Harley Benton ST-20 BK Standard Series

557 Customer Ratings
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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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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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Better value than most budget strats
EliFer, 21.05.2021
I was pleasantly surprised by this guitar. For the cost, the guitar is a great option for an inexpensive strat copy. The neck and fretboard were great. The frets had major fret sprout. Frets had to be polished and filed. The nut material is soft plastic and will need to be replaced within a few years. They should have used a harder plastic.
The body was great except for the routing of the back. They went too far and cut through the body, exposing the front pickup cavity to the rear trem cavity. I had to use epoxy to seal the cavity.
The trem block was very cheap. I tried replacing the trem block with a big brass block however the routing of the bridge cavity was not compatible. I didn't feel like routing it myself so I put in a smaller fender mexican standard block without issue. I also replaced the saddles with stainless steel saddles without issue.
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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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It’s a good beginners guitar
Nemseitocar, 28.02.2021
I got this when working abroad and wanted something I could throw around with no guilt.
I was surprised with what I got though....with a nice setup (DIY) and some love it played very well...this was 10 years ago..(Yeah...I’m writing a review 10 years after purchase)...Instill have it with me, gradually changed ever Everything on it over the years, but the soul of it it’s still there.
For the price is a nice piece of equipment.
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Golfsan, 16.10.2020
I bought a guitar for my son, he liked it very much because it is very easy to play, has nice hands and everything is fun with this.
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Positively surprised
Ioakeim, 04.11.2014
Having owned quite a few low-priced guitars more expensive than this one, I was expecting something terrible given the price. Imagine my surprise when I got the instrument and I could not detect any bad craftsmanship!

No sharp or uneven frets, clean and polished surface, sturdy soldering and it even includes a cable and all the keys you may need to set it up yourself! The guitar stays perfectly in tune after allowing the strings to stretch for a day.

The action was a bit high for my tastes, but that's something purely individual. All I had to do to make this guitar playable to my taste was lower the action (which it handled pretty well, no buzzing) and set the intonation. Nothing I wouldn't do at any instrument regardless of price range.

The sound is nice, I got it because I like the sound of single coils and it hasn't disappointed me. If you find that you'd like less hum try switching to positions 4 and 2 on the pickup selector which uses the neck and middle (or middle and bridge respectively) pickups to cancel the hum.

This is a real instrument, not a toy. If you are looking for a first guitar, a guitar to practice on the go without the fear of having it stolen or just a guitar to mod and learn this then is for you. You'll love it!
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Best customer service
Cloggybrew, 24.09.2020
Initially ordered a B stock , arrived quickly but the bridge pick up was faulty. Spoke to Thomann customer service and they sent a replacement immediately even before the guitar I returned had arrived back at Thomann, no questions asked. The guitar arrived and they had replaced the B stock with a brand new guitar. The B stock guitar was excellent apart from the pick up but the replacement is flawless.

