Harley Benton SC-450Plus VB Vintage Series

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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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Audio Examples

 
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  • Blues
  • Metal
  • Rock

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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333 Customer Ratings:
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4.6 /5
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I knew the Harley Benton SC-450Plus VB was good But This good? WOW!
PhilbyBetts, 18.11.2020
Harley Benton SC-450Plus VB Vintage Series!
Firstly. I have been a Thomann customer for many years and my fiest purchase from them was a Behringer mixing desk which was described as potable then but is HUGE by today's standards (that's why I can't sell it lol). YEP it's still working after 20 years So I knew their stuff was good. Also I have recently put together the excellent CST 24 Kit which is AWESOMELY GOOD! Hmm do I sound like Mr Henning from You Tube? Any way there is nothing I can say about this guitar that isn't good. No really Is IS BRILLIANT! Check out my unboxing here. have recently played and reviewed my sons Gibson Les Paul Studio and this Hrley Bento plays just as good or dare I say even better. Yes I am sure the SC-550 and The SC custom are just as good ..but boy oh boy if they beat this Harley Benton SC-450Plus VB Vintage Series they must be the best guitars in the world.
Just for the record I have not been asked by Thomann or anyone else to write a good review. I have been a performing musician for more than 30 years and have owned and played much more expensive instruments.
GOOD POINTS!
1 Frets are level not rough with no sharp ends
2 the vintage burst finish is flawless
3 the Roswell pickups perform well and not too muddy
4 the vintage tuners work well and keep good tune
5 the coil splits work well and are quite easy to engage while playing
6 all edges are smooth and the binding has integrated seamlessly around the body
7 the neck joint has a modern feel and only adds to the appeal
8 the overall high gloss finish on my guitar is FLAWLESS
Two words to sum up!..............BUY IT!

OR HEAD HERE FIRST AND THEN BUY IT
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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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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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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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Show variations of this product
Harley Benton SC-450Plus VB Vintage Series
(333)
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
(202)
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
$153 €128.45
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