I own a Harley Benton club

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

  1. eric_B


    Apr 19, 2015
    The Netherlands
    I finished my first fret level and crown job today:

    first checking the neck is straight:

    taped off the fretboard and using the orange level with sandpaper (on the bottom) for the leveling:

    checking the frets are level:

    finished crowning and polishing the frets:

    I did a full setup and the 414 is playing a lot better now - the new Ernie Ball strings also sound great. The action is a lot lower than before without any fret buzz so the mission was a success. :)

    I'll leave the neck and strings settle next a couple of days while playing and then do some minor setup fine tweaking and the 414 is good to go.

    I will probably take off the neck next time. Then you won't risk damaging the body, you can get the neck completely level (with 2 rests) and it makes crowning the lowest frets a lot easier.
  2. Since the RB 414 has a set neck I can't wait to see those photos :roflmao:
  3. eric_B


    Apr 19, 2015
    The Netherlands

    Yeah, rereading it that didn't make much sense, right?
    But you know what I mean, I'll do it when it is possible.
    Joybass, blablas and MovinTarget like this.
  4. fourstringbliss

    fourstringbliss Supporting Member

    Oct 5, 2003
    Puyallup, WA
    How's the fit, finish and playbility of the HB MB-4? I've been thinking of the black one. I know it's only $200 shipped, but that's still $200 I could invest into a more expensive bass.

    I have one of their enhanced MM/P basses, and that's become one of my main players since I modded the electronics. If I got one of the MB-4's I'd be modding them as well.

    MovinTarget likes this.
  5. MovinTarget

    MovinTarget Supporting Member

    Jan 30, 2018
    Maryland, USA
    From what I've heard about the weight of the MM/P or MM/J builds I would probably look to take an MB-4 and mod it into one of those so it's lighter and I'd be picking the pups/hardware anyway... Might lose a couple of top end frets but, meh.
  6. fourstringbliss

    fourstringbliss Supporting Member

    Oct 5, 2003
    Puyallup, WA
    I already own one of the MM/P's and it's a little heavy. I don't really notice when I'm playing, but I think I got lucky weight wise. I'm thinking about adding another MM pup on the MB-4 of I got one.
    MovinTarget likes this.
  7. neutron619


    Jul 12, 2019
    United Kingdom
    Hello Chaps,

    I'd like to request a number for the club - if you're still handing them out and a "Penguin Bass" created from a Harley Benton P-Bass kit passes the threshold for membership. See below:




    I'd also like to ask whether anyone might happen to know what the stock pickups in an HB P-Bass (kit) might be? I've read that they might be made by Roswell but couldn't find anything definitive in this thread or elsewhere.

    Obviously I'm asking that because I'm thinking about replacing them, but I don't really want to replace like-for-like by mistake. I've never bought replacement pickups before so don't really know how to choose them. I was wondering about getting something like this not-too-expensive set - Tonerider Precision Plus Neck/Bridge Precision Bass Pickups - but I don't know whether it'll make much difference, or what I'm really looking for tone-wise. I bought the kit because I wanted to get a 4-string to learn to slap and it was a good project to do with my boy.

    Anyway. I think it has OK tone for slap, but as I said, I'm a beginner. I've had nickel and steel rounds on it so far. I think you'd call it "crunchy" with both of those. I also had some Roto 77s on it briefly. Oddly, I liked them - they were more thumpy, which wasn't what I expected as they've been "glassy" on other basses. But they were an old set and the G-string was dead and wouldn't intonate properly so they came off again.

    Handful of sound files attached - please excuse the incompetent slapping. Current setup is all stock, except for the strings, which are D'Addario Pro Steels 40-95. The ones with the tone rolled off seem to have come out quieter as well as muddier - not sure why. Still, I wonder whether I ought to switch the pots / capacitor first, before I go down the pickup route. Or at least, not turn the tone knob down all the way!

    Probably what's really missing is my technique!

    Any comments to tell me what kind of tone I have now and what I might do with it, will be welcome. I can do some more files if someone wants to hear it with the tone halfway down.



    Attached Files:

    Maartenaerts, MovinTarget and Gothic like this.
  8. Sorry ; I lost the envelope with the numbers and names jotted on.

    We seem to have survived well enough without numbers :thumbsup:

    Regarding the pickups.

    If 20% overwound is a hair's breadth , I'd hate to be Mr Tonerider's barber :laugh:

    The £23 Wilkinsons are closer to vintage , the Tonerider will be louder with a slight loss in the mids.
    Maartenaerts and MovinTarget like this.
  9. dabbler


    Aug 17, 2007
    Bowie, MD
    I don't play mine as much as I do my enhanced HBs, but I will say this, none of my HBs have disappointed me!

