I own a Harley Benton club

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by JACink, Dec 26, 2014.

  1. subdude67


    Jan 18, 2010
    What did you order?
  2. Before passing verdict I would like to know which two basses you ordered before succumbing to pointless feelings of regret.
    PaleAngel_90 and MovinTarget like this.
  3. tubatodd

    tubatodd Supporting Member

    Oct 31, 2004
    Birmingham, AL
    Harley Benton JB-20 CA and
    Harley Benton PJ-5 HTR

    $300 shipped to USA
    Erik Asma and MovinTarget like this.
  4. I bought one of these used recently, and once it had decent strings it sounded surprisingly ok, even with its cheapish pickups. The build quality, finish and feel are astonishing for the price. Apart from dropping better alnico pickups in it and dealing with some modest fret sprout I have had no modding urges just yet.
    I don't know about the PJ-5 HTR, but I guess that the PJ-75 would be a better choice.
    But perhaps you're off of it altogether now?
    tubatodd and MovinTarget like this.
  5. beamster


    Mar 30, 2021
    Here is a new owner of an HB progressive B550 bass. As this thread has been useful to me before I bought my bass, I thought maybe I should also add my little bit.

    I was looking for a fretless. HB was the obvious choice, because other brands had few options for modest-price fretless.

    I had searched this thread for HB bass necks, and found just one user who had found a faulty neck, and one who said "straight enough" about his bass' neck. I have the experience that even medium priced basses can have neck problems, so I thought this was a good score, and ordered the 5-string HB.

    In my case the neck is "straight enough"; There is a bit more bow on the side of the B-string than on the other side, and the bow isn't completely smooth either. But it's better than my (Indonesian made) Squier 5-string, and my (Chinese Gretsch) guitar, so I am keeping it.

    Cosmetically it's not perfect, there is a little paint missing on two knobs, and a 0.13"/3 mm hole in the fretboard which has been filled with wood and filler or glue. The rest is OK. I mainly care about playability and sound, however, so, this will be fine.

    There's not too much hum, but my squier is way more silent. Switching between active and passive is noisy, as I had already read in this thread. Most of the time, I play passive, and do not switch when plugged in. So, that's fine, too.

    Though they have enough low, the pu's are kinda rock sound pickups, with more brightness than I like (I replaced the strings with flats). They sound kinda "hollow", and, as far as I have figured out now, I need to dial up the mids (around 400 hz) a lot on the amp.
    I might swap them in the future, if the bass stays in shape.

    If I have any doubt about the bass, it is if I shouldn't have taken the six-string version. I do not need six strings, and have never played one. But that model has two truss rods, which is not just cool, but also something I could have used to correct the slight twist in the neck. Just for the fun of it, or for better setup, if ever I take heavier gauge strings.
    Last edited: Apr 12, 2021
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  6. bpc


    Mar 29, 2016
    Central Scotland
    @beamster You do know the tone controls work in passive mode? Quite unusual for an active/passive bass. Might help you with your tone a little. Welcome to the club.
    Maartenaerts and MovinTarget like this.
  7. dabbler


    Aug 17, 2007
    Bowie, MD
    Congrats beamster! I have a black B550. How are you liking the tone controls that work in passive? That is one of the things I like most about this bass, you don't give up tone control when you go passive!
    beamster likes this.
  8. beamster


    Mar 30, 2021
    Yea, found that. I roll off the higher one. I need to take more care how to hit the strings compared to my squier, also.
    Last edited: Apr 12, 2021
    Maartenaerts likes this.
  9. Shlafenflarst


    Apr 13, 2020
    Hi everyone !

    Sorry if this question has been answered before. Is it possible to swap necks on Harley Benton PB and JB copies ?

    Thanks in advance !
    MovinTarget likes this.
  10. Hi, I'm new here and I'd like to ask a few questions to anyone here more experienced than I who could solve the doubts that I have. I'm thinking of buying the gorgeous Harley Benton RB-414CS and I wanted to know a few things:
    1.- Would any of the bridges in the following link would work for the bass? I've heard that the stock bridge is problematic to say the least... Link: https://m.thomann.de/es/puentes_de_bajo.html?s=price
    2.- What strings would you recommend to swap the stock ones with? (please attach a link to your answer so I can look it up, thanks) and also I was wondering if these would work: https://m.thomann.de/es/warwick_red_label_040.htm
    3.- I'd like to change the tone/volume knobs. Could any of these in the link work? I'm interested in the ones that have numbers not the completely blank ones. Link: https://m.thomann.de/es/botones_de_potenciometro.html?s=price
    4.- I'd like to change the white pickguard for a black one, does anyone know where could I get one that would fit? Thank you.
    MovinTarget likes this.
  11. I installed the bridge SX BB104 High Mass Bridge from Rondo Music in USA. I believe the same bridge is available from Amazon in Europe. They are about $20, and need a 1/8 in shim to get the string height correct. It's drilled for strings through if you desire, and you can get the ferrules from amazon as well. Be careful removing the knobs. I saw that one pot was not all the way tight and when I pulled the knob, the shaft came out of the pot. I ordered 4 new from amazon and had them in 24 hrs.
    I've heard problems with the bridge pu not being as strong as the neck. Simple fix, most remove the pickup cover. To do so you must remove the two screws which loosens the pu as well. Simply cut one of the springs in half and put the half springs in to allow the pu to be raised to the proper height. The original length was too tall to allow proper adjustment of the pu.
    This is a great bass. I haven't been this excited for a while. I'm willing to do whatever is necessary to make it top drawer.

