OK, here´s the deal: few months ago a guitar-playing friend of mine decided to buy a bass. And being a fan of metal and low tunings, he got himself a 5er - cheapest one he could find. Last week I got a call from him. He didn´t like the bass and asked if I knew anyone who would be interested in it. "What´s wrong with it?", I asked. "The neck is too big, the sound is crap, the strings rattle, yada yada and it´s basically a big pile of crap. " "(Yeah right ) I see... how much are you going to ask for it?" "I dunno... 80 euros or so" "80 euros? When can I come and try it out?" Well, we had a date today. After a quick setup (he had set the strings so low that the thing was barely playable) and few minutes of playing my friend was 80 richer. So, without further ado, here she is: It´s a Harley Benton J-clone with passive electronics and standard woods (alder body, maple neck, rosewood FB). For those who don´t know, H.Benton is the in-house brand of Thomann, a large German music store. Basically your generic Chinese cheapos coming from the same factories as all the in-house brand cheapos. The workmanship on my bass is decent. The fretwork is actually quite good and the finish is nice. The hardware, particularily the tuners, is a bit on the flimsy side, but passable. Neck is likeable, smooth satin finish and comfortable profile. So how´s the sound? It´s relatively dark, lacking the fullness of my MIM Jazz and the mid bite of my Neuser. Not much highs, but a decent growl. The sustain is surpisingly good (the usual dead spots not withstanding). The PUps are somewhat noisy and their output is pretty weak, but it´s nothing I couldn´t live with. The B string was a pleasant surprise. It´s not the tightest or meatiest I have encountered, but it´s nicely articulated and pretty well balanced. I´ve played worse. Much worse. But don´t take my word, here´s a clip: http://koti.welho.com/mmeller/Harley1.mp3 And for good measure here´s the same lick played with the Neuser (the strings are pretty old): http://koti.welho.com/mmeller/Neuser2.mp3 Please ignore the sloppiness, it´s just a quick-and-dirty demo, recorded straight through a Mindprint preamp/A-D-converter, without any FX, EQ or compression. The bottom line: I like this bass. It may not be worth a but I´d give it a . It´s definitely worth the 80 I paid for it. I probably won´t take it to gigs due to the noise and suspectible tuners, but I didn´t buy it for gigging anyway. My main reason for acquiring this bass was to get a feel for a 5-stringer. As the subject says, it´s my first fiver. I want to see how I can cope with the broader neck and tighter string spacing. And most importantly, can I find musically meaningful uses for the B string. If this experiment goes well, I´ll be in for a major gear overhaul. So far so good: I´ve only fooled around with my new bass for few hours, but I already feel pretty comfortable with the neck. Actually the hardest thing is the tuning, I´m always turning the wrong pegs!