Harley Benton SC-Custom II SPAF

70

Electric Guitar

  • Custom Line Series
  • Mahogany body
  • AAAA Flamed maple veneer top
  • Mahogany neck
  • Roasted jatoba fretboard
  • White pearloid crowns fretboard inlays
  • Modern-C neck profile - Thickness at the 1st fret: 20 mm; Thickness at the 12th fret: 22 mm
  • Cream binding
  • Fretboard radius: 350 mm (13.78")
  • Scale: 628 mm (24.72")
  • Nut width: 42 mm (1.65")
  • ABS nut
  • 22 Medium jumbo frets
  • 2 Roswell HAF Zebra AlNiCo-5 humbucker pickups
  • 2 Volume controls
  • 1 Tone control with push/pull function for coil split
  • 3-Way switch
  • WSC Tune-O-Matic bridge
  • Chrome hardware
  • Grover machine heads
  • Colour: Paradise Satin Flame
available since August 2020
Item number 490823
sales unit 1 piece(s)
Colour Paradise Flame
Body Mahogany
Top Maple
Neck Mahogany
Fretboard Jatoba
Frets 22
Scale 628 mm
Pickups HH
Tremolo None
Incl. Case No
Incl. Gigbag No
$209
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Absolute looker, can't beat it at that price
art.mccay 08.12.2021
Overall, I'm blown away by this guitar. Actually, it's my second SC-Custom II as I ordered the same model exactly a year ago and I liked it but ended up selling it and then regretting it and buying another one in 2021 LOL.

The 2020 model was a lot less dark, very tiger-orangy while the 2021 one has a brown tint, almost bordo - both look stunning. But I like the new one a bit better.

To specific points:

PROS:
+ Absolutely incredible look. I can't stress it enough - the guitar is a looker! I wouldn't change anything about it. The way they designed it with cream binding, dark chrome furniture, and zebra pups... I'm constantly drooling over it!
+ I couldn't find any cosmetic defects except for a couple of tiny rough spots where the neck connects to the body. Just inaccurate paint on the bottom which you can even see when playing.
+ Frets aren't sharp at all, very well rounded (something other called out but I guess I got lucky)
+ Ergonomics-wise, I love all the cuts that make it so easy to play and also light compared to old-school Les Pauls.
+ Pickups are pretty okay as long as you're not trying to squeeze some djent out of it. I was able to get some juice playing things like Gojira, but they don't have enough output to get a killer metal sound. Going to swap them pups and see.

CONS:
- The fretboard was slightly dry - easily fixed with lemon oil.
- I think wiring or grounding on my new HB is messed up a bit as I can hear radio coming through (love that new feature!). That wasn't the case with my 2020 model by the way. Need to check the grounding.
- Neck binding appears to be a little rough in some spots. Nothing major, just not sanded well. You can't really feel it, so it doesn't affect you much.

Sidenote: I heard from others that the strap locks occasionally tear through the carton box exposing the guitar's bottom during delivery and might result in some dings (I was lucky enough as mine didn't suffer from that). I flagged it to Thoman saying that removing strap locks and putting them separately in the box might help alleviate it - but just in case, don't hesitate to ask Thomann to do it upon ordering just to be safe.

That said, it's an incredible instrument which I would buy even the third time (I'm not selling it this time around!)
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Favorit guitar right now
L. Richard 15.12.2021
Grover tuners are perfect! Gift strap locks that I did not even read on the page (must have missed it) is a killer touch! Finish is just flawless, really! Pickups are hot but defined. I don't know what pots it has but it is as sensitive as my friends 2020 Gibson LPClassic! I showed him yesterday and he is legit mad at me now, because his axe costs almost TEN TIMES more. I am just simply amazed by the quality, there is not a single thing I pick on, really. I have the Harley Benton SC-550 from this march (it is the older SC-550, not the new SC-550 II). Compared to that (and that was more expensive) it is just night and day. The pots, the finnish, the accessories on it is just superb. I thought the SC-550 is a fantastic guitar but it has finnish flaws (nothing extreme, scratches, some misscolored spots at the neck joint), but after this guitar I want to sell the SC-550 now and get another of this in another color.

One thing I missed at purchase (but I was lucky I guess) is that the uncovered Roswell humbuckers in SC Custom II range are LAF Alnico 5 pups wheres this (and all the uncovered ones) are HAF Alnico 5 pups. The HAF pickups are a bit more compressed and much more hotter, which is a killer!

