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Harley Benton HBO-850 Classic Blue

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  • Bossa
  • Bossa Line
  • Classical
  • Classical Line
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Roundback Guitar

  • With nylon strings
  • Design: Roundback with cutaway
  • Top: Spruce
  • Body: ABS Super shallow bowl
  • Neck: Mahogany (Entandrophragma cylindricum)
  • Neck profile: Modern C
  • Fretboard: Roseacer (thermally treated maple wood)
  • 23 Frets
  • Body binding: Multi-ply ABS
  • Neck binding: ABS
  • Scale: 648 mm
  • Nut width: 48 mm
  • Bridge: Blackwood
  • Machine heads: Open gear classic
  • Dual action truss rod
  • Strings: HB medium tension nylon
  • Pickup system with 3-Band EQ
  • Colour: Blue Glossy
Cutaway Yes
Top Spruce
Back and Sides Plastic
Pickups Yes
Fretboard Roseacer
Nut width in mm 48,00 mm
Scale 648 mm
Colour Blue
Case No
Incl. Gigbag No
Item number 410214
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Available immediately

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5 Sales Rank

Best of both worlds: Rock and Classical

Rock and Classical are no longer in opposition thanks to the Harley Benton HBO-850 Classic Blue. Its genes certainly come from traditional steel-string stage acoustics – however, its nylon strings have their roots in the Classical scene and its round-backed design dates back to the time of medieval lutes. A more flexible sound is hard to imagine, as its built-in pickup system ensures the desired level of sonic brilliance. Its shallow, rounded body not only provides unrivalled comfort when playing, it also greatly helps prevent feedback issues with amplifiers.

The stage is its true calling

The Harley Benton HBO-850 Classic Blue is first and foremost an electro-acoustic guitar for the stage. Its spruce top is specially designed to help suppress unwanted feedback. Modern X-bracing helps confer its clear, open sound. The body’s shallow bowl is made of ABS and produces different sound reflections from those created inside a traditional guitar. This has a decisive influence on the guitar’s tone – which can then be optimally amplified via the active pickup system. Its off-centre sound holes and elegant blue gloss finish give the HBO-850 Classic Blue an unmistakable appearance which immediately identifies it as a modern guitar for the stage.

Nylon strings for modern settings

The Harley Benton HBO-850 Classic Blue is clearly designed with nylon-string enthusiasts in mind, especially those working in modern musical environments. Its shallow body is not only extremely ergonomic, it also allows problem-free amplification even at extremely high volume in conjunction with the layered top. At 48 millimetres wide, the neck is considerably slimmer than on most classical guitars. Finally, its appearance is anything but traditional. This instrument will equally suit Bossa Nova guitarists, Jazz virtuosos, Folk poets, Rock balladeers, and of course bold Classical players.

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.

As loud as you can handle

Steel strings by no means have a monopoly in the repertoire of Folk and Rock acoustic guitar. Willie Nelson, Paco de Lucia, and Sting are all names associated with the regular or even exclusive use of nylon strings in a non-Classical environment. This is the ideal context for the HBO-850 Classic Blue: When the music is not Classical but the nylon-string sound is a must. Its shallow body means it should be amplified as a general rule. A strap should also be used, and not just for great comfort – it also looks the best.

139 Customer Reviews

5 75 Customers
4 49 Customers
3 8 Customers
2 5 Customers
1 2 Customers
4.4 / 5




Simon C 20.12.2018
This is my 5th Harley Benton purchase and I've left it a little while to "review", to try and form a reasoned opinion.

Pros - The instrument looks fine from a short distance. It plays nicely - after a little work. I find it nice to go back to a classical guitar string spacing for clean chords, maybe I have fat fingers ? To have a nylon string guitar but with a truss rod adjustment is nice, to have the ability to fine tune the action is great and helps the playability. The price is incredibly reasonable and to incorporate a piezo pickup and tone controls within that package, very good.
Cons - I find with each of my H.B. guitars there always seems to be some imperfections in the finish, it is a bit of a lottery. This guitar is no exception - A few minor marks and scuffs. I have learned to accept that these products may need a little extra finishing and setting up. Consequently and ironically I have learnt quite a lot about guitar finishing. This guitar had a number of high frets, but I have found that before you get involved in "dressing" them, use a mallet and a wooden die of some sort, support the neck immediately under the problem and give it a tap, problem goes away. I'm surprised how many H.B. frets are not seated properly. Sound wise - Acoustic. I feel it lacks a brightness, the top three nylon strings lack a clarity. I was hoping for something a little crisper, I'm sure I've had even with cheap classical guitars. Obviously I changed to fresh strings, a brand which I assumed to be of reasonable quality, straight away - though I've a feeling that the guitar was shipped with good fresh strings. Sound wise - Pickup. I like the amplified sound a lot but I'm sure the response to the low E is down, I'd say 50% of the other 5. Though it's hard to tell with the guitar in your lap. I need to distance the amp and get another listener. But to me it's apparent via Headphones.

