Harley Benton Custom Line Manhattan-Standard

Jazz Guitar

  • Build: Hollow body
  • Vintage series
  • Arched top: Mahogany
  • Body: Mahogany
  • Body depth: 60 mm
  • Cream binding
  • Neck: Mahogany
  • Scale: 648 mm
  • Fretboard: Amaranth
  • 22 Frets
  • Pearl Dot inlays
  • Nut width: 43 mm
  • Pickup: Custom ceramic mini humbucker
  • 1 Volume knob and 1 tone knob
  • Bridge: Ovangkol
  • Deluxe machine heads
  • Ex-factory stringing: D'Addario EXL-110 .010 - .046
  • Colour: Matte brown

Dimensions:

  • Lower bout: 45 cm
  • Upper bout: 32 cm
  • Length: 110 cm
No JavaScript? No Audio Samples! :-(

Audio Examples

 
0:00
  • Blues
  • Jazz
  • Rockabilly

Further Information

Colour Natural
Soundboard Mahogany
Top Mahogany
Neck Mahogany
Fretboard Amaranth
Frets 22
Scale 648 mm
Pickup System H
Tremolo No
Incl. Case No
Incl. Gigbag No

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starting from $255
75 Customer Ratings
  • 5
  • 4
  • 3
  • 2
  • 1
4.4 /5
  • features
  • sound
  • quality
Total
features
sound
quality
For the price it's a nice and well made guitar. What Dacia Dokker is to minivans this is to jazz guitars.
eMko, 09.10.2020
I bought this guitar 6 months ago and have played it multiple times a week since. It was my very first guitar a) which is an electric hollow body, b) I bought over Internet from abroad.

First, I was very nicely surprised by the natural resonance of the guitar. Although its unplugged tone is nothing to write home about (it's an electric guitar after all!) it's good enough for home practice. Very focused, mid-rangy and percussive. You don't have to plug it in at all and you get sound loud enough for practicing with metronome or a not very loud backing track. Its unplugged volume is just a bit lower than a parlour acoustic guitar. If you want to practice Freddy Green style comping in the middle of a night you definitely will annoy your neighbours :) .

Plugged-in sound for me is very sweet, warm and mellow (I have flat wound strings, 12 gauge). If you are into sounding like Charlie Christian, Wes Montgomery or George Benson, this guitar will definitely help you. Although it has just one pickup, it can give you a lot of tone variety depending on your play style. I don't miss a bridge pickup at all. I had a lot of success playing jazz blues with a looper pedal and through a bass amp (Fender Bassman). The whole guitar is made of fairly thick laminated wood and the body is thin which reduces the susceptibility to feedback. However if you are used to play just solid body guitars it can catch you unprepared. It is easily manageable if you get used to it.

Speaking of its quality, it is really superb for the price. It holds tuning very well, is easy to setup and intonate, frets are level and were nicely crowned (although there were some tool marks on their edges, someone probably fixed the fret sprout hastily). Tuning machines are smooth. From the worse bits I found a bit of dust under lacquer in two places, frets were unpolished and the plastic nut was just a bit weird. The output jack hole keeps loosing itself. At first I thought I would have to replace the pickup and pots; I didn't have to - pots are fine and the pickup is nice sounding. I just replaced the nut and polished the frets. Overall, the build quality is on par with guitars at least twice the price. What I really appreciate is the satin finish. Although it does not look so "glamorous", satin finished necks feel much better to me than polished.

