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Harley Benton SC-500 BK Vintage Series

Electric Guitar

  • Vintage Series
  • Body: Basswood
  • Arched top
  • Set-in maple neck
  • Neck profile: C shape
  • Fretboard: Blackwood (Pinus Radiata)
  • Fretboard radius: 350 mm
  • Fretboard inlays: Block
  • 22 Frets
  • Scale: 628 mm
  • Nut width: 43 mm
  • Double action truss rod
  • Pickups: 2 Vintage style humbuckers
  • 3-Way pickup toggle switch
  • 2 Volume- and 2 tone controls
  • Gold DLX hardware
  • Tune-O-Matic bridge
  • DLX machine heads
  • Strings: Harley Benton .010 - .046
  • Colour: Black high-gloss
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Further Information

Colour Black
Body Basswood
Top Basswood
Neck Maple
Fretboard Blackwood
Frets 22
Scale 628 mm
Pickups HH
Tremolo None
Incl. Case No
Incl. Gigbag No

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Harley Benton SC-500 BK Vintage Series + Harley Benton HB-10G +
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192 Customer Ratings
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4.6 /5
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  • sound
  • quality
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features
sound
quality
fantastic beginner guitar
HumanoidHD, 20.09.2020
I'm a beginner and only started playing a few months ago. I owned 2 acoustics prior to buying this guitar and wanted to give electric a go without spending too much money.
Here are my pros and cons (from a beginners perspective)
Pros:

Looks
The guitar is absolutely gorgeous and that seems to be a common theme with all Harley Benton guitars. the finish on the guitar is truly flawless. no nicks, no uneven texture anywhere. The inlays (while likely plastic, couldn't find any info) look like genuine mother of pearl inlays and really catch the eye, especially the headstock decal which has a lovely rainbow pattern to it on my model which adds a lot of character. The gold hardware on this model isn't painted, its plated in something (couldn't say what, not gold). Aesthetically the guitar really works for me and seriously looks like a guitar that's 4x what this guitar costs.

Price:
The price is a very obvious pro as these guitars are pretty much bottom of the line as far as price goes especially if you want a Les paul/single cut style. the other option in this price range is something like the Epiphone SL, and personally I think that guitars finish and look is just not comparable. an Epiphone is a budget guitar and you can tell but this one looks very premium. It also has very small details which they could have easily skipped, such as the binding being triple ply, the attention to detail is phenomenal.

Quality control
My guitar came with a sticker on the headstock showing it had been individually quality control checked as well as a card (i dont remember where it could have been on the stock tag) stating the name of the person who checked it. This level of quality control is unheard of in guitars this price range. hell, even in guitars that are 4x more expensive than this you rarely get quality control that's as strict as Harley Benton is


Playability:
As I stated, I'm a beginner, so I cant really speak to its performance against much more expensive models like Gibson's etc. As I haven't played one. I can however talk to its performance VS a cheap strat clone as my sister owns one I had a chance to play. the Harley Benton is worlds above that specific guitar. The neck on this guitar fits my hand wonderfully.

Fit and finish:
This guitar is wonderfully put together. the neck is a set neck and the base is wonderfully rounder so you can get to high frets comfortably. speaking of frets, this guitar has some really good fret work to it. each fret is polished fantastically and there is no "dragging" or scratching noises when I'm doing bends or anything similar, there doesn't seem to be any high points and if they are they are unnoticeable. this may be my specific version only but I'm impressed.

Hardware
im a beginner so i don't know the difference really between types of pickups, bridges etc. from over reviews I've seen that the pickups leave something to be desired. however from my perspective it plays fantastically. im sure really expensive pickups would improve the sound but to my ears the guitar sounds beautiful without doing anything to it, so i see no reason to change the pickups.

Cons:

Strings
The strings are very cheap but surprisingly playable. id barely call this a con to be honest as the strings are replicable. you can get top of the line strings for less than £10 so again. This is not a critique. hell it could have come without strings all together and I still wouldn't take overall points off for that.

Weight
mines a little on the heavy side (around 5 or so kg) but then again I'm used to acoustics and I've never had another les Paul style to compare it to, that weight may be normal.

Conclusion
If this is your first electric I can absolutely 100% recommend it. If you already have a few guitars you may be better off getting one of Harley Benton's more premium models. but over all this guitar is a 10/10 for quality especially in the price range, I cant really find anything bad to say about it.
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Total
features
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Nice budget surprise
Muss23, 28.07.2021
I play mostly at home, so it more than ticked all the boxes needed. However, even if I did play a gig, I wouldn't mind taking this baby for a spin (along with a good enough amp).

This was the my first Thomann order and I didn't know what to expect. I was pleasently surprised with the guitar, no scratches whatsoever. The black gloss finish looks and feels fantastic. I took the pickguard off, but that was a personal preference, the pickguard was in good condition. The package arrived even before the time indicated by the UPS tracking number, another nice surpise (4 working days from Germany to Croatia). I believe I read comments about it being too heavy. It's lighter than my Squier Standard so there's a comparison if someone owns one. Definitely not a con for me.

