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Harley Benton DC-Junior FAT Faded Cherry

86
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Electric Guitar

  • Body: Mahogany
  • Set-in mahogany neck
  • Fretboard: Ebony
  • Fretboard inlays: Dots
  • Neck profile: Fat '59
  • Scale: 628 mm (24.72")
  • Fretboard radius: 305 mm (12.01")
  • Nut width: 43 mm (1.69")
  • Graphite nut
  • 22 Medium jumbo frets
  • Pickup: Roswell P90D Stack STK4P Alnico-5 Dog Ear humbucker
  • Volume knob
  • Tone control with push/pull function for single coil/humbucker
  • WSC Wrap Around bridge
  • 3-Ply black pickguard
  • Chrome hardware
  • Wilkinson vintage-style machine heads with 15:1 gear ratio
  • Ex-factory stringing: .010 - .046
  • Colour: Faded Cherry Satin
  • Suitable case: Article no. 172299 (not included)
Available since March 2020
Item number 478683
Sales Unit 1 piece(s)
Colour Red
Soundboard Mahogany
Top None
Neck Mahogany
Fretboard Ebony
Frets 22
Scale 628 mm
Pickup System H
Tremolo Nej
Incl. Case No
Incl. Gigbag No
£211
All prices incl. VAT
In stock
In stock

This product is in stock and can be shipped immediately.

Standard Delivery Times
Delivery free of charge expected between Thursday, 18.07. and Friday, 19.07.
1

86 Customer ratings

4.7 / 5

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74 Reviews

WS
Great budget DC
Walleye Steve, sludge punk doomgaze wizard from space bong mount 20.11.2021
This is a great DC JR for the money, and a good guitar overall. I’ve read complaints that the neck isn’t really fat- it’s almost identical to my 06’ Gibson SG special with the “rounded” profile and also very similar to my 2018 MIM fender telecaster. Its not like a Gibson slim taper. I think this really is very close to a 1959 Gibson profile. I get hand pain from slim necks and do not with this neck. I was able to lower the bridge almost all the way down, I could set it too low with too much fret buzz, the bridge definitely goes low enough. I changed to 9-42 strings, intonation can be dialed in using the saddles , without having to push the bridge away from the posts. Standing with a strap, the guitar is well balanced with no neck dive. I found the pickup a little quieter than the 490T in my SG, and installed a spacer and added foam under the pickup to raise its height which increased volume and fatness, but it’s still a little less powerful compared to my SG. I planned to swap it for a genuine p90, and I might some day, but the original sounds good. The push/pull coil split is quite noticeable using my OR15 even with a lot of gain, but I can only hear a difference with my Marshall valvestate using a clean setting. The tuning machines work fine, but I may replace them at some point. I like the volute, it’s a smart design and doesn’t get in my way playing. The finish is very flat and smooth, doesn’t seem to be open pore. The fret ends are smooth and frets level. The nut was cut well. The tone and volume pots give a good range of adjustment, though the tone pot has a very loose feel. I guess the only thing that separates this guitar from a more costly guitar is the wood-it feels light and low density. The lightness has it’s benefit, but it also feels a little cheap. However, it sounds and plays great, fully functional, very resonant, has great sustain, the neck feels solid, it stays in tune, it looks good, and is put together very well. It’s not just good for the price, it’s a good guitar. I bought this because I’m a fan of the Gibson double cut Junior design, and I wanted a guitar to use in E std tuning, drop D, and even drop A (Melvins/Kylesa), and it’s been great. It’s a great punk guitar as well as blues, rock, and even heavier sludgy sounds. I don’t think this would be the best choice for low standard tunings because the bridge would have to move back significantly to get good intonation with larger than 10-46 strings. After owning it a few months, I think it’s a keeper. Shipping to the US was incredibly fast, ordered Tuesday and arrived Friday. 100% satisfied and impressed.
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PP
Sorry I Bought 2 Of These Turkeys! (UPDATED) They fixed a lot!
Picky Player 11.09.2020
UPDATE!
I bought 2 more of these recently on the hopes that corrections had been made to the model. All of the issues that I'd complained about previously (except for the bridge) have been corrected on these last two. The nut is carved well and the width at the nut is appropriately wider. The necks, although slightly different on each, are definitely better as far as thickness and taper. They really do feel reminiscent of the vintage classic this model is based on. The woods are even better than before and the matching of the two-piece bodies is better than Gibson is doing these days. If they would change the bridge (I've sent them the info) and set the neck to accommodate it height-wise, the strings would be correctly aligned over the pickup and this guitar would be hands down the best DC Junior guitar available anywhere. It's that good now! In retrospect, I suspect that when I bought my first two, the builder got behind in production of this model and simply rewired some of the "regular" model to meet demand. These are made right, except for the bridge setup. If Harley Benton ever changes that, I will definitely buy a couple more of these. In the meantime, they are not perfect YET, but I love these last two and I feel most players looking for that "classic" feel will be happy with them too!

OLD Review:
I bought 2 of these based on the advanced announcement of how great the necks and overall feel were. What a joke!

