A 2015 mod a Harley Benton guitar challenge?

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  • Hmm I think I mat partake in this here challenge. I have been wanting a strat for a while without wanting to pay for one because I'm a Les Paul guy and my next bit of real gas is either a Wolfgang or a mockingbird. But £55 for a strat is just dumb.

    Question/seeking opinion. There is a bog ordinary strat for £55 or one with Wilkinson pickups for £72 which truth be told will be probably good enough for me. I prefer the finish options on the £55. Worth spending the extra for the pickups?
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  • WezVWezV Frets: 5168

    The pickups have been the biggest let down on the 3 HB's I have had so far.     Not matched very well, and severely underpoowered.

     

    but I would go with the finish I liked best and plan to upgrade the p-ups anyway.

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  • NomadNomad Frets: 350
    Watch out for plastic imitation-effect finishes that look like wood but aren't. The cheapest teles aren't solid wood.

    Nomad
    Nobody loves me but my mother... and she could be jivin' too...

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  • RolandRoland Frets: 933
    It really depends what modifications you are thinking of making.  The more you want to change then the less it's worth paying for in the first place.  That's why I went for a kit as my starting point.  From the blurb the differences are the pickups, and the word "Canadian" for the maple neck.  In practice there could be other construction differences.  If you are not thinking about swapping pickups then what about going halfway and getting the B stock with Wilkinsons, and swapping the pickguard for a white one?
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  • Hmm possibly.. I do agree about worrying about finish foremost... That's the hardest the change. Problem is I want a maple fretboard but the only one with a maple board is in red. Ideally I'd want white with a maple board. So I'm torn between white and rosewood or red and maple...

    Interesting that the cheapest teles aren't solid wood. Any experience with the basic strats? I was originally going to pick up a vintage (brand) strat until this thread inspired me
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  • cacophonycacophony Frets: 259
    i know a few people have bought the HB `les-paul` honeyburst alike, and i heard nothing but good things about them,but  has anyone actually decided to mod one of these?. i haven`t seen any feedback to that effect yet, which must speak volumes for just how good the `honeyburst` LP`s are as they arrive straight out of the box!. :)
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  • GizmoGizmo Frets: 248
    cacophony said:
    i know a few people have bought the HB `les-paul` honeyburst alike, and i heard nothing but good things about them,but  has anyone actually decided to mod one of these?. i haven`t seen any feedback to that effect yet, which must speak volumes for just how good the `honeyburst` LP`s are as they arrive straight out of the box!. :)
    I just removed the plate & 3 way switch plastics and replaced the pups apart from that i think i might replace the tuners and the nut if i decide to keep it (im not massive on fixed bridge guitars) as they are super cheap plastic'y things (i'll grab a few pics when the suns up)

    Over all they are great guitars for the money and punch well above there weight cost/finish wise,my dad got the Prince Tele at the same time as my HB LP and that is also a great guitar for not much dosh and a super mod platform.
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  • GizmoGizmo Frets: 248
    image
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  • RolandRoland Frets: 933
    How many of us have entered this challenge? Can we guess how much Thomann have made from us in guitars and parts?
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  • Dagga36Dagga36 Frets: 11
    Interested in joining the challenge..but how do they do these HB guitars so cheap?
    Some are swamp ash or mahogany bodies!
    Are they same size and spec as the guitar they are copying?
    I.E could I buy a swamp ash strat & fit a fender neck (or warmoth) on it?

    Can't really tell by the pics but are the body dimensions correct?
    I'm assuming they just use a different headstock shape
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  • ab2014ab2014 Frets: 88
    I'm modding a te-30 (the white one). Its pretty good stock for a b-stock with a couple of dings. Its going to be an esquire with modded wiring. Stock hardware will be getting upgraded. The bridge pickup was ok but the neck pickup was very muddy, both were ceramic around 5.5k n and 5.9k b.
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  • olafgartenolafgarten Frets: 964
    The "big gee"? What's the gravitational constant got to do with it?
    Sorry. Physics joke, I'll get my coat.
    (I use the term "joke" loosely).
    The Gravitational Constant is a little g!
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  • wrxmaniawrxmania Frets: 0
    Just ordered a TE-20 (black) as did not want the veneered sunburst and guessed the wood behind it would be plain but hopefully not 75 pieces!!!

