It has some Problems but how does it Sound? – Harley Benton SC-450PLUS Guitar Review

It has some Problems but how does it Sound? – Harley Benton SC-450PLUS Guitar Review


today we’re checking out the Harley
Benton SC 450 plus this is Les Paul style guitar it’s in a left hand and also
available in a righty let’s see how it sounds welcome back guys this is Shane today
we’re checking out the Harley Benton SC 450 plus LP style electric let’s take
a look so here’s a guitar up close this is part of their vintage series electric
guitars and the body is mahogany. Check it out it actually looks really good if
you’re wondering if there are scuffs on here I still haven’t taken the plastic
off so that’s all that is the actual piece of wood they’ve used looks really
really nice in my opinion we get 22 frets and a c-shaped profile neck we
also get trapezoid inlays as well which i think looks really classy each side of
the fretboard has the cream color binding that you’re looking at right now
they’ve loaded the guitar with two Roswell pickups these are the LAF alnico
5 vintage style humbuckers one of the great things about these is you can
absolutely split coil both the neck and bridge pickup by pulling up the volume
control so we get two volume controls and also two tone controls now this is a
left-handed guitar and on a lot of left-handed guitars to turn up the
volume is reverse they wire it like a right-handed guitar but on this they go
forwards which is a really great touch I wish Gibson would do that one of the
cool things about Harley Benton is their headstock design I think it looks really
cool minus the big chunk missing out of mine but no big deal doesn’t really affect
the playability here’s the back of the headstock we’ll get six clues on style
tuners and as I mentioned on my other video they’re not quite straight so I’m
going to try my best to realign these so they look a little bit more uniform the
color of the top is known as lemon drop and it’s a high gloss finish as well I
got to tell you in terms of just how this looks and feels in the hand it
feels really great and also looks super cool it comes up really beautiful on
camera and what I’m seeing is pretty accurate on my reference monitor to the
actual color of the guitar a massive thanks to Thomann for setting this out I
really appreciate it if you’d like to find out more about this links will be
below now on my live Premiere unboxing video I had so many people say hey do a
review of this anyway because I’ve got one I’d love to see what you think of it
irrespective of the flaws that I got on mine so I thought you know what it’s
probably worth doing so I plugged it in I was like man this actually sounds
pretty good but we’ll get into that in the video let’s get into it
alright let’s get into it today I’m plugged into my Marshall and it’s loaded
with an eminence Texas heat speaker we haven’t miked up with an sm57 and
also with Sennheiser a 906 we just start bridge pickup on some do
we’ll also try some clean tones as well the start on bridge pickup here we go volume control down so it cleans up
beautifully your layup yeah over the neck pickup let’s give
this a go yeah so these pickups actually take off
pretty easily in terms of feedback you can get them to that point no problems
at all and that’s not even with the gain that high on the amp is it at 12 o’clock
so it goes much higher and we’re not even on the ultra gain Channel so
getting some serious sustain and feedback is actually pretty easy with
this guitar let’s go over to both pickups with the neck pickup just down a
little bit and we’ll see how it sounds Oh now you can also split coil these
pickups but we’ll get to that in just a moment let’s try it clean let’s start
with some neck pickup tones now clean here we go I’ve been told that’s my signature lick
I got to stop playing it over the bridge here we go now my ants are pretty loud on 20 watt
motor I got a crank most of the way up at the volume is actually on two o’clock
so it is breaking up just a little bit but that’s the clean tone and let’s try
both pickups now all the way up on both volume controls and tone controls as
well here we go cool now these pickups can also be
called tapped by just pulling up the volume control so we’ll try this clean
still as well here we go I would bridge this sounds vastly
different to this split coil bridge and now back to the crunch channel on
the amplifier and I’m still in single coil or split coil mode with the bottom
controls up this is bridge pickup here we go a humbucker mode over to Nick humbug mmm let’s see what the tone control can do
now this is bridge pickup a little bit less just up from off and all the way off one of the things I’ve noticed about how
the benzene guitars is their tongue controls are a little bit on the funky
side for example if I’ve got it all the way open allowing all the high-end to
pass through if I then turn it to half there’s not a whole lot of difference
between what I’m hearing with it all the way up and on half and then starts to
kick in below that so yeah just keep that in mind I’m not one to really use
any tone controls anyway on my guitars I just don’t bother I set the amp up to my
liking and then I’m good to go but there’s folks out there who probably
want to know that information thanks for watching folks this is Shane so what do
I think of this guitar overall so before I get into that if you missed my live
premiere unboxing first impressions video I’ll leave a link up in the cards
because I’m going to touch on some of that right now but not in as much detail
so when this arrived it had have either been dropped before it was packed or
something else happened to it in shipping now this comes in two boxes the
internal box was shredded the external box was fine so I don’t know if it’s the
courier company or what or something went wrong but there’s some clear cracks
on the back of the neck here in terms of the finish there’s a couple of really
chips you can feel especially under the neck as well is they don’t feel great
it’s got a big chunk out of the headstock and also the tuners aren’t
aligned now I’m going to disregard all of that and just talk about how it feels
to play and how it sounds I think it sounds really cool and that’s just one
of those things I was a bit hesitant of doing this video because if so at this
guitar straight out of the box had so many flaws but you know what it hasn’t
affected the tuning stability I haven’t tuned it up once in the entirety of this
actual video review so that’s pretty cool and it feels good to play I could
get up nice and far on the edge of the fretboard no problems there at all and I
think the pickups actually sound pretty great the volume controls and the
push-pull pots all feel really good there’s nothing to really critique about
it other than the condition that it turned up in which was you know if I had
paid for this which was you know, Thomann sent this out for free for the review I
would have been really disappointed how do I have paid even 50 bucks for a
guitar in this sort of condition but all of that aside you know I can fix some of
the issues that this has and I think it’s some playable guitar so I had a lot
of people say are you going to review this I’ve got one I really like it mine
was fine so that’s why I’m doing this video I
thought I’m gonna try this out anyway and give it a shot because I haven’t
heard back from Tommen and I thought you know what why not just make a video and
share my thoughts about it in terms of how it plays and how it sounds now gonna
leave a poll up here in the cards and also if you can comment below that’d be
fantastic let me know if you’ve ordered a guitar a Holly Benton guitar from
Thomann and what kind of condition it was in
to be fair out of about six or seven guitars that I’ve had shipped to the
house lefties and righties for Dr. Ric as well this is the only one that’s
turned up damaged the internal box like I said was shredded and I have a feeling
that this might have been a return that then got sent to me and they may have
overlooked some of these flaws but yeah they’re definitely on there I’m gonna
try my best to sort of sand that out and do my best to make it a bit more of a
playable guitar and if I can then adjust any of the tuners to make them more
straight one of them shocking I’ll definitely do that but overall I think
it’s a pretty great sounding guitar and if you were to get one of these in good
condition I think it’s definitely one of the best ones I’ve had a chance to play
totally and just how it feels in the hand it feels like a premium guitar a
massive thanks to the guys at Thomann for sending this out for the review if you
want to find out more about it links will be below thanks again for watching
my name’s Shane I’ll catch you soon see you!

