Harley Benton Electric Guitar Kit DC Style

584

Electric Guitar Kit DC-Style

  • Bolt-on neck
  • Body: Rengas (wood colour may vary)
  • Neck: Maple
  • Fretboard: Amaranth
  • Fretboard inlays: Trapezoid
  • "Double Action" truss rod
  • 22 Frets
  • Scale: 628 mm
  • Nut width: 42 mm
  • Pickup: 2 Humbuckers
  • 2 Volume controls and 2 tone controls
  • 3-Way switch
  • Chrome hardware
  • Die-cast machine heads
  • Stringing: .009 - .042
  • Finish: Natural

Note: A certain degree of craftsmanship is a required for successful assembly, as is initial experience with lacquer work.

Note:Body and neck were primed with pore filler (suitable for varnishing, but possibly unfavourable for staining - may have to be sanded again)

available since March 2011
Item number 255975
sales unit 1 piece(s)
Colour Natural
Soundboard Solid Wood
Top None
Fretboard Amarant
Frets 22
Scale 628 mm
Pickup System HH
Tremolo Nej
Incl. Case No
Incl. Gigbag No
£85
Including VAT; Excluding £8 shipping
In stock
In stock

This item is in stock and can be dispatched immediately.

Standard Delivery Times
1
R
Better than expected, fun to build, great value
Ribson 31.05.2020
I am a home player and enjoy learning and playing different styles. I've had a few electrics over the years, currently own a couple of decent mid-range guitars. I bought this kit as I wanted something different and to put my own mark on it - it was also a 'lockdown' project to keep me busy!

Arrived very well packaged. I immediately ignored all instructions and focussed on working on the body. My objective was a natural type finish, not too glossy, so I went with Tru-oil. Youtube vids were helpful, it took a lot of sanding over many days and I am really pleased with how it looks. The body is obviously constructed out of pieces, so it was never going to look totally amazing, but I am very happy with it and the graining does look nice. Tru-oil does not darken the wood a great deal, so with hindsight I might have lightly stained it too before Tru-oiling, maybe I'll do that on my next guitar.

The neck is really good straight out of the box. I was very impressed - unlike the body it is already nicely finished and silky smooth. I did paint the headstock black and lacquer it, which makes it look much nicer. I also gave the frets some attention, levelling and polishing. I always fret polish new guitars, makes them feel smoother for string bending. I also adjusted the truss rod, which was a little out. The nut looked like it might be an issue, the slots were wide and not cut very deep, but after assembly it doesn't seem to cause any problems.

It took me a couple of weeks to prep the body and neck. It was then that I picked up the manual...

Assembling the guitar took two or three hours. The neck fitted the body absolutely perfectly, no need to adjust. As others have noted, the instructions on fitting the pots are terrible, impossible to make out from the photo which way around they go, I was lucky to get it mostly right first time but the pickup selector switch I put in upside down but easy to correct. When I got to fitting the pickups it all became clearer which way the pots should go - maybe I should have read forward in the instructions first.
It was not clear which screws to use for which purpose - some were longer than others - although not a major problem I ended up with long screws for the truss rod cover and I actually think they were the wrong ones so I'm just going to find some spare small ones and use those.
Once stringed up it all looked really good. Everything lined up well, I adjusted the action and as soon as I played without going through an amp I was really impressed - it sounded really nice and resonant. It actually felt like a good guitar, which was a huge relief! I then plugged it in to my amp and again I was really impressed with how nice it sounded without much adjustment - I haven't yet fine tuned the setup such as intonation and pickup height and I'm not even sure I need to.

In summary, I really enjoyed this project and am delighted with the results. There were no significant issues at all with the kit I received, everything fitted well and worked. I definitely recommend these kits - for the money they really are excellent and overall exceeded my expectations. For that reason I have given it a 5 star review.

I did have an Epiphone SG a few years ago - to be honest I prefer the HB kit. I might even upgrade some of the components over time.

Pros:
Really fun and rewarding project
Great value
Everything fitted well and worked straight off

Cons:
Tuners do the job but some very stiff
Instructions for fitting potentiometers are vague
This might be a new addiction, I immediately want to buy more kits!!
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e
fantastic basis for modding
eoinc 03.09.2020
what you get for the incredibly low price:
- beautiful well finished neck, which can almost be used out of the box without filing etc. Nut you may want to replace
- well machined body, which seems to be made out of a higher grade alternative/variety to/of basswood (stronger and darker colored). One or two drilling holes slightly off true, but nothing critical. Sufficiently well matched 2 piece body which is even grained enough to take a stain or a clear coat. An insane amount of sanding sealer means that this is already practically finished and ready for painting should you desire.

Now - should you be able to source these parts elsewhere you will I'm sure pay more than the overall purchase price here. (google search 'bolt on maple gibson neck' for example)

Hardware is passable, but you will probably want to replace the bridge and tuners (losing a star here as bridge is slightly smaller than standard width, so minor modifications required to fit new one, also doesn't match neck radius particularly well). Electronics and pickups are only ok - about standard for entry level guitars (pickups are better than the pots etc) Switch is nice quality, and the pickguard is a nice well finished 3 ply piece.

So in the final analysis - if this is your first stab at guitar building you have something you can enjoy with minor tweaking out of the box, and gradually learn the dark arts of guitar wiring and set up.

If you're a more advanced builder, you have a great platform for mods and tinkering (4 pot control panel etc).

and no, its not a true SG - but can make a great sounding piece all the same..

well done thomann - if my partner wouldn't divorce me, Id be tempted to try another one of your kits
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B
Amazing neck, fair body construction. Good electronics
BrownJenkin 04.02.2018
EDIT: the first body part I received was a little out of shape (holes too small or too big, see below), Thomann team was superb (as always) in helping.

