Harley Benton JB-75MN NA Vintage Series

Electric Bass

  • J-Style
  • Body: American ash
  • Bolt-on neck: maple
  • Fretboard: Maple
  • Black fretboard binding
  • Roseacer skunk stripe
  • Black block inlays
  • 20 Frets
  • Nut width: 38 mm
  • Long scale: 864 mm
  • Dual-action truss rod
  • Pickups: 2x Roswell JBA Alnico-5 Vintage JB-style single coils
  • 2 Volume knobs and 1 tone knob
  • Deluxe chrome hardware
  • Classic PB-style machine heads
  • Colour: Natural High-gloss
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  • Jazz
  • Metal
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Further Information

Colour Natural
Soundboard Ash
Neck Maple
Fretboard Maple
Frets 20
Scale Longscale
Pickup System JJ
Elektronic Passive
Incl. Case No
Incl. Gigbag No

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Surprisingly good for the price!
TrEr, 26.06.2020
I already own a Harley Benton PB-20 which is the worst bass I've ever laid my hands on. Truly horrible in every way. But these cheap Harley Benton basses seem to get good reviews so I decided to give them another chance. Quality control probably isn't the best in this price range so I expect instruments can vary a lot in quality. I figured maybe I would have better luck this time. I decided to step up one level from the PB-20 "Standard series" to this slightly more expensive "Vintage series".

I'm glad I gave Harley Benton another chance because this bass is in a totally different league than my PB-20. Even when unboxing it I could tell the level of craftsmanship was much better.

The fit and finish is absolutely top notch! The neck pocket couldn't possible have been any tighter. An absolutely PERFECT fit. The finish is flawless. The body is a beautiful two piece ash with such a nice selection of wood that the seam is practically invisible on the front. It's slightly more visible on the back but still as good as I would have expected from a MIA Fender. Very beautiful wood, nice patterns.

The pickguard is perfectly cut. Very nice! I've read some complaints about poor quality pickguards on these basses, that they get easily scratched and ugly but it seems like decent quality to me. I deliberately tried scratching it with a pick and it left no marks whatsoever. Maybe they've changed to a better type? It's certainly a LOT thicker and sturdier than the poor quality, flimsy junk they used on my PB-20.

The block inlays look a bit like they are painted fakes due to some VERY slight smearing along the edges but a few of them are actually slightly recessed into the fretboard which would suggest they're real inlays? On a top quality bass there wouldn't be such a noticeable edge along the inlays but it's a VERY minor flaw and nothing that will have any practical significance whatsoever.

The binding is definitely a painted fake though but it looks nice. One strange thing I noticed is that the fretboard is a glued-on slab of wood so I don't see why they couldn't install the truss rod from the front rather than having the skunk stripe on the back? I guess it must be cheaper that way. This is not a problem whatsoever though, just an observation.

The neck profile is surprisingly slim. A very nice and comfortable C-shape. Many of the reviews say it's very chunky but it's not bad at all. It's slightly chunky compared to most Jazz Basses but compared to a typical P-bass it feels very nice and slim. I was expecting it to be a lot chunkier based on my Harley Benton PB-20 which is more like a U-shape and EXTREMELY chunky front-to-back, even for a P-bass.

The hardware is ok but not great. The tuners feel a bit cheap but far from the worst I've seen. Unlike many other cheap basses they don't feel like they will break anytime soon and that's a huge positive. They work perfectly fine and tuning stability is good. In this price range I would say they are as good as anyone can reasonably expect.

The bridge has brass saddles which is a nice touch but they don't line up perfectly because there's a slightly too wide gap between them. It looks a bit crooked, like they're slightly the wrong width for the spacing of the adjustment screw holes in the baseplate. Not a big deal but it looks a bit messy. Other than that it's just your typical vintage style Fender bridge. Nothing fancy but easy to adjust and does the job.

The setup was actually half-decent, which I didn't expect at all. No worse than with many MUCH more expensive basses. The saddle height was more or less perfect but the truss rod needed to be loosened quite a bit to get rid of severe lower fret buzz. Out of the box the neck had no relief whatsoever. I often experience this with much more expensive basses too and it's to be expected in a factory fresh bass that has traveled across half the world so it's no big deal.

The fretwork was slightly below average though. Even with a perfect setup there was still some fretbuzz around 5th-10th fret on the A-string and 6th-7th fret on the G-string when digging in. With soft playing it was ok. I often play rather aggressively so I will have to level the frets to get it perfect for my playing style. But I didn't expect any better in this price range. In fact, I had expected it to be worse.

The sound is really impressive for this price range. It sounds exactly like a Jazz Bass should and definitely sounds nicer than the slightly more expensive Squier Affinity. Not quite as nice as a top quality MIA Fender but at that point we're obviously in a completely different price range. The pickups have strong output, tight lows, nice growly mids and reasonably smooth highs. The sound is perhaps just a tiny but strident and "hard" compared to more expensive basses but the pickups in those basses will cost as much as this entire bass! Plus the sound might mellow out a bit when the bass has seen some more use. Factory fresh basses often feel a bit "stiff". And don't get me wrong, this bass does sound pretty good. Amazing for the price really! Just not QUITE as nice as a top quality EXPENSIVE Jazz Bass.

