Harley Benton Custom Line CLD-15M

Steel-String Guitar

  • Design: Dreadnought with dovetail construction
  • Top: Solid mahogany
  • Scalloped X-bracing
  • Body: Mahogany
  • Neck: Mahogany
  • Fretboard: Pau Ferro
  • Neck profile: Modified Oval C
  • Fretboard inlays: Mother-of-pearl Snowflake
  • Body binding: Wooden
  • Scale: 643 mm
  • Nut width: 43 mm
  • 20 Frets
  • Nut: Bone
  • Saddle: Compensated bone
  • Bridge: Pau Ferro
  • Machine heads: Chrome-plated diecast DLX
  • Strings: D'Addario XTAPB1253 Light, .012 - .053 (Article Nr 471307)
  • Colour: Natural matte
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Audio Examples

 
0:00
  • Country
  • Picking
  • Strumming

Further Information

Top Mahogany
Back and Sides Mahogany
Cutaway No
Fretboard Pau Ferro
Nut width in mm 43,00 mm
Frets 20
Pickups No
Colour Natural
Case No
Incl. Gigbag No

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Harley Benton Custom Line CLD-15M + Thomann Acoustic-Steel Gigbag BK +
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Harley Benton Custom Line CLD-15M + Ernie Ball 2004 Earthwood Bronze 3x +
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97 Customer Ratings
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Very pleasantly surprised
Jonty17, 28.09.2019
I am very lucky and own a Martin d-15, I was looking for a second guitar to use for open tunings and researched the Martin X series, Sigma, Epiphone and Harley Benton guitars. I didn't think this could be much good because it was so cheap - but after looking at a lot of reviews and videos, I thought I'd give it a chance. I thought it would be thin and lacking in a quality sound - but it has really knocked me out.

It's not a Martin D15, but it's pretty close, considering the price. I've also compared his to a Yamaha F310, which is also a great guitar for the money, but while the F310 feels weedy and insubstantial, the CLD-15M feels like a real guitar. Solid, robust, the tone rings out and resonates. It's louder than the Martin and more "brassy", it lacks some of the subtlety and nuance, but then it's a lot cheaper!

The bridge pins are pretty horrible, but I think to replace these it's going to need the holes reaming out as they are a non-standard size. The bridge and nut are good though. The action is great, very solidly playable all the way up the neck, some slight buzzing on fret 3 on the A string when I really hit it hard, but nothing too bad. It feels very solidly put together.

The down side of this guitar is the idea that, if this guitar is so nice at only £150, then maybe all the other Harley Bentons at this price are also nice - I'm going to need more space for guitars!

Edit - 6 months on and I've put 13-56 strings on this guitar, adjusted the truss rod for the heavier strings and replaced the bridge pins. I used some graph-tech pins that I already had and sanded them down to fit - it was easier than I had expected. Now it sounds amazing! I recently did an online gig of Roy Harper songs using this guitar in DADGAD and my Martin for standard tuning and the two sit side by side quite comfortably.
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Excellent guitar at an unbelieveable price!!
02.03.2015
I have owned two Martin D-15Ms over the years, but ended up selling them due to money troubles. I wanted to add an all mahogany guitar to my collection, but couldn't afford another Martin. I bought the CLD-15M based purely from the feedback on the Thomann website.

When it arrived, I almost couldn't believe my eyes. It is so well made, not a flaw to be seen. The set-up was perfect- a nice low action with no buzz and full saddle height. Perfect frets. I would hazard a guess that the guitar has been through a PLEK machine, as it seems almost too good a set-up to have been done by human hands.

The neck is a very slim low profile. I would have preferred it to be slightly chunkier but at this price, I am not complaining. I assumed I would have to change the tuners to Grovers, as cheap guitars almost universally have terrible tuners. The tuners on this guitar are sturdy, smooth and tight. The nut and saddle are bone, so no upgrade needed there either.

The sound? Nice. NICE!! It has a lovely honey sweetness to it. Mellow, rich.

The biggest difference I found compared to a Martin is the weight. It's not a particularly heavy guitar, but the mahogany Martins are featherweight. For my purposes this is fine, as I wanted it to take out to sessions and busking. This guitar seems incredibly sturdy and well built. I'm confident that it can take a few knocks.

Before buying the CLD-15M, I was seriously considering the all mahogany Sigma guitars. I can't see how the Sigma could be any better than this. It doesn't sound as good as the Martin D-15M, but the Martin is ?1290, which is nearly 9 times the price of this guitar. It is not 9 times better in sound.

I am incredibly happy with my purchase and am seriously thinking about buying the CLA-28V when it is back in stock. I am also looking at a T.bone condenser mic, as it seems the own-branded Thomann products are sheer quality.
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Guitars at this price should not sound this good!
23.01.2016
This was a blind purchase out of sheer curiousity on my part. I watched a video on YouTube of the CLA (Grand Auditorium version of this) guitar and thought "wow, solid mahogany top for under 200 Euros? Count me in."

Yes, you read that right. A solid mahogany top with select mahogany back and sides. For under 200 Euros. That is unheard of. I impulsively bought the dreadnought version after reading up on the Harley Benton brand. Basically, it's Thomann's Chinese manufactured in-house brand. I eagerly expected its arrival.

Pulling it out of the cardboard box, I was immediately taken by the colour and finish. This is a weird word to use to describe a guitar, but it looked delicious - downright appetizing! I'm so used to the plasticy/laminated finishes hovering around this price range that the feeling of solid wood in my hands felt surreal at once. Then I played a chord.

The rich tone instantly filled the room. Wow. I strummed out a song and was flabbergasted. I have owned an all solid-wood guitar in the past (The Seagull S6, for 500 Euros) and this sounded better. The mahogany tone was beautiful, warm and like hot chocolate. Every song I played felt enhanced by its rich and spectacular tone.

This is a great strumming guitar. Take it anywhere and you'll get a lot of depth and volume from playing your songs. The action was by default set to a very comfortably low level. As previously stated, you can't beat this quality at this price - from any other guitar maker on this site.

Highly recommended. Thomann, I don't know how you managed this but I hope you're paying the manufacturers a decent wage!
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My "Go to Guitar".
Catcave, 02.05.2021
I love it! It is kept close by and I play it all the time. Thank you! A++
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Steel-String Guitar Design: Dreadnought with dovetail construction, Top: Solid mahogany, Scalloped X-bracing, Body: Mahogany, Neck: Mahogany, Fretboard: Pau Ferro, Neck profile: Modified Oval C,...

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$166
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