Harley Benton R-457BK FanFret Overview and Best Prices

Harley Benton R-457BK FanFret Review
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  • 1 Prices - New from €189 >
  • From Harley Benton's 2018 Progressive series
  • Made in China
  • 7 strings
  • 27" to 25.5"'' scale
  • 13.78" Fretboard Radius
  • Basswood body
  • Maple neck
  • Blackwood fretboard
  • Bridge pickup: Hi-Gain Humbucker (Humbucker/Passive)
  • Neck pickup: Hi-Gain Humbucker (Humbucker/Passive)
  • 1 volume and 1 tone Dome knobs
  • 3-way Switch
  • HB bridge
  • Harley Benton Speed D Bolt-On neck
  • 24 Medium Jumbo frets
  • Deluxe diecast machine heads tuners
  • See all specs and compare >

Our Scores and Tone Evaluation

Playability 75
Sound 65
Build quality 54
Value for money 75
Overall Score 65
Tone Evaluation
  • Heavy Metal
  • Hard Rock
  • Jazz
  • Blues
  • Funk
  • Country
Strengths & Weaknesses
Harley Benton R-457BK FanFret
  • NuBone Nut
  • Cheap Fret Wire (NS)
  • No Locking Tuners
  • Made in China
  • No Expensive Woods
  • No Top Brand Pickups
  • No Neck-Through Build
  • No Push Knob or Extra Switch Option
  • No Weight Relief
  • No Luminescent Inlay
  • No Tremolo
  • No Compound Radius Fretboard
  • No 21:1 Tuner Ratio
  • No Strap Lock

Price Overview

Its average competitor's price is $220, which means that the Harley Benton R-457BK FanFret is within the average price asked for this kind of guitar. This takes into account all instruments of the same category in our database with 7 strings and Fixed bridge that are made in China.

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User Feedback

Not all instruments are created equally. That's why it's important to have different opinions. Here's what our users who have played this instrument say. If you've played it before, help others by voting below!

Weight

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Fret edges

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Playability

The Harley Benton R-457BK FanFret meets 4 out of our 8 criteria items for beginner friendliness, which means that it's not bad for beginners, but it could be better. This takes into account the type of frets, scale length, nut width, bridge type, fretboard radius, and neck profile to determine the easiest combination for new players to get used to.

New Player Friendliness

Harley Benton R-457BK FanFret
  • Comfortable shape
  • Easy-to-use bridge
  • Tall frets
  • Comfortable neck
  • Comfortable fretboard
  • Narrow nut
  • Short scale
  • Locking tuners

Hand Size Comfortability

After taking into account the neck profile, scale size, fretboard radius, and nut width, we can conclude that the Harley Benton R-457BK FanFret's construction is balanced for most hand sizes.

Nevertheless, this comes down in the end to personal preference. Make sure you test this guitar—or another one with similar characteristics—before buying.

Big Hands
Small Hands

Scale Length

Scale length is the distance the strings will span between the bridge and the nut. It can tell you a lot about the overall playability and tone of the instrument. A longer scale length means longer distance between frets, brighter tone and more string tension—which means lower action, but more difficult bending of the strings.

Here's the Harley Benton R-457BK FanFret's 27" to 25.5" scale length compared to other common sizes:

Harley Benton R-457BK FanFret Scale Length Comparison
Harley Benton R-457BK FanFret's scale length (at the top) compared to other popular sizes

The Harley Benton R-457BK FanFret features a multi-scale fingerboard, which means that it incorporates two scale lengths at the same time. This is present in some 7+ strings guitars to give a different tension to the lower strings and the higher strings. The thickest strings need more tension to avoid fret buzz (especially when tuned low), so the scale is longer for these strings, while the thinnest strings will need less tension (because they have a lower gauge), so they have a shorter scale to reduce stiffness for bends.

It can feel awkward if you've never played a multi-scale because the frets will have more separation for the higher strings, but a lot of people love their versatility.

More with the same scale length:

Neck Profile

Harley Benton R-457BK FanFret Neck Profile
Harley Benton R-457BK FanFret's neck profile

The neck profile tells you the thickness (neck depth) and shape in cross section. Every difference will completely change the feeling and comfortability of the neck. This is a highly subjective thing, but most players indeed prefer certain types of necks (like Cs and Ds) because they feel nice in most hands.

It has a D type neck. It's similar to a C shape, and it's one of the most common shapes right now. It's a bit flatter and thinner, even though sometimes it has a bit more shoulders. It's a fast type of neck that is comfortable, and shredders love it.

More for different hand sizes

Fretboard Radius

When it comes to fingerboard radius, personal preference will dictate which one is better for you. However, most people seem to agree that a more curved (lower) radius will make it easier to play chords while a less curved (higher) radius is better for soloing and bending.

The Harley Benton R-457BK FanFret has a 13.78" fingerboard radius.

