Harley Benton SC-Custom II P90 Overview and Best Prices

Harley Benton SC-Custom II P90 Review
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  • From Harley Benton's 2020 Custom Line series
  • Made in Vietnam
  • 6 strings
  • 24.75"'' scale
  • 13.78" Fretboard Radius
  • Maple top
  • Mahogany body
  • Mahogany neck
  • Jatoba fretboard
  • Bridge pickup: P90B Alnico-5 (Single Coil/Passive)
  • 1 volume and 1 tone Dome knobs
  • 3-way Switch
  • Wsc Tune-O-Matic bridge
  • Harley Benton Modern C Set neck
  • 22 Medium Jumbo frets
  • Grover tuners
  • See all specs and compare >

Our Scores and Tone Evaluation

Playability 77
Sound 61
Build quality 53
Value for money 74
Overall Score 64
Tone Evaluation
  • Heavy Metal
  • Hard Rock
  • Jazz
  • Blues
  • Funk
  • Country
Strengths & Weaknesses
Harley Benton SC-Custom II P90
  • Expensive Wood
  • Cheap Fret Wire (NS)
  • No Locking Tuners
  • Made in Vietnam
  • No High-Quality Nut
  • 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 $260, which means that the Harley Benton SC-Custom II P90 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 6 strings and Fixed bridge that are made in Vietnam.

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!

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Videos

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Playability

The Harley Benton SC-Custom II P90 meets 5 out of our 8 criteria items for beginner friendliness, which means that it's a good guitar to start with as a complete beginner. 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 SC-Custom II P90
  • Comfortable shape
  • Easy-to-use bridge
  • Tall frets
  • Narrow nut
  • Comfortable neck
  • Comfortable fretboard
  • 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 SC-Custom II P90's construction favors people with relatively small hands.

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 SC-Custom II P90's 24.75" scale length compared to other common sizes:

Harley Benton SC-Custom II P90 Scale Length Comparison
Harley Benton SC-Custom II P90's scale length (at the top) compared to other popular sizes

This is the scale length used in most Gibson guitars. If you like the playability of a Gibson, this guitar will feel pretty similar. It's a lot shorter than the typical Stratocaster (25.5'')

As you can see from the picture above, a shorter scale length also means shorter separation between frets. If you got really small hands, you probably will feel more comfortable playing this guitar than a Fender Stratocaster.

This scale length also allows for easier bends and vibratos because the strings will have lower tension due to the shorter scale.

Finally, another thing affected by scale length is tone. A shorter scale will give less room for the harmonics, thus resulting in a warmer, more 'bassy' tone.

Still, remember that you string gauge plays an important part in all of this. A lighter gauge will make it easier to perform bends, vibratos and will also give you a brighter tone.

More with the same scale length:

Neck Profile

Harley Benton SC-Custom II P90 Neck Profile
Harley Benton SC-Custom II P90'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.

The Harley Benton SC-Custom II P90's neck thickness is approximately 0.807'' (20.5mm) at the first fret, and 0.886'' (22.5mm) at the twelfth.

These measurements were taken either from the official Harley Benton website, or, in case this information wasn't provided, by researching multiple online marketplaces and forums where owners of this model have posted their measurements.

It has a C type neck. C-shaped necks like this have been the most popular for the last years. The reason is that they feel good in most hands. It's generally a thin neck that doesn't get in your way when playing fast, but that also has enough mass to give your hands a comfortable grip for chords if they aren't too big.

Thin necks like this make it easier to move your hand across the neck and it helps when playing fast solos, especially if you like to leave your thumb free while playing high on the fretboard. However, thinner necks are also weaker and will need adjustment more often than a thicker neck.

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 SC-Custom II P90 has a 13.78" fingerboard radius.

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

Harley Benton SC-Custom II P90 Fretboard Radius Comparison with Fender Stratocaster and Gibson Les Paul
Harley Benton SC-Custom II P90'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 SC-Custom II P90 has the same radius across the board.

More with the same fretboard radius:

Playability compared to main competitors

24.75'' Scale Length
C Neck Profile
1.654'' Nut Width
13.78'' Fretboard Radius
25.5'' Scale Length
C Neck Profile
1.614'' Nut Width
13.78'' Fretboard Radius
24.75'' Scale Length
C Neck Profile
1.654'' Nut Width
13.78'' Fretboard Radius
24.75'' Scale Length
C Neck Profile
1.654'' Nut Width
13.78'' Fretboard Radius

Nut Width

Harley Benton SC-Custom II P90 Nut Width
Harley Benton SC-Custom II P90 Nut Width

The Harley Benton SC-Custom II P90 has a nut width of 42mm (1.654''). This is considered a narrow width for a 6-string guitar. This means that this guitar will have a narrower string separation at the nut, which will affect your fretting hand.