100 thoughts to “It has some Problems but how does it Sound? – Harley Benton SC-450PLUS Guitar Review”

  1. I have never seen push/pull left handed pots. I doubt these are. From what I understand, Gibson actually does you a favour by wiring their guitars right handed. Sure the knobs work in reverse but the sweep is the exact same as a right-handed guitar; whereas, Fender for example, wires their guitars in reverse (left handed) using right-handed pots and gives you the typical piss-poor usability when the pot works only between 1 and 3 on the knob.

  2. If the frets are level that's a big plus over my 2019 Epiphone which I had to fret level! Nut was also too high. My Harley Benton Te 70 Black Paisley arrived ok a couple of weeks ago, sounds great, frets perfectly level and plays well. It was 1/4 the price of the Epiphone. Tremendous value for the money.

  3. Awesome! I have this in my Thomann cart along with the ST-20, TE-20, SC450 P90, and HB guitar cases for each. All that for less than $700 shipped to the US! That's almost 3x cheaper than ONE Gibson LP Tradional or Standard. Just gotta get the nerve to pull the trigger!

  4. Sounds like a cheap guitar to me.
    The pickups are definitely missing some articulation and sound somewhat muddy. But that's nothing that can't be changed – if the overall build quality is decent and the playability is good, this seems like a good deal for its price.

  5. I've been kinda on the fence about Harley Benton guitars. I wish I had a place locally , that had them.
    The fusion 2 is what I'd probably go for / try.

  6. And throw in the price point? What’s not to love! I went the low end way, as I don’t have companies giving me guitars…….. oh where was I? I got a TE-20 and tuned it and played it. Not a scratch on it. I was very pleased with it and made it my practice on guitar. Have done a couple of cheap upgrades… and I’ll be keeping it. It’s fun.

