Harley Benton CST-24HB Tortoise Flame

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4.4 / 5.0
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Good if you can finish it off yourself
Mr Greggles, 13.11.2018
I have made this into an excellent guitar and, if you have the ability, it is an excellent buy. If not it is a bit disappointing.

I have an HB Strat copy which cost a bit over £100. That has an excellent finish, a really good sound and is generally very good quality but needed a fret polish and a bit of setup. This cost very nearly £200. Again it has an excellent finish, a great sound, looks fantastic for the price and is mostly of very good quality. However it not so much of a bargain.

The problem is that although I'm fine with polishing the frets and doing a bit of setup I'm not so happy that, for quite a bit more money, I'm having to file and recrown some frets. When I first received it it was buzzing halfway up the fretboard. I let it settle for a few days and did a setup. The action was very low so raising it and tweaking the truss rod for a little more relief sorted out most of the buzzing. But the second and fifth fret were still causing problems and I had to do a bit of work on them.

The guitar looks great. OK, there isn't the depth to the veneer you would get on a PRS but I think it has some depth, so it's not a photo print. And as soon as you step back from it it looks amazing. The sound is warm and versatile, though the coil split doesn't add as much as I'd hoped and it doesn't have as much of a hollow body sounds as a 335. The tuners do the job, even if they don't feel particularly inspiring. All in all a great addition to my collection, now that the frets are sorted.

As I said, it is not a big deal if you have the skills and the tools but I could see it being a big problem for newer players. I guess the real problem is that my first experience with an HB was so good it set the bar very high. Having spent more money I didn't expect he quality to be worse. That said, now that it is sorted it looks, feels and plays brilliantly. I'm glad I bought it and would buy it again.

I just wanted to sound a word of warning to less-experienced users
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Girl, you got a beautiful body, but your nuts ugly.
jaytee123, 23.03.2018
Pros: The Body and finish is beautiful. Flawless. The pickups are great clean...so-so with gain. The guitar sustains amazingly well.

Cons:, the bridge is missing the tiny hex screw that locks the bridge in place on the treble side.
Seeing the guitar came with Wilkinson Pickups and not Roswell as advertised, I think I got an older one with one of the first attempts at crafting roseacer...lots of dents in the treated wood at the 1st fret. numerous imperfections in shaping up the fretboard and at the base of it. Dry as a bone. A little fretboard treatment improved it, but the feel of it is like it is made of a plastic composite. Not sure how heat chemically changed maple in this fashion.
The nut was atrocious on the treble side. Looking down the fretboard from the bridge, It is sloped too low to the right, so much that whomever cut the nut just put a notch in the E string to barely hold in place. The B string was a little better, but not by much. The result? Sitar noise with open string because the slot could not be properly cut with so little material on the treble side. I was surprised this was present on a guitar that spent a week in quality check.

I DON'T want to send this back. I sent an email asking for them to send a new nut and a locking screw, and I would fix it myself. Still waiting for a simple response to this after a day.
In purchasing this guitar, I reminded them I am in the states and that I'm not expecting perfection for spending 264 dollars shipped but expect a playable guitar with a reasonable amount of flaws. I also said future purchases would be based on the quality. Sorry, I can't buy anymore sight unseen from Thomann after my experience. This guitar spent a WEEK in quality before leaving...and the nut is awful.
Hopefully, I am sent a nut and the tiny locking screw, so I dont have to go searching all over creation for the right size for both.

