Fender vs. Sire vs. Squier vs. Harley Benton - Ultimate 50s P Bass Comparison With Bass Giveaway!

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Bassprofessor, Sep 21, 2021.

  1. Fender MIJ Traditional P Bass Reissue

  2. Sire D5

  3. Squier Classic Vibe 50s P Bass

  4. Harley Benton PB50

  1. Bassprofessor


    Mar 26, 2021

    Hello my fellow lowenderettes and lowenders,

    my comparison video is now finished and uploaded. The results are pretty interesting!
    But mind you: Such reviews are always subjective and altough all basses are sounding good, I do like some more than others. But if YOU would rate them in another order: So be it! You won't be wrong! :)
    I tried to make good sound samples so you will get a great impression of each of those basses.

    Now may you enjoy that comparison and always stay well and creative!


    P.S. watch out for the special giveaway at the beginning of the video! ;)
  2. bholder

    bholder Affable Sociopath Gold Supporting Member Supporting Member

    Sep 2, 2001
    Vestal, NY
    Received a gift from Sire* (see sig)
    Hmmm, electronics issues on the Sire, that's surprising to me, and disappointing. I liked the tone the best, I think, though yeah, low signal means less "balls" so I hope they get that fixed. I've read reports that the pickup is hum cancelling, but also reports that it isn't, so I've got to get that cleared up. I wasn't surprised to Fender won overall, it should, given the price differential.
  3. Blackjac97

    Blackjac97 Supporting Member

    May 27, 2012
    The bass that impressed me the most was the Harley Benton, given its price point and how phat and hot it sounded!

    I thought the sire sounded very good. The squier and fender sounded most classisc to me.

    I would buy either the Fender or the Squier though, as that classic headstock shape is an important part of the '51 P for me.
    postpunkbf, Mili, pcake and 6 others like this.
  4. bholder

    bholder Affable Sociopath Gold Supporting Member Supporting Member

    Sep 2, 2001
    Vestal, NY
    Received a gift from Sire* (see sig)
    Yeah the Harley Benton kills it in the "bang for the buck" category here, definitely a great value, especially for starters. But me, if I get anything (don't need another bass lol), it'd be the Sire. Have 5 already, love 'em all, but no gen 2 yet, and the D5 is just so tempting, other than those worrisome electronics issues on the review bass. Wonder if that was a fluke or representative of all of them (had read elsewhere the sc pickup seemed to be silent, but not here).
    DJ Bebop and Bassprofessor like this.
  5. J-Mags

    J-Mags Supporting Member

    Jun 18, 2018
    Durham NC
    It's a shame that the Squier had quality issues and weighed a lot. I thought that it sounded the most like what I'd want a 50s P to sound like. The Fender looks and sounds awesome, I love the look of the Harley Benton, and it sounded good too, if a bit generic.
  6. @Bassprofessor

    Hi Robert.

    I've some experience with 3 of these basses . Played a few Squiers, owned many Harley Benton PB-50s and have a Paisley MIJ Fender reissue. I agree with most of your points though not all :D

    For instance I prefer the satin finish of the PB-50 neck to high gloss . The weight of the Squiers did not bother me either , my own pine slab body is much heavier . Some folks have this notion that pine = light . Not all pines are equal :laugh:

    Personally I'd reverse positions 1 & 2.

    The Paisley finish on my Fender is a joy to behold but my PB-50s see 90% of the playing :)

    Any way kudos to you for taking the time to make the video and showing folks they don't need to drop big money for a single coil P-bass.

    That's single coil P-basses , they all sound roughly the same.
  7. J-Mags

    J-Mags Supporting Member

    Jun 18, 2018
    Durham NC
    I think the Fender and the Squier have a bit of something familiar in the mids.
  8. bholder

    bholder Affable Sociopath Gold Supporting Member Supporting Member

    Sep 2, 2001
    Vestal, NY
    Received a gift from Sire* (see sig)
    Yeah, and at least at those settings, the Sire is the darkest tone of the 4.
    DJ Bebop and Bassprofessor like this.
  9. What's not touched on in the video is the pole pieces.

    The Harley Benton uses the same massive slugs as Duncan QP's , they affect the initial attack. The earlier PB-50s had Wilkinson pickups with standard slugs for more traditional tone.

    Quite pronounced wasn't it. Wonder if it was the cap/potentiometer tolerances ?
    Mili and Bassprofessor like this.
  10. bigthemat


    Jan 25, 2008
    Salt Lake City
    I'd say the HB, although it's not that surprising that they make some quality stuff for so cheap.
    Bassprofessor likes this.
  11. Vinny_G


    Dec 1, 2011
    The Fender sounds the best of all, hands down, when played on its own, but in a mix it's not that obvious.
    Bassprofessor and Lukasonbass like this.
  12. Rob1957


    Dec 3, 2020
    Just looked at prices on the MIJ Fender reissue….I would hope a $2k bass would sound the best out of the four!
    But a $499 Sire would suit myself just fine
  13. Tvrtko


    Dec 27, 2002
    South of the USA
    It will be sum of all points - pretty much - how much sound for the money, without hassle...


    But, I will not pay so much for Fender even if Leo gets up and sign it and go back.
  14. Bill Murray

    Bill Murray

    Dec 12, 2019
    New Hampshire
    Honestly I liked them all. They all sound like a p-bass.

    I voted Squier because I think it has the most Vintage sounds and looks out of the bunch. Bummer about the neck though!

    The HB is a great deal, but they’re challenging to find (as is the Sire). The neck is a deal breaker for me though.

    The sire has a retro-modern vibe which I do dig as well, sounded sweet, but no good about the electronics.

    The fender sounds great but personally I think it has too much clarity for a “vintage” instrument. Would make a great all purpose p-bass though.

    Fender MIJ
    Bassprofessor likes this.
  15. Bass V

    Bass V

    Dec 11, 2008
    Honolulu, Hawaii
    1K used is their going rate which IMO is quite fair for as close to the real deal as most can afford.
    Bassprofessor likes this.
  16. funkinbottom

    funkinbottom Supporting Member

    Apr 23, 2006
    Northern CA.
    I think they all sounded pretty similar tone wise, with subtle differences. I think I like the Sire best.
    Lukasonbass and Bassprofessor like this.
  17. Bassprofessor


    Mar 26, 2021
    Thanks for your comment. The problem from the Sire stems from a wire which is soldered to the wrong lug. That fixes the noise problem, but I noticed that after the video. And I am not alone with that issue. I already informed Sire.

    I like that the reactions to this video is cery varied, with some saying Fender "wins", but others say Sire, Squier, Benton.
    That is a good sign and an achievement for an simple construction.
    Laurie Bass, Lukasonbass and bholder like this.
  18. Bassprofessor


    Mar 26, 2021
    Thanks for your thoughts! It5funny hiw they all built almost the same, but are sounding so different :)
  19. Bassprofessor


    Mar 26, 2021
    Another very big reviewer had the exact same issue were a wire Was soldered to the wrong lug. It's an easy fix, but a strange mistake.
  20. bholder

    bholder Affable Sociopath Gold Supporting Member Supporting Member

    Sep 2, 2001
    Vestal, NY
    Received a gift from Sire* (see sig)
    Cool, thanks for getting it fixed "in process" so others won't have it. :thumbsup:
    Bassprofessor likes this.
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