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Thread: Harley Benton Acoustic Guitars

  1. #1

    Harley Benton Acoustic Guitars

    I had already bought a couple of things at Thomann , a guitar case , a small amp and was quite satisfied with the quick delivery, but never an instrument.
    So I play mainly an old battered Yamaha FG which is just a perfect workhorse, neck never moved, perfect action and a good balanced sound. Only slight downside , the guitar is a bit heavy. So as I am playing Folk/ Folkblues and I am mainly picking I wanted a lighter more Folkier guitar, with a Martin auditorium 15 series as model. Having not the budget for a Martin I tested a couple of Sigmas but was not really convinced.
    Then I saw an offer for a B Stock auditorium by the Thomann Housebrand Harley Benton which looked quite similar to the Martin with a solid mahagony top and went for it. First good surprise when the guitar arrived , it looks gorgeous and the finish is perfect. While on the website they just mention solid mahagony top on the box the origin of the wood is mentionned. Itīs actually Gabun Mahagony also known as Okoume, which looks great but has not the same density as regular Mahagony and is far cheaper, which explains why Thomann can sell these guitars at such a low price.
    So first contact really nice , very balanced and light , exactly what I was looking for , the action perfect. First little downside, the tuners are a bit on the cheap side, but once in tune they stay put. First strumming, sounds good, but nothing more. I played a couple of times on a Taylor and the Harley Benton has far less presence, even my Yamaha has a warmer overall sound. Then I played the guitar with fingerpicks and the sound is more interesting, clearer with more punch. Last try in open d with a bottleneck and again quite nice.
    Under the line I donīt regret, but I am not sure I would really recommend. For a beginner I would always recommend a Yamaha I would be interrested to know if any of you have bought or tried out Harley Benton acoustics.
    Dieter Moebius : "Art people like things they don’t understand!"

  2. #2
    I've never tried a HB guitar of any sort. My sense is they are decently constructed beginner guitars. Overall, the reviews I've seen of them are good. You'd expect the HB Auditorium to sound a bit tighter than the Yamaha FG because you're comparing a 000 body style to a dreadnought. And then you have the difference in wood as well, and the quality of the wood. Not saying the HB is bad, but I'm not surprised it doesn't have the same presence as the Yamaha or a Taylor.

    Personally, I wouldn't worry too much about the tuners, especially if it holds tune. You might want to look at the nut, though. If it is plastic, that may be worth replacing with a synthetic bone or graphite. It's always hard with a cheap guitar to tell how much to invest in upgrading parts. You could certainly get new tuners, but that would be a bit more of an investment if you want a substantial upgrade over what you have. Probably best to let just be for a while and see how it goes, then you'll know what really bugs you. Hope it works out!

    Bill

  3. #3
    ^ According to the specs it's a bone nut.
    A bit of a one trick pony guitar , but for picking it's a nice.

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by alucard View Post
    ^ According to the specs it's a bone nut.
    A bit of a one trick pony guitar , but for picking it's a nice.
    Nice! That should do fine!

    I like smaller bodied acoustic guitars. I play a Rainsong OM, which has a smaller body and was largely intended for finger-picking. But I use a pick and play chords, and it works well for me.

    Bill

  5. #5
    Member hippypants's Avatar
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    I have one--the acoustic electric. It seems to be well made, and for the price probably an okay starter guitar, although I think I'd rather have something else for that too. Like you said maybe a Yamaha or Seagull. I thought it might make a nice alternate guitar from my Martin D-18, which I thought was getting hard to play. However, the action on the HB rather kills my fingers. I played the Martin the other day, and I find it much better. It also has a thinner neck. I guess I got accustomed to that.

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