Harley Benton DC-Ukulele CH

Concert Ukulele with Pickup

  • Double cut design
  • Basswood body
  • Set-in maple neck
  • Amaranth fretboard
  • 18 Frets
  • Scale: 380 mm
  • Vintage-style machine heads
  • Built-in piezo pickup
  • Volume and tone controls
  • Colour: Cherry high-gloss
  • Includes a gig bag
  • Matching case available under Article Nr 223359 (not included)
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Audio Examples

 
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  • Country Pickup
  • Jazz Pickup
  • Strumming Pickup

Further Information

Body Basswood
Top Basswood
Frets 18
Neck Maple
Pickup Yes

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Needs a few fixes and a setup- afterwards it is a (baby) rock dragon
Axel Morisson, 11.12.2020
This is a nice looking and solidly crafted instrument. Note that I did not say "finely" crafted- that's where you come in.. It badly needs a string height adjustment as well as an intonation fix- and you can do this by loosening the strings and then gently pulling the plastic riser that should be the "bridge" from the riser. Then you can sculpt it with an x-acto knife to make its "edge" recede a bit and then re-test...in the end on mine I had to move the string contact point back some 1,5 mm and I did that by scraping at the plastic to create a new edge further back. In the end I got something that looks like a "compensated acoustic guitar bridge" -look it up for refference .A quick way of intonating an uke is using..matchsticks! Take a match and slide it behind the nut- so now the strings have a point of contact further back; if that improves tuning, you need a compensated nut made, or leave the matchstick in (you can cut from its thickness to tune). If it makes matters worse, and you need to lengthen the strings, then you must gently scrape te leading edge of the bridge towards the back (angling it slightly ,as if sharpening a blade or creating a cutting edge). Take good care to eventually round this edge with a bit of sandpaper once you are done, in order to avoid cutting the strings.Do this with the bridge off the instrument! place back, re-tune, re-test, and re-sculpt if necessary- I know it's a lot of work but you do not need toolmarks on the finish!
Before all that , WARNING! you should sort out string height first if necessary by filing the bottom of the bridge with a bit of sandpaper or a fine file.The strings on mine were a mile high and it was all due to a very high bridge. Once string height is set proceed with the intonation. Careful as you handle the bridge, the piezo element beneath it is responsible for all the sound in this instrument. It is not glued, it is just crammed in there tightly under it and it is delicate. Pull straight up on the bridge and on reinstalling do not press down too hard. After the intonation and string height are ok, here comes the hard electric re-building part: you will need either copper foil (gardener's shops carry it , for keeping snails at bay, or electronic part shops, or the *bay or the *zon..or..) or conductive paint. I recommend copper foil -has lower resistivity and also holds better in time, as conductive paint becomes less so in time once properly and totally dry. Wrap a narrow sheet of adhesive two faced auto sticky tape around the electronics cavity if the copper foil is not already adhesive on one side and complete the shielding by leaving a bit of a "lip" that goes out of the cavity and along the top so to make contact with the shielding stuck from the factory on the small plastic lid (there's a sliver metallic foil there). Add another bit of tape in electrical contact with the shielding done so far all around the walls of the output jack socket cavity and as always, leave a lip out so that when mounted, the jack plate itself screws in this conducting tape lip, completing the shielding. Warning: Do use a bit of NON conductive, insulating, etc tape (or even cellophane or paper adhesive tape) around the wires going to the jack and the exposed jack lugs , you do not want the shielding tape you just carefully installed to short out your signal.
Once that's over with, it should be finally tunable and quiet. Too quiet, in fact, as some rightly said. But the posters that described the electrical repairs in detail are totally correct : this thingie needs a total electrical makeover. Do not be afraid, although it sounds radical it is just about switching some wires around and switching the provided cap with a 1.5 nanofarad or 2 nF as they previously advised. For the correct wiring diagrams, search online for "gibson junior 50's wiring" for a good source of inspiration. Yes it is for "something else entirely" but it's a good example of a tone-volume stack for one pickup, and the grand total of parts is : one TONE capacitor- that you will exchange as previously discussed, one TONE POT - the linear one from the two on this little uke, and one VOLUME POT- make sure it is the logarithmic one . Yes these things are wired "bass ackwards"from the factory and you must correct that. Searching diagrams for gibson junior wiring will provide you with some four or five different variants- just observe where the pickup , output jack and capacitor goes and how the wires are soldered and where, and to the same regardless of what was previously in your little uke. In the end after all this work you are rewarded with a surprisingly good sounding instrument. After all these mods, you will be able to pass this through different amp sims and mod your sound in really sick ways, and yes this thing can "metal" for realz if all solder joints are correct... high gain amps? check! High volume with almost no buzz at all ? Check! Dead silent on clean between the notes ? And clear and adequately loud sound when playing these ontes? Check.
