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NGD. Harley Benton DC jr fat

KevinD

Member
Messages
95
on a whim, i was looking at these a couple months ago. Showed it to my wife and told her I was thinking of ordering one just to mess around with and mod. Unbeknownst to me, she ordered it, and it arrived Friday.

Full review as follows:

2020 Harley Benton Double Cut Junior Fat. Out of the box impressions: There was some slight dust under the finish on the neck and back of body. Couple of passes of 4000 grit sandpaper and smoooooth now. The action above the 7th fret was higher than I'd like (though intonation was okay) I lowered the bridge and all good now (the bridge can't be lowered anymore now) Frets were polished very nicely, and fret edges were damned near flawless. Fingerboard has a nice dark finish, and very tight grain. Body appears to be 2 pieces (could be 3, but if so, the 3rd seam is almost invisible) I took the pickguard off, and the neck tenon is very long. Approximately halfway into where a neck pup would be. Took the controls csvity off, and the cover is shielded, volume pot is full size 500k ( looks like a CTS?) Tone pot is the pull type to split the p100. Volume pot has a nice smooth, medium resistance turn. Tone pot has almost no resistance to turning. Both work fine however, with a good taper. Overall, the finish and color is very nice, better than my Gibson Trubute Les Paul, but not quite as Good as my Solar S1.6pp. Vastly more expensive guutars, but its just for comparison. Tonewise, first quick plug and play (bassbreaker 15 combo) with a setting i like with my Roadworn telecaster: not bad. Definitely a different sound. Will have to tweak amp settings and see. Will try it in my other amps as well. The nut was nice and flush to the fretboard, but the top corners were a tad sharp. Again, some 4000 grit took care of it. (The nut is very white, and looks like cheap plastic) ill probably replace it with bone. I haven't measured the neck thickness (battery is bad in my digital calipers) but, its thicker the my LP tribute, and my Solar. Feels close to my Roadworn telecaster. Overall, for $250 plus shipping, its an absolutely awesome guitar. Highly recommended for a budget beater. 20201002_182604.jpg 20201002_183801.jpg 20201002_183817.jpg 20201002_193532.jpg 20201002_194043.jpg
 

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KevinD

Member
Messages
95
So, after having it for a couple days, here's some things I don't like:
The bridge is too tall. Seems to be a common complaint with thes. Apparently a musiclily or Wilkinson bridge will fix this.
The pickup is way too far from strings. Also easily fixed with some spacers.
Nitpicking, but I don't like how the pickup is not parallel to the strings. Had a look around for some angled covers, without much luck.
I've confirmed the nut height is good, 1 through 3rd frets are in good intonation. Neck has just a tad bit of bow. I didnt measure is as mk 1 eyeball test looks to be the same as i have my other guitars set. However the action is still higher than I'd like in the higher frets. Hoping the new bridge will take care of this too.
I put some erine 10's on yesterday, lightly rolled the fretboard edges, cleaned and polished the entire guitar.
Still very much worth $250,

Here's a shot of the pickup, strings, and bridge angles. As well as the string action at the 24th. 20201004_101423.jpg 20201004_101443.jpg
 

jvin248

Member
Messages
5,044
.

(Pssst, lower pickups, further from the strings, give better tone. Use the amp's master volume if you want more output).

Jimi put his Strat coils low, which are lower output than P90s, and even tipped the treble lower than the bass side ....


.
 

54GT

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
1,361
I got one a month or so ago. Agree about general construction being very good for the money, but the stacked P90 pickup was pretty weak in HB mode and only a little better as a single coil (and that was after getting it much closer to strings), the push/pull pot was not user friendly, and most important for me, the neck wasn't particularly fat, which is what I was looking for given the name of the guitar. They also were wrong about the finish, which was not the open pore they claimed.
 

54GT

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
1,361
.

(Pssst, lower pickups, further from the strings, give better tone. Use the amp's master volume if you want more output).

