Harley Benton Custom Line CLA-15MCE

Steel String Guitar

  • Body shape: Auditorium 000-14 with cutaway
  • Dovetail construction
  • Top: Solid Gabon mahogany (Aucoumea klaineana)
  • Scalloped X-bracing
  • Body: Gabon mahogany (Aucoumea klaineana)
  • Neck: Gabon mahogany (Aucoumea klaineana)
  • Fretboard: Ovangkol
  • Neck profile: Modified oval C
  • "Snowflake" inlays
  • Body binding made of wood
  • Scale: 643 mm
  • Nut width: 43 mm
  • 20 Frets
  • Bone nut
  • Compensated bridge inlay
  • Bridge: Ovangkol
  • Chrome-plated DLX die-cast machine heads
  • Ex-factory stringing: D'Addario EXP-16 .012 - .053
  • Pickups: Fishman Isys+ preamp system with integrated tuner
  • Colour: Natural matte
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Further information

Model 000
Top Mahogny
Back and Sides Mahogany
Cutaway Yes
Fretboard Ovangkol
Nut width in mm 43,00 mm
Frets 20
Pickup Yes
Colour Natural
Incl. Case No
Incl. Gigbag No

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Our most popular O/OO/OOO Body Size
85 customer ratings:
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4.8 / 5.0
  • features
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66 written ratings Read all reviews
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Beautiful all round guitar that over delivers on any realistic expectations.

Marcopolo, 24.04.2018
Out of the box, the first impression was how attractive this guitar was. Mine had a lovely "tiger stripe" to the grain on the solid mahogany top. The tuners are solid and similar in appearance to the ones on my Martin. The nut and bridge are well made, the electrics sound great when plugged in with a really handy built in tuner. As I tune my guitar a semi tone down I didn't expect to be able to tune it with this, but it does handle #'s.
The sound is more mellow than my Martin (solid spruce top) which I really like. If I was picky I would say the base is much weaker but it is not fair to make this comparison given the price point and it still sounds really well balanced and pleasant to listen to.
As I have smaller hands, the really great thing I liked was the profiled neck. It is quite a slim profile and I have no trouble getting my thumb over onto the sixth string. Also I really like this size guitar (Goldilocks...not to big, not too small) which sits comfortably on my lap and easy to get my hands into position.
The frets and pretty smooth, and the intonation is great. It seems to play really well with a capo and stays in tune as I move it about (some of my other guitars need to be re-tuned each time I move the capo!)
In summary and taking into account the price point, in my opinion there are no negatives. On a blind test I would say it would retail for 2-3 times more than the asking price. Tone, play-ability, looks, components and craftsmanship are all fantastic for the price. If you are not sure but feel it is the type of instrument you are interested in...take a punt and I doubt you will be disappointed.
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Total
features
sound
quality

Hard to believe...

buddhuu, 10.05.2017
This is very much a first impression as the guitar only arrived today, but I am blown away. It is great.

I've been playing since 1972. My last full-size acoustic was a Taylor, and I've been doing instrument repairs and setups for years - so I have a little knowledge of guitars.

Recently I bought another HB guitar: a cheap short scale thing called a Custom Line CLGS-10S Travel. I got it as a travel/beater/campfire guitar and I was surprised how good it was for a cheap guitar. So, when I found I needed a decent, but inexpensive, electro-acoustic for my band I thought I'd try a slightly higher-level HB.

The reviews of the Harley Benton Custom Line CLA-15MCE were excellent, and the few YouTube videos also looked great. The guitar is pretty low-priced, so I went for it. Thomann are always great about returns, so I had little to lose.

Forget that. No way am I returning this thing.

I think the body is a little shallower than the Martin model that obviously inspired this guitar and the unplugged volume is a little lower - but not much. This is an average volume acoustic guitar. That is the only average thing about it.

The fit and finish are, as far as I can see, absolutely excellent. The neck relief and action have been set up perfectly and there is even a battery installed in the preamp/tuner. The tuners are of very good quality: smooth and stable. Intonation seems spot on right up the neck.

