New Harley Benton 25th Anniversary Guitars: Awesome Special Edition Models!

Harley Benton 25th Anniversary

It may seem hard to believe, but the Harley Benton 25th Anniversary kicked off this year. The popular budget brand is celebrating with some killer looking new guitars, and today we check them out.


Harley Benton 25th Anniversary Guitars: Has It Been That Long?

It may be hard to believe that it has been 25 years since the release are Harley Benton as a brand. We recently did a deep dive into the history of Harley Benton, and it really does go back that far! The brand that people know and love have only recently come into its own, but it started in 1997!

Most guitarists are probably scratching their heads at the Harley Benton 25th Anniversary, since the brand only recently gained notoriety and became a popular option for budget guitars. But the brand actually started without a proper name in 1997!

Those first “unbranded” models in 1997 really didn’t take off, and the Thomann Music “house brand” wasn’t popular until the “Harley Benton” moniker was applied in 1998. The idea was to have a fully in-house brand for Thomann, for customers on a slim budget.

These guitars were known in Europe during the late 90’s and early 2000’s by customers of Thomann, but they were rarely seen outside of the region until the internet really took off. That, and there was a serious shift when it came to management of the Harley Benton brand that only happened recently.

It was only a few years ago that Harley Benton really started to make an impact, and this has a lot to do with popular guitar reviewers on YouTube pushing the brand. Once HB started getting some attention, Thomann shifted how the Harley Benton brand was handled.

This corporate shift changed where Harley Benton guitars were made, as well as the features that were offered. We started to see Roasted Maple necks, locking tuners, and even stainless steel frets on the higher end models. And by “higher end” I mean $350-$400.

All of these features are usually only seen in MUCH more expensive instruments, and it seems almost unbelievable that you can get a guitar with these specs for under $500. But after so many positive reviews, and my personal experience with the brand, not only is it possible, but the specs keep getting better.

Which brings us to the Harley Benton that we know and love today. For a long time, the brand was seen as a little “sketchy” by consumers, but now we see more and more guitarists trying out the brand, and being very impressed. Myself included!

The new Harley Benton 25th Anniversary Guitars are a representation of the “best” the brand has to offer, featuring the most popular models, with upgrades from partnered brands like Wilkinson. All of the new guitars feature a champagne gold “Firemist” finish, a deluxe gig bag, and a special Harley Benton 25th Anniversary lanyard.

Harley Benton 25th anniversary
The lanyard and card are a little silly. But the gig bag is not!

Along with the extra accessories, these guitars offer upgraded pickups, tuners, bridges, and a variety of special woods! These new 25th Anniversary guitars are like a “greatest hits” album of models, features, and specs. Today we are going to go over all of them!

This is a pretty big move for Harley Benton, and we are very excited to dig into these new models. We have had a ton of experience with Harley Benton guitars and basses, and these new models offer the best features for the money, even by HB standards.

Harley Benton is certainly a trail-blazer when it comes to budget guitars, and this new lineup is proof of just how much guitar you can get for your money. The Harley Benton 25th Anniversary guitars are a “run” like usual, so they will be limited.

For those of you in the United States and Canada, worry not. Thomann still offers a 30 day, no questions asked return policy on all Harley Benton products. So if you are ordering from the other side of the world, there should be no problems with returns.

With all of that said, I think it is finally time to dive into the new Harley Benton 25th Anniversary guitars, and go over the prices, features, and specs of all of these awesome, budget-friendly guitars. Each one has slightly different features, but all are unique to the Anniversary lineup.


The Fusion Series

Harley Benton 25th anniversary

The Harley Benton Fusion Series has been hugely popular, and these are some of my personal favorites from the brand. The Fusion series is designed to cover all kinds of music, and be a versatile workhorse. The whole idea is to balance traditional design, with modern appointments.

The Harley Benton 25th Anniversary models take the Fusion Series to the next level, throwing every feature you could possibly want into these guitars. The Wilkinson Trem, TUSQ nut, and roller string trees will have you in divebomb heaven! Tesla pickups have made a comeback as well!

