Harley Benton TE-20 SB Standard Series

331 Customer Ratings:
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4.3 / 5.0
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Scratchy frets, lame pickups, but for what?s its worth it?s very good
Lagmire , 07.09.2018
Just received this guitar in the mail. Unboxed, in perfect condition, almost in tune even!
I will preface this review with my over 20 years of guitar playing and having previously owned a Fender American Telecaster. Given the price on these guitars I picked up a couple out of sheer curiosity after hearing good things. So. Plugged in, tuned up and played for about 20 minutes. Setup out of the box is pretty good! I?ll let it settle in a bit before I decide to make any adjustments.

So first, the bad: the frets are incredibly scratchy. Bending is like dragging the string across sandpaper. Fortunately I?m capable and ready to give this a fret polish in the near future. The pickups are also pretty weak. Lifeless and shockingly dark for a tele. I think I?ve decided to make this a project guitar. New pickups are a must.

Onto the good. This guitar is extremely cheap and you get a hell of a lot of guitar for what you pay. It works. It makes sounds. You can fret the strings with ease. This would be an excellent guitar for a beginner. I can?t think of a better value. You can?t pick up a beat up Squier for cheaper than this! The tuners are ok. It seems to stay in tune. Pots and switch work fine.

Obviously this isn?t as nice as a real Fender Telecaster, but for its price you can buy what, seven of these Harley Bentons for the price of even a Mexican made! Truly I must commend Thomann. They?ve done really well with these budget starter guitars,
Actually providing a product that someone new at guitar can feel good about. Or even a fun little project for a seasoned tinkerer like me.
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It does what you expect from this type of guitar, at an unexpected price
Alan403, 19.08.2014
These days, a low price doesn't necessarily mean low quality. The Harley Benton TE 20, has the famous "T" type look, and comes with a pretty fair tribute to the "T" sound. When I try out a guitar that has a "budget" or "entry level" price tag, I have a bit if a ritual - maybe not very scientific, but it works for me:
First, I hold the guitar, and if it's a reasonable weight, not too heavy, but heavy enough, it gives me confidence that here is a solid, robust body. It suggests (again, not scientific) a nice density of wood in the body, unlike some cheaper guitars I've played, that are so light, if you attached some string to them you could use them as a kite! I'm not obsessive about tone woods, but I have found, from my experience, that a nice, heavy but comfortable body, usually bodes well for the overall quality of the instrument. The TE 20 passes this test!
Second, I run my hand up and down the neck. If, after this my hands are raw and bleeding, I know the frets are badly fitted, sharp, or sticking out at the sides. Again, the TE 20, no problem - smooth all the way - not a hint of discomfort, let alone a laceration!
Third, machine heads-obviously I don't expect Grovers, but it's another good sign of a quality budget guitar if the tuners turn smoothly and there is not too much "play" or "wobbliness" in them. Another tick for the TE 20.
Fourth: I actually play the guitar. With a budget price I won't complain at tone that doesn't exactly replicate the more well known expensive version, but I do like to hear variation in tone. I've tried lower priced guitars that sound the same, whichever pickup position is selected. The TE 20 sounds bright at the bridge, warmer at the neck pickup, and sort of "strummy" in the middle position. That's all I ask for and again the TE 20 does the trick.
The finish, in this case sunburst, is excellent, and I can find nothing to complain about as far as workmanship and construction.
Nice work, Harley Benton, I look forward to writing about the "S" shape model!
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leeroy brown, 01.05.2019
the guitar is ok but it looks nothing like the one in the photo it is just a plain finish with no grain at all very disapionted
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surprisigly good
ddelta, 12.07.2018
Didn't expect such a high quality for the price.
Needed a spare guitar for daily usage and became the preferred one now .
Neck is really pleasant and fast .Played few blues/rock songs in a gig recently and neck pick up sounded great.
In my opinion tuners and nut can be improved, which means that they are working ok but we perceive quality difference with higher price guitars , but at the given price they are absolutely acceptable.
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Impressive price/quality ratio
02.12.2016
The guitar was strung and setup properly out of the box, the fretboard was a little bit dried out , but a conditioning solved the problem; the tone pot, unlike the volume one, had an abrupt sweep resulting in an "on/off" feeling.But other than these little issues, easily solvable, the instrument is very good; nice even finish, comfortable neck and good machine heads; the sound and the playbility of the TE-20 are the strong points of this guitar; clean sounds and moderate overdriven ones come out of it in a very pleasant way, really faithful to the original (and way more expensive) reference model, with no strange cracklings or excessive hiss at all; it is a real good deal for the little money it costs!
Absolutely recommended for tele lovers on a budget!
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You don't get less than you paid for
Bates, 13.01.2014
This is a very modest but honest guitar. I believe it stays at the same level as, say, a low end squier that costs twice more and have the words 'squier' and 'fender' in the headstock. I would recomend this guitar to anyone who wants to buy their first guitar, or for someone who want to have an inexpensive modded guitar.
The reason for that is: the construction is good! All the measures were ok. The woods are solid and the finishes were flawless. The hardware isn't great, as obvious, but should be enough for anyone who is starting. An experienced player may have the guitar constantly out of tuning, if they do a lot of bend. The potentiometers seemed kind of fragile, but they worked without noises. The pickups have no great personality nor dynamics but will do the job.

