Harley Benton Acoustics

Ninja_RebornNinja_Reborn Posts: 123Member
I know we have some HB players on her (I have one of their Jazz Basses which is great).

Has anyone had experience on their acoustics? I've seen a few reviews on YouTube (Henning Pauly has a few). I'm kind of considering trying a dreadnought to see how I get on with the bigger body size.

Comments

  • ESBlondeESBlonde Posts: 823Member
    If you are into budget dreadnoughts you need to play some Sigma guitars. They do Martin copies and at one point they were owned by Martin themselves and only sold again in recent years. I think they are imported by a German distributor and are highly regarded for thier price point.
    Theres a Sigma DR-28H on gumtree atm for under £250, I have no relationship with the brand or seller.
  • Kevin PeatKevin Peat Posts: 2,862Member
    edited September 18
    Harley Benton are ultra low priced guitars in the £100 range. Sigma is about £300 these days.

    I've never tried one of the HBs.

    A great sub £100 guitar is the Epiphone DR 100 in natural varnished wood finish (not the stained version, black or sunburst.)

    Around £180 is the Vintage V300 MH which is an utterly stunning professional grade guitar. The mahogany version is much better than the spruce top - it's purports to be a OOO but has an outline and sound as big as my dread; a nice deep body and wide lower bout, curved top and back. I'm sorely tempted to get one after buying one for my boy.
  • nicholaspaulnicholaspaul Posts: 661Member
    I've seen and heard all the HB hype but haven't got my hands on one, yet. The prices are so low you'd be crazy not too, really. If they have a decent return policy I'd say they would be worth the plunge. But I'm thinking electrics. Acoustics are a different thing altogether, and you really have to play them. As you know. These days, you can't go by the price any more, either. There are some amazing instruments for next to nothing. I played a Revelation T*l*c*st*r the other day and it was just incredible. £249. Perfect.
  • Ninja_RebornNinja_Reborn Posts: 123Member
    Well I found an used Epiphone AJ220s on ebay for £80. It's sunburst and has a solid top. Although it's a jumbo it has the slope shoulder design, so looks very manageable.

    It's due to arrive next week, so will report in back
  • nicholaspaulnicholaspaul Posts: 661Member
    Wow, good deal. Looking forward to hearing more about it!
  • ESBlondeESBlonde Posts: 823Member
    Ive had my Epi Acoustic for over 20 years and it's gigged and used about the home/jams etc. I'd have to spend a lot of money to get a noticable improvement to the tone (to my ears).

    A good purchase at £80 Ninja_Reborn.

  • MegiMegi Posts: 6,827Member
    So, on acoustics, just, and very much if - but if I were thinking of moving my current couple of dreadnought acoustics on, and going for a mid-size (not parlour size) acoustic, that plays easy to suit someone more used to electric guitars, with cutaway and decent electro-acoustic plug in-ability, what might be decent options, under say £400?
  • ESBlondeESBlonde Posts: 823Member
    Sigma, and Epiphone would still be worth a look at that level Graham, add in the wares of our own Richards Guitars too where quality and price always feature highly. Lots of decent Chinese and Korean instruments without known brand names too.
    I've even seen some yootubes of folks buying chinese copies of things like D18s and D28s at a fraction of the price of the real thing. Of course you'd need to specify no brand name on the guitar anywhere and take a chance on getting the expected quality. Some just look the part and others sound as good as any other copies you might buy.
  • Ninja_RebornNinja_Reborn Posts: 123Member
    Megi - one guitar that really impressed me (as an electric player) was the Faith Venus - not too big, nice materials and build. It's a little higher than you £400 budget (but not much). If I had more budget than my current acoustic experiment allows it would be a straight run off with the Faith vs Sigma (which I have yet to try).

    My Epi is still on it's way, starting to get itchy fingers!
  • Kevin PeatKevin Peat Posts: 2,862Member
    You could get a decent pickup fitted on a Vintage V300MH (£185) and pocket the difference. I've just posted a video review on the Gibson JM-SG45 (£475) having a shootout with a Gibson J45 and it holds its own remarkably well.
  • Kevin PeatKevin Peat Posts: 2,862Member
  • MegiMegi Posts: 6,827Member
    Thanks for the replies re my electro acoustic query chaps - it was just me musing really, but it occurs to me that if I was now kitting myself out from scratch, with a practical mindset of what I need most, then I probably wouldn't get a non-cutaway dreadnought which is what I have (not that I don't like it). I really seem to be less and less of an acoustic player as time goes by somehow - I only pick one up to play occasionally, and it feels a bit alien when I do. Perhaps I should make more of an effort with acoustic! I do like the look of the Faith Venus naked version, although maybe Kevin has a point re the Vintage plus pickup being the real bang for the buck deal. About to watch that video above too. :)
  • Kevin PeatKevin Peat Posts: 2,862Member
    On spec the Venus is a better guitar. All solid too if that's important. A matter of taste really.
  • Mark PMark P Posts: 2,231Member
    I can understand your quandary Graham. I can also understand why as an electric player you fancy something smaller than the huge bulk of a Dreadnought. I would also recommend you get the selling shop to set up an acoustic to have an action closer to an electric than the usual. Typical out of the box factory settings, which many shops think to be OK, don't encourage frequent playing. If only acoustics were as simple to set up and tweak as electrics.

    With an electric you can do a lot to change the sound to suit what you want.
    But with an acoustic it's a case of you get what your playing style gets you from that particular arrangement of bits of wood.
    With the big variety of quality on a particular model because of the huge variation in characteristics of wood, it's so difficult to recommend any particular brand or model. Only to suggest trying lots of different acoustics - preferably in a shop that focus more on acoustic instruments.

    I've lost count of the number of guitars I've tried that sound great in demos when other people play them but sound like crap when I do.

