Harley Benton Fusion-II HSH EB FCB

Electric Guitar

  • Ergonomically shaped sapele body
  • Matching headstock
  • Top: "Ultra Flame" flamed maple veneer
  • Bolt-on neck: Canadian hard maple
  • Fretboard: Macassar ebony
  • Fretboard inlays: Clay dots
  • Neck profile: Modern C
  • Fretboard radius: 305 mm
  • Scale: 648 mm
  • Nut width: 42 mm
  • Graph Tech TUSQ XL nut
  • 24 Medium jumbo stainless steel frets
  • Binding made of natural wood
  • Pickups: Roswell HAF-B Alnico-5 (bridge) and Roswell HAF-N Alnico-5 (neck) humbuckers and 1 S74-C BK Alnico-5 single coil (middle)
  • 5-Way switch
  • Pickup Switch: Single coil / Humbucker
  • 1 Master volume control and 1 master tone control
  • Wilkinson 50IIK 2-Point tremolo
  • Chrome hardware
  • WSC staggered locking die-cast machine heads
  • Ex-factory stringing: .010 - .046
  • Colour: Gloss Trans Flamed Charcoal Burst

Further Information

Colour Grey
Body Sapele
Top Maple
Neck Maple
Fretboard Ebony
Frets 24
Scale 648 mm
Pickups HSH
Tremolo Wilkinson
incl. Bag No
incl. Case No
15 Customer Ratings
  • 5
  • 4
  • 3
  • 2
  • 1
4.6 /5
  • features
  • sound
  • quality
Total
features
sound
quality
Outstanding value for the price
Finnmii, 23.11.2020
TL;DR Overall surprisingly good guitar with weak pickups but very good playability.

Headstock: locking tuners, smooth action. These work perfectly. Unlike Gibsons, which are my #1 goto-guitars, this straight headstock might actually survive tipping the guitar over.

Nut: nice and tidy, doesn't seem to be sticky. The guitar keeps better in tune than any of my Les Pauls if I do a lot of bends.

Frets: leveled nicely. I haven't found any that would particularly buzz, which for me would be The dealbreaker if there were any such frets on a cheap guitar like this. This did not end up as B stock. Finishing of the frets was on par with my made in USA Fenders, which is ok but not super smooth. Way better than made in USA Les Pauls that I have. But also these Harley Bentons need a final polishing to get that sweet frictionless bend action. You can adjust the string height for rather low action without issues. Good Job Thomann!

Fretboard: smooth but dirty. Maybe strings are dirty also. Your fingertips will be black, so wipe and clean all you touch thoroughly when you get the guitar. Then do it again. This is not the best experience I have had with new guitars, the guitar being filthy enough to make fingertips all black after unboxing and playing it 15 minutes.

Pickups: weak output. All are tilted backwards or forward, they don't want to stand straight. Noisy, despite proper cavity shielding. But they sound alright.

Bridge: the Wilkinson has all the adjustments you need. Came perfectly intonated!

Pots: smooth but knobs rub to body. Just pull them up slightly if they do that.

Soldering: looks crappy to be honest but nothing breaks off by tapping the solders with a screwdriver. Works.

Finishing: has a few glitches under the final coating, but I don't care. This is a cheap guitar and exceeds expectations on so many other fronts. The finish is fine for this price. If you're in for the bling, buy a PRS and go look at it.

Setup: too much bow in neck initially. Intonation was perfect, string height low (good). I had to tighten the truss rod so much that I thought something will break, but I got it perfect with them original strings of 10s and standard tuning. Then I went for 8s just for the fun, and had to loosen the truss rod again. I am not sure if mine could do standard tuning with 11s without slightly too big neck bow again. But I would never use 11s with standard tuning and long scale, so no problem there. Whammy was all klik-klak loose and needed a lot of tightening. That's ok, the guitar comes with tools.

End result after fret polishing, pulling of pot knobs upwards, truss rod adjusting and a set of 8s for strings: awesome! This thing plays like butter. Yes it needs more gain than any of my other guitars and yes them pickups capture the electrostatic noises a bit too much but most importantly it plays so well you would never believe this costed less than 300 euros.
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Total
features
sound
quality
Had to put in work but VERY happy
wareya, 04.06.2020
Note on the quality rating: my specimen arrived with a broken trem system. The screws holding the spring mounting claw in place popped out of the body, either because they were too small, the holes were too big, they weren't in far enough, or the body was too soft. Whatever the reason, I had to replace them with bigger longer screws salvaged from a different guitar. If it wasn't for this, the quality would be 4 or 5 stars. I saw a youtube video where someone mentioned the same issue happening to them as well, so I'm treating it as a possible defect rather than as a fluke or shipping damage.

