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Harley Benton CLJ-503CE NT

Steel String Guitar

  • Solid Standard Series
  • Body shape: Jumbo with cutaway
  • Solid, high-quality spruce top
  • High-quality rosewood for bottom and sides
  • Mother-of-pearl bindings
  • Neck: Mahogany
  • Advanced scalloped X-bracing
  • Fretboard: Rosewood
  • Scale: 648 mm
  • 20 Frets
  • Block Pearl fretboard inlays
  • Nut width: 43 mm
  • Rosewood bridge
  • Mother-of-pearl rosette
  • Pearloid tuning pegs
  • Closed machine heads
  • Fishman Isys+ preamp pickup system with built-in tuner
  • Comes with strings: D'Addario EXP16
  • Colour: High-gloss Natural
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Sound samples

  • Country
  • Picking
  • Strumming

Further information

Top Spruce, Solid
Back and Sides Rosewood
Cutaway Yes
Fretboard Rosewood
Width At Nut 43,00 mm
Frets 20
Pickup(s) Yes
Colour Natural
Case No
Incl. Gigbag No

Come up with your own creative bundle and save

If you order this product together with others as part of a bundle, you can save up to 8 % additionally!
Harley Benton CLJ-503CE NT + Pyramid Western Strings 011-050 + Thomann Guitar Strap 6 BR + Thomann CTG-10 Clip Tuner +
10 more
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starting from 215 €

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135 written ratings Read all reviews

Great guitar not just at the price.

OK, let's start with me clarifying why I bought this guitar...

My main acoustic is a Martin D28 and unfortunately this got damaged by a drunken dancer at my last gig. This made me realise that it's ridiculous taking expensive instruments to unknown venues etc. Therefore I thought I'd buy a guitar that I wouldn't care so much if it got damaged.

I liked the look of this guitar and it has a few good English language review and more to the point it was cheap. I was hopeful but my expectations weren't that high, as this is definitely priced as a starter guitar.

I will get the bad out of the way first:

1. The action was a little high when I got it and I noticed there was almost no tension in the truss rod. This was adjusted and the action came down. I would like it lower still but that's just preference.
2. The fret ends have been left very sharp. I doubt you'll cut yourself but it's quite off-putting. I realise the guitar is made to a price point but I I think most of us would rather pay another £25 for this to be corrected by the time one receives it. This will need to be sorted before I can use it properly.
3. No neck strap button.
4. A few small cosmetic signs that this may not be a top-flight instrument.

Ok now onto the good.

Once the truss rod was adjusted the guitar is very playable with a nice slim neck. The nut is cut perfectly and intonation is as spot on as any other acoustic. It has a solid spruce top, which whilst not looking the best still sounds good and very attractive laminated rosewood back and sides.

The sound this guitar produces is really, really good. A very even and modern sound. Think lower-end Taylors or probably more accurately mid-range Takamines. It doesn't have the most bottom end but what there is sounds tight, and this will probably improve as the top matures. The sound compared to my Martin is less complex, quieter and with less bass. But in actual fact I just class it as different, not inferior. It's just another colour on the pallet. For recording purposes I can see me choosing this over the Martin where I need a rhythm part that doesn't stand out too much. It almost sounds like it's been through an equaliser already. So again, whilst not as interesting or organic sounding as acoustics at nearly 15 times the price I could honestly not say it sounds inferior.

The fishman preamp is OK, I've heard better, but I won't replace it as it sounds good enough. The tuner is very handy if a little coarse.

All in all, this guitar is very impressive and will get use beyond just being the cheap guitar I take to rough gigs. I've already taken it to be properly set up and have the fret ends addressed which in total will probably cost me half the value of the guitar again but the fact I'm even doing this should tell you that I think it is very much worth it. My suggestion if you're considering this guitar is just do it, you can't go wrong, it's great and will serve you well just as it is, however, spend another £50 getting it set up and sorted and you will have a guitar that in all important aspects can hold it's own against anything.

Most pleasantly surprising thing I've bought in years!!!
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Harley Benton CLJ-503CE NT

I wanted an inexpensive acoustic guitar to take to our local open mike/jam sessions. l saw the reviews that this instrument had received and thought l would give it a try. I have to say that I'm amazed that an instrument of this quality could be bought for less than £150. It is a cosmetically beautiful guitar and straight out of the box it was ready to play. The sound is quite bright and reminds me of top end Yamahas or maybe a mid priced Guiild. It doesn't have the sweetness of my 30 year old Martin or the grunt of my J45 but l wasn't expecting that! The electrics work fine and with a bit of amp tweeking all sorts of useful tones can be achieved. I am going to buy another one as a spare before Thomann realize what they've done and put the price up! Get one, you won't be sorry!!
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205 €
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Available immediately

This item is in stock and can be dispatched immediately.

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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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