Harley Benton Custom Line CLD-41SE WN

131

Steel-String Guitar with Pickup

  • Dreadnought design
  • Dovetail construction
  • Solid sitka spruce top
  • Scalloped X-bracing
  • Walnut body
  • Mahogany neck
  • Pau Ferro fretboard
  • Abalone Hexagon fretboard inlays
  • Abalone body binding
  • White fretboard and headstock binding
  • Modified Oval C neck profile
  • Scale: 643 mm
  • Nut width: 43 mm
  • Bone nut
  • 20 Frets
  • Compensated saddle
  • Pau Ferro bridge
  • Gold-plated diecast DLX machine heads
  • Pickup system: Fishman Presys-II preamp system with built-in tuner
  • Strings: D'Addario XTAPB1253 Light (Article Nr 471307), .012 - .053
  • Colour: Natural matte
available since September 2017
Item number 414099
sales unit 1 piece(s)
Top Spruce, Solid
Back and Sides Walnut
Cutaway No
Fretboard Pau Ferro
Nut width in mm 43,00 mm
Frets 20
Pickups Yes
Colour Natural
Case No
Incl. Gigbag No
B-Stock from $258 available
$299
The shipping costs are calculated on the checkout page.
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B
WOW!! This a beautiful guitar and a real bargain
BillDL 23.09.2021
What kind of acoustic guitars can you get for £300 UK pounds these days? Yes, you can get a good quality and well made guitar, but THIS guitar is much, much better than just good. It is a VERY good guitar regardless of price, but the price makes it EXCEPTIONAL. I have no idea how a guitar of this quality can be made and sold at this price and still make a profit, but I am not complaining.

The walnut back and sides have a really attractive grain and the fingerboard is nice and dark with very tight grain. I think this one is Pau Ferro and I was expecting it to be lighter coloured wood. The beautiful abalone (probably not real abalone) fingerboard inlays are quite dark. I was worried that they would be too sparkly and shiny, but they are sublime and expensive looking. The abalone body binding and rosette inlays are splendid and really well finished. I don't normally like shiny "bling", but this guitar is a welcome exception. With all the inlays, binding, and gold coloured tuners this guitar LOOKS expensive. Clearly it was inspired by a Martin D-41 and I think it looks just as nice but at a tiny fraction of the price.

The satin lacquer on the body and neck has been perfectly finished and the neck is lovely and smooth to play. The machine heads feel as though they are good quality and are very smooth without any play. The frets are very well finished and the nut slots are cut perfectly. The overall action may be a little high for people who are used to playing electric guitars, but there is enough saddle height to have it taken down a bit for those who would like the action lower. For me it was perfectly set up and played wonderfully straight out the box after being tuned.

The guitar has a very well balanced and rich sound with good projection, and the under-saddle pickup and Fishman preamp gives the expected nice "woody" sound of a piezo transducer of this kind. It is a joy to play amplified and unamplified and I think I will be spending a lot of time playing this guitar.

The ONLY reason that I have given a 4 instead of 5 for "quality" is that somebody failed to check the electrics before and after it was strung up and inspected. The small plastic connector carrying the battery power to the Fishman preamp was not plugged into the preamp and therefore the preamp did not work. I had to remove all the strings and reach well into the guitar to find the connector, untangle it from the other cables so that it would reach the preamp, and plug it in. I had to put on new strings after fixing the problem because it is very fiddly trying to restring with the same strings after they have been cut to length. A plug like this does not normally just come loose unless it wasn't properly pushed into place to begin with. There were NO OTHER quality issues though. The "fit and finish" is perfect and I am very pleased with my latest bargain.
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So much more than I expected...
TimThunder 29.05.2018
*This review is on the current version with Walnut body with Ovangkol fretboard/saddle*

After seeing countless reviews on YouTube about Harley Benton guitars and especially the videos done by Henning and Eikejun, I felt I compelled to check out their top acoustic. I waited a few months after receiving the guitar to leave a review.....
This guitar is heavily inspired by the Martin D-41 (Hence the model #)
Shipping:
The guitar was packed very well. It was shipped (from Germany to USA) double boxed with plenty of bubble wrap protecting it on its journey to the US. Shipping was 16 days.
First Impression:
After taking it out of the box, it took about 5 minutes to tune the guitar. It was like any new guitar with a new pair of strings. I stretched the strings and tuned it a few times. Once that was done I was able to start jamming. The setup was really good and fully usable right out of the box. I just had to make a slight adjustment to lower the action just a bit to my liking. Better than any setup I've experience in a music store.
Quality:
The guitar looks fantastic. I looked it over several times and couldn't find anything wrong with the build quality. There were no clue marks or blemishes on the wood. The frets are smooth with no fret sprouting (no sharp edges). The tuners hold tuning as well as my higher-end acoustics.
Playability:
You would think that a guitar at this price would have poor playability but it is surprisingly one of the most comfortable & best playing acoustics I've ever picked up. Whether playing chords or leads, this guitar does extremely well with no buzzing or dead spots on the fretboard. I also love the smooth satin neck. My hands don?t stick to it like my acoustics with the gloss necks.
Sound:
The sound is big with amazing punch & clarity. It has the perfect amount of highs & lows. It was as pleasing to my ears as any top end Martin guitar I've picked up. I use Martin as the standard for acoustic sound quality. I've been recording with this miced (miked) up and love the results I'm getting. The Fishman Isys is a good basic preamp. I never record acoustics plugged in even with higher end Fishman or Aura preamps, but if I had to play live with it plugged in that the Isys preamp would work.
Cons (if any):
The only con i had was cosmetic. The pickguard/scratch plate came already heavily scratched. I contacted Thomann support and they compensated me for it. This was something that was overlooked in the factory. Thank you Thomann for the great service.

Final Thoughts:
This guitar feels, plays, sounds, and looks like a professional acoustic guitar. I did not find that the Ovangkol fretboard, saddle or walnut body in place of rosewood diminished the sound quality in anyway. Many have said it's a great guitar for the money. I feel it's beyond that and I surprisingly find myself playing and recording with the HB more than the others I own that cost much more. Because of the cost, I kept trying to find things about the guitar I didn't like and I couldn't. Part of me is considering selling my high-end acoustics. This guitar is proof that high quality acoustics can be made at a great price. The quality of the CLD-41SE WN has me curious about several other Harley Benton acoustic models. I have probably 5 in my wish list that I may buy. I love this guitar so much that I?m going back and re-recording my acoustic parts on a symphonic metal song that I did on one of my higher end acoustics. Cheers Harley Benton & Thomann!
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Sublime
Daosit 01.07.2021
This guitar sounds and feels like a high-end guitar that worth 10 times the price. If you are a guitar player who often tries guitars in stores, get this one and you will thank yourself later. If you are a new guitar player who has not much experience comparing guitars, get this one and save your time choosing from beginner guitars.

Pros: great sounds, beautiful look, easy to play.
Cons: None.

Overall: Great guitar, a player, a keeper.
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with a little work very good guitar
Polde66 17.02.2022
until I managed to set it up I was a little desperate, I didn’t get what I was looking for out of it. Well, when I finally managed to set it up, a whole new horizon opened up for me. Easy to play without buzz. it took me quite some time to set this up. What I would criticize, however, is that the guitar is not quite as finished as it could be. Small particles that are not smooth are found on the varnish. As if someone was in a hurry to make a guitar without blowing it all the way through and then varnishing it. Too bad. But still when the guitar is tuned with elixir strings it sounds great and the feel on it is also great.
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