Harley Benton TE-52 Telecaster Guitar Review
Over the last few years I’ve seen a lot of hype over Harley Benton guitars. I never quite knew whether or not a lot of the favourable reviews were “encouraged” reviews or if they were just great guitars. Recently, I’ve had a chance to test a few of them in person and I have to say the hype is justified. The Harley Benton TE-52 is inspired by a 50’s Fender Telecaster. It features a nice thick 50’s style neck, two single coil pickups, and lots of Tele Mojo thanks to the Roswell pickups included in the guitar.
Let’s start with the pickups. The Roswell pickups are 100% telecaster. One thing that shocked me was how great they sounded clean and dirty but also how much chirp the neck pickup had! I’ve replaced pickups a number of times in my Fender Telecaster looking for the top end bite on the neck pickup but the Roswell just has it. Will I replace the pickups? No way! The pickups can handle a moderate amount of gain before they will experience feedback. Anything up to around a heavy blues/rock sound should be fine. They have all the chicken pickin’ spank you could want clean so if this is your thing, you’ll dig it.
Body Fit and Finish
In terms of how the guitar feels in the hand it’s a solid 9. My only small complaint is the guitar is quite heavy. I have a Les Paul and it’s about the same weight. I am sure this will vary so just be forewarned that the weight might be an issue for some. For those with strong backs you won’t have any problems with it.
The finish on the body is a solid 9/10 as well. It’s a high gloss finish that will appeal to some but not others. I think it does a really great job of keeping a very traditional look which I love. The neck is a satin finish which looks and feels great in the hand. I did notice some scuffing on the edge where the fret board meets the neck but it’s not a deal breaker.
The Only Real Issue
The only main issue with the Harley Benton TE-52 are the tuners. Some feel great, some feel too tight, and some don’t feel like they grab properly. They don’t become loose once you tighten them so the tuning stability is fine but just be warned I think some people might consider changing these tuners if you experience the same sort of issues and it bothers you.
Value for Money
These guitars are a 10/10 in terms of value for money. You don’t pay a lot to get one and they reward you with a very solid instrument. I would put these up on top of my list as best value for money along with the SX VTG Series guitars as well. Both are great value, play great, and are reliable instruments.