Harley Benton HB-35 VB Vintage Series

155

Electric Guitar

  • Vintage series
  • Build: Semi-Hollow with mahogany sustain block (Entandrophragma cylindricum) and F-holes
  • Body: Maple
  • Arched top
  • Set-in neck: Canadian maple
  • Fretboard: Amaranth
  • Neck profile: C
  • Fretboard radius: 305 mm (12")
  • Dot fretboard inlays
  • Cream binding on the body and neck
  • 22 Frets
  • Scale: 628 mm
  • Nut width: 43 mm
  • Double action truss rod
  • Pickups: 2 Vintage-style humbuckers
  • 3-Way pickup selector
  • 2 Volume knobs and 2 tone knobs
  • Chrome hardware
  • Tune-O-Matic bridge
  • Closed die-cast machine heads
  • Stringing: Harley Benton .010 - .046
  • Colour: Vintage burst high gloss
available since July 2015
Item number 362656
sales unit 1 piece(s)
Colour Sunburst
Body Maple
Top Maple
Fretboard Amaranth
Frets 22
Scale 628 mm
Pickups HH
Tremolo No
Incl. Case No
Incl. Bag No
$175
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155 Customer ratings

130 Reviews

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Exceeded expectations!
Adrian Deans 08.11.2018
I recently joined a (gigging) band and decided it was time to expand my guitar collection. From what I have read about Harley Benton and given the price I decided to take a shot.

Aesthetics:
The guitar arrived in 3 working days, which was a nice surprise. Getting it out of the box I was amazed how pretty it looked, it was very nicely finished, and has no blemishes at all, not one! It looks a lot more expensive than it actually cost.

Sounds:
I first plugged it into my PC/interface and tried out a few amp sims to see what the clean tones were like. Again I was pleasantly surprised by the tones. I already own an LP style guitar and was concerned that this guitar would not sound different enough. But it sounds very different and there is no mistaking that this is a semi-hollow guitar, the pickups are warm, sweet and articulate, and allow the acoustic tones on the instrument to shine. The neck position was pure jazzy loveliness. Warm, but not muddy and had that nice woody tone, whilst retaining clarity. The mid position was perfect for those funky James Brown 'Get on up' tones, or B.B King, very nice. The bridge pickup was very Chuck Berry-esque. This guitar really delivers on tone. I was half expecting to have to upgrade the pickups at some point, but, I really don't have to, it sounds great. I also tried it on a Boss Katana head that our rehearsal space lends out, and even with distortion
it retained its character, though Im not a fan of solid state amps. Tried it later with my Marshall Haze 40 tube combo and its sounded fantastic!

Playability:
When the guitar first arrived I wasn't able to get the action as low as I would have liked without any buzzing. But after a few days, it seemed to be better, and now I have the action low enough to be comfortable to play. I'm guessing it just needed some time to acclimatise/acclimate. The frets could also benefit from a polish. The guitar came with 9 gauge strings fitted. I play with 10's, so when I change them, I will try and get the action a bit lower. If I cant, I will do a fret level, crown and polish. This is not absolutely necessary, but being a tinkerer, I'd like to try and get the action lower. Given the price of the guitar the frets are pretty level, and they were nicely finished on the ends.

Would I recommend this guitar?
Definitely . What you get for the price, is ridiculous. Beats the heck out of my '96 Epi LP Standard.

I've already made a wish list of 5 more Harley Benton guitars, I just have to convince my wife that having that many guitars is justifiable!
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Pleasantly Surprised
Anonymous 11.12.2015
Firstly. Hats off to Thomann. They have always provided great service.

Now the guitar. . . . I put off buying this for weeks and weeks as I was unconvinced by all of the good reviews it had received. I eventually bit the bullet and thought if it isn't any good I can always return it. Well, I have to say that I was very surprised when I opened the box. The colour and lacquer finishes are surprisingly very good with only a small imperfection on one of the cut-away's at the binding. I was expecting it to be quite poor as far as the sunburst goes but it is really very good. The neck is nice too and the headstock finishes it off with a nice motif. I've owned a couple of Epi dots (vintage sunburst and blonde) that have not been any better. All of the tuners are in line, something I have seen on several reviews as an issue. The frets are well finished too. All of the electronics work fine. I only use it at home so I have no need for a massive sound and I don't use lots of effects. If it is going to be used professionally then the pickups may need swopping out. I changed the strings immediately for D'Adarrio 10's and set the neck relief and action to my liking.
There are some other minor issues such as a very dry finger board, comes up nice with lemon oil. The wiring loom is visible to through the lower F hole, no big deal. The pick guard looks like it has been cut out with a craft knife by a five year old, something else that comes up regularly in reviews. I always intended on removing it anyway. The body is a bit smaller than the original 335. It is probably in between an Epi Dot and the coupe. I have to say for just north of £100 delivered it is pretty amazing. I don't know how a guitar can be produced for this kind of money. The only disappointment is that I would have preferred it in the Cherry red, but I was not prepared to spend an extra £20 for the colour (not sure why it is more expensive), plus it was out of stock at the time I ordered. All in all I am very pleased. If you are having doubts, go for it, don't expect Gibson quality and you will not be disappointed. I may be tempted to try a HB acoustic shortly.
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It needs some lovin'
Jerry G 13.11.2017
Finish and looks: Perfect 10. (just remove or use a file and some sandpaper to reshape the pickguard which is plain dreadfull).

Electronics: Switches do the job well and seem durable. The pickups are very nice too, with ample output, producing a variety of tones especially with the help of the tone knobs.

Playability: Playable out of the box but:
Action a bit high. Also the frets were badly finished (file marks) and in my opinion, badly levelled. Also the nut was sit waaay too high which made the guitar kinda uncomfortable to play.

Conclusion: It took me about 1 1/2 hour to remove the pickguard, file down the nut, level, shape and polish the frets. Now the guitar plays as perfectly as it looks. A tech could do it in 30 minutes or less I guess.

I know it is ridiculously cheap! But still, with a little more lovin' it can play 10 times better! So why thomann? Why not spend that time to let this instrument reach its full potential? I think you should. It deserves it, and you plain simple underestimated your own creation! And I (and everyone for that matter) would pay a little extra for that.


Still highly recommended but you have to promise to give yours the love it needs.... and for 185 euros you got lots of ...love to spare
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This guitar sings!
duncanamps 21.04.2020
I bought this (my first Thomann order) to have a semi-hollow guitar for occasional use without spending a fortune.

For £155 I was not expecting much from this guitar, however I could not believe the quality of the finish on it. The wood underneath the coating has no blemishes, the fretboard has just the right balance between rough and smooth to my feel. The headstock is finished with synthetic inlays that have been very well done. Binding around the body is well finished and accurate as are the dot inlays on both the side of the neck and fretboard. I did not detect any roughness on the frets or dead spots.

To play, this guitar feels good. My initial reaction was that the strings felt very light for my use, measurement showed they are a set of 0.008-0.039". The tuners felt smooth and accurate. The setup was generally well done, the intonation on the D string was slightly low.

Plugging in, the tone surprised me; the glued in neck provides a great sustain and a good range of tones are available from this guitar. The neck humbucker has enough bite and lots of output. The bridge humbucker has enough low end for a balanced sound.

My only complaint was the dolly on the cheap toggle switch flaps around, not simple to replace on these types of guitars.

PROS: Generally well made, fantastic tone, plays well
CONS: Flappy toggle switch

Summary: Don't let the low price put you off. Buy one, you won't be disappointed.
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