Warmoth.com darrenriley.com Amplified Parts Lollar Pickups

Warmoth.com darrenriley.com Amplified Parts Lollar Pickups Guitar Pickups

Warmoth.com darrenriley.com Amplified Parts Lollar Pickups Guitar Pickups

Join Strat-Talk Today

Complete DIY Strat kit for $75

Discussion in 'DIY Strat Forum' started by lukido86, Sep 15, 2016.

  1. lukido86

    lukido86 Strat-Talk Member

    Age:
    33
    65
    Jul 12, 2016
    France
    Hi all,

    It's been a long time I know this kit exists https://www.thomann.de/gb/harley_benton_eguitar_kit.htm and I was wondering what I could get for this price, the rating and comments are pretty good.

    I do have a build project with wood blanks etc but I am a total newbie (at template step). So this is a good idea to start with this kit : assembling, finishing and setting up.

    I received it and here are some pictures.

    Overview:
    sP1030712.jpg

    Neck with nut:
    sP1030713.jpg

    Neck with fret:
    sP1030714.jpg

    Neck holes:
    sP1030715.jpg

    Body wood grain:
    sP1030716.jpg

    Body back:
    sP1030717.jpg

    Loaded pickguard:
    sP1030718.jpg

    Pickguard back:
    sP1030719.jpg

    Pickup detail:
    sP1030720.jpg

    Pot detail:
    sP1030721.jpg
     
    Last edited: Sep 15, 2016

  2. lukido86

    lukido86 Strat-Talk Member

    Age:
    33
    65
    Jul 12, 2016
    France
    Electronics overview:
    sP1030722.jpg

    Pickup selector:
    sP1030723.jpg

    Tuning key:
    sP1030724.jpg

    Tuning key:
    sP1030725.jpg

    Bridge with saddles:
    sP1030726.jpg

    Bridge:
    sP1030727.jpg

    My first impression is that this is really not good quality...

    The body is super lightweight, made of basswood apparently. I can damage it seriously just with my nail. I hope a good paint and lacquer job will make it stronger.

    The neck feels great and is in maple. No sharp edges with the frets for ex.

    The plastic parts are cheap.

    The hardware is really ugly and lightweight (see the thin bridge and those saddles...). The tuning keys are awful.

    The neck and the body get together well.

    But after all I am happy because I think I will have fun with it, and the quality is what I paid for :)

    What do you think about it ? This is the cheapest kit I could find. Saga and so on are more expensive and out of Europe area.

    Regards
     
    Last edited: Sep 15, 2016
    Raiders757 and StratGuyBri like this.

  3. lukido86

    lukido86 Strat-Talk Member

    Age:
    33
    65
    Jul 12, 2016
    France
    Item description:

    Harley Benton ST DIY-KIT, Do-It-Yourself Electric Guitar Kit, bolt-on neck construction, solidwood body, maple neck, Double Action Truss Rod, rosewood fretboard with DOT inlays, 22 frets, 648mm scale, 42mm nut-widt, trussrod, 3 x singlecoil ceramic pickups, electronic 1-volume, 2-tone & 5-way switch, chrome hardware, diecast tuners, tremolo, 09-042 strings, natural finish, Requires some craftsmanship and tools to assemble, body and neck are finished with a wood-sealer (which allows the surface tobe sprayed with lacquer but when a wood-stain is used the surface may require to be re-sanded)
     

  4. Bodean

    Bodean You'll shoot your eye out kid Strat-Talk Supporter

    Age:
    50
    Aug 23, 2014
    South Carolina
    If you want to learn the basics of a strat, that seems to be a cheap route to take. It is what it is at the end of the day. The challenge is to learn the ins and outs, and carry that knowledge with you when you upgrade down the road. Have fun with your project.:thumb:
     

  5. Islander

    Islander New Member!

    Age:
    42
    7
    Sep 15, 2016
    St Simons Island, Georgia
    I can give you some insight with the basswood. Yes it's really light weight. It is what the squire bullet is made out of. You can buy one for $149 usd. The parts are not the same quality as an American fender custom shop, but it's a fun playing guitar.
     
    Newstratbuilder and Hal Nico like this.

  6. lukido86

    lukido86 Strat-Talk Member

    Age:
    33
    65
    Jul 12, 2016
    France
    I had one, sold now, and it was really good for the money. The neck felt very good apart from sharp fret edges. It sounded not so bad. Just the body was thinner than a standard strat spec (the kit body respects standard specs if we can say).
    Electronics and hardware seemed to be better on the bullet than on this kit.
    Look at the tuning key pictures, they don't seem to be brand new !

    Here you can find a bullet at these days for 125€ without shipping.
    On Thomann website you have the kit at 68€, and the first finished guitar of the same brand (Harley Benton) is at 78€. I guess it does correspond to the kit, but finished.
     

  7. Islander

    Islander New Member!

    Age:
    42
    7
    Sep 15, 2016
    St Simons Island, Georgia
    Yea I lucked out on mine. The frets are really nicely done no rough edges at all. I actually changed the strings today and took the pick guard off for the first time. The coating inside was evenly coated and all the wires were tidy and they used a zip tip to keep the excess wires clean and orderly. It looked like a very nice setup inside. I was enough extra wire that I can change things and have enough to re-attach without having to make it stretch. All in all in nice job for $90 I think.
     

