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Harley Benton SC-450Plus LD Vintage Series

Electric Guitar

  • Vintage series
  • Body: Mahogany
  • Arched top made of AAA flamed maple
  • Set-in neck: Mahogany
  • Fretboard inlays: Trapezoid
  • Fretboard: Pau Ferro
  • Neck profile: C
  • Fretboard radius: 350 mm
  • Cream bindings on the body and neck
  • 22 Frets
  • Scale: 628 mm
  • Nut width: 43 mm
  • Double action truss rod
  • Pickup: 2 Roswell LAF Alnico-5 vintage-style humbuckers
  • 3-Way pickup selector switch
  • 2 Volume controls with push/pull function for coil split
  • 2 Tone controls
  • Chrome-plated DLX hardware
  • DLX Tune-o-matic bridge
  • DLX Kluson Style machine heads
  • Ex-factory stringing: D'Addario EXL .010 - .046
  • Colour: Lemon drop high gloss
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Further Information

Colour Amber
Body Mahogany
Top Maple
Neck Mahogany
Fretboard Pao Ferro
Frets 22
Scale 628 mm
Pickups HH
Tremolo None
Incl. Case No
Incl. Gigbag No

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453 Customer Ratings
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4.6 /5
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I like it!
PlayerV, 07.05.2020
I was really surprised when I received this guitar. Stunning looks, great sound and playable out of the box.

For the price, it is an amazing guitar and I'm enjoying playing it without any regrets.

The guitar (manufactured 08/2019) is as close to a "true" LP shape as possible. There are subtle differences, but most of them are barely noticeable - no problem here. What pleasantly surprised me was a thinner (lighter) 3-piece body and 3-piece (scarf joint + heel) neck, neck joint shape that is super comfortable for better hand reach, and (!) a maple top. I measured almost 2cm of wood glued to the mahogany corpus. This is what is missing on my more expensive 2017 Epiphone. On top of this maple cap is a nice AAA flame maple veneer. The binding is in a quite nicely cut slot and seems to be clear any filler. There are rare spots of imperfections in the wood and the lacquer but nothing that would bother me. On the back, there is no veneer and you can see the real wood. The guitar seems to have a long neck tenon, which is also a plus. There is some dust in the guitar. Where is the place with most of the dust? You would not guess - it is below the tuning machines.

The fretboard was a little dried and in need of some oil. Strings were rusty, frets in need of polishing, but really - who plays a new guitar with default strings. What surprised me was no buzzing - after a closer inspection I noticed, that some frets were leveled (nice surprise), unfortunately, the leveled frets were not properly crowned and there were some rougher flats spots. These flat spots should be crowned and frets polished before some serious bending. Of course, a full fret job is a good choice and should satisfy the most demanding players. I was able to lower the action to personally preferred ~1.5mm (high E)/ ~2mm (low E) at 12th fret without any buzzing on the guitar as was shipped. The fret ends were not sharp and I consider them fine, but some additional fine-filing is advisable. The fretboard inlays show some tolerances and filler, but nothing that bothers me. The intonation was set quite correctly.

The neck was set up perfectly for 010 gauge strings. The neck profile is for me a comfortable C. The nut is a plastic one. A recommended upgrade is to replace it with Bone (HB Bone Nut Blank 45 is a great fit) or Tusq one but the stock works fine and provides an acceptable string height. I case of replacing - check the string spacing - some replacement nuts have smaller string spacing and for bigger fingers, it could be ~1mm difference between clean and buzzy playing.

The tuning machines work well - I was a little surprised. They are holding the tuning fine. A bit problematic for me was the bushing that should hold the tuning machines in the place - in some places the string tension was puling the pressed-in bushing out of the holes. The bushing was a loose fit and should be seated properly before serious use.

The hardware is functional but is not that much deluxe and provides a cheaper feeling. The bridge and tailpiece are some generic parts with little burrs. Surprisingly, there is a quite unusual spacing between the posts. On my guitar, the measurements (measured from hardware) are ~72 mm for the bridge (metric standard is 74 mm) and ~80,5 mm for the tailpiece (metric standard is 82 mm). They are measurements used rarely on some guitars, but fitting replacement hardware possibly requires a search for correctly spaced parts or a few mm of filing on newer standard parts. The plastic parts (pickup rings, switch chip, jack plate, and pickguard) also feel cheaper and on my guitar, some were a tiny bit different in a color.