This guitar can be a nice addition to your collection, it definitely is the most affordable and useable jazz guitar/electric archtop on the European market. I really wish Harley Benton would add a cut-away model or a lighter colour but it's fine as it is.
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Total
features
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Manhattan Standard
Robert814, 04.04.2019
The Harley Benton Manhattan Standard Jazz Guitar was a slight risk after reading some of the previous reviews! - I decided to take the risk and was not disappointed. The reviewer's comments were actually extremely useful. One review mentioned that the bridge is not glued to the body - Glad to hear it - I intend to place a transducer underneath it to give an acoustic output. The action is a bit high - OK, so it usually is on most new guitars! - we all have our preferences. Intonation? - well that will obviously change when I remove the bridge and position the transducer, then I have the chance to lower the action and find the optimum bridge position. One big surprise! - the guitar was shipped with a thin piece of cloth underneath the bridge - not quite sure why? - perhaps a big hint that this needs to be moved around during any adjustment - action, string gauge, it almost always needs a final trim. The acoustic sound is just what I was hoping for - Rich and resonant, but not like a normal acoustic guitar. This is a fully hollow bodied archtop, with the pickup mounted on the end of the neck, not the body. That was the main reason for choosing this guitar. The pickup sound is surprisingly low level when plugged in to an amp set up for a tele or strat, especially considering that this has a humbucker. I tried using a pre-amp on the pedalboard and the level came up, but the sound didn't seem very bright to my ears. Not bad though and I don't mind messing around with electronics. It will be very nice with a simultaneous acoustic transducer. My main concern after reading the other reviews was the quality of the finish - actually this example is pretty good - no sharp fret ends, only the plastic nut on the high E side, but that will easily smooth with a file, or even trim with a scalpel. The only minus is that if you look closely - and really closely, the binding and trim looks a bit cheap and "plasticey". Another reviewer mentioned the truss rod cover looks a bit cheap/cheesy, so I ordered a black alternative with the guitar. Not yet sure if this will fit or if I really want to change it. Overall, and considering all the previous reviews, I think the Chinese manufacturers have got things a lot better. 9/10.
Update:
Having now fitted the piezo acoustic transducer under the bridge, lowered the action further than I ever imagined possible, slightly moved the bridge to get all strings perfectly in tune with the harmonic at the 12th fret, encountered no fret buzz at all, delighted with the comfortable playability, the supplied strings sound and feel excellent - I took another look at the price ! - and I just have to upgrade the rating - 9-and-a-half/10 - and 5 stars !
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The Blues Sound like the old records
Dead Blues B., 21.04.2020
I was searching for a vintage sound like John Lee Hooker's 1961 Epiphone Zephyr on Hooker N' Heat. That led me to search for an archtop with mini humbuckers and found the Manhattan on Thomann's website. Went for Youtube for reviews and John Coupland's did a very good one leaving no doubt I wanted this guitar

Pros - I found the sound I was searching. Please check my Soundcloud So Sad Blues, Blues lead on the left side played on top of the pickup, baritone sound above the pickup and back solos below the pickup. No fret buzz (wow!) and you learn a lot on intonation and action by adjusting the bridge

Cons - Not much. I don't like satin finish that much but makes perfect sense on this guitar. Quality build is great, neck HB logo on the nut plastic deserved a better quality but that's just a detail

To conclude, it's my fave guitar at the moment and it gave authenticity to my mean John Lee Hooker inspired licks and overall blues sound. Competing with Gretsch New Yorker, costs 1/3 less. The Manhattan inspired me to play and sound like I always wanted. Go get one!
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It's HUGE!!!
jimdandy, 19.10.2013
Going from the head down on the guitar.....

Tuners work great. Held tune perfectly whilst I was jazzing out!

Truss rod cover I thought looked a little cheesy, but easy to replace for a standard looking one.

Neck has a nice feel to it. Fretwork is excellent and didn't need anything to rectify. No sharp edges, and set up well.

Body is a Mahogany laminate and finished in satin. I'm not a fan of satin, but each to their own. I'm sure it will polish to gloss if try hard! ;-)

The pickup is a mini humbucker with adjustable poles to even out the sound. Handy.

How does it sound? Well, plugged in it has a nice acoustic tone, and wind up the gain on a good tube amp and it screams in a dirty wonderful way. Overdriven woody tones..

It's a great guitar to fill a void for the archtop in your collection.

NOTE: If you've got an archtop with pickups on the top (humbuckers etc), this is a totally different beast. It's loud, it projects, and more importantly, it has a full tone, I can hear bass, everything. With the thick poly double humbucking guitars, you loose all depth.
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$255
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