Lloyd Robert Borrett

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Musical Instruments

Stratocaster | Les Paul | Telecaster | Dreadnought
Amps | Effects | Accessories | Maintenance | Music | Notes


I purchased a new acoustic guitar as a teenager for $40 while attending a physics camp at Adelaide University in late 1972. It played and sounded great after a bit of fettling.

I've always longed for a Fender Stratocaster electric guitar, and a Martin/Maton Dreadnought style acoustic guitar. But that sort of money would simply be wasted given my playing abilities.

Fortunately, with advances in technology and production techniques, very good copies of major brands and models can be purchased quite inexpensively. Some are considered so good they're used by professional musicians. So more than 45+ years since I've last owned a guitar, in September 2021, I ordered a Fender Stratocaster style guitar, a Martin Dreadnought M-28 style acoustic guitar with cutaway, a small 20W amplifier, plus a heap of guitar accessories.

Hopefully I'll be able to get back to where I was, with plenty of practice. With the houses on either side being holiday homes, at least no-one will get to overhear the racket I'll make.

Update: In late September 2021, I ordered a Gibson Les Paul style guitar which should be here in time for Christmas 2021. In early October 2021, I ordered a Fender Telecaster style guitar to use as the base for a "project" guitar.

Electric Guitar (Fender Stratocaster style)

Harley Benton ST-62CC MN Dakota Red
S/N: (21) 74370ZCD7107
purchased from Thomann in September 2021.

This versatile guitar is inspired by a legendary Fender Stratocaster 1962 design that's shaped modern music since the 60s. The ST-62 has all the vintage vibe of the Fender Stratocaster design, with a vibrant custom Dakota Red finish. It has a maple neck and fretboard with three Roswell STA Alnico Single Coils bring out the ringing, articulate sound of this classic guitar. Quality chrome-finished hardware is used throughout, along with the 5-way switch wired via a volume and two tone pots.

Harley Benton ST-62CC MN Dakota Red
Harley Benton ST-62CC MN Dakota Red specifications:
Body Basswood
Bolt-on neck Maple
Fretboard Maple with Dot inlays
Neck profile C
Fretboard radius 350 mm (13.78 in)
Scale length 648 mm (25.50 in)
Nut width 42 mm (1.65 in)
Frets 22
Pickups 3 Roswell STA Alnico 5 single coils
Controls 1 x Volume and 2 x Tone
Switch 5-Way
Pickguard Single-ply white
Tremolo Synchronised
Machine heads Kluson style
Strings .009 - .042
Colour 60s Custom Dakota Red

Electric Guitar Accessories (Strat style)

Electric Guitar Modifications (Strat style)

Electric Guitar (Gibson Les Paul style)

Harley Benton SC-550 II Desert Flame Burst
S/N: 21 720940BCH00002 (WI21042023)
purchased from Thomann in September 2021.

This versatile guitar is inspired by a legendary Gibson Les Paul design. The Harley Benton SC-550 II is an amazingly versatile guitar that feels at home in almost any genre — from hot, gutsy rock and blues tones to mellow, delicate jazz textures. It's packed with features that build on a classic shape introduced in the 1950s, updated to make the SC-550 II superbly playable for players in the 2020s.

This deluxe series electric guitar has a mahogany body (swietenia meliaceae) that is weight relief chambered, with an arched and flamed AAA-maple top with its beautiful Desert Flame Burst finish, plus a C-profile mahogany neck (swietenia macrophylla king), and pau ferro fingerboard.

It also has a 60's neck profile, 305 mm (12-inch) fingerboard radius, with a 1st fret thickness of 20 mm, and 12th fret thickness of 22 mm. The fretboard features pearloid trapezoid inlays, 22 Blacksmith stainless steel frets, with a 628 mm (24.72-inch) scale, 42 mm (1.5-inch) nut width, and graphite nut.

The two fantastic sounding Tesla Opus-1 Alnico-5 humbucker pickups have loads of sweet humbucker tones on tap, with a rounded low end, a silky-smooth mid-range and crisp highs. The guitar has two volume controls, two tone controls, and a three-way switch. It features DLX chrome hardware, DLX tune-o-matic bridge, DLX Kluson style tuners, and D'Addario EXL-110 10-46 strings. The finish is gloss desert flame burst.

Harley Benton SC-550 II DFB
Harley Benton SC-550 II DFB specifications:
Body Mahogany (Swietenia Meliaceae)
Top Maple, arched and flamed
Neck Mahogany (Swietenia Macrophylla King)
Fretboard Pao Ferro with Pearloid Trapezoid Inlays
Fretboard radius 305 mm (12-inch)
1st Fret Thickness 20 mm
12th Fret Thickness 22 mm
Scale length 628 mm (24.72-inch)
Nut width 42 mm (1.65-inch)
Frets 22 Blacksmith Stainless Steel
Pickups 2 Tesla Opus-1 Alnico-5 Humbucker
Controls 2 x Volume and 2 x Tone
Switch 3-Way
Tuners DLX Kluson style
Bridge DLX Tune-O-Matic style
Hardware DLX chrome
Strings D'Addario EXL-110 10-46
Colour Desert Flame Burst

Electric Guitar Accessories (Les Paul style)

Electric Guitar Modifications (Les Paul style)

Electric Guitar (Fender Telecaster style)

Harley Benton TE-52 NA Vintage Series
S/N: (21) 74370BCC2415
purchased from Thomann in October 2021.

