Harley Benton supercharges sub-$500 SC-550 Plus and SC-Custom Plus models with EMG Retro Active pickups

Harley Benton SC-550 Plus and SC-Custom Plus
(Image credit: Harley Benton)

In a bid to hot-rod its SC-550 and SC-Custom electric guitars, Harley Benton has equipped both models with two variations of EMG's Retro Active humbucking pickups.

Each model remains true to its Harley Benton heritage, meaning solid okoume bodies, nyatoh necks, roasted jotaba fretboards and graphite nuts make the cut.

Other universal appointments include WSC Schaller-style locking tuners, a 24.72" scale length and 13.78" fingerboard radius.

Despite these similarities, a number of aesthetic and functional appointments set the two models apart. 

The SC-550 Plus iteration sports an additional flamed maple top, and is available in either Faded Tobacco Flame Gloss or Paradise Amber finishes.

As for the pickups, the SC-550 Plus comes equipped with EMG Retro Active Fat 55 covered PAF-style Alnico 5 bridge and neck humbuckers, which deliver a "warm, rounded low end, detailed mid range and crystal-clear treble".

The SC-Custom Plus, meanwhile, features more options are available in terms of finish, with the model available in Ocean Flame, Trans Brown Flame, Gloss White, Vintage Black and Matte Black colorways.

A Floyd Rose 1000 tremolo version is also available, which swaps out the WSC tune-o-matic bridge found on both models in favor of divebomb-friendly fixture.

No matter what bridge you opt for, the SC-Custom Plus sports EMG Retro Active Hot 70 Ceramic bridge and Alnico neck humbuckers. Aside from being capable of "earth-shaking crunch", the EMGs also deliver an explosive dynamic ideal for riffing and chords.

Both the SC-550 Plus and SC-Custom Plus are available now for $370 and $417, respectively. The Floyd Rose-equipped model costs slightly more at $518.

Head over to Harley Benton for more info.

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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.