Harley Benton TE-20HH SBK Standard Series


Electric Guitar

  • Standard series
  • Basswood body
  • Bolt-on maple neck
  • Roseacer fretboard
  • DOT fretboard inlays
  • Neck profile: modern C
  • Scale: 648 mm
  • Fretboard radius: 305 mm
  • Nut width: 42 mm
  • 22 Frets
  • Pickups: 2 humbuckers
  • 1 x Volume and 1 x tone control
  • 3-Way switch
  • DLX TE bridge
  • Double-action truss rod
  • DLX DieCast machine heads
  • Black hardware
  • Strings: .010 "- .046"
  • Colour: Matt Black
available since October 2020
Item number 491458
sales unit 1 piece(s)
Color Black Matt
Pickups HH
Fretboard Roseacer
Tremolo None
Body Basswood
Top None
Neck Maple
Frets 22
Scale 648 mm
Incl. Case No
Incl. Bag No
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in T Style Guitars

Powerful sounds, stealthy looks

Complete front view of the Harley Benton TE-20HH in matt black

Most people associate TE-style guitars with musical styles like Country, Blues, and Western. The Harley Benton TE-20HH, on the other hand, breaks away from this much-trodden path and combines a traditional design with modern features - a synergy that makes this affordable guitar perfect for Rock and Metal music. At the core of the TE-20HH's sound is a combination of solid woods and a pair of humbucking pickups, and the result is a powerful-sounding instrument that will handle clean tones well enough but whose real specialty lies in the field of high-gain sounds. What is more, the slim-taper maple neck ensures a comfortable playing feel, while the hardware - comprising a set of reliable DLX die-cast machine heads and a six-way DLX TE bridge - provides optimum tuning stability and accurate intonation in every register.

Front view of the Harley Benton TE-20HH body in matt black

Doom-laden looks and a punchy sound

The TE-20HH brings a fresh and imposing look to a traditional body shape thanks to its matt black finish and red tortoiseshell-look pickguard, into which the neck pickup is also directly set. The high-output bridge pickup in turn is housed in the bridge plate, and the two are governed by a simple control layout comprising a three-way selector switch and a single pot each for volume and tone, all housed on the typical TE-style control plate, which together with the rest of the guitar's hardware - bridge, control knobs, and of course machine heads - is finished in black. The neck with its comfortable modern C profile features a 22-fret roseacer fingerboard that completes the guitar's dusky vibe.

Slant view of the Harley benton TE-20HH body in matt black

An affordable starting point for Metal fans

One glance at the TE-20HH's price tag makes it clear that this is a guitar aimed primarily at fans of heavier genres who are just starting out on the electric guitar and want to get their hands on a robust and well-built instrument despite only having a limited budget at their disposal. Besides its great value for money, players will also appreciate this guitar's playability and sonic flexibility, though as stated above it is most at home in high-gain territory, covering everything from precisely-picked riffs through to singing lead sounds. The build quality of this guitar is impressive - and not just for an instrument at this price point - meaning that players can look forward to having it at their side for many years to come.

Harley Benton TE-20HH headstock, matt black with Harley Benton logo

About Harley Benton

Since 1998, the Harley Benton brand has been catering for the needs of numerous guitarists and bassists. In addition to an extensive range of stringed instruments, Thomann's house brand also offers a wide choice of amplifiers, speakers, effect pedals, and other accessories. In total, the range includes over 1,500 products. Built by established names in the industry, all Harley Benton products combine quality and reliability at attractive and affordable prices. The continuous expansion of the range ensures that Harley Benton always provides new, exciting, and innovative products that keep players perfectly in tune with the musical world, day after day.

TE-style goes heavy

As mentioned at the start, TE-style guitars are not historically noted for being common in Rock and Metal music, but the Harley Benton TE-20HH's combination of a basswood body, maple neck, and two powerful humbucking pickups makes it perfect for precisely those genres. Despite its extremely affordable price, this guitar leaves nothing to be desired in terms of sound or playability, and its matt black finish means it will cut a dashing figure everywhere from the living room to the stage. The only thing left is to combine it with the right amplifier (with enough gain on tap, of course) and the fun can begin.

