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Harley Benton CST-24HB Black Cherry Flame

Harley Benton CST-24HB Black Cherry Flame
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  • Blues
  • Funk
  • Rock

Electric guitar

  • Deluxe series
  • Type: Semi hollow with F-holes
  • Body: Mahogany
  • Top: AAA flamed maple
  • Set-in 3-piece mahogany neck
  • Fretboard: Rosewood
  • Mother of pearl Morning Star fretboard inlays
  • 24 frets
  • Scale: 635 mm
  • Nut width: 42 mm
  • Graphite nut
  • Pickups: 2 Wilkinson MWCHB Live humbuckers
  • 1 volume and 1 tone control
  • 3-way switch
  • Hardware: DLX chrome
  • DLX GTB wrapover bridge
  • DLX diecast machine heads
  • Standard Stringing: D'Addario EXL110 .010 - .046 (Article Nr: 104555)
  • Black Cherry Flame high gloss
  • Suitable case: Article Nr: 129350 and Article Nr: 172299 (both not included)

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Customer ratings of similar items

An amazingly good guitar

Roger6897, 31.07.2015

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I was once lucky enough to own a guitar very similar to this made by a well-known company in the USA. It cost me well over two thousand British Pounds - and I bought it secondhand! Unfortunately, due to financial circumstances, I had to part with it (in exchange for a much-needed car!) Now I have bought the Harley Benton CST-24 HB Tortoise Flame, it almost feels like I have my valuable guitar back - at a tiny fraction of the price. I won't say it plays as well as my old Hollowbody guitar because, in fact, my new Harley Benton CST-24HB actually plays BETTER. Straight from the box it was excellent and now, after a minor adjustment to one of the nut slots and the truss rod by my friendly luthier, I have a great-sounding, beautiful guitar with a superb action. It balances perfectly on a strap with no neck-dive (often a problem with semi-acoustic guitars). This time, no work at all was necessary on the frets - they are excellent. The Wilkinson pickups are becoming widely recognized as a very good humbucker and have the classic alnico humbucker sound (in fact I prefer them to the sound of the pickups of my American guitar). There are no unwanted noises or microphonic problems and, unusually for a cheap guitar, the master volume and tone controls function perfectly, with a smooth taper and no loss of treble when the volume is reduced. The tuners are excellent, the graphite nut is better and more elegantly shaped than the rather ugly one on my US guitar. Generally, the finish is top class, with a flame veneer top and bound F-holes (my US guitar had unbound F-holes). The main difference can be found inside - my US guitar had an arched flame maple back and the internal construction under the bridge was a work of art to rival a top class violin. The Harley Benton has a more typical central block construction and I must confess the internal finishing looks a bit rough if you look inside the F-holes with a torch and a magnifying glass. However - this is the important thing - this construction means it works better as a functional electric guitar at high volume. Interestingly, the acoustic sound is almost exactly the same despite the internal differences, so I wonder if all the craftsmanship of the US guitar was really necessary for any purpose other than to persuade overpaid guitar-fancying American dentists to part with more of their money. I am much more than happy with this guitar and I have already urged Thomann, bearing in mind the instrument's excellent acoustic character, to offer the same guitar with an adjustable bridge and piezo saddles. I am sure a lot of guitarists would find such a guitar extremely interesting if the price is right (which I am sure it would be with Harley Benton). Once again, I am astounded that a guitar of this quality can be done for this price. My local guitar shop proprietor and my friendly luthier both agree. In fact I had a bit of trouble retrieving it from my friend the luthier, who is a big fan of arch-top F-hole guitars and seems to particularly like playing this one! I am not at all surprised that the CST-24HB Tortoise Flame is out of stock until September and I urge anyone interested in this type of guitar to get hold of one as soon as they are available again. It is also available in cherry sunburst with "tree of life" fretboard inlay, but I think I prefer this finish and the interesting little cross-shaped fret markers. I have been playing guitar for nearly fifty years and back in 1980 I reviewed guitars professionally for a magazine. This is the second CST-24 I have bought from Thomann in less than a month. Harley Benton does it again!

Gorgeous Guitar - An Absolute Bargain!

Cuztard Pi, 12.02.2016

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Harley Benton was an unknown brand to me; but after extensive research via YouTube & the web, I?ve been impressed by the overwhelmingly positive response to the range of HB cheap-as-chips guitars.
The reviews of the CST-24HB were generally glowing, and on screen this one does look to be a real corker ?but really how good can a guitar like this be for such a low price? .. were the reviews all just too good to be true, I asked myself??