It did help a bit to get rid of those nasty, clanky sounding D'Addario strings. I personally can't stand them but some people like them so this is just my subjective opinion of course. The D'Addarios are certainly a million times better than the no-name junk strings they put on the Harley Benton PB-20 so it's not like the bass was useless with the D'Addarios, just a matter of personal taste.

I haven't opened it up to have a look at the electronics but the pots feel really nice. They have just the right amount of resistance and feel like good quality pots. A very positive surprise!

This of course also means that I haven't had the chance to check for shielding inside the bass but based on the amount of noise this bass picks up (except when running both pickups at full volume of course) I'm pretty sure there is no shielding whatsoever. It will definitely need a bit of shielding to be usable in locations with much electrical disturbance (you know, like on stage or in a recording studio...).

I've seen many complain about the weight of these basses but mine wasn't THAT heavy. I mean, it's definitely heavier than your average Jazz Bass but compared to 70s Fender ash Jazz Basses it's pretty much spot on. This is after all a "JB-75". But maybe I got lucky and got one of the lighter ones? Weight will surely vary a lot with cheap ash basses.

I don't understand the design of the headstock though. I don't mind the actual shape but why does it have to be so big? It looks like a severely oversized Sandberg headstock. The bass could definitely lose some weight right there and look nicer too.

So, to put things into perspective:

-Out of the box without a proper setup it was unplayable with severe buzz below 5th fret on all strings.

-After a quick setup it was decent enough that I could easily have used it for live performances in a pinch but not good enough for studio work due to some fret buzz and noise.

-After shielding the bass properly and leveling the frets I'm sure it will be very, VERY nice. I might change the pickups at some point but decent pickups will cost more than the bass itself so it does seem a bit overkill when the stock Roswell pickups are perfectly decent. If I didn't have any other Jazz Basses I would probably have left it stock but I've got better sounding (expensive) Jazz Basses so unless I upgrade the pickup this one probably won't see much use. And it's far too good not to be used.

To sum it up:

This is a VERY impressive instrument for the price. You know that feeling when you pick up an instrument and it just "speaks" to you? Well this one does, even with it's minor issues. If you're looking for an ultra-cheap J-bass and can accept that it may need a little bit of work to be buzz&noise-free I can HIGHLY recommend this bass. There's really no other basses even remotely close to this quality in this price range. With some minor fret leveling and shielding this will be a very, very nice bass. With a pickup upgrade too it can easily compete with pretty much anything out there.

Of course it remains to be seen how stable the neck will be over time and with varying seasons. This is often the weak point with cheap instruments. But so far so good!
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not a entry level instrument, this is top quality!
Ybra Lira, 13.12.2018
I have to say that I've been reading and watching reviews about this bass online quite a lot! and there a few things that I never found..

One of them is that it seems that no profesional bass player go and try to buy a bass so cheap as this one!, all that I find is beginners and guitarist who want to have a bass.. and that was my only fear before buying the bass.. because I've been playing bass for more than 10 years but I've been moving around the world and I haven't got that much money to buy expensive gear, so , I have to say that it is way better than I expected!!

I got the oportunity to test it against a
Fender SQ affinity Jazz Bass and
a Sire marcus miller V7

And I must say that the building quality is incredible. it is better than the Squier Affinity and almost as good the Sire. the sound is very very similar between the 3 (the Sire in pasive mode) after this comparison I went to a rehearsal and it stay tune playing for 2 hours.

well.. not all is gold and roses, there are a few things that I have to mention, but for paying 140¤ these are very minor..

the biggest one it is the weight, it is heavier than a Squier but very similar to the Sire. I have a hand luggage Scale and the Harley Benton Jb-75 weight 5.1kgs with the strap . so for some people this might be a problem but it is not to much difference between similar basses. and for the price is very acceptable.

the second things would be, there are a few minor parts that seem very cheap, as the Strap holder, the pick-guard the nut. but you won't be spending much changing these parts.

the last thing is that out of the box it came very dirty, and it needs a few adjustments.

I take it apart, clean it, put it back together and now it's beautiful, adjust the truss rod a lit bit and the saddle and now you can say it worth more than the double!

if you are a gigging musician and don't want to be always worried about transporting your gear in the proper way , or if it get lost in some venue, or get damage. get one of these! it worth it 100%
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Good Enough to Gig with Professionally
Delberthot, 17.06.2019
To begin with, I initially bought this as a back up for my Fender Geddy Lee Jazz bass.

My first thoughts were, how can they sell a natural '75 style jazz bass with D'addario strings, Canadian maple neck and, in my case, a two piece maple body with a join so good I thought that it was a 1 piece body for this price?

To put things into perspective, I use a Radial Tonebone for tone shaping and DI which cost twice as much as this bass did.

