My rating is based upon value. When buying cheap acoustic guitars with pickup (and tuner) I have for a long time bought Washburn and occasionally Yamaha. The Washburn WD10sce (and the d10sce before that) have been my pick again and again in this price range. This guitar is very similar to that. Not as fancy looking as the wd10sce and for me that is a good thing. The CLD-16SCE is very basic when it comes to looks. But that also means less stuff to go bad. The one I received had a different logo at the headstock. It says HB only and looks better I think. Some of the other Harley Benton guitars on this website have the same logo as this guitar. The quality of the craftsmanship is good and on par with the Washburns I've bought. The pickup and preamp from Fishman is identical with the Washburns. It's not the best sounding pickup system in the world, but it does an acceptable job. It's better than the other low end preamps I have tried. Having an onboard tuner is great and it makes my guitars with no tuner hanging on the wall. When it comes to amplified sound my Fishman Matrix equipped guitar sounds much better. But it is not fair to compare these two guitars when the price is so very different! All in all I'm very pleased with my purchase and the next time I need to get a good but low cost acoustic it is this one again. Only problem with this guitar is the respect-from-other-guitarists-factor. This does not say some fancy brands name on the headstock. The resale value might not be as good as with a more recognized brand. But hey you'll not be selling this little gem!
I bought this guitar to bring with me when I travel. I needed an inexpensive guitar for this purpose. The guitar is light but well constructed. It projects its sound well and stays in tune.The Fishman pre-amp works well. This in no way sounds like a quality acoustic (rather hollow in sound) but it does sound good for a guitar in this price range and better than most double in price. If its sound opens up as it ages it will be even better. The neck is very comfortable and playable. I have had only one problem with it. I was playing it hard and suddenly there was a terrible buzzing from the 3rd and fourth strings located at the what appeared to be either the bridge or the top wood of the guitar below the bridge. To make the story shorter, after a half hour of checking the guitar (were the bridge pins loose, was the bridge separating from the guitar, did I have bracing coming unglued) I took the battery out of the preamp and the buzzing stopped. This will be an easy fix, either the battery will need to be shimmed from the bottom or its sides or a new battery might make the difference or the springs in the battery compartment compressed during shipment. Don't let this put you off from this guitar since it is something so easy to fix if you experience it.
Overall this acoustic guitar gives you good value for your money. I am very happy with this purchase.
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