Harley Benton HBV 990BEM 4/4 Electric Violin


Electric Violin with Active Pickup System

  • Size: 4/4
  • Maple body and neck
  • Plastic frame
  • Birch fingerboard
  • Jujube tuning pegs and chinrest
  • Design: Birdseye maple
  • 3.5 mm headphone output
  • Microphone/MP3 input
  • 6.3 mm line jack output
  • Includes a case, shoulder rest, composite bow, rosin and a 9V battery
available since January 2014
Item number 325869
sales unit 1 piece(s)
Number of Strings 4
Fretboard Birch
Body Material Maple
Pegs Birch
Chin rest Birch
Neck Maple
Incl. Bag No
Incl. Case Yes
Incl. Bow Yes
Incl. Shoulder Rest Yes
Incl. 4 Fine Tuners Yes
Size 4/4
Electronics Active
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B-Stock from 140 € available
165 €
Including VAT; Excluding 19,90 € shipping
In stock
In stock

This item is in stock and can be dispatched immediately.

Standard Delivery Times
Delivery approx. between Monday, 17.10. and Tuesday, 18.10.

The perfect entry into the world of electric violins

The Harley Benton HBV 990BEM electric violin does not have an acoustically resonant body like a classical violin, but a solid centre block instead. This means that the instrument is primarily designed for electrically amplified playing, which is possible thanks to an active pickup system complete with a three-band EQ and various connection options. A circumferential black plastic frame provides the perfect grip when playing. Starting on the electric violin is as easy as can be with this instrument featuring a fine bird's-eye maple finish. In addition to the violin itself, the scope of delivery includes a case, a shoulder rest, a composite bow, rosin for coating the bow hair, and a 9V battery for powering the active pickup.

A perfectly designed instrument

The neck and body of the Harley Benton HBV 990BEM are made of maple, commonly used for classical violins. The neck features a glued-on birch fingerboard that is tinted black, and the tailpiece features a set of fine-tuners to facilitate uncomplicated and precise tuning of the violin. The pickup unit is active (i.e. equipped with a preamp) and allows the volume to be controlled via a rotary knob on the underside of the instrument, while the three faders adjust the bass, middle, and treble frequencies as desired. The compartment for the 9V battery that powers the pickup system and the mount for the chin rest are also located on the underside. Two mini-jack sockets (3.5mm) are placed laterally so that headphones and an external sound source, such as an MP3 player, can be connected. These features are very useful when practising: For example, backing tracks can be listened to using headphones. A 6.3mm jack socket is included for connecting the electric violin to an amplifier or sound system.

This one can be really loud!

Violinists from all manner of musical backgrounds will be delighted by the Harley Benton HBV 990BEM, because this instrument comes with straightforward amplification that is also very flexible in terms of sound. With the piezo-based pickup system, feedback problems are hardly to be expected, even at higher volumes. The attractive price makes the Harley Benton HBV 990BEM suitable not only for beginners, but also for advanced players who are looking for a flexible electric violin as a second instrument. Incidentally, many violin players use an electric violin alongside their acoustic one for practising at home - so the neighbours are not bombarded with piercing violin tones. In any case, the unamplified sound of the Harley Benton HBV 990BEM is loud enough to be heard at a sufficient volume when playing alone.

About Harley Benton

Since 1998, the Harley Benton brand has been catering for the needs of numerous guitarists and bassists. In addition to an extensive range of stringed instruments, Thomann's house brand also offers a wide choice of amplifiers, speakers, effect pedals, and other accessories. In total, the range includes over 1,500 products. Built by established names in the industry, all Harley Benton products combine quality and reliability at attractive and affordable prices. The continuous expansion of the range ensures that Harley Benton always provides new, exciting, and innovative products that keep players perfectly in tune with the musical world, day after day.

Sounds to suit any style

The Harley Benton HBV 990BEM is the perfect all-in-one instrument to explore the wide and varied world of electric violins, and it comes at an exceptionally attractive price. Whether it's in a Jazz combo, a Bluesgrass group, or a Rock band: Wherever a clear and powerfully amplified violin sound is required, this electric violin hits the spot. Thanks to its active pickup system, the Harley Benton HBV 990BEM is totally hassle-free when playing - just plug it into an acoustic amplifier or sound system, adjust the volume and timbre, and you're ready to go. Moreover, if you like experimental sounds, you will enjoy enhancing the violin's sound using effects devices. Whether pimped with distortion, echo or octaver, or simply played with an unadulterated, loud sound - this electric violin is real fun.

