Harley Benton TE-52 NA Vintage Series

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Electric Guitar

  • Body: American ash
  • Neck: Canadian maple with roseacer skunk stripe, bolt-on
  • Neck profile: C
  • Fretboard: Maple
  • Fretboard radius: 350 mm
  • Dot inlays
  • 21 Frets
  • Scale: 648 mm
  • Nut width: 42 mm
  • Pickups: 2x Roswell TEA alnico vintage TE style single coils
  • 1x Volume and 1x tone control
  • 3-Way selector switch
  • Deluxe chrome hardware
  • Kluson style machine heads
  • Strings: D'Addario .009 - .042
  • Colour: Natural High-gloss
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Further Information

Colour Natural
Pickups SS
Fretboard Maple
Tremolo None
Body Ash
Top None
Neck Maple
Frets 21
Scale 648 mm
Incl. Case No
Incl. Bag No

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672 Customer Ratings:
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TE-52 NA Vintage Series
micoli, 30.10.2017
The sound of Telecasters has never really impressed me but I just wanted one to fill a gap in my collection, which is mainly hollow bodied, (with the exception of a Tokai strat). I play as a hobby so my guitars never leave the house and I really don't demand top-class instruments, although I would certainly be happy to own one! I first researched the options from different makes and suppliers but wasn't impressed with what was on offer for the £200 mark. As I've bought Harley Benton's before, I was confident I could find a Tele at the right price. After comparing them I ordered the TE-52 but to be honest, at just £122 including delivery, my expectations were not that high, despite glowing reviews on the Thomann site and on YouTube. After all, it's a guitar that sells for £113! It was ordered on a Friday evening and received in the UK on Wednesday at 10:00am, tracked all the way.

My first impression was that this was a stunning looking and a very well made guitar. When I checked it over and played it this is what I found:

~ There were no blemishes on the finish and it was pretty perfect.
~ The neck relief was perfect with the strings just sitting above the frets at the 7th fret.
~ The intonation was perfect on 4 strings and slightly off on the D & G strings, which took 30 seconds to put right.
~ The body looks like a 2 piece body, judging from the join at the base.
~ The neck looks like a one piece neck.
~ The dot markers are sitting central on the edge of the fretboard.
~ There was no shielding inside the control panel, pickups and jack socket.
~ The tuners are fine and hold the strings in tune, but I do find there is some slack spots in them,
~ The control panel is 34mm wide so buying a new control panel would be hard to find, (the American version is 32mm).
~ The pickguard is also not a standard American size so it would be harder to find a replacement, to align the 8 screw holes and have a 34mm gap for the control plate.
~ The cavity at the neck position beneath the pickguard is large enough to fit a humbucker or mini-humbucker at the neck. So if you want a new pickup set-up you will need to find the Asian version of the pickguard, (see above).
~ The C shaped neck plays like a dream.
~ The nut is plastic.
~ The neck was seated into the body perfectly, with not the slightest gap.
~ The Roswell pickups sound good enough to me to keep them in the guitar.
~ The guitar strings were slightly corroded.
~ The frets were not polished - so initially no string bending!

I have had the guitar just over one week and I have replaced the bridge and saddles with the Wilkinson compensated brass version. I was just going to replace the saddles but thought it easier to replace the whole bridge. This upgrade isn't really needed but I like my guitars 'just so'. It has had an effect on the sound and it has now, to my ears at any rate, more of a Telecaster 'twang' . While I was at it, I also shielded all the cavities with black shielding paint and replaced the string trees with roller string trees. I fitted a bone nut which was re-cut to eliminate the sharps on the first fret. The strings were initially cleaned up with some WD40 on kitchen towel, which worked fine, but I put another set of 9's on when I replace the bridge. I polished the frets at the same time. If anything the tuners could be replaced, but at a much later time.

This guitar far exceeded my expectations. It's great looking and it was playable straight out of the box. The quality is amazing for the the price paid - if it was twice the price it would still be good value. There are some very small faults but nothing that can't very easily be put right. Most new guitars need properly setting up but this one didn't. Although I fiddled around with it to get it playing exactly how I like it, my upgrades were not really necessary but for the cost involved, I think they are an improvement.

