Harley Benton B-30NT-FL Acoustic Bass Serie

Fretless Acoustic Bass

  • Type: Super Jumbo Cutaway
  • Top: Spruce
  • Back and Sides: Sapele Mahogany
  • Neck: Mahogany
  • Fretboard: Roseacer (thermally treated maple)
  • Scale: 815 mm
  • Nut Width: 42 mm
  • Double-action truss rod
  • Bridge: Roseacer (thermally treated maple)
  • Cream binding
  • Chrome Die-cast machine heads
  • String Gauge: 045-105
  • Pickup system with 4-band EQ and tuner
  • Colour: Natural high gloss
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Further Information

Colour Natural
Top Spruce
Back and Sides Mahogany
Neck Mahogany
Fretboard Roseacer
Scale Longscale
Pickup System Yes
Incl. Case No
Incl. Gigbag No

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105 written ratings Read all reviews
Total
quality
features
sound

I can't fault this bass...

29.04.2016
... I mean, we all know that an acoustic bass guitar is a bit of a compromise. The bass guitar was originally designed as an electric instrument with the acoustic bass guitar coming along later as an afterthought. Unfortunately they very seldom are able to compete with acoustic guitars in terms of volume produced. An acoustic bass needs a seriously big body to produce volume, something like the now legendary Ernie Ball Earthwood bass (look it up!) which had a MASSIVE body.

I was wanting an acoustic bass so I could play unplugged nights at my local venue. My criteria were, as big a body as possible (see above), fretless (my preference), and relatively inexpensive as my finances were limited.

The Harley Benton B-30NT-FL fit the bill beautifully. It actually seems to be almost exactly the same bass as offrered by certain other brands, with their own name on the head of course, and selling for twice as much. How true this is, I am unable to verify, just call it a suspicion.

It's lovely for practice, projecting very nicely indeed. I'm glad that it came with roundwound strings and not those nonsensical flatwounds that some manufacturers insist on putting on fretless basses and which kill the tone. A fretless bass is supposed to SING and sorry, flatwounds don't cut it. (Yes, roundwounds might mark your fingerboard if you look at it closely, but who cares, it's all about the sound, isn't it?)

Playing with other acoustic instruments, admittedly it DOES struggle volume-wise. I found I really had to work hard to pluck the strings in a manner not ordinarily best suited to nuanced fretless playing, just in an effort to be heard alongside a brace of acoustic guitars, a sax and a clarinet (with no mics and no PA). I had trouble hearing myself on stage but was told be audience members that they could hear the bass.

But as I suggested at the top, I think this is a problem endemic with acoustic bass guitars as a "species" of an instrument rather than specifically with this Harley Benton. In fact, it's much louder than most acoustic bass guitars that I have tried, and I've played quite a few over the years.

The instrument has been finished to a high quality and really is amazing value for the price. It is an excellent buy and a purchase that I am pleased I made.
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Total
quality
features
sound

not what i thought....

10.11.2014
well what can I say, I thought for that sort of price it was going to be a bit rough.
wow, I was immediately smacked in the face by a guitar that resembled something around the 250? mark, nice, very nice.
well finished around all the edges nicely varnished and very well fitted together.
I sat for around ten minutes inspecting it hoping to find something to slap it down with... no. nothing.
145?, remember.
ok, fixed in the free 9V battery and tuned it up. nice tuner. easy to use and simple.
the marker dots are bang on where the frets would be, it was easier than I thought to play, much easier. in fact it played very well indeed.
the strings supplied seem a little to tense for it and I will consider once i've had my use out of them, using something a little lighter.
the strings lack a little sustain unplugged but plugged in seem to ring a lot longer.
the built in amp I fiddled with but kind of left it flat with a just a touch of bass to give it a bit of ummph.. it doesn't want to be tinny and clicky, its acoustic.
remember its not solid wood so it needs a little more sole pushed into it to provide something like the kind of output you get from a full e'bass. but even then it still has a sound of its own.
the fret board is very nice, a bit of lemon oil to loose a bit of the factory dried finish and she feels a little more alive...
the body is naturally fuller than an e'bass but you do get used to it. rib digging at first, you learn to sit with it.
I found genuinely it had an influence on the way I played and could quite easily inspire a different technique and feel.
ok its not a warwick alien, but its a far cry from being unfamiliar...ha, get it! no? whatever,
in short, its a bloody nice bass for a very very small amount of money, especially in the acoustic sector...
lets see if it stands the test of time.....
bummer, I had to sand down the top of the fret board around the G area because of a high spot. cured it after a couple of hours work. also found the E'string sounding much lower in volume than the other strings. :-(
new pickup to be added....
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