Harley Benton Bass Guitar Kit J-Style

Kit for electric bass in the JB style

  • Complete DIY (do it yourself) kit
  • Neck attachment: Bolt-on
  • Body: Solid wood (wood colour may vary)
  • Neck: Maple
  • Double action truss rod
  • Fretboard: Roseacer (thermally treated maple wood)
  • Fretboard inlays: Dots
  • 21 Frets
  • Scale: 864 mm
  • Nut width: 38 mm
  • Truss rod
  • Pickups: 2 Single Coils
  • Controls: 2 Volume, 1 Tone
  • Hardware: Chrome
  • Machine heads: Diecast
  • Strings: .045 - .105
  • Colour: Natural

A certain degree of skill in handiwork is required for successful assembly

Further Information

Colour Natural
Soundboard Solid Wood
Neck Maple
Fretboard Roseacer
Frets 21
Scale Longscale
Pickup System JJ
Elektronic Passive
Incl. Case No
Incl. Gigbag No
270 Customer Ratings:
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4.2 / 5.0
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195 written ratings Read all reviews
Very good kit - you will need to do some work but that's expected
AlcalaBob, 30.05.2019
This is a very good kit to work with and with a bit of effort, will result in a very usable bass guitar.

I've built HB kits before so I knew what to expect. True to form, it was well packaged, delivered very efficiently, and everything was there. The components were all wrapped carefully and everything was complete. It's a kit so I knew I'd need to do a reasonable amount of work on it. You could just build it as is but you get a better result with some effort.

The body was fairly well finished but there were some rough patches and a couple of marks from the sanding so it was sensible to sand it down to 400. Although it didn't need a primer, I applied one anyway because I was going to give it a gloss acrylic finish. After the initial cleaning up and painting the body I checked the neck. Very straight, frets perfect and there were no rough edges. It would have been fine to use straight out of the box but I shaped the headstock and then prepared and painted the neck too - don't forget to mask the fingerboard :) .

Once painted, I assembled the whole thing in about an hour but there were some little irritations on the way. The plastic plate was not cut accurately to fit the neck and needed a fair bit removing with a Dremel. Not difficult but surely it could have been cut accurately in advance. The screw holes for the plate were positioned accurately though they were drilled a little deep so the screws were loose once inserted. I just dipped the ends in wood filler and they settled in fine. These are very trivial irritations.

The bridge was positioned perfectly and once the strings were on I set it up. The truss rod needed only a quarter turn to set the action though getting the action right at the bridge meant the bridge was lowered virtually to the plate. That tells me that I'd have to put a shim under the neck to recover the adjustability. Something the width of a credit card will do the trick. It's not a deficiency of the kit, simply something we need to recognise and deal with for all bolt-on necks. A note in the construction booklet in future might be useful for others.

The pickups and controls were easy to install and everything works fine, both pickups giving a good signal and the tone control has a reasonable range. The downside is that these are cheap pickups and seem quite noisy. Given that the pickup and control cavities are not screened from EMI and since they are both single coil, noise is inevitable. I decided to disassemble the bass, put a shim under the neck join, and replace the pickups with Fender Jazz Bass pickups (from here) and also to line and earth all the cavities with copper tape which should all but eliminate noise. The strings provided are fine but I'm putting flats on for even less string noise.

First time round it played very well and comfortably and there's a good balance between neck and body. Even with the stock pickups, there's a good range of sounds available and it records well straight into a USB mixer. I'm playing mostly jazz and not gigging with it but even through a standard guitar amp, this gives plenty of rich bass tones. Once it has the Fender pickups in it, it'll sound even better.

As with every kit, you'll have to do some work but with a bit of patience and a modicum of skill, this kit gives you a very nice jazz bass at very low cost. Recommended.
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Great Fun!
Ageing Hippy, 31.05.2018
This was the first time I'd attempted to build an instrument from a kit.
I've been a guitar player for over 40 years, and wanted a bass for home recording, but also for a bit of a 'do it yourself' challenge.
I downloaded a template for the headstock from the web, cut out the shape with a coping saw, used a file and emery cloth to smooth it off.
Lacquered it with some automotive acrylic lacquer I had lying around and treated the fingerboard to lashings of lemon oil. Some spikey fret ends were smoothed with a small file and polished with emery cloth.
The body was a disappointment, being of two distinct colours of wood, so had to be painted. I chose gold to go with the tortoiseshell pickguard I'd ordered with the kit. It was only after applying the paint that I realised I'd misread the instructions.
The body needs grain sealer and primer before painting. I'd recommend this be stated clearly in the instructions if possible. I didn't do this, and consequently the woodgrain soaked up loads of paint and is still visible after many coats. Be warned, future buyers!
I lined the cavities with copper foil for shielding, then the whole thing went together like a dream, and I set it up for neck relief, intonation and action as per online recommendations.
Here's the best part. The sound is fantastic and very like the genuine article; so much so that the bass player in my band wants me to build him one. It'll be ordered today.
A few little niggles, but the end result is great.
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