Harley Benton Bass Guitars - Any good?

There are two basses that I looked at when I was in the market for one that I thought were good and easy to play:

And

But I also thought about

On the basis that it was dirt cheap but got decent reviews and they sold a lot of them.

1 Like

John this is the advice I was referring to and made an immediate difference to fretting.
Thx KM ! :sunglasses:

2 Likes

I tried out a few entry level basses at my local guitar shop on Saturday. I also did some online shopping. On one hand I’m thinking a Squier Bronco short bass + Fender Rumble 15 amp would get me going and last a while. I can get the amp from the Fender website on special @ £105 atm, £10 off and pay in 3 x £35 instalments if I want! I find the Squier £30 off, making it £149, in a store near my son. So, £254 total for the products I tried in store so I know what I’ll be getting.
I have pondered over the Ibanez TMB mentioned by @DarrellW. I’ve listened to reviews of JP basses, which the Ibanez is and I very much like the variety of tones available with this PU config. I’ve found them on Reverb for just over £200, so my outlay would increase to a total a few quid over £300. As a total novice bassist would I use the extra capability?

2 Likes

A Blackstar Fly Bass amp would be decent for around £70 for what you want it for; frees up a bit more for the Bass!

2 Likes

Agree with the Blackstar Fly, although you won’t get the same bass thump from the Blackstar as you would from a Fender Rumble.

If I was in the UK I would offer to sell my Blackstar Fly bass amp, as I really don’t need it any more. Unfortunately, it’s a bit tricky from where I am.

Cheers,

Keith

1 Like

I honestly don’t know.

There’s an argument that, as a novice bass player, you haven’t yet developed a preference for the sort of tone you want, and so having something more versatile gives the ability to try out a range of options. It gives you the opportunity, for instance, to understand the difference between P and J pickups.

On the other hand, there is the danger of option paralysis and confusion.

I think it’s a personality thing as to whether to embrace lots of options or whether you find them a burden.

Ultimately, even with lots of options, I suspect you will settle into using one or two configurations you like with your amp while you focus on learning.

Cheers,

Keith

Right, here’s a less expensive but just as good option, same pickup configuration but different body.

Do I think you would use it? Of course you would; if you have that degree of flexibility it can fit in with the genre of music that you like most without leaving you wanting a different bass. I think that when you’re learning having flexibility helps a lot; originally I went down the route of “getting something I thought would be ok” and ending up with loosing money hand over fist! I am more selective nowadays and it’s definitely well worth being more careful what you buy.

1 Like

@DarrellW Thanks for the pointer to the Ibanez GSRM20B-WNF. I’d researched all the short scale basses on their site and it didn’t come up. I even asked Thomman what ones they had and they didn’t mention it.
Prior to mention of the HB’s in this thread I’d stopped looking on the Thomman site because of the unknown taxes/duties/commissions, that had to be factored in. I’ll check with them If the U.K. prices quoted already include this.

Andertons will have them next week, if you got the Amp and Bass of them you should get free P&P, I think you could also spread the cost.

1 Like

I noticed that the GSRM20B is a shorter, short scale bass. If we’re saying 762mm(30") is a short scale. This circled me back to the TMB30-BK, priced at £193 at Thomann, who have resolved the issue of U.K. customers having to work out the added import costs themselves and now list items with the price you pay. HUGE thanks to them for doing this. I know some EU companies aren’t bothering. Perhaps Thomann’s customer base in the U.K. is too big not to make the effort, or perhaps they’re smarter then those in the U.K. who set the rules. I digress, I’ve found a shop in Northwood, London. Stompbox, who have the TMB30-BK at £199 and I’ll be able to try before I buy.

2 Likes

After dropping my car off for a service this morning I walked past a pawn shop, on my way into St Albans. In the window was a Drive CD300B amp and I’m wondering if it’s worth a look. Can’t find any reviews on it online. Only that it’s 30W with a 10" speaker. Shop was closed at the time.


Check that it works and offer them £25, then start haggling. From what I just found on google its functional but that’s about it. No great tone but it should have a 3 band EQ. So could be ok to get you going. Regards power it should have a headphone socket, so for a cheap practice amp it could be a starting point. Probably not helpful but who knows.

:sunglasses:

3 Likes

I would need them to demonstrate that it works, preferably with a Bass, if not with the lower strings of an electric guitar detuned to C tuning. It’s probably going to give you an idea.
When you go to look at the Bass get them to show it to you using one or more of the amps suggested to you; that’s the best idea really, I can’t find anything positive on the pawn shop amp!

2 Likes

Finally bought an Ibanez TMB 30 Short Scale Bass. Best price I eventually found was via this link; Ibanez Tmb30 Talman Bass Gtr Black | Musicroom.com. Delivered Wednesday afternoon. Using it with with a Blackstar Fly amp that @Majik kindly offered to me for practice. It’s just the job. Nice and compact and I can concentrate on trying to pick up some basics. Got to say it’s b****y different! Going to take some time to get used to it. Picking up on something @TheMadman_tobyjenner mentioned I’ve got a Stu Hamm Truefire course to help me get started. Taking it slowly. Of course it’s added a layer of complexity to my song listening. I’ve started to listen to stuff focusing on the bass part. Something I’ve never done actively before, although passively some things were noticed.

2 Likes

That must make it a Happy NBD John !! Congrats.

I would agree with you about the difference, certainly the gap between strings and fret size takes some getting used to. Taking it slow is the name of the game but I’ve not played anything much this month with the family here. So next week, ease into normal playing and then a couple of days bass basics added to the schedule.

On the Stu Hamm front, I bought Bass Basics, Learn Bass 1 & 2, Essential Blues Bass and Walking Bass, having checked them out first on the Truefire site. Should be enough to get me going.

Have fun and enjoy.

:sunglasses:

1 Like

Damnit! I fancy getting another bass now!

Cheers,

Keith

2 Likes

Hi John,
Happy NBGD… :partying_face: :sunglasses:,
Wish you a lot of fun and music making with…and listening extra to the bass notes will also help you pick out guitar chords and more :ok_hand: :sunglasses:
Greetings,Rogier

1 Like

I’m interested in those as well.

1 Like