I'm sorry I had to post this review, I wanted so badly to post a five star, yet the nut almost had me giving this a two. I mean, this is the MOST BASIC QUALITY CHECK, NO?
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An amazingly good guitar
Roger6897, 31.07.2015
I was once lucky enough to own a guitar very similar to this made by a well-known company in the USA. It cost me well over two thousand British Pounds - and I bought it secondhand! Unfortunately, due to financial circumstances, I had to part with it (in exchange for a much-needed car!) Now I have bought the Harley Benton CST-24 HB Tortoise Flame, it almost feels like I have my valuable guitar back - at a tiny fraction of the price. I won't say it plays as well as my old Hollowbody guitar because, in fact, my new Harley Benton CST-24HB actually plays BETTER. Straight from the box it was excellent and now, after a minor adjustment to one of the nut slots and the truss rod by my friendly luthier, I have a great-sounding, beautiful guitar with a superb action. It balances perfectly on a strap with no neck-dive (often a problem with semi-acoustic guitars). This time, no work at all was necessary on the frets - they are excellent. The Wilkinson pickups are becoming widely recognized as a very good humbucker and have the classic alnico humbucker sound (in fact I prefer them to the sound of the pickups of my American guitar). There are no unwanted noises or microphonic problems and, unusually for a cheap guitar, the master volume and tone controls function perfectly, with a smooth taper and no loss of treble when the volume is reduced. The tuners are excellent, the graphite nut is better and more elegantly shaped than the rather ugly one on my US guitar. Generally, the finish is top class, with a flame veneer top and bound F-holes (my US guitar had unbound F-holes). The main difference can be found inside - my US guitar had an arched flame maple back and the internal construction under the bridge was a work of art to rival a top class violin. The Harley Benton has a more typical central block construction and I must confess the internal finishing looks a bit rough if you look inside the F-holes with a torch and a magnifying glass. However - this is the important thing - this construction means it works better as a functional electric guitar at high volume. Interestingly, the acoustic sound is almost exactly the same despite the internal differences, so I wonder if all the craftsmanship of the US guitar was really necessary for any purpose other than to persuade overpaid guitar-fancying American dentists to part with more of their money. I am much more than happy with this guitar and I have already urged Thomann, bearing in mind the instrument's excellent acoustic character, to offer the same guitar with an adjustable bridge and piezo saddles. I am sure a lot of guitarists would find such a guitar extremely interesting if the price is right (which I am sure it would be with Harley Benton). Once again, I am astounded that a guitar of this quality can be done for this price. My local guitar shop proprietor and my friendly luthier both agree. In fact I had a bit of trouble retrieving it from my friend the luthier, who is a big fan of arch-top F-hole guitars and seems to particularly like playing this one! I am not at all surprised that the CST-24HB Tortoise Flame is out of stock until September and I urge anyone interested in this type of guitar to get hold of one as soon as they are available again. It is also available in cherry sunburst with "tree of life" fretboard inlay, but I think I prefer this finish and the interesting little cross-shaped fret markers. I have been playing guitar for nearly fifty years and back in 1980 I reviewed guitars professionally for a magazine. This is the second CST-24 I have bought from Thomann in less than a month. Harley Benton does it again!
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Guitar with character
12.03.2017
1) The guitar I've got is visually very different from the one, that is in the pictures. I have read, that I am not the only one, who encountered this problem. Shame on You, Thomann
2) Quality of product is very good. Guitar have nice, glossy finish. Binding around the body have some flaws, but looks good. You can find some visual defects here and there, but they are so tiny, that it's hard to spot them. There are some greater issues with star inlays, the small ones have some holes and missing parts, but it is noticeable only if you look for flaws. In all, guitar is beautiful. It has nice forms and great looking headstock. Kind of looks like well known P.. guitars :)
3) Guitar has one of the best tuners I have encountered. The nut seems like is made of Tusq. There is weird wraparound bridge used in this guitar. At start it seemed ok, but, when I lowered action, the intonation suffered. And there is no way to adjust intonation for low strings, only B\G is adjustable.
4) The pots and the switch seems fair quality. They work. Pickups are great. They seem a bit dark, but EQ fixes it. Sound output is very high. By my mind, coil split is useless.
5) Overall sound of guitar is beautiful. It has long sustain. Overall guitar is very loud. It tries to overload\overdrive any amp I've tried with it. The interesting thing is that sound comes slowly and fades out as slowly as it came. I's perfect for atmospheric music. The guitar sings to me, always I pick it up. I love it.
6) Guitar has fairly beefy neck, but it is quite comfortable. The glossy finish is not the best for fast playing, but fast satining made it better. Fretwork is fairly good. I couldn't find any fret end sticking out, but fret leveling job could be better. It came with reasonable action and no fret buzz. When I lowered action, some fret buzz appeared, but I haven't found fret that's causing it. It is so small, that I live with it, for now.

Overall: guitar is beautiful, it sounds great,plays great. and costs very reasonably. For little money you get great instrument. It's shame that it doesn't look like in pictures.

