Harley Benton DC-Junior Faded Blue

Electric Guitar

  • Body: Mahogany
  • Set-in mahogany neck
  • Fretboard: Amaranth
  • Fretboard inlays: White dots
  • Neck profile: C
  • Fretboard radius: 305 mm
  • Scale: 628 mm
  • Nut width: 43 mm
  • Graphite nut
  • 22 Medium jumbo frets
  • Pickup: Roswell P90D Alnico-5 Dog Ear single coil (bridge)
  • Volume and tone controls
  • WSC Wrap Around bridge
  • 3-Ply black pickguard
  • Chrome hardware
  • Wilkinson vintage-style machine heads with 15:1 gear ratio
  • Ex-factory stringing: .010 - .046
  • Colour: Open pore faded blue
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Further Information

Colour Blue
Soundboard Mahogany
Top None
Neck Mahogany
Fretboard Amarant
Frets 22
Scale 628 mm
Pickup System P90
Tremolo Nej
Incl. Case No
Incl. Gigbag No
21 Customer Ratings
  • 5
  • 4
  • 3
  • 2
  • 1
4.5 /5
  • features
  • sound
  • quality
Total
features
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quality
Issues, but will keep it
stevesilk51, 17.10.2020
It seems the problems with action adjustment and poor nut cutting have yet to be addressed by Harley Benton. Someone who hasn't got the guitar setup skills that I have developed over the last 30 years or so would be sending this back. I bought another one of these a couple of months ago that had the same nut issue ( string slots not low enough) and stated how I had to screw the bridge ALL the way down to achieve an acceptable action. However with this guitar I screwed the bridge all the way down and still had a high action. So me being me I expect with a guitar costing just £179 that there would be things for me to rectify. The rather sad thing is that these guitars can go low action as the neck is very good, fretwork too. So I simply ground the stop shoulders off the two bridge post screws and put very thin washers in their place to protect the body.

Basically all HB need to do is allow more adjustment downwards with the bridge !? This could easily be achieved by setting the post inserts in the body lower by 3mm or any other method to give that range of adjustment that would make these guitars the best bang for buck I've ever seen!
One more thing I did, which is personal preference really, is to buff the dullness out of the finish of the body and neck. It's described as "faded" and the photos look semi gloss which I like. In reality the finish on these is matt. The other one I have is the same but in red.

I'm planning to put a second p/u in the neck position, and realise this would cancel my guarantee, and I'm very aware of possible issues to the structure of the neck joint but I shall use a single coil size rail humbucker and come away from the end of the neck by at least 25mm. Think it will be fine.
In conclusion: If you are prepared for the potential issues above, and have the skills to deal with them, you can make these into great guitars. If you like a high action , get one. If you want a lowish action and have no maintenance skill, best avoid until HB get the issues sorted.
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gh99, 24.01.2021
I've always wanted an LP Junior-styled guitar since I first saw them as a teenager. The double cutaways just appealed to me, probably helped by seeing a guitarist I admired greatly playing something similar. As a result I jumped at the chance with the HB DC-Junior. This is a very nice little guitar. The satin blue finish is really nice, it sounds good and plays well but, like all of the others I've reviewed, isn't perfect.

-Firstly, this also has a minor case of the pot/knob alignment issue. Since the knobs on this guitar are different to the DC-Custom, they don't bottom out and don't appear to have affected the finish, thankfully, so it hasn't caused a problem and doesn't affect their function but it's a general QA issue which needs addressing.

-This guitar has the smaller UFO-styled knobs used on others so, again, they're a bit small and lacking traction but work well enough.

-The tuners are vintage-style tuners. The knobs look cheap and plasticy. When viewed from behind the headstock the tuner bodies on each side are noticeably different distances from the edge of the headstock. However, when viewed from the front the front, they are OK. I even measured to check that my eyes weren't being deceived and they seem correct so i think that this is an artifact of the design of the machine heads themselves. Being cheap they are probably designed so that the post isn't centred in the body of the unit. It causes no problems but looks cheap and disconcerting when viewed from behind. The tuners themselves work well enough, so far.