There are two different models to choose from. The Fusion III has a familiar Strat-Style shape that we all know and love, while the Fusion T is a single cut design. Both share similar features, so we can cover both models at the same time:

  • Body: Nyatoh
  • Neck: Roasted Canadian maple
  • Neck mount: Bolt on
  • Neck form: Modern-c;
  • Fingerboard: Roasted hard Canadian maple
  • Inlays: Black dots & glow Side dot marks
  • 22 medium jumbo Blacksmith stainless steel frets
  • Graph tech TUSQ nut
  • Nut width: 42 mm (1,65″)
  • Scale: 648 mm (25,5″)
  • Fingerboard radius: 305 mm (12″)
  • Pickups: Tesla Special (Alnico)
  • Tremolo: Wilkinson 50IIK 2-point
  • Hardware finish: chrome
  • Tuners: staggered locking die-cast; single roller string retainer
  • Color: Satin Firemist
  • Original strings: Daddario EXL-110 0.10 -0.46
  • Incl. Harley Benton 25th Anniversary E-Guitar Gigbag
  • Incl. Harley Benton 25th Anniversary Lanyard

If you are unfamiliar with Nyatoh, then know that it is like an Eastern Mahogany. The Roasted Canadian Maple neck is solid and sturdy, and the D shape is super comfortable.

The big decision between these two models is going to be up to your pickup preference. Both share the same amazing features that will cover any genre of music you throw at them. That being said, both are highly versatile when it comes to tones, just like the name implies.

Of course the shape is important to some people as well, but it will really come down to your pickup needs. I like having an actual single coil, since coil splitting rarely works well for me. It seems like the sound is almost there, but not quite.

The Tesla pickups are fantastic Alnico variants, and personally, I think the HSS setup is my favorite. You can get beautiful single coil tones, as well as crushing humbucker tones out of the Fusion III. But, if dual humbucker with coil taps is more your speed, the Fusion T is an absolute beast.

Both have glowing side dots for dark stages, as well as locking tuners. This means the Harley Benton 25th Anniversary Fusion guitars are perfect for the stage. These are designed to be gigged, and with all of these upgrades, you will not have to change anything out of the box!


Classic Designs

Harley Benton 25th Anniversary

The Harley Benton 25th Anniversary Series certainly didn’t forget about the more classic styled guitars. But there is a huge difference between the Standard Series designs, and the Anniversary Series, due to some really cool upgrades.

We are not going to go over every model individually, because they do share a lot of the same specs. The main takeaway here is that the new models offer some pickup combos and hardware upgrades that make these next-level guitars.

Bolt-On Models:

  • American Alder body
  • Roasted Canadian flame maple neck
  • Dark laurel fretboard with white dot/block inlays and 22 stainless steel frets
  • Neck mount: Bolt on
  • Neck shape: D
  • 42 mm (1,65″) White graphite nut
  • Scale: 648 mm (25,50″)
  • Fingerboard radius: 305 mm (12″)
  • Pickguard: 3-ply white/black/white or Tortoise
  • Hardware finish: Chrome
  • Matching headstock with engraved locking tuner
  • Color: Firemist
  • Stock strings: Elixir .010 – .046
  • Incl. Harley Benton 25th Anniversary E-Guitar Gigbag
  • Incl. Harley Benton 25th Anniversary Lanyard

The 3 bolt-on models are: TE-25th (Tele Style), JA-25th (Jazzmaster Style), and ST-25th (Strat style). All three share some great upgraded hardware, and stainless steel frets. They all share locking tuners, and graphite nuts as well.

The ST-25TH and TE-25TH Models: Special Features

The bridges are a huge step up from the usual models, with the ST-25TH using a modern two point trem, and the TE-25TH using a Wilkinson WTB Bridge with compensated brass saddles. These bridges will not only help with tuning stability, but intonation as well.

The Roswell pickups on all models use powerful Alnico magnets for bright, midrange tones. But the ST-25th has a secret weapon in the bridge position! The ST-25TH has a Roswell Hot Rail pickup in the bridge, to give you some killer humbucker tones in a single coil shape.

