Harley Benton CST-24 Paradise Flame

Electric Guitar

  • Deluxe Series
  • Body: Mahogany
  • Arched top
  • Top: Flamed maple
  • Neck: Mahogany
  • Neck attachment: Set-in
  • Fretboard: Roasted jatoba
  • Neck profile: "C"
  • Fretboard radius: 350 mm
  • 24 Frets
  • Fretboard inlays: Pearloid dots
  • Neck and body binding
  • Scale: 635 mm
  • Nut width: 42 mm
  • Nut: Graphite
  • Pickups: 2 Roswell HAF AlNiCo-5 open coil humbuckers
  • 3-Way switch
  • Controls: 1 Volume- and 1 tone with push/pull function for coil split
  • Hardware: DLX chrome
  • Bridge: DLX GTB wrapover
  • Machine heads: DLX
  • Colour: Paradise Amber Flame
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Audio Examples

 
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  • Blues
  • Metal
  • Rock

Further Information

Colour Bernstein
Body Mahogany
Top Maple
Neck Mahogany
Fretboard Jatoba
Frets 24
Scale 635 mm
Pickups HH
Tremolo None
incl. Bag No
incl. Case No

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190 Customer Ratings
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4.6 /5
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  • quality
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features
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WoW WoW WoW holy cow
Symphony slaughter, 23.09.2019
Where to start.... There is not a single bad thing I can say about this guitar , but I will go over what I found on unpacking the guitar. First off it arrived here in NZ just a little over a week , customs took a few days because I had duty to pay, but still got the guitar in a good time frame. Right out of the box it was pretty much in tune which tells me someone checked out this guitar at Thomann before it was sent, top marks for that Thomann. The pup's are great for me I love the bite they have and the sound is awesome, they were also set at perfect height and no adjustment was needed. The action was a little high for my taste but it took just a few seconds to adjust it to my liking and retune. The frets are perfectly level and there is no choking or dead spots what so ever and I have the action set pretty low , If I could point to anything at all I would say the frets need a quick polish to make them perfect or I could just play it for a week or two and that would also do the job..... The tuners work OK but at this price point you can't expect perfection and there not perfect but hold the tune and iv'e had no problem with them. The nut is placed and cut perfectly and alignment with the bridge and pickups is spot on all strings pass directly over the center of the pickup ploes ( it bugs the hell out of me when they don't) The binding looks great and I can't report any color blead over that some others have reported. There is no body flaws at all no dings or scratches or any imperfections for that matter, it looks the way a new instrument should. All praise to Thomann for there quality control. I only have 2 other guitars to compare to, one is a 1991 PRS SE EG which is a really nice guitar and my goto for pretty much all my playing , the other is a fender strat made in the USA that cost $3500 that I never play because it is crap and does not feel right ...at least to me ...... This Harley Benton is far better and more playable in every way...... Price is NOT a good indication of if the instrument is a good one (I learned that the hard way) I would definately recommend a harley benton to any guitarist and for this kind of money you would be an idiot not to at least try one, sure you might have to do some minor work to make it your own and get the setup you like but you have to do that with every guitar....... all I can say is go for it and buy one today.
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Total
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I'm keeping this one.
Ron69, 26.11.2019
I had some problems with my first HB guitar and had to return it - but this one is staying with me.

Pros:
Looks great.
Stupidly inexpensive.
Sounds good.
And... (almost) everything is straight and level.

Cons:
A couple (well, 4) pretty damn minor cosmetic flaws - which I'm more than happy to live with.
The fretboard is dirty & dry - no big deal there.
And... the action at the first fret is high (i.e. the nut needs adjusting.)

The first fret string height is the only really troubling matter, but it's not out by a huge amount - I have guitars I've paid ten times this amount for and had exactly the same issue with. Lots of players don't ever check the nut end - which is weird because it's easy to do (play first fret both e-strings - both should get an F on your tuner - if the note is high, so is slot in the nut.)

The guitar has been delivered with a decent degree of neck relief, and an entirely playable action (2.5mm at 12th fret I'd say) and there are no buzzing frets. Bends don't choke out and sustain is good. I haven't done a full set-up yet so the intonation is off, but I can't see that offering me any large problems either, so all in all - it's a keeper.

Well done HB - I'll buy more from you in the furture, based on this one.