    I have two favourite acoustics. A Vintage VE2000GG and a Vintage V2000MGG. The first of those is an electro-acoustic and seems maybe not much over £400 if you shop around (was less than £350 pre-Brexit). But it has a strange body shape that makes it a big NO for some, but for me is fine and ticks more boxes than any other style of guitar I've tried or had, including Martins and Taylors and Lowdens!
    However - no cutaway so not what you're after - but note that the cutaway can also cutaway some of a guitars sound quality. This is a link to it anyway.
    reddogmusic.co.uk/catalog/product/844695/vintage-ve2000gg-gordon-giltrap?gclid=Cj0KCQjwpMLOBRC9ARIsAPiGeZBJQcdyreSiRtW0GMf6eCwCqmMo8HsUgTF0sEzjcOOjhW5gIYEXEw8aAvDgEALw_wcB
    You will see it has a Fishman Presys Blend. Yes - a mix of internal microphone and under saddle piezo so you can get a sound plugged in that's not the usual typical piezo unnatural sound. Plus a quality Kinsman Hard Case!

    Quite possibly though one of those many guitars I've tried and not been moved by would be perfect for you.

    Just a final thought - be aware that the position of the bridge in relation to the lower bout can have a significant impact on the sound. Mick Taylor, on the left in the video Kevin linked above, is a believer in the big improvement that a bridge at the widest part of the lowest bout has on smaller guitars. I tend to agree.

    Good luck with looking around if you decide to go for a change of acoustic.
  • Kevin PeatKevin Peat Posts: 2,862Member
    The DLX version of the Gordon Giltrap is particularly droolsome.
  • Mark PMark P Posts: 2,231Member
    Maybe one day I'll come into some unexpected cash and get one so I've got the trilogy!

    We did get £3 on the Thunderball yesterday, so only another £800 or so to go. :smiley:
  • MegiMegi Posts: 6,827Member
    Mark P said:

    I can understand your quandary Graham. I can also understand why as an electric player you fancy something smaller than the huge bulk of a Dreadnought. I would also recommend you get the selling shop to set up an acoustic to have an action closer to an electric than the usual. Typical out of the box factory settings, which many shops think to be OK, don't encourage frequent playing. If only acoustics were as simple to set up and tweak as electrics.

    With an electric you can do a lot to change the sound to suit what you want.
    But with an acoustic it's a case of you get what your playing style gets you from that particular arrangement of bits of wood.
    With the big variety of quality on a particular model because of the huge variation in characteristics of wood, it's so difficult to recommend any particular brand or model. Only to suggest trying lots of different acoustics - preferably in a shop that focus more on acoustic instruments.

    I've lost count of the number of guitars I've tried that sound great in demos when other people play them but sound like crap when I do.

    I have two favourite acoustics. A Vintage VE2000GG and a Vintage V2000MGG. The first of those is an electro-acoustic and seems maybe not much over £400 if you shop around (was less than £350 pre-Brexit). But it has a strange body shape that makes it a big NO for some, but for me is fine and ticks more boxes than any other style of guitar I've tried or had, including Martins and Taylors and Lowdens!
    However - no cutaway so not what you're after - but note that the cutaway can also cutaway some of a guitars sound quality. This is a link to it anyway.
    reddogmusic.co.uk/catalog/product/844695/vintage-ve2000gg-gordon-giltrap?gclid=Cj0KCQjwpMLOBRC9ARIsAPiGeZBJQcdyreSiRtW0GMf6eCwCqmMo8HsUgTF0sEzjcOOjhW5gIYEXEw8aAvDgEALw_wcB
    You will see it has a Fishman Presys Blend. Yes - a mix of internal microphone and under saddle piezo so you can get a sound plugged in that's not the usual typical piezo unnatural sound. Plus a quality Kinsman Hard Case!

    Quite possibly though one of those many guitars I've tried and not been moved by would be perfect for you.

    Just a final thought - be aware that the position of the bridge in relation to the lower bout can have a significant impact on the sound. Mick Taylor, on the left in the video Kevin linked above, is a believer in the big improvement that a bridge at the widest part of the lowest bout has on smaller guitars. I tend to agree.

    Good luck with looking around if you decide to go for a change of acoustic.

    Thanks for your usual detailed and thoughtful kind of reply Mark - I was only musing idly about this, so feel a bit guilty you've gone to such lengths. But great thoughts if I ever do get to the buying stage. :)
  • MegiMegi Posts: 6,827Member

    On spec the Venus is a better guitar. All solid too if that's important. A matter of taste really.

    ...And I have to admit, I do prefer the looks/style of the Venus. Not really sure "all solid" is a biggie for me - solid top yes I guess, but as long as the sounds are good and suit my taste really.
  • ESBlondeESBlonde Posts: 823Member
    Graham I just re-read your first post and thought of the Taylor GS Mini. New under £500 and used I think well inside your possible budget. I don't own one but have noticed a number of players comment on the big sound smaller body easy action (for electric players). As if you need more stirring or the muddy waters! I personally am not a fan of the slightly metalic modern acoustic sound but it is popular and certainly cuts through a busy mix. You can always turn down the tone control. No cutaway but neck joins at the 14th.
  • Ninja_RebornNinja_Reborn Posts: 123Member
    Well the cheapie Epi arrived, it was a little dusty, the stings were a birds nest at the headstock end, they felt and sound very tired; giving the guitar a boxy sound lacking in volume.

    Changed out the strings, gave the board an oil and the whole thing an damn good clean and it's come to life - very loud, bright, yet balance. It sounds very gibsonesque i that the tops strings have a real ring to them.

    Overall really pleased, it's massively playable.

    Only problem electrics now seem tiny when I pick them up!
Sign In or Register to comment.