Harley Benton Electric Guitar Kit CST-24


Electric guitar kit CST style

  • Complete self-made kit
  • Body: Renga (wood colour may vary) with binding
  • Bolt-on neck: Maple with binding
  • Fingerboard: Amaranth
  • Dots fretboard inlays
  • Scale: 635 mm (25")
  • Nut width: 42 mm (1.65")
  • 24 Frets
  • Pickups: 2 covered humbuckers (bridge and neck)
  • 1 Volume and 1 tone control
  • 3-way switch
  • Wrap around bridge
  • Chrome hardware
  • DieCast machine heads
  • Original strings: .009 - .042
  • Colour: Natural

Note: A certain level of craftsmanship is required for successful assembly

Body and neck have been primed with pore filler (suitable for varnishing, but possibly unfavourable for staining - may have to be sanded again)

Colour Natural
Body Solid Wood
Top None
Fretboard Amaranth
Frets 24
Scale 635 mm
Pickups HH
Tremolo None
incl. Bag No
incl. Case No
available since May 2020
Item number 464643
sales unit 1 piece(s)
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Lovely piece
IcyHelzo 06.08.2021
So, I was oogling this kit for months and I finally managed to claim it. I am going to give a detailed review of the whole process of assembly.

First off, packaging. Very well, very securely done, except for a very small dent in the back, however with the roads and vehicles that drive around delivering packages in my country, I am surprised it's only one and is miniscule.
The wood is sealed very well, although I would put another 2-3 layers just in case, as well as to bring out the grain a bit more, but that's just my kink. Solid 4-5 piece body(dunno if i counted right).
Fittings and holes. Almost perfect. The neck went in like a glove and no work on it was needed. Holes for the parts were made perfectly, with the exception of the bridge holes, where I had to hammer them quite much, until they go all the way in. Seeing as hammering is even in the manual, again I see it as normal.
The neck itself is beautiful, no sharp frets, straight and beautiful. I only needed to touch the nut just a bit so the strings would fit more securely.
Pickups are different than the ones on the image. I got metal plated ones, instead of the waffles, however it was actually easier to figure out what goes where and how. In terms of sound they are extremely well for my taste.
I've read a lot of Harley Benton kit reviews that have the same grievances about not enough detailing on the wiring system and 'guess work' wiring. While true, in this case you can somewhat find your way by the length of the cables in correspondence with the holes, so not entirely a big deal.
There is only one thing that really irked me, and that was the strings packaging. They were bundled up and knotted so much and so tightly, that I had a very difficult time separating them, resulting in one string having a bend, that I somewhat fixed upon setting up. Still, it's not something that takes away from the quality of the guitar itself.

Overall, this is my first DIY guitar and the way it sounds, all stock and everything, is simply amazing. Everything is tight, solid and works well. For me, it's good to go as it is, and should I wish to upgrade, now I know how to do it.


damn good for that price but with its quirks
Vectorr 23.12.2021
Overall I'm pretty satisfied, my biggest complain is that my kit was missing the truss rod cover.

Assembly is easy, some of the holes are slightly misaligned and require a bit of pushing/pulling to get the screws in but no major work was necessary to make it work. Took me 3 hours while taking my time.

The frets are pretty rough at first but after a bit of playing and bending they get smooth. Manufacturing-wise the neck is all good, no sharp frets or rough spots. The same thing can be said about the body.

As the title says, my biggest complain is the missing truss rod cover. Other than that, the instructions could be more specific, figuring out which screws to use could be a pain for somebody with no experience.

A thing that isn't mentioned on the product page is that you get TWO pairs of pick-ups; covered and uncovered humbuckers - it was a really nice surprise!

I don't regret my purchase and would buy it again because the guitar looks amazing.


Great kit for my first DIY build
Steve Phillips 22.11.2021
A really enjoyable first experience of building a guitar from a kit. Having read other reviews, I was prepared to spend a lot of time sanding the body to get a great finish and bring the best out of the grain.

I used a ‘mouse’ electric sander at first, and 120 and 240 grit sandpaper. Then switched to hand sanding with 600 grit, and finally 0000 steel wool. I didn’t stain the body - wanted to keep it a natural colour. Used Tru-Oil on it, cutting back after every 2 or 3 coats with 0000 steel wool. I put 11 coats on, and then let it hang from a curtain pole in the spare bedroom for 10 days, to cure fully.

After that, it took me only an afternoon to fit the hardware, pickups, electrics etc. I am a beginner - never done anything like this before.

I put a set of Fender strings on it (9s, for the record) as the supplied ones didn’t look brilliant, and were twisted into one big tangle.

I let the strings bed in overnight, then adjusted the truss rod, bridge height and intonation the following day. Plugged it in, and it worked just fine.

So, I think it’s fair to say that sanding and finishing the body is 80% - 90% of the work involved here. You do need some patience, and you do need to get every last bit of that sealant/lacquer off the body before doing anything else to it. But the results are worth it. It looks stunning.

I didn’t need to buy any tools - all that was needed were some metric sized spanners (10/12/14mm) and small and medium cross head screwdrivers - all of which I had in my tool box. Allen keys to adjust the truss rod and bridge are included in the kit.

After a couple of days settling in, it plays nicely. Very easy to get a nice low action with a few minutes spent adjusting the truss rod and bridge. And it’s a joy to look at it and think “I made that”.

I finished it a couple of days ago, and I’ll be ordering a second one (different model) from Thomann in the next few days. That’s the strength of my recommendation.


There is no story, sadder in the world...
Dmitry R. 23.09.2021
Body. Quite a laborious process of removing the preservative varnish. The scale length is 24 and 3/4 instead of 25. The cutout for attaching the neck must be fixed, otherwise the lower strings will ring - lifting the bridge does not solve the problem. My rating is 3/5.

Pickups-do not correspond to those in the picture. I got pickups in a metal screen. The sound is really good. My rating is 4/5.
Potentiometers, strings and pegs-of satisfactory quality, 3/5.

And finally, the hero of my review is the neck. In the kit for self-assembly of the guitar, the neck is the most important part. The need to polish the frets can not reduce my rating, it is traditional. However, in my set, the neck has an irreparable defect - there is a bitch exactly in the middle of the neck. Therefore, 4-6 strings after the middle of the neck emit sounds that can be described as the beating of two tones. It is impossible to play on such a neck. My score for the most important part is 1/5.
It seems that self-assembly kits are completed with parts rejected at the factory in the absence of control from the store Thomann.
Result. A set worth 170EUR, including delivery, will go to the trash.