Harley Benton CLG-650SM-CE BK SolidWood

Solid Wood Steel-String Guitar with Pickup

  • Design: Grand auditorium with Venetian cutaway
  • Top: Solid sitka spruce
  • Scalloped X-bracing
  • Body: Selected solid African A-grade mahogany with armrest
  • Neck: Okoume
  • Fretboard: Composite
  • Fretboard inlays: 6 mm mother-of-pearl dots
  • Dovetail construction
  • Neck profile: C
  • Fretboard radius: 400 mm
  • Scale: 643 mm
  • Nut width: 43 mm
  • Frets: 20
  • Wood bindings
  • Rosette: Abalone
  • Bridge: Composite
  • Nut & Saddle: Bone
  • Headstock inlay: Split rhombus mother-of-pearl
  • 400 mm double action truss rod
  • Bridge pins with mother-of-pearl dots
  • Machine heads: WSC DLX, enclosed
  • Pickup system: Fishman Flex Plus-T with built-in tuner
  • Strings: D'Addario XTAPB1253 Light, .012 - .053 (Article Nr 471307)
  • Top colour: High-Gloss Black
  • Body colour: Natural
  • Suitable case available under Article Nr 250337 (not included)
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Further Information

Design Grand Auditorium
Top Spruce, Solid
Back And Sides Mahogany, Solid
Cutaway Yes
Fretboard Ebonol
Nut width in mm 43,00 mm
Frets 20
Pickups Yes
Colour Black
Case No
Incl. Gigbag No

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Harley Benton CLG-650SM-CE BK SolidWood
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19 Customer Ratings
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Almost exceptional value, but let down by the bridge
Drewbie, 13.02.2021
Firstly, let's start with some Brexit issues. I originally ordered the grand concert version of this guitar with the gig bag bundle at the start of January 2021. However, I rejected the parcel at the point of delivery, because I really didn't understand why I was expected to pay an additional more than £90 to UPS. These charges, as it transpired are made up of 20% VAT, brokerage charges and a custom charge. I would refer to the two latter as 'Bozzer' taxes. Good on Thomann for showing ex VAT costs on their products, but bad on Thomann for not making their UK customers properly aware of all this nonsense....UPDATE 12/02/21. I bought some smaller items from Thomann (see below for why) and the VAT was applied at checkout, so maybe tariff free trade with the EU is becoming a reality? It would be really good news if this is the case, but it remains to be seen if the items I ordered are delivered without additional charges and if this system works with more expensive items......
Anyway, to the guitar. This is one of four models that are very similar. This particular one is significantly cheaper (so a good outcome on the return of the other guitar). I don't know why, but the larger grand auditorium guitar is cheaper than the smaller grand concert in the weird inverted world of guitar pricing. Other than that it is a bit of a mystery..... They are all solid wood, but the crucial difference is that the guitars with the black painted top have a sitka spruce top, while the non-painted top guitars have a mahogany top. You need to look into the specification to derive this important detail; why is that not made clearer? Also, I really don't understand why the top is painted as I am sure it would look better unpainted. Anyway, black it is, not perfectly smooth, with the grain showing through the finish. Otherwise, the guitar seems really nicely made, with the bevel really nicely executed..., very classy. The action is a bit on the high side. I haven't measured it, but nonetheless still perfectly playable and almost in tune straight out of the box. The fret ends are slightly spikey, but nothing terrible. The inbuilt Fishmann preamp/tuner is very nicely executed and not your usual black box on the upper bout. You do have to loosen off the strings to change the battery, which is located at the bottom of the neck, inside the guitar. It produces a very nice full sound with plenty of bass when not plugged in.
To the bad points, mostly trivial, but one significant demerit. The composite or 'ebonite' fretboard is absolutely fine. It isn't ebony, but then theoretically it should retain dimensional stability in all conditions. The tuning machines are not branded (as they are on some significantly cheaper HB guitars), but they are almost certainly up to the job. The nut and saddle are bone, but obviously white, which jars a bit with the overall dark finish. The bridge pins are arranged in a semicircle and are really cheap, nasty white plastic....'orrible! The pick guard is a really nasty faux tortoise-shell. I peeled it off straightaway and it left a lot of residue, which had to be removed by a bit of appropriate solvent. All of the preceding is pretty trivial and actually quite easy to fix for not much money. You can put a clear pick guard on, replace the nut, saddle and bridge pins with back/ebony items and you could even change the machine buttons for ebony ones. Total cost via ebay about £25.00. However, that brings me on to the bridge....why oh why is this also 'composite' when the mahogany topped guitars have a real ebony one?? The bridge is very obviously a lump of very dark grey, rippled plastic....Thomann, please make sure that ALL of these guitars have an ebony bridge.
Finally, it is obviously a matter of taste whether you prefer silver or gold hardware. I am generally a silver man, but a case can be made for gold in association with rich, deep browns. My smaller order referred to above was for gold Kluson tuners, gold KK end pin cover and gold HB strap pin. Total for all of this from Thomann with delivery was less than an additional £50.....
In summary then, almost exceptional value for patently obvious reasons, but let down by the plastic bridge. It should nonetheless make a really high quality instrument for all uses.
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reasonable guitar
GuitarDave, 05.09.2020
This guitar is very nicely finished! The first thing I did was take this guitar to a luthier for adjustment. The strings were way too high. The nut and bridge were way too high. Tuning machines were not fixed. The guitar now plays great, but it required extra costs! After 5 minutes of playing my fingertips were black! At first I was absolutely not satisfied with the guitar. I made some minor changes. I have replaced the plastic bridge pins with ebony bridge pins. Another set of strings on it, namely Elixir. Fretboard oiled. And I removed the tuners and replaced them with Klusons.
The guitar now plays and sounds fantastic.
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Headstock has cracked
Yems, 02.05.2021
I have now had the guitar for three months and the guitar has cracked at the joint between the headstock and the neck. Has put me off Okoume necks as my other acoustics have mahogany necks and I'm no longer sure about Okoume as a good substitute. Not sure if this particular guitar is a bad egg as others seem to report no issues.
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Stunning Instrument
JamesGannon, 01.04.2021
This is one of the most beautiful guitars I have ever owned. If I was handed it blind I would put it easily in the 1500+ EUR range on build quality and materials alone. Gorgeous round tone great for a mix of genres. The chamfer/cutaway adds a lovely element of playability to the guitar and feels truly premium.

If I can make one negative comment it would be that the strap lug on the bottom is hard to get a thick strap onto (Mine was a Mono The Betty), hardly meaningful given the incredible value for money at play here.
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Show variations of this product
Harley Benton CLG-650SM-CE BK SolidWood
(19)
Harley Benton CLG-650SM-CE BK SolidWood

Solid Wood Steel-String Guitar with Pickup Design: Grand auditorium with Venetian cutaway, Top: Solid sitka spruce, Scalloped X-bracing, Body: Selected solid African A-grade mahogany with armrest,...

Harley Benton CLG-650SM-CE VS SolidWood
(17)
Harley Benton CLG-650SM-CE VS SolidWood

Solid Wood Steel-String Guitar with Pickup Design: Grand auditorium with Venetian cutaway, Top: Selected solid African A-grade mahogany, Scalloped X-bracing, Body: Selected solid African A-grade...

£277
Free shipping and excluding VAT
Available immediately
Available immediately

This item is in stock and can be dispatched immediately.

Standard Delivery Times
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