B;own Away !
Delrick 27.08.2021
I've owned a guitar of some kind since the early 60's, and a few have been Telecasters.

Until the last few years, I've never had the cash, or the talent, to justify buying a 'quality' US-made Tele, so they've all been Squiers (some good, some bad, and one 1989 Korean made gem that I'll never part with).

Then, around two years ago, I discovered Thomann, and Harley Benton guitars.
I caught the bug.

Although I kept looking at the HB 'Tele-alike' instruments (and as always was amaazed at the prices), nothing jumped out at me.
I didn't bother looking at the the more expensive instruments because to me, a Telecaster (or non-Fender equivalent) means basic.
Very basic.
I've always loved the simplicity : Flat, slab body, decent neck, pickups that sound the way they should, simple hardware that keeps going - decade after decade (if you look after the instrument).
The basics - but done well.

Then one day something did jump out at me - and it was this HB TE-20 HH BLK.

I suspect it was the colour and finish I noticed first as my brother-in-law had recenty bought a Charvel LP-type guitar with the same colour and finish, and it looked (and sounded) superb.
However, he paid well over £500 for the Charvel (and it needed 'work'), but I was looking at something under a fifth of that price - and if the reviews were accurate (as the Thomann/HB reviews invariably are) - was just as versatile and playable.
It was easy to confirm that - his Charvel was sitting on my workbench after being properly set up and having a string change (amazing how many players don't know how to change strings properly).

We played both guitars through identical Mustang GT40's (he brought his around), avoiding the things that the Harley Benton couldn't do - all that digital stuff, and push-pull pot setting trickery.
We kept is simple, and after a few hours both agreed that the HB came out on top.
Perhaps the clincher was the pinch-harmonics test. With the HB it was so so simple, but we both struggled with the rival instrument.
I've tried the same 'test' with my other HH guitars, and the HB wins every time - by a country mile.
In fact you'll find harmonics all over that flawless black fingerboard ! I don't know if the Thomann folk are aware of this added bonus, but for those of us who struggle with pinch harmonics, or harmonics generally, if what I discovered is 'standard', it could be another selling point.
I tried it on the neck, bridge, and both pickups, tone pot high and low.
Same results every time.

Another bonus is that on a clean amp setting you can find those typical 1950's/60's iconic Telecaster sounds - and that 'twang'.

And at the other end of the scale this guitar almost becomes the heaviest of all heavy metal beasts.

Inbetween the 'twang' and the 'metal' there are more pleasant surprises.

For example, the same Mustang GT40, but using a downloaded 'Comfortably Numb - Main Solo' tone setting, and yes - you can sound almost like David Gilmour (the 'almost' is because only David Gilmour can play like David Gilmour).

So, gorgeous finish, very responsive volume and tone, significant and positive differences with the bridge/neck/both settings (as we all know,
with some guitars costing five or even ten times the price, those diferences can be minimal).

Since the Harley Benton arrived, between me/my brother-in-law, and a couple of guitar-playing/gigging friends, we've compared my TE 20 HH with a Gibson Midtown and Les Paul, three Fender Strats, that Charvel, my battered but much loved and played Gibson LP Jnr, my 1989 Korean Tele, and a few others.

We all agreed (sometimes reluctantly) that compared to the above, this Harley Benton is either as good as, or is sometimes even better - but at a fraction of the cost.
Someone actually called it a ''Swiss Army Guitar'' because it was just so versatile.

Other points : Frets are perfect, tuners are excellent (so far - I know tuners are something that can deteriorate fairly quickly), pickups are better than most (unbranded but suspect Roswell).
The finish looks fantastic but could wear quickly. However this is a purely cosmetic thing.

Would I change anything ? Well, perhaps if the hardware also had a black satin finish it might look even better, but if we want the keep it at a very affordable price, I'd change nothing.

Please note that my opinion - and those of the others who helped - was done in relation to an entry-level instrument.
Over many decades we've owned and played hundreds of guitars, from high end familiar names to the very worst of the worst (ugly, badly made, and effectively unplayable instruments) that cost the same as this Harley Benton.

We think that the Harley Benton TE-20 HH BLK is much closer to the former that it is to the latter, and would be welcome in the hands of any player, from novice to professional.


