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
  • Cream bindings on the body and neck
  • 22 Medium jumbo 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: Vintage burst high gloss
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Further Information

Colour Sunburst
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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311 Customer Ratings:
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Nice looking LP variant, with a few visual QC issues
damo, 08.07.2019
This is the second LP type guitar I've had from Thomann recently. The other was the SC400 SGT (gold top). I seem to have similar visual QC issues with this one and I'm deciding whether to keep it or not.

Here's a few observations

Weight: (They vary a lot apparently, even for the same model) I would say this is on the lighter side for a mahogany body.

Looks: From a distance the vintage burst looks great. When you get close you can see every wood join in the body, a very visible scarf joint at the neck. The ivory binding has dark paint flecks in various places.
These are minor annoyances and the SC400 had similar paint issues.

In terms of fit and feel, the neck feels really nice, no sharp frets. The frets themselves though are badly in need of a good polish, They feel scratchy and unpleasant when you bend a note. This is not helped by the cheap included strings which feel poor.

Tuners work, no dead spots, quite responsive. However they look and feel really cheap. Really, rather than being 'authentic' in look it would probably be better to just stick better tuners on there, even if they don't look the part. The plastic feels really like it won't last. But we'll see.

For me the real QC let-down is the misaligned tuner fitting on the rear of the headstock, I'm not a carpenter but given a symmetrical headstock I think I could do a better job of lining them up. No two of the three pairs align. I'm not sure what angles or means of alignment were used but I'd question it.

My SC400 SGT has the same issues (paint bleed and misaligned tuners) The SC400 was worse and I returned it. This one I will play with for a day or two before deciding. Although Thomann's service is great, returning guitars and waiting for refunds is a pain, so we'll see.

It's one of the weird things with Harley Benton guitars. Some are great for the money (my TE-90 FLT cost 20 euro more and there is a large chasm in quality difference). Even the ST-62 I bought at the same time as this SC450 Plus has better finish.

Overall Harley Benton guitars have been good for me, but a little tightening up of quality and consistency would be good. It's not unreasonable to expect that if you spend 150 euro on one HB guitar and it's great, that if you buy a different 'model' for the same price that the quality is equally good.

Will see with this SC450 Plus, will update review when I've decided whether to keep.

Update: returned the first one. Eventually ordered a replacement. This one looks better overall, but once again the tuners are misaligned!! This was QC passed. It seems like whoever is making these SC guitars doesn't care about quality, and that Thomann are willing to overlook this, because the guitar is a "certain price". I've bought cheaper LP copies than this which didn't have these issues. So it is possible if there is the will. And I'm afraid the old "look at the price argument" doesn't stack up. If I was a guitar repairer/tinkerer/luthier, I'm sure I would just shrug my shoulders at this, but I'm not. I'm trying to be a guitar player, and only have time to learn to play, or learn to repair, I can't do both.

As borne out by my recent experience, sone HB models arrive with few or any flaws, some with lots. It seems, a the moment that it's the LP copies that are problematic. I returned a problem SC-400 gold top, SC450-PLus and I have a SC-450 P90 which has so many issues that it's a bit of a joke, Thomann offered me a substantial discount to keep that one.

Update, I ordered a replacement about a month later and the second one was much better. Happy to hold onto the second and it is now one of my favourites
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From Zero to Hero!
Sweetloaf, 06.01.2020
Long(ish) story, but please stick with it as I had to.

I ordered this guitar just before Xmas (2019) and was a bit gutted when it arrived. The guitar had obviously taken a knock in transport leaving the bridge bent and the rear strap button loose, with cracked paint around the button. I was straight onto Thomann who offered either a discount and replacement parts, a replacement guitar or a refund. I decided to put up with the minor faff of a replacement. One other minor gripe was slightly offset tuners leaving more tuning key exposed on the underside of the guitar than at the top.

Onto the second guitar and after my initial experience left me dubious as to what I'd receive I have to say I'm stunned. I've only played a few Gibson LP's when I went to buy one 15 years ago in a local store and walked out with a US strat...as you do. I liked the LP but couldn't say I liked it enough to spend £1500+. As well as the strat I also own a Squier vintage modified tele, Gibson SG special, PRE SE custom 24 and in my time have owned an LTD EC-1000 (great sounding but couldn't stop it buzzing without expensive work) and an Ibanez hollowbody artcore thingummy and a different SG special but I've still always wanted an LP style guitar. The quality of this guitar is up there with all my keepers and yet it's the cheapest guitar I own. This is not a good guitar for £140, it's a good guitar full stop. You know how some guitars feel ok and others feel like a proper musical instrument that you really want to play. If all Harley Bentons are this good (as long as they haven't been dropped from a great height) I'll be getting a few more. Very happy today and very pleased with how Thomann dealt with my issues. My intention was to swap out the pickups for a SD 59 and JB but now it's in my hands I don't feel the need. The neck is very glossy which I knew wouldn't be to my taste but that's an easy fix with a few sheets of high grit paper and a splash of water. Seems a shame cause the neck looks so nice. Strings are OK ish (not that that matters as new strings is always job number one) and frets don't feel rough as some others have stated. The fretboard seems a shade lighter than standard rosewood but it has a beautiful grain and looks all the better for that. The tuners do their job and it stays in tune.