EDIT:
I was wrong about bridge. There is a way to adjust intonation on lower strings. I found some screws against the bridge posts, that should do the job. Haven't tried this yet.
I was curious about that fret buzz after lowering the action. I found some 5 or 6 frets, that sticks out. If you like low action, then get ready for fret leveling. But actually in that price region any guitar will have similar issues, so it's still worth it and I still love this instrument.
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Very impressive instrument
JazzLeo, 06.06.2019
This is my second Harley Benton guitar. I bought this guitar for two years ago. I am a part time musician who plays a dozen parties a year and teaches some students. It is a very good playing and sounding instrument. There were a few small finish bubbles where the neck joins the body, but they do not hurt anything. They did not get any worse with time. I have made no modifications, and none are needed. I have full confidence in this guitar performing any time I play it. At this price point, I am extremely satisfied with this purchase. I have just ordered another Harley Benton Guitar.
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Tortoise Flame HB
Simon C, 06.03.2018
I like my Tortoise Flame HB quite a lot..... Now.

I have to consider the affordable price of this guitar when I start to critique it, but was it value for money ? Having seen plenty of online reviews of this model and purchased other H B products, I knew there was an element of chance. So I'd hoped to get lucky.

The Pros. It looks great. Lots of comment online about the colour not following the Thomann catalogue too well and a few people being unhappy with instruments shipping brighter/lighter in colour than the photos. I was hoping for this ! The photos make the Tortoise Flame look a little sombre and muddy, I was hoping for something warmer, richer and that's what I got. I was once a professional photographer and I know how difficult some hues are to record, even in this digital age. It looks to me like Thomann have tried to address this issue, some of the detail shots look colour manipulated to correct. But for me, I am very happy with what has arrived. The flamed maple top is nice, not to strong and well "book-matched", so it does create the "illusion" of an old classical instrument, which I like.

It sounds nice, middle position gives a nice rich colourful tone. But sound is so objective, what amp, settings, strings, playing style. Plenty of range available with pick up selection and coil split. I'm no expert but very happy and I do think the semi hollow body has something quite different, to say my SG, so a nice addition to the collection. The fret board and neck are nice to play, I like the subtle decoration on the fret markers which have been reasonably well done. Machine heads feel fine, look good.

The Cons. On arrival I just got the sense this guitar was not brand new. Maybe it had been demo'd or something, very slight scuffs and traces of polish caked in corners, as if it's been re-buffed - badly. The neck pickup surround ring was cracked in several places, not sure if due to over-tightening or an impact. But I couldn't look at it while playing.

Thomann were as efficient as usual, very fast to send me out a replacement part - plus goodies, for my inconvenience. While changing this piece I did discover additional holes, failed attempts to get it right in the factory. You don't want to look to closely inside these instruments.

I was surprised how high the action was on arrival. My own past experience and comment from others suggests that Thomann inspect and set-up before shipping, I'm not convinced in this case despite the QI label. So as soon as I tried lowering the action I found why, 3rd fret very high. Someone down the line has set this guitar up to a point just before a fret buzz and left it at that with way too high an action. I don't think it should have been let through, even for ¤220. The fret was correctly pressed home so I got stuck in and "dressed" it level. Now after much tweaking of truss rod and bridge height I have achieved an action which for me is enjoyable to play. However the bridge is as low as possible on the high e side, so nothing left if I wanted further adjustment. Another shame is the cut on the end of the fret board between last fret and pick up, "chewed" I think would be a better description.

If I were the designer of this instrument, I would have sat with the prototype, played it, looked down and realised that the view into the lower "F" hole is seriously spoilt by the guts - back of the position switch and wiring. Not attractive and no attempt to disguise, spoils the classical instrument illusion. It would have been much more elegant looking into a dark empty void. Re-position the switch above and behind tone control or up on one of the wings, Les Paul style maybe. And If I ever want/need to service or change electrics, how does that work, there is no service cover on the rear. This is a point I was aware of before buying, but I am intrigued to know how it was assembled in the factory ?

To sum up. I am happy with this guitar (at this price), it's nice to play - now, and looks great from a distance (more than a couple of feet). Should I have had to put the time in sorting it out?* - no I don't think so. Did I get lucky ? - no not really. Will I buy further Harley Benton
instruments ? - yes, probably.

