Harley Benton Basses - Thoughts?

As some of you may remember from reading some of my other threads or comments in other threads, I am looking for a good lighter bass that doesn’t have to break the bank.

In addition to many other brands, Harvey Benton has caught my eye. This one seems pretty good for the crazy low price.

Any thoughts?

Only thing that I have some concerns over is the shipping from Germany to the US. But reviews I have seen have been pretty amazing from what I’ve seen.

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I’ve owned 2 Harley Benton’s and was impressed by the quality on both. The fretless Jazz Bass I had was really heavy (over 11 lbs) but the 1st gen style P bass wasn’t too heavy.

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Patrick Hunter from YouTube raves about the Harley Benton stuff !
The weight needs to be a factor and the playability of the neck but pickups/ electronics are replaceable.

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So it looks like I’ll have to research a bit more.

Weight on the standard edition seems up my alley, although I did have the guitar tech at GC tell me to try my other leg (I use my right leg to support the weight of the Bass on my left leg rather than my right as it will offset a lot of the weight and allow things to be more comfortable.) when setting in one spot.

Crazy enough, even with my back not allowing me to practice for the last two days, I tried what he said this evening and it made a very big difference. I slowly started learning Psycho Killer and was pleased at the results.

I know that the Benton Basses get a ton of kudos, i am just worried about getting a destroyed model when I open the box.

So I am looking at the Harvey Benton as a very strong “To heck with it” contender with the SR300e and the 70’s Jazz from Squier in the mix.

Dang it! I love the Sterling SUB 4 HH - why do you have to be so heavy???

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If you are interested in light, high quality full scale basses it’s probably going to be hard to beat Yamaha and Ibanez. Warwick Rockbasses are lighter (mine’s 3.2kg, compared to 3.8 for my TRBX604) but not quite the same quality level. Not bad at all but the Yamahas in the same price range are nicer.

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@howard What are your opinions in the Ibanez SR300e versus the Yamaha RBX170Y? I know the Ibanez is much pricier, but this is just for a lighter Bass, doesn’t have to be super pricey.

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Two totally different instruments. I don’t know too much about the RBX but it looks like a nice entry level P/J. The SR300E is a much more well rounded bass; nice 5-piece neck, double-buck, lightweight, with a 3-band EQ and the funky Ibanez 3-way pickup switch. Out of those two I would go for the SR.

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I bought a H-B six-string a while ago as I wanted to try to play on a six-string (without committing fully to a more expensive instrument yet). Overall, I am very pleased with what you get considering the price tag - it is really unbelievable how they can manage that. AND, it was set up very well by the Thomann crew.

That said, you can see it is a “cheaper” instrument as soon as you look more closely - some finishing details are just not as good, the pots are starting to be noisy very quickly, the tuners are not very smooth etc. But, you have to expect that, really. The bass sounds awesome though, and plays great!

The 6-string is HEAVY… I wouldn’t want to play that for two hours on a stage. However, for noodling on it and getting a feel for the six strings and doing that while sitting… no problem.

I had thought about buying a cheap J from H-B and make that my “project bass”, i.e, start replacing bits and pieces with better stuff; both, to genuinely upgrade it, but also to learn more about what matters with these pieces of hardware and how to mod a bass. I haven’t done it yet… turns out, many of the pieces of hardware I’d like to try cost as much as the bass :joy:

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For me personally it is a bit strange that people go and buy something “low-priced” already knowing that they have to beef up the new instrument afterwards with alot of time and money to get the one they actually want to have. :wink:

Of course there are situations you wanna improve your axe instead of buying something brand new, but here we have a saying: “Nothing lasts as long as a bad compromise”
Dont get me wrong, i think Harley Beton will do well, but what are you @architecht13 really looking for? How much money do you wanna spend for what kind of bass?

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Yes, if the goal is the instrument and the instrument alone, then yes, I would agree! Even so, what you are going for might not be available on the market…

If, however, the process of “beefing up” is a big part of the whole experience, then why not!?!

It’s just like people buying an (old) Beetle or similar and pimping them up according to their own specs and ideas… it’s a fun process (for some)! :smile:

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I’ve built the Harley Benton P-Bass from their bass kit.

I wouldn’t have gotten a better P-Bass for the same price.
Of course it was a lot of work and sweat involved but I am still very happy with the result.

As said by others: It’s not perfect, but it’s better than expected for the price.

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agree :sunglasses:

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Thank you everyone! Being in the US, I think the HB option will be out of the equation for now as I don’t trust our parcel carriers :smiley:

I think the SR from Ibanez may be the way for me to go in the long run. I really have had my eye on that the last few times in GC.

I appreciate all the responses!

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Hi @architecht13, Just as a side note, are the any dealers near you who might be importers of such a bass? Because they could bring it in and it would be on their insurance so if it arrived in more than one piece they would make it right.

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I’ve got the JB-75MN. It weighs a metric ton (slight exaggeration) but sounds great, at least to my amateur ears. I got it because it was the only low-priced lefty bass that got good reviews that I could find in stock early in the pandemic (all of the Josh picks were either out of stock or not available in LH). Shipping took forever because of COVID restrictions; it was held up in customs for three weeks at the height of the pandemic in New York. But the box arrived intact with no damage; I’d say that’s not a concern.

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@russki98 that’s a good question. I’d have to check into it.

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@JimP that is definitely good to hear!

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The SR300 was the one that I kept using as the benchmark when I was trying out various guitars for my first as it was so comfortable and looked great. The main reason I didn’t go for it in the end is I just wasn’t as happy with the tones from it compared to some others - but that’s an entirely personal reason and not a negative against the guitar at all!

Plenty of respected people have reviewed the SR300 online and it seems to be a really solid beginner bass :slight_smile:

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@renouf excellent! I will look at it later today.

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@bernds64 Main thing is a lighter Bass than the Sterling SUB 4 HH I have. Not that is extremely heavy on a good day, and a majority of the time I have no trouble with the weight, but I end up with issues holding its weight when my back gets all crazy and decides to sideline me for days.

So I use the HH on good days then the lighter Bass on the bad body days where it just isn’t doing so awesome.

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