The fret job is neat and well finished, without sharp ends. This is the first acoustic guitar I've had that I have not felt the urge to improve the string height at the nut. Whoever set this guitar up obviously checked and adjusted the nut slots to perfection. Thank you, Thomann setup person, whoever you are - I hope they're paying you enough because you've done a great job. I've had guitars with setups as good as this but I don't recall any better. I'm delighted.

The frets are smooth, not raspy like on many inexpensive guitars. I will polish them a little more, but only because I like a real, glassy mirror finish on my frets and these are just a tiny bit below that level of polish.
The fretboard is not actually dry, but it looks as if it will benefit from a light oiling, which I will do tomorrow.

Plugged in, the Fishman pickup and tuner work great. The sound is standard undersaddle piezo. I'm a bit odd because I prefer magnetic soundhole pickups rather than piezos, but this one sounds a lot better than many of its species. Perfectly acceptable and I'll be happy enough to gig it.

Visually, this is a beautiful guitar. The solid mahogany is made from a nice piece of wood. Actually, it looks like it may be a two piece top, but that's no problem. I've seen very high end guitars deliberately made with two piece tops for the book-matching effect they allow.

The acoustic tone is very nice. The strings are still a bit fresh and metallic yet for me to fully hear what it will sound like when they settle down, but it sounds fine already and the tone will get even better when that new-string bright twang wears off.

So, absolutely full marks, Thomann. This is extraordinary value for money. I couldn't be happier.


EDIT: I've now had the guitar for a few days. The strings have settled and I've had a chance to use the HB at a pub gig.

A bandmate who plays a Martin 000-15 is staggered by the quality and volume of the Harley Benton. I didn't think it was that loud, but comparing side-by-side it is as loud as his Martin.

I already gave this guitar top marks. If I could give it more stars I would.

I'm going to buy the dreadnought version as soon as it's back in stock next month. If you're not a logo snob then these guitars are just too good to miss.
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Show variations of this product
Harley Benton Custom Line CLA-15MCE
(86)
Harley Benton Custom Line CLA-15MCE

Steel String Guitar Body shape: Auditorium 000-14 with cutaway, Dovetail construction, Top: Solid Gabon mahogany (Aucoumea klaineana), Scalloped X-bracing, Body: Gabon mahogany (Aucoumea...

  • Model: 000
  • Top: Mahogny
  • Back and Sides: Mahogany
  • Cutaway: Yes
  • Fretboard: Ovangkol
  • Nut width in mm: 43,00 mm
  • Frets: 20
  • Pickup: Yes
  • Colour: Natural
  • Incl. Case: No
  • Incl. Gigbag: No
Harley Benton Custom Line CLA-16SCE
(33)
Harley Benton Custom Line CLA-16SCE

Electro-Acoustic Guitar with Cutaway Body type: Auditorium with cutaway, Dove tail design, Solid sitka spruce top, Gabon Mahogany body (Aucoumea klaineana), Gabon Mahogany neck (Aucoumea...

  • Model: 000
  • Top: spruce
  • Back and Sides: Mahogany
  • Cutaway: Yes
  • Fretboard: Ovangkol
  • Nut width in mm: 43,00 mm
  • Frets: 20
  • Pickup: Yes
  • Colour: Natural
  • Incl. Case: No
  • Incl. Gigbag: No
B-Stock from €184 available
€198 £174.07
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Available immediately
Available immediately

This item is in stock and can be dispatched immediately.

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Online Guide
Acoustic Guitars
Acoustic Guitars
The steel-strung acoustic guitar has a range of sounds that are unmistakeable and not easily replicated with any other type of guitar.
Online guides
Acoustic Guitars
Acoustic Guitars
The steel-strung acoustic guitar has a range of sounds that are unmistakeable and not easily replicated with any other type of guitar.
 
 
 
 
 
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