Harley Benton TE-90QM Trans Red

Electric Guitar

  • Body: Mahogany, chambered
  • Top: Flamed maple
  • Neck: Maple, bolt-on
  • Fretboard: Amaranth
  • 22 Frets
  • Scale: 648 mm
  • Nut width: 42 mm
  • Mother of pearl DOT fretboard inlays
  • Ivory body binding
  • Bonoid nut
  • Pickups: 2 x Roswell P90S Alnico-5 vintage style single coils
  • 3-Way toggle switch
  • Controls: Master Volume, Master Tone
  • DLX chrome hardware
  • Hard tail bridge
  • DLX die-cast machine heads
  • Strings: D'Addario .010 - .046
  • Colour: Transparent red, high gloss
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Further Information

Colour Red
Pickups P90, P90
Fretboard Roseacer
Tremolo None
Body Mahogany
Top Maple
Neck Maple
Frets 22
Scale 648 mm
Incl. Case No
Incl. Bag No

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239 Customer Ratings:
  • 5
  • 4
  • 3
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  • 1
4.6 /5
  • features
  • sound
  • quality
Total
features
sound
quality
Superb value for money
Telecast, 11.03.2020
I own an American Telecaster 1967 model and an American Stratocaster 1997 model. I had considered buying a Fender 'Thinline' Telecaster for its semi-hollow body and style. I was recommended to the Harley Benton range of guitars and found the TE-90QM Trans Red. I studied numerous reviews and decided to go for it. At £160 compared with what I would have paid for my first choice it appeared worth a gamble. I have to say I am totally impressed with my purchase.
Pros
Delivered with the normal speed and efficiency of Thomann's delivery service it arrived in almost pristine condition. It is a beautifully made instrument and the general finish is superb. The neck is so comfortable to play and no issues with the condition of the fretboard. The 2 Roswell P90S AlNiCo-5 vintage style single coils are excellent and give that sharp brightness coupled with warm mellow low ends.
Cons
There was a small issue with the tone knob which was mounted off centre. It was the plastic fitting inside the chrome knob that was out of alignment. If you take my advice I would recommend purchasing the Fender Stratocaster vintage Ivory Tone & Volume knobs, as they fit perfectly and really look the part matching the Ivory mounts of the P 90's and the Ivory finish of the binding on the body of the guitar.
I also had an issue with the guitar staying in tune. After attempting all the usual remedies I
decided to purchase the Harley Benton Locking Tuners. Again if you take my advice they fit perfectly 10mm is the size of the standard tuners so no drilling or modifying, simply take off the original standard tuners and in no time the new Locking tuners are fitted and they are excellent value well made hardware and the main thing is they work. I now have no tuning issues.
Overall a superb guitar for the most amazing price. I intend purchasing 2 more Hartley Benton guitars on the strength of my very staisfying experience
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Total
features
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HB TE-90QM P90 Red quilt top - Absolutely Fabulous.
Jmleaf77, 25.06.2019
Delivery to the UK in 3 days from order being placed.

Arrived in good condition.

For use in home studio/music room.

Inspection: serial number silk screened on back of headstock, made in Indonesia. No immediate problems noted, everything in good order. No sharp fret ends. However, the edges of the nut were a little rough/sharp, but easily smoothed over.

The book matching of the quilt top is a little off, about 3-5mm misaligned, but that's being picky, only noted on close inspection.
The finishing inside looks good, no paint bald patches. The binding around the f-holes and the body is smooth, no rough edges.

Looking at the back of the body it appears to be a 2 piece, maybe more, but it is hard to tell, the matching is very good. and at a quick glance it looks like a one piece. The Mahogany grain shows through the finish nicely, very even.

Playability - very good. Action a little high but good enough. Intonation spot on. Both pickups function well, switch and pots all working, no looseness, no problems. The neck has a smooth satin finish, very comfortable for my hands.

I've lowered the action to ~3/64 ths / ~1.2 mm @ 17th fret. No fret buzz at all, no choking out. Very good indeed. The bridge has no protruding screws and is very smooth and comfortable when playing. The truss rod works exceptionally well and is very sensitive to adjustments, presumably this is a feature of a dual-action truss rod. The allen key supplied wasn't the correct size, far too small, not sure what the correct size is, but I have many allen keys and the same one I use on my squiers and epiphone seems to work.

Stays in tune well. Machine heads/tuning pegs are smooth in use, no backlash.

In circuit measurement of pickups gave DCR Bridge PU ~10.2K, Neck PU ~7K which tallies well with Roswell specs for these pickups.

The bridge PU has a lot of push, and growls, very mid focused, perfect for a te style guitar, can twang very nicely too. Backing off the pots allows it's more nuanced balanced tones to come through. They're quite bright at full tone rotation, but that's better than being too dull. I would guess that the pots are 500K. Looking into the F-holes the pots appear to be larger than 16mm, possibly 20mm.