Now, if you're an advanced player, you should do some upgrades like a set of good tuners, pots, a graphtec nut and maybe a good cheap pickups like an entwitstle or an iron gear. With this you'll have a very respectable guitar for less than $150. It's a catch.
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Harley Benton TE-20 SB Standard Series
Guitarm, 15.08.2017
Hey this guitar looks great even though it's not a Fender, but for the price, I bought it for a standby so that any of my students who had problems with their guitar, would have another to practice/learn on until theirs was repaired, Having checked out the playability of this guitar, it was set up just right for my style of playing, there was no rough edges on the fretwires, the tuners were OK although the intonation was a little out and adjustment was a question of playing around with the balance of the two screws, but all was ok, The balance of the guitar when held in the playing position tended to be neck heavy, ie the neck dropped downwards which was due to the light body weight/possible a cheaper type of wood used tho make it. But all in All at only 88 euro was a good piece of kit and at that price one cannot expect a build of a rear Fender guitar. Great finish, rosewood fretboard, obviously the strings would need to be changed for a better quaility, even so this guitar sounded great through both my Fender Mustang and Vox valvetronic. They're cheap enough to have as student standby, so I would recommend for a beginner / standby.
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Can't beat it for the price!
AsPeGiiC, 12.12.2018
Let's be honest here, it's a tele. And the Fender's at the same price point (a little higher) are no better than this one, in fact these are better than those.
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Solid Guitar for the Price
AScott, 29.09.2017
This is a solid guitar for the money and een for a little bit more money. It sounds good, the pickups are what one expects for this type of guitar if not a little lower output than I wanted. Construction on mine was top-notch, I couldn't find a flaw.

I can't seem to find a pickguard that will line up with the bridge and neck cut out, It would be nice if it was more compatible with available aftermarket parts. The tuning machines are also not great, but they do the job. It's also pretty heavy.

All in all a solid guitar with a good neck. The finish is lovely, as well.
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Awesome
16.07.2014
great quality, great sound it took a while to set up but that is the only negative thing I can say and if I was to be picky I would say it is a tad heavy but all in all fantastic value and quality this Harley Benton stuff is great :)
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Good guitar
13.03.2016
I have a Harley Benton HB-35 VB and it's a very good guitar so I decided to get the TE-20 SB since I didn't have a telecaster in my collection. I went with this model not because it was one of the cheaper T-Series guitars but because I liked the finish on it. I wanted a classic looking Telecaster.

The Good:

Impressive pickups, they're thick sounding for single coils, the neck pickup is my favorite, smooth with very good clarity.

Great neck, the neck is actually pretty beefy with a oil finish on the back. If you're looking for a really thin neck this is not it.

Good fretwork, there's a few frets that are slightly high but it's not even worth my time working on them. I adjusted the action to about 4/64ths across all the strings and there's no buzzing.

The Bad:

Three noticeable blemishes on the body finish.

High A and G string slots on the nut. I already fixed that.

Dry fretboard, I already fixed that.

Cheap pickup selector.

Verdict:

I recommend the guitar.

Update: The pickups squeal badly with any type of gain and volume, I don't think they're wax potted.
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Solid Instrument
DynamiC, 12.06.2017
Good for home practise. Can get wide variety of tones with a decent amp. Overall good choice for practice if not gigging or practising too much
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Nice telecaster for a beginner or backup
AndyNNL, 08.06.2017
This took me back as I wasn't expecting much but thomann/Harley Benton blew me away. Plays nice, good setup (although needed tweaks) sound wasn't particularly amazing but for a starter it's great and for a guy who enjoys modding it's paradise.
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Excellent value
28.06.2015
Good build quality. No sharp edges on frets and no fret buzz. Nice finish on neck and body, no cosmetic faults. Pickups are quite decent imho. Really like this guitar. Was expecting to have to do some work on it, but this one is quite playable right out of the box. The only remark I have is that the edges on the pickguard are cut quite rough (i.e. not a smooth gradient). Would definitely buy one again.
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Better than most !
David1466, 06.07.2015
Well made and finished, comfortable neck, hardware all okay. Sounds like a
Telecaster, albeit a bit thin. For this money simply unbeatable ! Upgrade the
p/ups and put on some decent strings and it will sing ! At minimal cost too.
These are tremendous value instruments, and worth every cent.
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Great value for money!!
Eric286, 07.08.2015
Bought this as a gift for a friend, ...absolutely brilliant for the money ....it feels like a real tele, neck comfortable, action can be set low, sound is ok for a house guitar (doubt if the pups would be fit for high vol scene) and it looks the part. Perfect starter or spare guitar ....no risk!
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Pretty good!
20.04.2016
This TE-20 has the right weight, very comfortable action, good tele sound in the right amp, and it looks good if you're a little lucky and get one with similar pieces of wood glued nicely together. You might need a try or two before you get the right copy but once it's right you would never guess its price if you didn't know it.
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TELECASTER
Grzegorz Z., 24.09.2014
Good Guitar for Good mI didnt expect any great sound..But I was wrong..Sound on My Randall amp is good.Fretboard could be little bit better made.But anyway,If u start playing,that guitar is for You!!
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Great for the price
ChrisShour24, 26.12.2017
The tone and playability of the guitar is great! It's no Fender but not bad at all for the price
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Good Value.
Dean Elianto, 26.11.2014
For the price, this guitar is absolutely great. It definitely needs some set up out of the box, but otherwise it is not bad at all.
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Harley Benton Telecaster
Buttons, 28.11.2016
Great value for the money. Good quality instrument.
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Harley Benton TE-20 SB Standard Series

€88 £78.29
Including VAT; Excluding €10 shipping

The price in GBP is a guideline price only!

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This item is in stock and can be dispatched immediately.

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