Harley Benton? Is it a good brand?

I’m looking for a Harley Benton CLP-15E Java Exotic parlor guitar but can’t find a independant review.
I’m a beginner and won’t spend a lot of money. I have a Fender CD-60S but the guitar is to big and the neck is to small.
Two questions I like to ask: 1/ Is the Harley Benton any good; 2/ are there other brands, not to expensive, that has a wide neck and not so big as the Fender i have and better than the Harley Benton.

Harley Benton is the “home brand” of Thomann; a large international company from Germany that has a broad range of instruments. They aim at a low tier of the market so don’t expect wonders.
I have a bass guitar from them that proably costed around €160 or €200 and I’ve got what I paid for although I think they’s bang for buck is quite good.

That Fender is a “dreadnought”, a large body size.
I wouldn’t go all the way down to parlor right at once; check the auditorium sized guitars too.

Guessing from your name, you’re from Belgium.
Best is to try in a store of course but if you want to order online, you could try Bax-shop.
They have a 60 day return period.

since i’m no encyclopedia, I don’t know about specific neck widths. You’ll better create a little chart with possible options, researching the specs of the models you

Hi Marcske,

regarding body shapes I recommend the next video from Paul Davids where he goes through most regular shapes on the market right now:

I own an Eastman OM and I really like the size of it. Tried a Dreadnought before, just wasn’t right for me.

Check it out, maybe it helps in your search,
BR Milifax


This might help, a Luthier’s opinion on the brand.

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I have to admit, I have no clue about neck widths/guitar shapes/etc. (I just learnt quite a bit from the graphic Lieven posted).

Regarding your other question, I own two Harley Benton guitars (none acoustic). One electric (Telecaster copy) and one electric bass. They were both playable straight after the box but after some sanding and setting the action, the difference in playability was very significant. + a quick story I told in another thread related to Harley Benton instruments: HB bass is the only bass guitar I own and I played a couple of semi-big (a few hundred seats) concerts with it. Nobody complained about the sound.

I would follow Lieven’s advice and visit a music store if you have one in your area though. Or a second hand market might also be a good place to find some bargains.

Thank you for your answer. The attached photo gives a good idea of ​​the different sizes of guitars. It would be best if I try out the right size guitar in a store before buying one. After choosing the size in the store I might try to find the right neck width for my fat fingers.

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Thanks for the video. This gives a good idea of ​​the different sizes of the guitar with its corresponding sounds and possibilities in use. It will be best if I try them in a shop as I already answered LievenDV. Anyway, thanks for the helpful video.

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Thanks for your contribution with the video. The man in the video says that replacing the pickups will make the guitar sound better as the originals are cheap quality. When you have to replace it, the guitar will probably cost the same as a slightly more expensive guitar. With me it’s about an acoustic guitar, so the problem of the pickups will not exist.

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Exactly, I have 2 of their acoustic guitars and an Electric, nothing wrong with them it’s a lot to do with Brand snobbery!

Thanks for your contribution. You are right. the best thing is, as Lieven said, find a store and try it out.

I was fortunate when first learning to have a friend who sold me an acoustic guitar with a slighty wider nut / neck width. It was only a 1 / 16th of an inch wider yet it made learning a lot easier. Chords that were extremely difficult became just difficult and it spurred me to play more.

Best to try it in a shop as I’ve heard others report a narrower neck was better for them.

Thanks for your contribution. I have relatively large hands and thick fingers so it’s best that I try it out in the store.

As an experiment, also play some of the nylon string / classical guitars. They have a wider neck. I’m not suggesting you move to playing nylon string as it’s a much different sound, yet, you may enjoy it, it’s just to have an exaggeratedly wide neck so you can feel where it helps and where it doesn’t. I also own a 1927 Harmony parlor guitar and it’s neck is wider (it’s steel string). Such guitars are harder to source and you’d possibly need more care as some of those older models need restoring (mine was).

Thanks for your contribution. Might be worth trying such a wide neck nylon string classical guitar in the store so I can tell the difference, not buying.

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