Harley Benton HB-35Plus Vintage Burst

119 Customer Ratings
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Amazing guitar
zart arn, 17.10.2020
My acquaintance with Harley Benton guitars began with the Harley Benton HBO-850NT guitar. It was not very good quality and there were concerns about buying a Harley Benton HB-35Plus Vintage Burst guitar. After reading reviews of other buyers, I decided to buy it. About a month of waiting and the guitar appeared in stock. Another 2 weeks of being sent to Russia and the guitar is in my hands.
They delivered to me exactly the same guitar as in the picture. It is very well made in quality. The neck is perfectly straight. All frets are sanded, it is clear that the guitar went through pre-sale preparation. Strings do not ring or cling to frets when played. Guitar tuners have a small gear ratio, which lengthens the tuning time of the guitar.
Humbuckers have a coil cutoff which allows for a wide variety of sounds from Les Paul to Telecaster.
This is my first semi-acoustic guitar and I absolutely love it.
The sound is very pleasant even though this is a guitar that costs less than 200 euros.
You need to understand when buying that this is not an acoustic guitar and without connection it will sound quiet. The empty cavities are found only on the sides of the case where the holes are cut. in the place of the pickups and the bridge is a mahogany block.
The guitar has a significant weight.
This guitar was purchased for home use.
To my incredible pleasure, I did not find any downsides in it. Only pluses in everything.
I am not a professional musician and I think this is the most beautiful instrument for amateur home playing.
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My Best Harley Benton - so far
Johnny D, 13.01.2017
HB-35Plus Vintage Burst

Pros:
Price, Finish, Features, Fretboard, 3-way switch location, Output Jack location, Electric Sound, Frets

Neutral:
Frets, Acoustic Sound, Coil Tap feature , A few little blemishes, Strings

Cons:
Strings, Pick Guard

My 4th Harley Benton.
As always, ordering from Thomann?s website was easy and with Paypal convenience. The shipment took roughly 2 weeks from Germany to US/Florida (Christmas/New Year time).
The shipping box was damaged but, all items in the box were in good shape, no product damage!

Initial inspection was pleasing. The finish is very good on a product of this price. It is not perfect, but for this price it is better than I expected. The overall finish is smooth and nicely buffed to a high gloss. As for defects, only a few little specs in the clear, and a small blemish in the wood grain on the back of the guitar, roughly 1/2" long. Not really an issue for this price guitar, and it?s on the back.

The fretboard on this guitar is the best of the 4 Harley Benton's I now have. The fingerboard doesn't appear to have any stain coating as my other guitars had. The rosewood is natural, and has nice grain, however it appears a bit dry.
The block inlays are nicely cut and installed. They fit smoothly to the surface of the fingerboard.
The fret work on this guitar is good, but not finished. The frets appear to be raw fret wire pressed in an dressed on the ends only, but not finished beyond that point. They are clean and free of the crusty buildup my other HB's suffered from.
Sighting down the neck, there appears to be no offensively high, nor low frets, and a quick chromatic run up each string resulted no serious buzzing. I should mention this was done after the action was lowered.
As it arrived, the action was set very high, playable, but not ideal. I roughly lowered the bridge until some buzzing was noticeable, then raise the action ever so slightly.

The neck binding is very good as well, only one small area that is a bit rough between the frets. This can easily be smoothed off, so no real issue.

The strings are better than most I've received, but still not great. They don't feel rough or corroded, but lack brightness when played. I believe this inhibits the acoustic sound of the guitar out of the box. Better strings should make a noticeable difference.

The tuners are closed back, smooth and uniform in function and stay in tune (so far). They all appear to be well produced and bare no branding.

The pick guard - Every review I have read, seen or heard, has complained about the pick guard. I'm no different. It is poorly produced, irregularly-irregular shaped, rough-edged, makes the guitar look very cheap due to the rough unfinished appearance. Two screws and it is now off the guitar.

The coil tap (split) volume pots, cut the humbucker(s) to a single coil(s). As with my HB SC450Plus, I don't think the feature is as prominent as I had hoped, but it does work.

The f-holes are nicely cut and finished on this guitar, some wiring is visible through the f-hole, but of no concern.