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Apr 15, 2021
  12. I live in Spain, Canary Islands, so the bridges being sold at Thomann would be more practical. Also I don't trust one bit eBay, plus Thomann is more reliable and trustworthy. Plus the shipping would be faster and less expensive than shipping from the US.
    MovinTarget likes this.
  14. bpc


    Mar 29, 2016
    Central Scotland
    1. Any of these bridges could be made to fit but I'd try it with the stock bridge first. It works just fine. just be careful of the saddles when the strings are off.
    2. I used https://www.amazon.co.uk/Rotosound-Monel-Standard-Flatwound-Strings/dp/B0002GNYU0 Rotosound RS77EL. Extra long flatwounds. You'll need extra long strings if you keep the stock bridge. Thomann don't seem to stock these particular strings. You might be able to use regular long scale strings if they don't have silks. The silks on regular long scale strings sat over the nut. If you change the bridge then regular long scale strings should be OK. Use whatever brand and type of strings you prefer keeping mind my comments about length.
    3. Any of the knobs that don't have grub screws should fit fine. I changed mine to ric style knobs with writing on them. They just pull off and push on. Specifically, These :- https://www.thomann.de/gb/partsland_lpstyle_potiknob_black.htm and these :- https://www.thomann.de/gb/goeldo_potiknob_bell_double_cut_vol_bk.htm and these :- https://www.thomann.de/gb/prs_acc_4246_lampshade_knops_clear.htm should all fit.
    4. Since there is no version with a black pickguard I think you will need to have one made. So take it off, send or take it to someone who makes pickguards and wait.

    I would suggest buying the thing and playing it for a while before doing anything. It is a great bass out of the box, you might grow to love it as it is.
    MovinTarget and PaleAngel_90 like this.
  15. I was thinking of getting these:


    Do you think they'd fit?

    Also I don't know if these strings have silks. But I've seen these strings before where I live, and I've bought these before, so I know these are good and decent quality, but I don't know if they'd fit the RB-414...

    Link: https://www.thomann.de/gb/warwick_red_label_040.htm
    Last edited: Apr 16, 2021
    MovinTarget likes this.
  16. Volker Kirstein

    Volker Kirstein Blippy the Wonder Slug

    AFAIK, the HB J, PJ, and P clones conform to "standard" pocket sizes, and the necks are, in theory, interchangeable.

    Also, no-name "Fender" necks out of china fit right into my HB P clones... here's a no-name flat heel (51-54 P) jazz neck w/blocks for a PB50.
    bass katherine j2.jpg
  17. bpc


    Mar 29, 2016
    Central Scotland
    @PaleAngel_90 Those knobs should fit just fine. 6mm "toothed axles" or "splined shafts" is what the RB-414 uses. Also they are HB knobs and I'm sure they use the same pots on their guitars as their basses.

    Those Warwick strings look like they don't have silks so you might be OK. The only issue will be if they reach the nut before they start to taper. They are quite inexpensive so if they are too short you aren't risking much. You'll know if they are suitable before you cut them so you could send them back and exchange for something else if they don't fit.
    MovinTarget and PaleAngel_90 like this.
  18. upload_2021-4-16_14-46-25.png

    This arrived today. A lovely fiesta red B-stock PB50. A nice first: (almost) perfectly aligned pole pieces. Cons: a jolly lot of sharp fret ends, and besides that, eh, nothing. No high frets, perfect neck, perfect finish, nice gradual tone control, tug bar present but not installed (yay Thomann). So with a bit of sanding, filing, polishing and cherishing we can welcome a new member to the club.
    Erik Asma, GusG, Maartenaerts and 4 others like this.
  19. Shlafenflarst


    Apr 13, 2020
    Great, thanks !
    Volker Kirstein likes this.
  20. I have a question does this forum have a Discord Server or something of the like?
  21. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

    Sep 25, 2021

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