Harley Benton TE-52 NA Vintage Series
$139
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Zaphroz 17.01.2018
I got this guitar as I watched some videos online and loved the sound of it and it had some nice reviews as well. The finish and build quality seemed to be very good although the action was very high, but I figured lowering it shouldn't be an issue.

Unfortunately no matter how I adjusted the truss rod and saddles on the bridge I couldn't really get the action much lower as I immediately got fret buzz - so the action is still too high and I assume it needs fret leveling, which would literally cost me more than half the price of the guitar.

Another issue is the noise of the pickups, as there's a significant hum which I assumed was just a feature of single-coil pickups, but now that I have compared it to two other single-coil guitars I realize that this is not just normal noise, this is something else. This is not a huge issue, but it is a little bit annoying.

Overall, I do like how the guitar feels and sounds, but unfortunately the annoying buzz does irritate me a bit and the high action makes it less than a joy to play.

I guess this is what you'd have to expect for the money, and I can't claim that it's terrible as the finish is nice, it stays in tune, the sound is crisp, and there's no sharp fret ends to tear into your hand - but you do get what you pay for and it's far from perfect.

If you own the skills and the tools to deal with issues like this, it's probably not a big deal, but I don't know how to level frets, nor should I be expected to on a brand new guitar, so for that I can't really recommend it to a beginner, but maybe to a hobbyist.
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Great except high frets somewhere around 17-21 making fret buzz
Dave_Scrolly 17.04.2020
The base is solid, but has some fret buzz problems if you want to play up to and past the 10-12th fret.

The guitar is a great feeling, chunky, solid base product. My only issue is that a fret or two high up the neck is buzzing. I don't want to send it back to Europe over that (import to US) but it is disappointing. I had to raise the action till it's about 4+ millimeters at least at the 12th fret to get it to stop. So this guitar has the worst action of all my guitars.

So it's hard to play, but it sounds much better than my $150ish Squier and feels close, maybe even better in construction than my $350ish Epiphone. I don't know if it's the pickups or the rest of the construction or what but it is the best single-coil sounding guitar I have ever had.

I'll take the opportunity buy some fret leveling tools and try to fix it myself. In the long run, I guess I might save money learning to fix this stuff myself but I wish could have just enjoyed playing this otherwise great guitar right out of the box.
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HB Ash T-Style
Rooster Booster 22.06.2021
You'd be hard pushed to get a Ash bodied T-style for the price. But, it's far from perfect out of the box.

The playability and setup needed attention. After truss rod adjustment it still has fret buzz. It's going to need a fret level and crown to get a moderate action. It also has a chunky neck, beware.

The pickups where as to be expected for the price. I replaced the scratchplate with a Nashville T-Style and added 3 Ironstone single coil pickups. I happier with the sound now.

I had issues with the delivery, the outer box and other purchased items where lost in transit. Being in the UK, I was told I might have to pay duty again for replacements due to no fault of my own, and I'd already paid the courier the initial VAT and duty payment.

Thomann said they would not make a claim for the missing items, calling then "low value". So, I made the claim to avoid paying extra. Better customer support would have been welcomed from Thomann. After spending thousands of pounds at Thomann, I questioned their customer support.

I got the issues resolved eventually after sending pictures of the guitar box minus the missing outer box.

Might need work out of the box to become playable.
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Nice cheap instrument!
Anonymous 26.03.2015
This is my 3d guitar and I am 45 years old playing guitar for the last 30 years. This instrument is cheap, very cheap but isn't so cheap after all!! It sounds good, ok not as the real thing but good enough! The wood is heavy but not so heavy as my fender lead III. I am a little bit disappointed because the guitar's body had a small paint cracking near the neck area! Also the strings were too high so I had to adjust this from the bridge screws. Also the tone knob is not well done and it turns like crazy! I intend to open the cover and clean-fix the knobs. Also the fret ends are not smoothened and I feel them when I play...I intend to do some work there...Ok the fretboard is bit wide and the arm is a bit uncomfortable. Off course this is a matter of taste... Another thing is that the nut is uneven but I can't feel any problem playing the thing,,,Anyway, for the money it costs is a fairly good instrument! Maybe I could give some more money for a basic model of another manufacturer but I don't regret buying it at the end...Many thanks to thommann for very fast delivery!!!
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Excellent Guitar-Nightmare Shipping
Anonymous 24.07.2016
As far as the guitar is concerned, it is an excellent product. The frets were already dressed, no buzzing even after I lowered the action.
The workmanship is also great. Visually this guitar looks amazing. The colour is more of a butterscotch than it shows in the online photos, much to my liking.