The nut appears to be the standard HB plastic cast variety. The string spacing is fine, but may require the string slots to be opened up a little.

The pickups are Wilkinson covered humbuckers. The sound pretty good for stock pickups, especially at this price point.
As for sound, the pickups are fine for now, plugged in the guitars sounds very good (to me). Acoustically, the guitar is a little dull, probably the stings. Remember, it is a thin semi-hollow body as well, not a full bodied acoustic.

The output jack is in a location I prefer over an ES-335. The jack is placed through the wooden side. As it arrived, the jack is neatly installed and tight. I should also mention I like the location of the 3-way switch on this guitar over the 335. If you plan to add a tremolo (think Bigsby), the location of the switch on this guitar just seems better. It won?t be under the trem bar.

The strap buttons are very basic standard style, one at the end, the other on the back of the neck heel.

Recap.
The negatives are minor, a couple small spots in the finish, and a little rough spot on the neck binding in one area as well.
The frets are good, but need to be finished. It's playable, but could easily be much better.
The controls, pickups and tuners all work well, and for the price are quite nice.
This is the best finished Harley Benton I've purchased, it is also the most expensive Harley Benton I've purchased.

What really needs to be done to this guitar?
Finish crown and polish the frets, possibly adjust the neck relief, put on some new strings and check/set the intonation.
And, I might prefer a better 3-way switch. The stock switch works, but feels a little cheap.
Of course, this guitar can be played without any of these changes.

I'm giving it 5 stars because the few blemishes are of no concern on a guitar of this price. The frets aren't finished, but can easily be finished. Overall the total value of the guitar is greater than what it cost. A numerical rating would be 8/10, but the star scale it gets 5/5 for having everything, with minor finishing touches needed.

Please remember, this guitar costs just under $200, it's not $400, $500, $1000 or more. If you expect a $1000 guitar quality, then buy a $1500 guitar. Yep, you read that right.

With a little finishing, this is easily a $400 guitar, or more.
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Not what I ordered - otherwise OK...
ZigM, 22.10.2019
The guitar advertised on the Thomann website depicts a 335-style guitar with a pronounced AAAA-grade tiger/flame maple top in cherry burst. The guitar I got was a brown burst and the tiger/flame maple is barely visible. It's like ordering a red shirt with a big fat logo visible but you get a black shirt with a miniature logo on the sleeve that no one can see. Not good. Not what I ordered. Not what I wanted!

Don't get me wrong. The overall build quality of the guitar (i.e. body, neck, fretwork, pickups) is amazing. But the neck pickup tone pot and output jack were loose - flopping around. The strings were rusty, the frets had gunk on them and the action was only good for slide guitar - but I don't play slide! I tightened the pot and jack, polished the frets, oiled the fret board and put on new strings. But I ask you (Thomann), why put QC tags on all your guitars if you don't actually QC them? I still have the tag if anyone's interested? I can teach you, if you want?

None of the guitars I received to date were properly set up. There was always an issue: either yucky, dirty fret-board with rusty strings, faulty electronics, poorly adjusted vibrato etc. I consider that 'verarschung'. Look it up in German.

It's not that I dislike the guitar colour etc. It's the fact that I was expecting what I had ordered. To date, the images of the guitar you probably won't get (i.e. if you order it) are still there . There is no mention that the product you will receive could vary substantially in colour and in the quality of the AAAA-grade tiger/flame top.

The Harley Benton HB-35Plus Vintage Burst is an extremely good guitar, albeit with some issues that were resolved. Seriously, this guitar is in no way inferior to the brand guitar that this guitar was modeled on. The original 335s I played in the 1980's weren't really better. Some had so many problems...brrr. OK, so the electronics (not the pickups) suck in this guitar. But that can be rectified. The Roswell pickups (switchable to single coil) are very good.

