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Review: Harley Benton Delta Blues – Perfect For Folk?

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As an experienced guitarist, I’ve had my fair share of strumming through various guitars, from high-end models to those friendly on the wallet.

Today, I’m diving deep into the Harley Benton Delta Blues – a guitar that’s been buzzing in the guitarist community.

Is it good or is it crap? Let’s find out.

review of harley benton delta blues

Body & Neck

The Harley Benton Delta Blues stands out with its vintage-style Mini Jumbo design, a nod to classic guitar aesthetics. The body and neck, both crafted from mahogany, provide not just a stunning look but also a warm, resonant tone that mahogany wood is renowned for.

This tonal quality is essential for a guitar that aims to deliver the bluesy sound it’s named after. The blackwood fretboard is a thoughtful addition, enhancing durability and offering a smooth playing experience. With dovetail construction, this guitar promises stability and longevity, a crucial factor for any serious guitarist.

If you’re interested in reading more about guitar tonewoods, you can check out this guide.

The neck’s profile is comfortable, catering to a variety of playing styles and hand sizes, which is particularly beneficial for long playing sessions. The 20 frets are well-dressed and accessible, making it easier for players to explore the full range of the fretboard.

Additionally, the use of ABS for the nut is a practical choice, balancing quality with cost-effectiveness. Overall, the body and neck of the Delta Blues are a harmonious combination of traditional design and modern craftsmanship, appealing to both classic and contemporary guitarists.

specs of harley benton delta blues

Electronics

The electronics of the Harley Benton Delta Blues are a standout feature, significantly elevating its versatility and performance. The guitar is equipped with an integrated piezo pickup, which captures the natural acoustic sound with clarity and precision.

This is complemented by the Harley Benton PT20 preamp, a powerful addition that offers a 4-Band EQ and chromatic tuner. This preamp system provides guitarists with extensive control over their sound, allowing for on-the-fly adjustments during live performances or recording sessions.

The EQ’s range is impressive, catering to a variety of tonal preferences, whether you’re looking for a bright, cutting edge for lead playing or a more rounded, mellow tone for rhythm parts. The inclusion of a chromatic tuner is not only convenient but also essential for ensuring the guitar is always in perfect tune, a critical aspect for professional performances.

The electronics package of the Delta Blues makes it an excellent choice for gigging musicians who require reliable and adjustable sound amplification without compromising the guitar’s natural acoustic qualities.

Here’s the sound demo.

Build Quality

The Harley Benton Delta Blues showcases exceptional build quality, especially considering its price point. The mahogany body and neck, coupled with quarter sawn tapered spruce bracing, provide not only aesthetic appeal but also structural integrity and sound quality. This bracing pattern is crucial for enhancing the guitar’s resonance and sustain, making it responsive to various playing styles.

The dovetail neck joint is a testament to traditional craftsmanship, ensuring a secure connection between the neck and body, which is pivotal for maintaining long-term stability and tonal consistency.

The chrome die-cast machine heads are smooth and reliable, offering precise tuning stability. The dual action truss rod is an essential feature for maintaining optimal neck alignment and playability under different environmental conditions and string tensions.

The factory setup of the Delta Blues is impressive, with a comfortable action that reduces hand fatigue and makes playing more enjoyable. This level of build quality is typically found in more expensive guitars, making the Delta Blues an excellent choice for those seeking a high-quality instrument without breaking the bank.

Pros & Cons

Pros:

  • Rich Tone: The combination of a mahogany body and neck with spruce bracing delivers a warm, resonant sound.
  • Versatile Electronics: The integrated piezo pickup and PT20 preamp with a 4-Band EQ and tuner enhance its functionality.
  • Quality Build: Dovetail construction and chrome die-cast machine heads contribute to its durability and tuning stability.
  • Comfortable Playability: The neck profile and factory setup make it suitable for various playing styles and skill levels.

Cons:

  • ABS Nut: While practical, some players might prefer a bone or graphite nut for improved tone and durability.
  • Standard Scale Length: The 648 mm scale might not appeal to those seeking a more unique playing experience.
  • Limited Aesthetic Options: The vintage Mini Jumbo design, while classic, may not suit all personal preferences.

