Harley Benton GuitarBass VS Vintage Series

6-String Bass / Baritone Guitar

  • Vintage series
  • Tuning: EADGBE - one octave lower than electric guitar
  • Body made of American basswood
  • Bolt-on neck: Canadian maple
  • C Neck profile
  • Roseacer fretboard
  • Fretboard radius: 350 mm
  • Block pearloid inlays
  • Neck binding
  • 21 Jumbo frets (2.7 mm)
  • Scale: 762 mm
  • Nut width: 42 mm
  • Double Action Truss Rod
  • Pickup: 3 HBZ Custom Wound AlNiCo5 Vintage Voiced Single Coils
  • Controls for Volume & Tone
  • 5-Way toggle switch
  • 3-Ply Tortoise pickguard
  • Graphite nut
  • DLX hardware
  • Tune-o-matic bridge
  • Kluson style machine heads
  • Ex-factory string gauges: .022, .034, .044, .056, .072, .084
  • Colour: 3-Colour Vintage Burst
  • Suitable replacement strings: Article Nr: 117274

Further information

Colour Sunburst
Body Basswood
Neck Maple
Fretboard Roseacer
Frets 21
Scale Shortscale
Pickup System SSS
Elektronic Passive
Incl. Case No
Incl. Gigbag No

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3.9 / 5.0
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16 written ratings Read all reviews
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Good value

SharpEleven, 26.05.2018
Unfortunately the first Guitarbass had to be returned to Thomann with a large number of faults of which one was very serious. Thomann Customer Support was very good and paid for the return carriage and sent a replacement at no extra cost to me. So this rating and review is solely about the replacement.

I really liked the idea of an inexpensive Bass VI without a tremolo arm. I had previously tried out a Fender Squier Bass VI, but the tremolo put me off completely. Plus I thought the layout of the knobs and switches, whilst authentic enough, looked rather fussy. Whereas the Harley Benton suffered from none of these disadvantages and had a much lower cost.

The finish was excellent - a lovely sunburst front and back albeit with a few inconsequential tiny lacquer splashes. The fret edges were not rough and the fretboard block inlays were nicely done. The action out of the box was reasonably good - certainly quite playable. There were no problems with the sound other than a very slight probable ground loop hum - almost imperceptible. The middle pickup seems to be reverse wound reverse polarity which is very good. However the single coils do not seem to be prone to picking up noise unless deliberately provoked and I do not think they would benefit significantly from upgrading.

Considering the very low price this was a good instrument. But of course almost any guitar or bass can be improved :)

I took the Guitarbass to my luthier to change the strings and do a set up. I like flatwound strings and chose LaBella - actually they are the only manufacturer of Bass VI flatwounds as far as I know. The correct set for this instrument is the HC6F set (for Schecter Hellcat VI) which fit perfectly for length. The 767-6F set is too long but can be made to work although far from ideal. These strings transformed the instrument for my style of playing which is mostly jazz. In particular the low E .095" string was an enormous improvement on the original .084" roundwound low E - both in terms of intonation and feel. I have another short scale (30.3") bass and use a .110" D'Addario flatwound low E on that - however the .095" LaBella flatwound holds its own in comparison.

All the new strings fitted through the tailpiece with no need to drill to a larger diameter. They also fitted through the nut with no widening required. The nut depth was very nearly spot on which is quite unusual with an inexpensive guitar. Some adjustment was required to the bridge saddles for the bottom two strings.

The luthier also changed the volume and tone pots, jack socket, and 5 way switch for higher quality components and replaced the original unshielded wiring and rather poor soldering. He did some work on a few frets including removing and replacing one. After which the action was really superb - as low as one might wish for on a guitar and no buzzing whatsoever.

He also replaced the rather thin original neck screws with genuine Fender neck screws and at the same time corrected a slight misalignment of the neck so that now the two E strings are perfectly positioned relative to their fretboard edges and the pickup polepieces. The original alignment was not terrible but in the pursuit of perfection these things have to be done.

One issue was that the channel for the truss rod wrench does not easily allow the wrench to be fully inserted into the adjustment socket - it can be achieved but great care is needed. A solution is to use a wrench with a shorter arm or to cut the supplied wrench's short arm even shorter. In any event the truss rod adjustment socket looks to be made of rather soft metal so it may be wise to take all the load off the neck before making adjustments.

Following these improvements I now have an excellent Bass VI and am very satisfied. It's a very versatile instrument which can function purely as a bass or extend up into baritone territory. It's perfectly possible to pay chords on the upper four strings above about the fifth fret. The only question mark might be on consistency of quality between individual examples as the first instrument I received was very poor.
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Total
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Bass VI Clone Does What It Says On The Tin

PJ Q, 09.07.2018
It's pretty much perfect. frets are all level. action is low, tiny bit of fret buzz so i'll try raising the saddles a mm or 2. it has good tone, frets feel a bit rough so a quick polish should sort that. The top string isn't as bad as i was expecting after Cory Mura's video and some reviews I've read, it's loose but workable. The back of the guitar has some blemishes but nothing of relevance. The strings are aligned correctly over the pick-ups. The bridge is in the correct position and the neck sits perfectly on the body. The machine heads do feel a bit weak having to adjust much larger strings. The Volume pot is fine, feels cheap but it works just fine. The tone pot fell off straight away but that an easy fix and its the only real fault. I was expecting that i may have to take the GuitarBass to a shop for set up but i was surprised to find it played very well out of the box. It was even in tune. All in all I'm happy with my purchase and would recommend the instrument to anyone thinking of buying one.
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Offers include 24% Greek VAT and are valid as long as stocks last. Shipping costs to Greece are 20 EUR, free shipping on orders above 298 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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