I?ve been thinking about getting one of these for a while .. hmmm, but do I really need another guitar? (I?ve already got 12 electrics!); anyway I finally bit the bullet and ordered No. 13 as a late Xmas gift to myself.
I was a little anxious that it would not meet my, by then, quite high expectations ? much to my relief, I was not disappointed: 1st impression: WOW!; Gorgeous! What a cracking looking guitar!

On closer inspection, I was pleased to find it was cosmetically perfect with a very good set-up out of the box (though the partially corroded (but still in-tune!) strings needed replacing).

I?ve been playing for >40 years so I consider myself an experienced Guitar aficionado; Let me confirm what other have said, this is an absolute bargain & a pretty fine instrument to boot! OK, there are a few niggly issues that I discovered after playing it for a little while; but IMO nothing major & nothing that can't be sorted out during a set-up.

Price paid worked out to be ~ £170 all in. I still can't get over it. An absolute crazy price for what you get!

Some details on my guitar for your information:
General build quality / Body: Very good.
Front book-matched centre line is well positioned. Very pretty flame top with a similar general colour to the graphic shown on the Thomann website. Not perfectly book-matched, as one side has slightly more definition than the other, but still very pretty. The dark brown colour of the 2-piece back, sides & neck, as well as the cream body "binding", are sympathetic with the dark'ish figured front.
The overall impression is that this is one hell of a classy, GORGEOUS looking well made guitar!

Weight: seems to be about the same as a Strat/Tele. i.e. 3.5kg / 7.5lb. It balances nicely on a strap & when seated.

Neck: medium ?D? shape that sits well in the hand (not as chunky as a Les Paul; certainly nothing to be scared of & soon gotten use to; but if you prefer a thin neck you will notice the difference; at least at first).
Inlays are unique & quite pretty, and nicely done. It has a somewhat plain looking, more grey than brown, light coloured (almost 'dusty' looking) rosewood fretboard; its appearance did improve IMO with the application of a touch of conditioning oil.
I do love the unrestricted access to the upper frets, though playing at the 22nd to 24th is still a bit of a challenge.
A little too much neck relief was present as received but I'm leaving that unchanged until after I put a new set of 9's on it.

Tuners: feel OK: smooth & accurate in use.

Nut: wow!!!!! ?. almost a perfect set-up with nice low 1st fret action (a real surprise as this is rarely evident on cheap (& medium priced!!) guitars!). All new guitars should be like this!!!!! I'm not even sure that I need to touch this during set-up.

Frets: medium size with an OK finish (they could benefit from a polish). A tidy fret job but ideally some attention is needed to some of the fret-ends where I can just feel a few sharp points/edges here & there (nothing really bad though).
I ran a fret rocker over the neck out of interest and OK there are some slightly uneven frets in several places along/across the neck (as expected & as usual) but nothing so significant that an acceptably low action cannot be achieved.

Knobs/pots: fine. Smooth movement & good taper on both volume & tone. The usual slight loss of treble when the volume is turned down is present (as usual) but this is down to my amp/pedals/leads set-up, not the guitar. Tone control rolls off the top-end as expected but is far too dull IMO when fully rolled back (sounds like a 22nF or greater cap to me .. I prefer 10nF .. I might change it at some point ... if I can access the electrics easily?)

Bridge: Intonation is perfect & I really like the feel of the, new to my experience, wraparound bridge under the right hand. Very cool!
However there was a problem with the B string slot on the bridge that resulted in an annoying sitar-like buzz. The HB "DLX GTB" bridge at 1st look seemed to be a close clone of the Wilkinson GTB wrap-over tail piece/bridge; but actually it is slightly different in size plus it has one significant design difference: it doesn't have the Wilkinson's string slot end-fill that creates a defined break-point ridge on the bridge. I did contact Thomann on this 'sitar' issue & after a bit of back and forth, they shipped me a replacement bridge; but by then I had decided that, rather than try to fix the original or wait for the replacement, I would upgrade to the Wilkinson (as it is not expensive: £18). In spite of having some different dimensions, the Wilkinson does perfectly fit into the same bridge bushings on the guitar. Problem solved!

f-holes: are nicely done, look very classy & are one of the main features that attracted me to this guitar (those & the PRS body shape & the flamed top); OK, if you peer into the f-holes, of course you can see the wiring loom and some unpainted wood in the inner nooks & crannies ? but nothing is visible from the front when being played. Good enough for me.
The acoustic tone is bright with a good sustain. The f-holes do not seem to make much difference to the acoustic sound (nor the acoustic volume)(as expected with this solid centre block type of construction).

