Technically it’s not a NBD as I got this bass a couple weeks ago. First Impressions The bass was set up decently from the factory, which is always higher than I like. Fit and finish was…decent. IMO in excess of the price point. The weight is not terrible (I haven’t done an official weight check but it is inline with most of my 5 string Fender style basses.). The balance was decent and on my 3” wide strap I didn’t notice any excessive neck dive. The neck is satin finished and has a comfortable D shape. The fret ends were nicely finished with no fret sprout or sharp edges. The ebony fretboard is nice but it was dry and the neck had proper relief. Before I did any kind of setup or adjustments I wanted to do a sound check to establish a base line. The pickups are very warm, almost too warm. It lacked definition. Even when using the 2 band EQ it lacked the midrange punch that you would expect from a P/MM configuration. The treble side of the 2 band EQ was noisy. There was a noticeable hiss when turning it up and it’s overall effect on the sound left a lot to be desired. The bass side of the EQ just further exacerbated the boominess of the pickups. The stock D’Addario strings were garbage and the low B had a warble to it. Setup I left the bass sitting in my music room to acclimate to the climate before I made any adjustments. I removed the stock strings and restrung with Ernie Ball Slinky strings (The regular Green pack.) The bridge and body have a string through option and that is how it was strung from the factory. However, the ferrule for the B string is slightly too small and it made removal of the B string difficult. The B from the EB set would not even go through the hole once it reached the winding at the ball end so I strung the B through the bridge instead. The neck required an ever so slight truss rod adjustment which was easily done at the wheel at the neck heel. I tried the bass acoustically and the warble on the B string was gone. With the new strings the pickups sounded better but still nowhere near what I wanted. I loosened the strings and removed the pickguard and electronics. The cavities were painted with shielding paint but I’ve never been a fan of it so I shielded both the P cavity and MM cavity with copper tape. The pickup foam has a spring in it but I installed a spring around each mounting screw to make pickup adjustments easier. Put it all back together, tuned it up, checked the neck relief again, and set the string height to 1.5mm. Adjusted the pickup heights to what looked good to my eye and plugged her up. The bass sounds MUCH better now. The pickups are more defined, the treble side of the preamp is now hiss free, and the tones are FAR more usable than they were before. Overall (TLDR) The Harley Benton MP-5EB seems to be a great value for the money. If you have the ability to do the work that I did on mine without shelling out money to a luthier than the value remains. The quality exceeds that of most basses that I’ve played in the sub $300 price point and if you wanted to modify it out it would be a great platform to do so. But as always this is just my opinion, YMMV.