One day I'll actually learn to play these things :)
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An amazing bargain
ZoltanP, 26.12.2015
I'm a passionate Les Paul lover and sunburst afficionado, and this guitar looked just insanely pretty for the ridiculous price so I impulse bought it to see what it's actually worth as an instrument. In short:

- Out of the box, it's a very decent beginner's instrument so beautiful that you'll want to pick it up again as soon as you put it down.

- With a bit of care you can make it even prettier by addressing the minor blemishes that are to be expected from a guitar in this price range.

- If you're prepared to invest a little more money for a couple of replacement parts and quite some time and elbow grease to really upgrade it, you'll be as amazed as I am now.

Pros:
- gorgeous looks;
- unbelievable price point;
- very comfortable neck, much more accessible on the high end than a regular Les Paul;
- very decent tuners and stop bar tailpiece;
- warm PAF flavoured alnico pick-ups;
- robust and reliable selector switch;
- fine and smooth volume pots;
- very nice pot knobs;
- good quality nut;
- very nicely machined, filled and lacquered mahogany body and neck;
- real massive maple cap with fine flamed veneer;
- overall quite good setup out of the box.

Cons:
- stock Tune-o-matic bridge unworthy of this nice guitar;
- rather raspy frets and quite coarse fretboard spoiling bends and vibratos;
- cheap looking plastics;
- minor dents and blemishes on the otherwise nice finish;
- smooth but not very articulate tone pots;
- some loose screws here and there;
- a bit rusty strings out of the box.

The list of pros is quite amazing for the price you pay, and I could address most of the list of cons with a bit of effort. In something like 5 hours of work, I did the following:

- I replaced the bridge and its posts with a Gotoh GE103B-T C kit (33¤ at Thomann);
- I applied Loctite to all screws around the body (cavity covers, strap pins, pick-up rings) and tightened them;
- I replaced the thin plastic washers under the strap pins with thicker rubber ones;
- For my personal aesthetics preferences, I replaced the switch plate (the "RHYTHM/TREBBLE" one) with a finer looking Gibson spare (4,88¤) and the bulky hexagonal securing nut of the switch with a leaner round and dented one;
- I filed down the protruding molding flash from plastics like the pick-up rings and the jack socket cover;
- I filed the edges of the trussrod cover to an angle so that the 3-ply structure (black-white-black) became apparent to look much nicer;
- I very lightly wet-sanded the entire fretboard smooth with lemon oil and 600grit sandpaper, debuffed with 1000grit steelwool and soaked in lemon oil overnight;
- Using fret rubber, I polished up all frets to a shiny finish, removing the dull and raspy coating they came with;
- To take full advantage of the beautiful vintage burst around the whole body, I removed the scratchplate and plugged and painted the screwholes to conceal them;
- I restrung with Dean Markley Custom Light 9-46;
- and I set up action, intonation and neck relief.

The end result is such that I must give the guitar a total of five stars no less. With the exception of the tone pots which I did not bother to replace, every item on my cons list was addressed. Now the guitar looks amazing, and even more importantly it plays unbelievably smoothly and well. From a playability and smoothness aspect it is actually perfectly on a par with my original Gibson Les Paul Standard (how ridiculous is that!!!), and comfort-wise it is even better because of the less bulky and more accessible neck joint. The pick-ups have less bite and edge than today's Burstbuckers but they still do a very decent job capturing the vintage alnico humbucker feel.

Overall:

- If you're a beginner, this is a very good choice to start with.

- If you're a more advanced player, it's an equally good choice. Just make sure you polish the frets and sand the fretboard nice and silky, and you'll get the axe to an unbeatable level of smoothness and comfort, perfectly fit for practice, studio and stage use.

- And if you're passionate, this is the perfect beautiful guitar to upgrade into a monster. If you do nothing else but the mods I made, you will still have spent less than 200¤ in total, and what you'll get is a guitar that looks, feels and plays at least as good as instruments worth six to ten times this price. Honestly, mine easily beats Custom Epiphones any time, and it neither looks, nor feels cheap even if I compare it to a Gibson.

