Harley Benton PJ-4 HTR Deluxe Series


E - Bass

  • Body: Alder
  • Bolt-on maple neck
  • Neck profile: Modern "C" profile
  • Fretboard: Roseacer
  • Dot inlays
  • 20 Frets
  • Scale: 864 mm
  • Nut width: 42 mm
  • Double-action truss rod
  • PJ-style pickup configuration
  • 2 Volume controls
  • 1 Tone control
  • Hardware: Chrome
  • Classic PJ-style machine heads
  • String gauge: .045 - .105
  • Colour: Hot rod trans red (high-gloss)
Available since January 2008
Item number 139024
Sales Unit 1 piece(s)
Colour Red
Soundboard Alder
Neck Maple
Fretboard Rosewood
Frets 20
Scale Long Scale
Pickup System PJ
Elektronic Passive
Incl. Case No
Incl. Gigbag No
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An affordable hybrid

Harley Benton PJ-4 HTR Deluxe Series E-Bass

At first glance, the Harley Benton PJ-4 HTR Deluxe Series electric bass looks like a typical P-style bass. The design is spot on: An alder body with a red "Hot Rod" finish that brings out the grain of the wood perfectly. This passive bass's maple neck with its 20 frets seems quite ordinary at first, the fingerboard is what makes it special. This is made of dark baked maple called roseacer - a great substitute for rosewood, which is now protected by conservation law and for which alternatives need to be found. But the most convincing feature is the combination of pickups. The "PJ" in the name stands for the combination of the very best of both worlds - a P-style split coil with a J-style single coil. A wide range of sounds is thus available, and at an unbeatable price to boot.

Body of the electric bass Harley Benton PJ-4 HTR Deluxe Series

P-style design with an added extra

At first sight, the PJ-4 HTR resembles a P-style bass in terms of feel - but there are differences when it comes to the hardware. In addition to the typical P-style split coil, there is also a J-style single coil, and each pickup has its own volume control. This way, bassists can get the typical full-bodied, growly mid-range Rock sound from the split coil, but they can also look forward to a punchy sound with plenty of high-end twang from the single coil. Given this combination, the sound will definitely stand out in a mix. If that's not enough, the passive tone control provides a more muffled, vintage-like sound, so the tonal options are many and varied. The chrome-plated machine heads come in their own design and are much smaller than the classic P-style ones, which means that the bass is not top-heavy at all and maintains the optimum weight.

Neck transition of the electric bass Harley Benton PJ-4 HTR

A bargain for more than just beginners

The PJ-4 HTR is an interesting option for smart spenders in general, since they get an affordable bass that provides plenty of sonic options. That of course makes this bass the perfect choice for beginners who want to find their own sound and get a lot of practice in. The modern C-profile of the neck is also a helpful feature, as it fits the player's hand perfectly. However, the Harley Benton PJ-4 HTR is not only an instrument for total beginners: It also gives guitarists a budget-friendly opportunity to try their hand at playing bass, so they can also double up as the bassist during recording sessions if necessary.

Harley Benton PJ-4 HTR headstock

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.

The best of both worlds

The Harley Benton PJ-4 HTR is the ideal point of entry for beginners, but it can also serve as a backup instrument for more advanced bassists. After all, it's an all-rounder and can therefore be used in all situations - so the musical direction of your next band won't cause any problems, since most styles can be covered with this bass. Whether it's something modern or rocky with powerful mids and lots of sustain or something funky with crisp highs - you can try it all with this exceptionally-priced instrument thanks to its combination of P-style and J-style pickups.

667 Customer ratings

4.4 / 5

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440 Reviews

Potentially a fine bass - but not without some elbow grease!
joedocmusic 14.08.2013
I've been looking for a "PJ" style bass, and wanted to see how the Harley Benton PJ-4 HTR holds up in the marketplace. The other inexpensive possibility is the Squier affinity series, which cost approximately double (230 Euros Squier vs 111 for the HB model).