Sound/Pick-ups: This is a real rock & blues machine as the PUs are very pokey. I mostly play single coil guitars (strat/tele types though I do have a couple with humbuckers) so when I plugged it into my amp which was set-up for my Strat .. WOW! ... what a big beefy bold full rockin' sound! Great! The bridge PU has a real middley-honk with plenty of bottom that drives the amp front-end to produce a full thick rock tone. I was surprised how good my amp sounded with this guitar! (well it has been a while since I've played a humbucker loaded guitar).
The neck PU has a more defined, almost acoustic guitar-like tone; great for clean sounds & strumming and a nice contrast to the bridge PU. I won't be changing these PUs in a hurry.
The only negative that I found with the electrics: there was an intermittent crackle from the electrics when I 'test' shook the guitar, that went away when I nudged the inner wires with a finger through the F-hole. Note: It does play cleanly when not being shaken. I do plan to remove the PUs & check the wiring in the body cavity (& determine how easy it would be to access pots/switches in order to mod the circuitry).

Playability: Out-of-the box, it plays very well. Action was medium-low i.e 1.5mm 1st string at 12th fret to 1.75mm 6th string 12th fret and the strings ring out cleanly all over the neck.

Conclusion:
Whenever I've bought a new guitar, whatever the price, there have always been a few niggles that needed to be sorted out to for it to meet my needs and that is also true of this one.
Is it perfect? No. This particular guitar would certainly would benefit from a full check & set-up. However I should say that, apart from the annoying bridge problem on my guitar which Thomann effectively did resolve for me, the guitar with its as-received set-up is still totally acceptable & good to go.

At the ridiculous price being asked for it, you really have to ask yourself why would you not buy one! Even if you were to factor in the cost of a professional (or D.I.Y) set-up & tweak, this would still be a super bargain guitar.
I wish such guitars as this one were available at this price to my younger self when I started playing (This one shockingly would cost just £11 in 1973 when I paid £43 for my 1st new electric guitar, a crappy Eros plywood ?Les Paul?-alike, ... you do the math ... 'nuff said).

Features: 5 stars (deserved just for its beauty, that's even before you play a note)
Sound: 5 stars (Very subjective but I love it)
Quality: 5 stars (Not perfect but at this price far far above expectations)

Would I recommend getting one ?. Absolutely YES!!!

excellent guitar.

Barry R., 23.04.2016

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My dream guitar is the much expensive brand name guitar that this is modelled after. But not being able to justify that much money as i make no money from playing i looked for a more accessible alternative. After reading many many reviews and review videos of the Harley Benton CST-24HB Tortoise Flame and seeing the great value price i had to give it a go.
The package was delivered promptly and safely packaged.
Out of the box the guitar was well set up and i just had to do a few personal tweaks. The quality is great and solid quality components have been used. I personally added a set of Harley Benton Parts SC-Style Speedknob AM and set up 2 micro switches so i can switch each pickup between humbucking mode and single coil, the Wilkinson MWCHB pickups that come fitted are suitable for coil splitting and i spent £5 on the 2 switches. (this is why i dropped 1 star in features as it could be done at the point of manufacture at minimal extra cost)
This guitar is such a bargain, well built nicely finished and has a great variety of tones (even before my personal mods) it is the price of a quality starter guitar but would stand up against many pro guitars in looks sounds and quality.

Worth at least twice as much!

18.10.2016

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I have no idea how Harley Benton do it, but they've done it again. This is my 3rd HB in 1.5 years and I am consistantly amazed each time.
The quality of this guitar is amazing to say the least. When it showed up, I was prepping to do a lot of tweaks/adjustments etc but I didn't have to do a single thing with it. I could play it straight out of the box.
The action and intonation was perfectly set up. The guitar was even still in tune after being shipped from Germany to Ireland!! :) Amazing!!
As for the pickups, they are insanely good for a guitar of this price. Lovely bright tone off the top but also highly versatile. If you wish to muddy up your tone a bit, it takes a slight bit of tone knob adjusting and hey presto! Also, sustains for days.
This is without a doubt the most comfortable of all my guitars and is a lot better than most of my higher end models. I bought this guitar when it was priced at ¤222 and that was an insane price. It is now ¤199!! What are you waiting for?? Get one, you wont regret it! Thanks again Thomann! :)
-J
Show variations of this product
Harley Benton CST-24HB Black Cherry Flame
Harley Benton CST-24HB Black Cherry Flame
to the product
205 €

Electric guitar Deluxe series, Type: Semi hollow with F-holes, Body: Mahogany, Top: AAA flamed maple, Set-in 3-piece mahogany neck, Fretboard: Rosewood, Mother of pearl Morning Star fretboard...

