Harley Benton JB-20 BM Standard Series

201 Customer ratings

4.6 / 5

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132 Reviews

Harley Benton JB-20 BM Standard Series
$109
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In stock within 8-10 weeks
In stock within 8-10 weeks

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A solid purchase
casual musician 24.02.2021
Okay, editing this review after 2 months of usage.

At this price, you shouldn't have to expect anything but the sounds and playability absolutely hit above its weight.
I've owned a Mexican and Japanese J Bass, and a US P Bass previously.

PROS:
At this price, this is an absolute steal. I can imagine basses 2-3 times more expensive than this one failing to match the level here.
Everything from the neck straightness & relief was on the spot, strings began playing better after 20-30 minutes with my finger grease on them - plays great after 2 months in. Everything's pretty solid enough.

CONS:
1 It does need a setup. Or at least someone to adjust saddle height. If you're a beginner, it might be nice to have someone who can do that for you.
2 I thought the tuners are flimsy, but they do hold up. I do find myself tuning more often than on better basses.
3 Lemon oil is necessary. The fretboard was dry as dead wood. After some lemon oil and some time later, it feels great now.
4 BIGGEST FLAW. Fret endings hurt, and will cut your skin if you keep making slides (no blood, but made my hand look like beaten leather after a track of recording). But the bass is cheap enough to risk some DIY - I got some sanding paper and sanded the edges away, and now it feels fabulous.

Tips: If this is your first bass, you'll need someone to help you out. If you know your way around a bass, get some lemon oil, sanding paper, prolly a new set of strings. Once that's done, you're going to love this bass.
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Probably what you're looking for
snailgazer 21.04.2021
First off, if you're considering this bass, you are on a budget, so don't expect a legendary instrument. With that said, will you get bang for your buck with the JB-20? The short answer is yes.

As a mostly guitar playing amateur, I wanted a bass for home recording, and was curious to see what the HB hype is all about. First impressions are great: It really is well built, and quite a looker, too. Factory setup doesn't feel half bad, with low action but no buzz, and decent intonation. There were no issues with the fret work. Right out of the box, this is probably the most comfortable bass I have ever played.

There were some small problems, too. Notably, the D string's tuning peg is a little loose. Also, the knobs aren't perfectly straight, but do their job adjusting tone and output level. I get the feeling that buyers can get lucky and receive an axe that's just percect, but take into account that there may be small faults.

Overall, I'm satisfied. Above all, the instrument feels great to play, better than more expensive basses I've laid my hands on. If I should ever need to get a higher end bass, I will probably just upgrade the pickups and make other adjustments to the pb-20. I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship.
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Best budget Jazz Bass
TheDan 12.05.2022
Even after spending a fair bit of time playing high-end jazz basses, I was more than satisfied with this instrument and I would recommend it to anyone, beginner or not.
I loved it so much I ended up purchasing two more to give to my students.

There were always minor issues, but nothing I couldn't deal with with proper setup. It's cheap material, of course. A bit of fret polishing, adjusting the machine heads and the bridge and I was good to go.

(Not to mention the colour OH MY GOODNESS it looks so sweet)
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D
Great starter & recording bass for the price.
DanDaMan1992 29.10.2022
I'm a guitar player, but I needed to buy a bass to record with as I don't think you get the same effect pitch shifting a guitar down. I wasn't going to spend a shedload of money on a bass guitar that I'm only going to use for recording bass parts so I decided to take a punt on the cheapest bass you can buy and was I pleasantly surprised with what I got!

When it arrived I was expecting that it was going to need a bit of work and a setup for the price paid, but to be fair when I took it out of the box there was very little I needed to do to it. The nut was cut nice and the strings sat snug in it & there was no sharp frets anywhere on the fretboard. The bridge and saddles were fine, and the tone control and volume knobs were perfect. The blue metallic finish is very nice & really makes the bass look a lot more expensive than it is. The action was a little too high for my tastes so I adjusted that to get it to how I like.

The last thing to do was to play it, so I plugged it in and gave it a bash & I was blown away with how nice it played. The neck is nice and smooth for fast playability & the pickups are great for what they are, tone wise it's perfect for what I need it for. The tone controls offer a wide variety of sounds that you can play with.

