Harley Benton D-120CE BK

1361

Steel-String Guitar

  • Design: Dreadnought with cutaway
  • Top: Spruce
  • Body: Mahogany (Entandrophragma cylindricum)
  • Neck: Mahogany
  • Fretboard: Roseacer (thermally treated maple wood)
  • Neck profile: C
  • Fretboard inlays: Dot
  • Cream-coloured bindings on the body and neck
  • Scale: 650 mm (25.59")
  • Nut width: 42.5 mm (1.67")
  • 20 Frets
  • Bridge: Roseacer (thermally treated maple wood)
  • Pickup includes preamp with volume control and 4-band EQ
  • Machine heads: Chrome-plated die-cast
  • Strings: .010 - .047
  • Included pickguards in black and tortoise
  • Colour: Black, high-gloss
available since January 2003
Item number 157819
sales unit 1 piece(s)
Top Spruce
Back and Sides Sapelli, Mahogany
Cutaway Yes
Fretboard Roseacer
Nut width in mm 42,50 mm
Frets 20
Pickups Yes
Colour Black
Case No
Incl. Gigbag No
£75
Including VAT; Excluding £8 shipping
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Affordable cutaway guitar with pickup

The Harley Benton D-120CE BK is a typical steel-string guitar with a robust dovetail construction, which also allows solo playing with its cutaway. Not only are the neck and headstock of this dreadnought guitar made of mahogany, its back and sides are made of mahogany as well. This ensures a balanced sound rich in overtones with respectable sustain. For the guitar’s top, Harley Benton has gone the classic route and used spruce. What is more, its chrome-plated tuners ensure quality. All this, together with a great black high-gloss finish and cream-coloured bindings on the body and neck, makes the model an affordable guitar that certainly doesn't look cheap. Best of all, a pickup with four-band EQ is also built right in.

Crosses and dots

Typical for the large body of a dreadnought guitar, the Harley Benton D-120CE BK delivers a correspondingly loud and comparatively full sound, relatively bassy yet with presence. The top is stabilised on the inside with braces arranged in a crossed formation. This so-called "X-bracing" provides stability against the force of the string tension. The fingerboard is made of heat-treated maple and its feel is reminiscent of the conservation-protected rosewood that was traditionally used in fingerboard construction. Dot inlays provide the necessary overview of the fingerboard. The woods used for the body are laminated and are thus well protected against damage such as cracks or warping. The preamp is powered by a 9 V block battery.

From entry level to travel companion

The Harley Benton D-120CE BK is suitable for all those who have always wanted to try out a dreadnought guitar but don't want to spend a lot of money on it. That's exactly what acoustic guitar fans don't have to do when purchasing this model. As far as the playing level is concerned, even beginners with a small budget can expect quite a bit here in terms of sound. Advanced players, on the other hand, will find this guitar an ideal understudy to their favourite model from a more expensive premium brand. The C-profile of the neck, with its even contouring, is ”beefy” enough to play comfortably while also being suitable for guitarists with smaller hands. At the same time, the long scale length of 650 mm offers enough room between the frets even for large fingers. With the built-in piezo pickup, it is also suitable for occasional live use.

About Harley Benton

Since 1998, the Harley Benton brand has been catering for the needs of numerous guitarists and bassists. In addition to an extensive range of stringed instruments, Thomann's house brand also offers a wide choice of amplifiers, speakers, effect pedals, and other accessories. In total, the range includes over 1,500 products. Built by established names in the industry, all Harley Benton products combine quality and reliability at attractive and affordable prices. The continuous expansion of the range ensures that Harley Benton always provides new, exciting, and innovative products that keep players perfectly in tune with the musical world, day after day.

Picking and strumming in many styles

The Harley Benton D-120CE BK is suitable for flatpicking as well as strumming. The sound of the guitar is at home in styles like Folk and Americana as well as in Blues, Country, and Bluegrass. So, if you want to sing some Johnny Cash songs right away without paying the price of a small second-hand car for a new guitar, you'll find an extremely budget-friendly six-string instrument complete with a pickup system – you really can’t go wrong. And for budding singer-songwriters, this acoustic guitar is a capable first companion up to and including those first on-stage performances. Those who are looking for an understudy to their more expensive favourite guitar or a real "touring guitar" that is allowed to get some scratches and scrapes on the road will also be satisfied. For this type of use, an additional guitar gig bag would be recommended.

In the spotlight: Roseacer

Rosewood is a particularly hard wood that has long been popular as a material for making guitar and bass fretboards. This wood is now considered endangered, however, and resources are scarce and expensive – which is why guitar makers have already spent several years searching for alternatives. The wood that Harley Benton has chosen as a fretboard material for its ST Acoustic series and many other guitars is a type of thermally treated maple known as “roseacer” (a word coined from “acer”, the name of the genus to which maple belongs). The heat treatment to which the wood is subjected reduces its water content to around three percent, which prevents subsequent shifting or warping and increases the wood’s stability while also giving it a visual appearance similar to that of rosewood.

