Harley Benton SC-450 P90 GT Classic Series

Electric Guitar

  • Classic Series
  • Body: Basswood
  • Arched top
  • Set-in neck: Maple
  • Neck profile: C
  • Fretboard: Blackwood
  • Fretboard radius: 350 mm
  • Trapezoid fretboard inlays
  • Cream coloured bindings on the body and neck
  • 22 Frets
  • Scale: 628 mm
  • Nut width: 43 mm
  • Double-action truss rod
  • Pickups: 2 Classic P90 ceramic single coils
  • 3-Way pickup selector switch
  • 2 Volume knobs and 2 tone knobs
  • Chrome hardware
  • Tune-o-matic bridge
  • Enclosed diecast machine heads
  • Strings: Harley Benton .010 - .046
  • Colour: gold top high-gloss
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Audio Examples

 
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  • Blues
  • Metal
  • Rock

Further Information

Colour Gold
Body Basswood
Top Basswood
Neck Maple
Fretboard Blackwood
Frets 22
Scale 628 mm
Pickups P90, P90
Tremolo None
Incl. Case No
Incl. Gigbag No

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Our most popular Single Cut Guitars
314 Customer Ratings
  • 5
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  • 1
4.5 /5
  • features
  • sound
  • quality
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features
sound
quality
Wow, wow, and WOW!
Tim In The States, 07.02.2019
I've been playing for 47 years now as both a semi-pro and amateur/hobbyist, and a lot of great instruments have passed though my hands over the years. This is one of them. If you have some basic knowledge of how to properly setup, care for, and modify guitars there is no reason you couldn't have a Les Paul every bit as good as the real thing. For me, the only modifications I've made was to 1) swap out the tuners as they had a tendency to not immediately catch or engage at times, and 2) put on an Earvana Compensating Nut (which I automatically do to ALL my guitars). There was nothing wrong with the intonation and, in fact, the intonation was perfectly setup right out of the box! However, I mostly play around the first 4 frets where intonation is problematic on ANY guitar (even $20,000 ones!) and the Earvana solves that problem. Regardless of the "catching" problem, the tuners did work and the guitar had no problems staying in tune. I choose to replace the tuners with the Wilkinson EZ-LOK tuners which retail for about $20 USD and work great, so it hasn't proven to be a deal-breaker.

The fit and finish are simply flawless! This is a beautiful looking instrument. My "gold" top is actually a little more on the copper side (too much red pigment?), but I've come to really like it this way. It still looks fantastic and it makes mine unique (I hope)!

As far as the neck and frets go: I see no issues whatsoever with the neck or frets. Frets are smooth and polished with no sharp ends. The neck feels and plays simply great. for those concerned about neck-dive, this model is well-balanced and there is no neck-dive with it. One thing I especially like about the neck is that the headstock is at a 14° angle like the Epiphones and not 17° like the Gibsons. This means there's less (unnecessary) tension on the neck/headstock so that the neck is more resistant to breaking while still providing all the tension you need. Why Gibson continues to use a 17° is beyond me as it's completely unnecessary and only weakens the neck. The SC-450 also has a scarf joint which aids GREATLY in preventing neck breakage. Yes, I like scarf joints and you should too. Nice touch, Thomann!

The inlays are perfect and centered. The bindings are perfect with no gaps or marring.

The weight is pretty hefty although not as heavy as an actual Les Paul.

The electronics, knobs, and switches are all solid and there are no problems there. The P90 pickups, which is WHY I got this particular gold top model are simply luscious! Nice beefy sound with a nice tonal range. Everything you'd want in a classic P90. If you know P90s you either love them or hate them. I love P90s and the Roswells are outstanding. Yes, they're a bit noisy, but that's all P90s (which is why some people hate them). You learn to deal with the hum because nothing else sounds like a P90. This thing grinds/rocks like a champion!

The bridge and tailpiece are solid and I see no problems there.

