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Review: Harley Benton JA-25TH Firemist – Awesome Guitar!

*Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.*

Hey fellow guitar enthusiasts! Today, we’re diving into an in-depth look at the Harley Benton JA-25TH, a model that’s been generating some serious buzz in the guitar community. As someone who’s strummed my way through a plethora of guitars over the years, I’m here to give you the lowdown on this beauty. Whether you’re a seasoned pro or just starting out, this review is for you!

Key Takeaways

  • 25th Anniversary Special: The JA-25TH is a limited edition, packed with unique features.
  • Quality Build: American alder body and roasted Canadian maple neck.
  • Vintage Vibes: Equipped with Roswell AlNiCo-5 single coils for that classic sound.
  • Player-Friendly: D neck profile and a comfortable 648 mm scale length.
  • Eye-Catching Design: Firemist finish with a four-ply tortoiseshell pickguard.

About Harley Benton JA-25TH

ja-25th closeup photo
Photo credit: Harley Benton Official

The Harley Benton JA-25TH isn’t just any guitar; it’s a celebration of 25 years of guitar-making prowess. This model is a nod to tradition, blended with modern craftsmanship. Let’s break down what makes this axe stand out.

Let’s start with an official sound demo.

Body & Neck

Body

Crafted from American alder, the JA-25TH’s body is all about resonance and sustain. Alder’s been a go-to for classic guitar models for ages, and for good reason. It’s lightweight yet durable, and it gives you that balanced tone with just enough bite for rock and blues.

Neck

The bolt-on neck is made of roasted Canadian figured maple, a choice that speaks volumes about this guitar’s quality. Not only does it look stunning with its matching headstock and block inlays on the dark laurel fingerboard, but it also provides stability and a smooth playing experience.

25th anniversary official ja-25th
Photo credit: Harley Benton Official
Neck Specs:
  • Profile: D Shape
  • Scale Length: 648 mm
  • Fingerboard Radius: 305 mm
  • Nut Width: 42 mm

The D-shaped neck profile is a comfortable fit for most hands, making it a versatile choice for various playing styles.

Hardware

When it comes to hardware, the JA-25TH is decked out. The engraved locking machine heads ensure your tuning stays rock solid. The Sung-II BM003 deluxe bridge enhances sustain and offers precise intonation adjustments. Here’s a quick rundown:

FeatureDescription
Machine HeadsEngraved locking tuners
BridgeSung-II BM003 deluxe
NutGraphite, 42 mm width
Frets21 stainless steel frets
PickguardFour-ply tortoiseshell

Electronics

Electronics are where the JA-25TH shines. It houses two Roswell JM-N-ADIV AlNiCo-5 Vintage single coils – one at the bridge and one at the neck. These pickups deliver that sought-after vintage tone, perfect for genres like blues, jazz, and classic rock.

ControlFunction
Master VolumeControls overall output
Master ToneAdjusts the tone
Pickup SelectorThree-way switch

Playability and Setup

Out of the box, the JA-25TH feels ready to rock. The action is set comfortably low, and the neck’s smooth finish makes it easy to navigate. The fretwork is impeccable, with no sharp edges to hinder your playing.

Pros and Cons

Pros

  1. Exceptional Build Quality: The combination of an American alder body and roasted Canadian maple neck screams quality.
  2. Vintage Sound: Those Roswell AlNiCo-5 pickups offer a classic, warm tone that’s versatile for many styles.
  3. Stellar Playability: The neck feels fantastic, and the overall setup out of the box is spot-on for most players.
  4. Eye-catching Aesthetics: With its Firemist finish and tortoiseshell pickguard, this guitar stands out on any stage.
  5. Solid Tuning Stability: Thanks to the engraved locking tuners, this guitar holds its tuning exceptionally well.

Cons

  1. Limited Versatility: While great for vintage tones, it might not be the first choice for heavier music genres.
  2. Exclusive Edition: Being a 25th-anniversary model, it might be harder to find and potentially more expensive.
  3. Weight Distribution: Some players might find the weight distribution a bit off, depending on personal preference.

Maintenance

Maintaining your Harley Benton JA-25TH Firemist is crucial to keep it looking great and sounding its best.

