Harley Benton Beatbass VS Vintage Series


Electric Bass

  • Design: Hollowbody
  • Arched body: Basswood
  • Top: Flamed maple
  • Cream-coloured binding on the body
  • Neck: Maple
  • Neck attachment: Set-in
  • Neck profile: C
  • Fretboard: Amaranth
  • Fretboard inlays: Dot
  • 22 Frets
  • Scale: 775 mm
  • Nut width: 42 mm
  • Double action truss rod
  • Pickups: 2 Humbuckers
  • Electronics: 2 Volume controls and 3 Tone controls
  • Hardware: Chrome
  • Viola bridge
  • Machine heads: Diecast
  • String gauges: .045 - .100
  • Colour: Vintage Sunburst (high-gloss)
  • Corresponding flatwound strings: Article Nr 233870 (medium scale (M) sets from D'Addario are also suitable)
Available since July 2005
Item number 177012
Sales Unit 1 piece(s)
Colour Sunburst
Soundboard Maple,Plywood
Neck Maple
Fretboard Roseacer
Frets 22
Scale Shortscale
Pickups JJ
Elektronic Passive
Incl. Case No
Incl. Bag No
Top Maple
Back and Sides Plywood
Body Basswood
Pickup System HH
Mechanics Standard
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A little piece of history

The Harley Benton Beatbass is a hollow-bodied four-string bass that gives players the look, sound, and features of a legendary instrument that has helped to shape popular music history - without breaking the bank. Like the illustrious original, the Beatbass combines a design derived from classical stringed instruments with a short scale length, two humbucking pickups, and passive electronics, thus delivering both the look and the sound that have long been synonymous with "violin basses".

All the right ingredients

The Beatbass features a hollow basswood body that lends acoustic-like overtones to the amplified sound, while its arched maple top also provides an understated elegance. The set maple neck in turn has a C-shape profile and features a 22-fret amaranth fingerboard, while the overall scale length of 775mm (30.5") is significantly shorter than that of standard basses but complements the compact body shape perfectly and, together with the nut width of 42mm (1.65"), ensures a high level of playing comfort. As mentioned above, the two pickups are governed by passive circuitry, and the Beatbass features the same control layout as the legendary original - a dedicated volume control for each pickup and three sliding switches for different tone settings - so players can enjoy the classic palette of sounds. The Beatbass is also a feast for the eyes, of course, and its distinctive shape, flamed maple top, two-tone sunburst finish, chrome hardware, and cream-coloured body binding all come together to ensure a completely authentic and appealing look.

Good things come in small packages

The Harley Benton Beatbass is primarily aimed at price-conscious musicians who want to get their hands on an instrument that combines the look, sound, and feel of a classic without having to spend a fortune - but its short scale length and compact body shape also make it a good choice for bassists who perhaps don't have the longest arms or the largest hands - and of course this bass is also sure to find favour with guitarists who occasionally perform four-string duties.

About Harley Benton

Since 1998, the Harley Benton brand has been catering for the needs of numerous guitarists and bassists. In addition to an extensive range of stringed instruments, Thomann's house brand also offers a wide choice of amplifiers, speakers, effect pedals, and other accessories. In total, the range includes over 1,500 products. Built by established names in the industry, all Harley Benton products combine quality and reliability at attractive and affordable prices. The continuous expansion of the range ensures that Harley Benton always provides new, exciting, and innovative products that keep players perfectly in tune with the musical world, day after day.

Authentic sound and authentic looks

In some situations, it doesn't matter what kind of bass gets played. And in other situations, only one bass will do the job - and that is where the Beatbass comes into its own. Players looking to capture the authentic look and sound of a particular era - be it the 50s, 60s, or 70s - will find just what they are looking for, but the Beatbass's timeless design and features mean it is eminently suited to any style that requires a warm and well-rounded bass tone. What is more, its attractive price also makes this bass a great choice for more experienced players looking for a solid and reliable backup instrument.

507 Customer ratings

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344 Reviews

The best Harley Benton and probably my best Bass
JustRachael 09.01.2022
I've bought a few HB's over the years and this was the biggest surprise. It's not perfect, I'll explain below, but what you get for the price doesn't make sense, it's that good.

It's beautiful, it looks amazing. Let's face it, you're probably buying this for the image, it's not top of the list for 95% of Bass players. The finish is great, the binding is spot on, it's what you hope it will be.

The tuners are ok (that's good in Harley Benton language). The pots aren't scratchy, the switches are good (a little confusing at first), I had no fret sprout and the strings it arrived with were ok but will get changed in a week or two.

I knew it would need a setup and it got one. What did I have to do?