-The machine-head bodies are not installed parallel. The rows look look like dogs' hind legs and this wouldn't happen if the installer used something as trivially simple as a straight-edge. I've seen this on guitars reviewed elsewhere, too, so it's another basic QA issue which needs addressing. Stupid, simple failures like this lower the tone of the whole thing drastically and are trivial to avoid so are particularly unimpressive from a customer perspective.

-The fretboard has tooling marks on it in at least one place. This is less forgivable.
-There's a spot of glue or something near the lower horn.
-10s. Like the others I've reviewed, this comes with 10s.
-The jack plate isn't even fitted correctly. It's not centred or straight.

So, it's imperfect and could be better in places. You could change the tuners if desired although, of course, that reduces the value for money but they seem to work well enough. You could correct the alignment if it affects your guitar. The guitar sounds good and plays well and scratches that LP Junior, P90 itch. It's hard to complain at this price. I'm keeping mine. ;-)
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Good things come in small (affordable) packages
Mark Agnesi wouldn't like me, 02.09.2020
First things first, if you're coming here for a 1950's Junior, you're not going to get that. I have one (like, the real deal), and it is not the same.
This is not to say it is not better in some ways, though.

Finish/construction:
I have nothing at all to criticize here. Mine was perfect out of the box. Everything working fine, guitar looks great, super light (much lighter than my original one, but that is a '55 single cut jr.). I didn't find that this bridge biting into my hand, and having the guitar properly intonated is a nice change :)
The fretboard is surprisingly nice and the fretwork pretty perfect. I'm not used to medium jumbo fret wire anymore, so that took a bit getting used to.
The body in my guitar is made of 3 pieces of mahogany, with only a very, very light difference in color or grain orientation. Basically, under some lighting angles, my guitar looks like it has a racing stripe down the middle in a very slightly different shade. Not complaining, looks good regardless. Also, unlike the photos on the product page, my tuners are actually properly installed (for real Thomann, that 2nd string tuner is crooked AF). The volute is a nice touch, one less worry to have with the guitar.

Sound/controls:
This is where the difference lies. This is not a Gibson P90-loaded junior. However, that Roswell P90 is pretty damn cool. It seems naturally more articulate than both my old P90 Jr and my more recent "Authentic" iteration of it.
If you've ever played a proper Junior, you know they are angry little guitars, full of mid-range. You twist the knobs, move your picking hand around, and you can go from punk to jazz if you so wish. But with the pots on 10, there's just dirt to be had, very fast. Good dirt.
With the HB, you also have plenty of dirt, but more focused on the upper mids. I found the electronics to provide a much more controlled bass (as in the lower notes do not distort as readily as the rest of them, hence being "cleaner" than the "authentic product"). Go up the neck and it's every bit as dirty, though. The pickup is pretty articulate in a way that reminds me of a Gibson P90ST (completely underrated pickup if you know what you are doing with it), but slightly less nasal.
On the other hand, the controls could be improved - the pots are fine and do their job, and it is by far the most silent of all my single coil guitar, but the taper in the pots, particularly in the tone pot is a bit meh. You can get any sound out of a Junior, but if the pot does nothing audible between 10 and 8, change is barely perceptible until 6 and then it drops off a cliff - that could be improved a bit. It still works fine, it just needs adjusting with the ears rather than the eyes. Volume pot changes are perfectly adequate, cleaning up and darkening the sound slightly, as they should.
As for the tuners, the plastic knobs are kind of cheap looking, but the guitar stays in tune really, really well. Nut was decently cut too, again, much better than some far more expensive guitars.