Here’s a straightforward guide to help you take care of this beauty:

  • Regular Cleaning:
    • Use a soft, lint-free cloth to wipe down the body and neck after each use. This prevents buildup of dirt and oils from your hands.
    • For the fretboard, use a slightly damp cloth followed by a dry one. Ensure the cloth is not too wet to avoid water damage.
  • String Care:
    • Change strings regularly, depending on how often you play. Frequent players might need to change strings every month, while occasional players can do so every 3-4 months.
    • Wipe down your strings after playing to extend their life and maintain tone.
  • Fretboard Conditioning:
    • Once or twice a year, treat the fretboard with a suitable fretboard conditioner. This keeps the wood from drying out and cracking.
  • Hardware Maintenance:
    • Check and tighten the tuners and strap buttons periodically.
    • Clean the hardware with a dry cloth. If necessary, use a bit of metal polish for the chrome parts, but avoid getting polish on the guitar’s finish.
  • Humidity and Temperature:
    • Store the guitar in an environment with stable humidity and temperature. Extreme changes can cause wood to warp or crack.
    • If you live in a dry climate, consider using a guitar humidifier.
  • Regular Check-Ups:
    • Once a year, it’s a good idea to have a professional setup done. This includes checking intonation, action, and overall playability.
  • Protective Measures:
    • Always transport your guitar in a case or a gig bag to protect it from dings, scratches, and weather elements.
    • Avoid exposing the guitar to direct sunlight for extended periods, as it can damage the finish.

My Experience With Harley Benton Guitars

my experience with harley benton guitars

Over the years, I’ve had my fair share of experience with Harley Benton guitars. What stands out is their commitment to quality at an affordable price point. Each model I’ve played, including the JA-25TH, has impressed me with its craftsmanship, playability, and tone. Harley Benton has a knack for blending traditional guitar-building techniques with modern advancements, making their guitars suitable for a wide range of players.

If you want to see all Harley Bentons that I had throughout the years, make sure to check out my YouTube Channel.

Alternative Options

Alright, let’s shift gears and look at some other cool axes you might wanna check out. If the Harley Benton JA-25TH isn’t quite striking the right chord for you, no worries – I’ve got you covered with four killer alternatives. Each of these guitars brings its own flavor to the table, and they’re all worth a closer look. Let’s dive in:

Harley Benton SC-550: First up, the SC-550. This bad boy is a real gem for those who dig the classic single-cutaway vibe. It’s got a solid build and a feel that’s just right for laying down some smooth licks or cranking out some heavier riffs. The SC-550 punches well above its weight in terms of tone and playability. It’s a no-brainer for anyone looking for that vintage vibe without emptying their wallet.

harley benton sc-550 ii ftf body

Harley Benton JA-60: The JA-60 is another solid pick, especially if you’re into a more retro style. It’s got a quirky look, but man, does it play sweet. The neck is comfy, and it’s got a sound that’s just dripping with character. This guitar is perfect for those jangly indie tones or even some bluesy bends. It’s a versatile piece that’s as fun to play as it looks.

Squier Sonic Telecaster: Moving on to the Squier Sonic Telecaster – this one’s a real head-turner. It’s got that classic Tele twang but with a modern twist. The build quality is top-notch for its price range, and it’s versatile enough to handle everything from country to rock. If you’re after a guitar that’s reliable, looks cool, and sounds great, the Sonic Telecaster is a solid choice.

Squier sonic telecaster

Squier Classic Vibe Jaguar: Last but not least, the Squier Classic Vibe Jaguar. This guitar is for those who like a bit of edge in their tone. With its unique shape and distinctive sound, the Jaguar stands out in a crowd. It’s got a smooth-playing neck and a set of pickups that can deliver a wide range of tones, from crisp cleans to growling overdrive.

squier classic vibe jaguar body

Each of these guitars offers something special, and they’re all worth a test drive. Whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned player, one of these might just be your next favorite axe. Rock on! 🎸

Final Summary

In conclusion, the Harley Benton JA-25TH is a remarkable guitar, especially for those who appreciate vintage tones and classic aesthetics. Its build quality, playability, and unique features make it a great choice for both beginners and experienced players. While it might lean more towards certain music genres, its versatility shouldn’t be underestimated. Whether you’re jamming at home, recording in a studio, or rocking out on stage, the JA-25TH is a guitar that won’t disappoint.