Harley Benton Fusion-II HH FR Roasted FBB

Electric Guitar

  • Ergonomically shaped body
  • Body: Mahogany
  • Top: "Ultra Flame" maple veneer with curly strips
  • Screwed neck: roasted Canadian maple (Hard Maple)
  • Fretboard: Roasted Canadian maple (Hard Maple)
  • Clay Dot fretboard inlays
  • Neck profile: Modern C
  • 24 Medium Jumbo stainless steel frets
  • Floyd Rose nut with string bar
  • Nut width: 42 mm (1.654")
  • Scale: 648 mm (25.512")
  • Fretboard radius: 305 mm (12.008")
  • Binding made of natural wood
  • Pickups: Roswell HAF-B AlNiCo-5 (bridge) and Roswell HAF-N AlNiCo-5 (neck) humbucker
  • 3-Way switch
  • Pickup switch: Single Coil / Humbucker
  • 1 Master volume and 1 master tone control
  • Floyd Rose 1000 tremolo
  • Chrome hardware
  • Grover GH305 6L machine heads
  • Original stringing: D'Addario EXL110 .010 - .046
  • Colour: Gloss Trans Flamed Bengal Burst

Further Information

Colour Sunburst
Body Sapele
Top Maple
Neck Maple
Fretboard Maple
Frets 24
Scale 648 mm
Pickups HH
Tremolo FR-Style
incl. Bag No
incl. Case No
5 Customer Ratings:
  • 5
  • 4
  • 3
  • 2
  • 1
4.8 / 5.0
  • features
  • sound
  • quality
5 written ratings Read all reviews
Total
features
sound
quality
Great value; couple of issues, but worth it.
Music Maven, 27.05.2019
This guitar has a lot of features at an amazing price-point.

WOODS
Despite being labelled as Mahogany, it’s Sapele, which is more sustainable than Mahogany. Sapele’s a little brighter sounding, heavier and harder than Mahogany.

The neck and separate fingerboard are both roasted (thermally modified) flamed Canadian hard rock Maple (Acer Saccharum). Thermally treating the wood is said to increase stability, decrease moisture absorption & deepen colour. This is exotic, usually found on more expensive instruments; adding tone to the neck by crystallising the sticky Lignin resins in the wood. Along with the body wood, 25.5" scale and bolt-on construction, this leads to quite a bright sounding super-strat.

CONSTRUCTION, FIT & FINISH
The construction is good. The neck pocket’s tight. The body is contoured and the Maple veneer is a ‘drop-top’ following the contour of the top beautifully, with natural binding accentuating the guitar’s profile.

There’s Stainless Steel frets with no sharp corners; a few are not perfectly seated, but Stainless Steel is a high-end feature. With a fret-rocker only three frets were found to be higher, all within acceptable tolerances. It's well put together, especially for Steel frets, which are harder to work with.

The Korean made Floyd Rose is intonated. It has a genuine "FR" stamped Nickel plated Brass sustain block. The lock-nut is a little high and needs lowering on the bass-side. There’s quality Grover tuners as standard. The face of the headstock is glossed and has metallic logos and looks very smart.

The body's pretty tiger-stripe Maple veneer is so thin it doesn’t add to the tone, but looks amazing. The Bengal Burst finish is spectacular. I’d have preferred a stained trans-finish to the back to show off the wood. This means that they can keep costs down by using lumber that isn't so pretty/evenly grained as it's covered-up. The black gloss on the back is well done.

Neck profile is comfortable with a medium/thick thickness ‘C’ profile, smoothly sanded with a satin feel. This is not a skinny neck; it’s quite a full 'C' profile.

The fingerboard radius is 12" which is quite curved. The radius at the saddles is 16", so there’s quite a bit of difference which wasn’t taken into account at the design stage. Although comfortable for chords, big string bends, if set with a low action, leads to choke-out of bent notes. A 14", or even better, a compound of 12-14", would have been preferable. I've addressed this by fitting Shim-plates under the saddles to tighten/lower the saddle radius closer to 12", better matching the fingerboard radius and making a more even playing experience.

The neck has a body-end spoke-wheel truss-rod adjuster. This is useful, allowing truss-rod adjustments without removing cover plates, unlocking the nut or de-tuning strings to get truss rod access. However, the neck's a little 'bendy' and I'd have preferred a carbon reinforcement, and would have paid extra for it. Thermally treated wood tends to be more 'bendy' than non-treated wood.

PICKUPS, ELECTRICS & SOUND
The only major let-down with this guitar are the thin sounding pickups. The Floyd Rose bridge is known to sap tone from a guitar, so you really need more powerful pickups with it. But, the “Roswell” pickups are very mild. The neck’s 172 mV output & 8.22 KΩ DC resistance. The bridge is 174 mV/8.33 KΩ. When split together they sound so thin, at 46 mV/2.12 KΩ. If they’d have installed decent pickups to start with this guitar would be unstoppable!

I’ve upgraded the stock pickups with “IronGear” brand Hot Alnico-5 Humbuckers: Neck 306mV/14.98 KΩ, Bridge 337mV/16.61 KΩ, split 87 mV/4.08 KΩ in Chrome covers. The huge bump-up in power make this guitar sound so much better, bringing out the natural tone & sustain of the guitar much more. The Chrome covers really improve the look as well.

On mine the Volume & Tone pots were incorrectly wired. Fixable, but shouldn’t have happened. The placement of the DPDT switch in-between the pots is finicky, especially if the Tremolo Bar is in the area as well. Placing the switch further back, or using a push/pull pot to do the same thing might have been be better.