  7. I’m a bit worried about the shipping from Germany, but yes that guitar sounds great! I would jump on getting one but one LP in my collection is good enough 😁 Cheers!🎸🎸🎸🎸🎼🎵

  8. Shane, yer killing me mate! This will probably end up being the fourth guitar you've convinced me to buy! First was a PRS SE, then the HB CST 24. I also bought an HB-35 Plus. Not based on a specific review, but because HB! Now this! Lefties! Cheers.

  9. I got this very model on Christmas eve. It is gorgeous, playable and sounds good. I find it very tactile, a nice weight and I enjoy holding it. The tuners on mine are in line and its stays in tune great. The tone pots were AWFUL though (I do actually use them), they are difficult to move in comparison to volume controls and they make no different from 10 to 2. The fretwork was excellent and although I found the trapezoid inlays flawless in placement, the inlays themselves seem a little plasticky and dead to me. The bridge and stop bar etc. all feel great (not made from melted down pepsi cans as John Robson would say). I plan to do my own video on it as although I'd recommend it, it has a few curious peculiarities about it. Great video Shane, thanks for posting it.

  10. How does this compare to the Artist LP.? I have a lefty Artist that needed a good setup, but sounds great. I still have the white Gretchen Corvette that I purchased from you a few years ago. Cheers mate.

  11. Looking at the alternative, the Epihone and it's fret board material, I'm wondering about durability, and if the Laurel is hardy? 😏
    The Harley Benton SC-450PLUS is a lot of guitar for very little money.
    P.S. The HB link isn't working for me?!

  12. I thought you said no more Harley Benton? I swear I can't go into YouTube without seeing YouTubers advertising HB. So many ads, you'd almost think Mike Bloomberg was running HB.

  13. Mine arrived fine, but it plays better with hybrid slinkys on it for me, it had 10's on it when it arrived. I'm going to go with 8's next time i restring it, just to as an experiment , a la 1970's Billy Gibbons 🙂

  14. Thank you for being upfront about the delivery issues with this guitar Shane & your personal opinion of the guitar's playability. I'm guessing there's some reviewers who simply would not have put the unboxing video up on YT, contacted Thomann and sent it back, with no one the wiser. The tone pot is probably due to it being a cheap component and/or a Linear taper. Best bet is to get a Logarithmic tapered (audio) pot of decent quality. AllParts, Sweetwater can help you there….

  15. A little bit wooly for me during chord work, lead tone is alright, but a severe lack of articulation on the individual notes when playing a chord.

    Of course if it plays well, its nothing that a quick pickup change won't remedy

  16. I ordered a Harley Benton Fusion II from Thomann and it arrived in good condition. I live in Florida, USA and had no problems.

  17. i bought an ST62 strat 3 years ago and it had been opened in customs (you knew by outer packaging) and they must have face planted it bending a tuner key and a chip in headstock. I figured oh well its a mod base with road beauty lol. So in my tear down it suffered yet another hard biff and put 2 dings on body face. Then during final assembly after all upgrades yet another biff from my dog bumping it over fetching a toy he threw for himself lol! All in all thats still the best dang strat ive ever had! Just roll with it and giggle if it gets a new beauty mark!!!

  18. I have right hand version and it's great lp model for cheap price. I didn't have any problems which is also a miracle. Another miracle is that, it keeps tuning! I change pickups to dimarzio 36th paf set.

  19. YES number 40! Gr8 looking geetar (qc issues aside)! Looks and sounds vgood! Too bad the cosmetic damage and it seems crooked tuner install happening too often! Made a deal for my buddy on a nice used Hamer Slammer from Indonesia, cosmetics were👍, good deal overall! Thanks Shane for the demo!

  20. This review came out a week after I bought the exact same guitar. I have no complaints and it's an overall great guitar for the money

  21. Just checked the cost on this. People are selling it for 250 on ebay and reverb and it only costs 200 including shipping direct from thomann new… More power to them for trying lol

  22. Seems like an impossible equation. Great look, great sound, plays great, stable tuning despite damage. All for POS cheap guitar $$.

