Harley Benton


Well-known member
Staff member

Something I've learnt over the years is never to judge a guitar by its sale price. I own guitars that range in value from not a lot to $30,000 and yet the two guitars I use the most are a 1982 $300 Japanese Fender Squier and a 2012 $1,000 Indonesian Ibanez RG Premium. The holy grail of guitars, a 1959 Gibson Les Paul will probably cost you $500,000+ but for around $5,000 you can take your pick from a multitude of late 50's Les Paul Juniors which are likely to play and sound just as good but have the benefit of being far more versatile in terms of tone variation.

So... I'd heard of Harley Benton guitars and mentally filed them under something you would buy your nephew/niece as a cheap birthday present. To cut to the chase a friend of a friend bought 25... yes twenty five guitars which cost him less than a month's wages and I went to check them out.

I'm going to be honest, some of the guitars were playable but had problems, particularly issues associated with cheap electronics and setup. Some of the others however were comparable with Fender Squier or Epiphone guitars but at around a third of the price. A few, 4 or 5 just blew my mind. One in particular, a PRS copy had a maple flame top that you would be hard pressed to find on a $6,000 guitar and guess what, it played and sounded as good as anything I've played in the $2,000 price point. This is a sub $150 guitar.

At this point in time the only outlet that I'm aware of is in Europe via https://www.thomann.de/gb/cat_BF_harley_benton.html but in my view these guitars are an indication that given a few more years experience the Chinese are going to blow all the other guitar manufactures out of the water and at a price point we can all afford.


Founding Member
I got myself a Harley Benton L-450 Plus a few years ago. It's a fantastic guitar for the price, not sure they do this model any more though. Think it's been replaced by an even better SC 450 Plus. Apparently there was a period of fake Wilkinson pickups being fitted to some of the Harley Benton's, which is why they now use Roswell pickups in place of the Wilkinson one's. Think some of the hardware is still Wilkinson though.