Harley Benton ST-20 SB Standard Series

Electric Guitar

  • Body: Basswood
  • Bolt-on neck: Maple
  • Neck profile: Modern C
  • Fretboard: Roseacer
  • Fretboard radius: 350 mm
  • Fretboard inlays: Dots
  • 22 Frets
  • Scale: 648 mm
  • Nut width: 42 mm
  • Double action truss rod
  • Pickups: 3 ST-Style single coils
  • 1 Volume knob, 2 tone knobs
  • 5-Way toggle switch
  • Hardware: Chrome
  • Synchronised tremolo system
  • Die-cast machine heads
  • Ex-factory stringing: .009 - .042
  • Colour: 3-Tone Sunburst high-gloss
  • Compatible cases: Article 122213 or article 136377 (both not included in purchase)
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Audio Examples

 
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  • Fuzzy
  • Blues
  • Hazey
  • Indie
  • Rock

Further Information

Colour Sunburst
Body Basswood
Top None
Neck Maple
Fretboard Roseacer
Frets 22
Scale 648 mm
Pickups SSS
Tremolo Vintage
incl. Bag No
incl. Case No

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Our most popular ST Style Guitars
456 Customer Ratings
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4.2 /5
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features
sound
quality
Astonishing value
Sophie the tech, 22.09.2020
I am a techie-type and have been playing electric guitar for fifty years. I bought this Strat-style guitar for the sole purpose of fitting my MIDI pickup to it which I was desperate to get off my real Strat because it gets in the way of comfortable playing and also requires undersireble settings of string-height etc.
I therefore was never intending to play this HB-ST20 actually as a guitarist, I had no interest in the tone or the action or anything else because all I intended to do was play slow, simple chord-changes to control my synth via MIDI.
As such, I bought the cheapest guitar I could find and had very low expectations.
When this guitar arrived I was literally ASTONISHED by it. I can hardly believe that it is possible to buy such an excellent instrument for so little money.
I can see no significant flaw in the finsh - this guitar looks great.
The scratchplate is proper too - three-ply white/black/white as it should be.
The sound is very good. As a lifelong (American) Strat player I know what a Strat should sound like and this extremely inexpensive guitar comprehensively achieves it. The "tubular" sound of a Strat neck pickup, the spanky brightness of the bridge pickup, the distinctive hollow sound of the 2 and 4 switch positions ...... it does it all.
The neck profile is quite thick - this is not an ultra-slim C-shaped neck, more of a D - but I found it very comfortable indeed and despite decades of playing slim C-shaped necks I immediately felt at home with it.
In recent years there has been a trend away for high gloss finsh on the neck because with the slight dampness of a hand the neck becomes sitcky to the feel and slower. The finish on this neck is matt and it feels fast. The frets are well finished, no sharp edges, fret-sprout or radically uneven heights. It needed a set-up but once the intonation and string heights were correct, the action is low. The nut was quite well cut - some small improvement would be possible, but it's definitely close to it's ideal straight out of the box.
The pickups sounded good both clean and into distortion.
The tuners are nothing wonderful but they're fine, perfectly serviceable and far better than expected.

As I said at the beginning. I am literally astonished at how good this guitar is. Assuming that the one I received was typical then I would absolutely recommend this guitar to anyone.
As a guitar for beginner/inexperienced it is ideal, but this guitar is an actual INSTRUMENT which experienced and seasoned players would be happy to play.

My sole criticism is that the tremelo arm is an extremely sloppy fit, but excessive play in screw-in tremelo arms is a long-standing problem even for big name brands so don't be put off by that. People have been putting tape etc on tremelo arm threads since the day Fender launched the first Strat, it's all "part of the joy" :-p
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Total
features
sound
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Full Marks, Thomann
02.09.2015
If only there had been guitars of this quality and price when I started playing over 40 (!) years ago. It's an absolutely stunning piece of kit. I honestly don't know how it's possible to sell them at this price.
With a bit of work, you can turn this into a guitar that, in my opinion, is the equal of similar models at over 10x the price. Thanks to modern production techniques, this is a precision manufactured instrument. The (heavy!) 45mm thick body, cavities and neck are perfectly cut and fit like a glove. However, it does need some human touches to really get it up to scratch. Namely:
3 or 4 of the frets did protrude from the neck sides and needed filing down flush. Nearly all the frets needed dressing properly at the ends with emery paper. 3 of the frets were ever-so-slightly high and needed filing down and re-crowning. All simple enough jobs - YouTube is your friend. I also oiled the neck with some Danish wood oil.
Next after a re-string with some quality strings (the originals weren't bad) I set the tremolo to float properly. The whole tremolo bridge works just fine and the plate, saddles and springs are all of a decent quality - perhaps the block could be upgraded, but no need especially. The tremolo arm does need bending up, off the strings, which I did using a vice. The tuners are well-made and do a quite satisfactory job. No complaints there. I then set the intonation and set the truss rod properly with feeler gauges. Just a quarter turn to the right. The pickup height was spot on,and I was ready to go.
So how does it sound? Just like it should! The pickups sound and feel authentic and don't lack any power or clarity. Yes, I have heard better, but not by much. The knobs,switch and the jack socket are all fine and well-earthed and there's no excessive, unwanted noise.
Conclusion: I was thinking of spending a lot of money on a Fender, but then, after reading a few reviews, I decided to take a chance - after all, I could always return it - thanks Thomann. Well, I wouldn't hesitate to buy one again or recommend one to anyone. Just spend a few hours setting it up properly and you will have yourself a fantastic guitar. The only negative I can report is a barely visible defect in the paintwork. For the record, whatever that's worth, I also own a Fender Telecaster and a Gibson SG. I thought I might sand off the Harley Benton logo, but now? No way! I use it live and people (guys!) have come up to me and said they couldn't believe it was really a Thomann copy, but there you go!
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A professional's view
MikeT, 12.01.2014
I'm a guitar teacher and professional musician. I've played hundreds of guitars owing to the fact that I also have a small shop selling vintage guitars. I bought this guitar as I needed a student instrument for people wanting to try guitar before finding and buying their own. This is superb value and here's why...

