Finally! NGD! P-90 Tele

Discussion in 'Other Guitars' started by SquierTap, Jun 11, 2019.

  1. SquierTap

    SquierTap Squier-holic

    Age:
    37
    Jul 14, 2018
    Nashville, Tn
    Okay, guys... This is the one that we've all (ESPECIALLY me!) been waitin for... As a lot of y'all know, I've had A LOT of trouble gettin this guitar... Everything from the very FIRST step has been really problematic; When I FIRST wanted one, they were "out of stock", and I wound up having to wait a couple MONTHS for them to come in, THEN, when I "ordered" it, they didn't actually charge me, they waited over a week... Ya know when I DIDN'T have a couple hundred extra bucks in my account, which put it off another 2 weeks til my next payday... THEN they said it would take 6-9 days to get here from Germany, but it wound up takin 6 WEEKS... They got the U.S. Postal Service involved and had to do an official investigation... And after that, they finally offered to send me a replacement... They just asked that IF they did send me a replacement and I actually GOT it, that if the original guitar eventually did arrive, that I refuse delivery and kindly send it back... So they sent the replacement and because of the huge mess, I guess they put a rush on this one, because it got here from Germany in 4 days... So, after all that crap, here's my very first initial impressions of the Harley Benton TE-90 QM;

    The shipping box had a couple nasty dings in it where it looked like it almost punched all the way through... But luckily, it was WELL packaged... It was double boxed, and had more of those inflated packing bags than any other guitar I've EVER seen... When I got the styrene off, man, oh, man...

    What can I say about the looks? It's hands down the most beautiful finish of any guitar I've ever owned... That quilted maple top is just gorgeous... I mean, you can look these up online, and what ya see is what ya get... But in person, it's JUST as stunning, if not more so... The last guitar I ordered online looked great in the pics, and REALLY fell flat in that department when it arrived, so this was a nice surprise... I kept thinkin "Easy, Killer, there's no way it'll look quite as good in real life..." But it really does... I can't find ANY flaws whatsoever in the finish... Especially at the price... I mean, it's a carved, quilted maple top guitar with bound F holes for under 200 bucks... Really, what ELSE could you ask for? And speakin of the top, another thing that surprised me was the carved top... I'm used to my CV Tele, and as you guys know, a Telecaster is basically a cutting board with strings, lol... But this rounded, carved, quilted maple top is just plain sexy... And extremely comfortable... It feels as good as it looks... In your lap or on a strap, it's my first carved top and I'm sold...

    One of the biggest surprises is all the little details that you get on what IS a (let's not forget) a "budget" guitar... And trust me, I'm an EXPERT in "budget"... And in this case anyway, HB has out "budget"'d Squier... Little details like the volume and tone knobs... They're ACTUALLY metal, not silver PAINTED plastic like that "budget" Amazon Ibanez copy I ordered 6 months ago... And they're sturdy and don't stick out at a wonky angle like the aforementioned dumpster fire Amazon guitar, lol...

    Here's a BIG one for me; It came right out of the box with a Graph Tech Tusq XL nut and D'Addario strings... One of the first mods I just about always do is to put one of these nuts on... I learned a while back what a BIG difference in sustain and especially tuning these make... But to be totally honest, the nut is one of the only negative things I found wrong initially... Yeah, it's a Tusq XL, but it looks like it was cut by a near-sighted dude with a Skil saw, lol... But it's probably just where it wasn't smoothed or "shaped" after it was cut... And even though it LOOKS a lil rough, it does seem to be cut well, and even right out of the box without properly setting the intonation yet, it does seem to keep correct pitch up the fretboard... Anybody that's spent the time filing and shaping a nut can tell ya, that's a pretty good trick, lol...

    And speaking of the fretboard, man, it's REALLY nice... One of the first things I noticed was how beautiful and smooth the roseacer fretboard was... I've never owned a roseacer neck, but usually one of the first things I have to do on all my "budget" guitars is oil the dried out board... Not this one... Maybe because they were "out of stock" and these were JUST made, but I wound up putting my lemon oil back up... It's beautiful... And REALLY smooth and fast... And the Mother of Pearl inlays are really nice... And one more thing; None of the dreaded sharp frets you usually find on cheaper guitars... Surprisingly smooth... At some later point I MAY decide to roll the edges of the fretboard a lil, but for right now, they're totally fine...