  8. Uncle Fiesta

    Uncle Fiesta Senior Stratmaster

    Please promise me you'll throw those awful ceramic pickups in the bin and put some decent alnicos on.

    Please.
     
    waltschwarzkopf and Mad Stratter like this.

  9. BluesMannus

    BluesMannus Strat-Talker

    Age:
    39
    192
    Jun 30, 2011
    Croatia
    Well as someone said earlier, it is what it is. As far as I can tell from the pictures, the neck seems ok. I don't know why people bash on basswood and light guitars. I own a Joe Satriani JS 1000 that's by no means a cheap guitar, and it has a basswood body with the intention of it being light. So basswood is not only found in cheap Squiers. Those electronics and tuners though, I think they belong in the trash, but at least those are parts very easily replaceable. If the fret job is ok, I think the wood alone is worth the money and everything else is up for an upgrade. That's a fun place to start and upgrade as you wish. Have fun :)
     

  10. Dreamdancer

    Dreamdancer Strat-Talker

    239
    May 1, 2014
    Greece
    Yes...tuners and especially that flimsy paper thin bridge gotta go immediately...i would put a nice cost effective wilkinson bridge and tuners combo along with a nice setup and it ll play just as good as anything....The electronics can be changed gradually but the above(including the nut probably) should be tossed in the fires of hell.
     
    Slowhead and Newstratbuilder like this.

  11. Musekatcher

    Musekatcher Strat-Talker

    Age:
    53
    286
    Jun 30, 2016
    Heart O' Dixie
    The neck looks Maple-like, but the grain might suggest something else - maybe an imported Maple? The body looks like Luan to me, not basswood. In keeping with the overall price point, I'd try to salvage everything as much as possible. You might can save the electronics with a re-cap, or possible hardwire configuration, and pots don't cost that much to swap out. You can block the tremelo if its defective. Check the jack - if its wonky, you may can stiffen the springs, or you may have to replace it. And check the tuners. Crappy tuners will be the one thing you cant possibly correct, but take away the most from an instrument. But cool on a kit for $75. I'd love to do one of these, and go for a understated but unique color.
     

  12. lukido86

    lukido86 Strat-Talk Member

    Age:
    33
    65
    Jul 12, 2016
    France
    I think I will first assemble it with all stock pieces just to see how it goes, I'm curious - except for the strings, I won't try to put them on, I will put my usual ones.

    I am not in a hurry of making it a good instrument, this is a sandbox side project for testing finishing, setup and replacement techniques.

    But yes, I would consider upgrading the pickups, tuners and bridge.

    I will also have to cut the neck headstock to give it a good shape. I saw pictures of people assembling and finishing it with the stock shape. It's fugly (funny and ugly) !
     
    KONA and jvin248 like this.

  13. banjaxed

    banjaxed Senior Stratmaster Silver Member

    Mar 14, 2014
    Liverpool UK
    I built the tele kit last year and used all the parts supplied. The neck and body was
    treated with Tru Oil which is very easy to apply and give as glossy a finish as you
    wand depending on how many coats and smoothing down you do. The finished
    item was a complete surprise to me as it plays very well and acoustically sounds
    very warm and clear even with the supplied strings. For the price you can't go wrong.
     
    lukido86 likes this.

  14. lukido86

    lukido86 Strat-Talk Member

    Age:
    33
    65
    Jul 12, 2016
    France
    It was planned having the guitar parts under the Christmas tree, so now I can officially start the project ;)
     

  15. Cerb

    Cerb Senior Stratmaster

    Age:
    37
    Jan 22, 2016
    Sweden
    All the Harley Bentons seem to get very good reviews. I want a P90 equipped guitar and I'm seriously considering their version of the Jazzmaster for 129 euros or the thinline Tele for 179.
     

  16. Vinnie1971

    Vinnie1971 Strat-O-Master

    960
    Nov 14, 2015
    U.K.
    Harley bentons seem pretty decent. The more upmarket ones get wilkinson pickups - which are decent.
    The bodies are good, well routed, well finished etc. The higher end ones come with wilkinson hardware I think ( bridge tuners etc ) but basically if it doesn't just get wilkinson hardware, the pickups of your choice and you get a nicely finished, nice obeying guitar for peanuts. I wouldn't bother with a kit, I'd get a finished one and upgrade pickups and hardware as needed.
     

  17. lukido86

    lukido86 Strat-Talk Member

    Age:
    33
    65
    Jul 12, 2016
    France
    Lol, it depends on your expectations, the build project itself is interesting.

    In many cases the journey is the reward, as much as the arrival.
     
    Vinnie1971 likes this.

  18. lukido86

    lukido86 Strat-Talk Member

    Age:
    33
    65
    Jul 12, 2016
    France
    Here is the new headstock shape, pretty happy with it.

    I just made a template and used a hand router. Plus a bit of sanding for nice curves.

    Now I will have to sand everything but the fretboard and apply a finish again.

    [​IMG]
     

  19. Cerb

    Cerb Senior Stratmaster

    Age:
    37
    Jan 22, 2016
    Sweden
    Nicely done! Looking forward to seeing the finnished guitar.
     

  20. Vinnie1971

    Vinnie1971 Strat-O-Master

    960
    Nov 14, 2015
    U.K.
    That is true... I do keep toying with the idea of a Flying V kit....