Harley Benton SC-550 Paradise Amber Flame

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Electric Guitar

  • Flame Deluxe Series
  • Body: Mahogany
  • Arched top: AAAA flamed maple
  • Set-in neck: Mahogany
  • Fretboard: Jatoba
  • Neck profile: '60s
  • Radius: 350 mm
  • Pearloid trapezoid inlays
  • 22 Frets
  • Scale: 628 mm
  • Nut width: 43 mm
  • Pickup: 2 Roswell HAF AlNiCo-5 Zebra humbucker
  • 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: Paradise Amber Flame
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Audio Examples

 
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  • Blues
  • Metal
  • Rock

Further Information

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

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220 Customer Ratings:
  • 5
  • 4
  • 3
  • 2
  • 1
4.7 /5
  • features
  • sound
  • quality
Total
features
sound
quality
Incredable guitar for the price from a long tme hobbiest
Mustang 70, 27.03.2019
I am a long-time hobbyist and by no stretch of the imagination a professional guitar player but do own several quality guitars. After watching a lot of You Tube videos on Harley Benton guitars, I was fascinated by how an inexpensive guitar could be so well regarded. I decided I wanted a Les Paul type in my collection so for $270 delivered I would try one out and use it as a mod platform.
Conclusion
I am putting my opinions here on top so you won't have to read all of the details. I find this guitar an incredible instrument that makes it a steal for the price. I thought I would be modding it but I don't think it needs anything, if I do it would just be an exercise to learn how to do it. I believe that this guitar is all most guitarists need (that does not mean I don't appreciate fine guitars, there is a pleasure of owning and playing one, I own several and have no plans on disposing of any but this guitar will do most everything the high dollar guitars will do) (I also believe that it's the guitarist and the electronics that make a guitar sound great). I am excited at the discovery of Harley Benton Guitars because now for the price of one high end instrument I can add a Telecaster type, a ES355 type, a Rickenbacker 612 type with cases to my collection that will do all I will ever need and still have a pile money left over if they need upgrading. I would suggest buying a case when you order because for the same shipping cost Thomann will ship more items, I don't know the quality of the HB case but I would be surprised if it does not match this guitars quality for the price (I am guessing one similar would be around $100 locally). I made the mistake of not getting a case with it because I didn't think I would need on, now I find myself shopping for one and kicking myself because for $46 you will not find a better price.

? Pros
o Amazing guitar especially for the price.
o I can now have an example of most of the guitars I covet without going broke
? Cons all nit-picky!
o Pickups needed height adjustment
o Slight blemish on the body by the neck
o Action was high for my taste
o Wish I could have found these guitars earlier
? The buying experience was excellent, easy to purchase, fast shipping and perfect arrival. I did not have any problems so I don?t know about customer service.
? Appearance, beautiful guitar with one tiny flaw where the neck joins the body. This guitar has a very high-quality fit and finish that I find amazing.
? Mechanics, the guitar arrived playable out of the box only needing the pickup height adjustment, all hardware and electronics works.
Play-ability, this guitar plays and sounds great, I would not be ashamed to show up with it in any circumstance. Let the snobs laugh - if they want to worry about what somebody else plays, that is their problem!
? I could invest around $300 if I do the work myself for upgrade tuners, pickups, pots, switch, bridge and tail piece and it would probably improve it but is over doubling the price worth maybe a 5 - 10% improvement?
The Thomann Experience
I live in the Denver Colorado area and was concerned about the ordering and delivery process from Germany, I ordered it directly from Thomann payed by PayPal with no issues, it was ordered on Sunday and it arrived Monday of the next week with good tracking information the entire journey including customs in San Francisco and a date notification for delivery. It was delivered at the usual time by our normal US Post office person. It arrived packed very well in a larger box with it seemed like a mile of pillow padding, the smaller box that held the guitar was not damaged at all and the guitar was padded and wrapped with foam. The guitar showed no damage from shipping and was close to being in tune ? about ? a step flat across all the strings.
Appearance
I could only find one 3/4 inch imperfection on the entire guitar, a flaw in the finish on the back on the body where the neck joins the body, I have seen worse on new $1000 plus instruments and you have to look hard to see it. The neck appears to be 3 pieces, the scarf, the neck itself and a piece to make it thicker where it joins the body. The inlay work is beautiful although the inlay material is not as high quality as you would find on more expensive instruments. The body looks like 3 pieces but had to tell because there is a mahogany veneer on the back that makes the body look solid. The face veneer grain is closely matched (I know some people don't care for it), it probably does not have the depth of a more expensive instrument, in my opinion it?s still spectacular looking; the binding is perfect around the body and the neck. It came with strap locks, these work perfectly HB must have heard the complaints on earlier models and replaced them with working units. The tuners are greenish and are copies of Gibson vintage keys, more on function in the mechanics part of this review. I could not find a serial number but on back of the head-stock its says SC-550 Deluxe Made in Viet Nam.