The Harley Benton TE-52 NA is a Vintage series guitar inspired by the 1952 Fender Telecaster design. The basis of this guitar's vintage tone is the natural wood look of the American ash body which features an attractive grain and a high-gloss clear finish, presented with a black pickguard. The neck is made of high-quality Canadian maple, with a matt finish for increased playing comfort, and a refined-looking roseacer skunk stripe. The neck also features a glued-on maple fretboard and is particularly robust and resistant to warping thanks to the roasted maple material.

The design of the bridge allows both string-through-body and toploader stringing methods to be used. Two string trees ensure that the top strings do not come unseated from the nut, even when struck hard.

Circuitry is very clean and simple: Volume control, tone control, and selector switch. The three-way switch allows the player to flip easily between the neck and bridge pickups, with the "humbucking" middle position suppressing interference.

Harley Benton TE-52 NA Vintage
Original Harley Benton TE-52 NA Vintage
Harley Benton TE-52 NA Vintage specifications:
Body American ash
Bolt On Neck Canadian maple with roseacer skunk stripe
Neck Profile C
Fretboard Maple with Dot inlays
Fretboard radius 350 mm (13.8-inch)
Scale length 648 mm (25.5-inch)
Nut width 42 mm (1.65-inch)
Frets 21
Pickups 2 Roswell TEA Alnico-5 TE-style single coils
Controls 1 x Volume and 1 x Tone
Switch 3-Way
Tuners Kluson-Style machine heads
Hardware Deluxe Chrome
Colour Natural (clear) High Gloss

Electric Guitar Accessories (Tele style)

Electric Guitar Modifications (Tele style)

This is a "project" guitar where I've decided to "upgrade" most of the components. The changes are intended to improve the functionality of the guitar while staying true to the vintage Telecaster tone. However, I've also selected components to fit in with a sleek "Black-T" theme. (Pictures to come when completed.)

Acoustic Guitar (Dreadnought style)

Harley Benton Custom Line CLD-28SCE Walnut
S/N: 21CCSBK1694, Date: 210514
purchased from Thomann in September 2021.

The advantages of the dreadnought shape — a rich sound with deep lows and sparkling highs — with refined details. The rich tints of the walnut body are complemented by refined white binding around the edge of the guitar. A cutaway provides free access to the upper frets while the Fishman Presys-II preamp feeds the detailed, dynamic sound of this dreadnought directly to the PA or amp. The built-in tuner helps me stay in tune.

Harley Benton CLD-28SCE Walnut

Harley Benton Custom Line CLD-28SCE Walnut Specifications

  • Dreadnought design with cutaway
  • Dovetail construction
  • Solid sitka spruce top
  • Scalloped X-bracing
  • Walnut body
  • Gaboon mahagony neck
  • Pau Ferro fretboard
  • Modified oval C neck profile
  • White body binding
  • Mother-of-pearl dot inlays
  • Scale: 643 mm
  • Nut width: 43 mm
  • 20 Frets
  • Bone nut
  • Compensated bone saddle
  • Pau Ferro bridge
  • Chrome-plated diecast DLX machine heads
  • Fishman Presys-II preamp system with integrated chromatic tuner
  • Strings: D'Addario XTAPB1253 Light, .012 - .053
  • Colour: Natural matte

Acoustic Guitar Accessories

Guitar Amplifiers

Harley Benton HB-20R Guitar Combo
S/N: (21) 72527BBI02009
purchased from Thomann in September 2021.

A full-blown guitar combo amplifier rated at 20 Watts, this amp features two switchable channels and an 8-inch speaker. Thanks to the effective 3-band EQ, the sounds of the HB-20R can be tweaked in any direction. There are separate volume controls for the clean and distortion channels. The gain control lets me dial in the distortion as needed. It also has an integrated reverb effect and connections for headphones and an MP3/CD player.

Harley Benton HB-20R Guitar Combo

Harley Benton HB-20R Guitar Combo Specifications

  • Power: 20 Watt
  • Equipped with: 8-inch Custom voiced speaker
  • TEC tube emulating circuit
  • Switch for channel selection (overdrive / boost channel)
  • Gain control
  • Volume controls for overdrive and clean channel
  • 3-Band EQ with controls for bass, mids and treble
  • Reverb control (spring type)
  • Headphone output
  • AUX input
  • Dimensions (H x W x D): 340 x 380 x 175 mm
  • Weight: 7 kg

Note: Needs a European to Australian plug adapter.

Positive Grid Spark Pearl Amp purchased from Positive Grid in September 2021.

