Harley Benton SC-450Plus VB Vintage Series

Electric Guitar

  • Vintage Series
  • Body: Mahogany
  • Arched top: AAA flamed maple
  • Set-in neck: Mahogany
  • Neck profile: C
  • Fretboard: Blackwood
  • Fretboard radius: 350 mm
  • Trapezoid inlays
  • Cream coloured bindings on the body and neck
  • 22 Frets
  • Scale: 628 mm
  • Nut width: 43 mm
  • Double-action truss rod
  • Pickups: 2 Roswell LAF Alnico-5 vintage style humbuckers
  • 3-Way pickup selection switch
  • 2 Volume knobs (push / pull coil split) and 2 tone knobs
  • Chrome-plated DLX hardware
  • DLX Tune-o-matic bridge
  • DLX Kluson-style machine heads
  • Strings: D'Addario EXL .010 - .046
  • Colour: Vintage burst
  • Finish: High gloss
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Further information

Colour Sunburst
Body Mahogany
Top Maple
Neck Mahogany
Fretboard Blackwood
Frets 22
Scale 628 mm
Pickups HH
Tremolo None
Incl. Case No
Incl. Bag No

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168 customer ratings:
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4.6 / 5.0
  • features
  • sound
  • quality
136 written ratings Read all reviews
Total
features
sound
quality

An amazing bargain

ZoltanP, 26.12.2015
I'm a passionate Les Paul lover and sunburst afficionado, and this guitar looked just insanely pretty for the ridiculous price so I impulse bought it to see what it's actually worth as an instrument. In short:

- Out of the box, it's a very decent beginner's instrument so beautiful that you'll want to pick it up again as soon as you put it down.

- With a bit of care you can make it even prettier by addressing the minor blemishes that are to be expected from a guitar in this price range.

- If you're prepared to invest a little more money for a couple of replacement parts and quite some time and elbow grease to really upgrade it, you'll be as amazed as I am now.

Pros:
- gorgeous looks;
- unbelievable price point;
- very comfortable neck, much more accessible on the high end than a regular Les Paul;
- very decent tuners and stop bar tailpiece;
- warm PAF flavoured alnico pick-ups;
- robust and reliable selector switch;
- fine and smooth volume pots;
- very nice pot knobs;
- good quality nut;
- very nicely machined, filled and lacquered mahogany body and neck;
- real massive maple cap with fine flamed veneer;
- overall quite good setup out of the box.

Cons:
- stock Tune-o-matic bridge unworthy of this nice guitar;
- rather raspy frets and quite coarse fretboard spoiling bends and vibratos;
- cheap looking plastics;
- minor dents and blemishes on the otherwise nice finish;
- smooth but not very articulate tone pots;
- some loose screws here and there;
- a bit rusty strings out of the box.

The list of pros is quite amazing for the price you pay, and I could address most of the list of cons with a bit of effort. In something like 5 hours of work, I did the following:

- I replaced the bridge and its posts with a Gotoh GE103B-T C kit (33¤ at Thomann);
- I applied Loctite to all screws around the body (cavity covers, strap pins, pick-up rings) and tightened them;
- I replaced the thin plastic washers under the strap pins with thicker rubber ones;
- For my personal aesthetics preferences, I replaced the switch plate (the "RHYTHM/TREBBLE" one) with a finer looking Gibson spare (4,88¤) and the bulky hexagonal securing nut of the switch with a leaner round and dented one;
- I filed down the protruding molding flash from plastics like the pick-up rings and the jack socket cover;
- I filed the edges of the trussrod cover to an angle so that the 3-ply structure (black-white-black) became apparent to look much nicer;
- I very lightly wet-sanded the entire fretboard smooth with lemon oil and 600grit sandpaper, debuffed with 1000grit steelwool and soaked in lemon oil overnight;
- Using fret rubber, I polished up all frets to a shiny finish, removing the dull and raspy coating they came with;
- To take full advantage of the beautiful vintage burst around the whole body, I removed the scratchplate and plugged and painted the screwholes to conceal them;
- I restrung with Dean Markley Custom Light 9-46;
- and I set up action, intonation and neck relief.

The end result is such that I must give the guitar a total of five stars no less. With the exception of the tone pots which I did not bother to replace, every item on my cons list was addressed. Now the guitar looks amazing, and even more importantly it plays unbelievably smoothly and well. From a playability and smoothness aspect it is actually perfectly on a par with my original Gibson Les Paul Standard (how ridiculous is that!!!), and comfort-wise it is even better because of the less bulky and more accessible neck joint. The pick-ups have less bite and edge than today's Burstbuckers but they still do a very decent job capturing the vintage alnico humbucker feel.

Overall:

- If you're a beginner, this is a very good choice to start with.

- If you're a more advanced player, it's an equally good choice. Just make sure you polish the frets and sand the fretboard nice and silky, and you'll get the axe to an unbeatable level of smoothness and comfort, perfectly fit for practice, studio and stage use.

