Harley Benton TE-20MN BM Standard Series

Electric Guitar

  • Bolt-on neck
  • Body: Basswood
  • Maple neck with modern C-shape
  • Maple fretboard
  • Fretboard radius: 350 mm
  • Dot-inlays
  • 22 Frets
  • Scale: 648 mm
  • Nut width: 42 mm
  • Dual action truss rod
  • 2x TE-style single coil pickups
  • Electronics: 1 Volume knob, 1 Tone knob, 3-way switch
  • Chrome hardware
  • Die-cast machine heads
  • 09-042 Strings
  • Finish: Blue metallic high gloss
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Audio Examples

 
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  • Punky
  • Bluespicking
  • Funk
  • Indie

Further Information

Colour Blue
Pickups SS
Fretboard Maple
Tremolo None
Body Basswood
Top None
Neck Maple
Frets 22
Scale 648 mm
Incl. Case No
Incl. Bag No

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240 Customer Ratings
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So I finally gave in to the hype...
MrMichaelN, 31.12.2020
...and the hype is definitely warranted! I'd been hearing about Harley Benton guitars for a while and had been ignoring the hype. I've heard people rant and rave before about how amazing something is only to be disappointed by the reality so I was rather sceptical.

To be honest, I wanted to hold off before reviewing -- firstly because I really wanted to give myself time to play the guitar but also due to some shipping issues which meant I did not receive the guitar before Christmas -- I didn't want my irritation at the delivery issues (UPS) to cloud my judgement of the product, the brand or Thomann. However, in fairness (and humble apologies) to Thomann, this wasn't really their fault.

That aside the guitar exceeded my expectations. I have a Fender MiM stratocaster and I'm not going to lie and say this rivals it in terms of sound or quality, but the HB is definitely worth shouting about and not far behind. I'd compare the build quality to that of the Epiphone Les Paul and SG guitars which I've owned and played a few of. Anyone familiar with Epiphone will truly appreciate that compliment -- the feel and finish of this guitar really blew me away, my dad was very impressed, too.

As is tradition, here's a list of some pros and cons:

Pros:

1. Neck feels really nice, not too chunky but not too thin, either. Frets are well fitted, absolutely no sprouting.

2. The selector swith and pots actually feel better than I'd expected. I've seen a few budget tele's where these looked and felt really cheap but these have a bit of heft to them, pretty nice.

3. I really like the bridge, it feels more comfortable to mute the strings than on my Fender strat. My plan was to eventually replace this, I might not.

4. The paint job was better than expected, it has a slight metalic sheen to it that isn't too garish but looks really nice.

5. Amazingly, the action and intonation were almost spot on, if this thing had been tuned I could have played it right out of the box and it would have sounded fine.

Cons:

1. Tuners aren't the best, more than expected at this price point. They're still more than adequate, don't get me wrong, they hold tune perfectly well for me. It's a hard-tail bridge, anyway, so if you string it properly you'll have no problems with them. I will probably upgrade these at some point but it's not a pressing matter.

2. The pickups are good, and you can get a nice twang, that spanky sound you want from a tele, but they're not amazing. I'll probaby change these at some point but they're still great and I'm having lot's of fun with them.

3. Not sure it's even really a con, but frets needed a good polish as there as a bit of drag/scratching, nothing major at all and something I'd fully expect. Once I'd polished them this thing was an absolute pleasure to play.

4. Another one I'm not sure is a con, but strings weren't too great. Personally I never expect a new guitar to have the best strings and in fairness the supplied strings were actually better than most, they weren't rusted or tarnished and fairly playable...I just like a different gauge!

Lastly - I've seen/read many reviews claiming these guitars are particularly heavy but this is about the same weight as the Fender strat, perhaps even a bit lighter.

So, in summary; I decided to take a chance and spent £79 on a Telecaster copy and I honestly wasn't expecting what I got. Looking at this, holding it, my dad, not knowing the price, guessed it was a £200-300 guitar -- when I told him the price he was gobsmacked.

So, yeah...I'll probably be buying more Harley Bentons, I did also receive one of their acoustic guitars, the D-120CE VS, which was also fantastic value for the money and I'll be writing an epic review for it.

Yeah, I think it's safe to say I'm pretty much on the Harley Benton hype train, these guitars are honestly quite splendid for the price.

Much obliged!
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Incredible Value
S.R.M, 19.04.2021
As a disclaimer, before buying this guitar I have only had experience with the bass guitar, so I can't give some super in-depth insight as to every small detail, but I can provide some general impressions I have (comparing to the different bass models I have had before).

Firstly, it's weightier than I expected. I'm not necessarily against that, but it surprised me. Compared to the bass it's not too bad however.

It came packaged really neatly with a few accessories. I was blown away with the quality of the finish, the blue colour is just as it is on the picture and in my opinion is one of the best features with this particular model.

