Harley Benton CST-24T P90 Ocean Flame


Electric Guitar

  • Deluxe Series
  • Body: Mahogany
  • Top: Flamed maple
  • Neck: Mahogany
  • Neck attachment: Set-in
  • Fretboard: Pau Ferro
  • Fretboard inlays: Dots
  • Neck profile: C
  • Radius: 350 mm
  • 24 Frets
  • Scale: 635 mm
  • Nut width: 42 mm
  • Pickups: 2 Roswell P90 Soapbar single coils
  • Controls: Volume & Tone
  • 3-Way switch
  • Hardware: Chrome
  • Nut: Graphite
  • Tremolo: Wilkinson WVPC
  • Machine heads: DLX diecast
  • Colour: Ocean Flame High-gloss
Body Mahogany
Top Maple
Neck Mahogany
Fretboard Pau Ferro
Frets 24
Scale 635 mm
Pickups P90, P90
Tremolo Wilkinson
incl. Bag No
incl. Case No
Myynnissä vuodesta Toukokuu 2018
Tuotenumero 427779
Myyntierä 1 kappaletta
B-Stock 244 € saatavilla
266 €
Ilmainen toimitus sis. ALV:n

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Tietoa lähetyksestä
Arvioitu lähetyspäivä Tiistai, 18.01. mennessä
35 Myyntisijoitus

63 Asiakkaiden arvostelut

An amazing guitar
JPM-9000 06.11.2020
Sometime ago it dawned to me that I don't own a guitar with P90 pickups, nor do I own a guitar with a tremolo bar. This was obviously perfect justification for buying a Harley Benton CST-24T P90, which would rectify both shortcomings. It was on back-order for months, but they finally received new stock a few weeks back and I immediate placed an order. I bought it sight unseen, based on positive online reviews only, though I do already own two HB basses which I really like, so I figured their guitars are probably comparable in quality.

** Looks and finish **

The guitar arrived yesterday and the first thing that obviously stood out, is that it looks absolutely stunning. Pictures really don't do it justice. If the name isn't a dead giveaway, the looks should make it clear to everyone which guitar brand HB "tributing" here...

The finish is flawless all around. Looking at the backside of the guitar, I'd completely forgotten that the guitar has a set in neck, which is nice I guess, since all my previous guitars have bolted necks. The backside of the neck is also finished and looks and feels great.

** Feel and build **

The guitar is relatively light in weight. Much lighter than than my SQ CV Tele. It feels very pleasant to hold, solid and comfortable. Nothing feels loose or cheap. It's perfectly balanced and there's no neckdive. The only thing that maybe doesn't feel that great is the tuners. They work fine, but are somewhat stiff and uneven to operate. They are perfectly serviceable, but I might change them at some point.

The action was quite high straight from the box. Luckily, the Wilkinson bridge allows for really easy height adjustment for each string individually, so that was quickly taken care of. I also made small adjustments to the neck and intonation but after that playability was great.

The guitar's spec sheet says that it has "C" neck profile, which tells you absolutely nothing. For some reason I was expecting a relatively thin and narrow, "shreddery" neck, but it is actually surprisingly chunky, much thicker than the neck of my Tele or my Schecter Omen-6 Extreme (which admittedly both have exceptionally thin necks). However, it is not at all unpleasant to hold and even though I haven't been blessed with the long spidery fingers of the true shred-gods, I can still easily perform techniques like thumb-over with this neck.

It has 24 frets and accessing even the highest ones is easy, thanks to the set-in neck which means that the neck sits really flush and there's no bulging plate or attachment joint in the way. There's also a small extra bit carved out from the lower cutaway of the guitar, which also makes high fret access easier. My Schecter also has 24 frets, and overall I'd say high fret access is much better with the HB, let alone my Tele.

Overall, this guitar feels really solid and plays really great.

** Tone and other observations **

So, how do the Roswell P90s sound? I started with a clean tone and I have to admit, I was quite underwhelmed. I really like the tone of the stock single coils of my Tele and knowing that P90s are also single coil, I was excepting similar clarity and "roundness" with them. Turns out the tone is quite a bit darker, especially with the neck pickup. Bridge pickup is closer to regular single coil sound, but there's a noticeable "edge" or "spark" to the sound. Rolling down the volume pot a bit makes things a bit better.

Activating a light, transparent overdrive, the sound from the pickups became more pleasing, but I still vastly prefer the tone of the Tele single coils. However, once I started increasing gain, the pickups started to shine. There's a hard-to-define "bite" to these pickups that's unlike anything the single coils of my Tele or the relatively hot humbuckers of Schecter produce. Almost miraculously, the sound seems to become better the more dirt I heap on it. Using a slightly silly combination of distortion (Joyo AC Tone), overdrive (Klon clone) and heavy fuzz (Behringer SF300), you'd except things to get muddy and unusable, but somehow with these pickups, the tone remains edgy and surprisingly clear. There's a really particular kind of screaming or wailing overtone to these things, that's nevertheless not at all harsh. I have no idea whether these features are typical to P90s in general or just these particular pickups, but I sure am glad I now have this tone in my arsenal.

