Harley Benton GS-Travel-E Mahogany


Steel-String Guitar

  • Body design: Mini Travel Grand Symphony
  • Body: Selected mahogany
  • Neck: Nato
  • Fretboard: Blackwood
  • Fretboard inlays: Dot
  • Arched back
  • Binding on the body and neck: Black
  • Neck profile: V
  • Fretboard radius: 381 mm
  • Scale: 596 mm
  • Nut width: 43 mm
  • 20 Frets
  • Bridge: Blackwood
  • Machine heads: Black deluxe diecast
  • Pickup: HB-03 preamp with integrated tuner
  • String gauges: HB .012 - .053
  • Colour: Natural matte
  • Includes a gig bag


  • Total length: 95 cm
  • Lower bout: 36 cm
  • Height of the sides: 10 cm
available since October 2017
Item number 410797
sales unit 1 piece(s)
Model Mini Grand Symphony
Top Mahogany
Back And Sides Mahogany
Cutaway No
Fretboard Blackwood
Nut width in mm 43,00 mm
Pickup System Yes
Colour Natural
Case No
Incl. Gigbag Yes
Acoustic Guitar 1
Color Brown
Body Mahogany
Neck Nato
Frets 20
Scale 596 mm
Saddle Width 43 mm
Pickup Configuration Yes
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What a bargain!
Tazthedog 13.02.2018
I normally play a Martin 000-15S and my son plays a Taylor GS Mini (of which this little Harley Benton is a replica). I know a good guitar when I play it.
I was looking for a cheap little travel guitar to take on a boating holiday and saw all the rave reviews of this little baby and decided to take a punt.
When the guitar arrived, the first things I noticed were that there was a slight buzz on the low E string and a dead spot on the B. No problem though - a 1/4 turn on the truss rod (key in the lovely travel bag!) gave a little more neck relief and buzz/dead spot gone like magic.
Only imperfection I could find on the whole instrument was a crease mark on the very thin pick guard. Again - no problem. I just peeled off the pick guard which left absolutely no mark on the guitar. I think it looks way better without it.
The action is now absolutely superb all the way up the neck and the intonation (checked with Snark tuner) is, remarkably, also spot on at every fret. With the original strings and a little relief adjustment the guitar plays great now. Sure it's not a Martin or a Taylor but it is a remarkably good sounding little instrument in its own right and for the Euros 109 I paid, absolutely stunning value for money. It comes complete with a smashing little gig bag, truss rod key and even a cheap, but functional lead for hooking it up to an amplifier. I tried it with a MicroCube amp and the output from the fitted pickup is more than adequate.
I will be fitting a Graphtec TUSQ XL saddle when I replace the strings with Martin Custom Lights as I think very slightly heavier gauge strings might just add a little more bottom end, and the saddle that is on the guitar is a very cheap plastic job that isn't really doing anything to improve the tone. However, saying that I generally make these simple mods to any guitar I buy, irrespective of what I paid for it.
To summarise then, if you are looking for a really great value travel guitar then look no further. This really is 'a steal'.

Update: I have now had this little gem for around a week and I haven't picked up my Martin in that time. This little guitar is stunningly good. I just can't believe that an all laminate, small guitar can sound and play as well as this one does. String spacing I find a little to tight for my liking when finger picking, but for flat picking and strumming, the v shaped neck and excellent action are spot on. I've yet to replace the saddle and strings because every time I pick it up I start playing it!
I may be one of the lucky ones to get an absolute gem, but somehow, given the other reviews, I think not. Absolutely the best value guitar I have ever bought in terms of bang for buck. Amazing!
Update: Have just replaced strings with medium gauge Elixirs (13s). Had to lower action slightly at nut for low E and A strings to accommodate heavier gauge strings. Great success, much less unintended bending of treble strings when playing up the neck and much improved base response. Although slightly harder on the fingers, I think it's well worth putting heavier gauge strings on this great little guitar.
With the Elixir 13s this guitar is the DADGAD beast!


Better than expected - and I expected a lot!
E H. 24.07.2022
Motivation: I wanted a guitar for the living room.

Background: I've bought and sold dozens of guitars over the years, including PRS Customs. And if I haven't owned it, I've probably borrowed it. I've had many acoustics, my main one is an old Takamine EN10 that I purchased new in '91, I've gigged it 2,500+ times and refretted 6x times. Not the best I've played, but above average and fits like a glove. Plus my daughter loves it so I can never sell it!

Now to the Harley Benton GS-Travel-E Mahogany. I'd read dozens of positive reviews & watched a bunch of YouTube videos before pulling the trigger, so I was expecting something pretty decent.

