Owing to the fact I had already bought some Harley Benton Guitars previously I did not enter into this purchase with any trepidation.
Guitar was delivered to my door (in Scotland) within a few days of odering, as usual it was well packaged by Thomann and as expected there was no damage found whatsoever upon opening.
Lets start with the initial appearance of the instrument...it looks fantastic, the paintwork is superb, its just a real nice looking guitar, in fact it got the seal of approval from my wife, who for some reason has absolutely no interest whatsoever in guitars...weird I know...and she thought it was beautiful. The binding is something I will discuss later.
Overall Quality was good, one minor complaint was that the fretboard was as dry as a dry thing on a very dry day, but a few minutes with some fretboard reconditioner easily sorted that out. The pickguard is in my opinion not a thing of beauty as it has a weird small squared off section, this is probably HB's way of making this their version of the G****n ES335 rather than a rip-off of the original. Its a very minor point and just my opinion. The Bridge, saddles, control knobs and switches look good and do their job just fine as do the tuners.
Out of the box the guitar was playable and almost in perfect tune, plugged into my amp the sound quality from the pick-ups was good, quite mellow, not the loudest but suited this style of guitar.
I let the guitar aclimatise for a few days and the checked it out in some detail, the intonation was out and the string height slightly to high, the neck wasn't at flat as I like so I set to work on thes issues and within 1 hour of minor adjustments I had a super playing guitar that had cost a little over £100...amazing.
Now lets discuss the binding, I had noted that a couple of online reviewers of this guitar had commented that they didn't think that the binding was real and simply painted on, these comments certainly didn't put me off buying the guitar especially at the price offered by Thomann. Now I am no Luthier or expert in any sense when it comes to Guitars and their construction but I have looked closely at the binding around the body and inside the 'f' holes and conclude the following;
I think that the binding is real but if it isn't it is probably the best bit of painting I have seen, it is pure quality.
Thomann have done it again with the HB-35, it is exceptional value and id your in the market for an inexpensive ES335 style guitar you wont go far wrong with this