  23. I just got a SC550 in, was a bstock, bunch of marks and scrapes on bass side of neck binding. Outside of that, pp lays great sounds nice, set up very well, and I like the pickups better than the 490s in my Gibson….so far I'm very happy, down the road if the binding becomes problematic My opinion would change, but I have a beautiful guitar that plays nice

  24. Just checked the cost on this. People are selling it for 250 on ebay and reverb and it only costs 200 including shipping direct from thomann new… More power to them for trying lol

  25. I ordered an HB DC580 (money was a bit tight), it took longer than my GAS would've liked. It really took only about 3 weeks, and surprised the heck out of me! Great condition straight out of the box, even fit my Fender style case! I've had 5 strokes, can't drive anymore, and my fingers fight with my brain over which strings to play. Hey, I've been playing for 56 years, so I won't that stand in my way too much. Do love this one, as it's my first SG guitar, since my '61 Les Paul Jr.

  26. "The Best HB Alternative on Sweetwater"
    opens link
    (Epiphone Les Paul Standard '50s)

    well well well, how the turntables.

  27. Great video. I had a few bentons and all were really well built guitars and easy to set up get the action super low. The pups are too bright, but they are worth dropping pups of choice.

  28. I used to have a Gibson Les Paul Studio and the pickups were muddy. These had more clarity. I'm pretty picky and own mostly high end boutique gear, but that guitar is pretty sweet especially at the price point. Mahogany body check, Maple cap check, sweet finish check, clarity in PAF style pups check. I mean you could give it a great set up, possibly upgrade some electronics and you have good quality guitar. I can see why Gibson is suing. Note to Gibson, price it right…everyone else can, you'd more than make back the dent in your ego.

  29. Thanks Shane,very kind of you.Btw I usually have different eq settings split coil modes,the humbucker settings are too shrill when coils get tapped.Continue happily ever-after!

  30. I have about 7 Harley Bentons, one turned out to be a real dog, but Thomann replaced it under their 3 year warranty. Can't ask for fairer than that. I am in Australia, too.

  31. It must be great to get guitars sent out for free to try out, how do you get to that level?? Oh wait, I'm not a good guitar player, why on earth would they send me one?? Ha! Oh and I only have a few subscribers too 670. FML! Cool vid man!

  32. The first thing I did after the purchase, turned the bridge over. All HBs with this bridge are improperly assembled. The bridge has a nashville style, but assembled as abr-1. The bridge bolts should be on the tail piece side, otherwise the bolts are extruded by strings, and the tuning is not stable. Take your time to change the tuners, just flip the bridge. I also recommend replacing the 047 uF capacitors with 022 uF (if possible, change pickups too), it will sounds less muddy. This a great guitar for the price.

  33. As a fellow lefty can you tell me how you got this finish? Was the lemon drop on the site already and you just chose it, or did you have to custom order it?

  34. Have had mixed results but I got all of them fixed pretty fast by their excellent customer service. One ST model arrived really damaged and had missing pieces but the other ones have been in really good shape and even tuned out of the box.

  35. Is it me or do the pickups sound a bit muddy and the tone controls are a bit of a blunt tool? As the “forever” Les Paul, I’ll pass. Still, Shane managed to rip some awesome licks out of it and that’s why I keep showing up here 👍

  36. As a lefty, HB genuinely excite me with the sheer range available, not tomention the ridiculously low prices for these gats.

  37. All made the same wood and all if need be change the pickups and pots keep it in a room with 55% humidity and you'll notice the difference mine is three years old and when I play along with Peter green and Danny kirwan it's there, £3500 or £110 you tell me and mine ain't moded .only one thing was the frets a hand full were slightly high. But I love it …

  38. Nice demo mate ! I have to admit it was better than I expected ! If I was in the market for an inexpensive LP I would have to consider it . 😎🎸

  39. Great review man! Sounds really good. Heh heh, couldn’t help but think of Billy Gibbons solo in Beer Drinkers and Hell Raisers when you snuck that little bend/tap in there! 😎Probably just a natural reaction when you have a sound like that going! Even though it musta been delivered by Ace Ventura, it’s good to see it’s still playable! 🤙🏻🎼

  40. I recently got a HB35 semi hollow body 4 weeks ago. It sounded muddy as hell, the selector switch did nothing and the pots all acted as yours did. Last weekend I swapped all of that out and now it sounds fantastic. As far as the condition of the guitar, mine was actually in great shape, no flaws anywhere. The one you got has obviously been abused and dropped. I don't think the pups sound that bad as some others have stated here, but thats nothing a different amp setting or pup swap cant easily fix. I would definitely get one of these!

  41. From Leo: Great chops on the intro. That lemon color really pops. It is good that the controls work the correct way. Someone should send one to gibson so they can copy it.