If you are a player with big hands, you might find it difficult to play chords without muting strings. However, this is good for players who have smaller hands, as it will allow them to reach each string more easily at the nut.

Frets

The Harley Benton SC-Custom II P90 has 22 frets. Even though 24 frets has become really popular, there's still a good reason to get fewer frets; the pickup at the neck position will be further away from the bridge. This makes the neck pickup achieve a warmer tone. You might want this if you're playing Jazz or similar genres.

However, if you don't care about the warmer neck pickup, more frets will always be better. It's always nice to have the option to play higher notes if you want to.

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 SC-Custom II P90 Fret Size Comparison
Harley Benton SC-Custom II P90'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 SC-Custom II P90'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 85
Chord Playability 75
Solo Playability 70
Playability 77

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

Mahogany wood pattern used for guitar building
Mahogany Body, Neck
Jatoba wood pattern used for guitar building
Jatoba Fretboard

Mahogany Body and Neck: This is the type of wood found in many top-of-the-line guitars, so that's a positive point for the build quality. This red-looking wood Mahogany is found in Africa and Central America and has great sustain and a warm tone due to its high density. The downside about this type of wood is that it's relatively heavy.

Jatoba Fretboard: It's an exceptionally hard and dense wood that emphasizes the mid-lows, giving a fuller, more round sound than, for example, Mahogany. However, it also has a lot of clarity in the top end.

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 SC-Custom II P90's configuration is P90P90. P90s are single-coil pickups (even though they look like Humbuckers), and they have a very particularly gritty sound that's used today to achieve a ''vintage'' tone. They produce a warmer tone than the typical single-coil, but they're not quite as warm as Humbuckers, and the same thing could be said about their output.

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 SC-Custom II P90 pickups switch and push knobs diagram
Harley Benton SC-Custom II P90's switch options

What music genre is it good for?

As a 6 strings, Solid Body guitar with P90P90 configuration and Passive pickups, we'd recommend it for genres like Blues 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 70
Sustain 60
Versatility 49
Tuning Stability 65
Sound 61

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 SC-Custom II P90 is made in Vietnam. Like China, it's a country with many factories that mass-produce guitars to export to the entire world. Products made in this country are cheaper, but it doesn't mean they're worse. You should get a product worthy of the price you pay.

Bridge

Wsc Tune-O-Matic: 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 SC-Custom II P90 has a Plastic nut. This is a low-quality nut that you might want to consider upgrading soon. Bone and TUSQ nuts are the best for guitars with a fixed or simple tremolo bridge.

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 Set neck joint. This type of neck joint consists of using different pieces of wood for the neck and the body of the guitar. Both pieces are then glued together. This is more expensive to make than a bolt-on neck, but it's cheaper than a neck-through guitar. Some people believe that this gives more sustain than a bolt-on neck due to both pieces having a 'better connection' than with bolts. Still, it's something difficult to prove.

However, this type of neck joint does have the disadvantage of not allowing you to easily swap the neck for another. This makes this type of neck joint less mod-friendly.

More with the same build:

Build Quality Score

Quality of materials 55
Features 50
Quality Control 55
Build Quality 53

All Specs

Harley Benton SC-Custom II P90
General
Brand: Harley Benton
Year: 2020
Configuration: P90P90
Strings: 6
Made in: Vietnam
Series: Custom Line
Colors: Black
Left-Handed Version: No
Body
Top: Maple
Type: Solid Body
Body Material: Mahogany
Bridge: Wsc Tune-O-Matic
Neck
Neck Joint: Set
Tuners: Grover
Fretboard: Jatoba
Neck Material: Mahogany
Decoration: White pearloid crown fretboard inlays
Scale Size: 24.75"
Shape: Harley Benton Modern C
Thickness: 1st Fret: 0.807'' (20.5mm) - 12th Fret: 0.886'' (22.5mm)
Frets: 22 Medium Jumbo
Fretboard Radius: 13.78"
Nut: Plastic
Nut Width: 42mm (1.654'')
Electronics
Switch: 3 Way
Knobs: Dome
Volume Controls: 1
Tone Controls: 1
Bridge Pickup: P90B Alnico-5 (Single Coil / Passive)
Neck Pickup: P90N Alnico-5 (P90 / Passive)