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Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by JACink, Dec 26, 2014.
Arrived today: NBBBBD: Black Beauty Budget Bass
I received my HBZ-2005FL yesterday, here are some initial thoughts.
It took a little longer than 2 weeks to arrive to the UK from Thomann, I gather it's usually a bit quicker but there was a 'random customs inspection' or something like that. Either way, not a big deal and shipping was free. In total, it was £259 shipped. Customer service from Thomann was excellent and I will certainly be ordering from them again.
My overall impression is that, for a budget or 'beginner' instrument, it's really impressive. We are really lucky to have access to such competent instruments at such a low price point, these days.
To me, it strongly resembles a Peavey Cirrus, which is a bass that I was sad to have missed out on buying while they were still in production. The appearance of the wood is really nice, to my eye, and the weight is reasonable at 3.3kg. It seems to me as if the body and neck construction is where most of the money goes, which was a great decision in my opinion. Even my partner commented on what a nice-looking instrument it is.
The neck has a slim and flat profile, and feels a lot like an Ibanez. It's very smooth and comfortable, and has a satin finish. I have no complaints at all about the neck profile and it instantly felt very easy to play.
As expected, the hardware and electronics aren't great. The tuners, bridge, and control knobs are obviously extremely cheap and the bridge has oddly sharp corners. The bridge saddles and adjustment screws look really flimsy, and all the hardware seems to be made of poor-quality pot metal. I think if I were to modify this bass, the bridge is the first thing that I would change. That said, my only other bass for the past few years has been a G&L, which in my view have some of the best bridges around, especially in the 'Sub £1000' price point, so the contrast is really apparent.
Another gripe would be that the bass didn't come with any kind of user manual, and I can't easily find one online with a quick google search. As such, I don't actually know what the controls do. I'm 90% sure that the configuration (clockwise, starting from "9:00" position) is pickup blend, master volume, bass boost/cut, and treble boost/cut. In reality, it's easy enough to dial in a nice sound just by experimentation, but it could make life unnecessarily difficult for a young or beginner bassist.
I don't really have many comments to make about the pickups. They're obviously inexpensive but sound nice enough, even the low B is nice and clear. It's helped by the fact that the bass came with some excellent D'Addario strings. If this was a fretted bass, I'd be more than happy to leave them on, but I have some flatwound strings on order. Again, I think this is a really nice touch especially for younger players, who may not be able to spend £20+ on a set of high quality strings right after buying a new instrument.
Back to the pickups, they are a strange size and I have no idea if there is anything that would be a drop-in replacement. In all honesty, I don't know if it would be worth expending the price of the bass or more, for a new set of pickups; but I'd be interested to hear from anyone else if a decent replacement option exists.
The only other thing I have left to mention, is that the bass was more or less unplayable out of the box due to a poorly adjusted truss rod and saddle height. Correcting it took around 20 minutes and compatible allen keys were included.
Apologies for the unnecessarily long post. I'm really happy with this bass and think it represents incredibly good value for money. I don't think there are any other fretless, active 5 string basses even close to this price point, let along with neck through construction.
That looks really nice.
I'd suggest replacing the pre-amp before considering pickups. I think it is the same pre amp as the B450 without the active/passive push/pull. The B450 sounds better passive IMHO.
Just finished my PB-50 fretless conversion. It turned out great and it has a vastly different character to my other fretless bass -- nice!
I've used 0.6mm maple veneer for the fretslots, CA glue for the finish (about 20 coats) -- I didn't use any special tools: I removed the frets with pliers, cleaned the fretslots and rolled the fingerboard edges with sandpaper, used a DIY radiused sanding block made of a cork block, filed the original nut with rolled sandpaper & achieved a nice gloss finish by using fine grit sandpapers and toothpaste.
Many thanks to @Turnaround for his defretting thread as well as for his many contributions in several other threads regarding fretless bass; Also, many thanks to several other folks around TB as well, for any big or small contribution they made regarding the subject.
That looks good!
Following Richard's advice is a wise decision
@Vodyanoi . Looks great, always nice to see one the correct way round.
Hi to all,
has anyone tried to install a fender neck on HB P bass body? It's compatible?
I have a Geddy Lee neck and and would like to install it on a PB-20 that I would like to purchase
Thanks very much
I wanted one before. Now I really do. Nice post!
