Harley Benton has just revealed new versions of existing two of its best-selling single-cut guitars, with new pickups, tuners and finishes. And not just any old pickups, either: the SC-550 Plus and SC-Custom Plus are all loaded with active EMGs! That brings in some sweet tones to two affordable guitar families that were already pretty hot anyway.
These new Harley Benton SC-550 Plus EMG and SC-Custom Plus EMG models are based around the classic single-cut formula we all know and love. Specifically, these are souped-up versions of Thomann’s inhouse brand SC-550 and SC-Custom II models, with a set of quality active EMG pickups on board. The Retro Active Fat 55 covered PAF-style Alnico-5 humbucker models are fitted on the SC-550 Plus models, while the SC-Custom Plus gets a set of Retro Active Hot 70 models instead. The latter gives you a ceramic magnet in the bridge position and an Alnico one in the neck position.
Harley Benton SC-550 Plus EMG and SC-Custom Plus EMG
Both guitars have Okoume bodies with maple caps and Nyatoh necks, combined with a roasted jatoba fretboard with 22 medium jumbo frets; only the Floyd Rose version of the SC-Custom Plu EMGs has 24. The SC-550 Plus also has a flame AAA Maple veneer and both models have a 1960 C profile neck, which should be comfy and a bit slimmer, which many players prefer.
The SC-550 Plus EMG has the traditional control layout of two Volume and two Tone controls, whereas the SC-Custom Plus EMG models have two Volumes and a single Tone for a more streamlined layout. Both models have the standard three-way toggle switch.
Locking Tuners & Floyd Rose
The included hardware includes a graphite nut, a WSC Tune-O-Matic bridge and WSC Schaller-style locking tuners on the SC-550 Plus. Whilst the SC-Custom Plus models are available with either a WSC Tune-O-Matic bridge or Floyd Rose 1000 locking trem system on the 24 fret model, all versions include the WSC Schaller-style locking tuners.
Things like graphite nuts and locking tuners show good attention to detail in the hardware choices. And at these price points, those details make these new EMG-loaded models compelling. If you are in the market for a high quality single-cut on a budget, you have to check these new models out.
The SC-550 Plus is available in Faded Tobacco Flame Gloss or Paradise Amber finishes, whereas the SC-Custom Plus comes in either Ocean Flame, Trans Brown Flame, Gloss White, Vintage Black or Matte Black.
Note: Since this post was published, Harley Benton has been in touch to say that the body and neck material are okoume and nyatoh respectively, not mahogany as stated in its press release. We’ve updated the specs in this post accordingly.
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