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Harley Benton unveils the Fusion-III series with five models under £400 – is this its new flagship electric guitar?

Harley Benton
(Image credit: Harley Benton)

Harley Benton are really on a roll with new electric guitar action this summer; it just dropped the SC-550 II models that are sure to fly out of the warehouse, and now its the turn of the Fusion series and what could become the brand's new flagship guitar. Welcome to the Fusion-III series, and we were dazzled enough in our Fusion-II review to add it to our guide of the best electric guitars you can buy right now so we're excited about this one. 

Harley Benton

(Image credit: Harley Benton)

With five models in what HB are calling Run #1 (the brand says there are more models planned for 2021) there's plenty of choice already. In brief; the bodies are sapele and the necks are Canadian maple. Fretboard options are Macassar ebony and now roasted maple too with Graph Tech nuts and stainless steel frets again standard. The 22-fret Fusion-III HH EBin Black and 24-fret Roasted SSP in Silver Sparkle are exceptions with Nu-bone nuts. 

Harley Benton

(Image credit: Harley Benton)

Both those models offer three-way pickup selectors, whereas the 24-fret HSH models offer a five-way. All models feature WSC locking tuners. 

All the models in Run #1 feature the Wilkinson 2-point tremolo that many players will prefer over the Floyd Rose option that is sure to follow in later runs. 

Finish options are Black, Silver Sparkle, Flame Blue Burst, Flame Charcoal Burst and Flame Bengal Burst. Is it just us or is that Silver Sparkle especially alluring? 

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Harley Benton

Fusion-III HH Roasted SSP in Silver Sparkle (Image credit: Harley Benton )
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Harley Benton

Fusion-III HH EB BK in Black (Image credit: Harley Benton)
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Harley Benton

Fusion-III HSH Roasted FBB in Trans Flamed Bengal Burst (Image credit: Harley Benton )
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Harley Benton

Fusion-III HSH EB FBLB in Trans Flamed Blue Burst (Image credit: Harley Benton)
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Harley Benton

Fusion-III HSH Roasted FCB in Trans Flamed Charcoal Burst (Image credit: Harley Benton)

We are getting the impression this first run has a 'standard' classic feel and it's small tweaks rather than an overhaul for this third iteration – and why fix what ain't broke? The pickup options are AlNiCo-5 Roswell humbuckers and these impressed us on the Fusion II for their versatility, especially with the coil-splits you get here too. HB have now shifted that from a mini toggle switch to a push/pull on the tone control. 

This is likely to be the start of a big year for the Fusion III but there's more than enough here to get our wallets out – especially when you see the prices that start at just £306 (including VAT) / €298.

The Fusion-III Run #1 models are on sale now at Thomann: order the Harley Bention Fusion-III range here

Rob Laing

I'm the Guitars Editor for MusicRadar, handling news, reviews, features, tuition, advice for the strings side of the site and everything in between. Before that I worked on guitar magazines for 15 years, including Editor of Total Guitar.