The Fusion line is all about high-performance and a contemporary vibe, and comprises S and T-style electrics with a variety of pickup and hardware options, with players offered the choice of chrome WSC Hipshot-style hardtail bridges or Wilkinson WV550IIK two-point vibratos. And now, there are even more colours to choose from.
Perhaps the biggest news from the new drop is the return of the Fusion-T HH. As the name suggests, the Fusion-T draws inspiration from the Fender Telecaster but augments the body with chamfering across the upper bout and a sculpted lower cutaway to enhance upper-fret access.
Harley Benton is offering this is Satin Black, Satin White and Flame Blue Burst, all equipped with a Wilkinson trem, while a hard-tail model is also available in that lovely aquamarine Flame Blue Burst.
The Fusion line is one of those occasions when the doyen of cheap electric guitars’ really shows off, liberally splashing high-end spec around while keeping the price of these instruments comfortably below the magic £500 mark.
And we mean comfortably – this Fusion-T HH model with the vibrato will set you back £393 from Harley Benton’s owner/dealer Thomann.
These models have nyatoh bodies, bolt-on roasted Canadian maple necks – the roasting process turning that maple into a deep shade of caramel. With the focus on performance and speed, the neck has been whittled into a Modern-C profile.
The Fusion-T has 22 medium jumbo Blacksmith stainless steel frets seated on a 12” radius caramelised maple fingerboard, and a 25.5” scale. Other quality appointments include Jinho staggered locking die-cast tuners, a Graph Tech Tusq XL nut, and there are pair of Roswell HAF-B Alnico 5 humbuckers at the neck and bridge position.
Every bit of tone is wrung out of this pairing via a control circuit that comprises volume and tone and a three-way pickup selector switch, push-pull coil-splitting on-tap via the tone pot. Impressive.
The Fusion-III models perform similar tricks. Those, too, arrive with nyatoh bodies, contoured in all the right places to aid ergonomics, bolt-on roasted Canadian maple necks and matching 12” radius fingerboards. Once more, stainless steel frets at this price? Incredible. And here you have 24 of ‘em.
Harley Benton is offering these in a couple of configurations. There is the HH HT model, which is a dual-humbucker setup with a hard-tail bridge. It has a Roswell LAF-B4 Alnico-5 humbucker at the bridge and a matching Roswell LAF-N4 ‘bucker at the neck. This has a similar control setup to the Fusion-T models above and arrives in Flame Bengal Burst, which looks the bee’s knees.
The HSS model has a Roswell LAF-B4 Alnico-5 humbucker at the bridge, with a pair of Roswell S74-M Alnico-5 single-coils in the middle and neck positions. These are controlled via volume and tone pots, with a five-way pickup selector switch offering plenty of different tone options.
As with the Fusion-T, the vibrato comes from Wilkinson, and there are locking tuners to keep things solid. The new Fusion-III HSS finish options comprise Flame Natural and Matt Army Drab.
Another feature of the Fusion series which is to be celebrated is the truss rod adjustment wheel conveniently positioned at the summit of the fingerboard. Very handy.
The Fusion-T HH models are priced £393. The Fusion-III in Matt Army Drab is priced £348, while the Flame Natural model retails at £393.