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Harley Benton Guitars

Ninja_RebornNinja_Reborn Posts: 107Member
edited August 2016 in Guitar Chat
A friend pointed me in the direction of Harley Benton Guitar reviews on YouTube (there is a crazy german dude, who is oddly amusing!).  I believe they are exclusive to a german retailer most of us are familiar with. Anyhow - I cannot honestly believe the spec of them - for around £100!!!!  They even have wilkinson pickups (although I assume they are the made under license far east sort). From what I gather their made in the same factory that produces Epiphone and Shine (amongst others),
Anyone played one?  I'm almost tempted to order one just to see what their like!

Comments

  • JockoJocko Posts: 6,870Member, Moderator

    They really look the part. Megi took the plunge with the Shine. Why don't you do it with a Harley Benton? I see you can even buy them in kit form.

  • LesterLester Posts: 1,500Member, Moderator
    edited August 2016

    I can't speak for the guitars but I have a Harley Benton violin which is good quality for the price. I have tried 2 sets of Harley Benton strings (acoutsic and electric) as they are so cheap and again, they are good value for the price.

    Other own-brand products include Thomann cases which I use and really like, Millenium stands, of which I have some quite acceptable PA stands, and Sssnake cables which are basic but functional. Where there are two prices, two grades, the higher grade cables have better quality plugs and these I use and recommend.

  • BryBry Posts: 589Member

    I have a Harley Benton steel guitar, love it. I cant remember what it cost but it wasn't lots and apart from an E string that can slip out of its groove in the bridge if you hit it hard enough I cant really fault it.

  • Ninja_RebornNinja_Reborn Posts: 107Member

    I have a couple of Thomann I use for my Classic Players - they are really solid and have a nice vintage look.

     

    I had largely ignored their guitars - not for snobbish reasons - just that I only really look at the stuff on my wish list.  I recall they did their own amp that was basically a Valve Junior and their pedals are what everyone else knows as JOYO (Which I really like).

     

    I'm currently chatting with a friend - we're thinking of grabbing one each and doing a bit of video project - long term test and upgrade project.  If that doesn't happen I'll pick up one of their Lemon Drop LPs in march and report back.

     

     

  • MegiMegi Posts: 6,694Member

    There are some astonishing looking buys - for example, I've sometimes thought a 6 string bass might be nice. Not going to do it but they actually do one for just over £120 (active electronics!): http://www.thomann.de/gb/harle...ogressive_series.htm

     

    Spend not quite a hundred more, and there is this very professional looking thru-neck model: http://www.thomann.de/gb/harley_benton_bz_6000_nt.htm

     

    Want to get into the exotic world of 7 string bass? An unusual niche kind of specialist area, but blummin' heck, they actually do one that looks the biz, yours for £230 ish...

     

    http://www.thomann.de/gb/harley_benton_bz_7000_nt.htm

     

    That's just looking a electric basses... Hard to resist if one was after such an instrument on a tight budget. Are they any good? I don't know, but I'd be tempted to risk it I have to admit...

     

  • lancpudnlancpudn Posts: 1,393Member

    Funny you should mention Harley Benton. I was just looking at their take on a Ric 12 string http://www.thomann.de/gb/harle...s_classic_series.htm there is a youtube vid of a guy playing one but it's so out of tune. I read their Prince Hohner telecaster is a nice playing guitar.

  • Reg SoxReg Sox Posts: 3,121Member

    Germany has a long history of musical instrument making, coupled with having managed to maintain significant manufacturing capabilities across multiple industries.

     

    So if Thomann have coupled together a good design team and a production engineering team that impose quality standards on far east production it would sound like a winner to me.

     

    I am a fan of Thomann with no complaints about anything I've ever ordered from them.  My only caution, that I've raised previously, is treat their sterling prices as a rough guide only as your actual purchase will be in Euros.  Your bank or credit card vendor/paypal etc will take the Euro price and apply their own exchange rates (which may be different to those used by Thomann) and may also apply separate foreign currency exchange charges.  I have always ended up paying more than the Thomann guideline sterling price.  Not really their fault, but just something to be aware of.

     

    Cheers, Reg.

  • MegiMegi Posts: 6,694Member

    What would be the typical extra amount actually paid over the Thomman sterling guide price Reg? - say just for example I've gone mad, and am buying the 7 string bass I linked to above - the guide price is £229, including shipping.

  • Reg SoxReg Sox Posts: 3,121Member

    I've found it's been around 10%.  The other thing to do is keep track of the daily exchange rate.  It can move around a few percentage points over the course of a week or so - you should be charged at the prevailing rate so the price you pay one day can be different to the next.

     

    Cheers, Reg.