*I know that Thomann have a very fair and efficient returns policy. I could have declined and asked for another. But it is a bit of a hassle organising return shipping, you need patience whilst without your new "toy" and there is always an element of 'the better the devil you know'. So in this instance the tweaking was within my ability, I had the time, and now I like the end result.
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A terrific bargain, but expect to spend some time setting it up.
DiscoDon, 08.11.2018
This guitar has six excellent sounds, is very attractive, and is light and well built. It was delivered in a timely manner. It has a few small finish flaws, but from 3 feet away, is a real eye catcher.

Pros: The sound and playability are excellent. The fretboard is practically flat, if you are looking for that, and the neck is a little thicker than usual. This guitar can support a very wide range of sounds and playing techniques. It ships with a tool kit for adjustments, and I needed them. The unusual bridge seems to work just fine. I really like the Roswell Pickups.

Cons: As received, it was not set up, at all. No neck relief, intonation a half step sharp, very high string action. Several frets were too high, I was able to tap them in. A few other frets are too low. These will require a bit more work. The D string was bad, it buzzed like a sitar. With new strings, problem solved. The nut is ok, although some of the strings are a little high. Fixable. Pickups were not adjusted, adjusting them really improved the sound.

The tuners are lousy, surprisingly so. But these are easily changed.

****EDIT: The tuner paddles are held on with small Phillips screws. I discovered these were barely finger tight. After tightening the screws, the tuners work fine. So this is a ding on quality control, not the overall guitar. ****

After setup, it is playable and a very enjoyable guitar.

The guitar does stay in tune, has balanced sound over the whole range, and is fully stage worthy. With a fret leveling and new tuners, it would be right up there with my Les Paul or Stratocaster. At just over $200, you can't beat this guitar.
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Gorgeous Guitar - An Absolute Bargain!
Cuztard Pi, 12.02.2016
Harley Benton was an unknown brand to me; but after extensive research via YouTube & the web, I?ve been impressed by the overwhelmingly positive response to the range of HB cheap-as-chips guitars.
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.

Conclusion:
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!!!
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Vietnam ...Roswell....hmmmmmm
Cumberland Blues, 22.04.2018
I was a little worried after seeing some reviews of the latest Harley Benton's. I was concerned about the manufacturing being moved to Vietnam and the new Roswell pup's.
I had seen mixed reviews when I placed my order at the end of March 2018, but I decided to order and hope for the best.
My background , I am a tool and die machinist by trade and a hobbiest musician who plays for fun.I also own a Fender Deluxe Stratocaster and I purchased a Harley Benton SC550 at the same time I purchased the CST-24HB.
Even though I am a novice guitarist my twenty plus years being a tool and die machinist gives me the ability to offer more than just personal thoughts and feelings on how an instrument feels.
The Pros:
The fit and finish is absolutley wonderful.There is no doubt it was setup and inspected before leaving Thomann.The frets are level and the neck feels and plays great.The electronics work as they should and the push/pull gives great options.I am happy with the Roswell pup's. I can get the classic rock and blues that I wanted.
The cons:
While it is completely playable as is I did polish the frets and I will retrofit some locking machine heads in the near future because I am keeping this and I prefer them.
The bottom line is I am very pleased with the purchase.
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So close - minor niggles stop me giving top marks
Ian3180, 14.03.2016
Ok, having seen the rave reviews - in particular the YouTube review from EytschPi42 my expectations were high - perhaps a little too high ?

As usual with Thomann the guitar arrived quickly in the UK from Germany, well packaged and safe.

Opening the box I was initially quite pleased with the general finish of the guitar, nice polished gloss on the body and chrome hardware.
It didn't take long to start picking fault with the finish though.
For a start, calling the Tortoise flame 'AAA' grade is a stretch. Its nice, but the book match is not brilliantly aligned and the flame has very little depth under changing light conditions.
Its also quite obviously a VERY thin veneer - thin enough to slightly wrap up the side of the neck at the body join. Ok, so its 222 euros - fair enough.
Next cosmetic fault is with the fretboard. It seems VERY dry and appears to have a very uniform, dull colour over the entire board - its doesn't look like rosewood to me. If you look at the neck in EytschPi42 video it has a nice wood grain variation - perhaps it will clean up when played a bit more.

A shame the jack plug could not have been centred better its twisted about 10 degrees from horizontal and does not run parallel with the binding either side.

