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Harley Benton ST-20 BK Standard Series

574

Electric Guitar

  • Body: Basswood
  • Neck: Maple
  • Fretboard: Laurel
  • Fretboard inlays: Dots
  • Neck profile: Modern C
  • Fretboard radius: 350 mm
  • 22 Frets
  • Scale: 648 mm
  • Nut width: 42 mm
  • Double action truss rod
  • Pickups: 3 ST-Style single coil
  • Controls: 1 Volume, 2 Tone
  • 5-Way switch
  • Hardware: Chrome
  • Synchronised tremolo
  • Machine heads: Enclosed
  • Strings: .009 - .042
  • Colour: Black high-gloss
  • Matching cases available under Article Nr 122213 and Article Nr 136377 (both are not included)
Colour black
Body Basswood
Top None
Neck Maple
Fretboard Roseacer
Frets 22
Scale 648 mm
Pickups SSS
Tremolo Vintage
incl. Bag No
incl. Case No
available since November 1999
Item number 135305
£66
Including VAT; Excluding £8 shipping
Available immediately
Available immediately

This item is in stock and can be dispatched immediately.

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2 Sales Rank
M
Solid guitar as a base for upgrades
Martymac 30.06.2020
This guitar is a very solid guitar for the money. The next and body are good and it is a really good platform to build a solid partscaster. Great value for money. Good entry level / beginner guitar if you are prepared to put some work in (intonation, action and fret ends) and upgrade into it (factor in an additional €40-65 for tuning machines and possibly an input jack, although it's still playable/ enjoyable without them). My ratings are taking the price into context.

Positives include:
- the neck and body is good and has a reassuring weight to them;
- the bridge / tremolo seems solid and stays in tune well once the tuners are changed;
- the pickup selector feels solid;
- the strings were much better than I expected but I still replaced mine to clean the fretboard;
- and the paint job was fine.

Negatives include:
- The tuners are really bad and keep slipping, with poor tuning stability (I replaced them straight away with the harley benton locking tuners, which are really good for the money);
- The input jack seems very weak and cuts in and out, so will need to be replaced. Short term solution was to unscrew the plate and bend it back into position but still not solid enough;
- Pick-ups are fine but a little thin sounding.
- Fret ends are a little sharp but easily fixed with a light sanding (first time I've done this and it went fine).

Update: I replaced the input jack with an Allparts gold one and that fixed the cutting out issue and somehow made the pick-ups sound much fuller and remove the thin sounding issue I mentioned above. I was thinking of changing the pick-ups later but I don't think I will bother now. Be careful changing the input jack though, as the new one was too big for the stock plate, so I replaced that with a Fender one (although a decent drill and bit would probably do the job on the stock plate). Guitar sounds good now.
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Hard to find fault given the price
røde2nowhere 30.04.2020
Summary: For €79, the quality of this guitar seems impossible. For a first guitar, it seems like the obvious choice.

So, first, background: This is bought for my teenage son who has been learning guitar for about 4 months. It is his first electric guitar, and the first in our home. We have no previous experience and this is my first time reviewing a guitar. Also, I myself cannot play guitar, so I cannot really comment on playability etc, for that reason, other than to comment on what my son has experienced.

With that said, out of the box this guitar feels substantially better than I was expecting for €79. I can't remember the last time I have bought something and immediately thought that it should have cost a lot more.

The finish looks great, and the knobs and switches all feel good. I don't think I'm going too far to say that this guitar looks great. Even if you don't think about the price at all.

It took my son a few minutes to tune, but that was it, and he started playing clear chords with a very pleasant sound. It did take him a few hours to get accustomed to the narrow neck, having started out on an acoustic guitar, but it was all smiles all the way, and for us listening to him practice, the sounds coming from this guitar (through the Harley Benton TableAmp) are very nice.

If you are looking for comparisons to other guitars, and that kind of thing, I can't help you. But if this is your first experience with an electric guitar, or for a starter guitar for a young beginner, it seems like a no brainer.

Pros:
- Price, obviously
- Looks great
- Sounds nice
- Plays nicely out of the box (after tuning)

Cons
- The frets are sharp along the edges of the neck, with a few of them protruding quite a bit more than others. (But I understand this is something to expect at this end of the price range, and can be addressed with some work.)
- No instructions (maybe this is normal, but it means we don't know exactly what the nice feeling 5-way switch is doing, for example. And not sure how to make use of the supplied adjuster tools, for example.)
- Some minor damage marks on the white "pick guard" on our model, but hardly noticeable and could be due to shipping.

Overall this is a bargain. There are TOY electric guitars that cost this much, and this is the real deal. The fact that it looks good, sounds good, and is easy to play (according to my son), what's not to like?

Also, there is a audio lead included in the box. I wasn't aware so ordered a sssnake IPP1030 to go with this. The included lead will probably do the job though. However, we are glad we got the sssnake one at the time, as it is much higher quality.

If you don't have an electric guitar, and you would like to have one, and you have €79 to spend, then you should probably get this one.
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Amazing price and quality!
niamhel 21.11.2021
Thomann provided me with this Harley Benton guitar and I couldnt recommend them anymore!! The delivery was speedy, the item arrived in perfect condition and the customer service is fantastic! I will be buying from them again.
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Price value champion
zolitailor 28.08.2021
Very good entry level instrument. I bought is as a traveling guitar and I'm very satisfied with it. One of my friend have an older one. I compared the voices of the two using my amplifier. The sound of my guitar is very similar to the real strato, very nice clean. The sound of the older one is a bit muddy. I think the manufacturers have changed the pickup over the years.

An interesting phenomenon is that the old piece has a better sound without an amplifier.
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