  • Ninja_RebornNinja_Reborn Posts: 107Member

    I'm working from memory here but I recall that when I bought cases a few years back I paid with Paypal - which while subject to exchange fluctuation avoided any kind of bank charges (not sure my bank charges these, but wanted to be on the safe side).

  • MegiMegi Posts: 6,694Member
    Originally Posted by Reg Sox:

    I've found it's been around 10%.  The other thing to do is keep track of the daily exchange rate.  It can move around a few percentage points over the course of a week or so - you should be charged at the prevailing rate so the price you pay one day can be different to the next.

     

    Cheers, Reg.

     

    Originally Posted by Ninja_Reborn:

    I'm working from memory here but I recall that when I bought cases a few years back I paid with Paypal - which while subject to exchange fluctuation avoided any kind of bank charges (not sure my bank charges these, but wanted to be on the safe side).

    Thanks Reg and Ninja - just wanted the info for future reference, I'm not really buying that 7 string bass, though I admit a small part of me is tempted. But the larger, more sensible part of me is advising against! image

  • Reg SoxReg Sox Posts: 3,121Member
    Originally Posted by Ninja_Reborn:

    I'm working from memory here but I recall that when I bought cases a few years back I paid with Paypal - which while subject to exchange fluctuation avoided any kind of bank charges (not sure my bank charges these, but wanted to be on the safe side).

    What you might find is that some payment methods bundle the exchange charges in their published exchange rate rather than as a separate charge.  Therefore when just the headline rate is compared it'll appear a lot worse than the rate from somewhere that applies a separate charge.

     

    Of course, much like mobile roaming charges, there is absolutely justification for it, everything is fully automated so the currency exchange charge is just a licence blank cheque.

     

    Cheers, Reg.

  • Pete_BPete_B Posts: 28Member

    Interesting "Harley Benton guitars are manufactured in China by the Saein Musical Instrument Co., Ltd" so same people as Shine guitars?

  • AlidoreAlidore Posts: 523Member

    Interesting "Harley Benton guitars are manufactured in China by the Saein Musical Instrument Co., Ltd" so same people as Shine guitars?

    Pete.

    “There are 10 kinds of people in the world: those who understand binary, and those who don't.”
  • Pete_BPete_B Posts: 28Member

    hmm, call me stupid but I don't have a tele type so I just ordered one of these to play around with. http://www.thomann.de/gb/harle...1500tbk_egitarre.htm

  • AlidoreAlidore Posts: 523Member

    hmm, call me stupid but I don't have a tele type so I just ordered one of these to play around with. http://www.thomann.de/gb/harle...1500tbk_egitarre.htm

    Pete.

    “There are 10 kinds of people in the world: those who understand binary, and those who don't.”
  • MegiMegi Posts: 6,694Member
    Originally Posted by Alidore:

    Interesting "Harley Benton guitars are manufactured in China by the Saein Musical Instrument Co., Ltd" so same people as Shine guitars?

    Hmm, the plot thickens... image

  • MegiMegi Posts: 6,694Member
    Originally Posted by Alidore:

    hmm, call me stupid but I don't have a tele type so I just ordered one of these to play around with. http://www.thomann.de/gb/harle...1500tbk_egitarre.htm

    Not stupid at all - looks ridiculously nice for £85 quid. The Wilkinson pickups probably not at all bad, but also easy to upgrade should you choose. Just a nice solid 2 humbucker guitar though, by the look of it. Will be extremely interested to know what your impressions are when it arrives. image

  • BryBry Posts: 589Member
    Originally Posted by Alidore:

    hmm, call me stupid but I don't have a tele type so I just ordered one of these to play around with. http://www.thomann.de/gb/harle...1500tbk_egitarre.htm

    I'll call you stupid if you like but at £85 for what looks like a nice Tele, I wouldn't mean it.

  • Just TelJust Tel Posts: 498Member
    Originally Posted by Megi:
    Originally Posted by Alidore:

    Interesting "Harley Benton guitars are manufactured in China by the Saein Musical Instrument Co., Ltd" so same people as Shine guitars?

    Hmm, the plot thickens...

    Suppose that we will all be buying Harley Benton guitars soon Megi to go alongside the Shine's.

  • Reg SoxReg Sox Posts: 3,121Member
    Originally Posted by Alidore:

    hmm, call me stupid but I don't have a tele type so I just ordered one of these to play around with. http://www.thomann.de/gb/harle...1500tbk_egitarre.htm

    Looks great - a Fibson Paulcaster?

     

    For £85 you can't go wrong.

     

    My only picky comment is that, if it was me (so this is purely my personal preference) I would have gone for something in a more standard tele configuration beyond the body shape so if I wanted to upgrade it in the future I could use off the shelf tele parts.  But that's just me.

     

    Cheers, Reg.

