Harley Benton TE-20MN CA Standard Series

Electric Guitar

  • Basswood body
  • Bolt-on neck: Maple
  • Fretboard: Maple
  • Dot fretboard inlays
  • Neck profile: Modern C
  • Dual action truss rod
  • Fretboard radius: 350 mm
  • Scale: 648 mm
  • Nut width: 42 mm
  • 22 Frets
  • Pickup: 2 TE-Style single coils
  • 1 Volume knob and 1 tone knob
  • 3-Way toggle switch
  • Chrome hardware
  • Die-cast machine heads
  • Ex-factory string thickness: .009" - .042"
  • Colour: Candy apple red high gloss
No JavaScript? No Audio Samples! :-(

Audio Examples

 
0:00
  • Punky
  • Bluespicking
  • Funk
  • Indie

Further Information

Colour Red
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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121 Customer Ratings
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4.6 /5
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features
sound
quality
Wish, we had that 40 years ago
Karsten aus C., 23.10.2019
Oooookay,
so my Candy Apple Red and Metallic Blue TM20 arrived today. Outer cardboard box was slightly knackered, but inner boxes were okay, except for the styrofoam neck rests, who gave their structural integrity to protect the guitar inside.
No more plastic fillers, but only crushed paper, which I like. Try folded cardboard for the neck rests, you might get rid of those plastic pieces, too.
Have not received any goodies with the guitars, no stickers, no picks, nothing.
From the first looks, the guitars might even come from different factories. The metallic blue guitar is significantly heavier than the red guitar. Haven't had them on the scales - yet - but I'd say the difference is at least 1 kg.
Paintwork is more than acceptable. The blue is a tad lighter than expected, but the red one is that kind of deep "Oooh Yeah!" red that gives me an instant ... cough. Let's leave it there.
The blue one actually has a three ply scratchguard, so that's a pro. The chrome bridge looks better in reality than on the photos. I will check intonation and - yes, it's a Tele, you won't be able to intonate it properly - if it's okay, the chrome bridges may even stay.
Can't say anything about playability yet, as the guitars need to settle down a bit and adjust to the climate here, but so far I'm not disappointed.
Well, there are niggles, though. The neck for instance is cheap. Feels good, but it's not, what you would expect from a proper Tele neck. A maple fretboard Tele neck is hewn from one piece of maple, the truss is set in from the back, hence the prominent skunk stripe. With this neck, they just slapped a maple fretboard on. I know, it is possibly cheaper to use the same neck blanks for all of the HB Teles and then just use different fretboards, but, well, it's not THAT important, but I just noticed it.
Both guitars have a nice first feel. The neck is definitively NOT Tele,, it is wider and flatter than the usual Tele neck. Fret sprout is absent and the narrow thin frets are looking okay -n even though they are not polished. Switches and potentiometers feel solid. Tuners feel and look cheap, but they might do their job.
The red guitar has some issues with the strings not lining up properly, the strings are shifted about 2 mm to the bass side, but this might as well be dealt with by adjusting the bridge, there is enough travel there and then it might even align better with the pickups. The strings are not THAT far off, it's more a bit of a niggle.
Oh dear, the blue guitar REALLY is a heavy one. Don't want to wear that for a long gig ....
Both guitars fell off the production line and passed QC at the 15th of July 2019. Both were checked by Alan.
So, what is my verdict after just ogling over the new TE20 from Harley Benton?
Hardware is better than expected. Triple ply pickguards may stay. Chrome bridge is not too bad, but will be changed to a proper string-through-body part later. Not as soon as expected, but at a later stage.
Paintwork is as good as any Fender.Impressive.
I wish we had guitars of that quality at that price when I was younger. Now I'm in my mid 50's, but when I started guitars, we have had proper sh!t for ridiculous money, you have it good, you don't know how bad we've had it.
Am I happy? If the rest - playability, sound - is up to par, I could not be more happy. Buy the red one - the blue one is too heavy - help yourself to a 5-way super switch and some better pots, caps - without looking at those, they can't be good - and tuners, and you will have a modern Tele. Drop in some better pups if you have to and for way less than 200 €/£/$ you will have a fine, gigworthy instrument. If you ask me "Buy a TE20 HB, pimp it up and put the difference between that and a MiM into gear, lessons, beer?" my answer will always be "Fuck, yeah!"
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All I can say is: wow!
tormal, 28.10.2020
Telecasters have never been my favourites, but I wanted a versatile guitar to lay in my room so I can pick it up and play a few notes anytime I want - without opening the case of my other expensive guitars. Those are all stratocasters and superstrats that is why I chose this HB Telecaster. I checked it many times, decided not to order it many times, but finally I did. And I did not regret it.
The guitar looks beautiful, the CAR painting is just perfect. The modern C shape neck is bolder than the necks on my other guitars but it is surprisingly good and easy to play. The frets need some polish work, right after the replacement of the factory strings I will do that. The edges of the frets are well worked no sharp-touch feel on them. Tuners and tuning stability is much better than I thought. I think with new and branded strings it may even be better. The tailpiece is classis telecaster type, but the intonation and string height was almost perfectly set up on delivery.
The sound of the pickups is okay though a bit muddy to my taste. I spent two nights playing on the guitar through my Helix LT and I really did not realize how quickly time flew, it was so enjoyous to play this little beauty. I think the hardware is good enough to deserve better pickups for the tonal upgrade. The only problem is that new pickups will cost more than the whole guitar did...
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Beautiful guitar, terrible neck, bad customer service
Mostro, 20.08.2020
The finish of the guitar is extremely beautiful, but the neck feels too cheap and it had fret buzz all around, no way to be fixed with setup. I know, it is a budget guitar, it was going to be my 5th HB, but quality doesn't come even closer to the others, it just felt as a different brand.

