Harley Benton SC-550 Faded Tobacco Flame

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Electric Guitar

  • Deluxe series
  • Weight relief chambered body: Mahogany (Swietenia meliaceae)
  • Arched top: AAAA flamed maple
  • Set-in neck: Mahogany (Swietenia macrophylla king)
  • Fretboard: Roasted jatoba
  • Neck profile: '60s
  • Fretboard radius: 350 mm (13.78")
  • Pearloid trapezoid inlays
  • 22 Frets
  • Scale: 628 mm (24.72")
  • Nut width: 43 mm (1.69")
  • ABS nut
  • Pickup: 2 Roswell LAF AlNiCo-5 humbuckers
  • 2 Volume controls and 2 tone controls
  • 3-Way pickup selector switch
  • DLX chrome hardware
  • DLX Tune-o-matic bridge
  • DLX Wilkinson machine heads
  • Colour: Faded tobacco
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Audio Examples

 
0:00
  • Blues
  • Metal
  • Rock

Further Information

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

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328 Customer Ratings
  • 5
  • 4
  • 3
  • 2
  • 1
4.7 /5
  • features
  • sound
  • quality
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features
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Finally: an inexpensive Les Paul copy that impresses!
DannyP, 18.02.2020
I’ve been playing guitar since 1992. The so-called “big” brands (Fender, Gibson, Ibanez, Epiphone, Yamaha) and the usual guitar types (Les Pauls, SG’s, Strats, superstrats, Teles). And to be honest, I’ve always been quite picky. There was a time that I truly believed that NO guitar below the 1000 € mark could be any good (which is silly of course). I bet this sounds familiar to some of you. :)

So, choosing this highly affordable Harley Benton guitar wasn’t the most obvious choice. But here we are: after reading tons of great reviews I decided to give the SC-550 Faded Tobacco Flame burst (a.k.a. Les Paul copy) a chance and ordered one. Within only two workdays it was with me, so kudos to the people at Thomann and UPS!

At first, after unpacking, I was slightly disappointed because the guitar looked different from the photos on the Thomann website (the sunburst finish on my guitar is more yellow-y than brown, and it has this new brown-reddish fretboard instead of the familiar dark brown). But all in all, it’s an awesome looking instrument, and the feeling of disappointment vanished completely after further inspection. Against all expectations, I literally couldn’t find a single flaw in its workmanship!! Finish, neck, nut, binding, frets, inlays, body, hardware, everything just looked perfect! And after a quick tuning, the intonation was spot-on. No adjustments needed. Now how about that for a “budget” guitar?!

But then the most important thing: how does it play? And how does it sound?

Well, after playing for several hours continuously on it and putting it through its paces, my conclusion is simple and unambiguous: this is an all-round GREAT workhorse of a guitar that’s made for rocking out! Its neck feels great (not too thin, not too thick, just right for a Les Paul), its body feels comfortingly substantial and the Roswell PAF-style pickups have a *FAT* warm vintage sound. Okay, maybe here could be my only minor criticism: the neck pup sounds too bassy for my personal taste. While it’s absolutely perfect for creamy buttery leads with tons of sustain, it gets imho too muddy for delicate cleans and rhythm work. But of course, that’s something that can be easily remedied by adjusting my amp’s tone controls. No biggie, because 80% of the time I use the bridge pickup anyway, and that one is absolutely perfect and tonally balanced. Still, it’s something to take into account. In time, I might consider swapping the neck pickup for something “slimmer” sounding.

Final verdict: I’m seriously impressed by the quality of this SC-550. Really. Best guitar I've played in years. If you’re just like me, looking for an inexpensive but great sounding/playing Les Paul and can live without a “big” name on its headstock, you will love this instrument. Wholeheartedly recommended!

Edit: I have managed to improve the neck pickup tone by lowering it (almost flush with the mounting ring) and slightly bringing up the individual polepieces. This helps noticeably in getting less bass response and more "airy" highs!!
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PROBABLY THE BEST HB I HAVE HAD SO FAR
Kevlar Poser, 23.03.2020
Have to say that I am only a home player and have slowly been trying to self teach myself the guitar, after retirement. Having said that, I have managed to go through a few over the past few years, as I had never found one that felt really good to put up with my clumsy playing style. To me, this one felt just right for me and although
not super light, I guess that it's not the heaviest LP type around either. I reckon it must be the 14 inch fretboard radius that made the difference for me and although it never really occurred to me before, it does seem to suit very well.

