Harley Benton HB JA-60SB Vintage Series

292

Electric Guitar

  • Body: Basswood
  • Bolt-on neck: Canadian maple
  • Neck profile: C
  • Fretboard: Pau Ferro (Machaerium spp./Machaerium scleroxylon)
  • Block inlays
  • 21 Frets
  • Scale: 648 mm
  • Nut width: 42 mm
  • Dual action truss rod
  • Pickups: 2 Roswell AlNiCo-5 Vintage Style P90 single coils
  • 1 Volume knob and 1 tone knob
  • 3-Way pickup switch
  • Chrome-plated deluxe hardware
  • TOM-Style bridge with fixed tailpiece
  • Kluson style machine heads
  • Ex-factory string thickness: .010" - .046"
  • Colour: 3-Colour sunburst
  • Suitable case available under: Article number 122213 (not included)
Colour Sunburst
Soundboard Basswood
Fretboard Laurel
Frets 21
Scale 648 mm
Pickup System P90, P90
Tremolo No
Incl. Case No
Incl. Gigbag No
available since May 2013
Item number 304927
sales unit 1 piece(s)
Design J-Style
Top None
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$159
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j
A Mixed Bag of Pros and Cons
jarrodwhitley 04.11.2021
SOUND: The guitar's tone is amazing. Sounds just as good as the $1k+ Fender Jazzmasters.

QUALITY: Here's where I have an issue. The parts themselves are all good quality, but I'm unable to intonate the 6, 5, and 4 strings (E,A,D). Even with the bridge saddles all the way in (toward the neck) those strings are not intonated at the 12th fret. The only explanation is that the actual bridge position is to far toward the tail of the guitar. It's only a centimeter (if that) of difference, but when it comes to intonation, it makes all the difference.

SUMMARY: I understand that these guitars are at a beginner price point, but they truth is that they are better than that. My TE-52 set my expectations high after it ran circles around my Fender Tele. I'm a gigging musician so intonation matters to me.

I will continue to buy HB guitars, because I think they art an absolute steal for the price, but I want to be honest in this review about my experience.

My hope if that Harley Benton will step up their QC a tiny bit to account for these types of mistakes. Without this bridge issue, I would have literally nothing wrong to say about this guitar.
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Unbeatable Value - Has to Get 5 Stars !
Kevlar Poser 29.04.2017
Having viewed a video review of the HB JA-60SB on the Cory Mura YouTube Channel ( a really informative German reviewer who covers quite a few Harley Bentons ) I was persuaded to add this HB model to my little collection.

Turned out that his advice was spot-on and have to say that I am really impressed with this JA model - and agree with just about all the impressions shared in the video review i.e. the one that I received seemed to be just as good as the one demonstrated. Actually I think the pickguard photo-tortoise pattern suits the Sunburst colour quite well on a retro-style such as this ( though opinions seem to differ on this ). I have noticed at least a couple of other brands use a virtually identical pattern so the HB version is not unique in that.

I did have a similar offset model of a different brand some time back ( costing 250% more ) which I had to sell, but this one is at least as good if not better than that. Overall quality is much better than you would be entitled to expect
for the price and QC on this one is excellent I would say.
Tuners & hardware work well and Wilkinson pickups in just about any guitar in this price bracket are a bonus.

The Sunburst finish is flawless and lovely - back and front & neck is super smooth to the touch. Rosewood fingerboard appreciated a little touch of lemon oil as it looked a tad thirsty after voyage & storage- but apart from
a fret level check ( A1 pass ) and minor tune this guitar was good to go without any tinkering. Am more than happy with the original spec as am home player only and its fine for me. Do not plan to change anything - apart from the string guides as I have pair of roller trees which are unused and I prefer these to the butterfly type.

If you are in the market for an offset model and don't particularly want to spend 200-300 Euros on a different headstock imprint - I can certainly recommend the JA-60.
In this case less is definitely more - I can vouch for that.

OK - got right to the end and never mentioned Thomann service once ! Here it is now - " Gold Standard" - That's why customers keep coming back !
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Great JM alternative
Yargnad 31.05.2021
I have had this guitar for several years now and hadn't realized that I didn't post a review. The stock pickups definitely did not sound bad, but I had a set of Lace Alumitone P90s already, so I put those in soon after I got the guitar.

This is a very comfortable guitar to play, with a slightly fuller neck profile and tall frets. I did need to smooth out some sharp fret ends and polish the frets as well; they were all pretty level, no noticeable fret noise or buzzes. The nut was a bit tall but playable - I've since sanded a bit of height from the bottom because the slots were done well. The neck has a very nice satin finish which I didn't feel the need to sand off. These offset bodies are always my favorite for playing either standing or seated, this one is no exception and it has a solid positive fit with the neck with good weight and balance. I still enjoy playing this guitar all the time.

Not sure if this is the same with the new models, but the pickguard is just a decal of sorts on a white 3 ply guard it seems. My pinky has worn the tortoise shell graphics right off from years of resting it there as I play. It doesn't bother me but I figured I should mention it.

I was very surprised by the overall quality for such an affordable guitar. I would say this is an incredible value for the price. I've played several hundred guitars and have played far worse brand new guitars from other makers in the same price range. Very much worse.

I will add that I've also since bought a Harley Benton TE90 FLT model from Thomann and it is equally impressive and possibly more so. The pickups are pretty mush spot on for my Filtertron taste. I would basically make the same assertion about the neck and fretwork as this JA model. Playable out of the box, but needed a bit more setup work, in my opinion. They just seem to build solid budget guitars.
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Very Shure fretting Gutar Great for Beginners
Ixisis 24.02.2021
This is a great quality built guitar. It has a neck string and fret geometry that gives and encorages greater precicion in fretting. There are only a few guitars in a hundred that do this. I own 14 and two of them I made myself (mahohany, ebony Gibson Pickups 26 inch scale length) I own a Jubilee strat 1977 and it has that feel and so do the ones I made. The rest do not. So The JA-60SB is a great guitar to practice on in my opinion. If you are however a beginner expecting to rock out on Deep Purple and Pink Floyd you may wich to consider a Strat type or Telecaster type because the pickups on this guitar are darker and produce a lot of full bass tones. if you switch from strat to the JA-60 you will need to adjust patches in order to get the sounds to play more like a strat. If your style however is Jazz, Fusion Funk you will enjoy this guitar and appreciate its qualities. If you already own HBST or TE models and have looked at this wondering well I got it to keep me from the rut of having Samey guitars and never venturing to do something new. Thats why my two HB to date have been RB600CB and JA-60SB. Do Something different! Well done HB on this model even though one pickgurd screw was missing.
NOTE: Now we ended EU membership these are the rules. £135.00 is customs limit for VAT only charges. Over this amount DUTY may be applied and this is 2.5%. For the paperwork UPS charge £11.50. UPS invoice does not detail the individual charges properly. I think its unlawful. Going to complain and I had trouble with them before. Most important is tracking. You wil see Thomann tracking and a link to UPS. ude the UPS tracking. It moves very quickly to "Held up In customs" this can be a day after it leaves Thomann. If you expect them to contact you, You will be holding up your own delivery!! The payment link will be on the UPS page only and the sooner you click and pay the sooner (next day) you get the goods.
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