Here's an image comparing this fretboard radius to other popular choices:

Harley Benton R-457BK FanFret Fretboard Radius Comparison with Fender Stratocaster and Gibson Les Paul
Harley Benton R-457BK FanFret's fretboard radius compared to others

This makes it more similar to Gibson guitars (12'') than Fender (9.5''). It's slightly flatter than most modern Gibson fretboards though, which makes it more comfortable for single notes, bendings and vibratos, but less comfortable for chords.

Compound radius fingerboards give the best of both worlds. Unfortunately, the Harley Benton R-457BK FanFret has the same radius across the board.

More with the same fretboard radius:

Playability compared to main competitors

Multiscale Scale Length
D Neck Profile
1.89'' Nut Width
13.78'' Fretboard Radius
Multiscale Scale Length
D Neck Profile
1.89'' Nut Width
13.78'' Fretboard Radius
Multiscale Scale Length
D Neck Profile
1.89'' Nut Width
13.78'' Fretboard Radius
26.5'' Scale Length
D Neck Profile
1.875'' Nut Width
Compound Fretboard Radius
26.5'' Scale Length
D Neck Profile
1.875'' Nut Width
Compound Fretboard Radius

Nut Width

Harley Benton R-457BK FanFret Nut Width
Harley Benton R-457BK FanFret Nut Width

The Harley Benton R-457BK FanFret has a nut width of 48mm (1.89''). This is considered a wide width for a 7-string guitar. It gives your fingers the extra space you need to play without muting accidentally, but this also makes bar chords harder to perform, especially if you have small hands.

Frets

The Harley Benton R-457BK FanFret has 24 frets. A lot of people mistakenly believe that having more frets will always be better because it gives you a higher octave. This is certainly an advantage, but there's also a disadvantage to this.

Since the fretboard will be longer, the neck pickup will need to be placed closer to the bridge. And as you may know, the further away the neck pickup is from the bridge, the warmer it sounds. This means you'll have a brighter-sounding neck pickup when using a 24-fret guitar, even if you use the same pickup on a 22-fret guitar.

It comes with nickel silver frets, so they won't last as long as stainless steel frets. If you use your instrument a lot, you might need to replace the frets after a few years. But this is unlikely as most people change instruments before this happens.

More with the same amount of frets:

Fret Size

Harley Benton R-457BK FanFret Fret Size Comparison
Harley Benton R-457BK FanFret's fret size (in orange) compared to other popular sizes

Finally, let's talk about fret size. Some people prefer tall frets because it's easier to press the strings and perform bends since there's less friction against the fretboard. On the other hand, some people like shorter frets because they like to touch the fretboard when playing, or because they got heavy hands and tend to press too much on the string and alter the of the note pitch accidently.

The Harley Benton R-457BK FanFret's frets are Medium Jumbo size. These sit somewhere between a Jumbo and a Medium fret. They're not quite as tall as a full Jumbo, so you'll still feel the fretboard, but you won't feel it as much as with medium frets. This is a good size if you want to make it easy to press the strings but would also like a little bit of ''feedback'' to know when to stop pressing so the notes don't go out of pitch.

More with the same type of frets:

Playability Score

Bending & Vibrato Ease 80
Chord Playability 65
Solo Playability 80
Playability 75

Tone

Wood will have little influence in the final tone of an electric guitar or bass. Instead, the hardware, especially the pickups, will be the most important thing to look at. Bur first, let's see the quality of the wood.

Wood

Basswood wood pattern used for guitar building
Basswood Body
Maple wood pattern used for guitar building
Maple Neck
Blackwood wood pattern used for guitar building
Blackwood Fretboard

Basswood Body: This is a soft type of wood that is very light and easy to work with. It's cheaper than many other kinds of wood used for guitar building, but it doesn't mean it's low quality. In terms of sound, it accentuates the mid-range, which matches the frequencies that a Humbucker produces.

Maple Neck: This is one of the most popular types of wood used in all kinds of guitars. It's heavy, strong and compact, which makes it great for necks. However, it's also used for fretboards, bodies and tops due to its light color, resistance and beautiful patterns. When it comes to tone, it highlights the mid and high frequencies.

Blackwood Fretboard: It's even harder and denser than Ebony, and it looks similar to Mahogany but with a darker color. As a tonewood, it's also similar to Mahogany but still distinct with a lot of clarity and crisp sound.

More made with the same wood:

Pickups

Unfortunately, it doesn't come with pickups from one of the top brands. This doesn't mean you will get bad pickups, but you might want to consider a pickup upgrade after some time.

These are passive pickups, so you can expect a rounder sound and a moderade level of output.

The Harley Benton R-457BK FanFret's configuration is HH. With this pickup combination, you'll get warmer tones and more output than using single coils. Humbucker pickups cancel the noise that single-coil suffer from, which also results in a warmer tone. This pickup combination isn't only for high-gain music like Hard Rock or Heavy Metal. Their warmness is also popular for Jazz, Indie, R&B, Blues and more.

