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Harley Benton GuitarBass VS Vintage Series

63

6-String Bass/Baritone Guitar

  • Vintage Series
  • Tuning: E, A, D, G, B, E (one octave lower than an electric guitar)
  • Body: American basswood
  • Neck: Canadian maple
  • Neck attachment: Bolt-on
  • Neck profile: C
  • Fretboard: Roseacer (thermally treated maple wood)
  • Fretboard radius: 350 mm
  • Fretboard inlays: Block pearloid
  • Binding on the neck
  • Frets: 21 Jumbo (2.7 mm)
  • Scale: 762 mm
  • Nut width: 42 mm
  • Double action truss rod
  • Pickups: 3 x HBZ Customwound alnico5 vintage-voiced single coils
  • Controls: Volume & Tone
  • 5-Way toggle switch
  • 3-Ply tortoise pickguard
  • Nut: Graphite
  • Hardware: DLX
  • Bridge: Tune-O-Matic
  • Machine heads: Kluson-style
  • String gauges: .024, .034, .044, .056, .072, .084
  • Colour: 3-Colour Vintage Burst
  • Matching replacement strings available under Article Nr

    117274

    (not included)
  • Matching case available under Article Nr

    142777

    (not included)
Colour Sunburst
Body Basswood
Neck Maple
Fretboard Roseacer
Frets 21
Scale Shortscale
Pickup System SSS
Elektronic Passive
Incl. Case No
Incl. Gigbag No
Item number 402283
205 €
Including VAT; Excluding 20 € shipping
In stock within 11-14 weeks
In stock within 11-14 weeks

This item is expected back in stock soon and can then be shipped immediately.

Standard Delivery Times
1
1 Sales Rank

63 Customer Reviews

5 39 Customers
4 17 Customers
3 4 Customers
2 1 Customer
1 2 Customers
4.4 / 5

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quality

HL
A genuine Bass VI for $200?!?!? Wow!
Heath L (SC, USA) 07.06.2021
I have been a fan of "Bass VI" instruments since the 90's when I first tried out a Japanese "F" brand reissue at a local shop (still kicking myself for not buying it). A few years ago I indulged myself and bought the "S" brand "vintage modified" version, and aside from a couple VERY minor complaints it is damned near perfect. When I saw Harley Benton did their own take on this unique, inspiring instrument, I had to try it. And I am glad I did!

Aside from a slightly trimmed-down body, this is very close to my "S" branded VI. The neck, while a thicker profile on the HB, is visually similar, and insets into the body at the same place as my Bass VI. The inlays look nice, and mine came with well-finished frets and binding. The pickups sound good, and are in fact fiber-base AlNiCo pickups, not cheapo bar-magnet bottom-of-the-heap pickups. The only complaint I have is I do kind of miss the individual on/off switches for the pickups, and the "strangle" switch like my real VI has. The hardware is solid, and again, if I were to complain about anything, it would be the lack of a vibrato/vibrola/tremolo (some may actually prefer this hard-tail/stopbar configuration though).

So when I got my HB, I started by adding a tiny shim to the neck to even out the action a bit, and it plays like a dream now. I then decided on two other mods to make this my go-to gigging Bass VI (I've preferred to leave my "real" one in my studio). First I added a VibraMate V5 and a Bigsby B5 vibrato so that I get my wiggle-stick action going on this one like on my other one. Secondly, I replaced the volume pot with a 1M pot, and the tone control with a push-pull pot wired as a traditional tone pot, but with the push-pull function to act as a "strangle" switch (high-pass), similar to the original design. Now this HB is every bit as versatile as my "real" Bass VI, and it really makes me want to write more songs to perform on it instead of standard guitar.

Pros:
- Excellent bang for the buck
- Nice build quality
- Sounds great
- Good hardware overall
- Fit/finish is awesome

Cons:
- No vibrato/vibrola/tremolo
- No "strangle" switch
- Neck is a tad too "beefy" for smaller hands
- Pickguard is a little plain without the metal control plates of the original design
- Only one finish option

Overall, this was a terrific first instrument purchase for me from Thomann/Harley Benton, and I really recommend it for guitarists and bassists looking to inspire some "outside the box" playing/writing. You won't be disappointed!
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S
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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B
Harley Benton Guitar Bass VS
BigSaucy 08.06.2021
I just received my Harley Benton Guitar Bass VS. Firstly, I'm very impressed with the instrument. It exceeds my expectations in almost every way. I bought it with the understanding that I'd likely have to do some fret leveling and end filing, etc. To my complete surprise, it's nearly perfect out of the very well packed box. It will require intonation and minor setup especially after the replacement strings are put on.

Secondly, Thomann did an extraordinary job of communicating with me throughout the process of pre-ordering through delivery from Germany to the USA. An included tag gave me a hand numbered indication that the product was inspected and quality checked before dispatch. Nice touch! Item made the trip across the Atlantic really quickly and only spent a day in customs.

This was my first purchase from Thomann and I will enthusiastically recommend them. Shipping was reasonable considering the distance and I had tracking the whole way.

Great job Harley Benton and Thomann! Thanks
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b
Great but a few caveats
beridus 22.07.2021
This guitar...wow. This guitar. I literally (no joke) dreamed about buying one of these and I finally did. It was such a cool looking guitar/bass/baritone that I HAD to have one.
First thing off, the sound: pickups are okay-ish! At least in the bridge. The neck pickup is nice and warm but the one that stands out the most is the middle! It's actually a wonderful tone for cleans and I love it. I replaced the bridge pickup with a Seymour Duncan and was very happy with it. There were a few things I did notice however. First off, this is my personal experience and not everyone will receive a guitar like this; The nut was cut poorly and had some shavings hanging off it (no biggie, just cleaned that up) but I also had lots of markings and weird blemishes around the binding on the fretboard. Also, my low E string was a bit too close to the A. Hard to explain but I think the string spacing was messed up when the nut was installed. Other than that, setting up was easy and the bridge intonated just fine! (which, if you know how bass VI-like guitars are, intonation is a big issue but not here!)

Anyway, I love this thing now. It plays pretty darn well and sounds massive. Yes, I do use it for metal/rock stuff but as a clean guitar it sounds just as good too. I love recording both guitar parts and bass parts with it. Such a cool instrument. I also recommend this!
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