Harley Benton ST-20 SB Standard Series

449 Customer Ratings
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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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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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Better than expected
Pal3thorn, 17.10.2020
For this price point it would be a shame not to order one of these guitars. It's crazy to think that you can buy a guitar as affordable as this one and get more than you paid for. It's is very comparable to my Squer Affinity Strat.

Why should you buy this guitar?
- Affordable price
- Easy to play for a begginer
- No setup was needed out of the box, playable from the start
- Guitar looks great, no issues with the finish
- 3-ply scratchplate which some of the more expensive guitar don't have
- Leveled frets, nicely rounded
- Quality comparable to some other more established brands

Things you should be aware of before buying, but don't influence the playability much:
- Tuners are not the greatest, but they do the job
- Tremolo arm has a lot of play in it, but that can also be remedied
- Frets could be more polished. Lots of scratching when bending the strings.

Overall, great bang for the buck.
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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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It's good! Not perfect but good.
Tom Maren, 09.04.2021
In my case:
- Neck: good, but frets the are slightly sharp;
- Pickups: work as you expected;
- Body: no issues;
- Tuners: work, but one slightly tilted, which happens in more expensive guitars. Not a big deal.

As a result this guitar is good. Especially when you look at the price. After ordering, you receive a product that you can use right out of the box.

I think this guitar can be a great starting point for beginners.
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Awesome as a first guitar
nabhannajahshareef, 15.05.2021
theres nothing bad i can say about this guitar really.it plays well out of the box and even better with a professional setup. the potentiometres are a little on the low end side but you can only expect so much from a 72 dollar guitar. highly recommend this as your first guitar
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Clarky, 11.10.2020
Excellent quality straight out of the box. Just tuned the guitar and played. Great action ,the set-up was great.Very good pickups and a very good finish. I have paid more for guitars not as good as the st20
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Customer Service
sundeep, 15.02.2020
The folks at Harley Benton are just fantastic. I have bought 3 guitars so far, and 1 of them had some minor shipping damage, and 1 had some fret damage. Harley Benton replaced the guitar, and gave me a voucher on the 2nd one. This is very considerate and flexible of them. They have won me as a customer for life. I will buy all of my future instruments from them. The options and pricing that they offer is also very unique and I will recommend them to all of my circle of friends who are musicians.
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A Killer of Cheap Stratocaster
John Step, 19.02.2021
The product is more than amazing for the price. Quality is great for the segment, the sound is very decent. But unsure about "modern C" neck profile, more looks like classic "C". I wouldn't recommend this guitar for heavy styles.
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Beginner's review
Begginnerr, 21.01.2021
As I had no previous experience with guitars I'm really surprised by quality of this guitar, but also I'm quite 'picky' so i will point what annoys me.
Finish of body is flawless, that means no sharp edges, paintwork is spot on.
Neck - frets are good, maybe on the side edges it would need a little bit of sanding to get them smooth with side of the neck. I recommend to buy Lemon oil to cure fretboard, it was little bit dry.
Tuners - well those feel.. Cheap, even me as a guitar noob can tell this not great. I guess I will be swapping them for better ones.
Pickups - well they get their job done, I Will be swapping bridge pickup for hotrail humbucker, and also pickup switch, it's little bit wiggly to my feeling.
Pickguard - it's good, nothing to complaint about, it's just plastic, I didn't have it opened yet if there's additional shielding.
Tremolo - I didn't use that, most reviews says not to use (due to tuning), so I will stick to that.

So overall for me go for it, If you are beginner. I was considering Fender Squier, but considering the price (+50€ for fender) this was best choice, as I can upgrade this guitar to my liking with the same price with upgrades to the fender without ones.

Note: in package is cable, screwdriver for neck and bridge, tremolo stick.
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Crazy value
Brian T, 25.11.2019
I was looking for this style guitar for some Floyd/Hendrix/etc. that I was recording. Didn't feel like spending a ton and was ordering another guitar, so added this on to minimize the impact of the US shipping.

I've been incredibly impressed with this guitar, and have been using it almost nonstop (about 3:1 versus the more expensive guitar I bought at the same time). The build quality is extremely impressive at this or any price range. Guitar just feels great to play, sounds great unplugged or plugged in, and looks great. I wish I could've gotten a guitar of this quality at this price when I first started playing.

The main downside is that it just will not stay in tune (the G/B strings primarily go out of tune within a few minutes of playing). Basically have to stop recording and retune every couple of bars. Will look to pick up some better tuners in future, but for the time being, cannot beat this guitar for the price. The only other downside is that the frets are a little low for my tastes, but getting used to working around that so I can get the sound I need.

Another great Harley Benton purchase and I'm sure I'll be back for another in the future!
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Remarkable quality for a very good price!
A Jimi Hendrix Fan, 30.12.2019
This Harley Benton ST-20 SB model is a fine cut electric six string with beautiful features and nice overall sound. While essentially a Fender Squier/Stratocaster imitation, this particular model retains a certain degree of originality as well (particularly in the choice of colour).