Had I received a properly set-up guitar with the advertised AAAA-grain and colour as advertised, I would have given 5 stars easily. Had the website been updated, I would have also added points. Alas, it is only 1 star.
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Punching Way Above its Weight
Phil-Leeds-UK, 28.02.2018
I received my HB35Plus VB last week and was amazed at how good this is for 218 Euro. This was a birthday treat and I had promised myself an Epiphone ES 339 VS. I went into town a few days before buying this HB35Plus to test the ES 339 and was a little disappointed with it. The finish wasn't that good and there looked to be a growing crack where the neck meets the body. So I decided to think about it some more and subsequently decided to go for the slightly larger bodied HB35 Plus from Thomann who I had bought from before. I am so glad I did. I was prepared for it not being perfect out of the box, given some of the picky negatives we see about these. But I was so pleasantly surprised when it arrived. The figured top is beautiful, the sunburst is well sprayed on the front, back, and sides, there's no weeping into the cream binding - which is perfect by the way, even around the f holes. The neck is just perfect for my fretting hand and on the subject of frets, having made a guitar or two in my time, I can say that these are very well placed and finished both on the fret and on the bevelled edges. The inlays are attractive (as they should be - block is the easiest to inlay), the decals on the headstock are central and the generic tuning pegs seem sturdy and able to hold their position well. The HB35 could have been played straight out of the box after a little bit of string tuning, but I prefer a lower action so I adjusted it to suit me. Now I have what I would call a perfect guitar. The Roswell humbuckers combined with the 3-way pickup selector, the 2 tone control, and the push/pull coil split volume controls, work perfectly with my Vox AC30 and provide all the combinations I'm ever likely to need at the level I play. Crikey, even the pick guard is reasonably well cut on mine. Overall, I cannot fault this guitar. There's so much more here than the price point would suggest and I would wholeheartedly recommend this to anyone. I would also recommend Thomann. I ordered this late on Friday and it was delivered to my home the following Wednesday. This is the same excellent service I'd received when I bought my Epiphone EJ 200 CE from them.
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First purchase and outstanding!
StrummingSteve, 03.01.2020
I am an intermmediate level player and It was with some degree of uncertainty that I ordered from Thomann. My first more important online purchase / the international shipping to Canada and concerns of damage and not sure of taxes or duties / my first Thomann purchase / and the attractive pricing versus what I would receive? Well absolutely everything has been perfect! Purchase and regular communication very good and easy. The guitar arrived without a mark and simply looks and feels fantastic. The QA and set up by “Ray” was good out of the box. The HB 35 Plus partnered with my Vox Valvetronix sounds terrific. While I am big on supporting my local services and suppliers, a similar spec guitar locally is minimum 2X the price.......Thomann have earned my next order.
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Great value!
theophanya, 15.10.2020
Do not fool yourself. This is a great instrument right out of the box. It feels like a 335 and delivers in spades. Much better setup and action from factory/store than my 2k$ Fender I bought from Guitar Center. Slightly heavier than I expected, but way more sustain than I expected. Highly recommended if you're looking at a 335 style guitar at an awesome price.
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Hidden Gem
Koz, 24.05.2017
Brilliant value and rapidly becoming one of my favourites.

Most of my guitars are basses. I already had a Fender Strat but I'd always wanted a 335 or something 335'ish. After seeing the video reviews of these HB35s I thought I'd take a chance on one.
I was not disappointed, she came out of the box playable and looked great; not counting THAT pick guard...
Finish is good and everything works. That sunburst is luscious.

Cons
Fret ends needed a little finishing; just slightly catchy here and there. Not horribly sharp.
To get her playing a little lower took a bit of fettling with the neck and the frets.
A little work brought her nearer the kind of spec one might expect to see on an American made guitar of this type.

Pick guard - that had to come off. Horrible shape, not well finished. After I was sure I would be keeping her, I remodelled the guard to take off that terrible horn and give it a more convention outline. I put a proper radius on the bottom end too. She looked good with no pick guard but now she just looks... right.

There was one little bit of transit damage.
One of the strings must have taken a knock in transit somewhere and was giving a curious buzz on just one fret. At first I thought it was a fret problem but upon magnified inspection I could see the dent was in the string. Thomann sorted that one with no fuss. Strings replaced.

Plays great, looks great. Tuning is stable. I'm very happy with her. going between her and my Strat, there is no feeling of a drop in quality or feel.
The pups are strong; I find they sound better when set lower rather than too close. Raising the poles (except the G and B) gives a brighter tone than just flat.
I put marvel strap locks on her just to be safe.

