Harley Benton ST-20 BK Standard Series

759
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Electric Guitar

  • Body: Poplar
  • Neck: Maple
  • Fingerboard: Roseacer
  • Dot fingerboard inlays
  • Neck profile: Modern C
  • Fretboard radius: 305 mm
  • 22 Frets
  • Scale: 648 mm
  • Nut width: 42 mm
  • Double action truss rod
  • Pickups: 3 ST-style single-coils
  • Controls: 1 Volume, 2 Tone
  • 5-Way switch
  • Chrome hardware
  • Synchronised tremolo
  • Enclosed machine heads
  • Factory strings: .009 - .042
  • Colour: Black, high-gloss
  • Suitable cases: Art. 122213, Art. 136377 (both not included)
Available since November 1999
Item number 135305
Sales Unit 1 piece(s)
Colour black
Body Poplar
Top None
Neck Maple
Fretboard Roseacer
Frets 22
Scale 648 mm
Pickups SSS
Tremolo Vintage
incl. Bag No
incl. Case No
£77
Including VAT; Excluding £10 shipping
In stock
In stock

This product is in stock and can be shipped immediately.

Standard Delivery Times
Dispatch expected by Saturday, 25.05.
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in ST Style Guitars

A classic ST through and through

Front view of the Harley Benton ST-20 BK electric guitar

The Harley Benton ST-20 BK comes in a classic ST shape with a poplar body, adorned with an elegant and simple high-gloss black finish. The guitar's bolt-on maple neck features a fingerboard made of roseacer, a maple wood darkened by heat treatment. Providing a stark contrast, bright dot inlays ensure easy navigation along the neck. Equipped with three single-coil pickups configured in an SSS arrangement, this model delivers the distinctive ST sound, accommodating a variety of music genres from Pop and Blues to Jazz, Rock, and Alternative. And those who wish to experiment with different string gauges and guitar tunings will certainly appreciate the optimised adjustability of the neck curvature via the guitar's double-action truss rod.

Front view of the Harley Benton ST-20 BK electric guitar body with three single coils

Stunning versatility in sound

The Harley Benton ST-20 BK has a master volume knob that governs all three pickups, and its five-way selector switch provides a wide palette of sounds, allowing guitarists to choose between different single coils or blend the sound of adjacent pickups in the neck, middle, and bridge positions. The guitar additionally has two tone controls, allowing independent adjustment of the brightness or darkness of the neck and bridge pickups. The tremolo system of the ST-20 BK is synchronised, meaning the bridge and sustain block move together, and the guitar features a three-ply (white-black-white) pickguard that perfectly accentuates its minimalist aesthetic.

Rear view of the Harley Benton ST-20 BK electric guitar body with tremolo compartment

Perfect for budding lead players

The ST-20 BK is ideal for beginners planning to upgrade to a higher-end model in the future, since its modern C neck profile, 648mm scale length, and 42mm nut width adhere to standard ST model dimensions, so similar guitars from a higher price bracket will feel instantly familiar. The flat 12" fingerboard radius greatly facilitates string bending, while the factory-fitted .009 to .042 string set is light enough to enable beginners to perform vibrato and bending techniques without fatigue. The maple neck and fingerboard produce a particularly assertive tone, ensuring that riffs and solos cut through even dense band mixes, and latter's 22 frets of course provide plenty of room for those first solos to take shape.

Harley Benton headstock made of maple

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.

Pop, Blues, Jazz, Funk, Rock, and more

The ST-20 BK guitar's bright, crisp sound makes it suitable for crafting catchy Pop melodies as well as funky grooves, while both bluesy double-stops and clean Jazz chords (which require a slightly softer tone) can be optimally served by switching to the middle pickup position. Those seeking lead solo sounds can switch to the neck pickup, and for fatter, distorted Rock riffs, switching back to the bridge pickup is the way to go. This guitar offers remarkable versatility for a budget-friendly entry-level instrument, and its low purchase price makes it a no-brainer for beginners and also for advanced guitarists seeking an affordable second instrument. What is more, it can serve as an excellent base for modding experiments.

759 Customer ratings

4.2 / 5

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417 Reviews

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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8
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r
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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5
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AA
Amazing.
Andy A 21.10.2020
I have brought a couple of budget guitars in the past and really wasn't expecting much for less than 100 euros. I took it out of the box and my first impression was that it looked like a far more expensive guitar, I was sure that my initial surprize would disappear when I plugged it in. Straight from the off I was blown away by the sound and the ease of play, I couldn't put it down. The finish and workmanship was as good as any guitar I have owned in the past, OK I've never owned a top class strat. I love playing this guitar and would not have the slightest concern about gigging with it. I'm not going to look for fault or any negativity on this guitar just for the sake of a review because honestly, less than a hundred bucks?? Don't bother looking, I doubt very much if there is a better guitar than this out there in this price range. Amazing.
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3
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G
Excellent guitar - Unbeatable value for money
Glenmornan 19.01.2024
My 4th Harley Benton guitar in as many months. This has been my second purchase from the Standard range. I wanted a Stratocaster copy, but didn't want to spend the extra money for one of the more expensive models. I already have a Squier Affinity Strat, but it is need of some work on the nut that I wouldn't tackle myself. I would have to say that this guitar won't disappoint at the price point. It looks stunning in the black finish, and I found no blemishes on the body or the neck, which is worth the price of the guitar on its own. I prefer Strats with a floating tremolo and was able to achieve that on this guitar without too much trouble. The tension screws on the tremolo block were out of alignment with each other, which was a bit of a problem, but if need be I'll replace the screws. Suffice to say that it is possible to float the tremolo on this guitar without having to buy any replacement parts. It's set for the 009 gauge strings that came with the guitar and I'll be replacing them with 009s in future to save having to readjust the tremolo. What else was wrong? One or two fret ends were very slightly sharp, and the frets could do with filing to take the roughness off them, which you can feel when bending the strings, but other than that I could find no faults. The tuning pegs are best described as adequate, but I won't replace them unless I run into problems. Once the strings were stretched the guitar held tune reasonably well. I lowered the action slightly, but that was only to suit me, and the guitar was well set up when it arrived. Intonation was spot on except the lower E and A, but that could well have been down to me fiddling about with the tremolo block. The pickups may need adjusting, as they are the same height off the strings at both ends instead of being slightly higher on the treble strings, but that is very easy to remedy and I'll do it myself. Some people say the pickups on this guitar aren't great, but you need to experiment with their height and the sound coming from the amp. They are at least as good as on my Squier Affinity Strat, which cost twice the price of this guitar nearly 10 years ago. More to the point, this guitar sounds enough like a Strat to be a keeper. I've played guitars (as an amateur) for nearly 60 years, and this will more than fit the bill for most players. If you are mainly a Strat player then maybe the 62CC would be a better buy, but if you just want a Strat model on your rack, you need look no further. Obviously I have a fair bit of experience of tinkering with guitars, but it is easy to learn from You Tube, including how to float the tremolos on these etc. If you have the dexterity to play it doesn't take much to learn how to set them up etc.
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