The TE-25TH model uses Alnico pickups as well, with a Roswell TEA B Alnico V single coil in the bridge, and a Roswell TEA Alnico CR in the neck. This gives you a focused midrange that is warm in the neck, and absolutely biting in the bridge.

Both are upgraded versions of classic guitars that you will see on stages all over the world. There’s a reason these designs never go out of style! But the JA-25TH model does things a little bit differently…

The JA-25TH Model: A Fixed Bridge Offset

The JA-25th is a popular offset model that offers something that players really want on an offset guitar: A fixed bridge. This is something that you rarely see on these guitars, even when it comes to bigger companies like Fender! Those of you that never use a trem, and despise setting them up will love this JA!

Those of use that love the offset design, and the big block inlays on a neck with binding… well, we usually have to deal with a trem system that needs lots of work. Sometimes the trem requires aftermarket parts just to stay in tune.

This JA having classic specs, with a TOM bridge is what a LOT of offset players are looking for in a guitar. No trem, and a stable bridge that you never have to worry about or buy extra parts to get set up.

The vintage style locking tuners on the flamed neck is a sight to behold on all of these bolt-on models. The pickups are fantastic Roswell single coils without the brittleness of most vintage offset guitars. The JA-25TH is a total rock machine, ready for the stage.

Harley Benton 25th anniversary

The SC-25TH: A Single Cut Legend

Moving over to the single cut LP-style model, you have the same attention to detail for this Harley Benton 25th Anniversary edition, as well as some new features and specs. The SC-25TH has some insane features, and one of the best necks that the brand has ever offered!

  • Body: Okume
  • Top: Maple
  • Neck: Canadian roasted flamed maple
  • Fingerboard: Dark laurel
  • Fretboard inlays: Blocks
  • Frets: 22 stainless steel
  • Neck mount: Set Neck
  • Neck shape: D
  • Nut width: 42 mm (1.49″)
  • Nut: Graphite
  • Scale length: 628 mm (24.75″)
  • Fingerboard radius: 305 mm (12″)
  • Pickups: Roswell LAF alnico-5 (bridge) – Roswell LAF alnico-5 (neck)
  • Controls: 2x volume (push/pull for coil split) 2x tone
  • Switch: 3-way
  • Bridge: TOM-01 tune-o-matic
  • Hardware finish: Chrome
  • Kluson style locking tuners
  • Color: Firemist
  • Stock strings: Elixir .010 – 0.46
  • Incl. Harley Benton 25th Anniversary E-Guitar Gigbag
  • Incl. Harley Benton 25th Anniversary Lanyard

The SC is one of the best-selling guitars that Harley Benton has to offer, and we can see why with the previous models that we have tried. The slim, tapered D neck is a joy to play and this one is a real looker with the slight flame.

The Kluson-style locking tuners are a fantastic upgrade that really makes this neck look as amazing as it plays. This is a slim neck, and having a satin finish on the back makes it primed for speed. The recessed heel allows you to reach the upper frets easily.

If you are looking for the thicker, Les Paul-style neck, then NONE of the Harley Benton 25th anniversary models offer anything like that. However, the Classic Series SC does have the more traditional neck, although without any of these upgrades.

Harley Benton 25th anniversary

The cream binding on the top and neck with matching pickup rings gives this guitar an iconic look. Those of you that know me personally, know how I feel about a good single cut guitar. The sheer simplicity belongs in front of a loud amp on a stage.

The headstock does not get the matching treatment that the rest of the series gets, but you do get a black satin finish with an abalone inlay design. This just adds to the classy look and feel of the SC-25TH.

All of these guitars are iconic designs that many players are familiar with, but the Harley Benton 25th Anniversary models add upgrades that you see on professional guitars. While the Fusion series comes in under $500 with shipping, the classic designs come under $350 with shipping.


Basses Too!

Harley Benton 25th Anniversary basses

The Harley Benton 25th Anniversary celebration would not be complete without the addition of two best-selling basses. Just like the guitars, every upgrade was taken into account as well as the finer details on these 4 string mammoths.

