Harley Benton TE-70 Black Paisley

Electric Guitar

  • Deluxe series
  • Body: Basswood
  • Neck: Maple, bolt-on
  • Neck profile: C
  • Fretboard: Maple
  • Fretboard radius: 350 mm
  • Dot fretboard inlays
  • 21 Frets
  • Scale: 648 mm
  • Nut width: 43 mm
  • Pickups: 2 Roswell TEA Alnico-5 Vintage TE-style single coils
  • Electronics: 1 x Volume control and 1 x tone control
  • 3-Way toggle switch
  • Deluxe chrome hardware
  • Wilkinson bridge with brass saddles and string-thru body
  • Strings: D'Addario EXL110 .010 - .046 (Article Nr: 104555)
  • Colour: Black Paisley

Further information

Colour Graphic
Pickups SS
Fretboard Maple
Tremolo None
Body Basswood
Top None
Neck Maple
Frets 21
Scale 648 mm
Incl. Case No
Incl. Bag No

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82 written ratings Read all reviews
Total
features
sound
quality

Great, but not perfect

rims, 11.05.2017
My son was eying this up for ages, and finally, with the help of a birthday contribution, got me to get it for him. The reviews were all very positive, and for the price - what can you say?!

He loves it. It sits next to him. His previous guitar is now neglected and forlorn.

The good:
It looks lovely. Maple neck, skunk stripe. Nice hardware - Wilkinson bridge and pickups, and sealed tuners. Nice paisley finish, if that's your thing. Sounds like a tele - authentic sounding bridge pickup.

It came nicely set up. Needed a twist of the truss rod, and was good to go, good low action, no buzz, good strings. Fret ends not perfect, but good.

The not so good:
The finish, to me, is a little meh. Not the deep gloss I was expecting, and that it needs to really bring up the paisley. But only one minor paint flaw, barely visible. Neither a big deal. But the rave reviews perhaps unreasonably raise your expectations.

Tuning stability hasn't been great. Still sorting that - nut lubrication for starters; lots of winds on the tuning pegs for high strings (the main culprits). Lubricated the nut, its a bit better. May need restringing. We'll see.

The bridge pickup is very microphonic. That's a feature of many teles, some Fenders included, and possibly gives it the authentic character to the sound, but on high gain every click and clunk is picked up. But the main problem is the feedback, which kicks in unpleasantly and uncontrollably past a certain volume.

Investigating that, if you press on the neck end of the bridge plate it suppresses the squeal. The bridge screws are confined to the lower end, (and were actually quite loose, though tightening didn't help), and it may be the headstock end of the bridge plate is not making contact with the body. The internet has many such examples.

So it may mean modifying the bridge with two screws at the headstock edge, but not after I've tried some wax, or thin foam, or something similar to suppress vibration at that edge. But he won't let me near it - yet...

Again, the internet suggests this is a common problem with this model.

Conclusion? Sounds great, pity about the microphonic squeal, which may be fixable. Not perfectly finished, but for the price very good indeed. A satisfied son, a satisfied dad.
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Total

TE-70 - a good tele if you put some elbow grease to it.

Misza, 13.03.2018
I really wanted a budget tele, cause I love the sound. I decided to go with the HBs, cause they have good reviews and a decent rep.
What I need the tele for is an all around rock guitar. If you're looking for that or the classic tele twang, you're in for a treat - the sound is very nice. It looks very nice, too. Not as nice as on the photos on the Thomann website - I have to point that out.

What I didn't appreciate much was the fact that the tele in question had some major issues the time I got it: badly cut neck pocket (needed a shim), unleveled frets and a microphonic bridge pickup (needed a swap). I'm a handy guy, but there are certain repairs I still don't feel comfortable doing. I'm also a young father and recently don't have much free time on my hands in between baby care, gigs and rehearsals. I contacted the support team and after a couple of emails I was offered to have the guitar sent back to Germany. When it got back to me (after their touch-ups), it had a shimmed neck, but other issues were left as they were.

I re-contacted the team after a certain time and asked if they could have a look at it again as the issues persisted and I couldn't do anything about it. They were consistently declining for a long time, claiming that the guitar was fine when they sent it back to me, going as far as suggesting I get the guitar to a local luthier so that they can check it. I finally lost my patience and got it to a luthier. I got it also fixed by the luthier while I was at it, so as to avoid wasting my time furthermore. The repair (leveling 11 uneven frets and dressing the nut that was cut too far) costed 490 PLN, i.e. more than 100 EUR, but it's finally good. I swapped the microphonic pick-up myself and now it's a great guitar with which I can finally gig at the local pubs. By the time the repair was in place, Thomann CS finally offered to have the guitar shipped back to Germany, but it was no longer necessary.

I still consider this to be a good purchase for the money (if you don't count the additional cash I had to put in to make it work). Especially, if you have some time and know-how to handle all of the potential issues yourself or the time to do the push&shove with the customer service. It sounds very well from the start, but the rest of the features might need some major touch ups... As to the Thomann CS, there's no place here to rate them. The guy that handled my case was very supportive, but the "technician/expert" they relayed me to was not (I'm struggling here to be diplomatic...). Quality issues may occur in such a big enterprise and that's ok, but because of the CS experience I had I regret the buy. It shouldn't be that hard to get what you paid for.
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