This experience has encouraged me to buy two more Harley Bentons; an SC-450 P90 GT (sweet) and a TE-70 Paisley (yet to get my hands on).

Somebody stop me !!! 8^)
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pcanarsky, 11.10.2020
Absolutely love this guitar.

The woods, frets and finish are perfect. EXTREMELY well made.

Full transparency: Replaced pickups w/ Seymour Duncans, CTS pots, GraphTech nut, Guitar Fetish locking tuners, Gibson top hats.

And it is fabulous!!!!!!!!
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Pick of the litter
Texas Slim, 07.07.2020
i said i would never buy a guitar over the internet and definitely not one from China. i had a semi-hollow body guitar about 30 years ago and always wanted another one, but could not afford a four figure price tag. About 12 months ago, while surfing the web for used semi-hollow bodies, i stumbled across a video comparison between a branded semi-hollow body and a guitar called the HB-35Plus. The reviewer said he was shocked about how well the HB-35Plus compared. After spending 100+ hours reviewing multiple sources, reading guitar articles and weighing the pros and cons (very few) that other musicians had shared in their reviews I took the plunge and bought the HB-35Plus Vintage Burst. I can't say enough good about this guitar. The flamed maple arch top is beautiful, the sunburst is well sprayed on the front, back, and sides, there's no bleed over on the cream binding, even around the f holes. The hardware and the fretboard are good quality. The inlays are attractive and the machine heads are sturdy and easily hold a tune. Concerning the Fretboard; lack of quality of materials and craftmanship most often show up in a low priced guitar when building out the fretboard and setting the intonation , not this HB-35Plus. The guitar was right on the mark. This will not be my last Harley Benton.
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WOW!
KTMusic, 07.11.2020
The HB-35B is looks and sound amazing. I highly recommend for anyone who look for a hollow body.
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I couldn't be happier
Happy in California, 14.07.2020
I needed a swiss army knife "do everything" guitar that sounds particularly good with jazz and this HB-35plus totally fits the bill. I was worried that it might come messed up because of shipping all the way from Germany to the US in fairly light packaging, but it arrived completely flawless. I seriously can't find a single flaw on the guitar. It's intonated well and holds tune quite well. I've been playing it constantly for a week now and I'm just super impressed and happy with the quality and playability and sound given how affordable this guitar is. Thanks Thomann! Great job.
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Good guitar, amazing for the money.
HasNoName, 22.09.2020
Lets get it out of the way, its not a 1k$ guitar. Does it strike above its price range, sure. But still, it needs work.

the bad:
The bridge came uncut, the nut needed to be cut as well and after lowering the action the 8 upper frets turned out to be too high.
All in all I paid a 100 euro for the setup + elixir strings.
For what its worth according to the guitar tech guy, most new guitars have similar problems except MusicMan guitars and most of American PRSs.
You can see the wires in the f-holes =\
coil split is mostly useless for me.
Its heavy for a semi hollow (3.9kg!!) and the neck is fat, fatter than my les paul -- some might like that
The pots feel cheap but get the job done.

the good:
Well balanced, none of that neck diving.
Surprisingly good tuners.
Sounds great, soft and warm.
Playable out of the box and a joy to play after the setup.
Price is great --> With case, shipping, VAT and the setup it clocked at more than 400 euro. And that is still a good price for it. A similar guitar costs about 600-700 euro locally, without a case and would still need a setup.

Bottom line, its a good guitar for a great price.
If you want a semi hollow and don't plan playing standing up -- this one is a great choice!
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Pleasantly Surprised
CB..., 12.07.2019
So this is my first "China" non US made guitar. Simply there is nothing to complain about... I read a lot of reviews some good, some no so good. However I am pleasantly surprised. No it did not come with my brand of strings, but neither did my Gibson's or Fender's... The flame maple top is not as pretty as I would like, but the quality is good. It plays good, it sounds good, and I paid 10% of the price of a 335... So I say nice job!
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The Harley Benton HB-35Plus Vintage Burst
08.07.2016
I recently reviewed my Cherry version of the HB-35Plus, and now I will talk about my Vintage Burst. Of course, some of the review will be quite similar, but there was a difference outside of cosmetic, which I will get too. On with the review?