  • Colour: Black
  • Body: Mahogany
  • Top: Maple
  • Neck: Mahogany
  • Fretboard: Rosewood
  • Frets: 24
  • Scale: 648 mm
  • Pickups: HH
  • Tremolo: No
  • Incl. Case: No
  • Incl. Bag: No
Harley Benton CST-24HB Tortoise Flame
Harley Benton CST-24HB Tortoise Flame
to the product
205 €

Electric Guitar Body: Mahogany, Top: AAA flamed maple, Set-in 3-piece neck: Mahogany, Fretboard: Rosewood, 24 Frets, Scale: 635 mm, Nut width: 42 mm, "Morning Star" mother of pearl inlays, Graphite...

  • Colour: Brown
  • Body: Mahogany
  • Top: Maple
  • Neck: Mahogany
  • Fretboard: Rosewood
  • Frets: 24
  • Scale: 635 mm
  • Pickups: HH
  • Tremolo: No
  • Incl. Case: No
  • Incl. Bag: No
Harley Benton CST-24HB TOL Tobacco Flame
Harley Benton CST-24HB TOL Tobacco Flame
to the product
215 €

Electric Guitar Body: Mahogany, chambered, Top: Flamed maple, Neck: Mahogany, set-in, Fretboard: Rosewood, 24 Frets, Scale: 635 mm, Nut width: 42 mm, Ivory body binding, "Tree of Life" mother of...

  • Colour: Sunburst
  • Body: Mahogany
  • Top: Maple
  • Neck: Mahogany
  • Fretboard: Rosewood
  • Frets: 24
  • Scale: 635 mm
  • Pickups: HH
  • Tremolo: No
  • Incl. Case: No
  • Incl. Bag: No
Harley Benton CST-24HB Charcoal Flame
Harley Benton CST-24HB Charcoal Flame
to the product
205 €

Electric Guitar Shape: Semi-hollow body with f-holes, Body: Mahogany, Top: AAA flamed maple, Set-in 3-piece neck: Mahogany, Fretboard: Rosewood, 24 Frets, Scale: 635 mm, Nut width: 42 mm, "Morning...

  • Colour: Brown
  • Body: Mahogany
  • Top: Maple
  • Neck: Mahogany
  • Fretboard: Rosewood
  • Frets: 24
  • Scale: 648 mm
  • Pickups: HH
  • Tremolo: No
  • Incl. Case: No
  • Incl. Bag: No
Harley Benton CST-24HB TOL BCF
Harley Benton CST-24HB TOL BCF
to the product
205 €

Electric guitar Deluxe series, Body: Mahogany, chambered, Top: Flamed maple, Set-in neck: Mahogany, Fretboard: Rosewood, Mother Of Pearl fretboard inlays: "Tree of Life", 24 Frets, Scale: 635 mm,...

  • Colour: Black
  • Body: Mahogany
  • Top: Maple
  • Neck: Mahogany
  • Fretboard: Rosewood
  • Frets: 24
  • Scale: 635 mm
  • Pickups: HH
  • Tremolo: No
  • Incl. Case: No
  • Incl. Bag: No
B-Stock from 186 € available
205 €
Price includes VAT, shipping costs extra
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This item is in stock and can be dispatched immediately.

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item number 376597
sales unit 1 piece
available since March 2016
sales rank
in this category Rank 174
at thomann.de Rank 30928
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Phone: +49-9546-9223-20
FAX: +49-9546-9223-24
Offers include 24% Greek VAT and are valid as long as stocks last. Shipping costs to Greece are 20 EUR, free shipping on orders above 298 EUR. Please click here for international Shipping rates. We do not accept liability for typographical errors or inaccurate information of any kind. *RRP = manufacturer's / distributor's recommended retail price in Germany
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