Jimi put his Strat coils low, which are lower output than P90s, and even tipped the treble lower than the bass side ....
Agree to disagree. Have never found this to be the case with P90s; always get better tone close to strings. Not a strat guy so maybe it works like that for strat pickups but not P90s
 

KevinD

Member
Messages
95
I got one a month or so ago. Agree about general construction being very good for the money, but the stacked P90 pickup was pretty weak in HB mode and only a little better as a single coil (and that was after getting it much closer to strings), the push/pull pot was not user friendly, and most important for me, the neck wasn't particularly fat, which is what I was looking for given the name of the guitar. They also were wrong about the finish, which was not the open pore they claimed.
Yeah, as of now, I'm not too enthusiastic about the p90d (stacked) I'm waiting to see once I raise it closer to the strings.
I didnt know it was supposed to be "open pore" I like the finish overall, minus the trash embedded in the finish. Ive sanded that smooth. Now it has a somewhat satin finish, which I plan to rectify in 2 weeks when I get back from work. I have a buffer, polishing compund, wax, etc.
The original finish didn't need to be sanded really. There wasn't much trash in it, other than the neck, but i had the time when I was changing strings, its a cheap guitar, so I figured why not. Just wish I had measured the neck while I had the strings off. Its not super thick, but its comfy to me.
 

KevinD

Member
Messages
95
Sshh don't tell people about Harley Benton! We need to keep it a secret as much as possible...
I figured it'd be a bit low brow for this group, but figured I'd share my honest opinions anyway. I'm at the very much cheap end of the scale to most around here. My most expensive guutar is a $1,500 Taylor. Most of the others were between $700 and $1,200
 

KevinD

Member
Messages
95
So, an update.. i put some Gotoh SD90-SL MGT locking tuners on, the musiclilly bridge, both in nickel, and shimmed the bridge. $100 in mods to a $250 guitar, well worth it. It's a beast now. Might actually be my fav guitar.
 

iursnitram

Member
Messages
9
I am currently split between the regular vs FAT cherry model of this guitar.

I don't think I would have much use for the humbucker mode (maybe to make things quieter and rounder) but I think the ebony fingerboard would be smoother than the purpleheart, which looks kind of like rosewood althought it's painted black. I usually don't like the grabby feeling of rosewood but maybe the purpleheart on this guitar is smoother?

Neck thickness... I think profile shape is usually more important than thickness. Anyone got the specs (thickness) for both the regular and FAT?
 

grizdeluxe

Member
Messages
1,702
I have a TV yellow (non fat) model. I have various nice Fenders and Gibsons, but this thing slays for the 230.00 I paid for it. I love the P90. I dont play high gain and through my 18 watt that I built all I need is an overdrive pedal and the volume knob. It does late 60's era Pete Townshend to a T and also takes fuzz well. Mine was set up decent. I might throw a new bridge on it. Right now I'm enjoying the hell out of it.
 

iursnitram

Member
Messages
9
Meanwhile, a DC jr. FAT should arrive here tomorrow :D

If it is good, I can already see myself inverting the switch operation. Full should be down (in this case, the single coil) and up the two coils in parallel. Maybe change to 50ºs wiring with disconnected tone while in parallel mode.

Really looking forward to that ebony hehe
 

singlecutarmy

Member
Messages
1,539
I figured it'd be a bit low brow for this group, but figured I'd share my honest opinions anyway. I'm at the very much cheap end of the scale to most around here. My most expensive guutar is a $1,500 Taylor. Most of the others were between $700 and $1,200
Im with you, I'm way more interested in what I can get for $300 and mod to **** than shopping for the rarest boutique Les Paul that is one of a kind and if you ding it you're ****ed. I'm thinking of getting the Harley benton 3 pickup SG
 

iursnitram

Member
Messages
9
It's a fantastic guitar.

Not mentioned in the specs but it has a double action truss rod, in the case of my guitar, it's even helping a bit to get some negligible relief.

The two bridge screws need to be fully tightened to intonate. Anything higher than 10s probably won't intonate with this bridge.


Changed the wiring to:

Knob up - humbucker mode with tone (connected to the output lug on the volume pot)
Knob down - P90 mode without tone

I did some test recordings and, to me, this config brings out extra P90ness to the single mode and helps the humbucker mode to get a slight boost on the mids, ending up sounding more humbuckerish than without the tone pot connected.

Also raised the pickup with 2 rectangles of a squash (one white dot) ball. Works perfectly.
 




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