Harley Benton made its presence felt on home turf at the recent Guitar Summit show in Mannheim, unveiling a few prototype models set for 2024 release, including an ST electric guitar that's
possibly definitely influenced by Fender's recent reissue of the Tom DeLonge Strat – it's called the ST-182 Plus just in case there was any doubt. But there are some premium touches going on here that have us intrigued.
HB's Benedikt Schlereth was on hand to talk through the specs for Rich.Words.Music's YouTube channel, revealing the same single pickup and volume control layout as a DeLonge guitar, but compound fretboard radius, stainless steel frets, flamed roasted maple neck, spoke wheel adjustment and rounded fretboard edges that suggest this will be a premium Harley Benton model. The Babicz bridges also continue that higher-end feature set.
The finishes are familiar; Seafoam Green, Daphne Blue and what looks like a take on Fender's Graffiti Yellow. But it's the Silver Sparkle that caught our eye especially; something not offered in the Fender's DeLonge line.
The ST-182 Plus neck spec is echoed by the H/S/S ST-Modern Plus. No confirmation on fretboard woods for either model though – while the ST-Modern Plus has a maple 'board option, the other looks like a rosewood hue but it's still at the prototype stage so it might be TBC. But look! A left-handed model!
The Thomann brand also had a HB-50 semi hollow bass guitar with centre block to preview too – pictured above in orange and cherry translucent finishes.