If the volume is still low or uneven across the strings, please loosen the strings and gently pull out the bridge once more, and look at the piezo pickup stuck underneath. It might have been pushed sidewise a bit and needs to be set dead center and not twisted . Re-place and put the bridge back vertically, gently, retune.. good luck! DO NOT pull on the little output shielded cable on one end of the piezo sensor, as the whole thing is very fragile and that particular connection is hard to repair. If nothing works for the volume, you might have a broken piezo pickup, and you can replace it with a standard one from the guitar shops, but you have to cut it to length (delicate operation) and re-do the insulation on the exposed end. If a violin piezo pickup is available (of the same "stick" under the bridge type) it might be possible to just drop it in without any modification. Keep the old broken part, take measurements before buying.. in the end you'll be happy with a real rock uke. A baby dragon!
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Harley Benton DC-UKE
05.09.2015
This was my first electric ukulele. Other than this, I have a mahalo soprano and a custom made banjolele. When I first opened the box, I was amazed at how beautiful this little uke is. The finish is much better than what you can see on the pictures and you can actually see some wood grain. I wasn't 10% pleased with the finish tough, as it had some scratches at the end of the neck. After playing it for a couple of days, I found it to be very confortable. There are no sharp fret ends, the neck is straight and it intonates perfectly till the 15th fret. After that, it's a little off, so I may try to adjust it. The factory strings are quite ok for an instrument this cheap. After they were broken in, the uke stays in tune quite well. I also love the neck. It's a quite chunky D-shaped neck. After plugging in and running it through my pedalboard, I found no additional noise. The piezo is quite harsh on the high end, so I use an EQ pedal to roll off the highs a bit. I have one complain about the controls. It's supposed to have 1 volume and 1 tone control. Mine seems to have 2 volume controls, since when I roll either one of them to zero, there is no volume. The tone would be very useful to tame the piezo. This is my only major complain. Overal, it's still an amazing ukulele for the price. It is NOT perfect nor comparable to mid to high end ukes, but holds its own against some 100?-200? solid body ukes on the market.
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Tone Control Fix
23.02.2017
As others have commented, I found that the initial problem with the Uke was that both volume and tone controls acted as volume controls. Upon inspection I discovered that the wiring was incorrect. I don?t know if this is down to fault of the schematic that it was wired to or a fault when being manufactured. I rewired the potentiometers to be in a standard electric guitar configuration. This however did not initially fix the problem. After a bit of testing and changing of the capacitor to a different value I settled on 2nF as a good value to replace the stock, this resolved the issue. Anything within the range on about 1-10nF will work but I think the best thing to do is to experiment with values till you find the correct value for you.
In conclusion; check that the wiring is correct to a standard guitar schematic (widely available). If it isn?t then that?s a good place to start. If both still function as volume controls then look at changing the capacitor to a value better suited to ukulele frequencies..
Enjoy!
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Few problems : for the price a great ukulele
Rookpicker , 25.09.2020
Nice little ukulele for the price, once I had sorted out the wiring issues. It looks good and feels good with a nice smooth neck with good fretwork.
The intonation is a tad out as you move high up the neck, I only notice it as I use it for melodic picking and for £49 I can live with it.
The tone control was acting like a volume pot and the the instrument was humming really loudly.
I found that it was wired incorrectly : I also found that they were using the audio pot (A]
For the tone and the linear pot (B) for the volume . It would normally be the other way round.
I completely rewired it the correct way : painted the cavity with conductive shielding paint and as recommended by another reviewer I changed the tone capacitor to a 2.2NF value
Result : everything now works as it should , I have a usable tone control and the ukulele is as quiet as a mouse even plugged into a high gain amplifier.
Some reviewers have no problems, so I guess it could be down to whoever wired the instrument at the factory.
I have fitted it with a new set do Aquila strings. I also fitted it with a worth, Brown low G string. This works and it sounds great.
For £49 it’s a bargain given that I had to change the wiring .
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58 €
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Delivery approx. between Tuesday, 26.01. and Wednesday, 27.01.

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