    Anyone know if a standard Wilkinson ashtray bridge will fit or if it is like a Squier Affinity and the bridge plate is longer?

    Brian
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  • lamf68lamf68 Frets: 558

    Anyone bought one of these know if there's enough wood on these headstocks to reshape into the obvious style of what it's pretending to be?



    image


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  • wrxmaniawrxmania Frets: 0
    Any threads of projects actually started yet?
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  • wrxmaniawrxmania Frets: 0
    Thanks. Had a good look through. Hopefully my TE-20 comes soon.
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  • ab2014ab2014 Frets: 88
    Looks like HB / thomann are changing the specs. Les Paul's and 335 are starting to look a little nasty now on recent pics. Wonder if Gibson intervened
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  • SargeSarge Frets: 1462
    This is why I just bought a HB gold top, I just don't fancy the chances of them improving the headstock / body shape. Plus the inlays are to be crowns rather than trapezoid.
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  • GuitarMonkeyGuitarMonkey Frets: 1852
    I think I might prefer the body shape of this to a Gibson ES. Headstock is an ugly paddle mind.

    image
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  • Just wondering in case I've missed something: When does voting start/challenge end? Will we be informed of it? This is my first modding challenge here on the FB and I'm new to this. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Cheers.
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  • AmnesiacAmnesiac Frets: 1
    edited October 2015
    So, because of this site I decided to try out one of the Honeyburst Les Pauls that had all the good reviews and damn! For the price I couldn't complain at all! It's not without its faults, I ended up replacing the hardware and wiring, still waiting on the pickups but that's only because they didn't sound right to my ears for what I play. The weight of it is great, not as heavy as you'd expect and after playing thin profile necks I'm actually really enjoying having a bit of a fatter neck on something. I play it a lot more than I thought I would and for that, thanks for putting me on to them! It's not the greatest guitar but I love it!


    New Kulson tuners, Gibson Tune-o-matic Bridge (took a bit to fit in the end), wiring, fitted with D'addario 12-60s and soon to have some new Fastback Old Imperials! 

    http://fastbackguitars.com/old-imperial.html For those who haven't heard of the pickups, they're cool! I have them in my other Les Paul, exactly what I was looking for when I bought them.
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  • ToneControlToneControl Frets: 2542
    Hertz32 said:
    Hertz32 said:
    ToneControl;491139" said:
    Hertz32 said:

    I played the HB 7 string bass in Camden guitars a while back. I tried to quiz him on where they got it from, seeing as its a Thomann only brand. He was quite tight lipped about it, so I think they bought it at retail and added about £100 to the price!

    If I'm hinest, I came across as being priced alright, had I not known about Thomann.







    hmmI wonder: If I put guitar strings in the top 3 or 4 courses, I could make a very wide range instrument, and active EQ looks good for that
    Maybe... The ball ends on Guitar strings are far snaller than Bass ones. You can get bass strings that thin though. Let me know if you qre serious about doing itband I can point you in the direction of places that do it.
    They are BEADGBE stock, I'm tempted to go F#BEADGB with one. P
    ta

    actually now I think about it, 35 inches would be long for a guitar string
    I can get them to fit 30 inch instruments, but 35 would probably be very long


    the HB has these fitted: 17-25-40-60-80-100-130
    so 17 is the E an octave below a guitar top E

    at that same tension,

    with a 12, you get A (220Hz)

    9 gets you to D or E

    Can you get bass strings as thin as that?

    Mate, You can get .070 to .008 bass string sets :) You have to order from the US at $31 a pack + shipping + import BUT they are nice as all hell and will last ages as long as you get the right ones. 
    In a month or two's time I'll be putting an order in for a bunch of 8 string sets for my Agile, and @Is_Ser_Fluffehh 's Schecter. If you fancy them, let me know and I'll order it all together and save a bit on import and shipping. I'll post them on to you when I get them, If you want them that is :)

    Here's the page with all their 7 string bass sets. They do Balanced, Traditional, Drop tuned and Fifths sets of strings. Use the little drop down menu thing at the bottom left and it'll see you right. 
     http://circlekstrings.com/store/7-strings.html
    @hertz32