Both sport the same Firemist finish, but the differences in these basses are much more than just the shapes. The JB-25TH and Enhanced-25TH are both unique variants, and will appeal to completely different types of players.

The JB-25TH: A Jazzy Classic

The JB-25TH takes the regular Harley Benton JB, and ups the ante with some new pro-level features. The Jazz-style bass has been used in everything from actual Jazz, to the heaviest of Metal. These are so versatile, because of the mid-heavy single coil pickups.

  • Body: American Alder
  • Neck: Canadian roasted flamed maple
  • Fingerboard: Dark laurel
  • Fingerboard inlays: White dots
  • Frets: 20 stainless steel
  • Neck attachment: Bolt-on
  • Neck shape: D
  • Nut width: 38 mm (1.49″)
  • Graphite Nut
  • Scale length: 864 mm (34″)
  • Fingerboard radius: 305 mm (12″)
  • Pickguard: 4-ply tortoiseshell
  • Pickups: Roswell JBA-B alnico 5 single coil (bridge) – Roswell JBA-N alnico-5 single coil (neck)
  • Controls: 2x volume, tone
  • Bridge: Wilkinson WBBC with brass saddles and 19mm string spacing
  • Hardware finish: Chrome
  • Matching headstock with engraved deluxe tuners
  • Color: Firemist
  • Stock strings: D’Addario EXL165 .045 – .105
  • Incl. Harley Benton 25th E-Bass Gig bag,
  • Incl. Harley Benton 25th Anniversary Lanyard

Those of you that are familiar with this famous offset style know just how clear and powerful these basses are in a mix. The single coil tones can be one pickup, or blended via the volume knobs. This gives you a lot of control on the stage, or in the studio.

The Wilkinson bridge uses brass saddles, with a high-mass steel plate. The 19mm string spacing may seem a little different at first, but it makes the JB-25TH play like a dream. The D shape neck is slim, with a satin finish on the back.

While the JB is more of a throwback style, this kind of bass is still used in studios all over the world for its unique tone. The Roswell Alnico pickups will hold down the low end, but also give you that “punch” in the mids, especially with some overdrive.

The Enhanced-25TH: A Total Beast

The Enhanced-25TH is the real star of the Harley Benton 25th Anniversary bass lineup. While the JB Bass is more of a classic take, the Enhanced is a very modern design that can tackle just about anything, on the stage or in the studio.

It looks like everything but the kitchen sink was thrown into this bass, meaning you can get a wide variety of tones. This is the most expensive instrument in the entire Harley Benton 25th Anniversary Series, and I can see why when it comes to the features.

Some bassists prefer a large tonal palate, and that is exactly what the Enhanced-25TH is going for, with active pickups and a unique pickup layout. This is all fleshed out with name brand hardware by Wilkinson, Roswell active Ferrite pickups, and a TUSQ nut.

  • Body: Alder
  • Neck: Canadian roasted hard rock maple
  • Neck mount: 6x bolt-on
  • Neck form: Modern-C Shape
  • Fingerboard: Canadian roasted hard rock maple
  • Inlays: Black blocks & glow side dot marks
  • 22 medium Blacksmith stainless steel frets
  • Nut: Black TUSQ XL
  • Nut width: 39 mm (1,54″)
  • Scale: 864 mm (34,02″)
  • Fingerboard radius: 355,6 mm (14″)
  • Pickguard: Black 3-layer
  • Pickups: Roswell MFR4 ferrite humbucker (bridge) – Roswell PM-4 ferrite single coil (neck)
  • Electronics: Roswell GMA2 active / passive 2-band EQ
  • Controls: Volume (push/pull), balance, treble & bass
  • Bridge: WSC SK4
  • Hardware finish: Chrome
  • Tuners: WSC JB45
  • Color: Firemist
  • Original strings: D’addario EXL155SL 045~105
  • Incl. Harley Benton 25th E-Bass Gigbag
  • Incl. Harley Benton 25th Anniversary Lanyard

This bass has absolutely everything, and can be used to get all kinds of tones. But starting with the hardware, the Wilkinson tuners and SK4 bridge will not only keep you in tune, but provide precise intonation for each string.

