Harley Benton CST-24HB Tortoise Flame
- Body: Mahogany
- Top: AAA flamed maple
- Set-in 3-piece neck: Mahogany
- Fretboard: Roseacer (thermally treated maple wood)
- 24 Frets
- Scale: 635 mm
- Nut width: 42 mm
- "Morning Star" mother of pearl inlays
- Graphite nut
- Ivory body binding
- Pickups: 2 Wilkinson MWCHB live humbuckers
- 3-Way pickup selection switch
- Controls: Master volume, master tone (push/pull: coil split)
- DLX chrome hardware
- DLX GTB Wraparound bridge
- DLX diecast machine heads
- Strings: D'Addario EXL-110 .010 - .046 (Article Nr 104555)
- Colour: Tortoise Flame, High-gloss
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Gorgeous Guitar - An Absolute Bargain!
The reviews of the CST-24HB were generally glowing, and on screen this one does look to be a real corker ?but really how good can a guitar like this be for such a low price? .. were the reviews all just too good to be true, I asked myself??
I?ve been thinking about getting one of these for a while .. hmmm, but do I really need another guitar? (I?ve already got 12 electrics!); anyway I finally bit the bullet and ordered No. 13 as a late Xmas gift to myself.
I was a little anxious that it would not meet my, by then, quite high expectations ? much to my relief, I was not disappointed: 1st impression: WOW!; Gorgeous! What a cracking looking guitar!
On closer inspection, I was pleased to find it was cosmetically perfect with a very good set-up out of the box (though the partially corroded (but still in-tune!) strings needed replacing).
I?ve been playing for >40 years so I consider myself an experienced Guitar aficionado; Let me confirm what other have said, this is an absolute bargain & a pretty fine instrument to boot! OK, there are a few niggly issues that I discovered after playing it for a little while; but IMO nothing major & nothing that can't be sorted out during a set-up.
Price paid worked out to be ~ £170 all in. I still can't get over it. An absolute crazy price for what you get!
Some details on my guitar for your information:
General build quality / Body: Very good.
Front book-matched centre line is well positioned. Very pretty flame top with a similar general colour to the graphic shown on the Thomann website. Not perfectly book-matched, as one side has slightly more definition than the other, but still very pretty. The dark brown colour of the 2-piece back, sides & neck, as well as the cream body "binding", are sympathetic with the dark'ish figured front.
The overall impression is that this is one hell of a classy, GORGEOUS looking well made guitar!
Weight: seems to be about the same as a Strat/Tele. i.e. 3.5kg / 7.5lb. It balances nicely on a strap & when seated.
Neck: medium ?D? shape that sits well in the hand (not as chunky as a Les Paul; certainly nothing to be scared of & soon gotten use to; but if you prefer a thin neck you will notice the difference; at least at first).
Inlays are unique & quite pretty, and nicely done. It has a somewhat plain looking, more grey than brown, light coloured (almost 'dusty' looking) rosewood fretboard; its appearance did improve IMO with the application of a touch of conditioning oil.
I do love the unrestricted access to the upper frets, though playing at the 22nd to 24th is still a bit of a challenge.
A little too much neck relief was present as received but I'm leaving that unchanged until after I put a new set of 9's on it.
Tuners: feel OK: smooth & accurate in use.
Nut: wow!!!!! ?. almost a perfect set-up with nice low 1st fret action (a real surprise as this is rarely evident on cheap (& medium priced!!) guitars!). All new guitars should be like this!!!!! I'm not even sure that I need to touch this during set-up.
Frets: medium size with an OK finish (they could benefit from a polish). A tidy fret job but ideally some attention is needed to some of the fret-ends where I can just feel a few sharp points/edges here & there (nothing really bad though).
I ran a fret rocker over the neck out of interest and OK there are some slightly uneven frets in several places along/across the neck (as expected & as usual) but nothing so significant that an acceptably low action cannot be achieved.
Knobs/pots: fine. Smooth movement & good taper on both volume & tone. The usual slight loss of treble when the volume is turned down is present (as usual) but this is down to my amp/pedals/leads set-up, not the guitar. Tone control rolls off the top-end as expected but is far too dull IMO when fully rolled back (sounds like a 22nF or greater cap to me .. I prefer 10nF .. I might change it at some point ... if I can access the electrics easily?)