Both of mine had nut widths of a little over 42mm instead of the advertised 43mm (big difference in feel). The so-called "Fat 59" necks are smaller than a Gibson Slim taper and even Ibanez AS & AM models. Those are known for being slim. The nuts on both were very poorly cut and will have to be replaced.

The bridge feels awful on the hand (sharp edges) and the saddles sit way too high, causing the builders to have to pitch the neck back too much. The off neck pitch causes the strings to be really far from the pickup, so it sounds anemic, even when the bridge is lowered all the way down. That's a shame because the pickup is pretty good if you shim it up closer to the strings by several millimeters. Thomann should supply spacer brackets to anyone who has bought these, just to get the pickups within acceptable distance from the strings. Actually, they should get the bridge height and neck angle right – then the pickup height would be okay!

The tuners on one of mine were installed with no attempt to align them in a straight line - the back of each tuner is going a different direction. I guess they don't have rulers or anything with a straight edge in the factory where these are made.

The finish is not the advertised "thinly applied open pore" type - it's the the usual poly glop in a drab satin finish like the regular DC Jr. model. In fact, both of mine seem identical to the regular model in every way except for the lame push/pull pickup (and the higher price). The fingerboard even looks the same as the regular models in other videos!

As far as being a tribute to the inspirations from the past, these unfortunately FAIL miserably! All in all, Thomann has unfortunately missed the boat with these and is sadly misleading customers into buying a shoddily thrown together mess that looks like a `59 LP Jr. I've owned 3 of the original `59 Jrs and these don't remind me of those originals at all other than the general appearance.

It's a real shame that Thomann cannot spend a little more effort and offer a really awesome simple DC Jr. guitar. All they would have to do to straighten out this model is insist to the builders that all parts be correctly aligned, reject any with necks with a nut width of less than 43mm.. Make the necks thicker - like >22.6mm at the 1st fret and > 25.4mm at the 12th fret just like the real `59s were. Spend a dollar more and change the bridge to a Musiclily Pro Badass Style. It sits lower, has wider intonation, and is much more comfortable on the hand. That would also allow the builders to lower the neck angle so that it lines up correctly over the pickup.

Insisting on the aforementioned minor changes would cost practically nothing, but would elevate this guitar to what it should be. The builders are definitely capable of making an outstanding guitar if only Thomann gave them a little more guidance and upped their expectation level and quality control. I guess these are okay if you have tiny hands and no concern for sound or play-ability.
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Wow. Killer Guitar!
bflan 12.05.2023
I won't be mentioning "for it's price" in this review. I have owned a Maybach DC Jr, Gibson and Epi Specials and I also built my own DC Jr from scratch. If I had bought this HB Jr first I would not have bothered building my own!

Ordered this on Saturday and it arrived Friday No issues.

Out of the box, you could tune this and go. The action was good if a little high, but completely fine. Frets were smooth, intonation was close and at the nut, all but the low E were perfectly cut. Low E only required the slightest of filing.

Overall the quality of the build and finish was spotless. Not a big fan of the "faded" matt finish but a bit of Scratch-X will give it a lustre. Weight is 2.86Kg/6lb 5oz - just perfect for a Jr.

The fretboard is a very nice dark colour, and as I will be rounding the fretboard edges I did a test and it does not look like dye was used to get this colour.

Tuners are fine - smooth and accurate.

The electrics are very good. Both tone and volume roll off very smoothly all the way down. Cavity and cover are shielded and very tidy.

The pickups sound really great. Don't see myself changing them. I forgot it has push-pull until I was taking off the tone knob and it popped up! The extra tone possibilities is great. Either way, this thing snarls or sings a lullaby just like a Jr should. Really fun to play.

The bridge is fine. It's not the highest quality but very decent.

Overall, I can't see myself changing much on this guitar. I did strip it down and give it a setup and will be polishing it and rolling the fretboard, but in terms of hardware there is no need.

This is my 4th HB - Te-52, ST-62, CST-24P-90 and now the DC Jr. I find myself a fanboy :-)

Bottom line, If you don't have a DC Jr already, buy one of these!

UPDATE: A month or so later and it is the guitar I go for first. I did change the tailpiece but only because I had one hanging around.

UPDATE 2: This has become the guitar I automatically reach for.
I gave it a polish, changed the bridge and put in a Lollar P90 and a CTS tone pot. It is my desert island choice now.

Even with the upgrades, I still have change from €400. You will not find anything comparable for less than €1K

EDIT 3: Still one of my favourites. I changed the bridge to a Faber "TPWC-59NG Faber TPWC-'59 Vintage Spec ALU Compensated Wraparound Tailpiece" and put in a bone nut. This thing now outplays my Gibson LP Jr and my Eastman SB55/DC. Still under €450 invested in this.
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Happy Disbelief
TheHman43 18.03.2022
Comparing mahogany p90 doublecuts I was drawn to 2 things about the HB DC JR Faded - the fatter "59" neck and the stacked P90. The neck is spot on - not 50's fat or 60's thin. The P90 has incredible flexibility and sounds fantastic. Build quality is excellent. This guitar has completely reset my expectations for the cost to quality ratio in the electric guitar universe - it's like winning the lottery!
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