This guitar just smacks of amazingly good quality and craftsmanship and it astounds me as to how Thomann can do this for so little money! This is my first experience with an Harley Benton Les Paul and based on this I will be buying more HB Les Pauls. Right now I'm looking at that beautiful white one!
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Needs some work
Keysblues, 29.10.2020
First of all a disclaimer, this guitar was playable as received but, it needs work to be a professional quality instrument. I'll start from the top on down. The tuners are Gotoh style keystone tuners, the ratio is 14:1. This is acceptable, no problems with them. Next is the nut, it was well cut, strings move smoothly while tuning. The strings themselves were no name brand 10's. I always use D'darios. Next the fretboard, as other reviews mentioned the black comes off on your fingers, after using lemon oil applied 2X this was not a problem. The frets were O.K. no buzzing but I polished them. The neck itself was perfect. Intonation was spot on. Hardware was good for this price point. Next the electronics. The pickup selector switch was wobbly, it worked but not what I would want on any guitar I was playing out with. Next the pots, they are mini, I don't have a problem with mini pots, but these had to be replaced, as the tone pots were either on or off, they did not taper the tone. As I was going to replace the pickup switch anyhow, I replaced the pots along with them, and shielded the cavities while I was at it. Next the pickups, I love them, the only thing I did was remove the foam backing and replace it with springs. They are the coolest sounding P90's that I've played, sort of hot but not a big 60 cycle hum associated with P90's. Last, but not least, the cosmetics. The gold top is flawless. The model shipping now has a dark back, I like it all, bindings are perfect.
In summation, for $50 U.S. and some hours work, I was able to bring this up to a high standard guitar. Could I have played it out of the box? Sure, but with the upgrades that I mentioned, it plays like a guitar 5X it's price point. Anyone who has been longing for a P90 Goldtop, this could be the one for you.
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Perhaps the Best Value at Thomann!!!
RainerMaria, 11.06.2017
(This is actually the second one I had shipped to me, as the first one had a number of problems--uneven or "rippled" or "wavy" neck/fretboard, a visible shim in the neck joint, badly mismatched/miscolored body wood (and I mean BADLY mismatched--really light color with really dark color--visible a mile away). It was clearly B-stock or worse, and Thomann quickly remedied the problem (top-notch customer service, by the way!) by replacing it with a new one. So, this review is of the second one they sent me.)

I think either this model or the SC-450 Plus (if you need the mahogany body and neck) is the best guitar value at Thomann (I have both models now). After I bought the 450 Plus (which I absolutely loved!), I really wanted a model with P-90s. But I was a bit hesitant about the basswood body and maple neck (not certainly not classic les paul specs!). But after playing the SC-450 P90 GT back and forth with the SC-450 Plus, I really can't hear much of a difference. Maybe the Plus sounds a wee bit "tighter" and the P90 a wee bit "looser," but that may also come down to the difference in pickups. IMO, the tone character is in the same ballpark, and the P90 model sounds as much like a classic les paul as the Plus model. So don't let the basswood dissuade you from buying it.

I really, really love these guitars. The price is absurdly low. But the quality strikes me as being about 3 times what it actually costs. The contoured heel makes a big difference in terms of playability. I love it. Fit and finish is excellent (there is a bit of wood "scratching" that you can see in one spot under the gold sparkle finish, but you have to really, really be looking for it to notice it). It's fretting out a bit around the 14th or 15th fret, but that should be remedied with a professional setup, which nearly all new guitars need anyway. The pickups are surprisingly nice sounding for such a cheap guitar. I assume they are ceramic. But they sound really nice--raunchy and growly, but they also clean up real sweetly. I already had an alnico II P90 to put in the neck, and an alnico firebird to put in the bridge (Neil Young-style), so I'll be doing that shortly. But it's a solid player as is. Pots also seem solid. No problems there. I'm planning on putting a cheap Chinese bigsby-style tremolo on it (just to go full Neil Young or Daniel Lanois). If I weren't, I'd probably upgrade the bridge with a Gotoh or something like that, because the stock bridge appears to be on the cheap side. I'll also be upgrading the nut with a tusq. I haven't yet made up my mind on the tuners. So far, they seem to be good enough. I'll revisit them after I upgrade the other stuff.

