Judging by my 3/2020 purchase, this is a great value, and a beautifully built instrument. Of the 4–5 semihollow guitars I've owned, this is the only one I've really loved, and wanted to play all the time.
Like the U.S.-made guitar that inspired it, it has nice acoustic chime, especially on chords, but also enough sustain on single-note lines to satisfy a solidbody player like me. Just don't expect this comfortable, compact body to sound as deep as a larger, more cumbersome ES-335–style guitar.
A few details I couldn't verify from other reviews: The top is nicely arched (not beveled), with arched fingers extending to the horns. The flame-maple veneer on my copy is almost bookmatched. The mahogany back also has some nice figuring under the deep stain, also almost bookmatched.
It looks like a 2-piece back, and I assume that both the back and the maple top are solid/carved wood. From another review, I learned that the center block and the mahogany rims are separate pieces of wood. So this is assembled like a 335, but (presumably) from solid wood pieces.
The neck is 3 pieces of mahogany, joined lengthwise, and stamped "Made in Vietnam." Given those details, and the improved quality control this copy suggests, I'm guessing that Thomann is now building them in the same Vietnamese factory that ESP uses for its LTD range. (I've played 5–6 EC-256's, including the one I own, and the build quality has been beautifully consistent across all of them.)
Unlike some reviews I've seen of earlier builds, the tree-of-life inlays on my copy are perfectly cut. They offer just stunning decoration and workmanship, especially this price. The only downside is that the jatoba fretboard is inherently duller in color than rosewood, so the inlays have less contrast here than they would have against rosewood. (Rosewood is finally exempted from CITES export restrictions, so maybe Thomann will switch to rosewood some day?)
The splittable Roswell LAF pickups are very high-quality for this price range. They're voiced for Les Pauls – so candidly, they don't sound as optimal on this semihollow as on my Harley Benton SC-450Plus (where they really shine). But they sound good enough that most purchasers will have no reason to replace them. The single-coil tones are surprisingly robust and viable, with a bit of gain. As with my SC-450Plus, this guitar's setup was perfect right out of the box.
The only problem with my copy was that the D string arrived buzzing like a sitar, along its entire length. Even the open string buzzed – which implied an incompletely cut slot at the wraparound bridge. Which is odd, because Thomann presumably inspected my B-Stock (returned) guitar before reselling it to me, yet somehow missed this.
Thomann says they've shipped me a replacement bridge, which is taking forever to arrive in the U.S. (As an alternative, they also offered to reimburse me for a repair by my luthier.) In the meantime, I've basically removed the buzz by deepening the bridge slot with a nail file.
A couple of final tips: The bridge's fixed intonation sounds fine, but you can buy a fully adjustable 6-saddle wraparound bridge at quite low cost. (The stock bridge appears to be a Wilkinson, and you can find Wilkinson as well as no-name options.) Also, if you buy a B-Stock copy, you're getting an extra level of inspection in Germany. They obviously missed my bridge's problem, but I'm confident Thomann wouldn't resell an instrument with serious cosmetic flaws (which have been a QC problem on past Harley Bentons shipped from China). Enjoy this axe!