Harley Benton TE-20MN BM Standard Series

Watching

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

 
0:00
  • 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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196 Customer Ratings
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4.7 /5
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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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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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Incredible value for the price
Joostar, 23.11.2020
I'm amazed with this guitar. It is very well made. To me the most important aspects in a guitar are the construction of the neck and body, since everything else can be swapped, and this guitar more than delivers. The neck has a great satin finish, it feels strong, has no rough edges, great wood grain, it's straight. The body is also made perfectly.

I was skeptical of some of its other features, but I was pleasantly surprised with certain components. The tuners are pretty fine, they're firm, sensitive and have no dead spots. The neck pickup sounds very good actually, I was planning on swapping it but I ended up liking it a lot. The volume and tone knobs are sturdy, they turn smoothly and make no noise. I was not very amused with the bridge pickup, it's not bad by any means, but nothing special, deserves an upgrade, although not urgently.

Now as for the downsides, the nut is pretty bad and unfinished, it still has some pieces of loose plastic from the string cavities, the strings get stuck sometimes with strong bends causing it to go out of tune, it definitely requires filing. The pickup selector switch is extremely hard, you really have to push that thing for it to move. The saddles look very cheap, I ordered some compensated brass ones. Some frets are a little rough on the edges, and require some polishing and crowning, but nothing major, doesn't deter from great playing. The pickguard and cavities need some shielding.

Honestly, for the price of this guitar I don't mind those little issues at all, in fact, I'm the kind of guy who loves to get a guitar and upgrade it myself, and smoothing the frets and edges with a foam sanding block just takes a couple minutes. That's why I'm giving this guitar a pretty much perfect score. This guitar is in my opinion much better than any other Telecaster I tried in the $200-$400 range, it just needs a little polishing and low investment and you have a serious quality guitar for an incredibly low price, a guitar for a lifetime.

I declare this guitar the modding platform of the gods. I just wish there was a cheaper option to ship to my country, I would buy a ton more.
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Second impression!
kingstonian, 25.11.2020
Arrived on time and in perfect condition. I am past gigging so I was just interested in getting an inexpensive T-type with good reviews.
First impressions: nice appearance - like the maple neck, blue body not too sparkly. Playability - good; string action a touch higher than my Pacifica, but seems to make string bending easier. Might leave it as it is. Neck is slightly chunkier than the Pacifica ; not a problem, just commenting. Fretboard not so smooth at the edges but nothing bad. Tuners seem OK. Sound - neck pick up too soft/bassy, bridge pick up is bright and very usable. Middle position is good. I think I have reverse buyer's regret - wish I'd got a dearer one with alnico pickups. However for £87 delivered, got to be pleased with this!
Second impression: I originally reviewed this hurriedly having played it through my audio box/PC set up. I should have plugged it into my little Marshall in the first place, which showed off the pickups in their true light - and they are very good indeed. The neck position is much brighter than at first thought, the middle position is great, and the bridge pickup is brash to the point of ear-splitting - but that's why there is a tone control. (Also it depends how far I turn up the drive on the amp). I am even more pleased than before. I've added a couple of stars. Let's face it, for £87 you might expect a few imperfections, so I stand by my original comments, pickups aside, but overall, fantastic value.
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$90.93 €74.79
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