The Positive Grid Spark Pearl Amp is a modelling amplifier with access to 10,000+ Amp-and-FX presets on ToneCloud. This full guitar amp modeling and multi-effects engine is powered by Positive Grid's state-of BIAS with realist virtual tube amps and effects. It uses intelligent design to learn the guitarist's unique style, then generates authentic accompanying bass and drums. It can import music from Spotify, Apple Music or YouTube and auto display the guitar chords in real time. With custom-designed speakers, a tuned bass-reflex port and Bluetooth connectivity, the Spark Pearl easily doubles as a stylish option for music streaming.

Positive Grid Spark Pearl Amp

Positive Grid Spark Pearl Amp Specifications

  • Audio Specifications
    • Frequency Range: 20-20,000 Hz
    • Stereo/Mono: Stereo
    • Maximum Sound Pressure Level: 116 dB SPL @1m
    • Cabinet Principle: Bass-reflex
    • Power Amplifiers: 40 Watt Class D Amplifier
    • Speakers: Two - 4-inch Custom Designed Speakers
    • Total Impedance: 4 ohms
  • Power
    • Mains Input Voltage: 100 - 240 V
    • Mains Frequency: 50/60 Hz
  • Controls And Connectivity
    • Top Panel Controls
      • Amp Type
      • Gain, Bass, Mid, Treble, Master, Mod, Delay, Reverb
      • Output Volume
      • Music Volume
      • Four Programmable Preset Buttons
      • Tap/Tuner Button
    • Onboard Effects
      • 33 Amp Models
      • 43 Effects
      • (Noise Gate, Compressor, Distortion, Modulation/EQ, Delay, Reverb)
    • Wired Connectivity
      • 1/4-inch Guitar Input
      • 1/8-inch Aux Input
      • 1/8-inch Headphone
    • Wireless Connectivity
      • Bluetooth Audio
    • USB Audio
      • USB Interface for Recording
      • 1 In x 2 Out
  • Included In The Box
    • Spark Pearl Amplifier
    • Power Adaptor
    • USB Cable
    • Quick Start Guide
    • Free Studio One Prime
  • Physical Unit
    • Dimensions: 350 x 180 x 190 mm (13.78 x 7.08 x 7.48 in)
    • Weight: 5.2 kg (11.46 lb)
    • Covering: White Tolex with Gold Piping
    • Grille Cloth: Custom Black/Brown
    • Handle: Removable Contrast Stitched Custom Strap
  • Software
    • Spark App for iOS and Android

Spark Amp & Effect List

  • Positive Grid Spark Traveler Gig Bag
    • Custom-fitted for Spark
    • Water-resistant polyester exterior, with thick protective padded interior
    • Front zipper compartment for storing power adapter and cables
    • Carry handles with removable shoulder strap

Guitar Effects

Okay, so the following is a lot of pedals. However, the Behringer pedals are really cheap, and as a friend who collects pedals said, "That combination cost you less than I paid for my first pedal!" He also said, "But they're not the same!" He's right, most are in plastic, not metal cases, but for my intended use, that is fine. As many others have said, most of these Behringer non-digital pedals sound exactly the same as the famous pedals they're based on.

Effects Pedals

Tone Start — The Ultimate Behringer Guitar Pedal Clone List


Pedal Cables

Guitar Accessories

Guitar Maintenance and Tools

Cleaning and Care

Action and Fret Work

Protective Tapes



Luthier Tools

Luthier Books

Guitar Music Books and Lessons

  • The Beatles Complete Chord Songbook
  • Creedence Clearwater Revival - Greatest Hits Piano, Vocal and Guitar Chords
  • Peter Green - Signature Licks: A Step-by-Step Breakdown of His Playing Techniques (Guitar Signature Licks)
  • Mark Knopfler Guitar Styles - Volume 1 (Guitar Recorded Versions)
  • Eric Clapton - Unplugged - Deluxe Edition (Recorded Versions Guitar)
  • James Taylor - Greatest Hits (PIANO, VOIX, GU)
  • The Best of Eagles for Guitar - Updated Edition (Easy Guitar With Notes & Tab)
  • The Best of Bob Dylan Chord Songbook
  • Neil Young Greatest Hits Easy Guitar with Notes and Tab
  • The Best of Johnny Cash (Easy Guitar)
  • The Best of Jim Croce (Easy Guitar with Notes & Tab)
  • The Best of John Denver: Easy Guitar
  • Teach Yourself To Play Guitar: A quick and Easy Introduction for Beginners (Hal Leonard)
  • Fender Guitar Course Book One (1967)

Notes to Self:

Graph Tech for Harley Benton ST-62CC MN Dakota Red Star Style Guitar

  • Ratio 6-In-Line Ratio Electric Locking Machine Heads (Chrome Classic) PRL-8731-C0*
    Ratio Tuned Machine Heads incorporate different string gauges into the tuning equation. From Low E to High E 39:1, 24:1, 20:1, 35:1, 20:1, 12:1. The balanced gear ratios to each string simplifies the tuning process. With Ratio, a half turn is a semi-tone! Every string reacts the same to any tuning adjustment. Predictable, precise tuning, on every string. Great concept, but a bit expensive.

Graph Tech for Harley Benton SC-550 II Les Paul Style Guitar



Spark Pearl Amp Mods

Other Stuff


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Last modified: Thursday, 4 November 2021


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