What about the tremolo? It's a "vintage style" six point tremolo. Out of the box it was pretty bad to be honest, and I had to make numerous adjustments. First of all, the trem does not screw in at all and by default flops around. When you press down the tremolo arm all the way, there's a small grub screw underneath (looking towards the neck), which you can use to attach it more firmly and make it stay in place. The next bit of work was adding two washers under the outermost screws of the tremolo and loosening the middle four, essentially making it a 2-point tremolo instead of six. I did this because the top of the guitar is slightly rounded and the tremolo never really sits correctly by default. However, adding the two washers definitely helped. Finally I removed one of the three tremolo springs and applied graphite from a pencil to all contact points, i.e. the nut and saddles. After all these adjustments (and properly stretching out the strings), the trem is now fully floating and actually pretty great. Tuning stays rock solid and you can even dive bomb without any issues.


Looks and finish
High gain tone


Tremolo requires quite a bit of work
Clean tone isn't quite my cup of tea

Summary: a beautiful guitar, with great specs and solid playability. Overall quality is astonishingly good, especially accounting for the price. Killer high gain tone.
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PRS Style + P90's = Win - Win!
KJ Dietz 20.03.2020
For a while, I have wished for a PRS guitar with P90's, and out of no where, this HB appeared. I had never heard of HB guitars until I had listed a bass guitar for sale online, and the guy that showed up interested in my short scale bass, just happened to bring his long scale Harley Benton bass, just to show it to me. I was really impressed by the quality and price he said he paid, unbelivable! So I soon went to the Thomann web site to browse over the HB guitars and found this one. I ordered it right away and within 10 days received it in the U.S. The box had some damage, and as I was opening it, even the inner box had some damage. I thought for sure the tip of the head-stock would be damaged. To my surprise, it was fine. Upon my first inspection, I was very impressed. beautiful fret job, almost perfect finish, the tuners worked perfect, no problems. I did have to lower the action, and when I got in to the guitar, a few of the frets needed a small amount of leveling. When doing so, I decided to polish the frets, oil the fingerboard, and set the intonation, while perfecting the action. So I'm a 40 plus year guitar player who learned early on how to work on my own guitars. Been doing this for a long time! I have never bought any guitar at any price that has not needed some setup, adjustment, and tweeking. The same for this one. The guitar is SO well worth the money, but like any guitar at any price, expect some possible adjustments and light luthier work. The P90's sound great! I have an Epi E339 with P90's and they are also very good. The Epi is slightly warmer but has a noticeable amount of single coil hum to them. The HB has 95% less hum than the Epi.
Barely barely noticable. Clean, clear, and warm clean tones, great spectrum of tonality for different styles. As expected, great for blues, rock, jazz. I don't play metal, so I can't comment on metal tones. The neck is amazing and comfortable. I have smaller than average hands, (not tiny) and I can play this HB like it's custom made for me. I really like the PRS scale lenght of 25" (U.S.) and the strings are in such good shape, I did not have to change them out right away. I've never used 9's on my electrics, but I like them on this guitar. Will use 9's when I do change them out.
All in all, I would definitly recomend this guitar! And I love the Ocean Flame color. The flame maple is very nice, and the color is deep rich blue just like in the photo's. Good job HB and Thomann. I have already ordered another HB, the HB TE-90FLT SB Deluxe Series. Should be arriving any day now.
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[LONG] Truly shocked at how good this guitar actually is at this price....
lestatar 31.08.2019
I've been hacking away at guitar for more decades than I care to admit. Though 98% a home player, I finally am starting to play teeny gigs again. I've been lucky to amass a decent selection of guitars over the years - I count an MIJ JS 1000, an MIJ 1200 guitars, 2 MIJ S-series guitars, a Suhr superstrat and most recently a PRS SE Holcomb model as well as a MusicMan Silhouette in my collection.

If you're looking at this HB CST guitar you're probably got here the same way as I did - hearing all the recent positive hype over these HB axes. I just got mine delivered to Hong Kong from Germany in exactly 5 days and after 72 hours with this thing, I thought I'd share my thoughts on it as well as my very first time experience dealing with Thomann.

100% no BS - the hype is real. I simply cannot understate how impressed I am by this guitar at this asking price.

SHIPPING & PACKAGING: crazy fast, efficient shipping across half the world to HK. Guitar came very well packed, inner-box-in-a-huge-shipping box style. Quality cardboard for both with a nice cardboard neck support as well.

FIT & FINISH: Again, no BS - my example is literally perfect. I spent a lot of time specifically looking for defects - overspray of paint, discolorations, dings, scratches, loose screws, binding misalignment, fret sprout, finish issues, etc. There literally are zero cosmetic issues with my guitar. Honestly flawless.