The Neck PU is warm and lush, perfect for smooth jazz, but has some twang when needed. There's a good balance between the two, so no adjustments needed to the pickup heights.

Acoustically it is only a little louder than a solid body. Good enough for some quiet practice.

***** for the setup and quality of this guitar. Truly amazing.
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Amazing guitar that outplays its price band.
21.04.2015
I ordered this on a Friday and it arrived on the following Tuesday. Fantastic delivery time from Thomann.

I was not expecting much from this guitar, because lets face it, it is still cheaper than the equivalent model from Squier or Yamaha. Oh boy was I surprised.

First of all, I should add that this guitar was packaged properly. It came in a box with polystyrene supports for the neck and polystyrene blocks around the edges of the box to make it unmoveable during transit. Better than the Burns guitar I had ordered previously.
Then it was packed, along with a second guitar I had also ordered, into a larger Thomann branded outer box filled with loads of "air filled" plastic padding.

Out of the box, the intonation was a little bit sharp on the twelfth fret and the action was set to about medium height, which is just how I like it. The six adjustable saddles make it easier to set the intonation or drop the action when compared to the standard telecaster setup and the strings still go through the body. This means that you not only get get loads of sustain, but you also get a snazzy looking bridge that does not slice the hand.

The finish on this guitar is flawless, I really mean flawless too. I could not find a thing wrong with it and I was looking really hard. The ivory colored binding is even on both the edge of the body and the "f" holes. There were no dings or discoloration in the finish and the pickups and neck were aligned perfectly. The color is a deep red, and allows the wood of the body to show through very clearly. So clearly, that it initially appears that this body is made from a single piece of wood. Looking at the rear, you can quite clearly see that the grain flows perfectly across the body, with no obvious joins or loss in grain quality. However, looking closely I noticed that the back of the guitar is nearly 6mm of a nice laminate that looks like it is glued to the main body. I can't tell how many pieces make up the main body but the quilted maple top, probably also a laminate, seams to be made from one nice piece of wood.
There is a solid piece of wood running down the center of the guitar which adds weight to the whole setup.

This guitar is heavier than you might think. It weighs slightly more than a Squier Standard Telecaster and as I said before it has a lot of sustain. This may be in part due to the ivory colored set of P90 style Wilkinson pickups, combined with an excellent set of D'addario strings. They provide that true P90 sound, which is a little smoother and louder than single coils. Not quite as hiss free as humbuckers, but still bloody good just the same. Electrics also seem good, operating smoothly and without crackle.
This guitar has only a single volume, a single tone and a three way switch. Very simplified but very useable just the same. It is so nice to find a tone and a volume pot that actually graduate properly across the full range. So many budget guitars come with a volume that is either on or off or a tone that only has two settings. These two controls seem smooth and flawless in operation. The only thing I would change on this setup would be to add indentations, (sunken circles aka PRS), so that the two tone knobs come out at a straight angle.

Now we come to the neck. I haven't ever played a neck this comfortable and I have owned Fenders, Gibsons, Yamahas and Squier guitars over the years. It has a soft "D" profile, with nicely inlaid mother of pearl style dot markers that shine at all angles. It is one piece maple with a satin finish and a rosewood fretboard. The frets appear to be a fraction slimmer than medium jumbo and have no harsh edges or finish problems. The nut is well finished and inlaid and would appear to be made of synthetic bone. The rosewood fingerboard didn't even need oiling when it arrived, but I did that anyway. The tuners feel like quality units and are set on a headstock that is a fraction larger and more rounded than the other Harley Benton that I purchased, (a TE-40), at the same time. They keep tune well once the strings are stretched in.

This guitar would be good value at three hundred euros, but at only a hundred and seventy five it offers excellent value for money. It is a no nonsense instrument that I would have no problem using as my main guitar and out plays anything I have come across at twice the price. It looks good, has a nice classic tone to it and plays like a dream. Also, having a three year Thomann warranty and excellent customer support means that if you do have any problems with it, they will be dealt with smoothly and efficiently.

It matches my Marshall amplifier perfectly.

Grab one now before Thomann realises what they have and raise the price.
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How do they do this for only $180 US?
Davis Sharp, 08.02.2019
My rating is based on expectations for a guitar of this price. This guitar arrived at my house in the United States about 2 weeks after I ordered it (including 3 days on back order). It was double-boxed with a lot of bubble wrap. The quality is excellent and the guitar greatly exceeds my expectations of a $180 instrument. The beautiful finish is even across the front and back of the body. The binding is flush with the body and there are no missing areas. The f-holes are also bound. The neck is straight and the fret ends are smooth. The knobs are metal, not inexpensive plastic, and they dial up the volume and tone very smoothly. The output jack is in a jack plate, which is something that some, more expensive, semi-hollows don't have. The Roswell picks are brighter than other P90s, but that's not a criticism. The neck tone is smooth and the bridge can be loud and angry. Both pickups are well set in the body, with no ugly gaps. There are some minor issues. The guitar needs to be set up. That's understandable because it was shipped when the temperature in my area was 10F (-12C) and warmed up to 50F (10C) in two days. There is a small dent on the headstock, that happened early in manufacturing, because it's lacquered over. The tuners are good enough, but a little stiff. None of these takes away from the fact that this guitar is an extraordinary value.
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Show variations of this product
Harley Benton TE-90QM Trans Red
(239)
Harley Benton TE-90QM Trans Red

Electric Guitar Body: Mahogany, chambered, Top: Flamed maple, Neck: Maple, bolt-on, Fretboard: Amaranth, 22 Frets, Scale: 648 mm, Nut width: 42 mm, Mother of pearl DOT fretboard inlays, Ivory body...