    Which brings us to the neck it's self... I LOVE it... The only other neck that I loved this much right off the bat was my CV Tele... Even though this one is very different... I wouldn't call it a "baseball bat" but it IS thicker... It has a nice natural satin finish that feels just great in my hand... To me, usually the neck is where the money goes, and what sets apart more expensive, "nicer" guitars from the budget bangers... There's no way around it, this neck feels a LOT more expensive than it is... I'm pretty picky about necks, but I guess this is what really pushed it over the top from "good" to "great"...

    Did I mention this thing has P-90s? Lol... I guess this is gonna be the main attraction to a LOT of people... I know it was for me... It's my first guitar with P-90s, and so far, I love 'em... Most of the time I've gotten to spend with this guitar I've played it through my lil Katana Mini, but I did get a chance to try it for a bit through my pedal board and Katana 100, and they really shine... I saw one review of this guitar where the reviewer said that this guitar didn't do bright treble sounds well, "but that was to be expected with a guitar with this body shape..." WHAT?!? Lol... It's a Tele, guy! Now, granted, the mahogany body does warm things up quite a bit, especially compared to my pine CV Tele, but in a good way... The neck pup has that familiar warm Tele vibe, but with noted added extra bass frequencies... But somehow without muddying it up... I guess because these P-90s sound really clear... But, when you flip that switch down to the bridge, you're GONNA get some bite... But even when I kicked on my full-on distortion, and even when using the middle position, the notes were really clear and well defined... I'm not used to that with my usual single coils... And at worst I might have to roll the "bass" on my amp back a lil, and back my usual compression settings off a bit... But where the added clarity really shines is through light overdrive... I found myself playing things I usually only play on clean settings, because even through a Tube Screamer, or my Joyo Ultimate Drive, the note definition and clarity is still there...

    Now, of course, time will tell if my initial impressions remain true, but I'm not one of those guys who goes overboard and just LOVES every guitar I get... As a matter of fact, the last TWO guitars I bought turned about to be duds... So honestly, especially buyin a "budget" brand, I was a little worried... But I'm really glad that I took the chance on Harley Benton... Now, as you guys know, I'm normally a Squier guy through and through, but with the prices on all Squiers pushing up, I started looking around at other brands, and I'm glad I did... I guess it's possible that I just "got a good one", but if that's the case, then there seems to be an awful lot of good ones goin around... And even though gettin it here was a total mess, and the shipping process was a nightmare, the folks at Thomann were really nice and the replacement guitar got here REALLY quickly... In the end, I wound up with a guitar that I really like, that looks AMAZING, sounds awesome, and plays great...
    IMG_20190610_115851356.jpg IMG_20190610_140100516.jpg IMG_20190610_135516452.jpg IMG_20190610_115834039.jpg
     
  2. SquierTap

    SquierTap Squier-holic

    Age:
    37
    Jul 14, 2018
    Nashville, Tn
    And ya gotta take the bad with the good... The only two issues I've had; The rough cut nut, and one pickup has a screw that looks a lil "backed out"... And of course, as most of you know, I cut the flexor tendon in my left middle finger about 8 years ago and completely lost use of it, so I replaced the brand new D'Addario .09s that came on it with my usual Extra Slinky .08s and lowered the action one full turn of the allen wrench, and now it plays like a dream, but even right out of the box it was very playable...

    The rough cut nut; IMG_20190610_115804003.jpg

    And the "backed out" screw; IMG_20190610_135448056.jpg
     
    Rat cam 68, Flying Z, drewcp and 4 others like this.
  3. Best1989

    Best1989 Squier-Meister

    262
    Apr 25, 2019
    Arequipa
    Man, I love the looks of that girl. You're making me want to get one lol
     
    dbrian66, mb doug and SquierTap like this.
  4. jjudas

    jjudas Squier-holic

    Mar 23, 2016
    Metro New Orleans
    That's a great looking Tele! Congrats!!
     
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  5. strat_strummer

    strat_strummer Squier-holic

    Age:
    57
    Nov 24, 2018
    Crappie fishing.
    One of the better looking guitars I've seen, congrats.
     
  6. snivlem

    snivlem Squier-holic

    Age:
    42
    Jan 25, 2018
    FL
    Congrats man, she's a beauty!
     
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  7. Loin Lover

    Loin Lover Squier-holic

    Jul 26, 2018
    Backwoods, USA
    She's a beaut, HNGD!
     