    I have found a UK source, who hand-winds strings, and can do custom orders:
    he will do down to the thin gauges

    http://www.newtonestrings.com/

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  • JudasVigilanteJudasVigilante Frets: 62
    edited July 2016
    @ToneControl and @Hertz32 Wow a 7 string bass, I remember a few years back gasping when I heard about the custom bass Les Claypool had made for him. 7 strings on a bass sounds mental though maybe I have led a sheltered life. I'm a guitarist with medium length fingers so 6 strings on gtr and 4 on bass are my limit. I looked up the HB bass and it looks beautiful. Probably very good value for money at that money (currently £314) Reviews seem really good too. Wish you all the best with your 7 string exploits, you players with octopus fingers! All the best.
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  • Hertz32Hertz32 Frets: 2157
    @JudasVigilante Mine went back to Thomann unfortunately, bought it B stock and it came with an enormous finish blemish on the front that I wasnt prepared to live with. In terms of playability however I found it surprisingly usable. My hands are usually a small or a medium in gloves, but I have kinda small palms. I think it's less about the way your hands are and more about how you play. I found that I became a lot more mobile on the neck, and you start to move your thumb vertically as well as horizontally (yeah, the neck really was that wide) It was a great sounding and playing bass, just gonna habe to wait until the pound recovers to buy one I suspect as they've jumped in price by about £35!
    'Awibble'
    Vintage v400mh mahogany topped dreadnought acoustic FS - £100 
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  • ToneControlToneControl Frets: 2542
    @ToneControl and @Hertz32 Wow a 7 string bass, I remember a few years back gasping when I heard about the custom bass Les Claypool had made for him. 7 strings on a bass sounds mental though maybe I have led a sheltered life. I'm a guitarist with medium length fingers so 6 strings on gtr and 4 on bass are my limit. I looked up the HB bass and it looks beautiful. Probably very good value for money at that money (currently £314) Reviews seem really good too. Wish you all the best with your 7 string exploits, you players with octopus fingers! All the best.
    I still have mine
    no faults

    I want to get some more strings soon, and increase the pitch of the upper 3 strings, to make it an ERG
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  • @Hertz32  and @ToneControl cheers guys, happy bass playing. Shame you had to send it back. As you say, when the pound recovers get another grade A one. It's prob a lot of bass for 300 squid. What put me off more than 6 strings on guitar and 4 on bass was a long time ago a friend of mine let me play an ESP prototype 7 string made for George Lynch, he was told to get rid of it by the company because of contractual complications. It was worth $13,000 I remember it had twin HB that slid on rails in a hollowed chamber automatically according to picking strumming style. Hi tech yeah, but my point was it played horribly. I didn't like it at all. I'd rather my £500 Tokai SG any day or any other of my 25 sub £500 guitars and basses. All the best guys.
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  • Hertz32Hertz32 Frets: 2157
    @Hertz32  and @ToneControl cheers guys, happy bass playing. Shame you had to send it back. As you say, when the pound recovers get another grade A one. It's prob a lot of bass for 300 squid. What put me off more than 6 strings on guitar and 4 on bass was a long time ago a friend of mine let me play an ESP prototype 7 string made for George Lynch, he was told to get rid of it by the company because of contractual complications. It was worth $13,000 I remember it had twin HB that slid on rails in a hollowed chamber automatically according to picking strumming style. Hi tech yeah, but my point was it played horribly. I didn't like it at all. I'd rather my £500 Tokai SG any day or any other of my 25 sub £500 guitars and basses. All the best guys.
    Bloody hell, sounds horrible!! 
    Dunno where you are but find a Guitarguitar or somewhere that stocks Extended range instruments near you and try a couple modern ones. I'd imagine they're far more refined than what you tried! 
    'Awibble'
    Vintage v400mh mahogany topped dreadnought acoustic FS - £100 
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  • erky32erky32 Frets: 23
    edited February 5


    First one (behind) was a HB tele kit with a biscuit cone, second one was a B-stock tele with a spider cone. The second was more difficult to make because of space, but the first, the biscuit, has got a lot more volume. I'm really chuffed with the results & enjoy their size, weight & neck much more than trad resos. I'm using Elixir 10-52 elec strings. I've already gigged them both a couple of times, and last night was complemented on its "swampy blues" sound! I didnt upgrade anything, they are just stock parts, pure and simple and cheap, ....why spend more??


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  • erky32erky32 Frets: 23
    edited February 5
    Sorry , ended up with this twice!!...

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