I have had a few HB's in the past and have found them in general to be great value with good fit and finish, despite inevitably often having basic but functional hardware. At my level of playing, there is no justification for spending several hundreds, or thousands of £'s, Euros or $'s more as it would make little difference to advance the playing skills. The HB £200 - £350 is absolutely fine for me, as with no supply chain to feed, that would probably equate to almost £350 - £650 in the world of High Street brands anyway. As everyone now knows, HB is Thomann's own "house" brand and in the case of guitars, the various models appear to be made in
many different Far Eastern countries which have been selected for their particular abilities in producing instruments to Thomann's specs. at an affordable price.

In summary, I would say that the finish on this guitar is lovely. The Faded Tobacco Burst on the top veneer is as nice as I have seen anywhere in pics. The Roswell pickups, I find suit me very well.
To me they sound great in this category of LP type
guitar. Tbh if I spent another £80 on an upgrade,
it is debatable if my ears would appreciate the difference. The Deluxe hardware is good and works well, although I did have a set of Guyker
rear locking Vintage Tuners in a drawer which were purchased in error last year ( as too late I discovered they were 3 + 3's ). So these were added, but I would not have bought them specially as the stock HB's worked fine. My favourite feature is the 350 mm fretboard radius.

Any minus points ? I always expect to do a certain amount of setting up on any guitar tbh so nothing really to moan about, particularly for the price paid. A bit lefty-loosey of the truss road, a touch off a slightly rocking 9th fret and the usual string height and intonation tweaks, which most can handle quite easily.

At present there are 5 electrics in my now
(diminished ) collection and If by some cruel chance I was forced to go down to two, the keepers would be this SC550 and a Wilson Bros VM 100 Jazzmaster from 2006 for sentimental reasons.
In short I have to give 5 Stars overall - at this price, it is worth it. Highly recommended
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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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Amazing Product and Build!
delaronde, 21.08.2019
My second Harley Benton that I own now.
What can I say....I'm speechless once again.
For the price that I paid, It's an amazing guitar.

The body is gorgeous! The neck is solid and very well built and comfortable. I had some minor cosmetic issues with it...A spot of what seem like hot glue on the fretboard about the size of half a grain of rice.
The nut wasn't cleaned properly. I still had some material that was hanging from the string grooves.
A light scratch on the neck (the first frett under the nut)..nothing serious and it doesn't affect playability.
I brought the guitar to my Guitar Tech for inspection and to give it a second inspection to see what needs to be done...if anything needs to be done aside from those minor issues, I'll come back here and post further information about it.

The Pickups really surprised me I must say.
Roswell is a name that I'll remember. ;-)

I paid 335$ Canadian + 50$ for Tax duties.

Again, for the price that I paid, you guys just knocked another home run out of the park with me as a customer.

WELL DONE! Keep doing what you're doing guys.
You're making a lot of people happy with these guitars I'm sure.

The guitar was well packed inside the box with Foam to maintain its position. The guitar box was put into another sturdy box which is simply and greatly appreciated that you guys take care of your products and your clients like this. You guys are Number one and it shows!

I HIGHLY RECOMMEND you guys who are thinking about buying a high-end guitar to give these Harley Benton a run before you spend too much cash on other High-end brands.

Cheers!
JC
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Show variations of this product
Harley Benton SC-550 Faded Tobacco Flame
(328)
Harley Benton SC-550 Faded Tobacco Flame
to the product
279 €

Electric Guitar Deluxe series, Weight relief chambered body: Mahogany (Swietenia meliaceae), Arched top: AAAA flamed maple, Set-in neck: Mahogany (Swietenia macrophylla king), Fretboard: Roasted...

Harley Benton SC-550 Paradise Amber Flame
(297)
Harley Benton SC-550 Paradise Amber Flame
to the product
279 €

Electric Guitar Flame Deluxe Series, Weight relief chambered body: Mahogany, Arched top: AAAA flamed maple, Set-in neck: Mahogany, Fretboard: Roasted jatoba, Neck profile: '60s, Radius: 350 mm,...

Harley Benton SC-550 Desert Flame Burst
(67)
Harley Benton SC-550 Desert Flame Burst
to the product
279 €

Electric Guitar Weight relief chambered mahogany body, Arched AAAA flamed maple top, Set-in mahogany neck, Fretboard: Roasted jatoba, Fretboard inlays: Pearloid trapezoids, '60s neck profile,...

Harley Benton SC-550 Black Cherry Flame
(46)
Harley Benton SC-550 Black Cherry Flame
to the product
279 €

Electric Guitar Flame Deluxe Series, Weight-relief chambered body: Mahogany, Arched top: AAAA Flamed maple, Neck: Mahogany, Fretboard: Roasted jatoba, Fretboard inlays: Pearloid trapezoid, Neck...

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279 €
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This item is in stock and can be dispatched immediately.

Standard Delivery Times

Delivery approx. between Monday, 8.03. and Tuesday, 9.03.

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