Harley Benton PB-Shorty BK Standard Series


Shortscale Electric Bass

  • Standard series
  • Body: Poplar
  • Bolt-on neck: Maple
  • Fretboard: Amaranth
  • Fretboard inlays: Dots
  • Neck profile: Modern C
  • 19 Frets
  • Scale: 762 mm
  • Nut width: 42 mm
  • Double-Action truss rod
  • Pickup: 1 PB-Style split coil
  • 1 Volume control and 1 tone control
  • Chrome hardware
  • Classic PB-style machine heads
  • Ex-factory stringing: .040 - .095
  • Colour: Black high gloss
  • Suitable gigbag: Article no. 142777 (not included)
  • Suitable strings: Article no. 205074 and 238524 (not included)
Available since December 2004
Item number 172084
Sales Unit 1 piece(s)
Colour Black
Body Poplar
Neck Maple
Fretboard Amaranth
Frets 19
Pickup System P
Elektronic Passive
Incl. Case No
Incl. Gigbag No
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Shrunken classic

For a few years now, short-scale basses have been all the rage once again, and of course Harley Benton has not let this trend go unnoticed. The PB-Shorty is a four-string P-style bass with a shorter scale and the look and sound of a classic. With its split-coil pickup and passive electronics, it follows the model from the 60s and is similarly at home in almost every playing style. For children and young people in particular, a short-scale bass makes it easier to get to grips with the instrument and embark on a rockstar career. With all of its features, the PB-Shorty offers an extremely well-priced overall package, as one has come to know and almost expect from Harley Benton.

All the features a bass needs

A poplar body, a maple neck, and an amaranth fingerboard are the basis of the Harley Benton PB-Shorty. The scale is 762 mm long and is about 10 cm shorter than the 864 mm of a "full-size" instrument. The nut width of 42 mm and the C-profile of the neck provide a familiar playing feel and a comfortable grip for the fretting hand. The split-coil pickup and the passive electronics with a volume and a tone control have defined the typical P-bass sound for over 60 years, and the PB-Shorty is no exception. But the sound is not the only thing that matters – a pleasing appearance is also important. The PB-20's design, finish, vintage-style machine heads, and pickguard create a suitably authentic look. The black lacquer finish is also absolutely timeless and fits every style.

For players of all sizes

It goes without saying that smaller basses also fit smaller hands, and the Harley Benton PB-Shorty is thus perfectly suited for children, teenagers, and all those who find it difficult to play "normal" electric basses because of their size. Even guitarists who occasionally pick up a bass will certainly find it much easier to switch between instruments with a short scale, as the scale of the Harley Benton PB-Shorty is very close to that of a guitar. Of course, a small bass also takes up less space, which comes in handy if you often travel with your instrument on public transport such as buses and trains. Here too, the Harley Benton PB-Shorty can make life easier.

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.

Small bass - big sound

With short-scale basses, it is not only practical aspects such as size that make a difference. They also have a very special sound that is indispensable to music history - consider Paul McCartney, for instance. The shorter the scale compared to the same string gauge, the bassier the sound - some definition and sustain is also lost, however. These traits are ideal for styles like Blues, Rock, 60s Soul, and almost anything that can be labelled “vintage”. Here, a transparent and defined bass sound tends to push itself too much into the spotlight and doesn't really want to be integrated into the mix. In these cases, short-scale basses like the PB-Shorty offer a great alternative, especially in combination with flatwound strings.

