Harley Benton TE-70RW Deluxe Series

Electric Guitar

  • Deluxe Series
  • Body: Basswood
  • Top: Rosewood imitation veneer
  • Bolt-on neck: Maple
  • Fretboard: Amaranth
  • Neck profile: C
  • Fretboard radius: 350 mm
  • Dot fretboard inlays
  • 21 Frets
  • Scale: 648 mm
  • Nut width: 43 mm
  • Cream body binding
  • Matched headstock
  • Dual action truss rod
  • Pickups: 2 Roswell TEA Alnico-5 vintage TE-style single coils
  • 1 Volume knob and 1 tone knob
  • 3-Way toggle switch
  • Deluxe chrome hardware
  • Wilkinson bridge with brass saddles and strings through the body
  • Deluxe die-cast machine heads
  • Ex-factory stringing: D'Addario .010 - .046
  • Colour: Natural, high gloss
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Audio Examples

 
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  • Country
  • Funk
  • Indie

Further Information

Colour Natural
Pickups SS
Fretboard Ovangkol
Tremolo None
Body Basswood
Top Rosewood
Neck Maple
Frets 21
Scale 648 mm
Incl. Case No
Incl. Bag No

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376 Customer Ratings
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Had to buy it to believe it
Gone2Lake-USA, 19.05.2018
Ok, another stunning review for a very inexpensive Harley Benton electric guitar... I am a hobby guitarist, drummer, pianist, and I do all my jamming at home in the basement man cave. I've read all the reviews like YOU have too, probably, because I just couldn't believe all the great things said about the incredibly inexpensive Harley Benton line of guitars. I finally had to "Jump In The Fire" ;) and I purchased this Tele copy, the TE-70RW Deluxe. I also bought a B stock Nashville Line Nylon solid body but that's not the focus of this review.
The TE70-RW has the following traits, in my opinion:
Pros: super inexpensive, flawless fit/finish, arrived with ZERO damage from Germany to Kentucky, U.S.A. in 9 days, good setup on arrival, NOT microphonic, NOT high action, NOT a returned item re-sold to me, the guitar for the $ paid is an OUTSTANDING value. Out of the box & wiped down then plugged in it sounds great. sounds every bit as nice as my Made In Mexico Deluxe Roadhouse Stratocaster and sounds better than the Fender Baja Tele my friend brought over to have on hand for immediate comparison. The Roswell pickups are fine, nothing special but NOTHING at all wrong with them.

Cons: the guts of the guitar are obviously 'cheap' but by no means are they LOW quality, the strings and fret board was 'dirty' and I had to do an extensive wipe down on the guitar. I would love to have a little higher quality fret board wood but that would increase the price.

Bottom Line: You can not beat the quality for the price paid. The CONS that I listed have nothing to do with the guitar tone, playability, or 'function'. I would not expect this guitar to be a 'gigging' axe for a professional but for the normal everyday guy/gal who just loves to play... it is A O.K.

If you are considering a Harley Benton guitar, any model, but are scared of the low LOW LOWWWWWW cost you are just like many Americans and other guitarists from countries outside the 'immediate' are of Thomann Music and that's understandable. Unless you've already done business with Thomann you just don't know if you can trust the reviews online and all that.... Well, there's only ONE way to find out and that is to bite the bullet and give them a chance.

You will not be disappointed.
I had ordered a Ritchie Kotzen signature Telecaster just a couple of days before this purchase. It's made in Japan and is at the top of Fender's 'non custom shop' food chain. I cancelled the order for the Fender and bought 2 Harley Benton's for 1/3 of the price I would've given for the Kotzen model Tele.

I'm extremely glad I did cancel that order. I have Tele sound, tone, feel, and more for a lot less money. Couldn't be happier with Thomann and Harley Benton.
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Erm, this has caused me a problem.
JustRachael, 13.08.2019
So, this has caused me a problem or a dilemma at least. To be honest I bought this for one reason, to strip it for parts for my other Tele’s and so far it’s much, much better than expected, way too good to use as a donor guitar for parts. I now need to get parts in a different was as it’s erm,.....better than most of my other Tele’s.

The action is too high, way too high but I know that this is down to personal preference and entirely subjective yet needs adjustment. The tuners are ok, it depends on your perspective, they’re not amazing compared to a Schaller locking fender set yet for the money, I don’t get how they can do this, it’s surprising how good they are. The bridge tuner rattles too much at the moment but a setup may fix this.

Overall my neighbours were expecting to see something far from playable yet they didn’t believe that this was supposed to be a donor parts item. Me? I’m keeping this as is, I’ll change the bridge pickups as they rattle too much but overall, this is like modern magic. I wouldn’t expect anything playable at this budget but I am wrong , surprised, and actually really impressed.