As I mentioned on the Cherry, this shipment of guitars and pedal took only 7 days to get here. This is from Thomann, Germany?to the central US. (Missouri) I have ordered in-country things that have taken longer to receive?I can?t explain it, but I love the fact this got here so quick!

A lot of folks in the US worry about the condition of their shipment. I guess the travel takes a toll on some orders, and I even know of a few instances where guitars were damaged. Everything arrived in great shape. No complaints at all!

Now, let?s talk about the guitar?

The looks?well, what do you expect? It?s a beautiful guitar. I?m a sucker for sunburst/vintage-burst guitars. This is beautiful?BUT, I don?t know why, the Cherry one I ordered seems to catch my eye a bit more. Something about it, with the shape?just looks better. But that is totally opinion?and nothing more. This sucker is still beautiful.

The neck on the HB-35 is different than what I am used too. It?s a thick neck, but not particularly wide. With the exception of one guitar I own, which has a rather wide neck, everything I own has a much smaller neck. I?m getting used to this bigger neck rather quickly, and I do like it. Bending strings feels like waving a magic wand, and I love it.

One BIG difference between the Vintage Burst and Cherry from this order?. I mentioned how the cherry might need some work on the nut. The open strings stayed in tune. The higher notes stayed in tune?but for whatever reason, the Cherry had some problems with the D chord. It always sounded sharp. The vintage burst didn?t have this problem at all. In fact, the action was a bit lower, and I didn?t find one problem while playing. Even while jamming acoustic, the guitar sounded beautiful.

The switch/knobs/bridge/tuners all work great. I haven?t found one problem with any of it.

Lastly,the Pickups/Coil-split... I absolutely love the neck pickup. It nails that hollowbody blues tone that I want to solo with. For me, it?s magic. The bridge pickup is fine. It works for chords and I don?t have any problem with it. As for the single coils? it?s a bit thin for my taste. I did hear some strat like tones?but I don?t play a hollowbody for that. Still, that?s an opinion thing. You may absolutely love it!

Overall, this is an amazing guitar. It?s beautiful. It?s affordable. It feels solid. It?s worth the money and then some. If you are looking for a good hollowbody guitar, you need to try one of these before spending a fortune on a big name guitar? you may find this as the instrument you are looking for!
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I love this guitar.
Tmc2019, 16.05.2019
Great guitar. I lowered the action (I like low action) on this and have about 3mm at the last fret. Had to level the frets for that low action (otherwise it did not need it). If you like low action and can do some work yourself, this is a great guitar. The only thing I might do in future is upgrade the pickups. I changed the tunners though. The stock ones were ok but with new tunners it brings the guitar to a much better state. Removed the pickguard (I thought it was ugly, but I dont like pick guards in general). I think Thomann should leave them in the box and whoever wants them can mount them. It would be great for us who hate them not to leave us with the 2 holes (not a big deal but why not). Finish on this one was perfect. I love it and I'm not getting rid of it ever. Thanks Thomann.
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big quality control issues
blues_brother, 23.10.2019
Well, the guitar is really astonishing cheap for a semi-hollow with Alnico PUs - unfortunately the quality appeared to be at the same, low level. Finish is not exactly as shown on Thomann pictures: back and sides are not see-through red-brown, they are solid black, so the colour is black burst. The headstock had significant damages of the lacque finish at the very top of it + there were small sratches here and there all over the body. 'Flamed' maple looked really cheap. But the main problem was with the wiring of the guitar - it produces tremendous hum beeing plugged even on the clean channel.
Thanks Thomann customer service team (its is brilliant as always!)- with their help HB35Plus was sent back to Thomann.
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Buyer beware in states and still waiting
Dissapointed , 31.10.2017
Thomann shipped the wrong product because they mislabeled it. Sent email no response. So called them said they would look into it. No response so called again, asked to send pictures. Pictures sent and no response so called again. Asked to send guitar back unless costs more than 60 euros. Emailed cost would be 133 euros. No response so called them again. They said they will send someone to pick up guitar sol waiting for guitar to be picked up and receive guitar I ordered.
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Nice sounding guitar let down by poor QC
damo, 24.09.2019
I'll keep it as brief as possible.


