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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
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Audio Examples

 
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  • 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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137 Customer Ratings
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4.6 /5
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features
sound
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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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Great guitar for the price
B MacIntosh, 05.01.2020
I've been playing guitar as a hobby for over 35 years but somehow Telecasters were never on my radar- I don't know why but they didn't really appeal to me. My opinion changed a few months ago when I played a Tele for the first time and quickly realised that I had to have one.

Given that I already own several guitars, I didn't want to spend a fortune. My instinct was to go for a Squier Affinity, however I kept reading good things about Harley Benton so I decided to give this a try.

I'm so glad I did, because in my opinion this is actually better. It feels a bit more substantial (especially at the neck), and it has the classic 3 saddle bridge (with Squier you only get this on the top of the range Classic Vibe models). It's also a lot cheaper!

The metallic red finish looks really good, and I love the maple fretboard. It feels good to play and there are no rough edges. In terms of sound, it performs well. The neck pick-up has a nice warm tone while the bridge pickup has a lot of bite and produces some great 'crunch' sounds.

The guitar was received surprisingly well set-up: the intonation was perfect, the action reasonably low (most cheaper guitars have very high & badly cut nuts, but this looked really good) and there was no need for truss rod adjustments.

Tuning stability was great for the first few weeks. Now it needs daily tweaking but I suspect that this might be due to the ageing stock strings which feel very flimsy indeed.

The only issue I had was that the pickup selector stopped working on first use. Removing the control panel, I noticed that the rear of the switch was covered in a powder-like substance. Blowing this away solved the problem.

For the price I'd say this is a very good buy indeed. Obviously it's not in the same league as a Fender, but for an amateur like myself with multiple guitars it's an excellent choice.
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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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Hard to believe
Luxlu, 25.12.2019
After I've been watching/reading reviews of this and many other HB electric models for a good while, I finally decided i had to try one. No compromise, I've choosen one of the most unexpensive models out of my wish list. Make it or brake it.

Guitar arrived in time and in perfect conditions.

Red finish is really nice looking, no apparent problems. Modern C neck is nicely shaped and definitely inspiring to play. And, most of all, the guitar is immediately playable out of the box, great set up and very good action. It plays incredibly in tune, trying six strings chords all over the neck. Way beyond any possible expectations.

Sound is nice, a bit on the midrangey side. But it's full enough with a nice output to it.

I honestly think this is gonna irreversibly change the market, I couldnt almost believe i was playing a 89 Euros guitar. Fantastic work.
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$88
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