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.
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.