Harley Benton CST-24 Guitar Review

Posted on August 26, 2017

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I love PRS guitars. They’ve always shouted out quality even on the “cheaper” Korean made ones, it’s very rare that they’ve scaled down on things to make the guitar cheaper so you can always count on getting a fine work horse when you buy a PRS.
You can litterally go out blind folded and get one and end up loving it – That’s how amazing they are!

But even the cheaper Korean made models are about 800-1000 dollars, plus the biggest thing they scaled down on is the famous carved body that made everyone love these guitars.
That’s a huge bummer, for 1000 dollars you could still expect that on a nice guitar.

Then I saw that Youtuber “Nick In The States” made a review of the Harley Benton CST-24, a PRS copy from Thomann’s own housebrand.
A cheap guitar that goes for about 170 dollars, so I didn’t think much of if until I actually saw that people gave this one a great shout out for being very much guitar for the money.
But what stood out the most for me was the beautiful body carve, that looks almost exactly like the real 2000 + PRS guitars so after many reviews here and there telling me to get one, I decided to order myself one.

It turned up and I was amazed right away, it played nice and really blew me away that such a cheap guitar could hold this quality.
But then I quickly started to see its flaws, for example the super-über dry fretboard and that mine had a huge nasty crack on it. I could even fit a finger nail into it, so I had to send it back and get a new one.
And it didn’t took me more than 10 seconds to spot more cracks and crap on the replacement guitar, so Thomann you really failed in the quality control there.

The fretboard was suppose to be thermal treated maple or something, which just sounds stupid and probably is the reason for it cracking up.
If this had been a bolt-on neck it would have been much easier to swap it out, but on a set-neck there’s nothing more you can do and I won’t spend a huge amount of money to get it to a luthier to fix.

And that’s basically all of my complaints here, both of the guitars had cracks on the fretboard which really destroyed it all for me and kinda got me to lose faith in Thomann and their “quality control”.
People say “ah it’s a cheap guitar, you can’t expect much”, but that’s bullcrap.
Yeah it might be a cheap guitar, but you are still paying over 100 dollars and you deserve to get better stuff.
As a matter of fact, you can get much better quality for that kind of money and it’s called Squier.
What’s the point of paying for a guitar that doesn’t have any quality to it? That most likely will break after some use?

I actually went out to get a Squier Vintage Modified Jazzmaster after I send the Harley Benton back and I do not regret it for one second. The VM Jazzmaster is a great instrument that is just a decal away from being a real Fender, and I will probably write more about this guitar in the future.
Don’t get me wrong, the Harley Benton CST-24 is not a bad instrument, and if you want one I definitely think you should try to get one. But if it has any flaws that you don’t like, send it back and demand more of Thomann.

I’m not writing this review to scare people away from buying Harley Benton guitars, but rather to show that I think we should demand more from Thomann.
As for me.. I think it’s a shame that I couldn’t keep this guitar because I really wanted it, and this experience has more or less tainted Thomann’s housebrand for me and it’s a shame, because they are not bad guitars.
But flaws like that really needs to get sorted out before I would ever buy one again. If I got the opportunity to check them out before buying, I would of course chose one that doesn’t have cracks and that one would probably work out fine for me.

So is the Harley Benton CST-24 worth getting?
Yes, if you really want one and are prepared to take a chance on it, and aren’t bothered with the fact that you may have to return it for a replacement one or more times.
I wouldn’t buy one again though but that’s only because of my bad experience with it, the guitar itself is a pretty impressive instrument that looks absolutely gorgeous.

If you are interested, I’d suggest you check out Nick In The States, Swedish Guitar Nerd and EytschPi42’s reviews of this guitar and make up your own mind if you want to get one or not.
Links to reviews are here:

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Posted in: Övrigt