Harley Benton PB-Shorty BK Standard Series

Short Scale Bass

  • Standard series
  • Body: Poplar
  • Bolt-on neck: Maple
  • Fretboard: Amaranth
  • Dot-inlays
  • Neck profile: Modern C
  • 19 Frets
  • Scale: 762 mm
  • Nut width: 42 mm
  • Dual action truss rod
  • Pickups: 1 PB style split coil
  • 1 Volume knob and 1 tone knob
  • Chrome hardware
  • Classic PB-Style machine heads
  • Ex-factory string thickness: .040" - .095"
  • Colour: Black high gloss
  • Suitable gig bag: Article no. 142777 (not included)
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  • Jazz
  • Rhythm And Blues
  • Rock

Further Information

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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Our most popular Short Scale Basses
747 Customer Ratings:
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4.2 /5
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Wow
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.

Setup

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.

Sound.

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.

Playability

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.

So:

SANITY WARNING. DO NOT BELIEVE EVERYTHING YOU READ ON THE WEB. DO NOT WASTE YOUR MONEY, THINK FIRST. THINK BEFORE SPENDING ON NEW KIT OR NEW STRINGS.

iF YOUR OUTPUT IS LOW START AT THE BOTTOM - loosen the pickups, lift them, set them, until they hit their sweet spot.

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.
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Great little bass
M J, 28.08.2015
For the very small price it is worth 5 stars. It was playable out of the box, but I adjusted the truss rod and bridge saddles to lower the action to suit my style, and I also adjusted the intonation. I didn't like the strings that were on the guitar (very quiet and floppy) and changed them for stainless steel flatwounds straight away. Now the little monster sounds great - just like a PB to my ears. At this price everyone should have one, if only to explore the possibilities.
Update -Jan 2016
Since my last comments I have experimented with different strings. The original strings are almost useless - no volume or thump and are best discarded. The issue then, as with most short scale basses is finding strings (in my case the only problem is the low "E") that fit properly i.e. they fit correctly between the nut and the bridge saddle without the silk windings or the fattest part of the taper being inside the "speaking length". The smallest strings made by some of the manufactures are far too long at 34". Other manufacturers give a speaking length of 32", which is still around 20mm too long for this bass. I used a spacer and washer at the ball end of the E string to get GHS Flatwound Precision Bass 3020 strings to fit. Expensive but very nice sound with a good thump, but after a while I became fed up of the 20mm sticking out of the end of the bridge. I unwound the wires from the ball, shortened the length then re-wound but I lost the winding tension and spoiled the string. It fitted but didn't sound great. Next I tried Fender Nickel 5250XL roundwound strings. Same issue of excess length with the E string - this time I carefully soldered a brass collar on the string , then cut it 20mm shorter at the ball end - success this time. They sounded very good and bright with super piano tones, especially when new. They don't feel very stiff though, which may be to some tastes. Also they are quite noisy/ clacky but that is probably my fault. These are good strings at a moderate price.
Next up - back to stainless flatwounds - Daddorio ECB81S chromes at an unbeatable price from Thomann. These strings fit without any alterations. They are pretty stiff, which I like a lot, especially when digging in a bit. I find I can get different volumes with these strings depending on how hard I play, which I didn't notice with the others. They look very well made - better than the GHS I think. The sound is really excellent - very thumpy and deep and of course there is no finger noise. The bass feels and plays really good now.
I bought some spare Harley Benton P-bass nuts from Thomann as all these string sets differ slightly in thickness and minor filing may be required to get the best fit . At the low price it takes the worry away of spoiling the nut. The original nut is quite soft and can break when disturbed.
Great Bass - even better with great strings.
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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.

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

Cons:
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.
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Now this is a great company!
Troubleman1, 16.08.2020
This is a gift for my wife who wants to learn bass. Did not know what to expect from a instrument with such a low cost.
This is a great little bass, the fret ends were smooth and nicely dressed, string height is great and intonation was pretty close with only a little adjustment.
Tuning keys are very meaty and work better than a instrument of this price point. Pick ups work great with plenty of tone, once again better than its price should be.
My wife will learn quickly with this little gem.
First ship had issues but Thomann resolved it very well. I will be purchasing a L.P. style in the near future or maybe a Tele. Thank you Thomann and my service representative Aleksejs Lisovecs for everything. Very impressive!
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$88 €75
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