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Harley Benton BZ-5000 NT

Harley Benton BZ-5000 NT
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  • Funk
  • Jazz
  • Metal
  • Rock

5-String Electric Bass

  • Deluxe Series
  • Body: Ash/Mahogany/Ash
  • Top and backside: Sycamore
  • Neck-through 5-piece maple/nato neck
  • Fretboard: Ebonol
  • 24 Frets
  • 16.5 mm String spacing
  • Scale: 864 mm (Long scale)
  • Nut width: 45 mm
  • Graphite nut
  • Pickups: G&B Humbucker
  • With active 3-band EQ, 18 V
  • Control: Volume, balance, bass, mids and treble
  • Black DLX hardware
  • Bridge bushings
  • DLX Diecast machine heads
  • Strings: D'Addario 45 - 65 - 80 - 100 -130
  • Finish: Natural High-gloss

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31 customer ratings:

Overall rating
4.6 out of 5 stars
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5 Stars
24 Customers

24 customers have given this product a 5-star rating.

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4 Stars
4 Customers

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Compares very well to more expensive basses

Jools4001, 20.03.2016

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My main bass is a fabulous, hand made 'boutique' bass from a very well respected UK luthier. If you were to order one today it would cost you around £3500.

I ordered the Harley Benton as a budget level back up bass simply because it looked good, had similar neck through construction to my main bass and I reckoned that as long as it was reasonably playable I could upgrade the pickups and electronics to bring it closer to the levels that I have become used to.

I don't have to bother, this bass is very, very impressive right out of the box.

Obviously, the woods chosen to make this bass are not quite up to the AAAAA grade of my main player, but they are very acceptable and the bass is very nicely made. There are just a couple of tiny spots of dust in the lacquer and one place where the glue line between the laminates has had about 1mm of filler applied. The phenolic fingerboard has a small patch that looks a bit more shiny than the rest, but my fingers will soon change that as I play it.

The neck is a good profile, not too thin nor too chunky. It had too much bow in the neck when it arrived and needed 3/4 of a turn on the trussrod to get the right relief. The bridge saddles were too high for my taste and the nut slots are still a bit high and will need filing to get them to an optimum level, but then any new bass needs a set up. The fretwork is nicely done, all the frets are smooth and level with no buzzes or choking anywhere, the fourth fret has a very slightly catchy edge on the treble side but nothing major.

The bridge is fine and the tuners are smooth.

Once set up, this bass plays very nicely. The sound is helped by the fresh D'addario strings it comes with but it has a good range of tones. In passive mode it sounds nice, a little like a Fender Jazz and the pickup blend control works very nicely giving a good range of tone with some nice subtle tone changes between the two extremes. In active mode it adds more depth or top end sparkle as required and the electronics seem hum and hiss free. Of course if you boost the treble right up the tone gets brittle, but again that applies to nearly all active basses. The mid control is a little disappointing since it doesn't have a huge effect but all the centre frequencies of the electronics seem well chosen and all the tones you can coax out of the bass (apart from the real extremes) are very useable.

I haven't gigged this bass yet, nor even rehearsed with it, so it still needs more real world testing, but first impressions are very favourable. I have to keep reminding myself that this bass cost less than one tenth of my main bass. It's tempting to say this is a great bass "for the price", I would just say no, never mind the price, this bass compares very very well with much more expensive instruments.

Great bass for the money, but rushed production ruined it.

23.03.2016

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In short, really good bass for the money but, I guess, rushed production ruined it.

When I opened the box I was impressed with the looks of it, as some user wrote the sycamore top is holographic. The curvature of the top changes as your view angle moves. The bass does have some minor cosmetic flaws but they are not visible. The ebonol fingerboard does look nice afar but if you look it close it's very dirty. I think some nice polishing could change that. But I bet some of you might even like it.

The frets are not spiking out and the neck feels nice.

The bass is a bit on the heavy side, but it holds well, just use a nice strap and you won't feel a thing. So if you have a weak or sick back, and must perform standing, you might consider another bass.

The electronics and the pickups are just insane! You really have a wide spectrum of sounds right at you. I could emulate a P bass with no problem, and also in a moment I could get that jazz bass vibe and go to ultra HC metal sound. You can also make a rather warm, vintage sounding, tone.
So if you're looking a flexible bass, this might be the thing you need.
I would recommend thomann to make a switch between active and passive mode. Cause when you pull and push the volume knob, it tends to roll off quite easily.

You might be confused why am I writing such a nice review with a low score? Simple, my unit stopped working after few hours of playing with occasional "back from the grave" moments.
So yes, the bass did start to work again, and then it decided to stop working again. Once it worked the electronics started to make a noticeable hiss. The volume knob did work once you roll it off and on. BUT, in between it made a strange and loud hum.
It even starts to work as it should, but after 20 minutes of playing it starts to hum and gets more and more quiet, and after a while only the hum remains (you don't hear yourself playing anymore).

I think the production was rushed, because a tiny part of the fingerboard was just sawed off and you can see black dust under the lacquer. Not a big deal, but it seems like the instrument didn't received proper care while it was made. Specially the electronics.

A guitar tech could fix the electronics easily. But I bought a NEW bass, I expect it to work at least few months before it fails me.

I'm aware that I got "lucky", and bet other units work better (correction, work). But I'm making a review of an item I received.

I think this could be a great "first bass". Even if it fails you, you can constantly tweak it and fix it and in the process you learn how to properly care for your instrument.
€318 £269.01
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£ price - guideline price only
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item number 339377
sales unit 1 piece
available since August 2014
Total rating
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in this category Rank 4
at thomann.de Rank 2586
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Offers include 20% British VAT and are valid as long as stocks last. Shipping costs to the U.K. are 10 EUR (approx. £7), free shipping on orders above 199 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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