Thinking back to when I bought it my initial thoughts were how nice it looked; the grain of the body, the feel of the neck and the general finish. It's also quite weighty which feels reassuringly good. On a lot of cheaper guitars you can get sharp fret ends or cheap tuners. Also I felt the set up was pretty decent; it felt nice to play. Another big thing that I look at is tuners- the machine heads are very solid. This is so important for a beginner because tuning is initially difficult and out of tune guitars sound bad! I found that this held tune really well. A massive plus.

Looking at other instruments on the market, specifically the more famous manufacturer's budget models, I'd have to say it's a tie. But the really amazing thing is the price- it's just so cheap yet really decent quality for a starter guitar. I've since recommended this instrument to students who have bought it and found them to be consistent in what I've talked about above.
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Лучшая гитара за эти &#107
Michael Popkov, 20.05.2020
Это моя первая электрогитара и я в восторге от неё. Качество сборки и материалов на высоте. Звучит отлично, немного звенят лады на первых позициях, но я думаю все это можно устранить более точной настройкой инструмента. Строй держит отлично. Высоту струн удалось подстроить по себя идеально.
Выбирал между покупкой squier bullet в России и этой моделью, однозначно нужно брать Harley Benton, по цене намного дешевле и ничем не уступает буллету!
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Show variations of this product
Harley Benton ST-20 SB Standard Series
(456)
Harley Benton ST-20 SB Standard Series

Electric Guitar Body: Basswood, Bolt-on neck: Maple, Neck profile: Modern C, Fretboard: Roseacer, Fretboard radius: 350 mm, Fretboard inlays: Dots, 22 Frets, Scale: 648 mm, Nut width: 42 mm, Double...

Harley Benton ST-20HSS CA Standard Series
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Harley Benton ST-20HSS CA Standard Series

Electric Guitar Body: Basswood, Neck: Maple, Neck profile: Modern C, Fretboard: Roseacer, Fretboard radius: 350 mm, Dot fretboard inlays, 22 Frets, Scale: 648 mm, Nut width: 42 mm, Double action...

Harley Benton ST-20HSS SBK Standard Series
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105 €

Electric Guitar Body: Basswood, Bolt-on neck: Maple, Fretboard: Amaranth, Fretboard inlays: Dots, Neck profile: Modern C, Fretboard radius: 350 mm, Scale: 648 mm, Nut width: 42 mm, Double action...

Harley Benton ST-20 BK Standard Series
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Harley Benton ST-20 BK Standard Series

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...

Harley Benton ST-20 WH Standard Series
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Harley Benton ST-20 WH Standard Series

Electric Guitar Standard Series, Basswood body, Maple neck, Modern C neck profile, Roseacer fretboard (thermally treated maple wood), Dots fretboard inlays, 22 Frets, Scale: 648 mm, Nut width: 42...

Harley Benton ST-20HSS SB Standard Series
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Harley Benton ST-20HSS SB Standard Series

Electric guitar Body: Basswood, Neck: Maple, Neck profile: Modern C, Fretboard: Roseacer, Fretboard radius: 350 mm, DOT fretboard inlays, 22 Frets, Scale: 648 mm, Nut width: 42 mm, Double-action...

Harley Benton ST-20MN CA Standard Series
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Harley Benton ST-20MN CA Standard Series

Electric Guitar Standard series, Body: Basswood, Neck: Maple, Neck profile: Modern C, Fretboard: Maple, DOT fretboard inlays, 22 Frets, Scale: 648 mm, Nut width: 42 mm, Double action truss rod,...

Harley Benton ST-20 CA Standard Series
(65)
Harley Benton ST-20 CA Standard Series

Harley Benton ST-20 CA Standard Series electric guitar. Bolt-on neck construction, basswood body, maple neck with modern C-shape, roseacer fretboard with DOT inlays, fretboard radius: 350mm, 22...

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