Who Should Get It

The Harley Benton Delta Blues is an excellent choice for a wide range of guitarists:

  • Beginners: Its comfortable playability and affordable price make it an ideal starter instrument.
  • Intermediate Players: Those looking to upgrade from a basic model will appreciate its enhanced sound quality and features.
  • Gigging Musicians: The reliable electronics and sturdy build are perfect for regular performances.
  • Recording Artists:

The guitar’s rich tonal quality and onboard EQ make it suitable for studio work, where nuanced sound control is essential.

  • Budget-Conscious Guitarists: Players seeking a high-quality instrument without a hefty price tag will find great value in the Delta Blues.
  • Fans of Blues and Folk: The guitar’s warm, resonant sound is particularly well-suited for blues, folk, and similar genres.

The Harley Benton Delta Blues, with its blend of quality, affordability, and versatility, is a guitar that can cater to a broad spectrum of players.

Whether you’re just starting your musical journey, an intermediate player seeking a significant step up, or a seasoned musician needing a reliable secondary guitar, the Delta Blues offers something for everyone.

Its thoughtful design, coupled with practical features, makes it a compelling choice for anyone in the market for a new guitar.

Specifications

Here’s a little table for all those who want to check out the specs.

FeatureSpecification
DesignVintage Style Mini Jumbo
BodyMahogany
BracingQuarter Sawn Tapered Spruce
NeckMahogany
FretboardBlackwood with Dots Inlays
ConstructionDovetail
Scale Length648 mm
Nut Width43 mm
Frets20
NutABS
RosetteBlack / Green Abalone
BridgeBlackwood
PickupIntegrated Piezo
PreampHarley Benton PT20 with 4-Band EQ and Chromatic Tuner
Machine HeadsChrome Die-Cast
Truss RodDual Action
StringingBronze .011 – .052

What do others think about it?

Customers who have purchased the Harley Benton Delta Blues have shared a range of opinions:

  1. Positive Feedback on Sound Quality: Many customers were impressed with the sound quality of the guitar, especially considering its price. They found it to have a clear and resonant tone, suitable for various playing styles.
  2. Appreciation for Aesthetics and Build: The guitar’s appearance received praise, with many liking its dark brown/blue/black color and the vintage Mini Jumbo design. The build quality was generally found to be good, though some minor finish flaws were noted.
  3. Mixed Reviews on Electronics: The integrated piezo pickup and built-in tuner were appreciated, but some found the pickup quality to be lacking compared to higher-end models.
  4. Concerns about Fretwork: A few customers noted issues with the fret ends feeling sharp and the finish around the neck joint being rough. However, these were not universal experiences.
  5. Overall Value for Money: The consensus is that the Harley Benton Delta Blues offers great value for its price, making it a solid choice for those looking for a budget-friendly yet quality guitar.

These reviews reflect a general satisfaction with the guitar, especially for its price range, with some minor concerns about finish and electronics.

My Experience With Bentons

man playing on harley benton guitar

If you’re new on my blog, you should know that I’ve been writing (and recording videos) for a long time.

I think that the overall quality of HB guitars has improved over the last few years. Around 10 years ago they weren’t that good, but now their quality is just awesome.

Some of the Bentons that I can recommend are Harley Benton ST-25TH Firemist, the MS-60 and most definitely the CG-45, which is an another very cool folk guitar. It’s way cheaper than Delta Blues, so I’m sure that some of you will actually be interested in checking it out.

Here’s how it look – beautiful, right?

harley benton cg-45 mahogany

Final Thoughts

In conclusion, the Harley Benton Delta Blues is a remarkable instrument that stands out in its price range. It offers a rich blend of quality, sound, and versatility, making it an excellent choice for a wide array of guitarists.

Its warm, resonant tone, courtesy of the mahogany body and neck, combined with the practicality of its electronics, makes it a reliable choice for both practice and performance. The guitar’s build quality and comfortable playability are commendable, appealing to beginners and experienced players alike.

While it may have some limitations, such as the ABS nut and standard scale length, these are minor when weighed against the overall value the guitar provides. Whether you’re a beginner, a gigging musician, or just looking for a quality guitar on a budget, the Harley Benton Delta Blues is a choice that’s hard to beat.

In essence, the Delta Blues is a testament to Harley Benton’s commitment to providing quality instruments at affordable prices. It’s a guitar that will not only meet but exceed expectations, offering a satisfying playing experience for anyone who picks it up.