?First impressions last? as the saying goes and with guitars it is no different. Sure, you may notice imperfections and idiosyncrasies as time goes by which you will either learn to love, or deal with how you see fit, but after your first hour with a guitar you will pretty much have made your mind up about it in most cases. In my experience Harley Benton guitars always make a good impression.
Upon opening the box the first thing that will hit you is how attractive the D-120VS is. It really is stunning to look at. When I was young guitars that looked this good had to be expensive, and the ones in my price range, well, they looked appropriate. The D-120VS is a well-built instrument that feels great to hold. It feels solid and like it will last a long time. The build quality and the materials used are very impressive for its price. Again, these are things you'd expect to find with a more expensive guitar. The paint job and finish of the guitar are excellent.
At this stage you have span the guitar around in your hands and are happy, despite having not yet play it!
So, now for the most important parts concerning how it feels to play, and how it sounds. Looks are great, but if you're going to have a long term relationship then 'it?s what's inside that counts'. The feel and weight of the guitar make it a pleasure to hold and comfortable to play. The neck is set perfectly to allow you to play riffs high up on the neck as well as chords at the headstock. The neck is very impressively set with a slight 'convex' bow which surprised me but this really works well and allows ease of play and stable action all over the neck. The guitar was even in tune which I couldn?t believe! The action is perfect. Not too low, allowing the sound to resonate well as to provide the full bodied, warm acoustic sensation you are desiring from the instrument. The D-120VS is amazingly playable for such a budget guitar. Easier to play than my Yamaha especially higher up the neck, making the D-120VS a perfect guitar to learn on. Learning should not be limited by the instrument.
On close examination some very minor aesthetic issues can be found, but they really are very minor. No faults that would affect the sound or grow to be bigger problems. The only one concern for me are the few rough frets (fret wire) which could be repaired with a fret dressing - there were no dead notes at all - so nothing major.
All in all the D-120VS is an excellent choice for its price, if you are looking for a budget guitar. It is ideal to have laying around the house, easy to pick up and start enjoying, and not afraid to pick up a few knocks though it deserves care and respect. With this it will last and indeed develop character. More importantly though is how appropriate I believe this and other Harley Benton guitars are for the beginner. They are excellent value, and inspiring to play. They also look good and are a great first guitar that a young player could bond and develop with.