I recently bought a HB SD 450plus LD. I love it. There are no issues/problems at all. I read nothing but good things about Harley Benton. I've been thinking about another Harley Benton, maybe with Floyd rose. Lately, I've read many other recent reviews mentioning major issues with HB guitars: twisted headstock, dents in the fretboard, major finish flaws (they include pictures) . I could understand that with a B Stock.
My question is: Has anyone had issues with an HB guitar recently?? If so, when, and what was wrong?
I have been mostly happy with mine but the stories are not invented and quality issues are likely focussed on particular batches of particular models. A recent example shown here was of poor fingerboard material used in a CST-24.
I bought a B-stock two weeks ago and the most visible flaw was the damage on a screw the first buyer probably did because he didn't know how to set it up properly. The other flaw was then that the guitar had not been set-up, leading to that buyer's dissatisfaction.
My SC-450 Plus came with non-assorted tone pots: one was linear and the other logarithmic. People debate what type they prefer but it is safe to assume they should be the same for both pick-ups. It also had controls protruding at an irregular height, which I solved by adding washers to the higher ones.
I've found issues and problems in all my HB guitars. The major problems were related to frets buzzes and pick-up screws. The only guitar that was good out of the box was the HB SC Custom and the HB Tele kit that was very good and my first experience to assemble a Tele by myself was very nice and happy with this T Kit.
But in the my others HB guitars I've found minor and major issues: for example in the Fusion II the humbuckers pick-ups screws for height adjustment don't work so good as you expected so I will change these screws soon ... but they have measures that it's hard to find around on amazon.
But I've found issues also on an Ibanez and Epiphones and Fender too ... so when we buy new guitars (less then 1500 euro) all we need ... is to be good also to fix guitar problems.
B stock MS-60 VW had a misaligned trem, about 2mm off centre so that the B string rubbed on the trem arm socket creating an interesting violin noise! Shifting the trem to its correct position aligned the strings properly across the Tunomatic bridge.
"What's that terrible noise?" "Well, it's either the Hoover belt needs replacing or Marc Almond's on Jools again."
Big Tone: slightly misaligned Bigsby so that the bridge shifted slightly to the high side when used. HB Custom Line King-CE NT: String action too high. Solved by removing piezo and dropping saddle. Never used the piezo anyway. TE-52 NA Vintage Series: Rough frets and some fret buzz SC-550: No problems. Perfect. TE-90QM: Neck misaligned, so the high e was too close to the edge of fretboard. Solved by loosening neck screws and forcing the neck into correct position and retightening screws. Custom Line CLD-41S WN: String action was a bit too high for me. Reduced saddle height. Custom Line Manhattan-Standard: Buzzing frets HB-35Plus: No problems. Perfect. Custom Line CLJ-412E NT: No problems. Perfect
The electrics have what I would call 'set up problems' and are generally easily fixed. In fact HB guitars have helped me in learning about setting up a guitar. The acoustics seem to have less problems than the electric. For me, it was mainly string height.
Every time I buy a HB guitar I hold my breath in anticipation because the occasional bad reviews makes me anxious. But mostly my experience has been very good. When ordering, I have to bear in mind the cost of the guitar, returns policy, fast delivery, and the quality of the item compared with other brands. I have bought other brands but personally, at this price point HB beats them hands down. I don't expect champagne for beer money!
This is just my opinion. I know others have had different experiences.
Thanks for your replies. I've been thinking about an RB. I live in the US. Returning a guitar would be expensive, and a pain. I have no issues setting up a guitar, swapping parts or electronics. If I had some of the issues you guys had, it would drive me nuts. A 200 dollar US guitar with 30 shipping isn't a drop in the bucket. I could get an Epiphone at 7 stores within 25 miles of my house. Returns are easy. My guitar was even setup almost perfect. I just dropped the action a little. If the bridge was misaligned, I'd never play it. At this point, I think I'll count my blessings and forget about ordering anything else.
I recently bought 2 Wolf WLP's and they f#cking crush my Harley Benton for quality.Thomann only ever lied to me about my order for nearly 4 months until I finally got it.Played a $5,000 1979 Gibson Les Paul last weekend and my $439 Wolf Les Paul was in a total other league.Gibson is only a name and is a joke.
In my country it is not easy to find a wolf, in any case I remember that already in the past when gibson did not sell by choice in Japan, some created copies of les paul best of the original. (fernandez) Today the difference between noble guitars and new brands is very thin. Despite this, there are still those who believe that a logo on the head is enough to have a good tool. Personally my experience with Hb has been similar to that of my friend "Miccoli" everyone acts as he wishes, I have decided "never again Hb" besides there is more. I found in Ibanez low-end Hb prices and Japanese quality even if built in China. I also bought a Squier std unfortunately the price is a little higher, there is nothing to see with the tea-52 will it have been luck? Perhaps Thomann with his return policy but not easy for everyone, meanwhile the prices have risen, probably if you really want to have fun stay fixed under 200 euros but better on the 150.
Thanks again for the input. I really do appreciate it.
Any $5,000 guitar should be perfect. Gibsons are not. The Gibson company has been stressed. Just because they are made in America doesn't mean all the parts are. The lower price Gibsons are junk imo. I had one in the 80s. I won't make that mistake again. I've been looking around for other options. I have way too many Strats and have been looking at Les Paul guitars as well as others. That's what brought me to this point. The search continues. Wolf does look interesting.
No guitar needs to be perfect. I buy dirty guitars cheap and clean them up, then I buy new screws to replace those some fool shook off on the way I like them to be good enough, though. I want them to look good, sound good and be playable so if the neck is twisted, if holes for parts are in the wrong place or if there are visible faults in the finish, they need to go back. I usually get all that for under 300€. I don't believe in the myth of the guitar that played so well it became "the one" and remained so forever. I suspect this happens to people who can't do a set-up…
I would not spend $5000 on a guitar. This is wasted money. Better buy a chunk of gold and keep it under the bed in a cheap guitar case.
I recently bought a Harley Benton CST-24T with P90s. I was trying it out with different amps on my Eleven Rack and I went to adjust the tone and the volume went down. My first thought was a grabbed the wrong knob. I hadn't though it was the tone knob. After moving the switch through all of its positions it started working as a tone again. I am thinking something is either lose or broken free. Has anybody else had this issue? Has this also been a quality control issue with harley Bentons.
I haven't measured the P90's yet but with the sounds they make I am thinking they are hot pickups. Something akin to 10k.
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