The new EX-76 is Harley Benton’s take on the classic Explorer-style instrument and offers a lot of guitar for the money. Essentially, a more vintage style version of their recent EX-84 Modern and aimed at players looking for something less metal.
The new Harley Benton EX-76 model comes in a couple of nice variations, both of which have a distinct ’50s style and vibe. With a mahogany neck and body, the guitar is basically the company’s nod to the Gibson Explorer, but with enough differences to know that it isn’t one.
Apart from the looks, what you want in a guitar like this is a good set of humbucking pickups. These models come loaded with a pair of Alnico-5 LAF humbuckers that, according to Harley Benton, should be able to deliver a nice “punchy” sound. The pickups are then wired via two volume controls and a single tone knob, with a three-way selector switch on the bottom horn.
Harley Benton EX-76
Hardware includes a WSC Tune-o-matic bridge and a set of Grover locking tuners. The slim taper C profile neck has a Graphtech Tusq XL nut installed, which should aid in tuning stability. This should give the instrument a pretty recognisable feel in terms of playability. The neck comes with 22 jumbo frets, which should play a little nicer for modern players. I like vintage frets, but if you’re used to more modern fret sizes then jumbo frets feel more familiar, plus you can bend a lot easier with them as well.
One little thing I really like is the recessed output jack on the side off the guitar. It is a Strat-style plug that lets your guitar cable fit neatly through your strap when using it. A nice little touch.
I would aim a guitar like this towards gigging musicians. Those that want the tone and looks, but don’t want to drag an expensive guitar around to pubs and clubs. It could also be a great bet for beginners looking for a decent quality instrument that won’t break the bank. I reckon, for the price, they offer a lot of great rock tones and could be a great buy for musicians on a budget. Check out the video below to hear them in action.