Looking Into Buying a Harley Benton BZ-4000 NT

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Itai Bieber, Oct 31, 2019.


  1. Itai Bieber

    Itai Bieber

    Oct 29, 2019
    Israel
    Hi!
    I'm looking into buying a Harley Benton BZ-4000 NT.
    [​IMG]
    Most reviews are praising it for its great quality for its relatively low price. The one thing I am a bit discouraged by is that it seems that this bass has no neck inlays to mark the frets. I worry that I might find it annoying but I'm not sure as all of my guitars have those inlays. Sadly, I can't go and test the bass myself as they don't sell it in any local stores so I can only order it online (planning to order from Thomann).
    Basically, what I would like to know is the following:
    1. What do you know about this bass? Is it really as good as they say? Considering I never ordered an instrument online (save for a very cheap violin from Ali-Express), I'm not so sure what to expect. What I'm looking for, I should say, is a rather flexible bass.
    2. Does it really have no inlays or did I just miss them?
    3. If it really has no inlays - do you think one would find it inconvenient? I know that this question might be more individual, but I'd like to hear if you have had an experience of getting used to no inlays (or finding yourself unable to get used to that)
    Thanks ahead!

    P.S.
    I'm also wondering if I should get the 5 string version instead (as a first-ever 5 string bass in my possession), having 2 (rather cheap) 4 string basses already - but that's an entirely different conversation, isn't it?
     
    mikewalker likes this.
  2. Bass V

    Bass V

    Dec 11, 2008
    Honolulu, Hawaii
    whoa, that's nice, and for under (I'm guessing) $400US it looks like another HB home run.
    can't help you with any hands-on experience but I am experiencing another GAS attack lol
    I got used to my unmarked Toby fast, there's always the side markers, you should do well.
    if you think you need a fiver why not go for it, you can ignore the B unless you hook your thumb.
    with Thomann's track record it's probably a low risk venture which may be a terrific value.
    happy future new bass day!
     
    dabbler and Itai Bieber like this.
  3. Itai Bieber

    Itai Bieber

    Oct 29, 2019
    Israel
    Thanks, that’s very encouraging!
    Do you know whether or not Thomann ship their guitars with a gig bag?
     
  4. I find the creak in the neck caused by looking for inlays more of a problem.

    Not being a smart-A, I just reckon you're overthinking this. There are more important aspects than inlays :thumbsup:

    I got one of the first BZ-4000-NT,pre-ordered it when announced June 2014.

    First thing is it's quite heavy, close to 6Kg. It balances well but you should be aware of the weight since it's much heavier than your violin bass. It's a high gloss finish all over,Scotch Brite pad to the back of neck if you find it sticky. Common complaint with high gloss necks.

    The fretboard is a synthetic ebony,very hard wearing.Quite a flat radius as I recall. Hardware is decent,no tuning or intonation problems.

    3 band EQ does the job well and you have active/passive via push/pull volume pot.

    Thomann don't supply a gigbag with it,comes boxed within a box stuffed with airbags. If you'd like a gig bag then I recommend this one.

    https://www.thomann.de/gb/thomann_e_bass_gigbag_premium.htm

    As I said in my Thomann review it compared well against my Peavey Cirrus basses,an awful lot of bass for little money. Friend of mine fell in love with it soon as he played it and after 14 months of him heckering me I sold it to him.It served him well on many a gig,so did the bag I link to. It was his bag I based the recommendation on.
     
    Itai Bieber likes this.
  5. Itai Bieber

    Itai Bieber

    Oct 29, 2019
    Israel
    I get what you're saying lol and I do tend to overthink such matters. :bag:

    I did not know that it is on the heavier side of the bass scale, but I think it would be okay as my Jackson Stars Kelly guitar weighs around 6Kg as well. I don't know what do you mean by 'violin bass' though xD probably a play on the violin I mentioned that I ordered from Ali-Express. I'm also not sure I understand what you mean by "Scrotch brite pad to the back of the neck" – did you mean that I should rub the neck with a scrotch brite pad if I find it sticky because of the gloss?

    Why did you sell it eventually, then? It sounds as if you rather liked it.
     
  6. Sid the Kid

    Sid the Kid Supporting Member

    Jun 7, 2013
    Illinois
    Sounds like he preferred his Peavey Cirrus basses after all. The Cirrus bass is very nice. Selling it to a friend both cleaned up room for a new piece in his collection and helped out a buddy.

    Someone on eBay has some fretboard decals for you to consider, should the blank fretboard cause issues.
     
    kodiakblair and Itai Bieber like this.
  7. And I

    And I

    Feb 19, 2009
    Witchtown, MA
    I have a bass with no inlays. There are surely dots on the side of the fretboard, which is where you'd be looking anyway.
     
  8. @Itai Bieber
    Sorry, I took "violin from Ali Exp" to mean violin bass. Big mistake on my part :)

    Your correct regarding those green scotch brite cloths.