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  8. Michael7

    Michael7 Squier-holic

    Beautiful guitar! Patience rewarded!

    It does look like they cut the original nut with a hack saw! Yikes!
     
  9. RetiredNSquired

    RetiredNSquired Squier-Nut

    Age:
    64
    912
    Jun 20, 2018
    Canton, Ga
    Oh man! That's a beauty. HNGD!!! Here I am, in a P90 lust rage, and you show up with this? Now I've gotta look into HB. I noticed some kind of labeling on the pup cover. What pickups do they use on this?
     
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  10. SquierTap

    SquierTap Squier-holic

    Age:
    37
    Jul 14, 2018
    Nashville, Tn
    That's another awesome part I didn't mention, lol... They're called "Roswell" pickups... Like the infamous 1947 U.F.O. crash... For a guy like me who hosts a show called "The Paranatural Podcast", they're perfect! Lol... I believe they used to come with Wilkerson pups... Still Wilkerson hardware, though... And yeah, btw, the hardware/bridge seem to be rock solid too...
     
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  11. SquierTap

    SquierTap Squier-holic

    Age:
    37
    Jul 14, 2018
    Nashville, Tn
    I agree... Not bad for a $170 guitar, right? And it feels so solid... There's definitely a difference in the way a solid, nice guitar feels and a cheap "budget" guitar... But like I said, the only other guitar that I own that feels this nice, and this SOLID is my CV 50's Tele...
     
  12. wonkenstein

    wonkenstein Squier-holic

    Feb 3, 2017
    NH
    I really like P 90s and this looks like pure sweetness!
     
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  13. fattboyzz

    fattboyzz Squier-holic

    Age:
    53
    Nov 29, 2017
    Newnan ,Ga.
    Beautiful Tele !

    Congrats !
     
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  14. strat_strummer

    strat_strummer Squier-holic

    Age:
    57
    Nov 24, 2018
    Crappie fishing.
    I've been toying with the idea of trying one. Again this is sweet.
     
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  15. SquierTap

    SquierTap Squier-holic

    Age:
    37
    Jul 14, 2018
    Nashville, Tn
    Thanks, hoss... LOVE the new avatar! Lol...
     
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  16. SquierTap

    SquierTap Squier-holic

    Age:
    37
    Jul 14, 2018
    Nashville, Tn
    If you can get it to you! That seems to be the tricky part... Lol...
     
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  17. SquierTap

    SquierTap Squier-holic

    Age:
    37
    Jul 14, 2018
    Nashville, Tn
    That's another thing that I completely forgot to put in the review; This thing feels like it costs A LOT more than it does... It absolutely does NOT feel "budget" at all... Right off the bat, it feels as solid and as well put together as my CV anyway... The neck pocket is really nicely tight and clean, and it just seems really nicely put together and solid... I paid more for my CV than I've ever paid for a guitar, like I said, I KNOW "budget" and this guitar sure as heck seems like a more expensive instrument...
     
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  18. RetiredNSquired

    RetiredNSquired Squier-Nut

    Age:
    64
    912
    Jun 20, 2018
    Canton, Ga
    O.K. Gotta ask you, what do the pickups sound like cranked, no o.d. pedal. I love the clean P90 sound, but what really gets my blood pumping is the way they can growl when cranked. Unfortunately, most demos use pedals. I'm getting all tingly over this thing!
     
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  19. SquierTap

    SquierTap Squier-holic

    Age:
    37
    Jul 14, 2018
    Nashville, Tn
     
  20. SquierTap

    SquierTap Squier-holic

    Age:
    37
    Jul 14, 2018
    Nashville, Tn
    I still wanna try it through my "SneakyAmps" patch preset... That's the one that I did the video on not long ago that sounds like a tweed Bassman plugged into the "bright" input, right on the edge of breakup... It's a REALLY good sound, but I wonder how these pickups would sound through it... I know my CV Tele sounds GREAT through it... Almost "Keef" like, but these pickups are SO clear and loud... But not too bright or "ice picky" AT ALL... I imagine that's a combination of these GREAT P-90s and the Mahogany body... In the middle and the neck pup positions, it does sound warm... But it ISN'T muddy or overpowering at all... I wasn't a big believer in the whole "tone wood" argument, but evidently if you combine really CLEAR (not "bright") pups with Mahogany you can get everything from Tele twang to really warm jazzy tones without muckin 'em up...
    ;)
     
    RetiredNSquired likes this.
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