Harley Benton BZ-7000 NT

7-String Electric-Bass

  • Deluxe Series
  • Body: ash / nato / ash
  • Top and back: sycamore
  • 5-Piece neck-through construction: maple / nato / maple / nato / maple
  • Fretboard: Ebonol
  • Two truss rods
  • 24 Frets
  • Scale: 890 mm (extra long scale)
  • Nut width: 62 mm
  • Nut: graphite
  • Pickups: G&B Humbucker
  • 3-Band 18V active EQ
  • Controls: volume, balance, bass, midrange and treble
  • Black DLX hardware
  • Bushing bridge
  • DLX diecast machine heads
  • Strings: .017 - .025 - .040 - .060 - .080 - .100 - .130
  • Tuning: B E A D G C F
  • Colour: Natural high-gloss
  • Corresponding strings: Article Nrs. 359591 & 278264 (not included - must be ordered separately)
  • Corresponding case: Article Nr 212517 (not included - must be ordered separately)

Further information

Colour Natural
Body Ash, Nato
Neck Maple, Nato
Fretboard Ebonol
Frets 24
Scale Extra Longscale
Pickup System HH
Elektronic Active, Passive
Incl. Case No
Incl. Gigbag No

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Fabulous value for money and lot of fun

AnnoyingTwit, 31.08.2014
I'm not a professional bassist, I only play for my own amusement. I'd always wanted a seven (or more) string bass, but couldn't justify the cost for a Conklin or an Ibanez BTB. As soon as I saw that Thomann had released the BZ-7000, I bought one, and eagerly waited.

The bass itself looks very good, with just a few finish flaws. The sycamore top and back look excellent, making me wonder why this wood isn't used more often for bass tops. It also looks to be a solid figured top, not a thin veneer or photoflame. I can spot a small flaw at the edge of the sycamore top where there appears to have been a bit of wood filler used on a ragged edge, but this is very small, and might ust be the wod itself. The gloss finish has some rough patches, but I think that they will buff out. There is one very small patch of lighter colour wood under the gloss finish that appears to have been missed while staining, but as this is near the neck/upper horn join this isn't easily visible. The plastic cover for the electronics cavity is scratched a bit, which is slightly disappointing in a new bass, but I can live with that. I haven't spotted any problems with the frets, no sharp edges or raised frets that I've noticed.The ebonol fretboard feels nice, similar to other ebonol fretboards that I've experienced. It's maybe not quite as smooth feeling as some (or real ebony), but I much prefer this to the cheaper rosewood you might expect on an instrument in this price range.

I haven't yet adjusted the setup of the bass. I prefer a medium action, which is what my instrument had 'out of the box', so I've left it as it is. The nut appears to be cut very slightly high, which is common with new instruments. But not enough for me to feel that I need to file the nut slots.

The electronics seem fine. The two humbuckers and the three band EQ give a wide variety of tones.This is the first time I've had three band EQ on a bass and In passive mode the EQ cases to function, though of course volume and pickup blend do. I believe that this is how the Ibanez BTB7 electronics work in passive mode. The bass sounds pretty much what you'd expect from an active bass with two humbuckers. It's not the best double humbucker active bass I've heard, it's not the worst. I much prefer the sound of the BZ-7000 to how my Shine SB26 (similar to the old Harley Benton HB600 I believe) sounded. But, I think that my Ibanez SR760 has a better native sound than the BZ-7000. Perhaps the lower notes could have a bit more oomph, and note definition. However, this could be due to strings, as I'll mention later. And it could also be because I haven't yet spent enough time working out how to coax the best sound out of the BZ-7000.

I'm not professional bassist, so any comments I make about playability should be taken with a pinch of salt. I find the bass nice to play. Perhaps I would prefer the low B and E strings to have a bit more tension, but this is not a major problem. The BZ-7000 comes with 'Olympia' brand strings, which are inexpensive strings, and online reviews are mixed. The BZ-6000 and others in the range with fewer strings come with D'Addario strings, which might be better. Another purchaser of the BZ-7000 on seenstring.org reports that he/she has replaced the Olympia strings with Warwick Red Label strings, after he found that he Olympia strings that came with his/her bass were rusty. It was reported that both sound and playability improved considerably. However, the strings on mine were in generally good condition, with just a few areas of discolouration. I am very curious to find out how better quality strings would sound/feel on the BZ-7000, and will try this at some time. However, the stock strings seem OK. I particularly like the unwound high F. Because of the B and E strings being slightly floppy, I have to restrain my playing style a bit on those strings as I usually like to dig in a bit more. But this isn't a major problem, and something I'm certainly prepared to accept 'for the price' But this may be solvable with new strings.

I've heard that seven string basses are not for everyone. (Some people say this for five strings). But I find this bass a joy to play. Some of this will be due to having the extra high string over a six, which is very useful for my inexpertly played chordal and solo work. There's just so much you can do on this bass.Low bass lines. Chords, plucked or strummed. Solos at high enough not frequencies so that they cut through more than you'd get on a high C string. I don't find the neck too big or unwieldy. I play sitting down, so I am not concerned about the weight of the bass. It seems to play fine, like other basses in the same price range.

Overall, this is 'wow' for the price. I'm not seriously expecting this to happen, but perhaps one day Thomann will extend the BZ range to include a BZ-9000. If this happened, and the price was proportional to the other instruments in the range, I would buy one.
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Total
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Review for Harley Benton BZ-7000 NT

29.08.2014
Finish:
Really good, apart from a slightly askew truss rod cover, and the remnants of glue arounde some frets, I can't get stick to anything. Wood looks nice, without cavities or structural defects. Bass is obviously a massive (well it's 7 strings) and it weights arounde 8 kg. The string spacing is about 12mm. The bass is well build, the body, neck, and pickups itself looks good to me. The ebonol fretboard is black as magic and looks great withoute fret marks, ofcourse it hasn't got the feel of real ebony. Knobs twist with a little drag (which is good) and you can feel the "click" between 2 steps of adjustment.

Sound:
The stock strings are not so good (mayby only mine was a little tarnished) but if you changed them automaticly to a new set the bass will breath like scubadiver gasping for fresh air :) The one seroius flaw is lack of captured screening, so the bass howls and produced some noise. But if you have some noise reduction effects it helps a lot, it's not a big problem, but the shielding job is what need to be done in the future.

Active preamps and sound creation possibilities:
Great! There are 5 knobs with 2-step adjustment: pickup balancer (bridge, both, neck), tone (mellow-semi-bright), bass (which is also a push-pull activating preamp), mid and treble, also with 2 -step of adjustment. Like always the mid knob do the talking. You can preety much get sound from mellow jazz groove to agressive rich brutal sound.

It is clear that Harley Benton BZ-7000NT can do the trick, and it's very nicely manufactured afordable replacment for Ibanez BTB 7 or Conkiln Custom 7. For less than 300 euro I would recomende to every bassist who search for extende range bass.
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