- And if you're passionate, this is the perfect beautiful guitar to upgrade into a monster. If you do nothing else but the mods I made, you will still have spent less than 200¤ in total, and what you'll get is a guitar that looks, feels and plays at least as good as instruments worth six to ten times this price. Honestly, mine easily beats Custom Epiphones any time, and it neither looks, nor feels cheap even if I compare it to a Gibson.

With such value for money, buying a setneck mahogany Harley Benton SC is just a no-brainer! Everybody should go for it!
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Total
features
sound
quality

A Stunning Value!!!

07.04.2017
I bought this guitar based on the overwhelmingly positive reviews here and on Youtube. My experience has been no different. Don't let the brand or the "made in China" fool you: It's just a great guitar. It's true worth is probably at least twice (or even three times?) what you can buy one for here.

The pickups are warm and open sounding. They go from clean and articulate to growly and aggressive when overdriven. Vintage voiced and suits my taste perfectly. Classic les paul sound.

The switches and pots seem solid enough. The coil tapping feature is a nice touch. The fit and finish is excellent. It's a gorgeous guitar! I did find one very small stain imperfection in the flame top, but you can only see it if you're really, really looking for it. One of the tuners (for the G string) isn't very reliable. That one seems to be always slipping out of tune. But that could have more to do with the nut, I really don't know. (or even the string winding--I haven't replaced the factory strings yet) But I do plan to upgrade the nut anyway (probably to a Graphtech) and also the bridge (to a Gotoh) (and maybe even the tuners, if the new nut and bridge doesn't solve the tuning issue on the G). Since the rest of the guitar is of such solid quality, I think these upgrades would be good investments.

In terms of playability, this is probably what I love most about this guitar. It's just so comfortable in my hands, even though the neck is a bit chunkier than that of the strats I own. The contoured heel makes a huge difference, correcting one of the main problems I've always had in the past when thinking about buying a les paul. It's so much more comfortable to play at the 15th fret and higher.

Anyway, it's just a great all around guitar for any level of player. I've been playing for 25 years and have had guitars from all different price ranges and this guitar is certainly nothing to scoff at. And it would be a perfect budget platform for getting creative with pickup and electronic upgrades. It defies logic that Thomann can sell these at this price level. I'm extremely happy with it and plan to buy another one very soon.
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Show variations of this product
Harley Benton SC-450Plus VB Vintage Series
(168)
Harley Benton SC-450Plus VB Vintage Series
to the product
166 €

Electric Guitar Vintage Series, Body: Mahogany, Arched top: AAA flamed maple, Set-in neck: Mahogany, Neck profile: C, Fretboard: Blackwood, Fretboard radius: 350 mm, Trapezoid inlays, Cream...

  • Colour: Sunburst
  • Body: Mahogany
  • Top: Maple
  • Neck: Mahogany
  • Fretboard: Blackwood
  • Frets: 22
  • Scale: 628 mm
  • Pickups: HH
  • Tremolo: None
  • Incl. Case: No
  • Incl. Bag: No
Harley Benton SC-450Plus LD Vintage Series
(136)
Harley Benton SC-450Plus LD Vintage Series
to the product
166 €

Electric Guitar Vintage series, Body: Mahogany, Arched top: AAA flamed maple, Set-in neck: Mahogany, Neck profile: C, Fretboard: blackwood, Fretboard radius: 350 mm, Trapezoid fretboard inlays,...

  • Colour: Amber
  • Body: Mahogany
  • Top: Maple
  • Neck: Mahogany
  • Fretboard: Blackwood
  • Frets: 22
  • Scale: 628 mm
  • Pickups: HH
  • Tremolo: None
  • Incl. Case: No
  • Incl. Bag: No
Harley Benton SC-450Plus CB Vintage Series
(68)
Harley Benton SC-450Plus CB Vintage Series
to the product
166 €

Electric Guitar Vintage series, Body: Mahogany, Arched top: AAA flamed maple, Set-in neck: Mahogany, Neck profile: C, Fretboard: Blackwood, Fretboard radius: 350 mm, Trapezoid inlays,...

  • Colour: Sunburst
  • Body: Mahogany
  • Top: Maple
  • Neck: Mahogany
  • Fretboard: Blackwood
  • Frets: 22
  • Scale: 628 mm
  • Pickups: HH
  • Tremolo: None
  • Incl. Case: No
  • Incl. Bag: No
Harley Benton SC-450Plus HB Vintage Series
(100)
Harley Benton SC-450Plus HB Vintage Series
to the product
166 €

Electric Guitar Vintage series, Body: Mahogany, Arched top: AAA flamed maple, Set-in neck: Mahogany, Neck profile: C, Fretboard: Blackwood, Trapezoid inlays, Radius: 350 mm, Cream coloured bindings...

  • Colour: Sunburst
  • Body: Mahogany
  • Top: Maple
  • Neck: Mahogany
  • Fretboard: Blackwood
  • Frets: 22
  • Scale: 628 mm
  • Pickups: HH
  • Tremolo: None
  • Incl. Case: No
  • Incl. Bag: No
166 €
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