Mechanics
The neck is straight the fret work is great, all are level, smooth and no sprout?, the action was a little higher than I prefer but it was certainly playable out of the box.. I gave it a few days to acclimate to its new surroundings then changed the strings, I use EB Fat Top and Skinny Bottoms, so I had to reset the intonation on 3 of the strings but it was close. The tuners are adequate (not as smooth as the Grovers on most of my other guitars) and the guitar says in tune. The switch works fine with no noise or crackles, I took the Rhythm / Treble label off because I think it looks dorky and I wanted it to look cleaner -- I can remember the positions without having it written on the guitar. The pots are smooth and work flawlessly with no noise. The pickups are Roswells and were not adjusted to the correct distance form the strings (easy fix and the worst problem with the setup) after the adjustment the pickups sounded great and balanced especially for a $270 guitar. The Bridge and tail piece are Gibson copies, this guitar already has great sustain so I am not sure upgrades would make much difference.
Play-ability
This guitar plays as well as any other guitar I own, no hums or other noise, the neck feels great and it doesn't go out of tune. Its heavy and but it?s a Les Paul copy and that should be expected. I lowered the action, does not have any fret buzz and rings all the way up the neck, the sustain is incredible. The tone is all Les Paul and I am really enjoying exploring this particular sound that has been missing from my collection.
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Total
features
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Great but needs a bit of TLC
MrGiggly, 04.04.2018
As long as you don't mind the possibility that you'll need to do some tinkering, its a great guitar for the price.

It took less than 48hrs from southern germany to northern england so big hats off to the warehouse and postal service.

Mine arrived with wood shavings inside the guitar wrapping which was pretty unnerving but fortunately everything was in one piece.

Body looks superb with a good match up between the veneers and an even finish all over. Veneers are off centre by a few mm but you have to look hard to notice. Back and neck are particularly impressive, as is the quality of the binding.

Now on to the things that were not up to snuff...
Strings were corroded. No biggie as its pretty much a given to restring a new guitar.

Frets were quite a mess. From the low e to d and all the way down were tooling marks suggesting someone forgot to finish the dressing. I spent a good 3hrs taping up and polishing the marks out which fortunately were not too deep.
Fretboard also needed oiling as it was very dry.

Bone nut stuck on 3 strings (10/46's) so that needed a little filing. I used a little trick of a small piece of 800 grit wet and dry pulled under each slightly loosened string and then run through the nut grooves.

Tailpiece stud holes don't follow the natural back slope of the guitar so the tailpiece leans forward by a couple of mm. Had to raise the tailpiece a bit to stop the strings snagging. I'll probably try top wrapping next string change.

Other than that everything is spot on. Sustain is awesome and the general playability of the neck is great. I'm still undecided on the Rosswell pickups. I'll leave them in for now to see if they grow on me and if not swap them out for something like irongear tesla sharks. Volume and tone controls as someone else mentioned aren't very linear. Again, may be the pots or the pickups. Again, not a massive issue to resolve for anyone who doesn't mind tinkering.

Overall I can definitely recommend the sc550 but not for a complete newbie or wants to play straight out of the box unless you strike lucky and non of the niggles above are present.
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I am amazed!
ibxn, 19.07.2018
First Impressions (just received it an hour ago in the US)
I have been playing guitar in bands since the early 70's and have owned many, many guitars. I currently own guitars from all the big companies, and most of them sit rarely used for various reasons (unhappy with the play-ability, sound, way they have held up). I only recently started hearing about Harley Benton and have watched many YouTube videos demonstrating their virtues. So - long story short- I decided to plunk down the paltry sum for the SC-550 Amber Flame model and was willing to work on doing whatever repairs were necessary once I received it.
Well - there isn't much to do other than play it! The fingerboard is dry, but not such that it is not usable, and is easily remedied:
* Remove strings.
* Clean with Dunlop fretboard prep cleaner
* Oil with fretboard oil (Dunlop fretboard conditioner)
* Let dry
* remove excess oil with rag.
* re-string
The body is perfect as far as I can tell, the neck straight and set up well, the tuning machines work well, the nut is cut properly. And to top it off, they included strap locks that actually work! Unlike the videos I have seen complaining about the poor quality of the strap locks.
Pros:
1. Incredible value for the money (or for even much more!)
2. It sounds great! The Roswell pickups are keepers! The pickup switch doesn't feel cheap, and the pots are smooth and functional
3. It plays smooth - no sharp fret ends, the neck is fast and intonated well
4. It is lighter than I expected (chambered?)
5. It is gorgeous!
Cons:
1. The truss rod cover only has one screw at the apex of the triangle (not a big deal)
2. The pickup center position is wired differently from a standard LP-style guitar with each volume control blending into the other, and only when both are off is the sound gone - I'm not sure it this is a con or not - I sorta like it!