  • GeoffGeoff Posts: 3Member

    Thanks for bringing these products to my attention folks!

     

    As I've mentioned elsewhere, because of my diminutive stature and tiny hands, I've repeatedly considered a short scale bass, as I do find my Hohner BS2A headless a bit of a stretch at times,with its standard 34" scale. Also, because of it's shape, it does tend to "hold to the left", exacerbating the problem.

     

    This 

    http://www.thomann.de/gb/harle...shortscale_ebass.htm

    seems to be a pretty low-risk means of seeing how I get on with short-scale.

  • GeoffGeoff Posts: 3Member

    Further to above, I ordered online on Saturday evening, got an acknowledgment first thing Monday and advice of shipping late Mon afternoon.

     

    To my amazement the courier was knocking on the door 9am Weds, so 10/10 for service!

     

    Early days yet, but so far I'm remarkably impressed. The bass was perfectly playable straight out of the box, action perfectly pleasant. Hardware better than I expected at the price. Even the strings seem decent enough for now!

    A slight momentary fret buzz when releasing  E or A strings from 5th fret upwards (but that's probably largely down to my cr*p technique as I get the same on my standard scale headless!) 

    I loosened the truss rod a quarter turn to see if a little extra relief would help, and this morning the buzz was much reduced. I've even been able to lower the saddles a little without it increasing again, so, as it's inaudible when using an amp, I'll live with it!

    Through a Roland Microcube its volume compares well with the Hohner in passive mode, and the Tone control gives decent enough variation. Haven't tried it through anything bigger yet.

    Even without the qualifier "for the price" it seems pretty decent, at £58 including shipping it's amazing!

    I was even more smug to see that they've gone up 11 Euros since I bought one!

  • lancpudnlancpudn Posts: 1,393Member
    Originally Posted by Geoff:

    Further to above, I ordered online on Saturday evening, got an acknowledgment first thing Monday and advice of shipping late Mon afternoon.

     

    To my amazement the courier was knocking on the door 9am Weds, so 10/10 for service!

     

    Early days yet, but so far I'm remarkably impressed. The bass was perfectly playable straight out of the box, action perfectly pleasant. Hardware better than I expected at the price. Even the strings seem decent enough for now!

    A slight momentary fret buzz when releasing  E or A strings from 5th fret upwards (but that's probably largely down to my cr*p technique as I get the same on my standard scale headless!) 

    I loosened the truss rod a quarter turn to see if a little extra relief would help, and this morning the buzz was much reduced. I've even been able to lower the saddles a little without it increasing again, so, as it's inaudible when using an amp, I'll live with it!

    Through a Roland Microcube its volume compares well with the Hohner in passive mode, and the Tone control gives decent enough variation. Haven't tried it through anything bigger yet.

    Even without the qualifier "for the price" it seems pretty decent, at £58 including shipping it's amazing!

    I was even more smug to see that they've gone up 11 Euros since I bought one!

    Congrats on getting in quick before the price rises, I've had one of their models in Thomanns basket for a week or so & its gone up in price twice in the space of a week, £15 overall

  • Ninja_RebornNinja_Reborn Posts: 107Member

    I've been watching the prices move around a bit - I think it works on an example rate and the price you pay depends on the rate at the time of purchase - I think my Lemon drop was listed at 108E but I actually paid 113.

     

    Funny all the worry about the stability of the Eurozone and all I'm interested in is how it's going to affect the value of a £75 strat,  Mind you at least I've found a use for my Economics Degree!

  • GeoffGeoff Posts: 3Member
    Originally Posted by Ninja_Reborn:

    I've been watching the prices move around a bit - I think it works on an example rate and the price you pay depends on the rate at the time of purchase - I think my Lemon drop was listed at 108E but I actually paid 113.

     

    Funny all the worry about the stability of the Eurozone and all I'm interested in is how it's going to affect the value of a £75 strat,  Mind you at least I've found a use for my Economics Degree!

    It's the headline price in Euros that changed from 66 to 77 and the indicated sterling equivalent proportionally. Quite a percentage hike if you look at it that way, but 17% of not much is still not much.

    I had two thoughts on this. First that there's an element of dynamic pricing in there and their target for this month has been met. Alternatively, a new stock has arrived, the falling Euro has made that more expensive, but I got the last of the old stock. 

    I see the Euro has fallen by about 10% against Chinese Yuan since Christmas.

  • waylonwaylon Posts: 30Member
    Harley Benton is one of this cheap, amazing brands. Look at this beuty
    http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Harley-Benton-te-80-deluxe-Prinz-Wildcat-style-Tele-/182379357094
    Also Jay Turser and SX make grat guitars. This is stunning
    https://musicsquare.co.uk/155655_SX-SST57-2TS-electric-guitar.html
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