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.
The Harley Benton TE-70 in Black Paisley is a beautiful look for the "Tele" style. It came out of the box with no finish flaws on either the body or the neck and has a smooth touch with fair action and ready to play with a quick tune. The quality is nice for any guitar. I have both expensive quality and inexpensive quality. I bought this as a 4th guitar to get the unique sounds produced by the pickup/bridge combination that i don't have in my other guitars. Nice! It rings with the chime and the twang/crunch that we would expect and has added harmonics and tones flowing between the notes, on chords, that i did not expect to hear as well as i can. Impressive! The volume level does not drop off the table when turned down and the treble turn down is smooth as well until u get to the last 10% of the pot. In the last bit of dial it does dramatically change the tone by removing the treble, but it is a sound we are familiar with and pretty much expecting when we bring the tone all the way down. There is no noise in the switching, no points on the frets, no blemishes in the finish, no splits, cracks, or color blemishes with the maple neck. The neck is nice and is 1 piece bolt on with a C profile that is curved well and has a thickness to it that is different than my other guitars in the sense that it fills the hand when held in the ready position, almost perfectly. I expected a slim weak feeling neck but got a fullness instead. Each neck will have its own unique grain. This neck was naturally patterned well. The bridge pickup is the only story if u are searching for faults in this lovely instrument. The bridge position will be slightly micro phonic and pick up your movements a bit. I expected as much, but it is less than i expected and still sounds good. You cant sing through it or anything but u can get knocks and metal taps if u look for them. I would not hesitate to make some modifications though at this price, why not? The cost of this item gives u freedom to experiment if u have been looking to make your own changes this beautiful Paisley on black can be set up! My advise is to purchase 2 or 3 of these guitars. I am still looking for someone among'st my friends and others, that does not find this guitar to be a steal at Thomann's price. Seven days from order date to arrival on my doorstep with only a $30 shipping fee? That is fast! I would have accepted double the delivery time without thinking twice about it. I will be telling my friends here in the states to order with confidence and expect it as fast or faster than many folks can get them their purchases from eBay, sent from just the next state over. In conclusion, a 5 star rating is taking into account the price and is not strictly an indicator of build compared to the finest guitars that money can buy, but we all know this.
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