Harley Benton SC-550 Faded Tobacco Flame

Electric Guitar

  • Flame Deluxe series
  • Body: Mahogany
  • Arched top: AAAA Flamed maple
  • Set-in neck: Mahogany
  • Fretboard: Roseacer (thermally treated maple wood)
  • Neck profile: '60s
  • Radius: 350 mm
  • Pearloid trapezoid inlays
  • 22 Frets
  • Scale: 628 mm
  • Nut width: 43 mm
  • Bone nut
  • Pickups: 2x Roswell LAF Alnico-5 humbuckers
  • 2 x Volume and 2 x tone controls
  • 3-Way pickup toggle switch
  • DLX Chrome hardware
  • DLX Tune-o-matic bridge
  • DLX Wilkinson machine heads
  • Ex factory stringing: D'Addario EXL .010 - .046
  • Colour: Faded Tobacco
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  • Blues
  • Metal
  • Rock

Further information

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

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4.7 / 5.0
  • features
  • sound
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79 written ratings Read all reviews
Total
features
sound
quality

A Fantastic Guitar at a Fantastic Price.

micoli, 21.11.2017
I only play at home, and I love to upgrade parts, swap pickups and generally tinker with guitars to get them playing as well as possible. I have other Harley Benton guitars so I bought this guitar with the confidence that it would be a quality instrument, but if needed I could do any necessary work on it to get it playing how I like it.

First, let me tell you about the delivery. All my other HB guitars have only taken 3 days to arrive in the UK from the date of ordering, so I ordered it on a Monday thinking it would escape the weekend backlog in the delivery process and that it would arrive on Wednesday or Thursday. By Thursday it had only been dispatched and so it spent the weekend in a warehouse somewhere, finally being delivered on Tuesday. I anticipated the carton would look very battered as it had been hanging around the dispatch warehouse but it was in perfect condition when it was handed over to me.

When I opened the carton, my first impression was that the guitar was absolutely beautiful. The AAAA flamed maple top looks perfect and it matches along the centre seam as well, and even better than any guitar I've ever seen. There are no blemishes in the lacquer or on any of part of the paintwork or on the binding, so top marks there! It was almost in tune but the intonation was a little out on a couple of strings, which is generally a two minute job to fix. Except that in this case, the saddles have a very small locking nut for each string adjuster which I found was extremely fiddly as when I tightened the screw the nut also tightened, locking it in place. So I had to loosed the nut slightly, tighten the screw and then re-tighten the nut. But once sorted, it was OK.

The vintage tuners are probably the some of the best HB tuners I have used - they don?t go out off tune and feel solid without any slack areas in the tuning knobs. The tuning buttons are Jade green rather than the white/ivory shown on the Thomann web site. It's no big deal although I would have preferred the white buttons.

The bone nut is well cut and when in tune and the strings are fretted on the first fret, the notes are only very, very slight sharp, (which could be my tuner as all 6 strings are only slightly sharp by the same amount), but not enough for me to even consider deepening the grooves in the nut.

The frets were polished smooth, and the fret ends are not sharp at all, and have been nicely rounded off.

The inlays are very smooth and I can?t feel them when I?m fretting or bending a note. The Roseacer fretboard looks good and is smooth to the touch and does not need oiling as it is not dry at all. The sloping neck joint is a terrific design and allows easy access to the highest frets. The strings were set 1.5mm and 2.00mm for the high E and low E at the 12th fret and although generally I like them a little higher, it feels perfect for this guitar. The neck is what is described as a 60's profile, but to me is a shallow D shape and it took some getting used to after playing my HB TE-52 with a fat C shaped neck!

The body seems to be one piece of wood as I can?t see any joins anywhere. The neck has a scarf joint and has a two part heel, which is only just noticeable. The binding is a yellow cream and is slightly darker than the pickup surrounds and the 3 way switch. The chrome TOM bridge is good quality and I have no doubt will keep it?s shine for years to come. The strap buttons are standard but as I use rubber strap locks these work fine. I have ordered a pick-guard which I may or may not fit. I like the idea that it protects the body but I may not like the look of it and having to put 2 screw holes in the perfect body ? so I?ll see.