Now I need to explain that I have a new guitar and no parts as expected, thanks Thomann, please send new tuners so I can avoid having to justify another guitar.

A quick update----
The tuners turned out to be awful. Dead spots everywhere, slipping, too much dead movement, they rapidly became as bad as the set on my Affinity. So I've made a few mods. I added a set of HB locking tuners, added Göldo string trees, cleaned and lemon oiled the neck twice, graphited the nut slots, and then swapped the strings for a set of Ernie Ball 9's. Now, it holds a note as well as my PRS.

The TE70 is a great base to make some basic changes, adding less than €100 in parts for such good results is worth it. It's still only cost around the same price as my affinity Tele but the results are much better. Next time I buy another HB I will make the same changes out of the box.

Finally, if a female can do all this work in a few hours, surely a chap can do it quicker ;)
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Very good and stable
Tespit, 04.09.2019
I've tried a lot of Chinese guitars over the years. Most of those guitars were suffering from some cheap parts (particularly tuners, pots or switches) and sometimes very poor overall quality control (finish defects, fretwork, etc). Honestly my opinions of Chinese manufacturers were not very positive. This changed about 4 years ago when I saw a Dean Dimebag signature model made in China (the one with explosion graphics). Then last year when I tried another Chinese guitar (a Yamaha RGX-520 FZ), I started to think that China is going pro on electric guitars business... This HB Deluxe Tele is not different from those good Chinese guitars, if not better, considering price/quality ratio.

Pros:
- Price. You get a good guitar, cheaper than most of Fender SQ Tele models.
- Very nice grainy maple neck with glossy finish. Very fast & comfortable neck. İt is not meaty nor super slim, right in the middle, just like the original.
- Overall finish is almost perfect. I really liked the matching headstock too. Very good QC.
- String-thru body with good quality ferrules. Sustain is good and whole guitar is sonically very responsive.
- Bridge pickup. It is very microphonic and catches a lot of noise all around, but that's my personal choice. I like it dirty.. It almost acts like a P90 and I really love it. Pretty melodious for good old school rock or some country style finger-picking.
- Durable. Although tuners look cheap they are working well and guitar stays in tune perfectly; not once out of tune for about 2 hours of constant playing on stage.
- Double binding on the body (front and back). Looks absolutely gorgeous from every angle..

Cons:
- Fret sprout. Interestingly, only lower ends of the frets are sharp. Not sure there is a QC issue here; it might be the wood itself. If you ask me, fingerboard (or whole neck) probably shrunk from low humidity and left the fret ends open on one side. It is not a big deal for me, I have filed them little bit and they are now sitting with nice ends.
- Not sure about the authenticity of Wilkinson bridge, it feels very cheap.. I will probably change it. I may keep the saddles 'though, they are good quality.

I bought this one mainly for gigging purposes and it already proved itself. Maybe not a recording piece, but it is reliable guitar with nice looks and good playability. And with this price, I think it is a steal!
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Fancy looking, good playing, great sounding Tele for a small price
John3466, 03.07.2015
I don?t think that you can ever go wrong with a Tele. It?s the original, simplicity itself, totally effective, versatile beyond belief, the ultimate everyman?s guitar. Everybody looks cool rocking on a Tele, whether you?re Keith Richards, Joe Strummer, Prince, Jeff Beck, Marty Stuart, or Joe Blow. Everybody needs at least one! In point of fact this is my 3rd.

Thomann offers several Harley Benton Tele knock-offs, though the Te-70 was the obvious choice for me. Here's a little inside tip: If you're going to get a Harley Benton guitar that?s a knock off of a particular make or model, then go for their ?top of the line.?

The guitar took exactly one week to reach me where I reside in North Carolina USA.

First impression out of the box: This is a righteous tele, very handsome, looks expensive, good fit and finish, made my wife go, "Ohhh," and "Ahhh," light in weight, body thinner than a Fender Tele, balanced and perfectly proportioned, a hefty handful of a neck (though comfortable), nice clean fretwork, good nut height, very straight neck, beautiful and attractive rosewood grain all around, hardware is both solid looking and feeling, warm pickups (raucous brown bridge pup and a sweet snappy neck pup with the middle position a delightful thing as well), decent tuners that won't need to be replaced, irresistibly makes me want to play early Zeppelin riffs, bluesy Robben Ford licks, and twangy countrified double-stop type stuff.