    Reason for sale? I had plenty neck through active basses, 4 Cirrus and a couple of others. Friend of mine loved the BZ so it made sense to sell. Took 6 months to get the cash from him :laugh:
     
    Itai Bieber likes this.
  9. Cutter8

    Cutter8 Supporting Member

    Feb 4, 2018
    Georgia
    I believe the concern about not having fingerboard inlays is very natural, but actually unwarranted in all likelihood. I felt the same way for a long time until I finally realized that I never look at the inlays on the face of the fretboard while playing, except when I’m thinking about this issue, and all all of my visual cues really come from the side dots. Now a bass without side dots would give me a real reason to be concerned!;)
     
    Itai Bieber, equill and kodiakblair like this.
  10. John Cribbin

    John Cribbin

    Jan 5, 2018
    That looks like a lot of bass for the money.

    I've used Thomann twice, once for a guitar and later for an amp. Both were in my house less than a week later. Great international shipping and well packed.

    Big thing to remember they do a no questions asked return policy, if you're not happy with what you receive. Buy with confidence I say.
     
    Itai Bieber likes this.
  11. fishdreams

    fishdreams Supporting Member

    Sep 4, 2010
    Brooklyn, NY
    Endorsing: Arkham Vacuum Tube Amplification and and Martin Keith Guitars
    I personally prefer having no inlays. The Harley Benton has the dots on the side of the fretboard, which is all you'll ever need for navigation purposes. The reason it has no inlays is likely because the fretboard is ebonol (not wood). Ebonol is regularly used as a cheap subsitute for ebony (Ibanez and Squier amongst others use it), just be aware that while it is totally fine, it (IME) feels a bit different.

    The 5string is also 34 inch/684mm scale length, which means that if you want, you can easily convert from BEADG to EADGC, making it a regular playing 4 string with an extra high C

    It looks great, and Harley Benton has a good reputation, as has Thomann. As long as you can return an instrument I'd say it's a safe bet. It might be a good platform for upgrades too (swap out the preamp for example)
     
    Itai Bieber likes this.
  12. BAG

    BAG

    May 5, 2014
    New Zealand
    I'm another one that prefers no inlays. Side dots are more than enough.

    20180505_075934.jpg
     
    Bass V likes this.
  13. I don't find front fret markers much use... How much do you look at the front of your neck? Side dots, however, I find useful. That bass will surely have side dot markers. You'll adjust in 2 minutes.
     
    Itai Bieber likes this.
  14. MCS4

    MCS4 Supporting Member

    Sep 26, 2012
    Fort Lauderdale, FL
    Around half of my instruments have fretboard inlays and around half do not (including my No. 1 bass), and I literally do not notice any difference when switching between them. I'm with the others who suggest that side dots make inlays on the fretboard itself redundant.
     
    Itai Bieber likes this.
  15. i can't say enough good things about Harley Benton. this is my recent 7 string-to-wide 6 HB conversion. the most-excellent Jeremy at Rudy's in NYC did a beautiful job and remarked "i don't see how they sell these at the price. the materials alone are close to that". all my 6s basses have sticker inlays. wide 24 or 28-fret boards are tougher in the dark for reading, up-range chordal stuff etc.
    Creative Cuts on ebay have a big assortment, and they're the thinnest on the market i've found.
    i can say without hesitation that the quality is there, and i think you'll be happy about getting that 4 string. the pups aren't vintage-fender if you're looking for that, more like good-generic hi-fi sounding entry-price but they're clear & punchy.

    HB 1 bass.jpg
     
  16. Ewo

    Ewo a/k/a Steve Cooper Supporting Member

    Apr 2, 2008
    Huntington WV
    About the fingerboard markers:

    Give it a try, with just the edge dots. Might take a week to get used to it, but you may be surprised how well you can do without the fingerboard markers.

    But in the event it still bothers you, just get a set of stickers from Jockomo. Cheap, easy to remove if you change your mind, and they feel good under your fingers.
     
    Itai Bieber likes this.
  17. tradernick

    tradernick

    Mar 19, 2008
    Wow, they really spec out well for the price. What's the final total $$ delivered to your doorstep?

    Don't give the lack of markers on the fretboard a second thought. As long as the top of the neck has dots at the usual spots you'll adapt in a week.
     
    Itai Bieber likes this.
  18. Itai Bieber

    Itai Bieber

    Oct 29, 2019
    Israel
    Ohh I see :roflmao:. And I'm glad I got that right!

    Thank you for that! I didn't know about the existence of ebonol at all actually, but I guess it makes sense. Also, I must admit that I don't think I've ever heard of adding a high C instead of a low B. So that was very informative of you. :woot:

    I'd like to thank you for the information as well :thumbsup:

    Thank you, all of you, for real! You may continue the discussion in this thread as you wish but I'm fairly sure I've made my decision - I'm gonna get this 4-string bass because it's time for me to have a good 4-string bass. I don't have an urgent need for a 5-string one, and when I do, I can get it because it doesn't really cost much anyways. :hyper:
    Thanks again!
     
    joe vegas and kodiakblair like this.
  19. Itai Bieber

    Itai Bieber

    Oct 29, 2019
    Israel
    Hi again, I do have one other question regarding delivery. If I order a cable a case and a tuner together with the bass, do I have to pay the shipping for each of these individually or are those included in the free shipping of the bass? It's pretty important because delivery to Israel costs 50 Euros :dead:
     
  20. @Itai Bieber

    It will be included with the order so no extra shipping. Before ordering I'd ask other players if they needed any small items like strings,straps,cables or spare parts.

    Add them to your order and make the most from that 50 euro shipping fee.
     
    Itai Bieber likes this.
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