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bassix

Good beginner guitar?

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Hi everyone,

I'm looking for a starter electric guitar to learn and potentially play a couple of songs live. Obviously in the bass world I'm pretty good with knowing what bargains are available, does the same apply to guitars? Would a classic vibe be good, how do the Harley Bentons stand up?

I'm starting to feel like I want a new challenge musically and hoping this can scratch that itch. The secondary consideration is that I have limited funds so around £150 would be my budget.

Edited by bassix

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What type of guitar are you after first; Tele, Strat, SG, LP, Shred ec? I have several at various price ranges, I think the Harley Benton cheap tele I bought is a nicely put together guitar for one.

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These days it's very difficult to buy a crap new guitar. Even the entry level stuff is way ahead in build quality and playability compared with what was affordable back in the 70s and 80s.

I have a Harley Benton Strat. It's a fantastic guitar for the money, although TBH any manufacturer who can't make a decent copy of a Fender design in this day and age doesn't deserve to be in business.

I also have a Deko HB Barritone guitar. This has a design fault on the bridge (probably why it was sold as a deko) which means the string spacing is less than optimal, but even taking that into account the overall quality, playability and sounds (we used it on our latest LP) are just so much better than what you would have got for the same relative price in the past.

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[quote name='BigRedX' timestamp='1447841648' post='2910789']
These days it's very difficult to buy a crap new guitar. Even the entry level stuff is way ahead in build quality and playability compared with what was affordable back in the 70s and 80s.
[/quote]

Very much agree with this. For a decent beginner's guitar in the late 1980s you were really looking at [color=#282828][font=helvetica, arial, sans-serif]£130... this would be the equivalent of [/font][/color][color=#282828][font=helvetica, arial, sans-serif]£330 today. Guitars of this quality are very much more affordable now (we're talking Harley Benton, SX, etc. quality)[/font][/color]

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Thanks for the thoughts, in terms of guitar I'm instantly drawn towards the tele as it looks the coolest, whether thats the wisest way to choose is a different matter entirely!

I do have an acoustic at home so I think I'll learn a couple of songs on that before I start splashing the cash, it'd be nice though to invest in something which will do me for a good while though. I play a matt freeman squier at the moment so i'll probably look at the same range (Classic vibe) that is in the first instance, may struggle on the budget though..

Edited by bassix

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[quote name='bassix' timestamp='1447862994' post='2911048']
Thanks for the thoughts, in terms of guitar I'm instantly drawn towards the tele as it looks the coolest, whether thats the wisest way to choose is a different matter entirely!

I do have an acoustic at home so I think I'll learn a couple of songs on that before I start splashing the cash, it'd be nice though to invest in something which will do me for a good while though. I play a matt freeman squier at the moment so i'll probably look at the same range (Classic vibe) that is in the first instance, may struggle on the budget though..
[/quote]

i think that's the perfect way to choose! :)
i'm sure the classic vibe would be good, but try a few if you can.
[s]there's a £495 roadworn 60s strat in the classifieds here that would be a [b]killer[/b] guitar to have (if you like the roadworn thing - i do!) [/s] [edit - oops way out of budget!]

Edited by tedmanzie

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Were I ever to try learning how to play a guitar I too would certainly go for a tele - to me they seem so much cooler than strats and having had a browse of the Harley Bentons on Thomann's site, they're what I'd go for with your budget and they're very well regarded too. I like the look of this one [url="http://www.thomann.de/gb/harley_benton_te_70_rosewood_deluxe_series.htm#bewertung"]http://www.thomann.d...s.htm#bewertung[/url]

Edited by HowieBass

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I too started with a Harley Benton single coil ST-20 and man did I immediately figure out that single coils are NOT for me. So I ordered 2 Harley Benton single cuts the L-450Plus and the SC-550PAF and boy am I happy with these humbuckers :D

I guess it all depends what sound you are after , I hate too much twang so single coils are out for me for good. I love the creamy, warm, fat humbucker sound.

