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
  • Double action truss rod
  • Neck profile: C
  • Fretboard: Roseacer
  • DOT fretboard inlays
  • 22 Frets
  • Fretboard radius: 350 mm
  • Scale: 648 mm
  • Nut width: 42 mm
  • Truss rod
  • Pickups: 2 Single coils
  • 1 Volume knob and 1 tone knob
  • 3-Way toggle switch
  • Chrome hardware
  • Die-cast machine heads
  • Stringing: 009 - 042
  • Finish: Natural

A certain amount of craftsmanship is required for successful assembly.

Further Information

Colour Natural
Pickups SS
Fretboard Roseacer
Tremolo None
Body Hardwood
Top None
Neck Maple
Frets 22
Scale 648 mm
Incl. Case No
Incl. Bag No
862 Customer Ratings:
  • 5
  • 4
  • 3
  • 2
  • 1
4.3 / 5.0
  • features
  • sound
  • quality
623 written ratings Read all reviews
Total
features
sound
quality
Good kit to work with, but not a guitar one can assemble and play right away
V_Korneev, 09.05.2018
PROS.

1. Technically, this kit allows you to follow an IKEA-like manual and put together a guitar, functionally identical to a cheap guitars of well-known-brands-we-won?t-mention-here for a fraction of their price.

2. The body and the neck are done surprisingly well for a price, they fit together better than I saw on some? ahem? much more expensive guitars. Frets don?t try to cut you to death. Neck is not bent to a propeller shape. Slots in the body for neck and pickups are precise enough.

3. Other parts are inexpensive yet mostly funcional. I planned to replace everything except body and neck, but left tuning machines, bridge and some other things be: they are okay to the level when ?good enough? turns into ?just good?.

CONS.

1. Frets require some work. Frets are unpolished (which is not a problem) and sometimes are slightly uneven (which IS a problem). So if you need a low action without buzzing, fret leveling is in order, and fret leveling is not a task for a complete newbie.

Nut is a regular plastic thing, and it is not set to a proper height. To get a proper action and proper tone, you should cut it to the right height, which requires some minimal understanding of the task, some skills and at least some tools. So, again, not a task for a complete newbie.

2. There?s no shielding and a kit manual never mentions that shielding is required, which could become a problem for a newbie. You?ll need to shield a guitar with foil or graphite, otherwise it will work like a good old radio antenna, buzzing left and right.

3. Build quality is not perfect when it comes to a small things. All screw holes, including holes for neck bolts, are hand-drilled sloppily, which means random depth and direction of each and every hole. If you suffer from serious case of perfectionism, just like me, it?s easier to seal and redrill those holes. Otherwise you probably can ignore it: screws still hold it together, so it?s okay. Tip: always use a wax on screws, it helps.

Fingerboard of my guitar had a small splotch of some brownish substance that tried (with questionable success) to mask a small dent in a wood. It didn?t affect playability, but it wasn?t nice to look at form close distances, so it had to be fixed.

Tone control in my kit wasn?t working. It wasn?t a problem for me, as I just replaced all electronics. But such things could be a problem for some kiddo, who doesn?t know how to solder wires yet. Be ready to rewire the guitar properly.


CONCLUSION.

In general, this kit is a good base for amateur guitar builds and experiments. Reshape the body, paint it wild, cut the head as you please, add pickups of your dreams... Kit has no critical flaws and allows you to build a really good ?semi-custom? guitar for a ridiculously low price if you are ready to put some work in it.

Kit is ?technically functional? even right after screwdriver assembly and basic tuning, but don?t expect much from it. Fifteen minutes of intense screwdriving will turn a kit into an electromechanical tool, which in a dim light could be considered an electric guitar. But it won?t rise to its full potential without additional efforts.
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Total
features
sound
quality
Roemans, 11.09.2018
An overview of how the building of my Harley Benton telecaster kit went.

Step 1: Neck
I started with checking if the frets were level. They were playable but still needed some levelling. They were also very scratchy and the top was barely crownded.
I levelled, crowned and polished the frets.
Then I cut the headstock into shape, sanded it smooth and covered it with 6 coats of clearspray.

Step 2: Body
The body was very ruff and had a lot of dings and even a few holes in it.
I sanded it until it was perfectly smooth. Then I filled the holes, scratches, dings and woodgrain with wood filler and sanded everything smooth again. Next I applied 2 layers of primer and sanded everything smooth. After this I filled al the remaining holes and scratches again with woodfiller, after this, again I sanded everything smooth. Next I spraypainted the body with 6 layers of turquoise lacker and 3 layers of satin clearcoat.

Step 3: assembly
The tuners and string trees went in perfectly with no problem. The neck fitted perfectly in the neck pocked. The bridge, output jack cover, strap buttons and the plate with the switch and knobs also fitted perfectly.
The pickguard however not so much. The holes in the body didn't align with the holes in the pickguard. I drilled new holes in the body and now it fits. The pickguard does touch the plate with the pickup selector, this is not supposed to happen.

Step 4: setup
The tuners hold tune but are a bit difficult to tune with, they are a bit jumpy.
The bridge is easy to intonate but impossible to intonate 100% perfect because of it's design, but that was to be expected.
The nut of the guitar is cut to high, because of this the action is always high and the first few frets will sound out of tune. I am going to fix the nut later.
I had to adjust the pickup height a lot.

The result:
- Even with a 9-42 set of strings this guitar is very loud acoustically. It resonates more than any guitar I have ever played.
- The pickups sound remarkably good for such a cheap kit. I dont think I will change them anytime soon.
- The guitar plays very nicely, I expect it to play even better once I lowered the nut slots.
- The guitar holds tune good enough.
- The pickup selector is wobly and stiff. The volume knob is pressed against the metal plate it's atached to, this makes it imposible to operate it with 1 finger. It has to much friction. The tone knob works perfectly.

Conclusion:
The kit I got has a very good neck and body but the hardware is lacking. The hardware is functional, you could keep it, but I am probably going to upgrade it.
I have a feeling once I upgraded it this is going to be my favourite guitar.
Score:
Body and neck 9,5/10
Hardware 5/10
Pickups 8/10
Total 7,5/10


UPDATE:
I placed straplocks, upgraded the stringtrees and the nut to graptech, changed the tuners to harley benton locking tuners, placed compensated bridge sadles and placed a fender 4-way tele switch (I discovered that the original switch used the same pickup configuration in both position 1 and 2). I also maneged to fix the hard to turn volume knob.

After these upgrades this guitar is fenomenal. It holds tune very well and is very smooth to tune, it has sustain for ages, with the 4-way switch you have a lot of tonal options and it plays like butter.
It is my favourite guitar at the moment.

Score with upgrades:
Body and neck 9,5/10
Hardware 9/10
Pickups 8/10
Total 9/10
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