My €0.02:
So, the pros are obvious. If you want to have a Junior and simultaneously not go bankrupt, sell a vital organ or settle for an "authentic" imitation, this is it. I did not try the HB SC Jr, as lighter is better in my book, and my "Authentic" Jrs, while light, have that weird heavy ass-end thing where they kind of want to fall off your lap while sitting down. This one balances like a good SG - no neck dive, light, really nice for long sessions playing it. It sounds and looks great, has a voice of its own that can be brought into the fold for Junior-induced happiness, plays really well, stays in tune and intonated, and is insanely affordable. You will also not need to take insurance for this one :)

Cons: you won't be the "authentic" kid at the gig. On the other hand, you won't give a rat's ass about it, because you'll be having fun and not worrying about the guitar. For me, it cures the Junior itch for live use (well, whenever that resumes, thanks to the beer-named disease)

Disclaimer: mass produced, affordable guitar out of the Far East. Mine was good, yours may or may not be. Take my review with a grain of salt.
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I'm in love again!
Courie Amado, 21.12.2020
I have only just purchased this beautfiful guitar and OMG it's even more stunning in person than it is in phots! Most definitely a keeper.

At the moment I am using this for commercial records in my home studio. And once lockdown resrictions allow, I silmply wait to show her off in public!

I love the colour - it's very dark but the blue really shines out when a bright light is put on it. It is super, super lightweight (which I personally love). The neck feels lovely, think, sleek and smooth so perfect for my indie/punk/rock styles. I cannot go on too much about how gorgeous this guitar looks. She's a total stunner.

A basic as you like rock n roll machine that growls, fizzes and cleans up rather nicely too.

Literally, the only thing I don't like on this guitar is the fact that the FAT version with the coil tapping on the stacked P90 is not available in the same faded blue colour! Or Black! If they were I would buy one immediately!

How Harley Benton managed to get a guitar that has a substantial neck which is also slim and zippy, a guitar that feels quality and worthy of being dug into a rock back and yet light as a freather and it's gonna increase your level of cool on stage... and all for under £180! A miracle and my personal Christmas wish came true!
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Show variations of this product
Harley Benton DC-Junior Faded Blue
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Harley Benton DC-Junior Faded Blue

Electric Guitar Body: Mahogany, Set-in mahogany neck, Fretboard: Amaranth, Fretboard inlays: White dots, Neck profile: C, Fretboard radius: 305 mm, Scale: 628 mm, Nut width: 43 mm, Graphite nut, 22...

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Harley Benton DC-Junior Pelham Blue

Electric Guitar Limited Run 2020 - Limited to 250 copies, Body: Mahogany, Neck: Mahogany, Neck attachment: Set-in, Fretboard: Amaranth, Fretboard inlays: White dots, Neck profile: C, Scale: 628 mm,...

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Harley Benton DC-Junior FAT Faded Cherry

Electric Guitar Body: Mahogany, Set-in mahogany neck, Fretboard: Ebony, Fretboard inlays: Dots, Neck profile: Fat '59, Scale: 628 mm (24.72"), Fretboard radius: 305 mm (12.01"), Nut width: 43 mm...

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Harley Benton DC-Junior Faded Cherry

Electric Guitar Body: Mahogany, Set-in mahogany neck, Fretboard: Amaranth, Fretboard inlays: White dots, Neck profile: C, Fretboard radius: 305 mm, Scale: 628 mm, Nut width: 43 mm, Graphite nut, 22...

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Electric Guitar Body: Mahogany, Set-in neck: Mahogany, Fretboard: Macassar ebony, Fretboard inlays: Dots, Neck profile: Fat '59, Fretboard radius: 305 mm, Scale: 628 mm, Nut width: 43 mm, Nut:...

Harley Benton DC-Junior Faded Brown
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Harley Benton DC-Junior Faded Brown

Electric Guitar Body: Mahogany, Set-in mahogany neck, Fretboard: Amaranth, Fretboard inlays: White dots, Neck profile: C, Fretboard radius: 305 mm, Scale: 628 mm, Nut width: 43 mm, Graphite nut, 22...

Harley Benton DC-Junior FAT LH Faded Cherry
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Harley Benton DC-Junior FAT LH Faded Cherry

Electric Guitar Left-hand model, Body: Mahogany, Set-in mahogany neck, Fretboard: Ebony, Fretboard inlays: Dots, Neck profile: Fat '59, Fretboard radius: 305 mm (12.01"), Scale: 628 mm (24.72"),...

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