I had good expectations after the other reviews and youtube reviews, but I guess at this price point it is matter of hit or miss with QC. The other HB guitars I have are more than double the price, but still being budget they easily compete with my Gibson LP Studio. I knew that for this one neck pickup sound was going to be bad (too muddy), because of youtube reviews, but I was prepared to change it. Bridge is good enough to stay for some time.

So far, all good, no problem, I return the guitar and buy something else, this things can happen you know? Although I have been Thomann customer for years, never had to do a return, I would say that is quite good, but this is where it all went downhill. I can't go out of home because health issues and it took me almost a week for them to arrange a pickup from home (me paying a small reasonable fee) as at the beginning it was denied saying the only option was for me to go to the public post office, when I know they do make UPS home pickups.

In the order there were some things I bought for this guitar that I returned, but I kept 4 beautiful HB volume knobs valued in less than 10 euros, so, since I didn't return the whole order I lose the 15 euros that I paid for the delivery at home (order was less than 199 euros). So, those very expensive budget HB volume knobs I have now. You know, this is because those small letters big company have somewhere and we irresponsibly never read or see.

So, save some trouble to you, do not buy this guitar so you don't risk a potential refund, if you still what to buy from Thomann, which I get because they have nice stuff, go for a higher tier HB guitars, they are awesome, go for the CST 24Ts, any of them, or if you want T-Style, take the fusion T. In what regards to myself, more likely this was the last buy from Thomann, I have enough Harley Benton guitars, nowadays you can find the mainstream brands at the same price (or lower) and equivalent policies in other online stores.

This is not a one time bad customer experience for me, couple of months ago I bought a B stock guitar, they sent the wrong model, same guitar with different pickups. I got compensation and the guitar was amazing still, but that's not the point.

People in customer service has been not helpful, impersonal and zero vibes, and come on, you sell music machines, you need to have some vibes. They are busy, I understand that, but they make you notice how little time they have, although they are supposed to be there for us. The people they show in youtube should be the ones taking over customer service, they seem cool (good PR). Some consulting in customer experience would work some good for Thomann customer service.

Good luck if you decide to taker this guitar.

UPDATE: No refund for the 15 euros, just a free shipping code, which will be only useful to buy less than 199 euros. Not cool as I am tied to buy from Thomann again, but well, of course I will take advantage of it, good marketing strategy. Still more likely will be last time, there are other nice online stores located in Germany also. By the way, they took 4 days after receiving the guitar to inspect it, and the refund is still not back to me, I guess it will happen on a weekday, so since I sent the guitar back it will be around 10 days to get the money again.
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How do they do it at this price !
laislapequena, 18.03.2021
I wanted a cheap Telecaster style guitar to complement my collection but without spending a fortune as it was only for house practice. I was sceptical about this guitar for the price, but, gulped, took a deep breath and ordered it. I can say that I was amazed when it arrived. The colour, the finish, the look, all good. The finish, while not in the same league as a guitar you would spend £1000 on, was excellent. No sharp fret ends, no blemishes in the candy apple finish, nicely finished satin neck. It just looked the part. Playability out of the box was 8/9 out of 10. I would definitely change the strings as the ones it arrives with are a little like a transatlantic telephone cable in diameter. Sounds great through a Zoom G1 four. The clean tones are there and nice, and when driven, it sound good. For the price, you certainly cannot argue. Great value for money if you don't want to spend an arm and a leg. Don't worry about the low price, it's a good buy.
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