Harley Benton HBMA-50 Mandoline VS



  • Bluegrass series
  • Body shape: A style
  • Spruce top
  • Body: Basswood
  • Neck: Teak
  • Fretboard: Blackwood (Pinus radiata)
  • 20 Frets
  • Dot inlays
  • Scale: 350 mm
  • Nut width: 30 mm
  • Blackwood bridge
  • Cream binding
  • Hardware: Chrome
  • Colour: High-gloss vintage sunburst
available since July 2012
Item number 277629
sales unit 1 piece(s)
Shape A-Style
Colour Sunburst
Body Basswood
Top Spruce
Neck Teak
Pickup System No
Incl. Case No
Incl. Gigbag No
Scale 350
Including VAT; Excluding £8 shipping
In stock
In stock

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Great cheap Mando if you're able to set it up by yourself
JakubPL 30.11.2020
I haven't had any prior experience with mandolins. I've bought it to check out if I like these instruments or not (it turned out I LOVE THEM!).

What hit me just after unpacking is that the body finish. The photos on the Thomann site implies something like 3 Tone Sunburst, when in fact it's more of a dull 2 Tone Sunburst. Not that bad, but not great either.

Mandolin arrived completely not set up - no intonation, no string height. The nut was a tad too high as well( first few frets were sharp tonewise) - sanding it off helped a lot. Frets are fine, the tuners are a bit hard to tune. Strings were not terrible, but rather on the bad side. Replacing them with D'addario improved the sound a lot and now the tuners keep the tune way better.

Soundwise - it's a twangy little beast with rather poor sounding G string. Anyway, it sounds like a mandolin. What else do you want for that money?

To conclude. Is it perfect instrument ? Not at all. Is it fun to play? Hell yes! Would I buy it again? Yup!


Standout instrument at an outstanding price.
zhuologist 08.12.2021
This is my first mandolin, and as I was unsure how I would take to it, opted for a low cost instrument. In fact, this is probably the cheapest mandolin on the market, at just £49, but despite the bargain basement price this is a good quality instrument. The 'Sunburst' finish I chose is superb, and the workmanship is excellent.
The setup is equally good, with just the saddle requiring a little lowering, easily accomplished via the inbuilt adjustment wheels. The bridge would benefit from some light sanding to achieve optimum intonation, but this is often the case in all but high-end instruments.
I'm happy with the sound at present, but may upgrade to top quality J74 strings, at around £10 a set, in due course.
All in all, am delighted with my purchase, representing outstanding value for money. It arrived from Thomann promptly and very well packed.


Really glad I bought this!
RoBass68 24.09.2018
I have had a hankering for a mandolin for a few years, more recently after hearing some virtuoso playing on YouTube!
The mandolin arrived incredibly well boxed and protected.
The finish is quite perfect on mine, the intonation is spot on and no adjustment was needed for the neck.
There was a bit of choking or fret-buzz on the second pair of strings (A) at the 9th and 10th fret, however, this was minimal and played out after a few days of scale practice and learning the fret board.
One initial let down were the machine heads (tuners). Six of them were fine, two were quite loose, however, a small adjustment with a screwdriver has them working perfectly.
My HBMA-50 holds it?s tune very well and the OEM strings fitted are bright and clear.
This is an excellent first mandolin and has raised my interest in the instrument.
I have played some slightly more expensive mandolins and I would say they are not 2-300£/¤ better than this and would wait to save more money to buy a ?much better? mandolin (if that makes sense?) ? [By the way the mid-price mandolins I tried were very good, but I?m trying to demonstrate how good my model seems to be].
Just a few of things, buy a tuner, buy a gig bag, buy a chord book and a song book. These can all be had for under £/¤100 if you chose well.


It's undeniably budget - but fine to learn on
Anonymous 19.12.2016
If this is your first mandolin, you are not going to be disappointed. It's fairly well made for the price, though the finish, especially the edging does have several imperfections, and I've seen better tuners on home made cigar box guitars.

It will require a good setup to get the best from it, but the intonation and playability right from the start were surprisingly reasonable. The sustain is also pretty good.

This mandolin has a bright and well projected sound, and physically it looks pleasing enough.

My only real issue with it is the quality of the tuners. They seem to suffer from 'loose spots', which makes fine tuning awkward.

With that said, if it splintered into a thousand pieces tomorrow - I would still buy another one.

It arrived quickly and very well packaged in a huge box - Thomann never disappoints. (Though I had hoped maybe the orders were mixed and I'd been sent a cello when I saw the size of the box!)