1013 Customer ratings

4.3 / 5

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637 Reviews

A Short Bass tale
Nat B. 17.11.2020
Only being an amatuer bassist I wanted a cheap short scale instrument to add to my arsenal.
I am not disapointed, great finish, great sound and great value.
I have already upgraded the strings to the GHS Stainless flatwounds, polished the frets, cleaned and oiled the fretboard, set the intonation to a higher standard than when it came out of the box, made a custom Ash wood pickguard and created a bone nut. I have just orderd some more parts for further upgrades as follows: Gotoh GB10 4L N Bass Tuners - Göldo HW50C 3-D Bass Bridge, both items have been ordered from Thomann. Now you know that I have further improvement plans for this instrument let me tell you why I spent the extra on these parts. When I first recieved this instrument the frets needed zero attention, I polished them because I changed the strings and I could. The pickguard was made purely for aesethetics and to add my own customization. The bone nut in my opinion was a "needed" upgrade because the nut that came fitted was some cheap soft plastic and probably reduced the sustain.
The strings HAD to be replaced because a: I prefer flatwound for the sound and my amateur fingers take less abuse, b: The original strings were terrible! The intonation wasn't actually that bad, I suspect that storage time and temperature change had an effect on the original setup. Which leads me to why I oiled the fretboard, storage time had dried it up somewhat and so a little fretboard oil was needed. Now I have spent some time playing and enjoying a great value for money instrument I feel it's time to add some further upgrades to enjoy it even more. Two of the machine heads (tuners) can be turned by nearly half a revoloution before they actually tighten or loosen the strings, on closer inspection I can see that the shaft of the keys are loose in the mechanism, now I could perhaps bend the whole tuner (machine head) plate to tighten on the shaft and stop the loose action of the tuning key but I'd rather replace them with some top quality tuners and enjoy reliable tuning action. The bridge replacement is mainly because I want a higher mass bridge to hopefully achieve more sustain and to be honest I want a more contemporary look, it isn't in my opinion a necessary upgrade but one I want to achieve a more unique Harley Benton Shorty custom.
I ain't no expert, I can setup a guitar and a bass and I can be honest, if you want my opinion this instrument is a NO BRAINER if you are looking for a short scale bass and for what ever your reasons don't want to spend an arm and a leg you, cannot go wrog with this instrument. Out of the box it will serve anyone and if you want it to serve you better or more it is easily upgradeable and easily worth spending a few quid at the local luthier to get it to perform at a satisfying level.
Next upgrade for me will be either a Tone Rider Pick up or a Wilkinson pick up, both Alnico V but to be honest the ceramic pick up that comes fitted is actually surprisingly good, nice warm sound with the GHS flatwounds I have fitted that punch if you dig in, again it's me being a tart and wanting to customise rather than a necessary upgrade. I hope that if you go for one of these you enjoy the same or similar experience as me!
A good one!


Fantastic value for the money
knuto 30.11.2019
Unboxing Harley Benton PB Shorty was really a nice surprise. I have to say that I did not expect too much for the price I paid for this one. My feedback is based on the quality of this bass considering the very low price. After a few months of playing it I am very sure that this bass is the best bass in the market for the price. This one also beats all of the basses I have tried in local music stores that cost up to 10 times as much as this one.

My first impression was the looks of it as I unboxed it. It looked just fantastic and the finish was perfect. This bass is very light and is really easy to handle. Setup, intonation, playablility and feel was great right out of the box so I just had to tune it.
After playing for a short while I noticed that the fret ends kind of cut the skin on my left thumb. This was no big deal. It took no more than 5 minutes to file the sharp fret ends and after that it has been a dream to play. I give 4 quality stars because of the sharp fret ends.
I also have to add that the neck has got a kind of satin feel to it, something I prefer over a gloss neck since they tend to feel kind of sticky. This is my first short scale bass and as a guitar player I find this a lot easier to play than basses with longer scale.

After plugging the bass in I was sure that this was a good deal. It is quite easy to find the different tones with this one. I use this bass in the studio and have played it clean and with lots of different effects. It sounds a bit thin and weak played clean, and that is the only reason it get 4 stars for the sound. The machine heads is doing a good job and this bass stays in tune. I also want to add that this bass is usually perfectly in tune even if I have not played it for a few days.

Fantastic value for money
Perfect finish
Stays in tune
Great playability
Good sound
All in all a great product

Sharp fret ends on the "thumb side" of the neck.
A better patent for picup height adjustment. I would prefer a better solution than the kind of foam block under the pickups. It hardens and then it becomes an issue to adjust the height.

To wrap up my opinions on the Harley Benton PB shorty I have to say that you really can't go wrong with this one. I will say that this bass is perfect for the beginner (even if you have to pay someone for a setup), but I will also recommend this for more experienced players. This is really a great instrument.