Out of the box I found that the fit & finish was excellent for a bass at this price point. I have found over the years that the main difference between a low priced bass and a high priced one is the attention to detail in the finishing process. I had a couple of frets that were protruding ever so slightly as can happen with new basses many times the price of this one but less than 5 minutes with a small file and it was sorted. The tuners hold the bass in tune and the bridge is the usual familiar style but with brass saddles which is a nice touch. The body has what I imagine will be a tough poly finish and I can find no flaws in that either.

The neck is very well made with a very smooth satin finish and I actually prefer it to the very thin neck on my Geddy. It's still slim but feels a bit more substantial front to back.

The bass balances well on a strap and is very comfortable to play for long periods (90 minute to 2 hour sets at a time)

I play in a wedding/function band entertaining anywhere from 200 to 2,000 people and made the mistake of using this at a gig shortly after buying it. The mistake being that I enjoyed playing it so much that my Fender Jazz bass is now up for sale and I will be using this bass for all future gigs.

I see ads all the time where people have bought a cheap bass and sell them on due to having upgraded to a more expensive "name brand" bass. Over the past 30 years I have owned and played over 140 basses from one that I got for nothing to some costing over £3,000. This bass is good enough to use professionally and the only change to this bass I have made is that I prefer D'addario EXL165 strings over the EXL170s fitted to this one as I like a heavier A & E string.

I get the impression that this won't be my last Harley Benton branded bass if this one is indicative of the quality.
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Best for price and not only!
KOstRN, 02.02.2020
Sorry for my English. I played at home through a mixer and sound card using VST amp plugins, but I had nothing to compare with, because I'm a guitar player and this is the first bass.
I liked the sound very much, but the full sound was revealed at the rehearsal when playing a good bass amplifier. Compared to the similar Japanese-made jazz bass of 30 years ago, Harley Benton's sound is clearer and more powerful, and the price is 2 times less.
Of the minuses, I can note (although this is nitpicking):
1) Not glued frets (can come out over time) in places a little ringing. Solved by adjusting the string height
or in extreme cases, by adjusting the anchor and grinding. Although overall for this price, the neck is excellent. Frets well trimmed do not scratch the hand.
2) There was a small but noticeable background, because no shielding of the grooves of the potentiometers and pickups. For an hour he himself glued with a self-adhesive foil. Noise has become at acceptable levels for single coils.
3) As everyone has already noticed - the weight of the guitar. However, there is solidity and a real tree)
4) The black inserts of the fret markers are made, it seems to me, of a thin polymer film deposited on the surface of the fingerboard. I hope that it will not peel off over time.
From the pros:
1) Price-performance is amazing
2) You can play right out of the box and not bother with the minuses that I described above. Everything works fine out of the box.
3) As the first bass, and maybe even the only one is a great choice! Cosmetic investments and it will be on par with much more expensive bass in terms of sound and playability.

Special thanks to the Thomann team for the packaging! Upset the strings by removing the tension before sending to the cold part of the Earth and wrapped the strings with special paper with bags of silica gel.
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Colour: Natural
Harley Benton JB-75MN NA Vintage Series
(733)
Harley Benton JB-75MN NA Vintage Series

Electric Bass J-Style, Body: American ash, Bolt-on neck: maple, Fretboard: Maple, Black fretboard binding, Roseacer skunk stripe, Black block inlays, 20 Frets, Nut width: 38 mm, Long scale: 864 mm,...

  • Colour: Natural
  • Soundboard: Ash
  • Neck: Maple
  • Fretboard: Maple
  • Frets: 20
  • Scale: Longscale
  • Pickup System: JJ
  • Elektronic: Passive
  • Incl. Case: No
  • Incl. Gigbag: No
Harley Benton JB-75 SB Vintage Series
(202)
Harley Benton JB-75 SB Vintage Series

Electric Bass Body: American ash, Bolt-on neck: Canadian maple, Fretboard: Pau Ferro, Fretboard inlays: Block, Neck profile: C, 20 Frets, Scale: 864 mm, Nut width: 38 mm, Double-Action truss rod,...

  • Colour: Sunburst
  • Soundboard: Ash
  • Neck: Maple
  • Fretboard: Blackwood
  • Frets: 20
  • Scale: Longscale
  • Pickup System: JJ
  • Elektronic: Passive
  • Incl. Case: No
  • Incl. Gigbag: No
Harley Benton JB-75MN Black Vintage Series
(166)
Harley Benton JB-75MN Black Vintage Series

Electric Bass Vintage Series, Body: American ash, Bolt-on neck made of Canadian maple, Roseacer Skunk Stripe, Neck profile: C, Fretboard: Maple, Fretboard inlays: Blocks, 20 Frets, Scale: 864 mm,...

  • Colour: Black
  • Soundboard: Ash
  • Neck: Maple
  • Fretboard: Maple
  • Frets: 20
  • Scale: Longscale
  • Pickup System: JJ
  • Elektronic: Passive
  • Incl. Case: No
  • Incl. Gigbag: No
$157 €133.62
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The price in USD is a guideline price only!

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Available immediately

This item is in stock and can be dispatched immediately.

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