OUT OF THE BOX SETUP: Guitar as a bit out of tune, but the neck also appears totally straight. As I am predominantly a Floyd user, the Wilkinson 6 point trem bridge is kinda new for me. I specifically asked that the guitar be setup as low as possible and indeed it appears it was - action was low enough for my tastes. However, the Wilkinson bridge appeared to have been set to a fixed position out of the box so pull-ups were not possible. Also, the rear of the bridge plate was actually resting on the body of the guitar [there is no bridge cavity well a la Floyd guitars]. This looked odd to me, especially since the finish is so beautiful. Some quick research online and a phone call to Thomann guitar department totally fixed the issue. They said to simply adjust the claw screws so that the rear of bridge is floating a bit off the body - not at a crazy angle, but just enough so that some pull-ups are possible. Not Vai/Satch Floyd pullups - more like Alex Lifeson trem work. Problem solved.

Intonation was also still spot on after I made the desired adjustments to the trem claw screws. Thus far zero tuning issues with the original D'addario strings [9s I believe, though I will change to NYXL 10s soon]. I also used a bit of pencil lead on the nut grooves [which appear to be properly cut for all strings and thus do not bind at all] and again tuning stability seems terrific. Really impressed as a guy so used to Floyd double locking nuts.

The tuners work. Nothing amazing there. Unsure of the gear ratios but they seem solid enough and all work smoothly. I may invest in some locking tuners at some point but so far tuning with light to moderate trem work has been rock solid.

FRETBOARD and NECK: Never had a Jatoba fingerboard before. Honestly, my first impression was that it looks kinda cheap and a little fake, like maybe a veneer but that could be down to my inexperience with the wood. It FEELS OK and in fact feels quite flat and very comfortable to play on. While I'm not a shredder by any means, the fingerboard does feel very fast. The dot inlays are real - no decals here and they are are all perfectly set flush. The back of the neck is finished and while I am not normally a fan of finished necks, so far it feels really smooth and comfortable. Not an Ibanez Wizard neck by any means, but definitely in the PRS SE neighborhood. As I mentioned, zero fret sprout on my guitar and the bindings along the neck sides are perfectly finished, even at the very end of the fretboard. Crazy impressive again at this price.

PICKUPS, POTS and SELECTOR SWITCH: Never heard of Rosewell pickups before and I have not much experience with P90s, but that was exactly the reason I chose this model as the HB for me to try out. The Rosewell's are pretty hot indeed. The bridge and neck pups do indeed have great clarity and work really well together also. Have not adjusted the pole pieces at all and probably won't. These things have a great chimey quality - again, not sure if that's typical of P90s but they sound great to my ears all the same.

The volume and tone pots work quite nicely are are very smooth and loose in a good way. The control taper quite nicely. No idea of the details on the pots but they work well. Same with the pup selector switch - it feels fairly solid.

My only gripe is the position of the selector toggle. It seems to be in an inconvenient location for me, but I guess I can work around that.

ELECTRONICS and BRIDGE CAVITY: Here was a nice surprise that the photos don't show. Both of the plates on the rear of the guitar are flush mounted to the body - in other words, recessed. Even older PRS SE models didn't do this. The inside of the cavities were pretty clean, especially the electronics compartment which were EXTRA clean in their cable management. The back of the electronics cover is also "shielded" with some metallic sheet.

As for the bridge/claw cavity I was really impressed with the size of the Wilkinson bridge block itself. No idea how heavy it actually is as I haven't taken the strings off yet, but the block itself really is substantial.

OVERALL CONCLUSION SO FAR: I'm not here to say this guitar kicks ass over all other guitars out there. That would be ludicrous. However, as someone who is old enough to remember the sheer garbage guitars that were out there for sale for less than 200USD ages ago, I really am blown away with the overall quality of this instrument. This is certainly NOT a disposable instrument. Whatever voodoo magic Thomann and HB are working right now, well, all I can say is that at this price, one would be hard-headed indeed to not be as impressed as I was.

BRAVO THOMANN - looking like I will be grabbing a couple more HBs shortly, just to see if I got a unicorn somehow.

BRIEF COMMENT ON THOMANN CS: So, I noticed that my guitar came with a trem arm that was missing the rubber tip. I called Thomann, explained the issue and said I was not really expecting Thomann to do anything, that I was simply reporting the matter to them - after all, it's no big deal, the trem arm still works. They checked and got back to me within 12 hours: they verified that indeed the trem arm is supposed to ship as in the pictures, with a rubber tip. They apologized for the matter and are now shipping me a replacement arm at zero cost all the way to Hong Kong.

Now that is Amazon level customer service. Bravo again.
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MitchF 12.01.2022
Fantastic guitar for peanuts, great tonality in the p90s with quite some bark if turned up.
One high fret which needs sorting, but nothing comes close at this price point.
Beautiful looking to boot!
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