Harley Benton Sub 100 Dollar Metal Tele
Todd Simpson
Oct 28 2020, 02:55 AM
Posts: 21.764
Joined: 23-December 09
From: Atlanta, Georgia, USA
Yup. The fine folks over at HARLEY BENTON GUITARS have jumped in to the frey with yet another "Heavy Metal Telecaster". I've noticed this becoming a thing for a while now. Stephen Carpenter of the Deftones also plays a heavy metal telecaster, with extended range strings. One of the guys from UNLEASH THE ARCHERS was playing an actual tele on tour. JIM ROOT from SLIPKNOT famously plays a tele. Although it's a metalized version of course. I can't tell you how many youtubers I've seen sporting the Heavy Metal Telecaster. It did hit me sideways for quite a while. After, this is, at it's heart, a guitar originally loved for it's "twang" and favored by Country musicians. It quickly gained a following among jazz and blues players as well. So it seems the "Metal Tele" really has hit the main stream as now you can get one from a budget builder for under $100. Yup You ready that right. This thing is under a hundred bucks. That means it's time for every starting player who wants a metal tele to start asking for one for xmas/bday, etc. I have to say, the shape itself never did and still does not say "Metal" to me. It's just not pointy enough. True, anybody can play Metal on any darn guitar they want. That's fine. Doesn't keep it from striking me as a bit odd though, to this day. But such life, and I love pointy guitars smile.gif So I'm not the target audience anyway.

It's got a Black Satin finish, which is pretty metal, wads of axes are doing that. No gloss, just black satin. It's got two humbuckers, also good news as trying to get deep metal chugging out of a tele is not an easy thing to do with tele pickups, as they were never really designed for Metal in the first place. The pups in the metal version are THOMANN house brand pups and many folks seem to like em just fine. Also all the hardware is black, which is a good thing for a guitar with a Metal "twist" to it. So it's black, and about as menacing as any telecaster I've ever seen to be honest. Or at least as meanacing as a telecaster probably could be. Maybe they could reverse the headstock or something, or put scratches all over it, or put the logo in red or something, just to try to butch it up a bit.

Still, the price is so cheap that upgrading the pickups is always an option. One could go full trendy and stuff a pair of FISHMAN FLUENCE MODERN in to the guitar. Although, the pups would be worth far more than guitar and you'd probably want to yank them back out if you ever went to sell this guitar. Speaking of which. Resell value on a $100 guitar is not going to be great. This is not an investment, this is a somewhat disposable instrument at this price, so it would make a handy travel guitar that you don't mind seeing get a bit ravaged along the way. It would probably just add character. I expect we will see a bunch of these on youtube with EMG pups in them, as that seems to be something wads of folks still do to guitars. smile.gif Live and learn. I did it to one of my own guitars. A les paul clone no less. Just like Zakk did to his real one. But I digress.

Bottom line, it looks to be one of the better options for folks wanting a first guitar or even a backup/travel guitar. The price is shockingly low considering it does look and evidently play like an actual instrument. It's not going to be anyone's studio guitar but at this price, once could forgo a case/gig bag and not worry too much.

What do you think?

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This post has been edited by Todd Simpson: Oct 28 2020, 03:03 AM
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Oct 29 2020, 01:35 PM
Learning Roadie
Posts: 2.849
Joined: 26-October 11
From: Galway, Ireland
I do see people raving about how good the harley benton guitars are. And whilst I want a double humbucker Tele, this isn't it.

It is a great time to start learning the guitar with low price guitars with surprising quality and playability

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