This guitar has great sustain due to the mahogany body, and coupled with the resonating in the body when played, it feels a far higher priced quality guitar than it actually is. The Wilkinson pickups have a very vintage twang, more so than I had anticipated. I like them but I may eventually swap them to more contemporary pickups ? just to see how they sound. The cavities have been shielded with graphite paint and the 3 way switch is a box shaped switch and has a solid feel.

My one and only criticism is that I would have liked to have binding on the headstock as well. However, I'm was aware of that when I ordered and also aware that the Gibson LP's the SC-550 imitates also doesn't, but it?s just my personal taste ? I love a bit of bling.

This is the fifth Harley Benton I have bought, (although one I bought from an auction site), and I have yet to be disappointed with the brand. So straight out of the box my SC-550 arrived in perfect condition and playable. In fact, except for adjusting the intonation, this is the first guitar I have ever bought from anyone, that I have not had to do anything to, or feel I need to upgrade parts. It has also been very well set up so I would like to thank Thomann for their efforts. It?s a great vintage sounding LP clone, which looks absolutely fantastic and is at a very affordable price. This guitar is worth every penny!
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Total
features
sound
quality

Good for the price, but don't expect miracles.

David_P, 08.03.2018
First impressions are great; the top may be a thin veneer but it looks truly gorgeous. The hardware seems to be fine: the tuners are stable, the pots and switch are smooth and sturdy, and the pickups sound decent.

It arrived set-up fairly well. Intonation was perfect, and while there was some slight fret buzz in places this was fixed by raising the saddle a tiny amount.

The construction quality is where the low price begins to show:
The neck binding has been half worn away - presumably when working on the frets - and looks rather poor from up close.
The truss rod cover and the input jack plate are not well fitted, in fact the latter does not sit flush with the curve of the body and looks like it was intended for a different guitar.
The nut has glue residue on the sides making it look a bit scruffy, and the neck's finish is scratched around it, suggesting the nut may have been refit in a hurry.

None of these issues are major and would have been fine on a B-stock guitar, but they're a little disappointing to see on a new one.

Nevertheless, they do not detract from a nice sounding guitar that's very hard to beat in this price range.
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Colour: Sunburst
Harley Benton SC-550 Faded Tobacco Flame
(93)
Harley Benton SC-550 Faded Tobacco Flame
to the product
259 €

Electric Guitar Flame Deluxe series, Body: Mahogany, Arched top: AAAA Flamed maple, Set-in neck: Mahogany, Fretboard: Roseacer (thermally treated maple wood), Neck profile: '60s, Radius: 350 mm,...

  • Colour: Sunburst
  • Body: Mahogany
  • Top: Maple
  • Neck: Mahogany
  • Fretboard: Roseacer
  • Frets: 22
  • Scale: 628 mm
  • Pickups: HH
  • Tremolo: None
  • Incl. Case: No
  • Incl. Bag: No
Harley Benton SC-550 Paradise Amber Flame
(101)
Harley Benton SC-550 Paradise Amber Flame
to the product
259 €

Electric Guitar Flame Deluxe series, Body: Mahogany, Arched top: AAAA flamed maple, Set in neck: Mahogany (Swietenia macrophylla king), Fretboard: Roseacer (thermally treated maple wood), Neck...

  • Colour: Amber
  • Body: Mahogany
  • Top: Maple
  • Neck: Mahogany
  • Fretboard: Roseacer
  • Frets: 22
  • Scale: 628 mm
  • Pickups: HH
  • Tremolo: None
  • Incl. Case: No
  • Incl. Bag: No
B-Stock from 238 € available
259 €
Incl. VAT; plus 20 € shipping
Free shipping from 298 €
In stock within 2-3 weeks
In stock within 2-3 weeks

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

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Phone: +49-9546-9223-20
FAX: +49-9546-9223-24
Offers include 24% Greek VAT and are valid as long as stocks last. Shipping costs to Greece are 20 EUR, free shipping on orders above 298 EUR. Please click here for international Shipping rates. We do not accept liability for typographical errors or inaccurate information of any kind. *RRP = manufacturer's / distributor's recommended retail price in Germany
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