I never tried a Fender neck but i know that Fender pickguards fit around the neck pocket perfectly so I would assume the neck would fit?
I've put a Harley Benton neck on a Fender MIM body. Fitted fine. You may have to fill and re-drill the bolt holes on the neck but nearly all FSOs use parts that are interchangeable. I've never encountered a random neck that didn't fit a random body. Might have been an issue in the sixties and seventies but nowadays I think the vast majority of manufacturers make their parts the same size. The necks and pockets at least.
So far I've found (not with HB's) that the heel *thickness* can be more of an issue that general fit... For example the Glarry P & J necks seem to be routinely .1" thicker with *REALLY* can throw off your set up...
I have a PB-50 that, after buying it used, surprised me with a stripped truss rod nut. I dumped the neck and replaced it with a 70 euro Disado jazz bass neck off AliExpress. It promised standard Fender measurements, and luckily it fitted the PB-50 perfectly. Very nice, stable and playable neck (after levelling the frets...).
My mb5 sbk in action. Cheers!
Fender necks costing £670 come with an advisory that it may need fretwork attended to and heel shaping to fit. WD Music and Hosco necks costing £200 to £440 all need fret leveling/crowning and polish, along with heel fine tuning. AllParts neck carry the same advisory.
It's part and parcel of buying replacement necks.
Put a Chinese made jazzneck on my pb50. Fits like a glove and plays like a charm.
You could pop into a shop with calipers.
Some works on a Harley Benton HB-60.
Harley Benton, the China made house brand of Thomann Music Germany, offers you a hollow body bass for the total sum of 249 Euro's. Read some reviews and I was convinced I couldn't let it pass. Though it is nextdoor, it took some time, efforts and trouble to get the bass in my place. But then, there it was. I was delighted; a beautiful, well made hollow body bass. Great colour, bindings perfect*, tuners ok, toggle switch ok, beautiful dark fretboard. Canadian maple neck with a great feel and a working trussrod. Maple body. As said: a well made guitar!
Took of the strings and put on my favorite Elites, adjusted the action, plugged in and started playing: great sound!
But, I found out two frets were a little higher then the other 20. Severe rattle in the 10th and 16th position. Then, turning back the volume of both pickups caused a big hum only to be eliminated by touching the strings/tailpiece. With that: the tone pot acted as a volume pot.
Later, after the bass was intonated, I noticed the upper brigde part started to lean backwards.
Now what to do with these setbacks? Knowing the delivering path of my Thomann bass was a bit troublesome, I decided I should keep the bass and fix the problems myself. Worked on guitar electronics before. Would be fun to do and I was convinced that after the repairs and upgrades I would have a great bass.
1: Bridge problem: I placed two size matching nuts between the upper and lower piece of the brigde. Problem solved.
2. Fret problem: took my guitar to a buddy of mine and had him level the frets. Problem solved. Thanks Hans!
3. Hum problem. To solve this failure (could be a cold solder point or wrong wiring) I had to remove the wiring harnass. So I decided to take it all out, wire all the hot connections with shielded wire an install CTS 500K - log pots, with a blue drop .047uF tone cap (the original China tone cap is .068uF. The original pots: volume 500K lin./tone 500K log.). It was a lot of work! Problem solved. No more hum anywhere.
4. Don't like the shiny dome-knobs. These I replaced the by old style F-Jazz bass knobs. Anyway, the original domes didn't fit the CTS shafts. Had to drill the pot holes a bit wider, up to 10mm.
* the bindings on the F-holes are a bit rough. Not too bad.
- also replaced the bracket screw on the pickguard, it was too fat.
Ok, it's done: The Harley Benton HB-60 - a great bass, no hum, conveniant action, perfect intonation, great looks and a great sound.
Congratulations from another Dutch guy. Those fretboard markers are nice!
Posted this in a NBD thread. Thought I would share here, too.
Before June, I did not know these things called Bass VI’s existed. I just received this and I have an Eastwood TB64 coming soon. I love this thing!
I play 5 strings almost exclusively and a couple years ago sold my fretted 4 string to a friend for his son. Occasionally I would want for another fretted 4, so I got the blacked out Music Man copy.
Both arrived in perfect condition and the only adjustments I made were to raise the bridge on the Bass side a tad. Super happy!
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