In other words, I see this as an excellent guitar for modding. For the price, it can't be beat. Apart from the cheap components (bridge and nut in particular), it's a real solid guitar to build on. The neck feels great in the hands and the body has a lot of les paul heft to it. Good resonance, sustain and mid-rangey and growly les paul tone. Highly recommended.
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Just rediculous!
23.02.2017
Like a lot of people I'm passing through the "How do they do that?" phase with HB guitars. This is my second and will not be my last. I know Thomann have cut out lots of middle men in the process of the guitar being designed, made, distributed, and being in your hands, which significantly reduces the price, but it still feels ridiculous/unfeasible to have a guitar that sounds this good, and plays this well, for this amount of money.

When I was young, which was a long time ago, cheap guitars were unbelievably bad in every way, and still give me nightmares. These HBs good enough for me to stop buying posh brands and have a larger, more diverse, and interesting collection.

The science bit/scores on the doors.

Positives:
Finish 99%, as good as anything else I have with nothing out of place. The basswood body is a nice change from mahogany, and the back colour is lighter than the photos.

Sounds/Pickups 200%, they do what a P90 should from jazzy clean to high gain via classic rock and with no hum from my amp. No need to change these at all, for me these are the stand out feature and put this guitar way futher up my goto list than expected.

Playability 90%, I have do guitars with a lower action, but not by much, and they cost lots more, or were professionally set up. I also have guitars with a higher action which also play well.

Intonation is accurate and better than some more expensive guitars I have with chords beyond 12th fret still sounding correct.

Hardware is functional and does what it is supposed to with the guitar remaining in tune despite my aggressive playing style.

The neck joint deserves a specific mention as it is much nicer than a bolt-on and gives better access than other designs.

Price, I'm still coming to terms with how good value this was, especially as I had a few vouchers resulting in almost 50% off an already well priced guitar.

Negatives are very few and minor...
The control pots do stick out of the body more than the HB Deluxe range, a small cosmetic thing.

Others observations:
The frets are a tiny bit taller than average in my collection.
It needed new strings as originals were 9s, and I broke 1 fairly quickly (aggressive playing style/heavy pic/etc). With nut oil and my preferred 10s tuning is stable and no more string breaks.
The neck is a fairly large C and out of the box I thought "oh dear, not my bag". 30 seconds after plugging in I had forgotten as it disappears under your fingers when playing. It is thicker than the 60s neck on the HB Deluxe range.
2 day delivery to the UK.

Rather than costing many thousands and being a "true historic, 60s reissue, hand made in the USA, custom shop, weight relieved, hot glued, blessed by St.Paul, blah, blah, blah, blah....", this is just an honest, good quality, affordable instrument, that sounds great.

More of that please.

P.s. I'm not an HB fanboy, but like many vids on YT the price/quality combination is shockingly good.
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Show variations of this product
Harley Benton SC-450 P90 GT Classic Series
(314)
Harley Benton SC-450 P90 GT Classic Series
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166 €

Electric Guitar Classic Series, Body: Basswood, Arched top, Set-in neck: Maple, Neck profile: C, Fretboard: Blackwood, Fretboard radius: 350 mm, Trapezoid fretboard inlays, Cream coloured bindings...

Harley Benton SC-450 BK Classic Series
(90)
Harley Benton SC-450 BK Classic Series
to the product
144 €

Electric Guitar Classic series, Body: Basswood, Arched top, Set-in neck: Maple, Fretboard: Roseacer, Trapezoid inlays, Fretboard radius: 350 mm, Neck profile: C, Cream bindings on body and neck, 22...

166 €
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