    IMGP2619a (1).JPG IMGP2620a.JPG
    MovinTarget likes this.
  10. fourstringbliss

    fourstringbliss Supporting Member

    Oct 5, 2003
    Puyallup, WA
    Cool. I'm thinking about getting the black 4-string and adding another MM about an inch north of the original one. The controls would be volume, rotary switch and tone. The rotary switch would give these options:

    MovinTarget likes this.
  11. MovinTarget likes this.
  12. fourstringbliss

    fourstringbliss Supporting Member

    Oct 5, 2003
    Puyallup, WA
    Guitarelectronics.com is where I found them. Great site full of wiring diagrams and electronics parts. Pretty smart business model to be a repository of easy to read and follow wiring diagrams, and then to list links to the needed parts and where to buy them on your site.
    MovinTarget likes this.
  13. fourstringbliss

    fourstringbliss Supporting Member

    Oct 5, 2003
    Puyallup, WA
    I'd like to have a diagram like this where the humbuckers were in parallel instead of series, but that might just have to be okay. I could go with series/outer single/parallel but I want to be able to have inner singles as well. That, and I'd rather not drill through the control cover, but that would give me that option.
    MovinTarget likes this.
  14. neutron619


    Jul 12, 2019
    United Kingdom
    Thanks for coming back to me on this - much appreciated.

    Since I first posted, I've done a lot more reading. I've also measured the various components of the electronics.

    I've currently got:
    • 47nF capacitor
    • both pots are 250k (and I think both are log pots - they read about 220k at 50% but I haven't un-soldered them)
    • pickup is giving 7.8kOhms resistance when disconnected from the circuit.
    Where I think I want to get to:
    • Generally, tone that's a less muddy when the tone pot is all the way down. If possible, smoothed off but clear, rather than "splodge".
    • For slap, tone that seems less "hollow". The popping, particularly, seems pretty horrible but I suspect bad technique.
    Other thoughts:
    • The recordings I posted above are direct input - the bass does admittedly sound a lot better through the sound system at the church I play at semi-regularly. My practice amp is pretty dull so harder to make a judgement at home.
    • I wonder if the steel strings I put on recently are actually making the "hollow" tone worse.
    • I understand from other TB threads that that pickup resistance of 7.8kOhms is pretty low and should be about 10.5-11kOhms for a traditional P-bass circuit?
    • I can't tell by looking whether the current magnets are ceramic or alnico.
    Does asking more specific questions help to give more specific answers?

    With thanks in advance for any further comments / suggestions.
    MovinTarget likes this.
  15. subdude67


    Jan 18, 2010
    Last edited: Oct 5, 2021
    MovinTarget and kodiakblair like this.
  16. IMO P-basses in general have a "hollow" sound when slapping. They lack of the crispyness of a bridge PU. I notice this in my PJ. To slap I have to use both the PUs to have a slap sound I like. Also I notice this in every P-bass youtube review video where the player slaps. No matter what P-bass he/she has, it always sounds dull even with high-end instruments...
    MovinTarget likes this.
  17. I understood better how all this works by reading the documentation of the Shaller Megaswitch M.

    To simplify things take 2 single coil PUs.
    - You wire them in series when you link (solder) together the + (hot) wire of one to the - (ground) of the other.
    - You wire them in parallel when you link together the 2 + with each other and the 2 - with each other.
    So in both cases you end up with 2 wires that correspond to a + and a - that goes to the output jack just like if it were a single PU.

    With a switch you can play with combinations by routing the paths of the + and - signals.

    With humbuckers you can have 4 wires because they basically are like 2 single coils stuck together. Normally the coil start correspond to the + and the finish to the - but not always (depends on the polarity)

    Anyone please corrects me if I'm wrong.

    If they have a "rectangular" bar underneath the pole pieces that is the magnet and they are ceramic, otherwise the magnet ARE the pole pieces and then they usually are alnico.
    MovinTarget and instrumentalist like this.
  18. Do you feel that the type of strings makes any difference?
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  19. neutron619


    Jul 12, 2019
    United Kingdom
    At that price - I just ordered one. I also got some 500k pots to play around with and a new pickup selector for a broken Epiphone 6-string I have in the cupboard (because unlike some places, they weren't asking ££££ for it) - can't hurt to experiment. Thanks for the link - much appreciated. I guess if it doesn't work out, I can try the Wilkinson ones, but the feeling I got from all the stuff I've digested in the last 24 hours was slightly more positive about the Warman than the Wilkinson.
  20. neutron619


    Jul 12, 2019
    United Kingdom
    Now you see, this is why I love TB. Someone comes along every time with that nugget of information that just changes the whole way you look at something. If it's just me, I default to "I must just be crap at playing the thing" but as soon as someone else says "hey, I think that too" it changes the perspective entirely.

    In short, I'm glad it's not just me. :) Thanks.
    MovinTarget and instrumentalist like this.
  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.

    Oct 17, 2021

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