The inserts bridge holes are well-placed for intonation, but what disappointed me a little was, that the inserts in the body were really "inserted" and quite loose - I was able to pull them out of the body without any major effort just by my hand. I was thinking that the wood expanded due to moving to a different world region, but there were shims in the holes from the factory, so they must have been loose even in the factory. This situation is most problematic for the tailpiece because the string tension is pulling the bushing out a little bit and it could cause tuning instability. Teeth on the side of the inserts were almost flat - so maybe there was higher tolerance on some parts (a bit smaller diameter) - who knows - and I was unlucky. It is easily fixable, but good to check before serious playing.

The wiring is surprisingly fine - I have seen a lot worse in more expensive guitars. The cavity itself is not shielded, but all the wires are. It is modern-style wiring with .047uf capacitors (it provides a good sound for split humbucker and darker, but still great sound for humbucker mode), two linear push-pull pots, and two unbranded larger diameter logarithmic tone pots with values well around 500K. The switch is not Switchcraft-like, but it is working well. The Roswell LAF pickups (they supposed to be Roswell's take on PAF) are quite punchy and I like their sound even in the split mode. Wiring modified with .022uf caps and 50's style brightens the sound up and pickups come more to life.

It is quite a good guitar for the price. In my case: You can play it as is without any major changes and it will work fine. You can also upgrade a lot to improve the great core of the guitar to a superbly playing instrument and it still will cost less than half of what you are expected to pay for a similar type of guitar by a different brand (e.g. Epiphone).
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My First Guitar
Nitram B, 14.08.2020
After too may years of dithering I finally got around to ordering my first ever guitar. Over the last 6 months I have watched loads of YouTube reviews on many different makes and models and almost went for a completely different make and model from another supplier, but this one always seemed to get great feedback, so I took the plunge.
Ordering was very easy through the website and along with the guitar I purchased a practice amp and few other bits and pieces.
My order was placed on the Friday morning and I was able to track the progress from the moment it was dispatched all the way to my front door, here in the UK.
The package was delivered on the Tuesday, so only 4 days later and when you take into account it sat in a UPS warehouse in Germany over the weekend before moving on to the UK this was I thought was quick.
On arrival the outside box was quite heavily damaged but UPS asked that we take pictures before their driver left just in case the contents were damaged or missing. On opening the outer box I can confirm everything was still in the packaging including the small packet of picks. The guitar box had a small hole in it where the switch had come through the cardboard, the block of polystyrene that would normally cover this switch had been dislodged in transit, but on close inspection of the guitar itself there was no damage.
I have now started to learn how to play, only two chords so far but I want each one to sound right and for me to go to them relatively easily before I learn another.
Anyway I only need one more and I should be able to play the whole of Status Quo's entire back catalogue if the rumours are true.
As a complete novice I can't tell you if this plays any better or any worse than a similar priced guitar of another brand but I can say that I like the way it feels when I hold/learn to play it. There were no rough edges to the frets, the build quality seems excellent, the sound to my untrained ear is fine but I do have to check the tuning every time I pick it up.
The tuning issue may be due to the high temperatures we have been experiencing I assume temperatures, and atmospheric conditions can affect the materials it's made from, but what do i know?
For me, this appears to have been a great purchase and a very simple one too. I am really enjoying learning to play on this guitar and every time I pick it up for my next brief session it makes me smile.
Give me another 20 years of practice (if I live that long) and who knows what I will be able to play?
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Алекс&#107, 11.06.2020
Harley Benton SC-450Plus LD, удивительная гитара!!! За малые деньги я получил гитару с прекрасным, универсальным звуком в идеальном состоянии, как внешнего вида, так и электроники! Датчики звучат потрясающе, а за эти деньги, это вообще подарок! Любителям музыка Гари Мура, стоит обратить особое внимание на эту гитару, так как ей доступно воспроизвести все нюансы и особенности исполнения композиций гениального Мура!!! Вообщем гитара из коробки только порадовала! Остаётся загадкой, как за такую низкую цену можно создать такой замечательный инструмент и стоит ли выкидывать деньги, не коммерческому гитаристу, на дорогие инструменты ведущих фирм из-за надписи на грифе?!!!
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Nothing to complain for this price. Actually a wonderful deal
Miguel Francisco, 29.04.2017
***EDITED ON 17/01/2018****
Almost one year with this guitar. Still very satisfied. I have read many good reviews on this guitar and I just hope that Thomann will keep the standard with the new stock to come.
You will find few bad reviews on this guitar. Most are good: German, Spanish, French and English. No matter the language, so many people cannot be wrong. I join them.
Regarding the bad reviews two possibilities: 1- a bad guitar between a bunch of them. That can happen on big brands as well and for that you have the return and warranty. 2- People expected to have a 2XXX $ big "G" for less than the tenth of its price. 3- Taste, yes indeed there is taste for everything. 3- I will not give any adjective, but you know what I mean, people who does not know what they are talking about and complain about everything that is not 100% perfect. Is there something perfect, starting from the player?Personally, I do not think so.