I think the string retainer looks really cool, and unique. It is a full bar across the 3 higher strings, almost like a Floyd Rose retainer. I think this is a very neat detail, that adds some character. I don’t think I have ever seen anything like that before.

The back humbucker pickup can be split with the volume knob, or be left in full humbucker mode. The blend knob allows you to use both pickups in multiple configurations to dial in any tone you need from the Roswell Ferrite Active pickups.

Stainless steel frets mean that you will probably never have to worry about a fret job. The neck is a rounded C-shape carve that will feel familiar to just about any player. With all of the upgrades thrown into this bass, it should be a good workhorse for gigs.


Harley Benton 25th Anniversary Pricing Guide

While all of these guitars and basses share a good amount of upgrades, some received a little more than others. The prices will directly reflect this, and the more features that are involved, the higher the price goes.

That, and some of these models already cost a little more, like the Fusion III guitars. The Harley Benton 25th Anniversary Fusion III is a little more than the standard models, and the same goes for the Standard Series models.

Not that ANY of the Harley Benton 25th Anniversary models will break the bank! You cannot find these kinds are features at this price, with any other brand that I know of currently. The budget guitar scene has expanded recently, but Harley Benton still offers some of the best buys.

Likewise, if you have ever wanted one of the base models, or anything from the Classic series, and you were turned off by the cheaper hardware… then the Anniversary guitars and basses might be exactly what you are looking for since these have upgrades to the hardware.


Harley Benton 25th Anniversary Prices: All Models


Harley Benton 25th Anniversary: Wrapping Up…

These new Harley Benton 25th Anniversary models were a big surprise, and I had no idea that this was happening until the press release. We have always been fans of Harley Benton here at Electrikjam, because these are some great guitars for people on a budget.

Not everyone has the funds when it comes to buying a mainstream brand guitar. With the price hikes from all the bigger brands like Fender, Gibson, and PRS it can be hard to find a “decent” guitar under $500. Even the used market has become inflated over the last year or so.

This leaves very little options when it comes to being a player, and instrument reliability is an important factor whether you are a beginner or a pro. I know I wouldn’t want to tour/gig with a guitar that I had to worry about. I need something that I can feel confident on stage with, so I can play my best.

The studio is another place where you want to definitely be in tune, with a reliable instrument. Time is money in the studio, and every time you have to stop and fiddle with your guitar or bass, is wasted money. Those wasted minutes add up fast when the clock is running.

I think that professional, and semi-pro musicians are the people that will be interested the most in the Harley Benton 25th Anniversary lineup. I would rock the stage with any of these instruments after a good setup to the specs I prefer, and I would not have any worries gigging.

But at the same time, any of the Harley Benton 25th Anniversary guitars would make a GREAT beginner’s guitar. In fact, this would be a guitar that can grow with the beginner, since there are features that the pros are looking for like locking tuners and stainless steel frets.

It would be hard for a beginner to “outgrow” any of these guitars. You could easily go from the bedroom to the stage with the same guitar, without having to upgrade. Although, you could always change the pickups down the road, and hardware if you wanted.

All together, the Harley Benton 25th Anniversary Series has a lot to offer players of all levels and ages. Whether this is your first guitar, or your 40th… I think there is something here for everyone. And that is definitely a cause to celebrate!

Harley Benton 25th Anniversary

When Do The Harley Benton 25th Anniversary Guitars Ship?

As of April 5th 2023, they are ALL in stock.

What Makes The Harley Benton 25th Anniversary Guitars Special?

All of the 25th Anniversary guitars come with a deluxe gig bag, as well as a special lanyard. But the real treat is that every model has tons of upgrades, like locking tuners and stainless steel frets.

Are The Harley Benton 25th Anniversary Models Limited Edition?

Yes. Harley Benton likes to do “runs” of instruments, and once they are gone they may or may not restock. The Anniversary models are no exception.

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