Now I have a bit more light, its clear that the mahogany back is in two pieces - not unusual but a shame the join is so far off centre. The neck actually appears to be three pieces. The usual headstock join around frets 3/4 AND the remaining length of the neck to the body is in two sections.

Two more significant issues though are:
1. A visible dent just behind the first fret on the edge for the fretboard - should have been spotted at inspection by Thomann - this did not happen during shipping - plays fine though.
2. The bridge height cannot be lowered any further - while playable, I would still like the strings a little closer to the board. I have read others swapping the bridge out for a Wilkinson bridge - might try this if I don't return the guitar and the actions proves to be a problem.

Having said all this, it sounds great, plays well for such a low cost guitar.
I'm not completely convinced I would get a better one in return. At this price point, frankly its perhaps asking for too much.
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Truly awful
Womph, 19.12.2018
I see so many people here with great things to say about this guitar. I wish I had the same experience.

It showed up with the absolute worst finishing job I have ever seen. The sides of the fretboard have been sanded down so aggressively there are chunks missing. I get not wanting to have rough fret edges, but it looks like someone took a steak knife to it.

There are also corroded frets, straight out of the box. I have never seen that on a new guitar, ever. Top that off with a couple of dents, a fretboard that isn't stained properly and a top that looks nothing like the photos listed here, and you have one of the worst excuses for a guitar I've ever seen.

I understand that at this price point there will be imperfections, but this is just baffling. I will be returning it.
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No regrets, she's a keeper
Texas BBQ and Blues, 05.05.2019
It's true, you will need to do a little set-up on your new Harley Benton. Guitar is beautiful and is overall very good quality. Very pleased with the value. She plays good, neck feels good, PUs sound pretty good. She is my #3 guitar now (out of 8) which is great considering #1 and #2 cost well over $1k.
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Fantastic guitar for the money
ATWay, 01.02.2019
I bought this guitar as an alternative to my telecaster, didn't want to spend to much but wanted something with humbuckers and a hollow body. Always wanted a PRS but for the money I had to spend it was not an option this guitar filled the gap perfectly. Neck profile is comfortable and there were no jagged fret wire, pickups are good but leave a little more to be desired and the addition of coil splitting is nice and gives the guitar some different tonal possibilities. For the price you'd be hard pressed to find better value for your money. I have handed this guitar to all of my fellow guitar playing friends and they all seem to over estimate the price and are blown away by the quality and sound of the instrument for the price.

Pros:
- sounds great with well rounded tone from both pick ups
- looks great
- plays great
- great value for money

cons:
- some very minor imperfections with the finish and painting of the inside of the body
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Beautiful guitar for excellent price
14.02.2016
Purchased product to add to small collection of not so expensive guitars for home use (also purchased the SC-450 P90 GT).

Build quality excellent. Beautiful split grain top with a finish free of any imperfections (no scratches, etc.). Nice single piece back. Nicely matched three piece neck. Bindings nicely finished on top body edge and sound holes. Somewhat unusual inlays on fret board. Frets nicely finished with no sharp edges. Neck and fret board feel very nice. Only one flaw; the lacquer appears to have run a little on the lower cutaway, leaving a noticeable ridge. Not a big issue but could have been avoided.

Machine heads turn smoothly, as do volume and tone controls. Pickup switch has good feel.

Action very good. Intonation needed adjusting. Had to use most of the range of motion on the set screw located in the end of the wrap around bridge/tail piece to adjust intonation on low E. Should be ok, although the slot on the bridge/tail piece is now visible along with the set screw. The bridge/tail piece could have been more accurately positioned. Proper upward bow on neck and no truss rod adjustment required.

Humbucker pickups sound very good. No fret buss. Holds tuning well.

