Harley Benton CST-24HB Charcoal Flame

87

Electric Guitar

  • Design: Semi-hollow body with f-holes
  • Body: Mahogany (Swietenia Meliaceae)
  • Top: AAA flamed maple
  • 3-Piece neck: Mahogany (Swietenia Meliaceae) C-Shape
  • Fretboard: Pau Ferro
  • Fretboard inlays: Dot
  • Neck profile: C
  • Fretboard radius: 350 mm
  • Scale: 635 mm
  • Nut width: 42 mm
  • Frets: 24 Medium Blacksmith stainless steel
  • Nut: ABS
  • Body binding: Ivory
  • Pickups: 2 Roswell LAF AlNiCo-5 humbuckers
  • 3-Way switch
  • 1 Volume control
  • 1 Tone control with push/pull function for coil split
  • Hardware: DLX chrome
  • Bridge: DLX GTB wrapover
  • Machine heads: DLX die cast
  • Colour: Charcoal Flame High-Gloss
  • Suitable case available under Article Nr 129350 (not included)
available since June 2015
Item number 358493
sales unit 1 piece(s)
Body Mahogany
Top Maple
Neck Mahogany
Frets 24
Scale 648 mm
Pickups HH
Tremolo No
Incl. Case No
Incl. Bag No
$229
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Seriously impressed
Blind Pig 15.04.2021
I bought this as I wanted a 24 fret guitar and being a semi gave it a little something I couldn't get from my other instruments, despite how good the JTV models are. I hadn't intended it for anything other than noodling at home, but having tried it, I suspect it will become a gigging guitar once we're allowed out to play again.

To start with the (very minor) niggles. The finish on the inside of the f-holes could be tidier, and there is a very slight, almost imperceptible, imperfection on the binding near the neck.

That's it for the negatives.

What I like about it will take longer. To start with, it looks fantastic. The maple top is gorgeous, with a lovely, and consistent, finish.

The set up out of the box was outstanding. Low action, perfectly straight neck and level frets. The fret endings were so well finished I've had to order the tools to bring my other guitars up to the same standard. Now I know what good fret ends are. Having received unplayable guitars from a well known UK supplier (naming no names, but they make a nice demo video) that ostensibly check ever instrument before it goes out, I will be always ordering from Thomann from now on just for the set up.

Tuning seems stable. Given that they aren't the most heavy duty of tuners, once the strings were worn it it stayed in tune pretty quickly after some heavy duty bends.

I know "playability" is a very subjective thing, but I found the neck very comfortable, despite my short fat fingers. It's a nice lightweight guitar as well.

Again, it's subjective, but what really impressed me is the sound. Really versatile. Nice chiming clean tones with a very "open" quality to them, especially with the coil tap. Once you dirty it up it can go from warm crunch to something a bit filthy and still sound good.

Despite having a range of sound options available from my variaxes, this has something different about it that will ensure it gets good use. For overall quality and the sheer pleasure of playing it, this deserves the 5 stars.

My first Harley Benton, but I've already ordered another.
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Amazing quality and sound for the price.
Miguel-Rock 08.08.2018
To get some context, I own a Gibson LP and a Ibanez RG, and I have played for ten years. I have experience with live shows, and gigs, I am not a pro, but I can say I am not only a bedroom musician. So, I moved to a different city, and I wanted a practice guitar since I could not bring mines. I choosed this mostly for the look (and the price), but since I got it I am quite amazed. It's really well constructed, and plays really nice and loud (because of the body type probably, since it my first of this type). Its feels more like the Gibson LP than the Ibanez, but it has 24 frets.
The greatest surprise was when I plugged into a sound card, and record some tones, I was really blown away. So I overdub some some tracks that I previously recorded with the Gibson and the Ibanez, and it really can compete with them. I had quite a variety of tones (it has coil split Wilkinson picks). By far, those do not sound like a "starter" pickups.
I have not played live with it, but after what I have used it, I think it can probably withstand a gig without further problems. It's quite stable for the tuning.

Pros
- Quality : Well constructed , nice finished.
- Price : For the price, amazing quality and features.
- Sound: Very versatile and quite variety of tones.
- The look: One of the most beautiful guitars I have owned.


Cons: (actually not so cons, but I would say details to consider)

- I had to slightly adjust the trust rod (neck) after the first three weeks, but nothing to serious just a buzz on the first string. Since, then I have not had any problems with it, nor intonation. (I think is not a Con, since my Ibanez need the neck adjustments every couple of months).
- It's heavy. I thought since it a hollow-body, it would be ligther than the Gibson LP, but it feels just like that. (Also not a con, just a tip to be prepared).
- The neck is fat/bigger. It's definitely in the zone of a fat LP neck, and even a little bigger. I would say almost like a slim electro-acustic. Anyways, it is really comfortable, but don't expect a Ibanez type ultra-slim neck.
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Pete O'May 11.02.2021
Guitar looks awesome from 10 feet (3 meters) away. Have checked some reviews and thought - manufacturing issues, it would be improved and the biggest issues are fixed, well…
Given the sound I decided to keep it and have a project guitar. I spent more that 5 hours by now.

So about the guitar:
• It has sound that I enjoy, like the coil split from hum to single, solid action on volume, very light on tone
• high action (~2.5mm on bass E) which wasn't easy to adjust - when lowered to ~1.6mm, I got a huge string buzz and frets had to be leveled to fix it (probably the reason why the action was high in the first place, and thrust rod was all messed up with paint)
• frets and fret-board was all "gunked" up and pretty rough, probably a polish-o-paint from the fret-board sides, neck-paint is cracked between fret-board and the neck, and lastly fret was roughed-up next to nut
• huge and sharp tool marks on the nice big head screws of bridge
• something buzzing - intonation slider for B & G string had to be hard tightened
• very ugly F holes - lining poorly done and with dirty marks, mess coming out of there on the blow, partially painted black with shiny wood showing
• I am suspecting product was the B-stock
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Underwhelmed
Dan in Washington, USA 07.07.2020
I have 14 guitars and this is easily the lowest quality of them all. Some issues I expected and are minor: needing a good cleaning from manufacturing residue, sharp fret ends, dry fingerboard, marginal electronics, etc. I can easily address those. Other issues left me disappointed and confused regarding the Harley Benton reputation: 1) sloppy, stiff, ultra-cheap tuners, 2) scuffed, poorly finished binding on the neck, 3) several areas of the finish on the body and neck that were not polished out, 4) cheap, mottled looking plating on the one-piece bridge, and 5) splotchy, uneven finish binding on the inside of the f-holes.

I'm really sorry to say that it has the look and feel of a guitar cheaply made; and made in a hurry without a great deal of care. I ordered and received two guitars from Thomann: this one and also an SC-450Plus (which was $40 LESS, by the way). The SC-450Plus mops the floor with the CST-24HB in every way.

I'm completely happy and content with my SC-450Plus. I'm completely underwhelmed by, unhappy with and confused by the CST-24HB and in all honesty will probably wind up selling it at a loss.
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