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Harley Benton HB Custom Line CLG-414CE NT RW

Steel-string guitar with pickup

  • Body shape: Grand auditorium with cutaway
  • Top: Hand-selected solid spruce
  • Body: Indian rosewood
  • Neck: Mahogany
  • Scalloped X-bracing
  • Fretboard: Sonokeling rosewood
  • Scale: 643 mm
  • Nut width: 43 mm
  • 20 Frets
  • Dot inlays
  • Bridge: Sonokeling rosewood
  • Black binding
  • Chrome diecast machine heads
  • Pickup: Fishman Sonicore
  • Fishman Isys+ preamp system with built-in tuner
  • Strings: D'Addario EXP-16
  • Colour: Natural high-gloss
  • Corresponding case: Article Nr 122212 (not included)
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Sound samples

 
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  • Country Mic
  • Country Pickup
  • Picking Mic
  • Picking Pickup
  • Strumming Mic
  • Strumming Pickup

Further information

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

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Harley Benton HB Custom Line CLG-414CE NT RW 70% bought this exact product
Harley Benton HB Custom Line CLG-414CE NT RW
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4.7 / 5.0
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68 written ratings Read all reviews
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features
sound
quality

Really Nice sound and construction.

07.12.2015
Compared to my Koa Chartin D45 this HB acoustic is louder and has better note separation. The tone is more metallic (apparently Koa is known to have a more mellow sound) but in a nice way. This guitar is certainly brighter i.e. more treble response but it also has more bass response. A good sign is that I want to keep playing it. I have not tried the pickup yet.

The quality is very good - the fretboard a flawless very nice wood! It looks superior in quality to most of my other guitars fretboards (and I have nearly 40 guitars). NO glue nor any other imperfections and it doesn't look cheap at all. The neck has a scarf joint and heel joint and again looks very nice with a patterned mahogany which is also reflected in the side of the headstock - giving it a very nice appearance. In the hands it looks nicer than in the Thomann pictures.

The dark rosewood back and sides look like a laminate or veneer but have been very nicely done. Reminds me a bit of 70s Bakelite - maybe it's made from recycled furniture - lol. The guitar has a gloss finish on the body but not on the neck (satin finish) which means no sticking hands on the gloss.

The only imperfection I can see is a slight blemish in the wood on the back underneath the gloss which isn't noticeable unless you look for it.
It came with a QC card describing the 14th fret action as 2.4mm - maybe to a blind man, it actually is 2.7mm -but doesnt feel like it when you play it. I am excited about how this guitar may feel after a proper set-up i.e. lower action. It plays better than my Chartin and that has 2.25mm action at 12th fret. It has a simple, elegant quality about it that belies its price tag. It is not mutton dressed as lamb - but just a really nice, playing and sounding guitar for the price. I bought this instead of the CLJ-503CE because the reviews were consistently better and I do not regret it.

It is described as Grand Auditorium size. 16inches across at the bottom (same as dreadnought) but gets an inch or so narrower at the waist and shoulder; making it slightly more comfortable to play. But it is louder than my Chartin. I thoroughly recommend this guitar. Damn..these Harley Bentons are so good for the money you just want to keep buying more!
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Total
features
sound
quality

Just gets better with age

25.11.2015
I bought this in my first order from Thomann. I was looking for a guitar that felt a little smaller than my dreadnought and had easier access to to the higher notes. I also liked the idea of a solid spruce top although I had no idea what to expect.

The quality of this guitar is first class. I can see no faults on the woodwork and the neck has a lovely matte finish. The action was OK but I would have preferred it a little lower. The tuners are really smooth and it is easy to tune using the pickup preamp. The pickup seems to lack a little sparkle - maybe that is true of most piezo pickups or maybe it is this guitar - but is adequate on the rare occasion that I need amplification.

I must admit that when I first got the guitar I was unsure about the sound to the point where I considered returning it. It sounded very small when compared to my cheap dreadnought, but much smoother - a quality which was not lost on my friends. Bass was tight and a little limited, mids were fine and the treble was maybe lacking in overtones. I felt that the soundboard was not very resonant when I tapped it.

I tried straightening the pickup and making sure that it sat in the saddle slot perfectly flat. I changed the strings to Elixir 12s and I think that made the guitar a little livelier. Finally I changed the strings to HB coated 11s and these seem to suit the guitar the best for me. Maybe the thinner gauge makes the strings brighter.

11 months later the guitar has been subjected to a lot of drums and French horn in my music room. The guitar does like singing along and I think that it prefers the horn to the drums. The sweetness is still there but the soundboard seems a lot more resonant and overall the sound has opened up. I am sure that it would be more resonant if I could remove the cable tie/pad that holds the wires as this seems to make a dead spot on the soundboard...

So what have I learned?
- cheap pickups sound cheap but are useful anyway
- solid soundboards take a while to develop tone
- HB coated 11s sound great and are stupidly cheap
- if I keep practicing I will improve!
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B-Stock from €198 available
€225 £198.75
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Available immediately
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