Reply to Thread Bookmark Thread
Posts 1 to 11 of 11
  1. #1

    User Info Menu

    Hello!
    I just wanted to share with You some of my thoughts and experience with very low budget semi hollow guitar. So at some point I started to be more and more interrested in jazzy style playing and my Ibanez with floating tremolo was not really "the tool" to dive into this kind of music. However that is generally great guitar, so I didn't want to get rid of it and buy inexpensive semi hollow as a second guitar instead. I was lucky to find barely used Harley Benton HB-1335 for about 150 Euro just in my neighbourhood. The plan was to play for a while and then go for something better. However over time this guitar became my modding platform. Basic part of the guitar I find pretty decent - neck feels very nice in hand and tuning is maintained along the fretboard. Only flaw that I found is a finnish quality on the f-holes. I have to fix it somehow. Another nice point is size of the body - something between 335 and 339 dimension.

    Mods done so far:
    -pickups replaced with potted Ibanez INF1 and INF2, that I took out from Ibanez. Dark sound which was the problem in strat works great here.
    -pickguard with tortoise shell style
    -DIY headstock inlay and chrome truss rod cover
    -tailpiece was changed to Ibanez qucik change
    -another accent from Ibanez are sure grip kobs, just because I like it
    -strings: D'Addario Half Rounds 11-49

    Future plans:
    -really interresting project ahead. The plan is to make big wooden pickguard like in Ibanez AS103. I have ordered maple and rosewood veneers to make it multilayered
    -Graph Tech nut
    -better bridge, I am thinking about Gibraltar 3
    -better tuners
    -fixing the edges of f holes - Any ideas, what would be the best method?

    So this guitar is quite of a contrast to all wonderfull expensive instruments, that You present here, but I was wondering if You have similar experiences with modding cheap guitars? What else could I consider to do to improve it?
    Some visuals below.

    Semi-Hollow on a budget-1-jpgSemi-Hollow on a budget-2-jpgSemi-Hollow on a budget-3-jpgSemi-Hollow on a budget-4-jpg
    Last edited by slusar; 09-17-2019 at 06:42 PM.

  2.  

    The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
     
  3. #2

    User Info Menu

    How are the frets? Well levelled and crowned? Are the ends well shaped? Could you roll the edges of the fretboard for that worn in feel? Those things make a guitar much more playable.

  4. #3

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by neilspeers View Post
    How are the frets? Well levelled and crowned? Are the ends well shaped? Could you roll the edges of the fretboard for that worn in feel? Those things make a guitar much more playable.
    I didn't know about that fretboard edges rolling. Seems like a nice idea and I think I'd be able to do it. Thank You I was checking leveling of the frets with dedicated ruler and it looks all good.
    Subjectively ends also feel OK, but is there any way to check it more precisely?

  5. #4

    User Info Menu

    I think if the fret ends feel fine, you don't need to do anything with them.
    Masking the neck and polishing the frets might be something to consider the next time you do a string change.

    Also "hydrating" the fretboard might be advisable. I'm not sure which products are the most typically chosen for treating the fretboards these days. There are many products and always thousands of opinions.


    What amp are you using?

    Have you considered trying flat wound strings?
    Possibly some of these.
    Semi-Hollow on a budget-thomastik-infeld-thomastik-jazz-swing-js111-11-47-jpg

    BTW...My wife is from Poland and I have been to your beautiful country three times.
    Have you listened to the late Tadeusz Nalepa's compositions/playing? I have a few of his CD's.

    Cheers

    Dave

  6. #5

    User Info Menu

    Cosmetically it looks great. But in that regard, what *I* would change is: black pickup rings, a plain black guard, and a black toggle tip. Then while you're at it, bacl hardware (tail, bridge, guard bracket, tuners, strap buttons. Just my own taste

    And if you want a "woodier" sound, try putting a wooden saddle on the bridge posts. I've done that on 335-style guitars and it works great.

  7. #6

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by Greco View Post
    I think if the fret ends feel fine, you don't need to do anything with them.
    Masking the neck and polishing the frets might be something to consider the next time you do a string change.

    Also "hydrating" the fretboard might be advisable. I'm not sure which products are the most typically chosen for treating the fretboards these days. There are many products and always thousands of opinions.


    What amp are you using?

    Have you considered trying flat wound strings?
    Possibly some of these.


    BTW...My wife is from Poland and I have been to your beautiful country three times.
    Have you listened to the late Tadeusz Nalepa's compositions/playing? I have a few of his CD's.

    Cheers

    Dave
    Good idea with the fretboard treatment. Actually I am not using an amp. I play just at home, so I use headphones. Role of an amp is served by my DIY Fender Blackface emulaion pedal and then it goes through cab simulation in Digitech processor. Thanks a lot for kind words about Poland, I fully agree. I visited Canada this year and I also liked it a lot, beautifull places.
    Currently I am using half round strings for the first time and they feel really nice but trying flat wound for the next change could be nice idea. That new albums of Nalepa, that You mentioned are going straight to my playlist on Spotify

    Quote Originally Posted by Woody Sound View Post
    Cosmetically it looks great. But in that regard, what *I* would change is: black pickup rings, a plain black guard, and a black toggle tip. Then while you're at it, bacl hardware (tail, bridge, guard bracket, tuners, strap buttons. Just my own taste

    And if you want a "woodier" sound, try putting a wooden saddle on the bridge posts. I've done that on 335-style guitars and it works great.
    Actually I just changed that elements from black to another color but as You mentioned it's very subjective. That wooden saddles are available on the market or I have to make them from scratch? Maybe full wooden bridge could be also nice idea.

  8. #7

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by slusar View Post
    That new albums of Nalepa, that You mentioned are going straight to my playlist on Spotify
    I might have confused you by using the term "late". I was using it to indicate that Nalepa is deceased.

    The CD's I have are from various times in his career.

    To anyone else interested, this is a bronze monument dedicated to the blues guitarist we are referring to.

    Semi-Hollow on a budget-160px-tadeusz_nalepa_monument-_rzeszów_3_maja_street-jpg

    In addition, I apologize if you are fully aware of polishing frets and 'hydrating' the fingerboard.
    Last edited by Greco; 09-19-2019 at 08:28 AM.

  9. #8

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by Greco View Post
    In addition, I apologize if you are fully aware of polishing frets and 'hydrating' the fingerboard.
    Tottally no need to apologize. Actually I didn't think about this before, so thanks for the idea! Semi-Hollow on a budget



    Wys?ane z mojego ANE-LX1 przy u?yciu Tapatalka

  10. #9

    User Info Menu

    Go over to Amazon and read the reviews on these guitars.

  11. #10

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by Kitkatjoe View Post
    Go over to Amazon and read the reviews on these guitars.
    Couldn't really find reviews on Amazon. I think the only official retailer is Thomann as owner of this brand. Comments, that you mean were on positve or negative side? I've seen both

  12. #11

    User Info Menu

    Hi again, I have just finnished fixing of bottom f-hole. First plan was to just polish the edge and lacquer it. However naked wood structure was not so nice. Therefore I decided to paint it black. Below a picture showing before-after look. Next point will be to finnish second f-hole and then start working on a wooden pickguard.
    Attached Images Attached Images Semi-Hollow on a budget-1-jpg Semi-Hollow on a budget-3-jpg 
    Last edited by slusar; 10-10-2019 at 05:31 AM.