I'm very critical about guitars. I often find guitar setups to be less than average, out of the box. The first thing I normally do, when getting a new guitar, is get it over to the local guitar tech and get a professional setup - nut cutting and fretwork, if needed. This happens for about 90% of guitars, even high end ones.
I'm genuinely gob smacked how well this guitar has been built for the money.
- The fretwork is very good. Shiny frets, almost perfectly level. There is one high fret, but I'll take it to the tech to sort that out.
- The bridge doesn't have to be decked to the wood to get a low action, which can be common on this style of guitar.
- Amazingly clean fretboard (none of that usual black stuff that comes on on your fingers when playing)
- The nut is cut perfectly, no binding and cut properly to not give you out of tune cowboy chords, and even the dreaded F bar chord.
- Pickup is usable. Very much like a mellow tele pickup. I won't be swapping it
- The machine heads are very good quality, for the price
- A lovely, sparkly finish.
- Very smooth volume and tone controls
- Solid jack socket.
The only real con is that there is a slight ding on the top side of the neck, just near the fretboard, in the clear coat. You don't feel this, when playing, so I'm not too fussed about it.
On arrival, the neck had a bit of a forward bow, but the truss rod is good and it straightened up perfectly. I imagine this may be due to temperature fluctuations, or maybe the QC set it up this way as forward bow is better than back bow.
It may be that because this guitar was on pre-order, it hasn't been sat in a warehouse for ages and hasn't had time to develop any major faults. Either than, or Harley Benton have really up'ed their game on these newer models.
If this guitar was your first purchase, you would be very happy with the setup. I can't recommend this guitar enough. This is by far the best Harley Benton I've had my hands on. This guitar is the best is the best value for money guitar that I've ever purchased.