Harley Benton CL King-CE BK Review & Prices
- From Harley Benton's 2018 Custom Line series
- Made in China
- 6 strings
- 25.5"'' scale
- 15.748" Fretboard Radius
- Spruce top
- Maple back
- Maple sides
- Maple neck
- Ovangkol fretboard
- Bridge pickup: Fishman Presys II with integrated tuner (Preamp/Active)
- Ovangkol bridge
- Acoustic C Shape Set neck
- 20 Medium frets
- Machine heads Gold-plated Grover diecast tuners
- Compare Specs >
Our Scores and Tone Evaluation
- Heavy Metal
- Hard Rock
Harley Benton CL King-CE BK
- Bone Nut
- Top Brand Pickups
- Bone Saddle
- Cheap Fret Wire (NS)
- No Locking Tuners
- Made in China
- No Expensive Woods
- Laminated Top Wood
- Laminated Side Wood
- Laminated Back Wood
- No Compound Radius Fretboard
- No 21:1 Tuner Ratio
- No Strap Lock
Its average competitor's price is $410, which means that the Harley Benton CL King-CE BK is around 41% cheaper than the competition. This takes into account all instruments of the same category in our database with 6 strings and Fixed bridge that are made in China.
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Not all instruments are created equally, and there are many important things they won't tell you about the one you're buying. That's why it's important to have different opinions. Here's what our users who have played this guitar say. If you've played it before, help others by voting below!
Neck speed (thickness)Vote
Neck access to high fretsVote
Neck profile shapeVote
Is it Easy to Play?
The Harley Benton CL King-CE BK meets 3 out of our 8 criteria items for beginner friendliness, which means that it's not recommended for complete beginners. This takes into account the type of frets, scale length, nut width, bridge type, fretboard radius, and neck profile to determine the easiest combination for new players to get used to.
New Player FriendlinessHarley Benton CL King-CE BK
- Easy-to-use bridge
- Tall frets
- Comfortable neck
- Comfortable shape
- Comfortable fretboard
- Narrow nut
- Short scale
- Soft Strings
- Locking tuners
Hand Size Comfortability
After taking into account the neck profile, scale size, fretboard radius, and nut width, we can conclude that the Harley Benton CL King-CE BK's construction favors people with relatively small hands.
Nevertheless, this comes down in the end to personal preference. Make sure you test this guitar—or another one with similar characteristics—before buying.
Scale length is the distance the strings will span between the bridge and the nut. It can tell you a lot about the overall playability and tone of the instrument. A longer scale length means longer distance between frets, brighter tone and more string tension—which means lower action, but more difficult bending of the strings.
Here's the Harley Benton CL King-CE BK's 25.5" scale length compared to other common sizes:
This is the same scale length used in Stratocaster guitars, and it's one of the main reasons they have such a bright sound. It's considered a long scale when compared to most non-baritone guitars.
Since the distance between bridge and nut is relatively long, you'll need to give the strings more tension to get them in tune. This higher tension will allow for a couple of things. First, you can get a lower action (get the strings closer to the fretboard) because the strings won't 'wiggle' too much when pluck and won't cause fret buzz. This can allow you to use lower tunings without increasing your string gauge, and it will make it easier to press down the strings fast.
However, the frets will also have a wider separation between each other, which can make it harder to play, especially if you got small hands. The higher tension will also make the strings feel stiffer, so bending will require more strength.
The neck profile tells you the thickness (neck depth) and shape in cross section. Every difference will completely change the feeling and comfortability of the neck. This is a highly subjective thing, but most players indeed prefer certain types of necks (like Cs and Ds) because they feel nice in most hands.
It has a C type neck. C-shaped necks like this have been the most popular for the last years. The reason is that they feel good in most hands. It's generally a thin neck that doesn't get in your way when playing fast, but that also has enough mass to give your hands a comfortable grip for chords if they aren't too big.
Thin necks like this make it easier to move your hand across the neck and it helps when playing fast solos, especially if you like to leave your thumb free while playing high on the fretboard. However, thinner necks are also weaker and will need adjustment more often than a thicker neck.