Beautiful guitar for excellent price. Highly recommended.
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Could be so good
John in uk, 26.10.2018
Guitar arrived well packed and still in tune. Initially i was very impressed and the guitar looked fantatsic. Then i noticed a large patch of bloom on the back which i eventually managed to polish out. Then i saw the same issues that other reviews have noted, strings too high at nut and stain on the binding in the f holes. All the tuner buttons were loose , the neck too flat and theres a high fret point at frets 12 to 13.
I had to adjust the bridge by miles to get intonation in fact i was concerned about it coming out of the posts. In my opinion the bridge is positioned too close to the neck by 3 or 4 mm. I have the same bridge on my PRS Tremonti and never had to adjust it at all.
There is another issue with the roseacer neck material. Mine has white lines on the edges of the fretboard caused by fret sanding or manufacturing process. I tried to stain it out but the wood is too hard to take the stain.
Thomman, this could be a fabulous guitar , it looks brilliant , why not put another 10 or 15 euros on the price and get the quality A1. Ill be spending time on mine getting the playing issues fixed , as i like it so much, but for 200 pounds i shouldnt have to.
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Great guitar w/ minor QC issues
TJ the Canadian, 30.04.2018
This is my first Harley Benton and, based on this guitar, may not be my last. First up, the positives:
- Great playability. Super comfortable neck and fretboard with no fret protrusion or popping
- Good pickups. Best described as inoffensive, I don't feel the need to replace them immediately but they also don't really inspire.
- Great tuners.
- Gorgeous top. Could have been a fluke, but mine had a perfect bookmatched top with a deep flame.

The flip-side:
- A lot of finishing flaws. Binding sanded completely off in places around the cutaway. Finish scuffing and scratches. Fretboard looks like it was lubricated last when the tree was still in the ground.
- The bridge. Don't know who on God's green earth thought having only 2 strings intonatable was a good idea, but they should be fired. Budget for a bridge upgrade with purchase.
- No backplate. Again, don't know how this sort of thing happens after all these decades, but unless there is a structural reason (with the MASSIVE centerblock I doubt it) why would you not put an opening on the back for replacing the components. Expect a few headaches replacing parts.
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Some cosmetic issues not expected
Not As Expected, 28.12.2018
Got the guitar yesterday here in the US after 21 days. The outer box looked like it had quite a battle getting here. One end completely blown out and re taped. Thankfully the guitar was intact. As I pulled it out of the bag I was a little disappointed with the flame not being as great as it could have been. The fret markers were not centered and there was a ripple in the finish on the back . The set up was very good and nearly in tune. I tweaked the truss rod just a touch and dropped the bridge a little. I also put heavier strings on d-a-e strings.The sound is great and pickups respond well. The tuners seem fine. For the price it seems worth it. Based on the reviews I used to compare what I could expect it is evident that the guitars provided to You Tube reviewers "China Guitar Sceptic" and "EytschPi42" were of superior quality visually. In that respect I am disappointed but I don't want to go thru the return process to probably get something the same or worse. I guess for the price it ok.A monetary adjustment would be nice. I sent Thomann pictures illustrating issues, In my opinion it should have been a blem. No solution offered.
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Not quite what I was looking for in terms of quality..
Mageo, 21.02.2018
Upon opening the box, I was so delighted with the finish on this guitar, however this is where the problems started...Dont get me wrong its not a disaster as I decided not to send the guitar back as the finish on this one is superb. To start with the guitar would not tune up at all, so this got me wondering if we had a neck problem, so it was a strip down and an investigation....the neck needed to be set up as it had a bow in it from Robin Hood me thinks, and the frets were all out of kilter, some high, some low, and some just a mess, so I completed the task of leveling the frets, (once I got the neck sorted ) and once crowned and polished ( this takes a bit of time but its worth the efforts) its was a case or restringing and final set up...its took me around 2 days of fettling to do this and I am now left with a loverly Guitar that sits on my wall proud and looking like a piece of artwork.....The point here is, if you buy a guitar as inexpensive as this ( I will not use the word 'cheap' as it has different connotations ) then its worth putting the effort in to get it how you want it, if your not confident to do it yourself, then find a local Luthier who will help you, it transforms the guitar..Overall good buy.....
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One very cool instrument
Dimitar D. , 11.07.2019
It's my first ever hollow- body guitar and i must say that i am very impressed and satisfied with it. It feels good, it sounds good, it's very comfortable and it's at a very affordable price. The only downside to the guitar( which is not like a big thing or anything) is the dots on the fretboard. On the pictures there are some star looking inlays on the fretboard and on the guitar that i received there were normal dots but as i said it's not something very shocking. Overall i really enjoy this beautiful instrument. Thank you very much Thomann!
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dixie
Mike5554, 15.10.2015
I own a teal black (green) PRS...... this Harley Benton is in my humble" bedroom guitarist" opinion is every bit as good as or better in quality,sound,features & looks
ROCK ON THOMANN
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My new opinion on Guitars
26.04.2016
Well I've always been a Gibson and Fender guy. Looked down on the cheaper guitars. Wow how that's changed.