The fit and finish , sound and playability of this guitar is better than some of the more expensive well known models I have played. I wish I had known about Thomann earlier. 10/10
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So cool
disasterZz, 04.01.2021
This guitar is a good for beginners. I love that
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my first guitar...
Anton Belyaev (^^), 13.08.2020
guys, to be honest, I love this guitar, it's cheap, I'm a beginner, I wanted something as cheap as possible, of the highest quality, and I got it ... I'll tell you briefly about the guitar, perhaps ...
The neck is a maple, a good one, a light piece of maple, and well polished, and I know this is a rarity in budget models. The fingerboard is polysander, yes, it may be inexpensive, but the fingerboard is thick and looks cool, switches, knobs and all that work great. The tuners are cheap, but quite solid, I don't think that something will go wrong. The strings are excellent from the factory, so for the first time I will leave them, then I will buy similar ones. So, now the cons, I did not like milling in some places, it is rough, somewhere there is So, now the cons, I did not like the milling in some places, it is rough, there are burrs somewhere, I had to carefully clean it up, but that's all. By sound ... an ordinary sound, my guitarist friend, said that it sounds good, he would have estimated it at 15 thousand rubles (about 190 euros) If you are such a novice guitarist, or you need a guitar for your home, then take it boldly it's really worth it!
PS: guys, those who live in Europe ... it's not money at all for you, I'm now a schoolboy from Russia, everyone is in trouble, for me it can be a large amount, but for you it's not money at all ...so? why not to buy?
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Good budget music tool!
DFang, 19.10.2020
This guitar was bought for my son, a beginning guitarist, as a gift. The tool is good for learning! The guitar came from the store with a normally tuned strings height and an adjusted coils height. String quality is standard for this price range. The body and neck of the guitar are well finished and varnished. Nice view of guitar! The tuners are standard with a soft ride. 5-position switch with confident fixation in each position. The tremolo keeps the tuning well, but you have to tune the guitar from time to time, like for any other music instrument. Sound quality is good for an guitar at this price point, pickups with good exhaust.
For transportation, the guitar was wrapped in a soft film with soft spacers and packed in 2 boxes. At customs, the guitar was unpacked and apparently dropped there, because of this, a dent in varnish remained on the back of the body. No claims against Thomann, this is the fault of the customs, – they have holes in their hands.
As a result, I want to say that this is a great stratocaster for its price! Best for beginning guitarist! The quality of materials and workmanship is excellent. Respect to Thomann store! You make good music tools!
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PERFECT FOR HOME RECORDING
Андре&#108, 07.09.2020
Прекрасный инструмент! Its very "pick up and play"-friendly without further adjustments, and has a very pleasant sound for a variety of genres. A beautiful guitar, a very comfortable neck, wonderful frets.
Thanks Thomman!
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The best guitar for beginers
Maxim_S, 17.12.2020
This is my second guitar and i really like it. I buy this guitar to try out singlecoil pickups. This guitar is perrfect for clean, crunch and overdrive. If you want to play with high gain distortion, then i would suggest to buy guitar with humbacker pickup.
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Harley Benton St-20 bk
Kaos13, 10.06.2013
This is a stratocaster style guitar with a maple neck and basswood body.. This is the best guitar you can get in this price range and the sound is amazing! It has a volume knob, two tone knobs, 3 single coil pickups. It has a 5 way switch which allows you to select single pickups or blend the sound of two pickups for example. This guitar gives you so many possibilities in terms of tone shaping, but it already sounds great out of the box.With a little bit of reverb, this guitar sounds as good as my fender strat. The harley benton st20bk guitar has 22 frets and also comes with a tremolo system. Other colours are also available but the black one looks better with the glossy finish.
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Great guitar but defected
Rilaphy, 25.03.2021
Expect some free scratches coming from Thomann for this cheap but good guitar. It's a shame yes, but if you only care about sound and performing you should be relatively happy with this purchase.
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Excellent value
Simon I, 10.08.2020
As a total guitar beginner, this product proved perfect for me. Its very "pick up and play"-friendly without further adjustments, and has a very pleasant sound for a variety of genres. Absolutely bargain for the price.
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Best option for beginners.
AtZack, 05.05.2017
I was looking for a beginner's guitar. After researching for about a week, I found Harley Benton ST-20 BK. This is my first time to buy anything from Thomann, but I've watched quite many videos supporting its good quality and service on YouTube. I'm also quite satisfied from this experience.

The guitar arrived within two days after the order(I'm living in Heidelberg). Double boxes wrap, which is good. The outer box is a huge one. They put quite a lot of "air bags" to protect the inner box, which makes me feel good about the condition of the guitar. And the guitar looks amazing. From the body to the head, from the bridge to the tuning pegs, everything is fine. And the action of the guitar is quite low, I don't need to adjust it before playing. I tried to tune it and played for a bit. It's very easy to tune and stays in tune. The sound is also nice.

If I have to say something I don't like about it, that would be the volume and the tune knobs. Don't take it the wrong way, they work well, but the letters and the numbers on it are a bit rough. Of course, that doesn't affect the playing experience, and it's more about personal taste.