The setup right from the box was great, just that the low E and A strings tended to resonate a bit more while playing unplugged, but a bit of tweaking should do the trick with that. Through the amp it has no string-resonating issues at all (Ibanez Tone Blaster 15r). It did, however have some feedback when facing the amp with higher gain.

The vintage style stock humbuckers sound good (I'm used to single coils so can't really compare them to other humbuckers, they are certainly "darker" than single coils).

The fretboard is a tad dry, probably down to the blackwood used. It's easily rectified with some fretboard oil, but it does not impede playability, as far as my limited skills are concerned.

The DLX machine heads keep tune and are very responsive and the gold hardware against the black body looks very elegant and really gives it that vintage feel.


A nice addition was the "In case of emergency rescue my guitars" sticker.

This will probably not be my last order from Thomann, hopefully the next one will be another success.

p.s. Even if someone were to stop playing guitar (why would you, though?) it would look great hanging on a wall in the middle of the room, admired by everyone!
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Theres no way this guitar is only 200$ CAD
TheHarleyBentonFanatic, 05.07.2020
I was very skeptical about buying this guitar, i had read reviews from YouTube, Facebook groups, forums... and i seldom ever found a bad review on these Harley Benton's.

So i decided to finally buy an SC500BK, i love single-cut style guitars, and im a BIG fan of the all around binding.

Right out of the box, i fell in love with the guitar, the finish was perfect, the play ability was spectacular, the neck was straight and felt great, the frets were great as well, and the pickups sounded great as well!

There was not a single issue with how the guitar played, I was VERY shocked when I was playing the guitar and considering how much i paid for it, I couldn't have spent my money any better.

if there was anything i had an issue with when it came to the guitar, is when the binding on the lower half of the head stock meets the binding on the middle half of the left side of the head stock(where the GBE tuners are) did not line up quite correctly, but by BARELY a millimeter, not noticeable AT ALL unless you're looking at it from 3 inches away. so for me personally, that was not a problem in any way.

overall, for the 200$ cad i spent, i could not be more satisfied. thank you thomann for delivering a quality product for this price range, i will be buying more Harley Bentons in the future!
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Much better guitar than its price tag
Phase55, 12.02.2018
Ordered the Harley Benton SC-500 BK Vintage Series and I have to say I was a little apprehensive given the price I was paying. However I thought it was worth a punt.
I have had many high end guitars over the years including Les Pauls and so I feel that I am in a good position to compare. Firstly the delivery from Thomann was great. Arrived within 3 days and was kept fully informed as to its journey. When it arrived and I unboxed it the first thing that struck me was the quality of the finish. The frets were well fitted with no sharp edges. The binding was neatly done and all the gold hardware looked amazing.
On playing it I found that the intonation was slightly out and the action a little higher than I like it. I was soon able to sort that all out with a slight truss rod and saddle adjustment. I fully expected to fit new pickups on it but after playing it I found the stock ones to be great and will leave well alone. I was really impressed with the way they have shaped the rear of the guitar at the neck joint as it makes playing much easier when reaching for those high notes. I think some of the top end manufacturers could learn from that. Volume pots not as responsive as I am used to and I found that it require turning them back a lot before they started to lower the volume. not a huge problem for me and easily upgraded if required
All in all I feel that this is a much better guitar than the price and has surprised me just how much. I spend a lot of my time traveling between UK and South East Asia and wanted a cheaper guitar bring with me. I decided on the SC-500 as it is lighter for me to carry than the mahogany body ones but this does not seem to effect the sustain I get from the instrument. I will wait to see how it holds up dealing with the humidity abroad.
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Show variations of this product
Harley Benton SC-500 BK Vintage Series
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Harley Benton SC-500 BK Vintage Series

Electric Guitar Vintage Series, Body: Basswood, Arched top, Set-in maple neck, Neck profile: C shape, Fretboard: Blackwood (Pinus Radiata) , Fretboard radius: 350 mm, Fretboard inlays: Block, 22...

Harley Benton SC-500 WH Vintage Series
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Harley Benton SC-500 WH Vintage Series

Electric Guitar Vintage Series, Body: Basswood, Arched top, Set-in neck: Maple, Neck profile: C, Fretboard: Blackwood (Pinus radiata), Fretboard radius: 350 mm, Block inlays, 22 Frets, Scale: 628...

Harley Benton SC-400 SBK Vintage Series
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Harley Benton SC-400 SBK Vintage Series

Electric Guitar Classic series, Body: Basswood, Arched top, Set-in neck: Maple, Neck profile: C, Fretboard: Roseacer (thermally treated maple wood), Fretboard radius: 350 mm, Crown inlays, 22...

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