Greetings all, after a longish absence.Harley Benton Victory Plus BK Vintage
I have just invested in a B stock example of one of the above. At the exchange rate when I bought it it cost me just over £120 shipped. What's not to like about that price? And, once again Thomann have exceeded expectations. To be honest I bought it because I thought I could use it as a photography prop if nothing else, as it is very pretty and shiny.
Imagine my surprise then when it arrive looking not only amazingly blingy, but also with only the slightest traces of any previous handling. There is a very small, and I mean pinhead sized, indent on the edge of the headstock behind the D string machine head, and the same headstock edge is slightly less glossy that the rest of the guitar which has a black mirror finish. The only other defect I have found is a manufacturing one affect two of the bridge block pieces - on one side there is no gold plating, but again a minute flaw and only noticeable if one does a forensic examination.
The next surprise was the neck. Having been the unlucky recipient of a few earlier HB guitars with C necks I was expecting a mega chunky plank, but no, it's actually quite slim, and being C shaped to boot is very comfortable to play, even for a begintermediary like myself. The frets could do with dressing, but this is not unusual in cheap guitars and there is no fret buzz anywhere even after I lowered the action quite a lot. The neck is bound, and so very smooth an no sharp fret ends. The intonation was perfect out of the box. The neck inlays are well set.
Then there are the Roswell pickups. This is the truly amazing surprise. Roswell are a relatively new pickup supplier for Thomann, my Fusion Pro has a pair too (those are perfectly OK ceramic humbuckers, nothing mind blowing about them). The Alnico humbuckers fitted to this V copy are astonishing IMO. Their output is huge and the dynamic range exceeds that of any of my other guitars, even the Gibson loaded Epi Prophesy.
There is, of course, the fact that this is a V copy and V is not the most accommodating of guitar body shapes. That said the balance on a strap is good, no nose diving despite the lightweight body, and it is comfortable to play seated as the notch of the V sits very well on (in my case) my right thigh.
So all in all, what a serendipitous purchase. I'm feeling quite pleased with myself
Next, when I have time, I shall give a brief opinion on the Fender Champion 100 I bought at the same time, also B stock. Spoiler alert - it's an amp I wish I had bought years ago . . .