The included strings are as to be expected, they're stock strings after all. I plan to replace them fairly soon, but they certainly do well for the beginning stage of learning this instrument. The neckboard has a nice smooth finish to it, the only downside being that the frets are rather scratchy. (not the fret-ends) I'm sure a good polish along the fretboard would iron out this particular issue, since it seems rather common with this model. It doesn't detract from the overall value whatsoever, since more expensive guitars can also have this of course.

The sound quality is better than expected! I initially used the cable that came with the guitar, but quickly came upon the realisation that it is basically useless. After switching the cable I was really impressed by the overall output, buzzing is rather minimal in my opinion. It's possible that the cable included was simply faulty with mine, but I wouldn't recommend using it either way.

The guitar tends to lose its tuning quite quickly, but it can last for a little while before needing a tune-up again. Replacing the tuning pegs might alleviate this, as it seems to be a common upgrade path for this model. Personally I will be keeping it stock, but it may be a good option for those who want more stable tuning in the long-run.

The protective film was a huge pain to remove, but with some care it comes off okay. I've seen worse with other instruments. Pots are quite nice for such a cheap instrument, they feel like they will survive quite well, alongside the output jack of course.

TLDR: Here are some pro's and con's:

Pro's
- Phenomenal finish to the guitar, lovely colour!
- Fret-ends are nice and smooth
- Sound is better than expected, nothing too fancy
- Feels higher quality than the purchase price

Con's
- Screws were put in a bit wonky in a few spots
- Scratchy frets, but all they need is a polish!
- Protective film was annoying to remove (like on many guitars, although also somewhat satisfying)
- Goes out of tune quite quickly
- Included cable is rubbish! (but it's nice that one was included anyway)

Overall, it's a fantastic purchase if you're going for a cheap guitar. You can't do better for the price in my opinion. This 100% beats the first bass I ever had, which was over twice the price of this guitar.
(perhaps an unfair comparison, but that's all I can compare it to)
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How do you get away with this at £89!?
G.Smith, 13.11.2020
So I treated my self to my first HB.
If you handed me this guitar and asked me to guess the price I'd have said at least £250-280
£89!! 89 POUNDS! HOW!?
I own a Fender worth over 800 and a few guitars worth over 600. and a couple floating around the 280-350 range.
I am absolutely gobsmacked the quality of this instrument.
Even the strings aren't that bad.
How are you giving me a metallic finish and a Satin neck for 89 quid!?
It's Amazing!!

Cons:
I have had to go out of my way to find any form of "fault". if you can call them faults.
-The scratch plate and hardware isn't standard, making it very difficult to add any upgrades without redrilling.
-Tone knob is very slightly wonky (barely noticeable).
- The dot markers on the side aren't the cleanest. (after 15 years I don't use them anyway)
- Neck pickup slightly too dark (which tbh - complement in the middle position)
- The neck is slightly on the thicker side (though that is my preference, not the guitar)
-The frets need a little polish (most guitars don't have polished frets)
-Tuners aren't the best

Absolutely fantastic guitar, not just for the money but the guitar it's self truly is a good guitar.
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Great guitar for beginner right through to gigging musician!!!
Midiluvr, 31.03.2021
I'm just a retired guy who has dabbled with guitar over the years, but was never really serious about it. Now that I'm retired, I have more time to play! I can honestly say that this guitar is perfect for my level of playing ability! Since I received it, I haven't changed a thing (hardware) except a new set of strings. I also lowered the saddles to improve the action and then had to adjust the intonation. Now that I've got it dialed in, it's a fantastic instrument and a blast to play! I really can't say anything bad about the guitar! It has definitely exceeded my expectations!!! The only one complaint I have, and it's totally not Thomann's fault, is that the guitar arrived here in Florida damaged. Something blunt about the diameter of a dime pierced both boxes right through and put a dent in the back of the guitar. Thank you shipping companies!!! (Not going to mention any names, but you know who I'm talking about!) I have since filled it with wood putty, carefully sanded it flush, and put a 3 piece racing stripe silver decal over the dent and now it looks fine. I like the guitar so much I really didn't want to send it all the way back to Germany for a replacement, so since the damage is on the back and I made a decent patch job on it, it's staying right here! I would highly recommend a Harley Benton guitar over any other entry level brand!!! As I mentioned in my Heading, if I were a good enough player to join a band, I wouldn't hesitate to gig with this guitar!!! The blue metallic finish is absolutely stunning and the satin finish maple neck is smooth and fast!!! No complaints!!! The only caveat here for customers in the Americas, unfortunately and sadly, is there's always a slight possibility that the guitar might sustain some damage coming all the way from Germany across the pond. That being said, these guitars are so nice for so little money, I would still give Harley Benton serious consideration before plopping down more money at an American retailer on something that won't be of the same high quality. I won't ever part with this guitar!!!
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