Knowing that production for bodies and necks is currently all taking place in the same factories in Asia, I figured the Harley B. would be a contender. It turns out that this make and model has what it takes - but only if your roll of the dice gets you a good neck...

First impression upon opening the box is that the bass is very well manufactured and assembled, although the neck had quite a "U" shape, and the action was rather high. This is no reason for concern - most instruments need adjustment out of the box - if they didn't come in a box, they were probably adjusted in the store, and that setup was most certainly added to the price tag.

I should add that this bass is rather on the heavy side - but for that makes a very solid impression across the board. The neck was also a perfect fit, and all hardware makes a solid impression.

The problems:

Out of the box, the action was too high, neck relief far too bowed, and - although the "P" pickups sound great, the "J" pickup is rather weak. (If you get a good PJ-4 HTR, just swap out that J pickup, and you will have an excellent bass.)

Additionally, the bridge was mounted at an ever-so-slight angle, whereby the low E-string side is closer to the headstock direction than the G-string side. A fairly typical problem in budget guitars.

After adjusting the truss rod (which needed a full rotation to remedy the bow in the neck), I adjusted the bridge saddles for height, and let the bass rest overnight.

On testing the bas sthe next day, the action was now well within acceptable range, but the area from the 7th to 12th frets was plagued with fret buzz. Too much to be useable - in recorded tracks the buzz was clearly audible. I attempted to further tweak the neck and bridge, but to no avail. Perhaps a fret job and further tweaking could remedy the problem, but I expect an instrument at any price to be useable without major neck/fret/fitting work. This bass has to go back.

I have to say that the overall quality of parts (aside from the bum neck) as well as the suave finish and solid feel were impressive. The tone of the P pickup is beyond reproach - certainly all the tone of a Squier/Fender model. As mentioned erlier, the J pickup is not happening.

If these Harley B. models were individually set up and quality controlled (by a guitar tech) they would have to cost at least 50 euros more per unit... no longer the insane deal compared to the Squier guitars, which are more consistent. HOWEVER - Thomann takes them back and you needn't even pay shipping. If the neck on this one had been a good one, I would keep it and be 90% happy (after replacing the J pickup 100%).

I say order one up and cross your fingers!

After working on the bridge


A neat versatile beginner instrument!
Sokie 13.01.2021
First thing first, this is my first bass. I bought it in September because I wanted to learn to play bass on a tight budget. I use it mostly to play by myself and for the occasional jam session.

In short, I agree with most of the positive reviews. This is a great instrument for a beginner. It sounds in most cases really good. The bridge pickup can have too low input. That's only something I've noticed at separate times. the PJ combo is a really easy way to get a wide range of sounds. I love how the neck feels as well!

Sadly, I don't have as much control over the sound as I'd like. The tone knob, for example, is rather dull and could be more sensitive. That goes the same for the tuning mechanism, I can't seem to tune it exactly as in tune as I want it. On the other hand, it stays in-tune rather well. Also, keep in mind: the bass can be quite heavy.

To summarize: this is a great instrument to buy when you're short on cash. Just be ready to accept the eventual one or two quirks that might need fixing.


A great bass guitar for the money
Clive Y. 05.11.2015
OK first I'll start with the bad stuff, when the bass arrived the "E" string was damaged and the guitar needed setting up properly, the bridge as the height adjustment screws on the "D" set at a slight angle. Thomann's where contacted and promptly sent me a new set of strings, not just the "E" string but the whole set! So top marks there to the crew at Thomann's. New strings fitted, truss rod and neck adjusted, intonation and action set and I now have a superb bass guitar that is every bit as good as some of the more expensive basses I've owned and played! It sounds good, there is a good variety of sounds to be had just by adjusting the volume and tone pots. I intend to use it next time I'm out with the band I play in. Would I recommend this bass? I certainly would, but you will need to be prepared to set the bass up and for the money the bass costs, its well worth the effort. You will have to spend a lot more money, probably 10 times more to get one better, a superb bass at a bargain basement price - brilliant!


emmanouel 02.03.2022
value for this amount of price ,i recommend it to begginers


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