Harley Benton teams up with YouTube shred phenom Mark Carlisle for Guitar MAX Fusion Signature guitar

Harley Benton has unveiled a super-shreddable signature guitar for YouTuber Max Carlisle, the man behind the Guitar MAX channel, and he describes it is “the guitar of his dreams”.

The budget brand might have made its bones with cheap electric guitars and a range of gear that defies fiscal reality with what it offers players for the money, but every now and again the brand digs out the good stuff. The Guitar MAX Fusion Signature is one such occasion. As Harley Benton guitars go, they do not get much more upscale than this. 

Just look at it. Finished in an Emerald Green stain, this high-performance S-style’s top is a veneer that is described as “ultra-flame” maple, and it really is that – three dimensional, luxurious, ultra, and only just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the spec.

This decadent veneer sits atop a solid nyatoh body, contoured for your ergonomic satisfaction, bound in wood for your aesthetic gratification. Harley Benton has also – surely – blown the tonewood budget on a roasted figured maple neck and 12” radius fingerboard, giving this a whiff of the Ernie Ball Music Man or Suhr. 

The reverse headstock gives it that N4 Nuno Bettencourt vibe, and with those gold tuners, it looks exquisite. As does the gold hardware against the Emerald Green stain. Very nice.

And what about that hardware? A Floyd Rose 1000 Series double-locking vibrato is not to be sniffed at on a guitar retailing at £442, presenting a stable platform for divebombs, flutters and all kinds of whammy-bar self-expression.

Tone-wise, the Guitar MAX Fusion Signature should prove versatile enough, with a Tesla Plasma-X1 humbucker at the bridge position and a Plasma-RS2 single-coil at the neck.

There are controls for volume and tone, a three-way blade-style pickup selector, and a mini-toggle switch to activate a coil-split, giving you some Stratocaster-esque cut at the bridge.

The Harley Benton Guitar MAX Fusion Signature is the new signature model for guitar YouTuber Mark Carlisle

(Image credit: Harley Benton)

The feel should be similarly luxurious, with Carlisle convincing Harley Benton to splash out on 24 medium-jumbo stainless steel frets, and that neck is carved into a Modern C profile which, by anyone’s translation, means “Slim C” and thus speed. Speed, performance, versatility and a 25.5” scale length – yup, that’s a Superstrat for you.

The Guitar MAX Fusion Signature is available now via Thomann and is priced £442. Head over to Harley Benton for more details.

Jonathan Horsley

Jonathan Horsley has been writing about guitars and guitar culture since 2005, playing them since 1990, and regularly contributes to MusicRadar, Total Guitar and Guitar World. He uses Jazz III nylon picks, 10s during the week, 9s at the weekend, and shamefully still struggles with rhythm figure one of Van Halen’s Panama.