In terms of fit and feel compared to my old HB-35 standard (black)

Weight feels the same, overall feel is very similar.

On this one there are a few QC issues.

Blackened strings
A mix of tight and slippy tuners
Fret ends poorly finished, some look badly cut, some have filling visible around the fret end and the binding

Binding has some cracks and may have been damaged in places during fret finishing.

Crack in the nut plus loads of little plastic cuttings from the nut cutting process.

I've had to return several damaged guitars recently and I added a note to my order asking for careful packing.

Instead, my guitar arrived with only one crumpled piece of the brown packing paper Thomann use. It's almost like someone didn't like me asking for careful packing and did the opposite.

Thomann customer service has been good generally, my buying experiences have been mixed over the last while. Overall I am satisfied with the guitar, I contacted Thomann and they gave me a discount to reflect the QC issues.
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Harley Benton HB-35Plus Vintage Burst
Juha8152, 27.10.2020
Thinking Semi-Acoustic for a while, and buying Harley Benton also?When this was available I jump in...And was a good buy.

Sound, quality, etc. are good...The action was a little high, nothing else.

If you looking for good, affordable guitar...This is one option.
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Harley Benton HB-35Plus Vintage Burst
Harley Benton HB-35Plus Vintage Burst/Case Bundle, 22.08.2020
Upon arrival, the outer shipping box was torn in multiple places, so I was apprehensive about the condition of the guitar inside. The double boxing worked to perfection! The HB box was in pristine condition and so was the guitar inside. There were no blemishes in the finish nor any damage anywhere on the guitar. The guitar was slightly out of tune but considering the distance that this traveled, and the condition of the outer shipping box, no problem there!
My only complaint:
There was glue residue on the pick guard and one of the edges was rough. An easy fix! Otherwise, I would have rated this a five star purchase.
I will be purchasing another Harley Benton in the future.
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Unbelievable value!
RicRig, 18.07.2017
This is probably my favorite guitar of all harley bentons, excellent quality for the price.

Appearance: I love the color and the flamed top is really beautiful, there are minor imperfections in the finish mainly on the neck binding that shows some tiny cracks, nothing problematic but a little disappointing.

Hardware: Pickups with good sound, medium gain, and with split coils which adds great versatility. Pots and switch work without problem. Reasonable bridge, not great, but it works. Tuners, I think it's the weakest part, maybe the best upgrade for this guitar.

Sound: Everything I was looking for, medium gain guitar with a warm sound... great sounds from jazz to rock.

Playability: It's a large sized guitar but relatively comfortable to play, has good access to the highest notes and is not too heavy.

Almost forgot, the pikguard ... humm I really do not understand why they put it on the guitar, it's a disgrace.

Overall it's a great guitar, almost fantastic ...
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Amazing Value
JonoQ, 23.07.2020
I've had this guitar for about a month. It came well packaged and the finish is excellent. Fret markers were perfectly placed and there is an overall feeling of quality. The humbucker PUs are great with a very nice range of tones and while the switch to single coil sounds a bit thin without effects, it takes distortion well. For the price, this guitar is amazing. The only thing i will change are the strings, which are a bit dull, but dont let that put you off.
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a fantastic guitar for fantastic price
bstingrayz, 18.08.2018
Almost a Gibson ! for the price payed it's a GGREAT piece kit.I could say its a poor mans Gibson.It is guitar of your dreams
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mikelly, 10.10.2018
started playing in 1973.i play my H B more than my gibson
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HB 35 Plus
JFitz, 06.01.2020
I got the HB-35 for Christmas this year. My friends have been over since to hear it and play it as well. I love the instrument, it is high quality and I believe it to play better than the Gibson model. My friends agree and are looking for their own HB guitars. Of course, I send them to ThomannUSA!
Your guitar is its own salesperson. Everyone I have shared my axe with is impressed as well. I will be returning for more. I have my heart set on a T-style.
Harley-Benton guitars are excellent sounding and playing, and are beautifully finished instruments.
Regards,
JFitz
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Harley Benton HB-35Plus Vintage Burst

238 €
Including VAT; Excluding 20 € shipping
In stock within about one week
In stock within about one week

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

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