When it comes to fingerboard radius, personal preference will dictate which one is better for you. However, most people seem to agree that a more curved (lower) radius will make it easier to play chords while a less curved (higher) radius is better for soloing and bending.
The Harley Benton CL King-CE BK has a 15.748" fingerboard radius. Here's an image comparing this fretboard radius to other popular choices:
Compound radius fingerboards give the best of both worlds. Unfortunately, the Harley Benton CL King-CE BK has the same radius across the board.
Playability compared to main competitors
The Harley Benton CL King-CE BK has a nut width of 43mm (1.693''). This is within the most common range of nut widths for a 6-string guitar. It offers a good balance of string separation at the nut. It's the size that most guitarists prefer as it gives them just enough space to play open chords without muting the strings, but without spreading the strings too wide and making bar chords difficult to perform.
It comes with nickel silver frets, so they won't last as long as stainless steel frets. If you use your instrument a lot, you might need to replace the frets after a few years. But this is unlikely as most people change instruments before this happens.
Finally, let's talk about fret size. Some people prefer tall frets because it's easier to press the strings and perform bends since there's less friction against the fretboard. On the other hand, some people like shorter frets because they like to touch the fretboard when playing, or because they got heavy hands and tend to press too much on the string and alter the of the note pitch accidently.
The Harley Benton CL King-CE BK's frets are Medium size. With medium frets, you can feel the fretboard more than with jumbo frets, but it's still easier to press the strings cleanly than with small frets; notes might change their pitch just slightly if you press hard on the fret. Also, if you need to do some fret leveling after years of playing, you'll have some room to sand them down without having to replace them.
The type of wood and even the shape of the body will have a lot of influence in the final tone of an acoustic guitar. Here's we'll talk about what kind of tone you can expect from its specs.
Spruce Top: This wood has a light color with tight grain patterns. It's very stiff but relatively light. It's known for producing a well-rounded tone with a broad dynamic range.
Maple Back, Sides and Neck: This is one of the most popular types of wood used in all kinds of guitars. It's heavy, strong and compact, which makes it great for necks. However, it's also used for fretboards, bodies and tops due to its light color, resistance and beautiful patterns. When it comes to tone, it highlights the mid and high frequencies.
Ovangkol Fretboard: It's a beautiful wood that's popular for acoustic guitars. Its tone sits somewhere between rosewood and mahogany, meaning it has a punchy low-end and nice mid-range.
This guitar comes with pickups from one of the top brands: Fishman. So you can expect well built pickups with great sound that shouldn't need an upgrade anytime soon.
Build Quality Analysis
Country of Origin
Knowing where the instrument is produced is a good way to know how well it's built. Some manufacturing countries are known for having higher quality standards. For example, most expensive instruments are made in the US or Japan, but there are some exceptionally great countries—like South Korea—that are building a good reputation.
The Harley Benton CL King-CE BK is made in China. So you can expect lower build quality when compared to others made in Korea, Japan or the United States. Guitars made in this country are meant for mass production, which translates into less attention to detail and quality control. This doesn't mean the product is made poorly at all. Chinese products have a bad reputation since long ago, but they've definitely improved a lot the last few years.
Still, remember that we're taking about Harley Benton here, which is a brand with good renown. They know how to use cheap labor in this country without sacrificing too much quality. So you shouldn't end up receiving a useless or ugly instrument.
Ovangkol: The advantage of fixed bridges is that they don't require any kind of set-up. This makes it extremely easy when changing strings because you don't need to adjust anything besides tuning the guitar. Also, the fact that the bridge is directly attached to the body will help to increase sustain. The disadvantage is the lack of versatility since you can't create the same vibrato effects as with tremolo bridges.
Another important thing to analyze is the nut material, as it's one of the most important aspects that can affect the sound and playability of your guitar. A well-cut nut will make sure it stays in tune and will make it more comfortable to play.
In this case, the Harley Benton CL King-CE BK has a Bone nut. This material is one of the highest quality you can get. It provides excellent sustain and tune stability if cut well. The only disadvantage is that it's an organic material, so it's not consistent. Two different bone nuts, even if made from the same bone, will probably sound slightly different. However, bear in mind that this is only relevant when playing open strings.
Build Quality Score
All SpecsHarley Benton CL King-CE BK
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