This is my 4th Harley Benton. I've never had anything except the smallest problem with the build quality on HB guitars and this one is about the best I've ever had. So, from being indifferent to Telecasters I am now a convert and I really love this guitar. It's great value and a great player.
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Total
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Top notch quality. All the way!
Motherspot, 19.10.2019
Fabulous! In september i ordered the Harley Benton TE-40 TBK...After a brief try-out i decided to send it back and swap it for this TE-52.For the same price. I'v never been happier i did this. Return policy at Thomanna's is very easy and smooth. The TE-52 was'nt available at that time so i waited 3 weeks. It came to Thomann a little more than a week ago. A few days later, after, quality check it was send to me in Rotterdam, Holland on a tuesday. Next day, wednesday in the afternoon, it arrived at my home. The guitar was very well packed. The strings were wrapped with paper too. I immediately fell in love with this wonder. Before, after reading the reviews, i was a little bit worried that this guitar would be too heavy and that the neck would feel too chunky. Non of this is true! It feels very solid yes but no way too heavy. And the neck feels wonderful...like a 50-ies Fender indeed. It feels very well balanced. The TE-52 arrived in tune, Only the high e-string was a little off. Intonation was spot-on.Quality-check did a great job. No sharp fret-ends. My copy has good tuners non of them feel loose or don't work well...the guitar stays in tune.i find the hardware, knobs, switch & bridge material feeling very solid and it doesn't feel cheap at all! I read somewhere that some folks were worried that this guitar is now made in Vietnam...not in China anymore. Well i can tell you the Vietnamese workers know how to make a Fender-style 50-ies Telecaster. The woodwork is beautiful and the glossy finish fits this guitar. Time to plug it in. Wow the sound..i do love both pickups...the twangy bridge and the darker neck pickup. The sound is Fender Tele-quality. Separate and together they sound very, very good. When holding and playing...it's feeling almost as solid & sturdy as my Duesenberg Starplayer special...an amazing guitar costing almost 10 times more.....although a totally different built style guitar. The pleasure i get from playing this TE-52 is on par. it's a fantastic guitar.I own two other HB guitars, The Jazzmaster copy and the Mustang ...i love those two but the TE-52 is in another league i.m.o...Can't wait to start gigging with it.
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Wow! Really, just wow!
Johnny Hormone, 18.02.2020
WOW! Seriously, wow!

I read about "heavy", well yes it is a slab of Ash and that has weight, but no more than my Les Paul or similar, and it sits perfectly balanced. I can only presume it would be similar with a strap and standing... the office isnt ready for that spectacle :) (I can see the body is made from 3 pieces of timber).

The ash wood used for the body has a lovely grain - luck of the draw I know, but seriously it is a handsome looking guitar. The finish isn't too orange, just a really nice gloss.

The fit and finish are first rate, no gaps, a snugger fitting neck in to pocket you would hard pressed to find, no wonky bits, just a very well finished instrument.

The neck isn't that chunky at all, less so than a Les Paul or a ES series, and about on par with my 12" radius Strat neck. The satin finish is pleasant on the hand, far nicer than a thick gloss, and the fretboard feels good too. Very slick.

I have no sharp frets, they all appear clean and bright, and no choking on bends. No need for any work at all. Amazingly the strings are all clean and bright, no warble at all... I will change them to 10s though as is my preference.

Yes the action was a bit high when it came out of the box, but 5 mins with a hex key and all is perfect.
Intonation is pretty darn good out of the box, although I will put some compensated brass saddles in just to get things a little more accurate.

The neck is true, and when I put some 10's on I will swap the plastic nut for a bone nut/tusq xl to help tuning stability. I'll no doubt give the truss rod a tweak once it settles with the 10s, but I can see no reason why the action won't remain as good and low as it now is.

The vintage style tuners work really well, not the same standard as the Road Worn 60s ones on my Strat, but seriously they have fine enough adjustment to do the job, smooth in operation and have held tuning so far.

I can't comment on the pickups (Roswell branded), nor the volume and tone pots, as I have no amp at the office, but let's be honest, that is 10 mins with a soldering iron and £15 if the pots/cap needed switching out.