S
A playable electro-acoustic guitar straight out of the box for £58 - how can you go wrong?
SamD 11.11.2014
I set up budget guitars in my spare time and bought this acoustic as something of an experiment. About a year ago I bought another Harley Benton (a Les Paul gold top copy) which was pretty well made but also pretty badly set up. However, after fret-levelling, re-profiling and polishing and sorting out the action (bridge and nut) it now plays better than any other Les Paul copy I've had. On that basis I wanted to try out a HB acoustic to see if, for almost no money, I could end up with a decent instrument.

The D-120 came pretty well packed (a conventional guitar shaped box inside a large rectangular box) and felt very light. The first thing that greeted me on unwrapping was a 2mm chip to the top edge of the headstock; disappointing but for £58 not worth initiating a return for since I can drop a bit of black lacquer in there to fill anyway.

First impressions when unpacked were how light and how thin the construction of this guitar is (even by comparison with my 2002 Fender CD60). It's very black and very shiny but in patches the lacquer is so thin you can see the wood grain through it. It wouldn't take much to wear through to the wood sadly. A quick all-over check revealed a decent-looking instrument; 20 frets on a nice shaped neck, basic sealed tuners, lousy Chinese strings, a little EQ unit (9v battery supplied!) and a jackplug input socket that was loose. That is a REAL hassle on a guitar like this. Getting a hand or tool inside there to hold the internal part of the jack socket still while tightening down on the outside is going to be a challenge. Enough now to send back and request another one? Mmmm. Still no. It's too much hassle and I'm sure I can sort it out - but both this and the chipped headstock are basic quality control issues that should have been sorted and which could really spoil this guitar for someone without the experience and confidence to fix it themselves.

To my surprise the action on this guitar is not too bad straight out of the box. The tuners are 'all or nothing' and sticky but kind of work. The frets are awfully finished and scratchy as hell meaning string bends leave you wincing (but I can take care of that). But here's the thing: despite its several little faults, this thing is playable straight out of the box. It sounds pretty good acoustically and even better when plugged into my amp (which I have to say ISN'T a dedicated acoustic guitar amp).

So for £58 plus £10 postage what you get is a lightweight electro-acoustic guitar that plays better than almost anything else you're likely to find for so little money (apart from getting lucky and finding a second hand Fender or Vintage acoustic locally via eBay or Gumtree). This Harley Benton confirms my previous HB experience: these are great guitars IF you are able to put right the small niggling problems AND do some thorough set up work (including fret levelling & dressing). Otherwise this is still not a bad first guitar for a learner for almost no money - certainly far better than the all-too-common first 'acoustic' guitar that turns out to be an unplayable and cheap classical :-)
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TG
For the price .... almost perfect.
Terry's GG&G 04.10.2016
Almost no diffrent then 1 of the big boys 2nd tier brands enter level aj's.

Again mine arived in 5 days here in canada with my TE-52 well packed in aug 2016 from thomann.

At this price point you cant expect perfection & as in other reviews on it its true. Mine arived with bad frets, dirty fingerboard & the strings where also VERY discustingly dirty/coroated o.O ... QC check on mine was not great sorry to say.

That said IF you have the tools/supplies & knowledge a light fret job, cleaning of strings & fingerboard brought the guitar into great playability !!

That said:

Pro:
- Sound system is great & worth the cost itself !! Sounds great through my vypyr vip 2's acoustic patches.
- body materials seem solid & true making for nice acoustic voicing/output when given some tlc.

Con:
- small crack in binding on bottom left corner of fret board
- paint starting to show some flaws after this long
- plastic bridge saddle or saddle slot cut incorrectly but again doesnt affect playability.
- dirty fret board, bad fret job, frets to small (jumbo's would be great on this)
- dirty strings (once cleaned with string cleaner sounded/felt good)

Despite the con's (not worth attempting to return for new unit) ... this guitar is easy to play, nice voicing.

IF you got one with these without the cons or knew how to fix it yourself or for cheap its a great deal take it from me whoms a home player/hobbiest player !!

I must say, I would consider a higher tiered one after my experiences with this one.
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LV
Best Beginner Guitar
Liviu Vrabie 10.01.2021
After a lot of research I decided to go with this guitar as my first guitar. I am satisfied with this guitar and I enjoy playing it. Because of the pandemic and Christmas Rush the guitar came in 1 month. Overall it plays really well, but I have it is not perfect.

This is a very cheap guitar so for the price I am not expecting a very good sound but it is pretty good. I haven't tried to use it with an amp yet so I can't comment on that. The strings are pretty good but I would recommend changing them after 1-2 months, so when you buy the guitar buy it with 2 spare packs of strings.

The quality is not very good. From far away it looks perfect but if you look closely it has a lot of scratches that came from the factory. They are not very visible and they look like the guitar is dirty. The nut on the 3rd string is not cut properly but for a beginner it is all right. In the end I recommend this guitar for anybody who doesn't want to spend a lot of money because it is worth it.
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R
Great
Robert.s 16.02.2022
I'm happy with this guitar no complains
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