Bridge: Intonation is perfect & I really like the feel of the, new to my experience, wraparound bridge under the right hand. Very cool!
However there was a problem with the B string slot on the bridge that resulted in an annoying sitar-like buzz. The HB "DLX GTB" bridge at 1st look seemed to be a close clone of the Wilkinson GTB wrap-over tail piece/bridge; but actually it is slightly different in size plus it has one significant design difference: it doesn't have the Wilkinson's string slot end-fill that creates a defined break-point ridge on the bridge. I did contact Thomann on this 'sitar' issue & after a bit of back and forth, they shipped me a replacement bridge; but by then I had decided that, rather than try to fix the original or wait for the replacement, I would upgrade to the Wilkinson (as it is not expensive: £18). In spite of having some different dimensions, the Wilkinson does perfectly fit into the same bridge bushings on the guitar. Problem solved!
f-holes: are nicely done, look very classy & are one of the main features that attracted me to this guitar (those & the PRS body shape & the flamed top); OK, if you peer into the f-holes, of course you can see the wiring loom and some unpainted wood in the inner nooks & crannies ? but nothing is visible from the front when being played. Good enough for me.
The acoustic tone is bright with a good sustain. The f-holes do not seem to make much difference to the acoustic sound (nor the acoustic volume)(as expected with this solid centre block type of construction).
Sound/Pick-ups: This is a real rock & blues machine as the PUs are very pokey. I mostly play single coil guitars (strat/tele types though I do have a couple with humbuckers) so when I plugged it into my amp which was set-up for my Strat .. WOW! ... what a big beefy bold full rockin' sound! Great! The bridge PU has a real middley-honk with plenty of bottom that drives the amp front-end to produce a full thick rock tone. I was surprised how good my amp sounded with this guitar! (well it has been a while since I've played a humbucker loaded guitar).
The neck PU has a more defined, almost acoustic guitar-like tone; great for clean sounds & strumming and a nice contrast to the bridge PU. I won't be changing these PUs in a hurry.
The only negative that I found with the electrics: there was an intermittent crackle from the electrics when I 'test' shook the guitar, that went away when I nudged the inner wires with a finger through the F-hole. Note: It does play cleanly when not being shaken. I do plan to remove the PUs & check the wiring in the body cavity (& determine how easy it would be to access pots/switches in order to mod the circuitry).
Playability: Out-of-the box, it plays very well. Action was medium-low i.e 1.5mm 1st string at 12th fret to 1.75mm 6th string 12th fret and the strings ring out cleanly all over the neck.
Whenever I've bought a new guitar, whatever the price, there have always been a few niggles that needed to be sorted out to for it to meet my needs and that is also true of this one.
Is it perfect? No. This particular guitar would certainly would benefit from a full check & set-up. However I should say that, apart from the annoying bridge problem on my guitar which Thomann effectively did resolve for me, the guitar with its as-received set-up is still totally acceptable & good to go.
At the ridiculous price being asked for it, you really have to ask yourself why would you not buy one! Even if you were to factor in the cost of a professional (or D.I.Y) set-up & tweak, this would still be a super bargain guitar.
I wish such guitars as this one were available at this price to my younger self when I started playing (This one shockingly would cost just £11 in 1973 when I paid £43 for my 1st new electric guitar, a crappy Eros plywood ?Les Paul?-alike, ... you do the math ... 'nuff said).
Features: 5 stars (deserved just for its beauty, that's even before you play a note)
Sound: 5 stars (Very subjective but I love it)
Quality: 5 stars (Not perfect but at this price far far above expectations)
Would I recommend getting one ?. Absolutely YES!!!
An amazingly good guitar
Electric Guitar Body: Mahogany, Top: AAA flamed maple, Set-in 3-piece neck: Mahogany, Fretboard: Roseacer (thermally treated maple wood), 24 Frets, Scale: 635 mm, Nut width: 42 mm, "Morning Star"...
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|Myynnissä vuodesta||kesäkuu 2015|
|tässä kategoriassa||Sijoitus 11|
|thomann.de sivuilla||Sijoitus 1520|
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