issue is that it’s wired like a strat and nothing like the red special. The pickups are wired in parallel, not in series like Brian’s, and the phase switch on the middle pickup is completely redundant. It’s a very straightforward mod to rewire the middle pickup phase switch as a series / parallel switch. That gives you strat sounds in one position, with bridge and neck humbucker sounds in the other. Plus you’ve got the additional out of phase sounds.

Now it still doesn’t sound quite like the red special. But it gives you 7 sounds in the strat position and 4 sounds in the humbucker position. And it actually is a great sounding guitar with a fairly cheap and simple mod.

I went the whole hog and replaced the stock pickups with the Burns Brian May Tri-Sonics. And it now sounds absolutely fantastic. Not cheap, but well worth the money.
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A
Really nice copy
Anonymous 28.08.2016
Ive never held BrianMay's guitar, but i think this copy might make him smile.

The body seems smaller than its famous namesake, and to my eyes is less rounded.

It is re!atively heavy and finished really nicely

I dont have years of experience so I can only speak from perception.

Sounds great, sligntly strat-ish tones in places, phase switches work but it will take a while to figure out.

Plays easily, good action from the box, good fretwork.

Love it
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S
Delighted!!
ScottyVW 06.05.2020
I've been playing since 1963 and have owned many guitars over the years, expensive and budget. My BM-75 arrived yesterday and I'm blown away! The build quality is far beyond what I expected. Intonation was spot on at arrival, action is great, maybe a bit too low for my playing style, but I'm going to let it be for now. And the biggie.... it's the quietist single coil I've ever owned and that includes American made strats and teles. All in all, I couldn't be more pleased. This will NOT be my first and last purchase from Thomann!
Great work, folks!!!
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S
Excellent guitar in its own right!!
ScriptTaylor 05.03.2020
Excellent guitar in its own right!!
Whilst some may mark this down a little as it does not do everything Brian May’s guitar does, at a fraction of the price what it does do is terrific. Judging it on its own merits.

Features 5 out of 5 (here’s why)
In its own right the amount of different sounds/tones you can get out of the 3 pick ups, 5 way selector, tone knob and of course phase switches is really incredible. Soooo many guitars around this price point you struggle to hear a difference between pick ups, Not the case with the BM-75. Each option sounds distinctly different from the last which gives this guitar one of the largest ranges of sounds you could possibly ask for. Also there is a quality Floating tremolo which you can use and the guitar keeps its tuning really well. The way the neck is shaped means reaching those very top frets is easy.

Sounds 5 out of 5 (here’s why)
As I stated above the range of distinct sounds is incredible. Each pick up sounds great. The Mahogany body was a great choice as I was really blown away by just how much the guitar resonates. Tone control is impressive as from 0-10 you can hear the sound changing as you roll the tone off or on.

Quality 5 out of 5 (here’s why)
Again as stated above the guitar resonates incredibly well. It is surprisingly light. The finish had no flaws or imperfections, the binding looked great and the fretwork was very smooth, no sharp fret edges or even lumps/raises. Fretboard was flawless. The tuners held tune surprisingly well. Out of the box tuned it up and played away for 20-30 minutes without having to do any substantial re-tune (this was using the tremolo as well). Switches, 5 way selector, volume control, tone control all well fitted with nothing loose or lacking quality.

Summary
Great job Thomann with the set up. Right across the board this is a great guitar. Does it compare to £1000 guitars, probably not. But it certainly holds it own with guitars 3 times the price. If you, like me, think strats sound great but you don’t like the body shape, this is a great guitar for you. The range of different sounds alone is worth the price but with the overall quality being this good, it makes this a great deal!
If you are tempted by this ….. get it! You will not be disappointed.
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Harley Benton BM-75 Trans Red Deluxe Series