In summary - this has been a very positive experience for me - I wasn't sure what to expect purchasing something from a different country and knowing it would not be worth the shipping cost to return it if I didn't like it. I expect my next guitar with also be a Harley Benton!
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Excellent overall guitar
Felverick, 03.01.2020
Overall I'm very glad I bought this guitar and will most likely buy another Harley Benton. It came in about 3 weeks~ over the Christmas holidays so probably even quicker during a slower season and it's a long way to Canada.

Overall I'd say this isn't a guitar for a 'beginner' despite the price point. It punches WAY over it's weight but knowing your way around a truss rod adjustment, lowering the action etc will go a long way. I had to level one high fret but it wasn't a big job. Nut was high for my tastes too but nothing some sandpaper couldn't fix.

I was a bit disappointed in the top/finish. I bought this guitar as a Slash fan but the finish is more akin to the Joe Perry Boneyard LP. It's also not bookmatched that well. One side has beautiful flame and the other doesn't. Still I fell in love with how it played and decided to keep it.
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Colour: Amber
Harley Benton SC-550 Paradise Amber Flame
(220)
Harley Benton SC-550 Paradise Amber Flame

Electric Guitar Flame Deluxe Series, Body: Mahogany, Arched top: AAAA flamed maple, Set-in neck: Mahogany, Fretboard: Jatoba, Neck profile: '60s, Radius: 350 mm, Pearloid trapezoid inlays, 22...

  • Colour: Amber
  • Body: Mahogany
  • Top: Maple
  • Neck: Mahogany
  • Fretboard: Jatoba
  • Frets: 22
  • Scale: 628 mm
  • Pickups: HH
  • Tremolo: None
  • Incl. Case: No
  • Incl. Gigbag: No
Harley Benton SC-550 Faded Tobacco Flame
(250)
Harley Benton SC-550 Faded Tobacco Flame

Electric Guitar Deluxe series, Weight relief chambered body: Mahogany, Arched top: AAAA flamed maple, Set-in neck: Mahogany, Fretboard: Jatoba, Neck profile: '60s, Fretboard radius: 350 mm,...

  • Colour: Sunburst
  • Body: Mahogany
  • Top: Maple
  • Neck: Mahogany
  • Fretboard: Jatoba
  • Frets: 22
  • Scale: 628 mm
  • Pickups: HH
  • Tremolo: None
  • Incl. Case: No
  • Incl. Gigbag: No
Harley Benton SC-550 Desert Flame Burst
(28)
Harley Benton SC-550 Desert Flame Burst

Electric Guitar Body: Mahogany, Arched top made of AAAA fluted maple, Set-in mahogany neck, Jatoba fretboard, Pearloid trapezoid fretboard inlays, Neck profile: '60s, Fretboard radius: 350 mm,...

  • Colour: Burst
  • Body: Mahogany
  • Top: Maple
  • Neck: Mahogany
  • Fretboard: Jatoba
  • Frets: 22
  • Scale: 628 mm
  • Pickups: HH
  • Tremolo: None
  • Incl. Case: No
  • Incl. Gigbag: No
Harley Benton SC-550 Black Cherry Flame
(22)
Harley Benton SC-550 Black Cherry Flame

Electric Guitar Flame Deluxe Series, Body: Mahogany, Arched top made of AAAA fluted maple, Set-in mahogany neck, Jatoba fretboard, Pearloid trapezoid fretboard inlays, Neck profile: '60s, Fretboard...

  • Colour: Cherry
  • Body: Mahogany
  • Top: Maple
  • Neck: Mahogany
  • Fretboard: Jatoba
  • Frets: 22
  • Scale: 628 mm
  • Pickups: HH
  • Tremolo: None
  • Incl. Case: No
  • Incl. Gigbag: No
B-Stock from £222 available
£238
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In stock within 4-5 weeks
In stock within 4-5 weeks

This item is expected back in stock soon and can then be shipped immediately.

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