Harley Benton B-550 Black Progressive Series

5-String Electric Bass

  • Body: Alder
  • Bolt-on neck from Canadian maple
  • Neck profile: Modern D
  • Fretboard: Black Walnut
  • Tai-Chi inlays
  • 24 Frets
  • Scale: 864 mm (Long scale)
  • Nut width: 45 mm
  • Double action trussrod
  • Pickups: 2x Humbucker with active preamp
  • 1x Balance-, 1x bass-, 1x treble- snd 1x volume control with push/pull function (active/passive)
  • Black hardware
  • Diecast machine heads
  • String gauge: 045-130
  • Colour: Black High-gloss
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Sound samples

 
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  • Funk
  • Metal
  • Rock
  • Jazz

Further information

Colour Black
Soundboard Alder
Neck Maple
Fretboard Black Walnut
Frets 24
Scale Long Scale
Pickup System HH
Elektronic Active
Incl. Case No
Incl. Gigbag No

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48 customer ratings:
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4.4 / 5.0
  • features
  • sound
  • quality
33 written ratings Read all reviews
Total
features
sound
quality

Amazing bass - insanely cheap price!

Shinigamy91, 28.05.2018
I'm gonna start this by asking Thomann what is their secret to keep this instrument so cheap but provide excellent quality and tone!?

When I bought this bass I thought I'm gonna get something in the range of entry Ibanez basses etc, with tool dents, bad finish, details wrong, buzz frets and sharp frets etc.

What I got is totally the opposite. I believe this bass is in the range of 600-1000 eur price. No doubt there. It's a steal. Frets are so nicely done, I have much more expensive guitars with worse frets. No buzz fret whatsoever. Setup was done for E standard, and it came with perfect tune and intonation! (amazing).

I tuned to D standard (with the lowest string in A), did a bit of truss rod adjustments and very small bridge adjustments, and it sounds perfect. Perfectly blends with metal guitars I record daily. In the mix, it cuts so nicely, the perfect instrument for a guitar player who likes to record.

The only con I have is that low B string, when tuned to A, is too loose and flabby, I will need to upgrade to thicker strings with higher tension. Other than that, an instrument is perfect.

Very good bass, smooth highs and controlled mids.
The neck is very smooth and nice to play, even if you didn't play a bass before and you switch from a guitar to it, it just flies. very easy to adjust to. Tuning is stable while playing, although I hear a bit of buzz at the nut on G string, but that's easily solvable, I don't count it as a flaw that much. I will probably upgrade the tuners to locking ones and give this instrument an even more value.

Pickups are OK sounding. For my needs as a metal guitarist, active mode is awesome. Passive is too low output, and unusable for me. But if you like, boosting passive with a pedal is the way to go I guess.

I was seriously expecting an instrument with a lot of design flaws, bad intonation, not able to keep tune etc, but got totally opposite. Great job Thomann! This is amazing stuff! Keep em coming :)
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Total
features
sound
quality

Flawed but usable occasional 5 String

Howard, 30.10.2014
Initial thoughts, after one week of ownership.

The good: looks well put together and the lacquer is impressively shiny, although it is quite soft. The machine heads are up to the job and the tuning is stable enough. Intonation out of the box was not too shabby, although it did benefit from a bit of adjustment during full set up. The individual bridge pieces are perfectly aligned. The neck profile is slim and very comfortable in use.

Sounds: quite a limited range of tones, particularly lacking in brights. This can be tweaked through the amp though, to give a reasonable snap to the tone. Replacing the strings may help with this, but the supplied strings sound bright enough acoustically. The bass tones are deep and rounded.

The bad: Quite a long list I am afraid. Firstly the supplied battery lasted precisely 24 hours with the bass unplugged,essential with non switchable active circuits, as insertion of the jack plug switches them on. Only it later became apparent that the circuit was constantly live and no battery lasted more than two days. I ordered and installed a micro toggle switch from eBay to disconnect the active circuit so that I don't have to take the battery out all of the time. The ends of the fret wires are poorly finished all the way down the neck, with your hand slightly catching on every single one - this will wear off and is not noticeable when playing. The truss rod cover was not properly secured, with two of the screws not turned home, and one of the screw holes bodged with two attempts to fasten it. The neck itself was set with insufficient back bow, but the truss rod did its job and I have been able to correct that. The action out of the box was horrific, all the bridge saddles set at the same height even though the fretboard is curved, so work was needed to correct that. Lastly, for now, the neck has 24 frets, but the lower body cutaway only allows full access to 20, or 22 if you move your hand right around the neck. This is not such a big deal as this is the 'dusty end' of the bass, but an oversight that could be easily corrected. The slight overhang of the fretboard beyond the end of the neck at the body joint is just weird; I have no idea why this isn't cut off after the 24th fret.

Conclusion: Despite the little annoyances with quality and design this is a reasonable instrument at this price point. After a few hours work it is quite playable and will fulfil the role I have planned for it of occasional recording use - for performance I will stick with my more expensive 4 string basses. It is, despite the niggles, usable and fair value. I am not sure that it would suit a beginner as so much set up (and in my case some rewiring) is required, but you could always learn on the job.
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Show variations of this product
Harley Benton B-550 Black Progressive Series
(48)
Harley Benton B-550 Black Progressive Series
to the product
155 €

5-String Electric Bass Body: Alder, Bolt-on neck from Canadian maple, Neck profile: Modern D, Fretboard: Black Walnut, Tai-Chi inlays, 24 Frets, Scale: 864 mm (Long scale), Nut width: 45 mm, Double...

  • Colour: Black
  • Soundboard: Alder
  • Neck: Maple
  • Fretboard: Black Walnut
  • Frets: 24
  • Scale: Long Scale
  • Pickup System: HH
  • Elektronic: Active
  • Incl. Case: No
  • Incl. Gigbag: No
Harley Benton B-550 White Progressive Series
(64)
Harley Benton B-550 White Progressive Series
to the product
155 €

5-String Electric Bass Body: Alder, Bolt-on neck: Canadian maple, Fretboard: Black walnut, Tai chi inlays, Neck profile: Modern D, 24 Frets, Scale: 864 mm (Long Scale), Nut width: 45 mm, Dual...

  • Colour: White
  • Soundboard: Alder
  • Neck: Maple
  • Fretboard: Black Walnut
  • Frets: 24
  • Scale: Long Scale
  • Pickup System: HH
  • Elektronic: Active
  • Incl. Case: No
  • Incl. Gigbag: No
Harley Benton B-550 QTB Progressive Series
(29)
Harley Benton B-550 QTB Progressive Series
to the product
166 €

5-String Electric Bass Body: Alder, Bolt-on neck from Canadian maple, Neck profile: Modern D, Fretboard: Black Walnut, Tai-Chi inlays, 24 Frets, Scale: 864 mm (Long scale), Nut width: 45 mm, Double...

  • Colour: Black
  • Soundboard: Alder
  • Neck: Maple
  • Fretboard: Black Walnut
  • Frets: 24
  • Scale: Long Scale
  • Pickup System: HH
  • Elektronic: Active
  • Incl. Case: No
  • Incl. Gigbag: No
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