Anonymous 22.07.2016
Having read the reviews I was expecting the possibility of problems / issues. So it was with some trepidation that I opened the box. I can say I was utterly, utterly surprised. So lets start with the aesthetics.

Fit and finish:
It's flawless. I really have tried to find something negative to report but there isn't anything at all. The neck is beautiful, quality, one piece construction with a deep rosewood fretboard. Frets are superbly finished, there isn't one sharp edge, anywhere.

The body:
Poplar? Feels nice, not heavy, solid and resonant. The paintwork - it's a joy, it's perfect. It has a 3 layer laminated scratchplate. The finish and feel of the volume and tone is excellent. The bridge and machine heads - all perfectly aligned, good quality, feel solid.

I expected to need to do 'something', I have never had a guitar that was good to go out of the box. I even thought I would be tied up for hours fiddling and changing settings. Not a bit of it! The neck is set perfectly, the string height is spot on, the intonation if dead on. All I had to was tune it.

I am using a Pocket Pod. To say I am happy with the pickups is an understatement. With my Line 6, anything can sound like anything and there were and are no issues with pickups, volume or tone.

Well, it's exercising my short stubby fingers which is a bonus but, I can reach and play what I want which is always difficulty for me with a guitar with a long neck. Short scale does not mean short on sound or depth. And the feel and finish of the neck is just a dream. I spent the night tuned for Jason Newstead Cunning Stunts solo with a big, silly, grin on my face.

Sometimes cut price means dubious quality. I honestly have no idea how something so so good can be for sale for so so little. Bonkers, and I got a long guitar lead thrown in. How can that not be the bargain of the century. For the price of a labelled gig bag I got a beautiful bass guitar and I have nothing but praise for Thomann and their own brand kit. - Wow.

Timely update:
You know how it is as time passes and the new toy gloss wears off. Yep, it happened. I have to admit with some music (if you can call what I do music) when using my Pod, I am struggling a bit to get anything like a decent output from the bass for certain genres of music.

I really just couldn't get it up there and the reviews I was reading said - CHANGE THE STRINGS. The advice was that the ones that are fitted set are poor quality, they have low output. I was being told to spend some money, spend more money, change the strings.

But, I am from Yorkshire, we as a breed have very short arms and VERY deep pockets. So, I decided to have a look instead of ringing Thomann. Hmm. The pickup output was spot on at 8.56 so there had to be another reason. Logic kept saying, I shouldn't believe it could be the strings that's bonkers.

Come on, think about it, they are just steel wire vibrating in a magnetic field. So. It if was 'just the strings' playing them harder would have some effect wouldn't it? But it didn't, well, not enough to notice. I needed a longer ponder and then I pulled the pickups. It was an 'argh' moment. The foam rubber P. Bass pickup support blocks had compressed, they were clearly setting the pickups way too low. Well, way too low (for me). So, I re-set the screws, gave the covers a pull and bingo - ROARING. No, before you state something like buzz, crack and sustain, they are not too close to the strings, in fact they are perfect, just like my Les Paul. I'm ripping it.


Dear Mr Thomann. Please, do you sell additional / replacement foam blocks or do I have to nip down to my local hardware store for some draft strip. Thanks.


Amazing Quality.
Getmeaguinness 28.03.2022
I play in a ukulele band and have been using a Ubass. I decided it was time to go the whole hog and switch to a 'proper' bass.
I tried unsuccessfully to play a full size instrument but being used to the Ubass's short scale it was too much of a jump for me. A friend suggested a short scale bass, so not wanting to waste money I googled cheapest bass guitar.
It arrived a week ago. I have to say the quality of the instrument is amazing, apart from tuning it played straight out of the box.
I've made a couple of changes, I fitted a bone nut and changed the strings to flatwound (my poor amateur fingers suffered with the roundwounds) A slight tweek of the truss rod to lower the action and I also adjusted the intonation.
I'm gigging with it on Friday and believe it or not I'm looking forward to showing off my £75 bass!