Sum up. I purchased this guitar for a variety of reasons. In my youth I always hankered for the "O" type guitar this is based on. I like and wanted to recreate the slightly artificial / synthesised sound of a nylon acoustic put through effects; reverb, delay, chorus etc. By plugging this guitar into a Katana I get the kind of thing I was after with lots of sound options at great price. I can EQ some treble clarity back into the sound. There are small finishing issues, most of which are easily sortable and having done so, I am going to live with the questionable piezo. I would never have purchased the four figure equivalent. But I do have something which looks great in the collection and is very enjoyable to play and experiment with. Therefore, for the price, reasonably pleased with my purchase.


A pleasant surprise, you could do far worse so read on...
Bobbyboy5150 03.03.2020
My first ever order with Thomann and my first Harley Benton. I ordered the HBO-850 in the blue finish having wanted a bowl back guitar since my teenage years (all the way back in the 90's). So how did she do? Read on good people...

First Impression: It's quite nice out the box, the leaf designs stood out nicely without being overstated, neck looks lovely and feels great in the hand and headstock was nicely done. No frets sprouting out but a few were a little sharp. Came with a wrench for the truss rod.
Action And Intonation: Once the guitar was tuned up and strings stretched in I measured exactly 0.10 relief at the 8th fret. Action is comfortable and low when combined with the comfortable satin neck. To my surprise the intonation was almost perfect out the box too.
Fit and Finish: A few sharp fret ends on the guitar but nothing that would cause blood loss or injury. A bit of light dressing or a rub down with a sanding sponge would sort this. The binding on the neck is lovely up to 12th fret but is a quite untidy around the neck join and upper frets. Around the leaf decorations and bridge there was a bit of glue residue and the finish was a bit untidy. Not the worst I've ever seen but if your a perfectionist this isn't for you. If you can live with a few imperfections and are willing to do a bit of work yourself it's not terrible. I initially thought the nut was badly cut but after checking it over it was just my eyes and the nut is reasonably well done.
Sound: Unplugged it has a sweet sound, a little light on bass but it has a unique and pleasant sound. When plugged in it's quite responsive. The onboard eq is good and you can dial in a nice sound. Again not the best but very functional and tone wise it does a decent job.
Overall Impression: I paid £82 for this guitar and intended it for home use, a little recording and general jamming. And yeah it's not bad for the money. If you are expecting amazing quality control and custom shop levels of attention to detail then save your money and get something else. If your after a reasonably priced acoustic and are willing to do a bit of work to tidy up a few odds and ends you will have a well set up, pleasantly sounding and reasonably good looking guitar. You could do a lot worse for the money folks.


great guitar for its low price point.
penguinized 20.10.2021
it sounds a tiny bit muted, but i love its unique tone so i dont mind it at all. the one small issue i had with this guitar was its poorly finished fret job, the edges need a little filing down, and the 14th fret in my case was ever so slightly higher than the rest. I've watched enough guitar building and moding to feel confident to fix those issues my own, thankfully i was successful.


Delightful budget guitar
graymac 25.02.2020
Thinking to get an inexpensive nylon string guitar, I was drawn to this guitar because of its striking appearance. I've had a cheap-end bowl back guitar (steel string, not one of Thomann's) in the past, which wasn't particularly good. However, the customer reviews for the HBO-850 Classic seemed positive, so I decided to get one for my toy box!
I'm glad I did. Straight out of the box, the guitar was well playable. Even amped up the tone is pleasant. The finish at "normal viewing distance" is excellent. OK, there could be room to polish a few smudges and fuss around seeking perfection - but for €99 this is truly amazing.
The only drawback with this type of design (bowl back) applies to all of them, whether they're cheap or expensive, they won't sit on your knee and stay put, you DO need to use with a strap. Unless you're pathologically averse to strap wearing, do consider getting one of these, it's a lovely guitar.


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