Overall, I'm satisfied with this guitar. For this price, I don't think you can find a better option. Not to mention, Thomann offers 30 Day Money Back Guarantee and 3-Year Warranty. That's crazy.

For those who wants to know what comes in the box, I made a simple unbox video, hope it would help: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XH2U2hFv11w
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I am sure this is good beginner guitar or a practice guitar
Matty88, 12.09.2017
I've always been a Tele guy. I love my Teles but I've craved a Stratocaster for some time now. I live in the UK but visit my family in Hungary once or twice a year and thought it would be a good excuse to get a this to just have something to play on. The guitar is fairly well built and sounds like a Strat. Very impressed with how responsive the pickups are however switching between pickups doesn't really make a lot of difference in terms of how it sounds. The only noticeable difference is between the neck pickup and bridge pickup. The in-between positions seem to the same sound. Tried to set it up and the truss rod seems to be very difficult to turn with the wrench included. I was trying to lower the action and one of the saddles are stuck and wouldn't lower at all. Appart from these issues, this guitar is pretty good.
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Fast neck
Arthur6472, 15.11.2014
The neck on this guitar is satin finished. Very smooth - no rough frets. I prefer floating tremolo so adjustments were made to neck action, tremolo springs, intonation and bridge height. Very fast and playable was the result.
Pickups seemed a little mushy at first, but with set up came classic single coil sound, bright and punchy.
My humble opinion has it that the string tree on the D - G strings at headstock is superfluous, and would simply add friction to the tremolo action.
I popped a spare tremolo arm spring in the arm well, and now the arm is stable, and does not flop around. I expect with settling in, and a fresh set of strings, that tuning stability can be achieved.
I wanted an inexpensive guitar for busking, and this is perfect - cheap and very, very cheerful! (Works well with the Vox AC15 sound on the Vox battery amp).
All in all excellent value!
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Great for the price
Pepedanza, 24.07.2020
I’m very happy with the instrument. Very playable right out of the package. Can’t think of a better deal for the price. I needed an affordable decent guitar while I wait for my instruments to be shipped to my new home... This has been perfect, and the service people are awesome.
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Budget electric guitar
kerk, 25.04.2018
I chose it as an entry level guitar and I'm not disappointed. For a low price I have an instrument that works quite well. The pick-ups might not be the best but they have good sound and clarity, also you can understand the difference when changing positions. Built quality looks fine and the neck is fine for my small fingers. From a beginners point of view it'w an excellent guitar
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Hb strat copy
16.12.2014
Bought as part of a package for my daughter. Amazed at the quality of this for the price. Well put together, fingerboard is nice, neck very straight. Well set up too, no buzzes, frets are good, recommended as a cheap but good quality guitar.
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Recommended for starters
Mese, 11.01.2019
Pretty "OK" solid guitar, sounds decent, looks decent, feels decent and price is more than decent.

Not the best guitar, but you'd hardly find a better guitar for this price and it's not even bad. Pretty good for starters, however probably falls off once you get good at playing it.

Would recommend for starter
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Very good low budget guitar
TaBBy, 12.08.2019
The guitar came in perfect condition and played pretty well right after unboxing, there was just some tuning to be done at the bridge. The strings were very low quality but after i replaced them, the guitar sounds incredebly well for it's price, i'd say it can compete solidly with a slightly higher budget fender.
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Great Bang For Buck
John658, 13.01.2015
I bought this guitar for my 12 year old nephew. I found it to be of excellent quality, a real good buy for a beginner. The inontation really surprised me for such a cheap guitar, it was near perfect.Sounds were decent for a strat copy style guitar.
Good quality finish, i found only one slight imperfection in the finish.
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Harley Benton ST-20 BK Standard Series

82 €
Including VAT; Excluding 20 € shipping
In stock within 7-9 weeks
In stock within 7-9 weeks

This item is expected back in stock soon and can then be shipped immediately.

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