However after stating the above I will never order from Thomann again until they fix their shipping methods.

I paid 60 euros from Germany to Vietnam, not bad if it came here in a suitable time frame. I paid for DHL or so you are lead to believe but it was handed over to the Vietnamese Postal service upon arrival. It then spent 12 days in Customs. The Vietnamese Post said they were not responsible to clear it and DHL said that it is not their responsibility either.
Thomann was of little to no help and basically stated it is not their problem.
All I know is if I pay a company, in this case Thomann to deliver a product then it is indeed their responsibility.
After many phone calls and paying "extra" money I was able to get it released.
I then had to go to the post office to pick it up as both Thomann and the Vietnamese post said my payment of 60 euros and "extra" money does not cover delivery to my actual address.
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stunning for the money - a few niggles
Ageing Hippy 31.05.2018
I really didn't need another guitar. I have seven already including two Strats, a LP and a Gretsch. I ordered this simply because I wanted to see for myself what these guitars are like. When it arrived I was stunned. So impressive for the money. After setting the truss-rod and bridge saddles how I like 'em, and giving it a set of Fender Bullets, I gave it a thrashing.
Niggles - the back of the neck had a small but pronounced bump, which I think was a hardened drip of lacquer. Sanded off straight away. The slot for the nut hadn't been cut properly and there is a tapered gap behind the top three strings. After checking intonation I filled this with milliput.
I'm not keen on the 'aged' finish on the neck and fingerboard, would prefer plain clear-lacquered pale maple.
Good bits - The bridge pickup is fantastic, the neck pick-up not so much, which is a shame, but what can you expect at this price? I lifted the pickup height to equal the volume of the bridge pickup and it's not too bad, but not great.
The other guitar player in my band has a Fender Elite Tele to compare to, and sure, his guitar sounds a little better. But I could buy fifteen of these guitars for the price of a Fender Elite. His guitar doesn't sound or play fifteen times better. It just doesn't. The finish on the body is no better either.
Unbelievably good value guitar, and any quality control issues can be ironed out if you know what you're doing.
Highly recommended, especially for people who don't want to take expensive instruments to gigs in seedy dives. Like me, for instance.
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Good but way too heavy
MSIon 02.06.2021
Had the Te-52 but gave it away cause of the hefty weight. Build and quality was OK but the 3 wood slabs that made the body were nowhere close enough to match and that also did not help me bound with the guitar. Overall, cheap guitars better be painted :)
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Well for that price, but does not match the photos on the website.
Anonymous 07.11.2015
The neck is glossy on the pictures on the website, but actually no. Sad.
In the picture two retainers, actually just one. If I knew in advance - would have ordered an additional retainer. Bad.
Tuners installed not those as shown on the photo. It is unpleasant.
The holes for the strings in the bridge and body do not match (a little bit). Could be better. Not fatal.
The body of the guitar is made of 4-5 pieces of wood (pictured are only 2 or 3). No luck.
Rusty strings - have to change. This is normal.

Nice heavy guitar, sounds great, neck is straight, fretwork is ok.
At this price impossible to find something that sounds better.

Instrument is very different from the images on the website.
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Basically a good guitar for the money, but will need some work
David132 02.05.2013
Basically a good guitar for the money, let down by poor quality tuners and mine desperately needed some fretwork. The plus side is good quality wood, in the body and neck, classic though body stringing and great sounding pickups. The downside is as with most high production cheap guitars, the quality control on the setup is very poor, and my guitar needed a fret dress to remove the very sharp edges, and a fret level to get the action to a reasonable standard without buzzing. The only hardware disappointment is the machine heads which feel stiff and unresponsive, so I’ll probably upgrade those soon. If you buy one of these guitars I would budget for a decent setup and fret level/dress.
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Not bad
Daisy1989 08.05.2020
The TE-52 is all around not a bad instrument, I would however say that the one I received was incredibly heavy so for a live situation I would never use it.
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Harley Benton TE-52 NA Vintage Series