Harley Benton HB-35Plus Metallic Blue

Harley Benton HB-35Plus Metallic Blue Vintage Series, semi-hollow electric guitar, maple body with arched maple top, mahogany sustain-block (entandrophragma cylindricum), maple set-neck, pau ferro fretboard, fretboard radius 305mm, block inlays, 22 frets, 628mm scale, 42mm nut width, 2x Roswell LAF alnico-5 vintage-style humbucker pickups, controls: 2x volume (push/pull coil-split), 2x tone, 3-way toggle pickup selector switch, deluxe gold hardware, deluxe TOM bridge, 010-046 strings, finish: Metallic Blue.

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  • Blues
  • Funk
  • Indie
  • Jazz
  • Rock

Further Information

Colour Metallic Blue
Body Maple
Top Maple
Neck Maple
Fretboard Pau Ferro
Frets 22
Scale 628 mm
Pickups HH
Tremolo No
Incl. Case No
Incl. Bag No

This product is currently sold out

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16 Customer Ratings
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  • 3
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  • 1
4.8 /5
  • features
  • sound
  • quality
Total
features
sound
quality
A pleasant surprise
Head of Vecna, 14.04.2021
This is my first HB guitar, and my first budget guitar, too. I've bought it to try a 335 shape out and see for myself what's the hype is about. I've been playing for more than ten years now (though I'm a bassist first and foremost), over the years I've had many expensive instruments - Gibsons, Fenders, what have you, so my expectations were set high. And so far, I'm very impressed with this axe, I like it a lot. There's some room for improvement, more on this below.

It's a very attractive, visually striking instrument. The contrast between the blue metallic top and the yellow of the back and sides looks wonderful. It looks much better in person, the photos don't really do it justice. Here also lies its most obvious flaw for me - the painted binding is made sloppily, with paint bleed and blemish here and there, and that's about the only disappointing factor about this guitar for me. Still, you can't see it at arms length, and the models with cream plastic binding should be better in this regard.

The guitar feels nice in my hands. The neck is comfortably thick yet not so thick as a vintage spec Les Paul, the fretwork is pretty impressive for the price - all the edges are leveled properly, and while the frets could use some polishing, it's nowhere as bad as the reviews led me to believe. Fixing that is a simple quick job with a dremel tool, masking tape and some polishing paste anyway. The nut is made of Nubone and made well. The volume knobs are fine, but a bit tricky to pull out. The tone knobs are very stiff, but workable. The pickup selector switch could be better, it's not a Switchcraft one I'm used to but come on, give it a break - for the price it's fine. There's no scratchiness or anything about it, it's just a bit too clunky for my taste. Changing it won't be too hard either.
It balances well both sitting and standing, and it's weighs 3,7 kg.
The unbranded 16:1 ratio tuners are pretty good, too - they're firm and tight, feel good and the guitar stays in tune well. The bridge has rolled off edges and doesn't hurt your hand, it's easy to adjust - I had to tweak the intonation a bit.

The sound is perfectly good. It's warm and round, with a lot of low end, and you can change it quite a lot with all the combinations of pickups and coil splits. My favourite is the middle position with split bridge pickup, it brings more top end to the sound. Add some dirt, and it still holds its own.

So, the pros:

- beautiful, vibrant looks
- nice sound with a lot of flexibility
- feels good overall
- quality hardware
- set up well out of the box

The cons:

- nitpicking about paint blemishes
- tone knobs are too stiff
- pickup switch is a bit clunky
- control cavity needs some tidying up
- frets could use some polishing

Overall, I'm impressed with Harley Benton. It's a damn good guitar for the price! I can hardly believe the bang for the buck ratio you can get these days, wish I've had something like that when I was a kid. Whether or not this guitar stays with me, I'm not sure yet, but so far it's been good.
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Total
features
sound
quality
laCoca, 28.03.2021
I'm an acoustic player who wanted to try electric. (funk, blues, latin jazz kind of thing)
I already own a HB CST-24, but try as I might I could not love it. (i feel more towards the heavy distorsion, shred kind of thing)

Got the HB-35 Plus a couple of days ago.
My feelings:
Stunning.
A guitar meant to be played.
It's not perfect, it's got soul.
If you want to play blues and you also appreciate something resembling an acoustic guitar neck and are used to Les Paul weight... this is for you.

PROs:
- fretwork (smooth fret ends, polished)
- setup was great (a bit too high for my taste, but great)
- intonation: spot on, couple of cents here and there.
- looks better than in pictures.
- f-holes look nice and polished
- binding: some of the lines aren't 100% perfect (really, it's a plus, ads character)

Niggles:
- small lacquer cracks (underneath) , where the body joins the guitar.
- frets need to be polished (sometimes makes scratchy noises when bending)
- microscopic specks caught underneath the lacquer on the back side
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Total
features
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Worth the money
Sailerman, 02.04.2021
Bought this just to see what all the hype was about,and the hype is justified,its a lovely guitar for the price,not that gone on the pickups but thats just me but build wise its solid.
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Beautiful, but would benefit from some tweaks
mossler, 15.03.2021
Let's get the first thing out of the way: I purchased this guitar entirely because of the modern look and how the colours were used. It looked magnificent, and in person, I'd say more so. If you want something that stands out, this is it.

I own "a few" semi-hollow and hollow body guitars. I generally prefer the smaller "39" sized models in this shape, and the much larger acoustic style archtops. Right now, I have a single 35 type to compare to in terms of size and shape.

Shape, construction, colour and attention to detail is good to very good. Frets a much better then I expected, though will need minor touch up and polish. Fretboard colour is pleasing in this overall combination and post cleaning looks very good.

Room for improvement:
1) As shipped, the bridge is set higher then any semi-hollow I own. I will need to see if I can coax it lower. The neck's break angle is pretty large, reminding me of 175 hollowbody territory, so this might be necessary.
2) The tone pots are very heavy and hard to rotate
3) The tone/volume knobs are slick and offer little grip
4) The push-pull volume pots are smooth in rotation, but with the shape/grip of the knobs, it mean you require to "three finger claw" to pop them up
5) The pickup/control cables aren't tidy, would have been nice to have an anchor point in the cross beam between the upper volume and tone pots to drag it in

As for tone, I think this might be a place for your ears, needs and budget to decide. They'll do if this is meant to be a platform to mod with x35 wire kit and new pickups, but the jazzy folks might also be served as-is. I would have enjoyed a more Gretschy or Hot Rodded option personally, especially given the stand-out looks.

My sample size of one weighs : 3.45kg/7.60 lbs

I think this will remain in the collection, but I will likely replace the tuners (because 95% of the time I do) and replace the pickups. I like how the tone/volume knobs look (colour/shape), but I will need to replace them even before considering upgrading the pots, as they impede smooth control.
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