More with the same pickups

24 Frets
Fixed Bridge
Hi-Gain Humbucker Bridge Pickup
Hi-Gain Humbucker Neck Pickup
24 Frets
Fixed Bridge
Hi-Gain Humbucker Bridge Pickup
Hi-Gain Humbucker Neck Pickup
24 Frets
Fixed Bridge
Hi-Gain Humbucker Bridge Pickup
Hi-Gain Humbucker Neck Pickup
24 Frets
Fixed Bridge
Hi-Gain Humbucker Bridge Pickup
Hi-Gain Humbucker Neck Pickup
24 Frets
Fixed Bridge
Hi-Gain Humbucker Bridge Pickup
Hi-Gain Humbucker Neck Pickup

Versatility

It comes with the popular 3-way switch that is present in most guitars. For more versatility, players tend to prefer a 5-way switch, although it all depends on what you want to use your guitar for.

Unfortunately, it doesn't come with more options for coil split or coil tapping. This makes it less versatile than some competitors.

Diagram

Harley Benton R-457BK FanFret pickups switch and push knobs diagram
Harley Benton R-457BK FanFret's switch options

What music genre is it good for?

As a 7 strings, Solid Body guitar with HH configuration and Passive pickups, we'd recommend it for genres like Heavy Metal or similar. However, you can use almost any guitar for any genre. This is just the typical type of music for this particular one.

Sound Score

Pickups 55
Sustain 75
Versatility 59
Tuning Stability 70
Sound 65

Build Quality

Country of Origin

Knowing where the instrument is produced is a good way to know how well it's built. Some manufacturing countries are known for having higher quality standards. For example, most expensive instruments are made in the US or Japan, but there are some exceptionally great countries—like South Korea—that are building a good reputation.

The Harley Benton R-457BK FanFret is made in China. So you can expect lower build quality when compared to others made in Korea, Japan or the United States. Guitars made in this country are meant for mass production, which translates into less attention to detail and quality control. This doesn't mean the product is made poorly at all. Chinese products have a bad reputation since long ago, but they've definitely improved a lot the last few years.

Still, remember that we're taking about Harley Benton here, which is a brand with good renown. They know how to use cheap labor in this country without sacrificing too much quality. So you shouldn't end up receiving a useless or ugly instrument.

Bridge

HB: The advantage of fixed bridges is that they don't require any kind of set-up. This makes it extremely easy when changing strings because you don't need to adjust anything besides tuning the guitar. Also, the fact that the bridge is directly attached to the body will help to increase sustain. The disadvantage is the lack of versatility since you can't create the same vibrato effects as with tremolo bridges.

More with the same type of bridge:

Nut Material

Another important thing to analyze is the nut material, as it's one of the most important aspects that can affect the sound and playability of your guitar. A well-cut nut will make sure it stays in tune and will make it more comfortable to play.

In this case, the Harley Benton R-457BK FanFret has a NuBone nut. It's a synthetic nut from the same creators of Ivory TUSQ. It's a hard and self-lubricating material that helps a lot with tuning stability. It produces a brighter tone similar to TUSQ, but it's not as hard.

More with the same nut material:

Neck Joint

The neck joint is the part where the neck of the guitar meets the body. There are three main techniques to attach both parts together: Set-In, Bolt-On and Neck-Through. The latter two provide different advantages, although neck-throughs are the most expensive.

This guitar has a Bolt-On neck joint. Even though this type of neck was looked down upon for a long time, nowadays bolt-on necks are well built and provide just as much sustain as any other join method. First of all, it's cheap to make because it consists of simply 4 bolts that attach the neck to the body. And you can travel with the guitar more easily, swap out the neck if you damage it, or upgrade to a more comfortable neck later on.

More with the same build:

Build Quality Score

Quality of materials 51
Features 55
Quality Control 55
Build Quality 54

All Specs

Harley Benton R-457BK FanFret
General
Brand: Harley Benton
Year: 2018
Configuration: HH
Strings: 7
Made in: China
Series: Progressive
Colors: Black
Left-Handed Version: No
Body
Type: Solid Body
Body Material: Basswood
Bridge: HB
Neck
Neck Joint: Bolt-On
Tuners: Deluxe diecast machine heads
Fretboard: Blackwood
Neck Material: Maple
Decoration: Offset dot fretboard inlays
Scale Size: 27" to 25.5"
Shape: Harley Benton Speed D
Frets: 24 Medium Jumbo
Fretboard Radius: 13.78"
Nut: NuBone
Nut Width: 48mm (1.89'')
Electronics
Switch: 3 Way
Knobs: Dome
Volume Controls: 1
Tone Controls: 1
Bridge Pickup: Hi-Gain Humbucker (Humbucker / Passive)
Neck Pickup: Hi-Gain Humbucker (Humbucker / Passive)