The rest of the guitar is absolutely incredible. The neck is fantastic. The fretwork is fantastic. The tuners, nut, etc. are fantastic. I have absolutely no other quality complaints.

I had to swap out the humbuckers for ones with ceramic magnets instead (I never have good luck with uncovered alnico humbuckers), hence the sound being 4 instead of 5 stars, but if that isn't an issue for you then you don't have anything to worry about there either.

Some closing notes:

- The roller spring tree can make noise, you'll want to add foam around it.
- When I cleaned the fretboard with mineral oil and then the humidity increased (weather), the neck developed a hump and I needed to nearly max out the truss rod to flatten it. Not sure what was going on here, but it was temporary.
- I don't use the trem (in fact I blocked it off) so I can't comment on it and am not taking it into account in the review.
- I redid the electronics/wiring so I have two-way coil splitting and can activate both humbuckers at the same time without the middle pickup (three-way coil split switch and a push-pull tone pot; I wired it such the replacement humbuckers are correctly out of phase when split).
- I'm sure this is anomalous but my fretboard is absolutely beautiful. It has light streaks down the treble side. I couldn't have asked for better.
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Total
features
sound
quality
Unbelievable!
Nak0r, 10.04.2020
I'm speechless with this guitar. In my 25 years of playing guitar I've had many high end guitars, and my god does this go toe to toe with any I've had!
The veneer on mine is a beautiful deep flame (though i understand this changes on each instrument, i was lucky to get a beautiful one, you can be unlucky and get a dull one), and the finish on the body is without fault.
The neck is also beautifully finished, frets polished and rounded and fret slots filled very well. The tuners are remarkably good for an OEM brand too.
The pickups are a big surprise, very articulate and pleasant, at least to my ears. Probably not a high gain metal guy's cup of tea, but if you like dynamics and articulation, they're fantastic! With all the good things, a couple of minor points, that are nothing more than being nitpicky: the humbuckers are slanted inside the slot, i assume the padding underneath them isn't level and is causing this. Doesn't affect anything. The fretboard was dry dry dry (ebony was near white), needed 2 applications of lemon oil as the first one was soaked into the wood straight away. This seems to be common with Harley Bentons, and is something you should consider when setting up any guitar, so just have some lemon oil at hand and treat your guitars well! Finally, the Wilkinson Tremolo is very stable, but not fun to setup! Had to do some adjustment to string height and intonation, and it's a bit of a pain with all the screws you need to loosen to be able to adjust anything. Though once you get it right, it's rock solid! Just bear that in mind if you change string gauges often.
All in all, a brilliant guitar that's a pleasure to pick up and play, and that's what's important, having an instrument that makes you want to play it!
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Shockingly good
Mils, 20.05.2020
In this price bracket there is no real competition for HB fusion. If you have doubts - you should not. Go for it. Hardware is fantastic, fret job is perfect (which doesn't really happen with new instruments), neck is comfy, finish is flawless. I was expecting that pickups upgrade will required but nope, those Roswells are very good.
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Harley Benton Fusion-II HSH Roasted FBLB
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  • incl. Case: No
Harley Benton Fusion-II HSH Roasted FBB
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Harley Benton Fusion-II HSH Roasted FBB
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  • Neck: Maple
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  • incl. Case: No
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Electric Guitar Ergonomically shaped sapele body, Matching headstock, Top: "Ultra Flame" flamed maple veneer, Bolt-on neck: Canadian hard maple, Fretboard: Canadian hard maple, Fretboard inlays:...

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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 sapele body, Top: "Ultra Flame" flamed maple veneer, Matching headstock, Bolt-on neck: Roasted Canadian maple, Fretboard: Roasted maple, Fretboard inlays: Clay...

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  • incl. Case: No
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Harley Benton Fusion-II HSH MN FBLB
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  • Body: Mahogany
  • Top: Maple
  • Neck: Maple
  • Fretboard: Maple
  • Frets: 24
  • Scale: 648 mm
  • Pickups: HSH
  • Tremolo: Wilkinson
  • incl. Bag: No
  • incl. Case: No
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