So in conclusion, if you're just starting out with bass or you're a guitar player first and foremost like me & need a bass guitar for recording, I would definitely recommend picking up one of these as they're well worth the money.
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TD
Honest Comparison
The Don 23.01.2020
Most of my years playing the bass guitar, my axe of choice was Ibanez. I remember back in 1980 I received an Ibanez bass that was absolutely gorgeous with beautiful wood grain, and having that Alembic feature w/active circuitry. So Ibanez over the years have been my choice up until recently where I decided I wanted to try something different. In 2017 I bought a Fender Squier Jazz Bass, I was looking for something not to expensive but would give me that fat punchy sound I was looking for. I have bought a couple of Squier jazz basses and until recently I thought Squier was the best bargain for your money, then I started reading reviews and watching YouTube videos about the Harley Benton Jazz Basses and the comparisons to the Squier Jazz Bass. Last month I bought the Harley Benton JB-20, and in my opinion the Harley Benton is a better bass guitar than the Squier Affinity series, in terms of tone and playability - the HB out performs the Affinity, and for about a $100 less is remarkable. My next bass will be the Harley Benton JB-75 as an upgrade. I've been sold on the Harley Benton's, I gave it a try, and I am totally satisfied with the product, very well build, I found no blemishes or defects, I set the action to my personal specifications, and the bass plays great!
Sincerely,
Ramone Lyons
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AA
Surprisingly good
Alina A 27.12.2019
I've only played acoustic guitar and a bit electric until now; with that being said, I think the quality of this bass is really good, as always from Harley Benton. It's very very heavy, it looks and feels well built, and it came with a great set-up straight out of the box (from what I can tell)
I don't have a bass amp yet but I connected it through a mini guitar amp + headphones cause i had it on hand and it was really fine, and also through a 20w acoustic amp (just cause i had it laying around in the house), with Lows turned to the max and it worked like a charm when i needed it for practice.
The blue is a little bit darker than in the pictures but it has the shiny finish and looks great overall. It's excellent for the price and definitely worth the money
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BH
Bargain bass better than most
Brent Hood 02.04.2023
This is a delayed review as I first got mine in January 2020. I wanted a new bass for recording but didn’t wanna spend an unnecessary amount. It wasn’t until I was reading a post on a forum about basses when someone mentioned Harley Benton. To be honest I’d never heard of them, so I began to research and came across this jazz bass.

At the time of purchase, the bass cost me only £83. At this price I wasn’t expecting much, but when it arrived I was blown away. We all know all guitars are individual and some people won’t get lucky all the time, but I did. Paint work, build quality and all the little details were absolutely spot on. The metallic blue colour looks gorgeous. Action was good and comfortable, but I did get it a tweaked a little, lowering the nut and lowering action a little, which made it play beautifully.

I’m guessing the pick ups are cheap, but they sounded brilliant through my amps and a PA system I also tried. My friends were really impressed with the sound and couldn’t believe how cheap it was. Comparing this bass to one’s I’ve owned and played in the past really proves that you only pay more for the logo on the headstock. This bass has better finishing and build quality compared to a bass I had which was 4 times the price.

The only criticism (which isn’t unexpected due to the price) is sharp fret ends. I got my fret file and smoothed then over in a couple minutes. After that it was perfect. The neck is nice and slim and very comfortable to play. You could upgrade the pick ups and tuners to better specs and make it a project bass but to be honest I’ve had no reason to.

Wether played live or used for recording, this bass is a no brainier for the price. This was my first ever HB instrument, and I was so impressed that I went on to purchase 2 more (acoustic and electric guitar). No other brand gives you value for money like this.
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AG
Curved neck
Alexey Gilev 31.01.2022
Как только я получил заказ, казалось, что никакого дребезга струн не было. Пару недель спустя появился дребезг 3 и 4 струны об порожек 2 и 3.
As soon as I received the order, it seemed that there was no rattling of the strings. A couple of weeks later, a rattle of 3 and 4 strings appeared on the threshold of 2 and 3.
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Great quality/price
RamSal 04.11.2021
As a guitarist, I bought this bass over a year ago while searching for an economic alternative for a beginner bassist.
The features and sound are great, considering the price tag of the instrument. I've had no issues of it maintaining the tuning, even after several weeks of not playing it. Tone knobs also works quite good.
The only down-point is the quality, as in my product some frets had sharp edges, but nothing too dramatic.
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Great for the price
KriNoJen 11.04.2022
Love the colour, bought it because I wanted that jazz bass sound.
The bass arrived in great shape, Thomann knows their packaging as always. The original pickups weren't my cup of tea, but I planned on changing those anyways. When removing the pickups, I noticed that one of the magnets were broken in half, which might be why I didn't like the sound though, so YMMV.
In addition to this, the fretwork was... Less than ideal. Fret sprout bad enough to cut your hand pretty deep kind of less than ideal. Oh, and it's pretty heavy, so get a decent strap. Or just sit down with it in a studio setting.
After a round with a fret file, new pickups and a fresh set of strings however, this bass has ended up as my main bass. Still some areas where I'm going to upgrade it in the future (bridge, tuners etc), but for now it's great. Highly recommended, if you have the skillset/time/money to properly set it up and fix the issues that might be present upon arrival.
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Harley Benton JB-20 BM Standard Series