It's the first kit I've ever bought, so I won't make a comparison. I've a good friend, an artist, so I said to her: how about painting a guitar body? To prevent any counter-comment about the body of the guitar, she works as a restorer, mainly on paintings on wood.
Currently I own an HB 35, an old japanese strat and a gretsch acoustic guitar, so I decided to go on the kit also because I love the DC/SG style.

PROS
The neck is really a wonderful piece. Perfectly cut, thin, wonderfully comfortable. The fretboard is, too, really well made. I was really impressed before mounting the kit and now, playing the guitar, the neck is the best part. Another pro are the electronics, you don't have to weld cables, the two humbuckers are cheap built, but good.

CONS
With the guitar I received a manual in german and a manual in english referring to a previous model (the jackplate was on the front, not on the side like this one) and it is in black and white and explains how to fix a nut with an exagon key (even a monkey can do that...), 0 space to the wiring. Also, being In black and white, while the cables are colored it would be simple to do a manual referring to colors, with color images. Maybe it's not made in this way because the color may vary. Anyway I solved this problem by going on trial and error, I just inverted the volume and tone but understood that the volume is the one with the plug for the humbucker, the tone is the other one.
The really bad stuff was the body: the piece I received (even before being painted) had completely wrong holes. The stop tail and bridge holes too small, the pickup switch hole too, one of the pontentiometer doesn't fit very well and I have to fix it every time. Yet, the worst stuff was the jackplate. It was too big so the jack plug was unstable. I had to use a wood filler to fix it in a proper and stable position. I guess the neck is made in a different assembly line than the neck, because the difference is huge. Having problems with the jackplate and potentiometers (the jack was unable to stay in position for a long time, it went back inside the guitar. I received completely new parts to subsitute it and now it's fitting perfectly.

Another con is the strap plug, it's on the neck so when you play from 14th to the highest note your hand has to adapt to It. On the SG guitars is generally near one of the "horns". In this way I had to remove it.

SO
The guitar is, nice. Probably at the first time I received a faulty part, now it's ok. I love the feeling of the neck, really smooth. The machine heads are cheap but ok, the hardware is ok. After setting the truss-rod and fixing the bridge for the action I wanted I found that the guitar was already in tune with the octaves. The sound is kinda gloomy and quite "Iommi" style, even when playing on the neck pickup, that's not bad, I like it. Probably the sound is influenced by the body, which is in cheap wood and really lightweight.
I guess it is a good starter kit with good customizing options (for example the pickups can be replaced with something more aggressive). Thumbs up
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A
Great value and learning experience
Anonymous 07.03.2016
I'll try to cover it all, if I forget anything, remember, it is about fun, and this totally delivers.

1) Packaging, beautiful. One outer box, three inner boxes. If it had gift paper on it, that would of really fit. Nice boxes and presentation.

But, on the hardware box, the bag for the tuners was open and I'm guessing this had to do with one of the tuners not working. I'll get to that later.

2) The neck, which is the first place most people look for quality and problems.

A) Frets, perfect, as far as I know. Ends meet binding perfectly. Frets had some debris on them, came off easily with proper cleaner.

B) Binding perfect, and really nice touch.

C) Straightness, perfect. Since I adjusted the bridge to height I like, perfect, no buzzing. Plays great.

3) Fit and finish. I'd say perfect. Although the grain on the back of the guitar is better than the front, it all looks really nice. The grain on the back of the neck is not perfect, but, I'll probably stain it dark enough that you won't see it and for the price, I can not complain.

I also really like the grain on the guitar body. I'm sure it will come out great with stain and a protective finish..

4) Hardware. I know it is relatively cheap hardware, but, most of it works really well 100%.

Issues with hardware:

A) One of the tuners would not allow me to tighten it so it fit onto the headstock. Thomann has agreed to fix it and I trust them to follow through.

Another tuner seems to be starting to have issues with tuning. Which, is a shame, since the tuners, overall feel really great.

Eventually, I 'll probably replace the tuners with Wilkinson's, but for now, it is working.

B) At first the middle position did not work, on the 3 way switch, but, it started working. Probably some debris from manufacturing that I worked loose by moving the switch.

C) There does not seem to be a perfect spot for the strap button near the neck, since this is a bolt on. There was a hole on the neck, above the joint, but that would be in the way of playing. I'm not sure where I'll put it eventually, but, I will find a spot for it.

Acclaim for hardware:

A) The pickups I love, they sound a little muddy, but, it is perfect for what I want to use the guitar for eventually. I had to move the bridge pickup down quite a bit for a good dirty sound. For me the sound is quite versatile.

I may add some other features, like coil taps later, but then I would have to change or modify the pickups. I don't think I want to do that on this guitar.

B) The tunomatic bridge and stop tail piece work great. They look like quality and adjust easily. I like them.

C) Volume and tone knobs, I think, work great, I see absolutely no reason to change them. I also really like the knobs. A little close together, but, they work fine for me and I like the look.

5) Issue with staying in tune:

The joint where the neck meets the body is not secure enough, I think. You can pull back on the neck and the guitar, immediately goes out of tune.

I just notified Thomann about this, and, I'm sure they will address it.

I have another Harley Benton, and it is rock solid at the joint. So, I know, they can make it work and will address it.

Conclusion:

I checked a lot of kit guitars and I believe these Harley Benton kits are the least expensive.

That being said, you really get value. The care put into this guitar kit under for $100.00 is amazing.

Also, it has been a great learning experience. I was always afraid to make adjustments on guitars before, but now, just give me the tools and I am ready to go. Remember, there are internet videos for everything regarding guitars. Do research, it pays off.

A great value, and a lot of fun. I hope to get more kits in the future.
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