All the chrome is highly polished and looks great... not a corroded screw in sight.

So, to summarise, I am absolutely amazed, this guitar was shipped to me for £115... take off shipping, take off Retailer mark up, take of freight costs from China, etc... ow in the world can they make such a playable and well finished instrument for so very little...? Well I guess that is a question of consumer ethics.

I wasn't expecting a lot, I got an awesome guitar, seriously blown away.

If you want a cheap guitar to leave at the office, if you are buying your first guitar, if you just fancy a bit of fun and fancy taking a punt... do it!

It isn't a £1000 guitar, but I have seen plenty of £300 to £500 guitars that weren't a patch on this.

Wow, just wow!
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Just Awesome!
BrianSkeezer, 01.01.2020
I've always liked 50's Telecasters, and after seeing the "In The Blues" review, wanted one of these. I like the thicker necks, and even though I love my Classic Vibe, the thinner neck is the only thing that disappoints me with that guitar. Shane and many reviewers here said that this one had a nice thick neck feel.

This one arrived faster than expected, and upon opening, it struck me as beautiful. The 3-piece body on mine is matched nicely. Man, is this thing heavy, though. 10-1/2 pounds on the scale. Make sure you have a nice wide and padded strap. The weight is all in the body, and it sits perfect while strapped.

First thing I did was feel the neck for thickness, and, unfortunately, this one doesn't feel as thick as I was expecting. It is a little thicker than my Classic Vibe, but not by much. It does have a very nice satin finish on it, that is very slick while playing, and the fret ends are not sharp (not yet anyway), although the bevel put on them is very shallow and further into the fretboard than I would like. Like other reviews have said, the frets themselves are rough, but I think that's just some of the finish from the neck. A few minutes with a fret eraser (or micromesh, or steel wool, etc.) takes care of that. I had to loosen the truss rod a bit to get a little relief in the neck for no fret buzz. the dual action truss rod worked well.

The hardware is not bad at all. The nickle-plated tuners are the vintage style, and work well. 2 were tight, but loosened after turning a few times. The bridge is decent, and I don't mind the 3-saddle. I had no problem with intonating the strings, and didn't have to touch the saddles to set the height yet. One nit-pick I have is that I wish the string ferrules had been recessed in to the back of the body, but they are straight and that is only a preference of mine.

All electronics work as they should, and although I haven't pulled the control plate yet, I know that the switch is one of the cheap pcb-type. It works well, but feels weak. The pickups are ok. The bridge pickup is the better of the 2, and is nice and bright. The tone pot takes care of any shrillness that some may experience. The neck pickup is kind of dark and muddy to me, but that's not my preferred sound. Both pickups are not microphonic, which is great. They take gain well and no squealing.

Just to summarize:

PROS:
Looks great
The neck feels great
No high/low frets and ends are not sharp (again, yet)
Everything works as it should with minimal setup (quality is good)
Price!!!

CONS:
Very heavy body
Neck pickup is dark and muddy

I'm very happy to have this one in my arsenal, and would recommend the TE-52 NA to anyone looking for a Telecaster-style guitar.
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Show variations of this product
Harley Benton TE-52 NA Vintage Series
(672)
Harley Benton TE-52 NA Vintage Series

Electric Guitar Body: American ash, Neck: Canadian maple with roseacer skunk stripe, bolt-on, Neck profile: C, Fretboard: Maple, Fretboard radius: 350 mm, Dot inlays, 21 Frets, Scale: 648 mm, Nut...

  • Colour: Natural
  • Pickups: SS
  • Fretboard: Maple
  • Tremolo: None
  • Body: Ash
  • Top: None
  • Neck: Maple
  • Frets: 21
  • Scale: 648 mm
  • Incl. Case: No
  • Incl. Bag: No
Harley Benton Electric Guitar Kit T-Style
(923)
Harley Benton Electric Guitar Kit T-Style

Electric Guitar Kit T-Style Complete DIY (Do it yourself) kit, Bolt-on neck, Solid wood body (wood colour may vary), Neck: Maple, Fretboard: Amaranth, DOT fretboard inlays, Double action truss rod,...

