I’ve been following a few Youtube channels related to music (some performance, some recording and production), and through Glenn Fricker at Spectre Sound Studios, I learned about a great resource for decent-quality music gear. A lot of it has also been validated by Andy Ferris over at the Guitar Geek. The source? Thomann in Germany, specifically their in-house brands Harley Benton and t.bone. I have three Harley Benton guitars (two TE’s, which is a Telecaster clone, and a J-bass), a Harley Benton 2×12, as well as a t.bone mic that’s a clone of the legendary Shure SM57.
The TE’s are brilliant, well-built, and stay in tune (at least for me). I do have an issue with fret sprout, but I have that on everything. The dry air in Calgary is brutal that way. I think they play really well. The 2×12 is equipped with Greenbacks (real ones, not clones) and it sounds really, really good. The t.bone works very well. Where they really become attractive isn’t just the quality, but the price.
I was able to get a TE, the 2×12, and the t.bone for less than the price of a single Marshall 2×12 with who-knows what speakers here in Canada. I have a real Fender Tele (and love it). But, for the price I paid, I could almost buy one of every TE single-coil configuration from Harley Benton. The total price included the Euro to Canadian Dollar exchange rate, paying for the faster UPS shipping, and the customs duties and taxes.
One thing to keep in mind: all their amps are meant for use in the EU and UK, so some may need adapters to work in North America. You’ve been warned on that one.