Yes, mine is a custom guitar. I sent a simple question to Thomann and asked if they could/would convert this guitar into one with split coils on demand. They gladly did so (for a few dollars more- I had to buy the pots to switch out) and man, did they deliver!
I wanted the single cutaway design and the FTF finish, but I wanted the split coil feature seen on many other Harley Bentons, especially the CST-24, another guitar I plan to get. I simply wanted the LP-style, my favourite, before I bought a PRS-style guitar. The single-cuts are in my opinion, superior as far as the old standards, the SC-550 II, being no exception.
The humbuckers (Tesla 2) are hot; switching from my SG Custom to the SC-550 startled me into a gain-cut reflex action. I wasn't expecting that. The DAW input needed to be trimmed, and so on, etc. So, I'm impressed with the heat.
Switching back and forth regarding the split-coils, I'm blown away. What do you think of when you're switching between a single coil neck and bridge to a humbucker neck and bridge? What do you expect to hear?
I expect to hear exactly what I get with the push/pull tone pots that switch between the two.
Mixing the single coil in the bridge with the humbucker in the neck, or vice versa, or both, or not at all is like playing three different guitars with the variety of screech and scream and mournful La Llarona-style wails to chonky cave monsters eating people like Snickers. She is an amazing machine.
The colour/finish I chose is the Faded Tobacco Flame Gloss.
It is beautiful, and better than what you see in the pics. At home, the angle of lighting makes her a chameleon, low light hiding the sweet central burst and increasing light bringing out the flamed maple grain and spectacular finish. The back is the deepest wine or burgundy that is out there and appears black if you're not looking closely. This is definitely intentional as it is uniform and clean. The finish will blow your mind.
The neck came finished and glossy-slow, but that is easily fixed with a half hour of sanding and 0000 steel wool, and now she's as fast and smooth as your high school gf/bf.
The stainless steel frets demand abuse, and I'm looking forward to years of administering it.
The electronics are silent at rest and have given me no problems at all.
She arrived slightly out of tune- (c'mon guys, we're only 9 time zones apart, you can't ship me a guitar that I don't have to tune the B string up from an A#?
Savages . . .) but tuned up quickly with the high-ratio (feels like 18:1, but don't quote me) machine heads and have stayed in tune since.
I always retune between takes and in this case there's no retuning involved. Just picking and staring at the tuning rack of my DAW. Crazy. My less Pauls needed retuning if they sat for 15 minutes. I exaggerate, but so does everyone all the time.
I love this guitar. She does what I ask of her, and Thomann did what I asked of them. They delivered a truly customised LP-Style guitar that I could turn around and sell for a grand, all for $300 USD.
If there's anyone else out there with an SC-550 II split coil on both neck and bridge humbuckers I'd love to hear what you think of it. Was it worth the swap? Mine was. I make strange and delicious exotica via the licks of my unique instrument, and the guitar is awesome, too. I love this machine.
My fourth big ticket Thomann purchase, a Baton Rouge acoustic guitar, is set to arrive on Friday, so stay tuned. Get it? Wink wink, nudge nudge, know whatta mean?
There was a problem with a completely different B Stock item I had a while back but Thomann's customer service department handled it perfectly and professionally. Ever pump yourself up for a fight and instead everyone is kind and friendly and won't be happy until they figure out how they can fix it to your satisfaction? Where you get everything handled by nice folks who just want you to be happy? And then you're all bummed out because you are treated the way you were going to demand that you be treated?
So as you can see, Thomann has a customer for life.
If you want an LP-Style that looks and plays like this instrument, this is the guitar for you. Look no further; she is the answer.
She's solid mahogany and heavy and I'm not 100% that she's been chambered at all. She feels like an '81 Les Paul.
Other than that, she is accessible to all guitarists 12 and older. My first guitar was my brother's 1981 LP Custom. I would have been happy if this SC-550 II was my first, and I'd recommend this guitar as a first guitar for anyone. Not only is she an affordable guitar, but as-is she just might be the one and only you'll ever need. She is that good, and she'll spend more time in my hands than in a case or on a stand or on the wall.
Good axe. Get one or two.