During the otherwise testing 12 months that made up 2020, guitar gear manufacturers released some exciting new products at the cheaper end of the market that despite their very affordable price tags offered great value for money. If you’re looking to expand your guitar setup, or are just starting out and have a limited budget, then these new products are a great place to start.
Harley Benton TE-20HH SBK
The blacked out Harley Benton TE-20HH SBK was a winner in 2020, with the initial batch sold out very quickly. Putting twin humbuckers onto a blacked out modern, T-style guitar was a stroke of genius, especially at this price point. This little rock machine is great value for money. One of the guitar bargains of the year.
I love that Harley Benton made a wallet-friendly guitar that actually looks badass, rather than just a boring black or white clone of an old vintage guitar. If you want style and performance, check out the TE-20HH SBK model. The customer reviews were excellent. It’s not currently available, and we understand Harley Benton are planning a second production run for 2021. So keep your eyes peeled for when this mean machine comes back into stock.
Harley Benton SC-Special
If you are looking for a more traditional twin-pickup electric guitar, this Harley Benton SC-Special offers a lot of bang for your buck at €233, with twin Roswell P90 pickups and two great finishes.
Unlike the bolt-on neck of the TE-20HH SBK above, these twin pickup models are glued in neck joins, with a different guitar tone that’s orientated around traditional vintage sounds.
NUX Mighty Plug
A lot of players started playing silently and practising at home this year, stuck indoors due to the worldwide lockdown. The NUX Mighty Plug offers some quality guitar sounds, with effects and backing, and all for a super-affordable price. Just plug the unit into your instrument’s output jack, plug in some headphones and you are ready to rock.
This clever little gizmo can be controlled via Bluetooth and you can use your smartphone to edit patches and play with those onboard effects, virtual amps and virtual guitar cabinets using IRs. All that makes for a powerful and affordable bit of guitar gear.
Harley Benton MB-4 and MB-5 SBK
Like the TE-20HH SBK above, I think these new Harley Benton MB-4 and MB-5 SBK bass guitars look stunning, but also have some great bass tones at a super-affordable price. Despite being a guitar player, I still lust after one of these. It’s always handy to have a bass around for tracking basslines on your DAW, so these would fit that role perfectly.
Available as either a 4 0r 5-string with a single humbucker, these two bass guitars are certainly a force to be reckoned with in the budget bass arena. Don’t be fooled by the price: these are high quality instruments and more than capable of keeping the low end tight.
Harley Benton DNAfx GiT
Another bit of Harley Benton gear. Sometimes you need a lot of effects and amp simulations in a compact pedal that’s easy to travel with and won’t take up a load of space at home when you aren’t using it. This is where the new DNAfx GiT comes in, offering 151 guitar effects including drives, compressors, noise gates, EQ´s, modulation, wah, pitch, filters, delays and reverbs.
It even has an assignable treadle/footswitch so you can control your effects in realtime and a useful USB port for PC/MAC editing. At this price you really cannot go wrong, with a lot of great features for such a compact unit.
JHS Series 3 pedals
This new budget-but-still-kinda-boutique range consists of some amazingly well thought-out pedals handmade in the USA. If you want to treat yourself to some great effects without spending hundreds, you cannot go wrong with these JHS Series 3 pedals. Expecially given the modest price point. The range includes seven high-quality effects pedals made by people who know what they’re doing and that will last you a lifetime. Talk about a bargain.
You can choose from an Overdrive, Distortion, Fuzz, Compressor, Chorus, Delay, and Reverb. And each one is designed to give you maximum tone for a minimum price point. Remember, these are made in America by one of the top pedal companies in the world and so you really are getting a bargain with each of these effects.
JOYO XL-Zombie II
This high-gain mini lunchbox amp head has bags of great tones for players that want a little gain in their life. The Joyo XL-Zombie II packs in an impressive set of features given the price point, and offers players a tight modern amp tone designed to deliver crushing riffs. Don’t be fooled by its diminutive size; this little amp can roar with the best of them.
This 20-Watt amp head also Bluetooth onboard, an effects loop and a handy headphone output for silent practise. At this price point you could keep one in your gig bag as a backup, or in your home studio for high-gain amp recordings at lower volumes.
Harley Benton TUBE15 and TUBE5
If you need some tube tone on a budget, these all-tube Harley Benton TUBE15 and TUBE5 combos are an attractive option. Each model has a Celestion speaker, and you can knock the output volume down to only 1 Watt, making them useful for both home and studio work.
Available as either a 5-Watt or 15-Watt single channel combo, these little tube monsters will get you classy amp tones without huge price tags.
You Want More Bargains?
If you enjoyed this article and would like to look at some more bargain priced guitar gear, I have rounded up a few articles from the past year for you to check out. These include some of the best budget guitars and effects from the last 12 months that really should be on your list of new gear to try.
- 8 Cheap Pedals every guitarist needs to try
- 8 More Cheap Pedals every guitarist needs to try
- The six best Harley Benton ‘classic’ guitars for under £200
This article contains affiliate links that help us fund our site. Don’t worry: the price you pay always stays the same! If you buy something through these links, we will receive a small commission. Thank you for your support!