Harley Benton SC-550 Faded Tobacco Flame

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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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4.8 / 5.0
  • features
  • sound
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97 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

One of the best in the price range.

Volt Arachnids, 28.03.2018
This review is based on first impressions, as I just got this guitar today.
You can say those are my "out of the box impressions".

Pros:
+Fast delivery.

+Great looking top. The finish is amazing for this price.
+Great looking fretboard. The inlays are fine.
+The binding looks good enough.
+No sharp or buzzing frets.
+Smooth working tuners.
+The bone nut is cut well.
+The pickups sound well enough. (Roswell. More about this in the cons section)
+Playable out of the box with some minor tuning.

Cons:
-The outer box was delivered damaged, which scared me a bit. :)
-The inner box had some damage too, but the guitar looks fine, so not a big deal. Overall, the packaging did it's job and saved the guitar.

-Some of the frets are a bit scratched. Most of them look well polished tho. (Minor issue)
-The fretboard is dry as desert sand. (Expected minor issue)
-The binding on the lower part of the fretboard looks a bit damaged at some places. Probably in the process of frets polishing. (Minor issue)
-The tone and volume controls are sharp at the top. They don't cut, but they can scratch quite a bit. (Minor issue, easy to fix)

--Those new Roswell humbucker pickups sound a bit darker (in my opinion) than the Wilkinson's I was expecting when ordering the guitar. People at Thomann forgot to change the specs for the guitar in the English
versions of the website in time. I understand the reasoning behind those changes. Saw that Cory Mura's interview with your QC mastermind. The change of the pickups is not a problem at all. Roswell pickups still sound good. The problem is more about getting some unexpected changes in the specs of the guitar AFTER you've made the decision to order it already. (Still, minor issue.)

Overall, I'm quite happy with this guitar.
Looks great from normal distance. Those minor issues that I have with the finish are nothing serious and can't spoil the feel and the sound of the guitar.
The quality is as expected in this price range, and even a bit better than expected.

Good LP style guitar.
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Colour: Sunburst
Harley Benton SC-550 Faded Tobacco Flame
(116)
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
(112)
Harley Benton SC-550 Paradise Amber Flame
to the product
259 €

Electric Guitar Flame Deluxe Series, Body: Mahogany, Arched top: AAAA Maple, Glued neck: Mahogany, Fretboard: Roseacer, Neck profile: 60s, Radius: 350 mm, Pearloid trapezoid inlays, 22 Frets,...

  • 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 €
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Available immediately

This item is in stock and can be dispatched immediately.

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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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