The fretboard was dry, unbelievably dry. It took me a bit of time to lemon oil it three times. Once it was done, it looks good. The end of the fretboard is roughly cut and finished and will need tidying, but it looks ok. The frets were a little rough and needed a good polish but there was no sprout so that only took 30 minutes. The intonation was ok so I marked it up, allowed for a little adjustment, and removed the bridge for a body polish. The neck was flat, way too flat, so I added a little relief which also lowered the action as it came really, really high. I tightened up the tuners although I will replace them soon although I really don't need to, they're fine. Finally, I lubed the nut (not like that) as it's plastic so a little lead is a good idea.

Once done, I tuned it up and left it for a few hours to settle. Now I can't stop playing it. There's a lot of neck dive, all violin basses do this, you'll need a strap, remember this is a hollow body bass and it's unavoidable.

I've always thought Harley Bentons were underpriced, this one doesn't make sense. It's that good.

If you can do the basics I listed above, get one. It's not even worth sparing a thought, just buy one. I promise you won't be disappointed.


Anonymous 17.04.2016
I am a hobby guitarist who likes to do my own work on the guitars that I purchase, I currently own 11 electrics, 1 bass (this one), 3 acoustics and a ukulele.

This is a beautiful looking instrument and at approximately $186AUD ($142USD) is unbelievable value for money.

1. Of the 3 guitars I ordered, this appears to have the best finish, I can't find a single thing wrong with it, no blemishes whatsoever.

2. The tuners work well and seem to hold tune fine, even after sitting around the house for a few weeks now.

3. All controls and pick ups are working.

4.The tail piece is a little more ornate than the original and going by images on the net, appears somewhat shorter as well.

5.The lovely burst finish is continued on both the back and the neck, a nice touch, especially at this price point. If the good people at Thomann don't remove this, you can search You Tube for "650Thunderbird" or ". Harley Benton Beat Bass Unboxing/1st Impressions" to see for yourself.

6. Flamed maple top is very well done, the join is barely visible, unless you look very hard.

7. Being a "short scale" bass, it will be easier for a guitarist to make the transition to bass with one of these, rather than with a "standard scale" bass.

8. Even with postage costs, it is cheaper to buy from Thomann, than to buy from my own country (AU). This is one of three guitars I have purchased (all in one order) and their quality control, in my case, is second to none.


1. Being a hollow body, it suffers badly from the dreaded "neck dive" so even when seated, a strap is a must.

2. The shape does not make for comfortable lap placement.

In summary: I am completely satisfied with this bass guitar and would recommend it to anyone, anywhere in the world.



Just What I Need
Anonymous 02.03.2016
I make no claims to be a virtuoso bas player, but I need a bass for home recordings, and this one is fine for me. Just a couple of points:-

1. I would have expected to find a small piece of polystyrene under the bridge to protect the instrument in transit. I usually find I can loosen the string pressure just enough to slide the polystyrene out without completely dislodging the bridge. But instead with this bass there was a small piece of frayed cotton material which didn't slide out easily from under the bridge, but instead disintegrated into many threads, some of which stuck to the bottom of the bridge, and I had to remove the bridge completely to get rid of them all. Given my rubbish eyesight, it is difficult for me to see well enough to do the measuring to get the bridge back in the correct place.

2. I may be a simple soul, but I would have expected the volume switches on the instrument to be nearest to the thing to which they refer - in other words, volume 1 is right next to treble, and so I would have expected it to apply to treble, and volume 2 is nearest to bass, and so I would have expected it to apply to bass. But no, they are the other way round! I worked it out eventually, but have since found a review of this instrument on Youtube where the guy comments on this and says he thinks it's a mistake. If anyone from Thomann reads this review, could you please check this out? Is this a mistake, or a design feature? In any case, a bit of paper with this information on it would save the customer time in working it out, although, once you know, it's easy to remember.

Apart from these points, I like the sound of this bass, and am happy with it!


ROCKIN' ROTHBE 30.07.2020
All I can say is , "Harley Benton, you did it again". This is a great looking , well put together, good sounding bass. The finish is flawless, Everything works the way it should. And, you can get a variety of tones, from this guitar. It has decent pups, the tuners feel good, it stays in tune, the neck and bridge, and intonation came set. Frets were polished w/ no sprout or rough ends.{ I did have to detune to remove the piece of shipping cloth from under the bridge, but that was no problem. -(marked the top of the E and G strings with felt marker, where they sat on bridge , before detuning and removing cloth, Lined the marks back up , retuned, and intonation was right on.)-} I have a Fender P bass and I would rather play the Harley Benton . Its much lighter, and for me, it balances quite well. If you do any Beatles covers, or you just want to add some unique sounds to your tracks, this is a great instrument for it. The hollow body seems to produce some rich mellow tones, or you can get the standard bass punch, or highs and mids, also. I LIKE IT ! And like all The Harley Benton products I have,...Price, Price, Price ..Can't beat it. Check out these basses and guitars. What are you waiting for....


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