Harley Benton expands sub-$220 guitar range with stealthy JA-Baritone and classic TE-69 Thinline models

Harley Benton JA-Baritone and Harley Benton TE-69TL
(Image credit: Harley Benton)

Champion of affordable guitar gear Harley Benton has hit yet another home run with the unveiling of two all-new electric guitars: the vintage TE-69L Tele-style model and none-more-black JA-Baritone.

It's the latter guitar that is going to be particularly appealing, as it looks to be Benton's own take on the discontinued Squier Vintage Modified Baritone Jazzmaster – a cult classic popularized by UK metal outfit Loathe that became one of the most valuable Squier guitars of all time.

Both are worthy additions to the company’s range of sub-$500 electric guitars, with each costing less than $220. In fact, at the time of writing, the JA-Baritone is the cheapest Harley Benton baritone that money can buy, according to stockist Thomann.

Specifically, the semi-hollow TE-69TL weighs in at $215, with a host of impressive specs to boot – including a caramelized Canadian maple neck and ash body – while the stealthy long-scale JA-Baritone carries a price tag of $196.

Read on for a deep-dive into Harley Benton’s latest instruments.

Harley Benton JA-Baritone

Currently the cheapest Harley Benton baritone on Thomann – its closest competitor is the $241 Baritone-7 SBK – the JA-Baritone couldn’t get more stealthy if it tried. The gloss black finish is strapped to a poplar body, which is complemented by a dark purple heart fingerboard, black pickguard and black hardware.

Elsewhere, the 30”-scale six-string sports a bolt-on Canadian flame hard maple neck, 21 medium jumbo frets, ornate block inlays and an oddly specific 12.008” radius, as well as a WSC Hipshot-style hardtail bridge and vintage style tuners.

Capping things off are two P-90 pickups, which can be honed using the three-way switch and master volume and tone parameters, and a gnarly offset body shape.

Harley Benton TE-69TL

Joining the above is the TE-69TL, a far more vintage-inspired offering that combines a semi-hollow ash body, bolt-on caramelized Canadian maple neck and 22-fret maple fingerboard into what is arguably Harley Benton’s best-looking TE model to date.

The spec sheet also has room for a hardtail bridge and die-cast tuners, with the electronic department featuring two Roswell Alnico single-coils, a three-way selector switch and master volume and tone control knobs.

Due to its thinline construction, the TE-60TL seeks to supply a “silky, responsive” playability, with its natural ash finish and light wood aesthetics aiming to pair such sounds with a suitably old-school vibe.

To find out more about each guitar, head over to Harley Benton.

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Matt Owen

Matt is a Staff Writer, writing for Guitar World, Guitarist and Total Guitar. He has a Masters in the guitar, a degree in history, and has spent the last 16 years playing everything from blues and jazz to indie and pop. When he’s not combining his passion for writing and music during his day job, Matt records for a number of UK-based bands and songwriters as a session musician.