Harley Benton has added the Aeolus series to an ever-growing complement of electric guitars that somehow manage to offer super-classy design features and be priced well within range of students and beginners.
The Aeolus models are semi-hollow singlecuts with mahogany bodies and AAA flame maple veneers on top, and glued-in, satin-finished necks fashioned from figured roast maple.
Behind the eye-catching features there's some real substance to their build, with locking 'kidney bean' Grover tuners, stainless steel frets and roasted maple fingerboards, and a Graph Tech TUSQ nut. The tune-o-matic variant looks like a solid piece of hardware for the bridge, too.
Offered in Frost Flame and the Tobacco Burst-esque Bengal Flame, these should cover a wide range of styles. They're refined enough for jazz, with a vintage look that's ideal for blues, and a pair of classically voiced Tesla VR-2 Alnico 5 humbuckers offering a slightly scooped tone profile.
The control circuit expands your sonic options considerably. Besides the orthodox three-way pickup selector, volume and tone controls, there is a coil-split function on the tone control that'll let you access some single-coil tones that should work very nicely with the semi-hollow build.
There are lots of nice touches on the Aeolus models, not least the glow-in-the-dark side markers, and the 25" scale length feels like a nod to PRS's split-the-difference approach to appeasing dedicated Fender and Gibson players. Also, let's not forget the convenience of having a truss rod adjustment wheel mounted at the top end of the fretboard.
The Aeolus models are available now via Thomann, priced £285 – which, when you look at the pictures above and consider the spec, is deserving of a double take. But then, this is Harley Benton and we're used to this sort of thing by now.