  • Colour: Red
  • Pickups: P90, P90
  • Body: Mahogany
  • Fretboard: Roseacer
  • Top: Maple
  • Neck: Maple
  • Tremolo: No
  • Frets: 22
  • Scale: 648 mm
  • Incl. Case: No
  • Incl. Bag: No
Harley Benton TE-52 NA Vintage Series
(798)
Harley Benton TE-52 NA Vintage Series

Electric Guitar Body: American ash, Neck: Canadian maple with roseacer skunk stripe, bolt-on, Neck profile: C, Fretboard: Maple, Fretboard radius: 350 mm, Dot inlays, 21 Frets, Scale: 648 mm, Nut...

  • Colour: Natural
  • Pickups: SS
  • Fretboard: Maple
  • Tremolo: None
  • Body: Ash
  • Top: None
  • Neck: Maple
  • Frets: 21
  • Scale: 648 mm
  • Incl. Case: No
  • Incl. Bag: No
Harley Benton Electric Guitar Kit T-Style
(997)
Harley Benton Electric Guitar Kit T-Style

Electric Guitar Kit T-Style Complete DIY (Do it yourself) kit, Bolt-on neck, Solid wood body (wood colour may vary), Neck: Maple, Fretboard: Amaranth, DOT fretboard inlays, Double action truss rod,...

  • Colour: Natural
  • Pickups: SS
  • Tremolo: None
  • Body: Hardwood
  • Top: None
  • Neck: Maple
  • Frets: 22
  • Scale: 648 mm
  • Incl. Case: No
  • Incl. Bag: No
Harley Benton TE-30 BE Standard Series
(597)
Harley Benton TE-30 BE Standard Series

Electric guitar Body: Ash, Bolted maple neck, Neck profile: C, Fretboard: Maple, Fretboard radius: 350 mm, Dot inlays, 21 Frets, Scale: 648 mm, Nut width: 42 mm, Neck radius: 13,78", Double-action...

  • Colour: Blonde
  • Pickups: SS
  • Fretboard: Maple
  • Tremolo: None
  • Body: Ash
  • Top: None
  • Neck: Maple
  • Frets: 21
  • Scale: 648 mm
  • Incl. Case: No
  • Incl. Bag: No
Harley Benton TE-40 TBK Deluxe Series
(486)
Harley Benton TE-40 TBK Deluxe Series

Electric Guitar Body: Basswood, Top: Ash, Bolt-on neck: Maple, Fretboard: Pau Ferro, Fretboard radius: 350 mm, 22 Frets, Scale: 648 mm, Nut width: 43 mm, Dual action truss rod, Pickups: 2 Roswell...

  • Colour: Black
  • Pickups: HH
  • Fretboard: Pau Ferro
  • Tremolo: None
  • Body: Basswood
  • Top: Ash
  • Neck: Maple
  • Frets: 22
  • Scale: 648 mm
  • Incl. Case: No
  • Incl. Bag: No
Harley Benton TE-20 SB Standard Series
(398)
Harley Benton TE-20 SB Standard Series

Electric Guitar Body: Basswood, Bolt-on maple neck, Neck profile: Modern C, Fretboard: Amaranth, Fretboard radius: 350 mm, Dot inlays, 22 Frets, Scale: 648 mm, Nut width: 42 mm, Double action truss...

  • Colour: Sunburst
  • Pickups: SS
  • Tremolo: None
  • Body: Hardwood
  • Top: None
  • Neck: Maple
  • Frets: 22
  • Scale: 648 mm
  • Incl. Case: No
  • Incl. Bag: No
Harley Benton TE-20 BK Standard Series
(302)
Harley Benton TE-20 BK Standard Series

Electric Guitar Bolt-on neck, Body: Basswood, Neck: Maple, Neck profile: Modern C, Fretboard: Armaranth, Fretboard radius: 350 mm, Dot fretboard inlays, 22 Frets, Scale: 648 mm, Nut width: 42 mm,...

  • Colour: Black
  • Pickups: SS
  • Tremolo: None
  • Body: Hardwood
  • Top: None
  • Neck: Maple
  • Frets: 21
  • Scale: 648 mm
  • Incl. Case: No
  • Incl. Bag: No
£188
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