The entire guitar ? the front and back of the body, the fretboard, and the headstock ? is this warm, brownish, luscious, rosewood color. It immediately brought to mind a line from Eddie Murphy?s movie Coming to America: ?Sexual Chocolate!? To extend the metaphor, the cream binding front and back looks like vanilla icing. Let?s face it, this guitar just looks delicious!

Giving it a critical looking over: I could immediately tell that the body was thinner than that on my Fender Standard Tele. The Te-70 is also quite light. Any of you who appreciate and desire a light guitar, this one is definitely for you. Though I personally prefer a thicker guitar, I can live with a slightly slimmer profile on this one.

The fretboard has a tight grain with a pleasing color and general appearance. The binding is flawless, as is the paint job, the hardware, and the pickguard. The guitar has a well fitted, tight neck joint that feels very stable.

The fret work is smooth, no sharp ends, no high frets, and no buzzing whatsoever. Without any difficulty I was able to set the action quite low, which is my preference. With an adjustment of the nut I?ll be able to go even lower still.

The headstock itself is a fanciful and tasteful take on the iconic Tele profile which doesn?t stray too far from its inspiration to make it look weird, as some unfortunately do. I even think that the ?Harley Benton Deluxe Series? and ?Tone, Quality, Sound? lettering has class.

Though the photos of the Te-70 on Thomann?s website show a guitar without a skunk stripe on the back of the neck, my guitar does have one. Since I prefer the look of a skunk stripe, it?s a bonus for me.

The volume and tone knobs look nice and spin freely, with no binding, crackling, or other undesirable effects. Mini-pots and a box switch here, as was to be expected.

When looking inside the control rout you can see that the rosewood veneer is very thin indeed, appearing no thicker than a slim sheet of cardboard.

So how does it play? Whether a guitar ?plays well? is a very subjective thing, depending upon an individual players preference in regard to neck width/depth/carve, neck radius, string action, sting gauge, fret size, and that kind of thing. I do suppose that there are some specs that cast the widest possible net in this regard and enjoy near universal appeal. The Te-70 is inclined more towards that camp. There?s nothing offensive about the way it plays and it just feels like a good Tele neck to me. I would say it's a C shaped neck.


How does it sound?

The bridge pickup has a warm, raspy, authoritative snarl, as I think any good Tele bridge pickup should. It rocks hard if you want it to. Just dig in and there's plenty of grind and oomph there. It not only has warmth and just the right amount of grunt, but also a very good amount of clarity. It sparkles, plinks, and sustains just like a Tele set up with single coils and a brass barreled bridge should. If you play classic rock type material, then the Te-70 will fit the bill very nicely.

The middle position has a little less bite, as is to be expected. It may actually be my favorite position for playing lead on this guitar.

The neck position obviously provides the most bass heavy and rounded tone. When utilized for leads it is pleasantly articulate and snappy.

Both the middle and neck positions have that characteristically lovely and irresistible glassiness to them. When you hear that sound there?s no mistaking that this a Tele, and in this case a quite good one.

The Te-70 is extremely enjoyable to play bluesy licks on at lower gain settings, particularly in the neck and middle position. To me it just nails that sound.

General criticisms. The pickup selector switch is a little stiff in its movement. It makes it somewhat difficult when you want to change positions on the fly. This is probably an easy fix without having to replacing it entirely, because it works perfectly fine otherwise.

There is a dark spot on the wood (actually, a part of the wood) underneath the poly on the top edge of the headstock. Being a die hard old school Eddie Van Halen fan, it reminds me of the cigarette burns on the headstocks of his guitars. If it was on the bottom edge it wouldn't be so bad, but being on the top you actually look down on it while you're playing. Though it is technically not a defect, but merely the result of the natural grain of the wood (and some would argue a thing that gives the guitar ?character?) it is annoying and might be a deal breaker to some people.

Also, the tuner for the high E string had its screw put in cockeyed during assembly at the factory, hence the entire thing is slightly swiveled out of alignment.

Thomann gave me a price adjustment for both of these issues, so I'm a satisfied customer.

Summary: The Te-70 plays and sounds well enough out of the box that I could perfectly understand someone not wanting to touch a thing on it. Yet it is inexpensive enough and built with such a solid foundation that it can also make an ideal modding platform. Keep it stock, or hot rod the thing, it?s your choice. Either way, I don't think that you can go wrong with this guitar.

I?ve yet to get a real lemon from Thomann. This is my fourth Harley Benton guitar and each one has been from quite good to great. Despite a couple of minor issues, this guitar is a winner too. For anyone who is looking for an inexpensive, elegant looking Tele clone that plays and sounds terrific, I definitely recommend the Harley Benton Te-70 Rosewood Deluxe Series.
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