Harley Benton Custom Line CLA-15M

273
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Acoustic Guitar

  • Auditorium 000-14 design
  • Dovetail construction
  • Solid Okoume top
  • Scalloped X-bracing
  • Sapele body
  • Okoume neck
  • Pau Ferro fretboard
  • Modified oval C neck profile
  • Snowflake fretboard inlays
  • Wooden body binding
  • Scale: 643 mm
  • Nut width: 43 mm
  • 20 Frets
  • Bone nut
  • Compensated bone saddle
  • Pau Ferro bridge
  • Chrome-plated die-cast DLX machine heads
  • D'Addario XTAPB1253 Light strings, .012 - .053 (Article Nr 471307)
  • Colour: Natural matte
Available since November 2013
Item number 318348
Sales Unit 1 piece(s)
Model 000
Top Solid Okume
Back and Sides Sapele, Mahogany
Cutaway No
Fretboard Pau Ferro
Nut width in mm 43,00 mm
Frets 20
Pickup No
Colour Natural
Incl. Case No
Incl. Gigbag No
B-Stock from $166 available
$179
The shipping costs are calculated on the checkout page.
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For the love of tradition

acoustic 000 steel string guitar Harley Benton Custom Line CLA-15M

The Harley Benton Custom Line CLA-15M is an auditorium guitar, a body shape that represents decades of tradition and was initially developed in the first third of the twentieth century. The body is small enough for comfort but still delivers a very full and balanced sound, and its classic looks are further enhanced by its attractive natural wood finish. The latter is thanks to the fact that this guitar is made completely from sapele and gaboon mahogany. All of this makes it the perfect choice for players looking for something special that still comes at a budget-friendly price.

gaboon mahogany soundboard on the Harley Benton Custom Line CLA-15M

Mahogany for a precise, mid-rich sound

The Harley Benton Custom Line CLA-15M is constructed entirely of mahogany and also features a solid wood top. Gaboon mahogany, also known as okoumé, has been used for the top and sapele mahogany for the back and sides in order to ensure that the instrument conforms to the regulations of the CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora). The combination of this wood and a relatively shallow auditorium-style body gives the guitar a precise and balanced sound with excellent emphasis on the mid frequencies, which in turn allows it to cut through the mix effectively. The CLA-15M’s Gabon mahogany neck features a glued-on pau ferro fingerboard and a comfortably slim taper with a moderate nut width of 43mm. Together with the guitar’s smaller, lighter body shape, this means that it is not only ideal for musicians with smaller hands but also sits perfectly against the player’s body.

back of the sapele mahogany body of the Harley Benton Custom Line CLA-15M

Great for all ages

The Harley Benton Custom Line CLA-15MCE offers guitarists unrivalled playing comfort, making it perfect for young beginners and adults with smaller hands. That being said, however, this guitar is also an excellent choice for players looking for an affordable but high-quality traditional guitar that combines unique looks with top-notch performance.

Harley Benton headstock with HB logo

About Harley Benton

Since 1998, the Harley Benton brand has been catering for the needs of numerous guitarists and bassists. In addition to an extensive range of stringed instruments, Thomann's house brand also offers a wide choice of amplifiers, speakers, effect pedals, and other accessories. In total, the range includes over 1,500 products. Built by established names in the industry, all Harley Benton products combine quality and reliability at attractive and affordable prices. The continuous expansion of the range ensures that Harley Benton always provides new, exciting, and innovative products that keep players perfectly in tune with the musical world, day after day.

Want to take your guitar along too?

That is no sooner said than done with the CLA-15M, wherever you want to go. Its light weight makes it very easy to transport, and its affordable price in particular makes it an excellent choice as a travel guitar too. Its eye-catching looks will get the audience’s attention whatever the location, and its excellent playing comfort and impressive volume mean those spontaneous chances to delight the audience around the campfire or on the street need never be missed.

273 Customer ratings

4.7 / 5

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213 Reviews

SH
Lovely, sweet well made guitar - just get one
S Harrison 08.02.2018
Ok, first off I love this guitar.
In the early 90's I went into Andy's guitar shop, London, and tried a Martin 150th anniversary all mahogany 000-15 (or 00) and a '68 Gibson hummingbird. Both gorgeous guitars, the Martin was the 2nd best acoustic I've played (the best being a 60's Martin 00/000 made with Brazilian rosewood and spruce or cedar top). I loved it but it was £950, which I didn't have back then - to put that into context the '68 hummingbird was £100 cheaper. Fast forward to now and Martin had reissued the all mahogany 000-15s a few years ago, which I didn't realise - at a bargaintastic £1200. Post Brexit vote however and they are now £1500 or more, due to our devalued currency and exchange rate. So while I'm waiting for Sterling to improve, I got this Harley Benton version.
Straight out of the box, this guitar was in tune and immediately playable. I mean seriously playable. I immediately recognised the tone from that old Martin I tried. It doesn't have all the complex timbre of the Martin, or quite the sweetness of the notes - but It was instantly in that tonal family. I recognised the tone; not just that, it has warmth but also a surprising punch to it - out of the box it blew me away.