  • Colour: Natural
  • Pickups: SS
  • Tremolo: None
  • Body: Hardwood
  • Top: None
  • Neck: Maple
  • Frets: 22
  • Scale: 648 mm
  • Incl. Case: No
  • Incl. Bag: No
Harley Benton TE-90QM Trans Red
(213)
Harley Benton TE-90QM Trans Red

Electric Guitar Chambered body: Mahogany, Top: Flamed maple, Bolt-on neck: Maple, Fretboard: Amaranth, Mother of pearl DOT fretboard inlays, Ivory body binding, Bonoid nut, 22 Frets, Scale: 648 mm,...

  • Colour: Red
  • Pickups: P90, P90
  • Body: Mahogany
  • Fretboard: Roseacer
  • Top: Maple
  • Neck: Maple
  • Tremolo: No
  • Frets: 22
  • Scale: 648 mm
  • Incl. Case: No
  • Incl. Bag: No
Harley Benton TE-40 TBK Deluxe Series
(463)
Harley Benton TE-40 TBK Deluxe Series

Electric Guitar Body: Basswood, Top: Ash, Bolt-on neck: Maple, Fretboard: Pau Ferro, Fretboard radius: 350 mm, 22 Frets, Scale: 648 mm, Nut width: 43 mm, Dual action truss rod, Pickups: 2 Roswell...

  • Colour: Black
  • Pickups: HH
  • Fretboard: Pau Ferro
  • Tremolo: None
  • Body: Basswood
  • Top: Ash
  • Neck: Maple
  • Frets: 22
  • Scale: 648 mm
  • Incl. Case: No
  • Incl. Bag: No
Harley Benton TE-30 BE Standard Series
(543)
Harley Benton TE-30 BE Standard Series

Electric guitar Body: Ash, Bolted maple neck, Neck profile: C, Fretboard: Maple, Fretboard radius: 350 mm, Dot inlays, 21 Frets, Scale: 648 mm, Nut width: 42 mm, Neck radius: 13,78", Double-action...

  • Colour: Blonde
  • Pickups: SS
  • Fretboard: Maple
  • Tremolo: None
  • Body: Ash
  • Top: None
  • Neck: Maple
  • Frets: 21
  • Scale: 648 mm
  • Incl. Case: No
  • Incl. Bag: No
Harley Benton TE-20 SB Standard Series
(374)
Harley Benton TE-20 SB Standard Series

Electric Guitar Body: Basswood, Bolt-on maple neck, Neck profile: Modern C, Fretboard: Amaranth, Fretboard radius: 350 mm, Dot inlays, 22 Frets, Scale: 648 mm, Nut width: 42 mm, Double action truss...

  • Colour: Sunburst
  • Pickups: SS
  • Tremolo: None
  • Body: Hardwood
  • Top: None
  • Neck: Maple
  • Frets: 22
  • Scale: 648 mm
  • Incl. Case: No
  • Incl. Bag: No
Harley Benton TE-20 BK Standard Series
(287)
Harley Benton TE-20 BK Standard Series

Electric Guitar Bolt-on neck, Body: Basswood, Neck: Maple, Neck profile: Modern C, Fretboard: Armaranth, Fretboard radius: 350 mm, Dot fretboard inlays, 22 Frets, Scale: 648 mm, Nut width: 42 mm,...

  • Colour: Black
  • Pickups: SS
  • Tremolo: None
  • Body: Hardwood
  • Top: None
  • Neck: Maple
  • Frets: 21
  • Scale: 648 mm
  • Incl. Case: No
  • Incl. Bag: No
Harley Benton TE-90QM HH Trans Blue
(71)
Harley Benton TE-90QM HH Trans Blue

Electric Guitar Body: Mahogany, chambered, Top: Quilted maple, Bolt-on neck: Maple, Fretboard: Amaranth, 22 Frets, Scale: 648 mm, Nut width: 42 mm, Mother of pearl DOT fretboard inlays, Ivory body...

  • Colour: Blue
  • Pickups: HH
  • Body: Mahogany
  • Top: Maple
  • Tremolo: No
  • Neck: Maple
  • Frets: 22
  • Scale: 648 mm
  • Incl. Case: No
  • Incl. Bag: No
B-Stock from $114 available
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