Overall good quality for a very good price and highly recommended to any guitar player out there!
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Excellent choice for begginer
weeb, 22.10.2020
On the outside is really good finish, but oh boy the inside is pretty gross
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Hesitation means less play time!
Scott_W, 01.07.2018
For under £80 I expected a body, maybe a useable neck, but mainly a platform to mod and improve my set-up skills. Im a bedroom (occasionally hall/living room) player but have owned plenty of guitars to give this a fair review.

Nice weight - light but not too light. The body is perfectly finished .
The neck is immense. C shape with a nice, minimal finish.
The tuners may well be the cheapest tuners this side of Pluto but they look good, they perform good...they are good! The nut is really what dictates guitar staying in tune. This one is clearly a cheap plastic/synthetic bone type, but it is cut well. I have graphtec spares but no need to replace it yet. I did shape the ends of it , but thats all.

sound - It sounds like a strat! I did tilt, raise the pickup height...but this is what everyone should try before replacing.
Trem - I am a light term user. I did set up the trem to my own liking and it keeps in tune.

To conclude - this thing is great. Whether for a beginner for as a main guitar, you can't go wrong. Silly price. I recently had a squier affinity. They are over twice the price and very similar in quality.
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The best product for that money
Extremlity, 27.01.2021
Everything is great. you get additional tools for tuning and changing the wire. Guitar tremolo is very hard, so I'm afraid the guitar won't crack. But everything else works perfectly.
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It is what is worth.
Revived Guitars, 21.04.2020
In terms of finish it looks great, sounds ok, but:

cons
- Does not hold in tune very well ( don't even think using the trem system);
- It was necessary a full setup including fret levelling;

Pros
- nothing beats the price;
- after the setup it is actually a good guitar to practice;
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Very Impressive.
Barry W., 21.06.2013
I have literally just unpacked this Strat and plugged it in. A very nice guitar indeed.
For £64 it is frankly amazing. There's just nothing more to add!!! Or perhaps there is: maybe I should get one more.
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Lots of fret buzz
30.12.2014
I have played this guitar for several month now. This is my first el guitar and I didnt expect much for this price. The fret buzz is extremely irritating and after adjusting the neck and even lifting up the bridge the fret buzz was still there :( The bridge pickup stops working suddenly and then works again ... poorly assembled I guess, bad connections maybe. I did contact Thomann and they will fix this for free as soon I send it to them. I hope they can fix this because playing the cleans is impossible with the fret buzz. Playing dirty it sounds great! Especially when I run it through the Digitech RP70! All in all not a keeper guitar (of course). On its own the single coil pickups sound too twangy. I guess changing the pickup would be good but then I would have been better off buying a more expensive HB guitar with Wilkinson PU. Its a solid guitar body and nice feel on the neck. But I am confident in Harley Benton deluxe series guitars after watching some reviews on you tube and reading about them on the Thomann guitars face book page. I will be soon buying a deluxe version and I wish I have never bought this one and simply add more money and get the deluxe Harley Benton guitar. But hey I could have returned this one in the first 30 days if I wanted to so its me to blame. My verdict is; if you know you will keep playing and practicing save a bit more money and get the deluxe versions with Wilkinson pickups.
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Harley Benton Guitar
pattie anne, 26.01.2021
Husband is pleased with guitar but there is a small scratch on white part of body. Also disappointed there was no strap or plectrum. otherwise doing my head in, LOL
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great sound, amazing to handle
anraydan, 04.08.2020
very happy with this guitar and it has great sound and is amazing to handle
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As basic as it gets.
Theodore85, 13.12.2019
Great strat style guitar, with little flaws as far as the neck and body go.
I would prefer better wiring and pickups for my standards, but i guess that is a matter of taste and individual needs.

BUT, even with an upgrade in electronics, the whole thing still costs about 100-120 euro and feels great in your hands!
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Guitar_Customer, 14.01.2020
great for a beginner guitar
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Super good value
Jotzeph, 01.06.2018
A very good guitar overall. I just can't understand how Harley Benton make such good quality products with those prices. A great guitar for a beginner, but also for a semi-pro or amateur. Intonation was good straight out of the box, and the strings were decent too.
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Good for students
strumpick, 17.05.2018
These guitars are especially good for students. They are a great price and with a little tweak they play well and have a good tone.
If you are on a budget I would recommend you try one or better still take the advantage of a beginners bundle deal.
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Harley Benton ST-20 SB Standard Series

82 €
Including VAT; Excluding 20 € shipping
Available immediately
Available immediately

This item is in stock and can be dispatched immediately.

Standard Delivery Times

Delivery approx. between Wednesday, 26.05. and Thursday, 27.05.

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