I’ve replaced/upgraded the B500K Linear tone pot to a Harley Benton A500K Logarithmic Pot, and the 0.044µF Film Capacitor to an “Orange Drop” 0.022µF Polypropylene cap, and there’s a huge improvement in tonal response from the instrument.

CONCLUSION
I assume this will be a similar conclusion for all the FR equipped Fusion-II guitars: An all-round beautiful guitar. There's quite a few issues; the thin sounding stock pickups, a couple of issues with the electrics, slightly high nut, a couple of imperfectly seated frets; these can be remedied - at cost. The only non-changeable issue is the fingerboard radius and its mismatch with the locking tremolo's radius. If you want a low action and play big bends, it will affect how much you can string-bend prior to choke-out.

These negatives are put into perspective when consider its specs., price & look. You’ll likely want to upgrade the pickups and possibly some of the electronics (say, around €200); so figure that into the cost. Then there's fixing up all the other bits & pieces (say €100?) Even at around €700 - which includes your choice of boutique pickups - it's a lovely guitar with high specifications. [If you leave the Roswell pickups in place this looks to total around €500 and is amazing value.]

By way of comparison, Thomann's stocking a Schecter C-6 Pro FR, between €645-€714 (depending on the finish) which only has a Zinc Floyd Rose Special, stock OEM pickups & tuners.

If Thomann would address the pickups, use a compound fingerboard radius, with an asymmetrical neck profile (thin out the shoulder on the treble side of the neck), and up the quality control one notch, it would be the World’s best value e-guitar.
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Total
features
sound
quality
Outstanding guitar at an incredible price!
Mandi V, 10.09.2019
This was my first Harley Benton guitar and I wasn't exactly sure what to expect. However, I am happy to say that it's great. It's amazing how much guitar you get at this price!

First of all, the guitar is beautiful. I found no finish flaws whatsoever. The body has a nice, glossy finish that isn't sticky or overly thick. I can feel the vibration of the wood through it very clearly. The neck is satin finished and is very smooth. It plays wonderfully.

The roasting process seems to have taken some of the extra brightness out of the maple fingerboard and tamed it down some. The sapele body sounds a bit clearer than mahogany, but still has a thicker tone than alder. This guitar has a unique voice and I love it.

The stainless steel frets are nicely polished. The guitar arrived in tune, perfectly intonated, and set up with low action and no fret buzz at all. I love the mini-toggle coil tap switch, too. No more worrying about messing up the tone setting with a push/pull pot!

It's a wonderful, well balanced, medium weight instrument. I strongly recommend it to anyone, regardless of what style you play.
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Show variations of this product
Harley Benton Fusion-II HH FR Roasted FBB
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Harley Benton Fusion-II HH FR Roasted FBB
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Electric Guitar Ergonomically shaped body, Body: Mahogany, Top: "Ultra Flame" maple veneer with curly strips, Screwed neck: roasted Canadian maple (Hard Maple), Fretboard: Roasted Canadian maple...

  • Colour: Sunburst
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  • incl. Case: No
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Harley Benton Fusion-II HSH Roasted FBLB
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Harley Benton Fusion-II HSH Roasted FBB
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Electric Guitar Ergonomically shaped body: Sapele (Entandrophragma cylindricum), Matching headstock, Body: Mahogany, Top: Flamed maple featuring an 'Ultra Flame' veneer, Neck: Roasted Canadian...

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  • Body: Sapele
  • Top: Maple
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  • Frets: 24
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  • incl. Bag: No
  • incl. Case: No
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Harley Benton Fusion-II HSH Roasted FNT
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Electric Guitar Ergonomically shaped body: Sapele (Entandrophragma cylindricum), Top: Flamed maple featuring an 'Ultra Flame' veneer, Matching headstock, Neck: Roasted Canadian flamed maple, Neck...

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  • Frets: 24
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  • incl. Case: No
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Electric Guitar Ergonomically shaped sapele body (Entandrophragma cylindricum), Matching headstock, Bolt-on Canadian Hard Rock Maple (maple) neck, Fretboard: Ebony (Diospyros celebica), Neck...

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Electric Guitar Ergonomically shaped body: Sapele (Entandrophragma cylindricum), Matching headstock, Body: Mahogany, Top: Flamed maple featuring an 'Ultra Flame' veneer, Neck: Canadian hard maple,...

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  • Neck: Maple
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  • incl. Case: No
Harley Benton Fusion-II HH FR Roasted FBLB
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Harley Benton Fusion-II HH FR Roasted FBLB
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Electric Guitar Ergonomically shaped body, Body: Sapele (Entandrophragma cylindricum), Top: Flamed maple featuring an 'Ultra Flame' veneer, Matching headstock, Neck: Roasted Canadian flamed maple,...

  • Colour: Blue
  • Body: Mahogany
  • Top: Maple
  • Neck: Maple
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  • Scale: 648 mm
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  • incl. Case: No
Harley Benton Fusion-II HSH EB FBLB
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Harley Benton Fusion-II HSH EB FBLB
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Electric Guitar Ergonomically shaped sapele body (Entandrophragma cylindricum), Matching headstock, Body: Mahogany, "Ultra Flame" flamed maple veneer top, Bolt-on neck made of Canadian hard maple,...

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  • incl. Case: No
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Harley Benton Fusion-II HSH EB FCB
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  • incl. Bag: No
  • incl. Case: No
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