Over the years I've passed several guitars because their necks were just too "bendy" for my heavy-handedness. Not this one. This neck is stable and I wouldn't have known it was a "V" if I hadn't read the specs, it feels fine, smallish overall though not exactly slim, and nothing as pronounced as the V neck Clapton Strat I once borrowed and disliked. It seems to holds tune pretty good, I've seen reviewers complain that the tuner gear ratio is a tad high & I'd concur, but it's not deal breaker for me. It comes strung with 12s but I suspect I'll prefer 11s on this & I intend swapping them out soon. I happen to love the elegant looking headstock and overall, the guitar easily exceeds my cosmetic expectations. I haven't plugged it in yet, nor will I be able to for a while, so I'm commenting on the acoustic output only here. It's louder, more balanced and more pleasant than I'd expected. The darkish mahogany tone seems to suit this body size well, and perhaps makes up for the lack of bottom end that a small body-size like this is capable of generating. The tone isn't as complex as higher-end guitars, but it is so well balanced that I quickly forget about any perceived lack of sweetness as I enjoy the nice note bloom, something that reminds me of an old Gibson LP Junior that I once played. Not every guitar - even expensive ones - bloom like this and it's a nice surprize that is hard to express in words.

So overall, it's a very enjoyable guitar to play & plenty loud for my requirements. It doesn't feel out of place between my '79 Strat and '91 Takamine EN10 - which says a lot for a €129 guitar! I don't know how they do it for the money. Buy one!


Buy it - you won’t regret it!
Brent Hood 16.02.2022
First of all, let’s get it out of the way. I’ve been playing for over 20 years, own 14 guitars so I’ve seen my fair share of rubbish! Obviously sometimes you get a dodgy one, and QC sometimes have shockers, so I will review this based on my guitar I’ve received.

I read all the reviews, everyone saying it’s amazing for the money. I’ve fallen for that trick before with Squiers and Epiphones, but THIS little travel guitar is absolutely stunning.

The quality of build is amazing. It’s flawless. The finish, the fretboard, everything… it’s beautiful. The tuners are really good, solid and keeps it in tune. The sound is amazing, so loud and full of mids and bass. You’d think it would be tinny, like them Ed Sheeran-esque travel guitars, but nope this sounds like a full-size acoustic.

The pick up sounds good, and has a built in tuner with a display on so you can find your notes to tune it however you like.

All in all, if you paid £500 for this guitar and it said a more expensive name on the headstock you would not be complaining. I am actually confused how this high quality instrument is so cheap. It is much better than my £400 epiphone acoustic. I cannot put it down.

I took the scratch plate off as I prefer it without. There was 3 sharp fret ends, not to worry - filed them down and now it’s all good. Action was nice out of the box.

Just buy it - it’s the best £100 you’ll ever spend on a guitar. Harley Benton are the future!!!!


An exceptional little guitar for the money (albeit with a couple of faults) Every home should have one
mropeel 14.08.2022
May I begin by saying I have quite a few Harley Benton guitars. All are great value and the more expensive (pro) ones are very good indeed.

So this is a little guitar at a lower price point than I would normally be drawn to. But at the price I thought it was worth a look. Taking into account that this guitar is not aimed at a pro, I’m still going to give my findings and honest opinion.

Straight out of the box it sounded full and clear for a guitar with a smaller body and scale length. The finish was flawless, however the frets were a little rough and the action a little high. Lowering the action exposed one slightly high fret over the body causing one accessible fret to choke out. Not a problem if you don’t play up that end or if you know how to fix it. (which I did) Other than that, all the other frets played perfectly and only needed a little polish to take away any roughness. The full V shaped neck is comfortable even if you find the fingerboard radius a little flat.

Electrically, the pickup and preamp sounded surprisingly good (and the preamp even has a tuner and phase switch), HOWEVER … there was a problem with the low E string volume. It just wasn’t being picked up at all. One should really do a return with something like this, but because I’d had issues with the DHL delivery of this item, and have had experience with the temperamental properties of PIZZO under bridge pickups, I decided to investigate myself. The pickup worked fine and was completely straight. The bridge saddle was totally flat on it’s underside (when I adjust the action on acoustics I ALWAYS file down the top of the saddle and reshape it because I know how problematic these pickups can be when the saddle isn’t totally flat). On further investigation, it appeared that the bottom of the slot where the saddle and pickup sit, was NOT flat. There were a couple of metal pins/screws showing and someone (in the factory presumably) had tried to machine them flush and slightly overdone it making a slight recess onto which the pickup could not make contact with the body. I managed to resolve this using slithers of paper to fill the indents. NOW it all works fine. … and it sounds good.

I am aware, this is aimed at maybe, buskers, backpackers and suchlike who might not care about the electrics, and I know I’m being very pernickety but I like to know all my guitars work properly. When an instrument is built so well, especially at this price point, it would be nice to know that I just got the exception to the rule and I was lucky to have the knowledge to fix it. For £109 this is an exceptional little guitar. If you get a good one, why pay 6x the price for the other brand that it’s a tribute to?