Value for money.
Anonymous 02.10.2016
Violin review

I am a music student and I bought this product for two main reasons: practicing at home without disturbing other people and having the possibility of connecting it to effects. I've been using it now for several months and I'm happy all right with it.
I know the list of "Cons" seems to be a bit long, but the overall experience is good and I don't regret my decision. Value/quality ratio is good, probably you wouldn't find anything as nice as this one for that money.

Natural sound is low enough to allow you to practice at night without disturbing anyone on the house.
Lightweight for an electric violin, I've tried other EVs and they tend to be very heavy.
Line out 1/4" Jack connection, some of them have an small jack and they tend to fail very quickly.
Position of the tone controls and volume knob is out of the way, helping to avoid any undesired change on settings.
Sound is OK.
Case is OK.
Nice light bow.
Battery seems to last for a good while.
The tuning pegs took a while to settle, however once they did they work very well.
The micro tuner works fine although I find the ??? a bit small and not that nice to handle, they do what they are meant to do anyway.

Headphones out is very noisy, Hiss is the word. I only use the line out into my FX unit "BOSS ME-50"
Tone controls are not very good, can't expect much anyway for that price, I use them flat. Better to use whatever you have in your mixer/DAW.
Faders and volume control got noisy quickly enough, even when I don't use the tone controls and only use the volume as an "On/Off", fully closed/fully opened.
Body, the outer plastic frame which also contains the electronics, seems to be very fragile and because of its shape wider at the rear and thiner near the centre of the instrument is very awkward to fit a conventional shoulder rest and that brings me to something that is completely unacceptable...
WORST SHOULDER REST EVER!!! Whoever designed that "useless thing" did not think at all: it falls out of the instrument, is too small and unusable. Since I bought it I tried it a couple of times and down to the box of useless stuff it went. WORST feature of the instrument by far, so do not hesitate to buy one along with the EV, also avoid this kind of SR Everest Shoulder Rest 4/4 Violin
The grip is not good at all and they also come out of the instrument, this one is the one I have and I don't like it at all; go for the traditional ones, the piece that holds them to the instrument has longer arms and grips better. Honestly I think they should apologise to those who bought this violin for it and give them nice shoulder rests instead.

PIECE OF ADVISE: Get a cable with an "L"shaped jack so it fits properly in the line out without disturbing. Also use some velcro to hold the cable to the instrument so that way you will reduce any stress of the cable hanging from the line out and prolong its life.

Hope this help you decide.



Fantastic for quiet practicing
Anonymous 07.11.2015
+ Great as quiet practice violin
+ Very well playable
+ Acoustic sound is quiet but loud enough for practicing
+ Acoustic sound is balanced across the range, G string sounds equally as loud as E string
- Electric sound is OK, but not great
- Strings that were installed sounded very thin, replaced them with Tonicas which sound very good on this violin
- The gaps of the tuners at the bottom are very narrow and are only suitable for thin strings, I had to widen them with a file to install the Tonica strings, which probably voided the warranty.
- The tuners at the top need quite a bit of force applied not to slip, although it seems to get better over time.


I bought this violin as an addition to my acoustic violin. The acoustic sounds very good but is also very loud when playing it. Not just all my family members are able to hear me practice, but the neighbours as well. So I needed something quieter, for practicing purposes only.

As I was not planning to use the electric for performance or for its sound, I decided to try the Harley Benton as a cheaper option and just try it to see if it would work OK. The only requirement was that it would be playable, and that I would at least be able to hear what I was playing without plugging it in or using headphones.

In reviews of similar instruments I read that the strings that come with the instrument are rubbish, so I ordered a set of Pirastro Tonica strings with the instrument, and an Eudoxa aliminium wound E string at the same time.

I was not disappointed. The instrument itself looks beautiful. It is quite easy to play, and sounds about right when playing it. I had expected that without plugging it in the G string would be practically inaudible, but it is loud enough, and to my surprise very in balance with the other strings. It is just like playing my acoustic, just a lot quieter.

The strings that were installed indeed sounded quite thin, but playable nevertheless. After I replaced them with the Tonicas on G-D-A and the Eudoxa on E, the sound improved a lot.

