Harley Benton SC-550 Faded Tobacco Flame

Electric Guitar

  • Deluxe Series
  • Body: Mahogany
  • Arched top: AAAA flamed maple
  • Set in neck: Mahogany
  • Fretboard: Roseacer
  • Neck profile: '60
  • Fretboard radius: 350 mm (13.78")
  • Pearloid trapezoid inlays
  • 22 Frets
  • Scale: 628 mm (24.72")
  • Nut width: 43 mm (1.69")
  • Bone nut
  • Pickups: 2 Roswell LAF AlNiCo-5 humbuckers
  • 2 Volume knobs and 2 tone knobs
  • 3-Way pickup selector
  • DLX chrome hardware
  • DLX Tune-o-matic bridge
  • DLX Wilkinson machine heads
  • Ex-factory stringing: D'Addario EXL .010 - .046
  • Colour: Faded Tobacco
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  • Blues
  • Metal
  • Rock

Further Information

Colour Sunburst
Body Mahogany
Top Maple
Neck Mahogany
Fretboard Jatoba
Frets 22
Scale 628 mm
Pickups HH
Tremolo None
Incl. Case No
Incl. Bag No

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138 Customer Ratings:
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4.7 / 5.0
  • features
  • sound
  • quality
115 written ratings Read all reviews
Total
features
sound
quality

A Fantastic Guitar at a Fantastic Price.

micoli, 21.11.2017
I only play at home, and I love to upgrade parts, swap pickups and generally tinker with guitars to get them playing as well as possible. I have other Harley Benton guitars so I bought this guitar with the confidence that it would be a quality instrument, but if needed I could do any necessary work on it to get it playing how I like it.

First, let me tell you about the delivery. All my other HB guitars have only taken 3 days to arrive in the UK from the date of ordering, so I ordered it on a Monday thinking it would escape the weekend backlog in the delivery process and that it would arrive on Wednesday or Thursday. By Thursday it had only been dispatched and so it spent the weekend in a warehouse somewhere, finally being delivered on Tuesday. I anticipated the carton would look very battered as it had been hanging around the dispatch warehouse but it was in perfect condition when it was handed over to me.

When I opened the carton, my first impression was that the guitar was absolutely beautiful. The AAAA flamed maple top looks perfect and it matches along the centre seam as well, and even better than any guitar I've ever seen. There are no blemishes in the lacquer or on any of part of the paintwork or on the binding, so top marks there! It was almost in tune but the intonation was a little out on a couple of strings, which is generally a two minute job to fix. Except that in this case, the saddles have a very small locking nut for each string adjuster which I found was extremely fiddly as when I tightened the screw the nut also tightened, locking it in place. So I had to loosed the nut slightly, tighten the screw and then re-tighten the nut. But once sorted, it was OK.

The vintage tuners are probably the some of the best HB tuners I have used - they don?t go out off tune and feel solid without any slack areas in the tuning knobs. The tuning buttons are Jade green rather than the white/ivory shown on the Thomann web site. It's no big deal although I would have preferred the white buttons.

The bone nut is well cut and when in tune and the strings are fretted on the first fret, the notes are only very, very slight sharp, (which could be my tuner as all 6 strings are only slightly sharp by the same amount), but not enough for me to even consider deepening the grooves in the nut.

The frets were polished smooth, and the fret ends are not sharp at all, and have been nicely rounded off.

The inlays are very smooth and I can?t feel them when I?m fretting or bending a note. The Roseacer fretboard looks good and is smooth to the touch and does not need oiling as it is not dry at all. The sloping neck joint is a terrific design and allows easy access to the highest frets. The strings were set 1.5mm and 2.00mm for the high E and low E at the 12th fret and although generally I like them a little higher, it feels perfect for this guitar. The neck is what is described as a 60's profile, but to me is a shallow D shape and it took some getting used to after playing my HB TE-52 with a fat C shaped neck!

The body seems to be one piece of wood as I can?t see any joins anywhere. The neck has a scarf joint and has a two part heel, which is only just noticeable. The binding is a yellow cream and is slightly darker than the pickup surrounds and the 3 way switch. The chrome TOM bridge is good quality and I have no doubt will keep it?s shine for years to come. The strap buttons are standard but as I use rubber strap locks these work fine. I have ordered a pick-guard which I may or may not fit. I like the idea that it protects the body but I may not like the look of it and having to put 2 screw holes in the perfect body ? so I?ll see.

This guitar has great sustain due to the mahogany body, and coupled with the resonating in the body when played, it feels a far higher priced quality guitar than it actually is. The Wilkinson pickups have a very vintage twang, more so than I had anticipated. I like them but I may eventually swap them to more contemporary pickups ? just to see how they sound. The cavities have been shielded with graphite paint and the 3 way switch is a box shaped switch and has a solid feel.

