Harley Benton D-120CE TB Review & Prices

Harley Benton D-120CE TB Review
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  • From Harley Benton's 2021 Standard series
  • Made in China
  • 6 strings
  • 25.591"'' scale
  • 15.827" Fretboard Radius
  • Spruce top
  • Mahogany back
  • Mahogany sides
  • Mahogany neck
  • Roseacer fretboard
  • Bridge pickup: Pickup system with pre-amp, volume control and 4-band EQ (Preamp/Active)
  • Roseacer bridge
  • Acoustic "C" Shape Set neck
  • 20 Medium frets
  • Chrome die-cast machine heads tuners
  • Compare Specs >

Our Scores and Tone Evaluation

Playability 77
Sound 80
Build quality 60
Value for money 92
Overall Score 72
Tone Evaluation
  • Heavy Metal
  • Hard Rock
  • Jazz
  • Blues
  • Funk
  • Country
Strengths & Weaknesses
Harley Benton D-120CE TB
  • Expensive Wood
  • Electronics
  • Cheap Fret Wire (NS)
  • No Locking Tuners
  • Made in China
  • No High-Quality Nut
  • No Top Brand Pickups
  • Low-Quality Material Saddle
  • Laminated Top Wood
  • Laminated Side Wood
  • Laminated Back Wood
  • No Compound Radius Fretboard
  • No 21:1 Tuner Ratio
  • No Strap Lock

Price Overview

Its average competitor's price is $430, which means that the Harley Benton D-120CE TB is around 80% 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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Your feedback

Not all instruments are created equally. That's why it's important to have different opinions. Here's what our users who have played this instrument say. If you've played it before, help others by voting below!

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Is it Easy to Play?

The Harley Benton D-120CE TB meets 4 out of our 8 criteria items for beginner friendliness, which means that it's not bad for beginners, but it could be better. 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 Friendliness

Harley Benton D-120CE TB
  • Easy-to-use bridge
  • Tall frets
  • Narrow nut
  • Comfortable neck
  • Comfortable shape
  • Comfortable fretboard
  • 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 D-120CE TB'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.

Big Hands
Small Hands

Scale Length

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 D-120CE TB's 25.591" scale length compared to other common sizes:

Harley Benton D-120CE TB Scale Length Comparison
Harley Benton D-120CE TB's scale length (at the top) compared to other popular sizes

This scale is close to the popular 25.50" length but longer, which allows you to tune your strings lower while keeping the action low without causing fret buzz. This is useful for lower tunings, 7-string, or even classical guitars.

You want to avoid such a long scale if you don't plan to play in low tunings since the longer scale also means the frets are more separated, making it harder to play fast, especially for small hands. It's also harder to bend the strings.

More with the same scale length:

Neck Profile

Harley Benton D-120CE TB Neck Profile
Harley Benton D-120CE TB's neck profile

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.

More for different hand sizes

Fretboard Radius

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 D-120CE TB has a 15.827" fingerboard radius.

Compound radius fingerboards give the best of both worlds. Unfortunately, the Harley Benton D-120CE TB has the same radius across the board.

Playability compared to main competitors

25.591'' Scale Length
C Neck Profile
1.673'' Nut Width
15.827'' Fretboard Radius
24.72'' Scale Length
C Neck Profile
1.693'' Nut Width
12'' Fretboard Radius
25.5'' Scale Length
C Neck Profile
1.693'' Nut Width
12'' Fretboard Radius
25.5'' Scale Length
C Neck Profile
1.68'' Nut Width
12'' Fretboard Radius
25.3'' Scale Length
C Neck Profile
1.693'' Nut Width
12'' Fretboard Radius

Nut Width

Harley Benton D-120CE TB Nut Width
Harley Benton D-120CE TB Nut Width

The Harley Benton D-120CE TB has a nut width of 42.5mm (1.673''). This is considered a narrow width for a 6-string guitar. This means that this guitar will have a narrower string separation at the nut, which will affect your fretting hand.

If you are a player with big hands, you might find it difficult to play chords without muting strings. However, this is good for players who have smaller hands, as it will allow them to reach each string more easily at the nut.

Frets

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.

More with the same amount of frets:

Fret Size

Harley Benton D-120CE TB Fret Size Comparison
Harley Benton D-120CE TB's fret size (in orange) compared to other popular sizes

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 D-120CE TB'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.

Playability Score

Bending & Vibrato Ease 75
Chord Playability 75
Solo Playability 80
Playability 77

Tone Analysis

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.

Wood

Spruce wood pattern used for guitar building
Spruce Top
Mahogany wood pattern used for guitar building
Mahogany Back, Sides, Neck
Roseacer wood pattern used for guitar building
Roseacer Fretboard

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.

Mahogany Back, Sides and Neck: This is the type of wood found in many top-of-the-line guitars, so that's a positive point for the build quality. This red-looking wood Mahogany is found in Africa and Central America and has great sustain and a warm tone due to its high density. The downside about this type of wood is that it's relatively heavy.

Roseacer Fretboard: It's just thermally treated maple wood, or in other words, roasted maple. This process removes most water from the wood, making it more stable than regular untreated maple wood.

More made with the same wood:

Pickups

This guitar comes with preamp pickups that will allow you to connect it directly to an amplifier and record with it, or use it live.

Sound Score

Sustain 70
Versatility 85
Tuning Stability 65
Sound 80

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 D-120CE TB 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.

Bridge

Roseacer: 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.

Nut Material

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 D-120CE TB has a Plastic nut. This is a low-quality nut that you might want to consider upgrading soon. Bone and TUSQ nuts are the best for guitars with a fixed or simple tremolo bridge.

Build Quality Score

Quality of materials 51
Features 75
Quality Control 55
Build Quality 60

All Specs

Harley Benton D-120CE TB
General
Brand: Harley Benton
Year: 2021
Configuration:
Strings: 6
Made in: China
Series: Standard
Colors: Sunburst, Black, Blue, Natural
Left-Handed Version: No
Body
Type: Hollowbody
Body Material: Spruce
Bridge: Roseacer
Neck
Neck Joint: Set
Tuners: Chrome die-cast machine heads
Fretboard: Roseacer
Neck Material: Mahogany
Decoration: Dot
Scale Size: 25.591"
Shape: Acoustic "C" Shape
Frets: 20 Medium
Fretboard Radius: 15.827"
Nut: Plastic
Nut Width: 42.5mm (1.673'')
Electronics
Switch: 0 Way
Knobs:
Volume Controls: 1
Tone Controls: 0
Bridge Pickup: Pickup system with pre-amp, volume control and 4-band EQ (Preamp / Active)

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