However, when I tried to install the Tonica strings, I found that the ending at the ball side (where the string is a bit thicker) didn't fit through the gaps of the tuners. In order to install these strings I had to file the gaps a bit wider. Be warned that this will probably void the warranty so if you want to avoid that, make sure that you use strings that fit through the gaps.

After the new strings were fitted I started playing and enjoyed it a lot, so much so that it was hard to put the instrument down. Finally just playing without knowing everyone can hear what you are doing. And with a sound quality that is amazing given that the sound is produced without any acoustic reinforcement at all.

I then plugged in the headphones that came with the instrument and the sound was OK. Nothing special, but usable, especially with the built-in EQ. I much prefer the acoustic sound of the instrument though, so I unplugged them and kept on playing it acoustically.

All in all, I couldn't be happier. For the price this is an amazing instrument, and for practicing purposes, highly recommended. For performance purposes, I guess it would be OK in most circumstances, if you could apply a lot of reverb to open up the direct sound of the electric pickup. It also comes with a good bow and a great case. What more could you wish for?

5 stars!!


Good in parts but major quality failures
Anonymous 06.05.2016
I already own an acoustic violin and bought this violin for quiet practice. I'm a 63 year old amateur.

Overall surface finish is fine and the plastic maple finish is quite handsome.

The sound when played without using the headphones is loud enough for practice and much more pleasant than using a heavy practice mute on an acoustic.

The supplied bow is useable and of reasonable quality

Like any violin the chin rest is fine if your chin suits its pattern and if not it can be easily replaced using a standard violin chinrest.

The violin pegs quality are fine and are fitted well enough not to slip.

I found the violins action ( string height ) fine for my playing which does not stray out of the first or second position fine.

Using the headphone out required a large amount treble cut to produce a non screeching sound.

The violins sound using an external amplifier can be made quite pleasant using reverb to give a more spacious sound.

The violin and supplied accessories however suffer from quality and design defects as follows:

The strings are terrible and It doesn't need expensive strings. The ones I replaced the provided set with where quite cheap Chinese Dominant imitations that gave an immediate improvement in sound and playability.

While replacing the strings I came across a major quality failure. The tailpiece is a Witner ultra clone that at first glance looks fine but on close inspection showed a major manufacturing defect. The supplied e string ball end did not look like it was seated correctly in the adjuster of the tailpiece and also showed evidence of the slot being prised apart. Before fitting new strings I removed the bridge and found that the problem was caused by swarf (metal waste) from the cutting of the slots not being removed. This meant that none of the strings where seated correctly. This failure is a shame as the rest of the tailpiece and attaching wire is quite acceptable. I replaced the tailpiece with a real Witner ultra tailpiece.

If you buy one of these violins or one that uses similar electronics you should be aware of a possible safety issue. When switching on the headphone amplifier there is a pop that is loud enough to cause hearing damage if the user is wearing the headphones. So you should only switch on when not wearing the headphones. A soft start to remove this pop is something that can be provided by a component that costs pence.

The supplied headphones are a joke and are only fit for recycling. I replaced them with a pair of £2 earbuds.

Another joke is the shoulder rest that is neither comfortable or secure when fitted. Some types of normal shoulder rest will probably fit the plastic frame.

The case provided would be fine if the zip did not show signs of not being sown on correctly.

In conclusion I can't say I'm impressed with Thomann's Harley Benton line quality control. Most of my comments have been made previously by other reviewers so should have already been sorted out. I've ended up at the end of the day with what I wanted but not out of the box which is what I would have expected from Europe's major musical instrument shop.


You get what you pay for
Wrench 12.04.2020
Bought this as a bday gift for my sister who wanted to try out how electric violins may feel like prior to me commencing a custom build on one. I knew going in that this will have some quality issues so I was not bugged when it came through. The following are the main two gripes:

1. The transducer pickup is particularly low quality and did not sit right so strings had varying levels picked up and treble was piercing at first. Kinda works better after trying to figure the best way to seat it right but could still be a bit better.
2. The shoulder rest mounting is just strange. It does not sit in place and we had to McGyver a contraption to make it sit where it should. Don't understand why they could not make it clip in place instead of just "rest into" extremely loose holes in the plastic rear cover.

Overall a good intro into the e-violin world, but defnitely not something that would be kept as is for more than a year or so. Fair price though so not complaining.