  42. Ok I had a Gibson les Paul once but sold it. It sounded kind of dull and dead to me. This one sounds better. Clearer and with a touch of twangy personality even. I also have a US telecaster 84. I bought a Harley B tele 30. It sounds better than the US one that also has this annoying hum in the pick ups

  43. 10:12 Tone pots have a logarithmic taper instead of linear, HB have probably used right handed log pots and wired them backwards instead of using reverse log pots, so most of the tone roll off will occur at the very end of the knob turn instead of the start. You would replace the tone pots with reverse log pots to get a better tone roll off while keeping the same "turn direction".

  44. iv'e been lucky with my thoman shipments because nearly every one had the outside box either damaged or totally trashed, dont know if its customs dont care or the shipping company dont care they certainly get knocked about between germany and sydney but so far so good but when courier arrives at you door with a trashed box you get a bit worried …

  45. id rip those pic ups out ASAP… I have the SC450 P90 GOLD TOP …..and those pic ups are going bye bye guitar is awesome but pic ups are no good.

  46. Nice looking guitar but I don't like that fretboard. It's listed as blackwood in the specifications but this definitely is not. Looks like they changed to pau ferro or laurel. It's a pity that the colour is too light. It just spoils the look of this guitar.

  47. The concern as a consumer is that someone who got sent a guitar for review can’t get a response. Where does that leave the customer?

  48. Thank you for your great videos and sharing of your thoughts and expiriences. In your hands every Guitar sounds great.
    I think the SC-450 is great for the money. Who are interested and have the money, add 80 Euro and try the SC-550 Paradise Flame with Roswell HAF (!) Humbuckers, not the other Models with Roswell LAF.
    2017 i compared them at the Thomann Shop. SC-450 were good, the SC-550 (2017 Modell with Wilkinson Pickups) sounded much better to my ears. I think the difference were caused through the better pickups. They were great out of stock.
    This year I equipped my old SC-550 for a test with the Roswell HAF from my CST-24… the Roswell HAF are awsome Pickups, much better than the old ones i liked so much compared to the ones in the SC-450. They have more output, a more open sound (not dull) and the string separation is much better.
    I also got some Roswell LAF from Ebay and put them in, just to test them. To my ears they don't sound good, to dull. Hope the helps somebody who are interested. If you can, watch out for HAF/LAF and compare them for yourself.

  49. For almost every guitar I brought, I had to rewire the tone pots righty to be able to use the full range of the tone controls. Most of these guitar manufacturers use the wrong pots (audio tapered) for tone. They are supposed to use reverse audio tapered pots in left handed guitars, but these pots are expensive and quite hard to find.

    Overall, I agree that HB guitars need a lot of work to make it playable and stage-worthy. I bought a Fusion Pro out of curiosity and actually like it.

  50. I bought one of these last year and it turned up in similar condition. Thomann were very good about and gave me the choice of keeping it with the cost of freight refunded ($80) or returning it at their expense. I choose to keep it because I wanted it as a back-up gigging guitar and figured it would get knocked around anyway. I am really glad I kept it and enjoy playing it. I like LPs but normally struggle play above about the 17th fret but the contoured heel on these (and other HB LPs) make upper fret access much easier. I would love to see a comparison between this and the Artist LPs as both seem to be good budget LPs.

  51. So an Epiphone global manager replied to me about 2020 left hand range and he confirmed that they will start shipping early to mid summer with a wider range of variety and colours.. just thought id pop that in. Curious to know what you guys think of the new Chapman ML2J traditional?? 🙂

  52. Had for about 18 months. Few tips: the tuners work, but are total crap I swapped mine out for Goto SD 90,s screw holes and shape lines exact, but will need a (reverse drill out) for posts think 8.5 to 10mm. Vanson do locking ones for it very cheap and peeps luv them. Also drop the pickups down to almost flush with the shrouds, they get much clearer and sing way better. Check fret level mine was not great and it improved 150% when leveled. Also run a file in the bottom V of saddles made a huge difference to sustain/resonance/tuning. Add some releif and get the action low as possible and it totally rocks (1.2-1.5mm at the last fret). Other then that it has been well worth the money and I have recently fell in love with it all over again.

  53. The issue with the tone pots is simple. They are using audio (log) taper pots that they are then wiring backwards. It is why Gibson do it the other way so the taper works correctly. The HB lp junior I got had a linear taper pot for volume and an audio taper pot for tone. I have swapped them both for reverse log taper pots.

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