I put better strings and made few minor adjusts since I bought it. I take it to at least 70% of the sessions I play. (About 3 per week between rehearsals and live) That since almost one year ago. I get that praise for the tone when I use this guitar in venues of 100 to 180 people.
I also own a big F deluxe Tele, a big E semi acoustic, a Vintage Stratocaster and a special Red with Burns pick ups. A part of taste and purpose depending on the chosen song, this guitar remains the one I use the most proportionally speaking. Of course the most inexpensive one I have ever bought including other HB's.
This edited review takes me to the bottom line: If this guitar keeps rocking until the three years warranty period is fulfilled, I will feel like I made the best guitar deal in my entire life with this purchase. If not, I will replace few things with probably 200 bucks and keep rocking closer to a big G for other few years!

***ORIGINAL REVIEW IN 2017****
Nothing to complain for this price. Actually this guitar rocks for the budget. Mine is only two pieces wood. Finishing is flawless. The bridge was replaced by a Gotoh (33? extra) A bit of setup done by myself and I installed strap lock. Total with a Gibbag was of 220?. The guitar is nearly perfect. Even if one day I need to replace the switch or the nut, that will be a easy and inexpensive move.

Now analyse the following. A similar guitar with a big "G" written on the headstock costs 2000?. Is that guitar 10 times better? I seriously doubt. My Fender Telecaster American Deluxe costed me 1600? four years ago. The current one similar to mine will be the Fender Telecaster American Elite. It costs nearly 2000?. Well, listen to this; my Fender has two pieces Alder body. The pots make noise on turning when high gain settings (CTS branded as Fender) since day one. The noiseless Fender pups have some hum anyway. The control cavity was not shielded. Definitely it is not 10 times better but costed me 10 times the price of the HB. I am not comparing a LP with a Tele. There are different instruments. But you can find a HB Tele for the same price than my HB SC 450 plus LP. You can also find a real LP for the same price than my Fender Telecaster. That is my point.
At 159 ? you cannot go wrong. Of course some HB needs to be sent back, but if you get one like mine (and there are many out there.) then, you made the deal.

I forgot. The scratch plate is of plastic toy, but it is well cut and looks ok. It fulfils the purpose as it avoids the plectrum to hit the finishing of the guitar. It is not a 3 ply definitely, but who cares?

I could have live with the original bridge, but I like Gotoh because the HB has valleys for the strings. That does not affect the tone too much, but I am a bit demanding.
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Show variations of this product
Harley Benton SC-450Plus LD Vintage Series
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Harley Benton SC-450Plus LD Vintage Series

Electric Guitar Vintage series, Body: Mahogany, Arched top made of AAA flamed maple, Set-in neck: Mahogany, Fretboard inlays: Trapezoid, Fretboard: Pau Ferro, Neck profile: C, Fretboard radius: 350...

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Harley Benton SC-450Plus CB Vintage Series

Electric Guitar Vintage Series, Body: Mahogany, Arched top: AAA flamed maple, Set-in neck: Mahogany, Fretboard: Pau Ferro, Fretboard inlays: Trapezoid, Neck profile: C, Fretboard radius: 350 mm,...

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Harley Benton SC-450Plus HB Vintage Series

Electric Guitar Vintage Series, Body: Mahogany, Arched top: AAA flamed maple, Set-in neck: Mahogany, Fretboard: Pau Ferro, Fretboard inlays: Trapezoid, Neck profile: C, Radius: 350 mm,...

Harley Benton SC-450Plus VB Vintage Series
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Harley Benton SC-450Plus VB Vintage Series

Electric Guitar Vintage series, Body: Mahogany, Arched top: AAA flamed maple, Set-in neck: Mahogany, Fretboard: Pau Ferro, Fretboard inlays: Trapezoid, Neck profile: C, Fretboard radius: 350 mm,...

$195
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