Ohh and the matte finnish! I am huge sucker for matte and brown wood colors, this combined just makes me look at it and just play it! Super super nice!

Setup: out of the box both bass and treble side are 2 mm at the 15th fret. I like Treble side on 1,5 mm and bass on 2, so I just lowered the treble side. Pickups were 3- 3 mm from the strings (both pups on both sides) if the last note is fretted. This pickup comes alive if you raise it to around 1,6 mm on the bridge (both treble and bass side) and 2 mm on neck pup (also both sides). The neck was spot on perfect, as well as the intonation. Factori d'addario 10-46 strings are fresh so even though I am a 9-46 hybrid slinky Ernie ball guy, I will keep them on to play them off, not the usual cheapo' basic noname strings!

Ohh and the matte headstock with the 4 staged Harley Benton logo, omg... super nice!
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Quite disappointed
Andre Lima 09.11.2021
Bought the guitar on a Sunday afternoon and it reached me (Republic of Ireland) 5 business days after. That is probably as good as it gets in terms of delivery time for something like a musical instrument coming from thousands of miles away, so I was quite happy with that.

Upon taking it out of the box, it looked OK... but unfortunately a lot browner than what the photos in the website, as well as some videos in that 'VideoPlatform' .

I obviously can't state this with absolute certainty, but I could bet something changed in the manufacturing process and the color is not quite the same anymore. But all right... that's a cosmetic thing. It is somehow important to me, yes, but not ultimately decisive on returning the guitar or not. Still, I would say it was a good looking guitar. If that was the only 'issue' I would not be packing it again to return.

Now for the REAL issues:
Fret edges: rough! Not razor sharp, but definitely in need of considerable work. Very unpleasant to play... to the point that it actually becomes a detriment for playing.

Bridge: the nut where the poles screw in were not aligned nicely with the body. The one on the top was some good millimeters sunk into the body. The bottom one was slightly above the body level (I'm trying to describe it here with words, but it is a bit tricky to do so).

There were also several ink stains over the binding of the neck. I mean, all over it... more so on the upper frets (the ones closer to the body), but through the whole extension of the neck you could somehow easily spot little nudges of the same finish color used on the back of the neck. Really poorly done.


Other than that, controls/electronics seemed to work quite well. The coils split OK, nothing spectacular, nor terrible. Just 'yeah... ok'.

I had huge hopes for this guitar, after so many astonishing reviews. I guess I didn't lucked out. I still intend to buy another one, possibly of a different color. I really want this guitar to be good!
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Excellent, with a few minor niggles
theskirrid 12.10.2020
First Impressions:
A lot browner than the images suggest. Book-matched top, really nicely sculpted heel, comfortable neck. Shipping carton supportive, arrived in the UK three days after ordering with no shipping problems.
Some finish flaws, a blob of the satin top coat in the centre of the back, and also two dings on the back. The binding was also a bit dirty, not fully scraped before the finish was applied.
Left to settle after unboxing and then tuned up and tested.

First Setup:
Nice solid Grover tuners, intonation bang-on perfect out of the box [a first!]. No truss rod adjustment required, bridge down about 2mm and tailpiece up to ensure strings cleared the back of the bridge. Graphite nut cleaned up and E and A nut slots cut down by 0.5mm. Solid strap-locks.
Frets polished, and fretboard oiled.

First play:
Holy cow. Damn this plays so well. Roswell HAF pickups [only available on this Custom II] are nicely punchy with the volume rolled off, and very hot when run flat out. Not super-defined when run into a ton of gain but a slight volume roll cures that. Nice pickups. All electrics work well, no hum or crackles, shielding to all cavities.
Not as heavy as you might expect but there is still a bit of neck dive.
All frets level and neck perfect, not even needed to remove the truss rod cover yet. After adjustment action nicely low, neck fast, no buzzes.
A joy to play. Currently sporting a set of D'Addario EXL120BT with no other mods considered or necessary. Even the nut [a usual issue I have with Harley Bentons] just needed two slots deepening, otherwise it's been very smooth even after extreme bending.

Inspiring, one of those guitars that makes you play.
By far the best Harley Benton guitar I've bought in many years.
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