UPDATE: I found another quite significant cosmetic flaw - dirty brown mark along half the length of neck - all along the binding - it's under the finish so I can't clean it off. If it was on top of the neck and therefore visible to me while I was playing, and not underneath it, this one would be going back too - dropped from 4 stars to 3 - sorry HB. You keep making silly little mistakes that should be getting picked up in Quality Control checks - I didn't order or pay for a B-Stock item, so please don't deliver me one.
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It's a Harley Benton...
onetw, 03.11.2018
It is a bang for the buck instrument, without a doubt. The body looks just stunning, it's got binding, a maple cap, coil splitting and other things that you won't find on any simmilarly priced instruments. There is however a catch...
I bought this as a "disposable" guitar for my studies abroad. When it arrived, i was quite surprised how different the veneer was to the ones on the photos. It was a lot darker, almost looked like a zebra pattern but nonetheless it was an interesting and appealing finish. Having played for a while, I was pleasantly surprised that the action was quite low, but soon I discovered a strong buzz on the first two frets, which meant that the first fret was lower than the others (which is a serious issue involving a lot of work as it needs to be replaced). Fortunately, Thomann took it back although it was unclear wheter to reapair it or replace it. Later they've sent me a new one which I didn't expect, but hey, as long as it works...
The second guitar had a very different looking veneer (more like the one from the photos) and played a bit different too (probablly better). There were also painting imperfections on the first one, which were now not present. All in all, it is a significantly better instrument and after a quick setup it was ready to go.
Later I had to put some graphite on the nut, as it was not very well cut and one string was going out of tune. After that everything was ok, but the tuning stability is still not the greatest (it might get better in the future, but having played the guitar for over a month I don't give it many chances).
The pickups are very, very bright compared to your standard Les Paul humbuckers which is nice for distorted sounds, but you won't get as much chunk and overall, I think I'll put in an SH4 from my other guitar as I prefer the sound a lot more (which is fine since the pickup costs about half as much as the entire guitar). When coil-split, the neck pickup actually sounds quite nice but the bridge one is a disaster... It's just too bright and bity, not very usable. I suggest you to try to rewire it to use the coil further from the bridge or just disconnect it from the split switch and not use it that way at all.
Speaking of coil splits, you get some pretty nice metal pot knobs on this guitar, which are easy to spin even with swetty fingers but pulling out the coil-split switch is very hard. The knobs are very smooth and slippery when moving up and down and it makes quick coil splitting (something I like to do a lot) almost impossible.
Now let's talk about the wood. The first guitars body was made out of about 3-4 pieces of wood. The second one was made out of two, like any other better-quality guitar. The maple cap is quite weird, It seems to be only about 5mm thick and some of the arch seems to be carved into the mahogany itself.
All in all, its a very nice guitar, very playable, maybe not the best-sounding but very good for the money anyway. What concerns me is the consistency of the craftsmanship. Having had two of these guitars, they felt and looked very different, so hopefully you'll get lucky and get one which looks and plays well. If something is wrong, then I'm sure that Thomann will help you out, so don't worry.
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Great versatile guitar
Suggo, 11.08.2018
I have had this CST 24 for a couple of months before doing this review, been playing 23 years but I?m not a pro and have had a lot of guitars over that time. When I started out I wish guitars of this quality at this price point existed as for this money you used to get an unplayable plank!
Firstly a little about Thommans service, I am in the UK and ordered this guitar on a Friday morning at about 10 am by 11 am I had an e-mail to say my guitar had been shipped and it arrived on the Tuesday which is incredible.
Straight out of the box this guitar required very little tweaking. The nut was cut absolutely perfectly which you don?t often see. The action was spot on and the intonation was only slightly out. Don?t let anyone tell you that you cant intonate a wrap around bridge, there are 2 screws on the bridge to adjust along with independent adjusters for the G and B string, 10 minutes fiddling and its spot on. The stock tuners are the closed type and do their job well. I have got the paradise flame and the finish is absolutely beautiful, far better than the photos suggest. The fingerboard is roseacre I think which just feels like rosewood to me although it was a little dry and had a couple of glue spots on it, no problem really as it took another 10 minutes to remove and oil up. This guitar is comfortable and plays really well. The stock Roswell pickups are good and the coil split is a nice feature giving a huge variety of tones, at this price it?s a great modding platform if you are looking for something different. Plugged in to my amp this guitar can really sing and I can get some great tones out of it. People keep asking is it a PRS? I don?t really think its fair to compare this guitar against a £2000 one when I paid about £160 delivered to my door. I can tell you that it is a very versatile guitar which feels more like a £500 model and I struggle to see how Harley Benton can even make a profit on a guitar of this cost and quality. Thomman have done a first class job with this guitar and at these prices it means we can all afford to have great guitars in lots of different models. All in all this is a very very good guitar and I will most definitely be buying more HB models.
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