With such value for money, buying a setneck mahogany Harley Benton SC is just a no-brainer! Everybody should go for it!
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Fantastic guitar that did not disappoint in the slightest.
Mfenwy, 23.12.2019
A well made and good looking guitar that sounds fantastic. Any criticisms are really nit-picking - especially at this price.

I am a beginner and started a few months ago with an impulse buy of a cheap Strat type guitar purchased from a car boot sale. It is OK but needs a good set-up and I subsequently found that I prefer the sound of a Les Paul type. Also, I considered that a better guitar which is hopefully set up well, would assist me in leaning.


Looking through Thomanns catalogue I eventually settled on the Harley Benton SC-450Plus VB Vintage Series which appeared to be the most comprehensive at a good price. Anything better was much more expensive. I ordered the guitar with the Roswell humbucker pickups with split coils so that I have a wide choice of sounds to chose from. From reviews on Youtube, this model does seem to be the most popular out of the range.

The delivery was a bit longer than expected. I ordered Monday morning and the order was processed in about 2-hours, so I was hopeful of an early delivery. However it then appeared to sit it for 2 days before collection by UPS. It then took a further 2 days to get from Germany to myself in the UK - arriving Friday afternoon. I did notice when opening the guitar, that it had a card saying that it had been inspected and tested before dispatch, so that may have been the cause of the delay before being dispatched.

I must comment that the packaging seemed excessive for one guitar. The guitar was securely packed in a fitted box, but that box was inside an outer box which seemed large enough for three or four guitars. Further, there was only a couple of handfuls of scrupled up paper to take up some of the spare space, this left the inner box to slide around in its outer casing.

On examination, the guitar seems well made with no obvious damage. The finish is excellent. Except for the B string the guitar was fairly in tune. Intonation was spot on except for the A string which is slightly out. Cosmetically, the jack socket is not square to the body.
The worst fault I found was that the pickup switch is way out of line and operates diagonally instead of up and down.

I was going to comment that several of the fret board inlays are not exactly parallel to the frets. Since then, I have checked out a couple of Gibson Les Pauls and their inlays did not appear totally perfect. I have noticed from a YouTube review of 3 years ago that the guitar then was better made than one reviewed 3 years previously. To me this one seemed better made than that review, so perhaps in another 3 years the manufacturer may have invested in machinery to fit the inlays more accurately.

To put any criticisms into perspective though, the Harley Benton guitars are so well made that you forget their price and start comparing them with what appears to be equivalent ones, but are actually four times as expensive.

When testing, the sound of the guitar is fantastic - being deep and Rich. I do find the pickup switch puzzling as when testing - in the middle position - if one of the pickups volume is set to 0 - then there is no output at all. Possible this is the same on a Gibson Les Paul, I don't know.

The guitar comes with a hex key to adjust the truss rod, and a basic guitar lead about 3 m long. What I would have liked to have seen would be a more complete starter kit including a couple of guitar picks and an embroidered guitar strap with the name Harley Benton on it. The increased cost would have been minimal and would have been a nice gesture and good advertising. I would even have been happy to pay a little extra for this. Perhaps Thoman may consider this and add it future.
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Show variations of this product
Harley Benton SC-450Plus VB Vintage Series
(311)
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,...

  • Colour: Sunburst
  • Body: Mahogany
  • Top: Maple
  • Neck: Mahogany
  • Fretboard: Pao Ferro
  • Frets: 22
  • Scale: 628 mm
  • Pickups: HH
  • Tremolo: None
  • Incl. Case: No
  • Incl. Gigbag: No
Harley Benton SC-450Plus HB Vintage Series
(189)
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,...

  • Colour: Sunburst
  • Body: Mahogany
  • Top: Maple
  • Neck: Mahogany
  • Fretboard: Pao Ferro
  • Frets: 22
  • Scale: 628 mm
  • Pickups: HH
  • Tremolo: None
  • Incl. Case: No
  • Incl. Gigbag: No
Harley Benton SC-450Plus CB Vintage Series
(132)
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,...

  • Colour: Sunburst
  • Body: Mahogany
  • Top: Maple
  • Neck: Mahogany
  • Fretboard: Pao Ferro
  • Frets: 22
  • Scale: 628 mm
  • Pickups: HH
  • Tremolo: None
  • Incl. Case: No
  • Incl. Gigbag: No
$181 €154.31
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Available immediately

This item is in stock and can be dispatched immediately.

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