Harley Benton MB-4 SB Deluxe Series

Electric Bass

  • Deluxe series
  • Body: Basswood
  • Bolt-on neck: Maple
  • Neck Profile: D
  • Fretboard: Maple
  • Radius: 350 mm
  • 21 Frets
  • Scale length: 864 mm
  • Nut Width: 42 mm
  • Double-action truss rod
  • Headstock in body colour
  • Pickups: 1 humbucker with coil split function
  • 2 x Volume and 1 tone control
  • Chrome hardware
  • Vintage-style machine heads
  • Diecast bridge
  • String Gauge: .045 - .105
  • Colour: 3-Tone Sunburst
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  • Funk
  • Jazz
  • Metal
  • Rock

Further Information

Colour Sunburst
Soundboard Lime
Neck Maple
Fretboard Maple
Frets 21
Scale Long Scale
Pickups H
Elektronic Passive
Incl. Case No
Incl. Bag No

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4.7 / 5.0
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33 written ratings Read all reviews
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I don't think I could have picked a better bass to start
sjmDrum, 11.09.2018
So first, let's get the bad out of the way, and there's not much.

1. I'd rather it have a master volume, coil blend, and master tone. Instead it has one volume for each coil and a master tone. Effectively the same, but in terms of how easy it is to use, if I want to mute the bass through the pots, I have to turn two of them. Very small nit pick, and really it's a point of preference.
2. The 18th fret is a bit high, which leads to some fret buzzing on the higher frets (14-17) for the E and A strings, but I'm not spending a lot of time, if any time at all up there on those strings anyway.

And that's really it for what I don't like. Now for the good.

1. This thing looks great. The burst finish with the matching headstock is something I'm very very happy with.
2. This thing sounds great. It looks like a music man stingray, and sounds a bit like it, though not exactly. It has some great bright presence, a lot of punch, and a lot of output despite being a passive bass.
3. The quality. I looked for any flaws in the finish and found none. The frets are not at all sharp, and the neck feels amazing. It's huge and fits my big mitts really well. Tuners work pretty well. They feel a bit tight, but don't seem to have any jumps or dead spots. The pots aren't scratchy (at least not yet), and the bridge seems sturdy and strong.
4. It's simple. Passive bass, one pickup, four strings. No nonsense. You pick this bass up and play, that's it. You don't spend time over-tweaking the EQ. You don't need to worry about the battery going dead. You don't really need to wonder if it would sound better on the neck or the bridge pickup, though you do get a little bit of flexibility there, but that's more of a "Would a single coil sound better than a humbucker?" choice than a bridge/neck choice. Most of the time the humbucker is all you need, though (see the nitpick about volume/blend/tone vs volume/volume/tone above).
5. It's balanced well. With a strap, there's a bit of neck dive, but it still stays with the headstock above the top horn of the body.
6. It came with a pretty good setup. Shipping over the ocean from Germany to the US, you expect a bit of an issue, and there was a little bit. I had to turn the truss rod about a quarter turn to get the fret buzz to go away, but after that I was able to lower the action a bit to where it's nice and comfortable.
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Total
features
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Good but some quality control issues.
RobBooth, 28.04.2018
Whoever is doing quality checks on these basses needs to improve ! The finish on these basses appears to be a photo laminate applied over a basswood core of indeterminate quality. This looks good but you can't compare it to something like a Sterling Sub where you are getting a solid 2 or 3 piece body. The maple neck is well made with generally good fretting with a few sharp ends.

Out of the box the truss rod had not been adjusted and the neck had too much relief. About half a turn was needed with the stock strings to get the neck playable.

The pickup was misaligned with one corner pushed right into the body. I had to remove the pick guard to rectify this which appeared to be caused by the foam supporting pads being misshaped. I added some extra foam to the front of the pickup and this enabled me to set the pickup correctly.

Lastly the nut is not well cut with some strings too low and some too high at the first fret. With the bass properly setup I have buzz at the first fret on one string that will need repairing.

After a few hours work I have the action at under 2mm and the bass plays and sounds good for the price. However, a beginner would not have been able to achieve the same result. I must admit I seriously considered returning this bass.

Postscript: I have now sold this bass and bought a used Sterling SUB in walnut satin. This has better body wood and superior active electronics which give a better sound without the unnecessary coil tap found on the HB. This is a good value bass but its not worth 2 or 3 times the price as suggested by some reviewers. The SUB is a better instrument but you also pay a price premium.
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Offers include 21% Belgium VAT and are valid as long as stocks last. Shipping costs to Belgium are 2,50 EUR, free shipping on orders above 49 EUR. Please click here for international Shipping rates. We do not accept liability for typographical errors or inaccurate information of any kind. *RRP = manufacturer's / distributor's recommended retail price in Germany
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