My one and only criticism is that I would have liked to have binding on the headstock as well. However, I'm was aware of that when I ordered and also aware that the Gibson LP's the SC-550 imitates also doesn't, but it?s just my personal taste ? I love a bit of bling.

This is the fifth Harley Benton I have bought, (although one I bought from an auction site), and I have yet to be disappointed with the brand. So straight out of the box my SC-550 arrived in perfect condition and playable. In fact, except for adjusting the intonation, this is the first guitar I have ever bought from anyone, that I have not had to do anything to, or feel I need to upgrade parts. It has also been very well set up so I would like to thank Thomann for their efforts. It?s a great vintage sounding LP clone, which looks absolutely fantastic and is at a very affordable price. This guitar is worth every penny!
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Total
features
sound
quality

So far, I love it

Steve Mc. , 07.01.2019
I have owned and played guitars for the past 30+ yrs with varying degrees of commitment. But, i have owned Martins, Gibsons, Fenders, etc. in varying price ranges. I have only recently gotten back into playing. I am by no means an Expert and would consider myself "advanced beginner" at best...but I have to say, i have this guitar for about 2 weeks now and this beats anything at this price point and even much higher. The quality and appearance are astounding. The things I can speak to, appearance, unreal; playability, action perfect, plays great (though agree with some that the 60's style neck is "different" and I also cramped up after several hours of playing); intonation slightly off, but easily fixed, no fret buzz up to 21st fret; the guitar is ridiculously heavy. I changed the strings and will polish the frets at some point.
Things I can not speak to --> Sound. One, i am more of an acoustic player and cant speak as much to sound quality of an electric. Two, i am playing through the HB RockPlug, and then through a pair of cheap headphones and not sure how it will sound through a proper amp. Will try in a few months and report back. BUT, having said all of that...to my untrained ears, sitting in my basement...it sounds...AWESOME! :)
I was saving for a new electric and with what I saved on this guitar, I have purchased 2 additional HB acoustics. So far, I am buying into the HB hype. If you are a beginner or like me a Career couch player, you cant go wrong with this.
UPDATE: So, got a chance to play this plugged in this weekend. And not only that, able to do a side-by-side comparison with the Epi LP counterpart. So, first, from all things physical, set-up, quality of materials, finish, etc. my friend and I both agreed that you could not tell a difference. Sound. The sound is different, for sure . The HB is bad as such, but its different...and at the end of the day I personally like the Epi sound better. (See Cory Mura's in depth comparison and you will get it.) After much more playing and hearing on a good amp, the neck pickup is great, but the bridge pickup is a bit muddy. I have adjusted the height, but doesn't help much. I still feel this is a good guitar for the price and still keep it as 5 stars overall based on overall quality alone.
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Colour: Sunburst
Harley Benton SC-550 Faded Tobacco Flame
(138)
Harley Benton SC-550 Faded Tobacco Flame

Electric Guitar Deluxe Series, Body: Mahogany, Arched top: AAAA flamed maple, Set in neck: Mahogany, Fretboard: Roseacer, Neck profile: '60, Fretboard radius: 350 mm (13.78"), Pearloid trapezoid...

  • Colour: Sunburst
  • Body: Mahogany
  • Top: Maple
  • Neck: Mahogany
  • Fretboard: Jatoba
  • Frets: 22
  • Scale: 628 mm
  • Pickups: HH
  • Tremolo: None
  • Incl. Case: No
  • Incl. Bag: No
Harley Benton SC-550 Paradise Amber Flame
(128)
Harley Benton SC-550 Paradise Amber Flame

Electric Guitar Flame Deluxe Series, Body: Mahogany, Arched top: AAAA Maple, Glued neck: Mahogany, Fretboard: Roseacer, Neck profile: 60s, Radius: 350 mm, Pearloid trapezoid inlays, 22 Frets,...

  • Colour: Amber
  • Body: Mahogany
  • Top: Maple
  • Neck: Mahogany
  • Fretboard: Jatoba
  • Frets: 22
  • Scale: 628 mm
  • Pickups: HH
  • Tremolo: None
  • Incl. Case: No
  • Incl. Bag: No
€248 £217.15
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In stock within 3-4 weeks

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Offers include 20% UK VAT and are valid only whilst stocks last. Delivery to the UK costs 10 EUR (approx. £9), free shipping on orders above 149 EUR. Please click here for more on international delivery costs and times. We do not accept liability for typographical errors or inaccurate information of any kind. *RRP = manufacturer's / distributor's recommended retail price in Germany
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