After the guy on YouTube reviewing these Harleys. I purchased this on. Quality , set up, playability, tone wow, its amazing.

From here I've sold my more expensive guitars including my fender and Gibson. I now have purchased 7 of these different Harley Benton guitars, 2 x lps, Prs copys. all for the price of one of my Higher end Guitars.

Cant recommend these guitars enough. Don't think il ever buy another £2000 guitar again, I do own a Martin Acoustic which I love to bits , but have ordered the CLD D-41 Harley Benton, mmmm just curious how this compares to my Martin, That will take some beating.
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Great versatility and an exceptional value.
JBMCB, 23.01.2018
I play mostly blues and some rock. I watched some reviews online and most of them were very complimentary. To my ears, the tones were right in line with what I was looking for, however, since I live in the United States I was very nervous about ordering a guitar from somewhere in Europe because if something went wrong, I may have challenges getting it back to Thomann. I decided to give it a shot. It took almost a month to get to me (during the holidays) and when I received the box, it was quite mangled. When I unboxed the guitar, I was extremely happy to see that the guitar was in good condition, except for the pointy end at the top of the headstock, which had been broken. The guitar played well and the tones were better than I had hoped. The guitar is beautiful and the neck is a nice D shape, which I like. I can get good blues, rock, jazz and country tones out of it. I did notice a dry fretboard and rusted strings, but those are easily fixed. For the price I paid for it, the guitar is quite impressive.
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Harley Benton CST-24HB Tortoise Flame, It's a no brainer, Get one!
Peter9711, 10.10.2015
You will open the package and think, "Why, for so little money?".
Inspect it and its flawless to such a degree that you think why buy a Smith?

So, after wiping my drool of this thing, I played her unplugged for a while, nice feeling, fret ends smooth, came almost in tune. The action felt slightly higher but thats adjustable, may stick with this tho as she plays great out of the box.

Tuners are really good as is the nut, no cheap polymers there :P

Neck feels great, intonation is spot on, waiting for my bubble to burst..... It didn't.

Plugged her in and played and fell in love again. Lovely sounding and the looks made me play more. A few guitars are now gathering dust.

Now to the mojo (bullshit)

The pickups may or may not have a ceramic magnet. Well it's a magnet and a magnetic thing passing through it's field when wrapped in a coil will generate a current. These pickups sound great.

The capacitors aren't paper in oil/orange drop !! A capacitor is a capacitor, simply a battery that stores charge and releases on demand, no mojo there, whatever they are made of.
No CTS pots??? A pot is a variable resistor measured for quality on how many times it can cycle from zero to full without failing.
A wire is insulated against contact with other wires, the old people used cloth, now he have polymers(plastic)

Mojo over

Simply get one and play it, You will be converted.
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Great for the price
Dandy Don, 20.11.2018
Only a few issues, some cosmetic. Neck pickup not aligned with strings or other pickup. The neck star inlays are not centered. It will need some fret and truss rod attention but that was expected. I would still buy another of this type and recommend this one with the understanding of normal issues that are easily overcome after delivery.
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Value and Tone Machine
22nd fret, 10.03.2018
After 40 years of playing guitar professionally and as a hobbyist I've owned well over 75 electric guitars. From the very top to the middle of the pack. I was intrigued by the online demos and reviews of Harley Benton guitars. I decided to pull the trigger and buy the CST-24HB. I was nervous that the trip over to the States would damage the guitar but when it arrived, the outer box was perfect as was the inner box. The guitar was set up nicely. No buzz and just the right amount of neck relief and string action. I fine tuned the tuning and plugged it in to my tube amp and the town was great. I couldn't put this down for at least an hour. Great feel, great tone, great value. I would definitely use this at a jam. I'm proud to own this guitar and to show it off. It was my first Harley Benton. It will certainly not be my last.
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Harley Benton CST-24HB Tortoise Flame

€221 £198.38
Free shipping incl. VAT

The price in GBP is a guideline price only!

In stock within 3-4 weeks
In stock within 3-4 weeks

This item is expected back in stock soon and can then be shipped immediately.

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