Set up, out of the box, is excellent. This is the first of my Harley Bentons to actually come with a set up card. It's really easy to play, excellent action. The strings sing out clearly and evenly (the Martin is probably a bit clearer) - it's really well balanced like that across the whole guitar, nothing jumping at you or hiding away. The intonation is pretty much spot on, across the fret board, straight out of the box. Impressively precise. Construction is simple and clean. No extra heavy bracing added by accountants worried about warranty periods (like certain acoustics have had). This is a really light guitar. The bracing is scalloped to reduce weight and allow the guitar to vibrate and resonate. And boy does it do that. A lovely warm, rich tone with it's own complexities and resonances and timbre - and plenty of punch if you drive it. This is so much lighter than my other acoustics (which are worth a good bit more). I can't remember playing a lighter one.

The one thing that surprised me a little was that mine is a little headstock heavy - no more so than my other acoustics but a lot of HB's a very well balanced this way - the old Martin sat perfectly balanced on my leg. To be fair - it's so light it would need a very light weight set of tuners to counterbalance that lovely resonant body. Also, I suspect the nut was cut for strings a gauge lighter - as this is strung with 12's and only needs 11's to drive it. A couple of the strings catch on it - but it's no biggy, a bit of graphite will probably fix it - the nut is well cut for the string heights - the tuners do their job well. The strings had also been bedded in properly - no tugging on them required.

Did I mention how good this guitar sounds, feels and plays?
I was hoping for a good guitar but was taken aback by it and by the set-up and the simple quality and precision of the construction (ok, the nut wasn't cut for this gauge of strings but I really don't care, the strings sound great on it and are surprisingly easy to play).
Mine looked pretty much like the pictures on the site - I thought it might have a closer grain but it sounds great (and looks great) and it will only get better. It already sounds like it's opened up so how good will it be when it does.

This will suit a variety of styles from quiet, introspective fingerstyle to punchy strumming and anything in between. I'm sure this will be a good recording guitar. (I'll be recording with it)
I have it in an open D tuning at the moment - it loves lower tunings.
Forget all the stuff about this being a good guitar for the money - this is a good guitar.
And an absolute bargain.
Get one - while they still can do them in mahogany.
(Makes me feel unfaithful but - my new go to acoustic)
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Tn
The perfect pet
This name is taken 15.01.2022
I bought this guitar as I wanted a cheapish acoustic I could have lying around (out of a case). And I have to say it has exceeded my expectations. The neck is absolutely fantastic in terms of action, feel and playability. It has a fairly flat radius (maybe 12 inch) and plays beautifully. I haven't adjusted the action or intonation at all - it was spot on.

The sounds is great, with a nice punchy sound. The finish is really clean and seems to be quite hard-wearing. I have knocked it a few times and it hasn't made a mark. The stock strings are good - I haven't even changed them after 15 months, although they probably need it now. The neck has worn nicely and is now really smooth (it always was smooth but now has a nice polished feel).

I do have one complaint though - the fret markers. Having the double markers on the 9th fret is confusing. My brain thinks it's the 12th. The markers on the side of the neck are fine, with a double dot at the 12th. Fortunately I don't look at the fretboard that much but it can be confusing if I'm trying to learn something new.

For context I've been playing guitar (on and off) since the early 90s and have played many guitars in that time. While this guitar doesn't feel super high end it also doesn't feel cheap. It just feels right and well balanced. I don't worry about damaging it and I don't wish it was better - I just play it.
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T
Harley Benton Custom Line CLA-15M
Torycoustic 19.12.2020
The dreadnought version wasn't available at the time (which is a shame, since I'm a dreadnought kind of person - but seems like it's back in stock again!), so I decided to order the auditorium counterpart, and, I actually placed two separate orders for two of them, since I'm skeptical about guitars from this brand.

Turns out...

Both guitars sound better than what I was expecting, well, at least for an auditorium. We all know that this design will give you a much thinner sound, but on this particular one, it's rather balanced, not too dark, not too bright, which is what I like. The bone nut and the bone saddle do have a significant contribution to the sound amplification: it's clear, natural, and even loud (including harmonics). The only difference is, that the second one seems to have a better setup than the first one, both out of the box and after minor adjustments. Other than that, great smell (I'm not even kidding), great design (I can tell the guitar's heavily inspired by the Martin 000-15M, but hey, this is more like saying "when you want an expensive guitar but your budget is too tight so you ended up getting an inspiration instead, and it's very, very good, no exaggerations."). No sharp fret ends, smooth fretboard and bridge (even the bridge feels smooth!), decent tuners (at least for now, though I'll swap the tuners in the near future).

Yeah, I already returned the first one on the day I received the second one, which I'm happy with. Highly recommended, but always inspect your new guitar before actually playing.

Now, should I get the CLD-15M too?
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P
Nice playing acoustic
Photo987 11.12.2021
I'm an advanced beginner to intermediate guitar player. I'm not a musician or tech, so my assessments are personal and subjective

Finish- really nice. Love the woodgrain and the guitar and neck feel nice in the hand
Sound- I had the dreadnought version of this, and the sound of CLA is more trebly, but that's very subjective. It sounds good to my ear.
Tuners are the weak part, a little hesitant and jumpy. I'd glad pay 20-30 euro more on the purchase price for better ones
Strings need to be changed. The ones that are fitted are good quality but a little aged from sitting in the warehouse.

I'll use it for learning fingerpicking blues, and occasional strumming. I was mostly attracted by the size as I found the CLD-15M dreadnought a little too big for comfortable playing, buy again that's personal. I'm average height so if you're taller you might prefer a bigger body guitar.
The other size advantage of the CLA is in storage. I keep 3 of my guitars in the living room and space is at a premium.

Highly recommended guitar for the price, and even if it cost a little more.
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