Harley Benton GuitarBass VS Vintage Series

23 Customer Ratings:
  • 5
  • 4
  • 3
  • 2
  • 1
3.9 / 5.0
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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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Fantastic six string VI style bass straight out of the box
Dave Lancaster, 29.04.2017
I'd been on the lookout for a six string bass for a long time and the Fender VI was top of my list having been played by George Harrison and John Lennon in the Beatles and Jack Bruce in Cream. I liked the idea that it was tuned the same as a regular guitar but an octave lower so I could easily switch from guitar to bass. The VI also had a thin neck. Unfortunately, it was (and still is) way out of my price range. Even the Squier version was priced steeply and having played one in store didn't feel as solid as it should.

So when the Harley Benton GuitarBass VS Vintage Series came out I took a chance I ordered. I'm so glad I did. Straight out of the box, it felt fantastic. The neck was comfortable, the action low without much buzz and even unplugged it sounded great with solid intonation right up its long neck. The finish looks even better in person than on the photos - darker and more subtle with its burst.

Plugged in it gets even better with a good variance of tone from the three pickups - they take effects very, very well. Often a lot of effects can take the depth out of your tone but starting an octave lower with a bass puts you in a great starting position for alt-rock/psychedelic experimentation.

As a standard bass, the Harley Benton GuitarBass VS Vintage Series is more than adequate but as a new voicing for existing electric guitar players it's a revelation. And an absolute bargain.
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Nice hardtail bass vi
Nuwisha, 09.03.2017
Really nice bass vi copy. Pickups give great range of tone down from nice deep bass to quite twangy highs if you wanted. A bit noisey but they are single coils...You can do cords (just carefull of low e), bass lines,leads and riffs on it.

I like the hardtail brigde (keeps intonation better then original tremolo) and easier to find baritone strings to fit it (to tune a-a or b-b instead of e-e).
Takes chorus and delays wonderfully for curelike riffs. Takes fuzzes well for postrock,doomlike styles as well. Neck and frets are quite nice and smooth (no sharp edges on it).

Even though I?m not into the 60s sunburst finish it is very well done, no bubbles/stains/etc in laquer. And nicely put togther.

Only reason why it?s 4 stars and not 5 is the nut is ok (could be better), electronics aren?t too well soldered (but thats a five minute job to fix if you know what your doing. and for the price I?ve seen ALOT worse), and the strings it ships with. Low E is a 0.084 (i think) way too thin, and even after setup it?s too loose causing fretbuzz (you could fix with shim, but too much bother). If you fit a 0.095 string that does solve the floppines though (or alternativly tune down to a-a or b-b with thinner strings).

Apart for those little niggles (that can be fixed quickly and cheaply), a very nice and versatile instrument (and very nicely priced compared to competicion).
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krzysztofs, 15.04.2018
The body finish has no blemishes except one tiny fleck bellow a tone knob, the fretboard and the nut are without sharp edges but unfortunately frets were not leveled properly. Two frets sits too high and give buzz when action is set lower than 4 mm. It is easily to fix though. I would also advise Thomann to change stock pickups. There are too muddy and lows are missing. Considering the price however I am quite satisified with the product because it can be easily modded.
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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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Perfect toy for low end explorers
Das Asterian Musik, 20.03.2018
Use - for those who realized how good baritone guitars is and want to try one with single coils (for sure baritones suppose to have singles to enhance treble) or even to go lower to E.
Idea and design is perfect,
but unfortunately assembly quality is not good.
In fact all flaws could be easily corrected, except one (on guitar what I got) - Bridge is positioned wrongly and as result lower E string is almost at neck edge, while high E is far away from it. So bridge holes in body needs to be re-drilled.
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Awesome Little Bass
Jack Rabbit Automaton, 19.07.2018
This is my first Harley Benton purchase and I have to say Im absolutely astonished at what a great instrument you can get for such little money. Ive been playing music for 20 years, have built several guitar and basses from scratch, modded and played pretty much most brands and styles of guitars/basses and I can in all honesty say that this absolutely stands up along side the many other decently built, well playing guitars that Ive used. This is without doubt a very usable bass 6 copy with and without the added benefit of its low cost.
Out of the box it was set up well which implies it has gone through a QC process. Finish was fine, picks sounded like decent single coils to my ears and the neck albeit being a bit chunky for my liking is easy to navigate and without sharp edged that I hear is common with these guitars.
The guitar industry sells guitars with snake oil, mojo and ideals. You will not get any of those things with this or any other low budget brand guitar, but I most definitely got a vey usable tool to make music with.
Oh and delivery was extremely fast. 8 odd days from Germany to Australia!
In conclusion , VERY PLEASED with this purchase.
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For the price...
Mätt, 10.01.2018
...it's unbeatable. I always kind of wanted a 6 string Bass, and it turns out I love having one, and the fact that it was under 200¤ convinced me to take the plunge.
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BASS VI COPY
soundy, 22.03.2018
GOOD BASS VI , apart from some sharp frets , the rest of the bassguitar is very nice , sound is good , im changing only the pots with good ones and get rid of the sharp frets , put on some flatwound strings instead of those crappy rusty roundwounds and its a great buy , !! keep rocking harley benton , for 200 euros such a good instrument with some mods its fantastic im impressed
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Good!!
BB oz, 23.08.2018
Great bass/guitar for its price..few minor adjustment to make
it playable .. strings are ok.but upgrade to better brand strings
should do the trick..
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Harley Benton GuitarBass VS Vintage Series

207 €
Including VAT; Excluding 20 € shipping
In stock within 2-3 weeks
In stock within 2-3 weeks

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

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