Dark Tele
Anonymous 22.02.2023
Beautiful dull black appearance, strong sounding, affordable metal style.
I'm statisfied with it.


Great first impressions…
Stuart8279 05.01.2022
Edit: Update after a few weeks' play and assessment - it's an excellent instrument for the price, but it has needed some work to get it there. The pickups are surprisingly good on such a budget guitar, with three distinct but balanced voices. High output but typical tele in the middle which is why I bought it in the first place.
The neck/bridge/action has been a bit of a mission - when I bought it the action was too high with almost no scope left to lower the bridge saddles. So, I did what I've done to previous Harley Bentons and took the neck off, added a maple veneer shim and put the neck back on, raised the bridge saddles and it has transformed the guitar. Now, it holds its tune infinitely better, and the action is perfectly low enough now to enjoy it. I also wire wooled the fretboard and frets, which has made it feel more smooth.
I would highly recommend this guitar if you are willing to put a little work into it - but, like every other guitar I've had to tweak, it feels more like 'mine' now that I've got it set up right.

Arrived after 8 days, so lots of time on the road, but it doesn’t seem to have caused the guitar much stress.
It was well-packaged, and once opened it looks spotless on first glance (I’ll need to give it a more thorough scan over tomorrow in the light).
Action was crazy high and so I’ve adjusted it down - it could do with being able to go a little lower for my taste, but there’s a buzz introduced, so I’ve got it as low as I can from the bridge. Neck seems nice and straight.
I bought a Harley Benton s-type years ago and had to add a neck shim to it - it might be that this guitar needs one too, but I’ll let it settle and see how it goes.
I bought it for the middle pickup tone and I’m not disappointed. The neck is really warm, possibly too warm for me, but the blend of both pickups is really excellent (especially for this price).
First impressions excellent - think I’ll enjoy this one :)


Does this guitar make Fender obsolete?
C'Mar 20.09.2022
Drawn to this guitar like everyone else. Price and potential, for what you are paying for you are getting a good not great platform to swap out pickups replace tuning keys and have an entry level to intermediate guitar.
The good.
Looks great, the finish on the guitar is very nice and I was surprised that it really isn't a finger print magnet. Good weight, the tone knobs and position switch have a Very good feel. Shipped fast, and in good shape with tracking everything was handled in a professional manner.
The bad.
The pickups are not good, they make sound and you can make a nice sound with them but should be replaced whenever possible.
The tuning keys are not good, miles ahead of where we were on budget off brand guitars of the 90's these are squishy feeling and unstable and should be replaced whenever possible. The neck, this could be a case specific thing so fair warning. Fret ends were pretty sharp but a file cleans that up. What is interesting is that the fretboard ends are round, where there may be a binding on other guitars I notices its rolled over pretty hard almost like the ends are scalloped, It does not affect the playability but as far as fit and finish goes it looks cheap and feels cheap in the hand.
The gripe.
The instrument that I received was NOT a thru body as shown in the images. Very disappointing, deal breaker? I don't think so just buyer beware you may not get a string thru body. Over time I can see this causing scratches in the finish of the body.
Final thoughts,
You are buying a cheap guitar. As cheap guitars go this isn't a bad one. I would compare it to a bad Fender bullet. With the cosmetic flaws of the guitar I received the best I can hope for is a guitar that I can upgrade to sound better, not the sleeper guitar I was hoping to build that looked amazing and sounds great. If I drop in $300 dollars in upgrades to the tuning keys and pickups I will have a entry to mid level guitar that has some cosmetic issues, add in the shipping and cost I would say if your plan is to get a steal of a guitar that is ready to rip right out of the box, skip this one. Find something that you can hold and see first hand, $500 state side will get you a better guitar. If you plan on changing out pickups and upgrade as you go....I'd still say skip this one. I may have received a poorly QC'd instrument and your experience may differ but I can not recommend this one and sleep at night. I took a gamble on this one and lost, I will take the time and effort to make it sound better but I wont be dropping much on upgrades here. You guys got me with they hype, well played. If you are buying this as a beginner guitar and don't want to go too deep in the pocket, then sure this would work but so would the Bullet from fender or even a dinky the market is saturated with close enough $150 dollar guitars.


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