That all said YES, no need to look anywhere further than the awesome Harley Bentons but do try to get at least the middle range guitars for quality (those with D'addario strings for example). The low end HB guitars are known for having need for lots of set-up around the frets and the pups are made by Shadow while the more expensive are made by Wilkinson and sound to my ear rounder and warmer (Alnico) while the Shadow sound too sharp. If the pickup is not branded they sure are from Shadow (I checked this with Thomann)

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It really depends on what sort of music you want it for? The Fender designs are great for pretty much all styles but won't cut it with mega high gain stuff...

Regardless of the tone you're looking for though, and as pretty much everyone says above, you can't go wrong with Harley Benton these days... maybe keep an eye on their deco page for a bargain :)

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I won't be moving too far musically from where I am now in punk, I've checked out what a few guitarists I like play and they seem to all be on Gibsons so I might have to check out the Les Paul and SG copies..

The kits seem to be fantastic value, I have noticed that the soundclips have different styles of music as demonstrations, although you could use any guitar would these indicate the traditional types of music played on them?

Also seen this though which seems pretty cheap, any thoughts?

https://www.gumtree.com/p/guitar-instrument/electric-guitar-with-amp/1142652408

Edited by bassix

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bassix try and search on you tube for sound checks. Henning Pauli is by far the best for doing HB reviews, he uses pro studio equipment for recording. Videos done with home cameras are crap sounding so avoid concluding anything based on those :) Henning Pauli's channel https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCrPHxHPnSvHzNNYbJlYoyGQ

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[quote name='bassix' timestamp='1447923723' post='2911445']
I won't be moving too far musically from where I am now in punk, I've checked out what a few guitarists I like play and they seem to all be on Gibsons so I might have to check out the Les Paul and SG copies..
[/quote]

The only thing I would say about Gibson (and similar) copies is make sure the copy guitar has the same type of construction as the original. That means don't go for a bolt-on neck if the original version of the guitar has a set neck. IME it makes a big difference to the sound and playability of the guitar.

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If anyone's still looking for a decent starter guitar, I've got a Yamaha Pacifica 112v which I'd be happy to move on.

Plays amazingly and is easily the best budget guitar I've come across.

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The Vintage brand with the Wilkinson hardware has a very good rep for the money. They've been around long enough to find second hand aplenty.

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I've always thought Teles were a good fit if you came to guitar from the strummy acoustic send of things - you can certainly play a Tele like that, but I couldn't say the same for humbucker-loaded Gibsons or their clones.

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Get the best u can afford because if you get something really cheap like harley benton you will blame the guitar for anything that goes wrong and the doubt will make you despise the nasty cheap thing holding you back from the world stage performing your guitar wizardry in front of adoring fans. Well I did anyway😊
Im not slagging harley benton, its the beginner mindset, bad workman etc. I had what i thought were terrible guitars when I first started but now im more experienced i can knock a tune out on anything really.
If you get a decent seondhand one you can always flog it on for what you paid. I would either go yamaha or fender and avoid gibson epiphone as in my experience the newer ones are extremely hit and miss In my opinion obviously.
Sorry for the ramble.

Cheers

Pete

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[quote name='bassix' timestamp='1447923723' post='2911445']
I won't be moving too far musically from where I am now in punk, I've checked out what a few guitarists I like play and they seem to all be on Gibsons so I might have to check out the Les Paul and SG copies..

The kits seem to be fantastic value, I have noticed that the soundclips have different styles of music as demonstrations, although you could use any guitar would these indicate the traditional types of music played on them?

Also seen this though which seems pretty cheap, any thoughts?

[url="https://www.gumtree.com/p/guitar-instrument/electric-guitar-with-amp/1142652408"]https://www.gumtree....-amp/1142652408[/url]
[/quote]
[quote name='MoonBassAlpha' timestamp='1466720657' post='3078254']
The Vintage brand with the Wilkinson hardware has a very good rep for the money. They've been around long enough to find second hand aplenty.
[/quote]

+1
I still own a Vintage VS6, which is their SG copy. Mine's actually old enough that I think it predates the Wilkinson-hardware-as-standard. It was a perfectly decent guitar to begin with, but after popping some Wilkinson pickups in it sounds even better. Not sure what the going rate is for one these days, but I'm fairly sure you could pick one up for less than £200.

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