If only there had been guitars of this quality and price when I started playing over 40 (!) years ago. It's an absolutely stunning piece of kit. I honestly don't know how it's possible to sell them at this price. With a bit of work, you can turn this into a guitar that, in my opinion, is the equal of similar models at over 10x the price. Thanks to modern production techniques, this is a precision manufactured instrument. The (heavy!) 45mm thick body, cavities and neck are perfectly cut and fit like a glove. However, it does need some human touches to really get it up to scratch. Namely: 3 or 4 of the frets did protrude from the neck sides and needed filing down flush. Nearly all the frets needed dressing properly at the ends with emery paper. 3 of the frets were ever-so-slightly high and needed filing down and re-crowning. All simple enough jobs - YouTube is your friend. I also oiled the neck with some Danish wood oil. Next after a re-string with some quality strings (the originals weren't bad) I set the tremolo to float properly. The whole tremolo bridge works just fine and the plate, saddles and springs are all of a decent quality - perhaps the block could be upgraded, but no need especially. The tremolo arm does need bending up, off the strings, which I did using a vice. The tuners are well-made and do a quite satisfactory job. No complaints there. I then set the intonation and set the truss rod properly with feeler gauges. Just a quarter turn to the right. The pickup height was spot on,and I was ready to go. So how does it sound? Just like it should! The pickups sound and feel authentic and don't lack any power or clarity. Yes, I have heard better, but not by much. The knobs,switch and the jack socket are all fine and well-earthed and there's no excessive, unwanted noise. Conclusion: I was thinking of spending a lot of money on a Fender, but then, after reading a few reviews, I decided to take a chance - after all, I could always return it - thanks Thomann. Well, I wouldn't hesitate to buy one again or recommend one to anyone. Just spend a few hours setting it up properly and you will have yourself a fantastic guitar. The only negative I can report is a barely visible defect in the paintwork. For the record, whatever that's worth, I also own a Fender Telecaster and a Gibson SG. I thought I might sand off the Harley Benton logo, but now? No way! I use it live and people (guys!) have come up to me and said they couldn't believe it was really a Thomann copy, but there you go!
I'm a guitar teacher and professional musician. I've played hundreds of guitars owing to the fact that I also have a small shop selling vintage guitars. I bought this guitar as I needed a student instrument for people wanting to try guitar before finding and buying their own. This is superb value and here's why...
Thinking back to when I bought it my initial thoughts were how nice it looked; the grain of the body, the feel of the neck and the general finish. It's also quite weighty which feels reassuringly good. On a lot of cheaper guitars you can get sharp fret ends or cheap tuners. Also I felt the set up was pretty decent; it felt nice to play. Another big thing that I look at is tuners- the machine heads are very solid. This is so important for a beginner because tuning is initially difficult and out of tune guitars sound bad! I found that this held tune really well. A massive plus.
Looking at other instruments on the market, specifically the more famous manufacturer's budget models, I'd have to say it's a tie. But the really amazing thing is the price- it's just so cheap yet really decent quality for a starter guitar. I've since recommended this instrument to students who have bought it and found them to be consistent in what I've talked about above.
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