Harley Benton JB-40FL 3-Tone Sunburst

373

Fretless Electric Bass

  • Fretless
  • Body: American ash
  • Bolt-on neck: Canadian maple with pau ferro skunk stripe
  • Fingerboard: Pau ferro
  • 20 Fret lines
  • 2 mm Side marks
  • Fretboard radius: 350 mm
  • Nut width: 38 mm
  • Scale: 864 mm
  • Double-Action truss rod
  • Pickup: 2 Roswell JBA Alnico-5 JB-Style single coils
  • 2 Volume controls and 1 tone control
  • Deluxe chrome hardware
  • Classic butterfly machine heads
  • Strings: Roundwound .045 - .105
  • Colour: 3-Tone sunburst
available since December 2013
Item number 325972
sales unit 1 piece(s)
Lefthand Model No
Colour Sunburst
Number of strings 4
Body Ash
Scale Long Scale
Pickup System JJ
Elektronic Passive
Incl. Case No
Incl. Gigbag No
$148
The shipping costs are calculated on the checkout page.
In stock within 2-3 weeks
In stock within 2-3 weeks

This item is expected back in stock soon and can then be shipped immediately.

Standard Delivery Times
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373 Customer ratings

313 Reviews

T
Unbeatable Value
TonyOr 21.05.2018
As other reviewers have said, this is just excellent for the money - it would be good value at two or three times the price. It is a very nice looking instrument, the fit and finish is pretty good (albeit a bit rough in places), it plays very well and it sounds terrific.

I have the fretted version (the JB-75MN) and bought the fretless to see how close it would sound to an upright bass, since I play mostly jazz. The answer is not very. I have ordered some Thomastik flat wound strings (which cost half as much as the guitar) and will report back if that makes a significant improvement. I'm hopeful because the Thomastik strings I have on my archtop guitar really brought out the classic jazz sound.

I'm not a bass player so I was expecting the fretless to be hard erto play than the JB-75, but I immediately found it to be easier. The neck seems to be slimmer- it isn't actually, I think it's just that there are no frets to clear and so the string height is lower, and it is very low. I found no problem with getting a clean sound except on the first string, which buzzes a bit. I raised the saddle, which helped a bit. I noticed that there is almost no relief in the neck to I tried adjusting the truss rod, but that made no difference at all, so I set it back to the way it came from the factory.

The fretless sounds better! It has a fuller, warmer sound than the JB-75. The improvement in sound could just be due to the fact that there are no frets or it could be due to one or more of the design differences. The pickups are different - Roswell vs Wilkinson, the fretless has a black wood fretboard vs maple, the bridge is different, with steel vs brass saddles and the fretless neck has a skunk stripe.

There is one issue that I would like to raise which is that the strings do not align properly with the pickups and the neck. The bass string is nearly 1cm from the edge of the fretboard at the end of the neck. I thought at first this was a manufacturing problem but after taking some measurements, I am pretty sure it is because the bridge is too narrow. It has 19mm separation between the strings, whereas the JB-75 has 20mm, and everything aligns perfectly on the JB-75. The photographs on the Thomann website hide this because they are taken at an angle. It's not a big deal, but I don't understand why they made that design change.

Update, May 2021.
I forgot to feedback my experiences changing the strings for Thomastik Infeld flat wounds. Just do it!! I know they cost half as much as the guitar but the difference is unbelievable. The JB-40FL now sounds much more like an upright bass and with the ability on a fretless guitar to slide into the notes, It has quite convincing upright bass character that is ideal for jazz.
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Excellent - highly recommended.
Pyewacket 05.06.2017
I was convinced to buy this bass after watching EytschPi 42's review on YouTube - which I strongly suggest you seek out if you are considering one of these. It arrived the third day after ordering, well packaged and in good condition. After tuning I found the intonation and set up to be spot on straight out of the box - if adjustments had been needed the tools required are included, along with a lead - a nice touch. The neck is superb - slim and with a beautiful satin finish. The maple is subtly flamed as well - I suppose I got lucky there! The nut is well cut, the tuners work well and are stable and the bridge is thicker plate than on my Mexican Fender. The body looks to me to be one piece - either that or it has veneers front and back. I've literally looked with a magnifying glass and can see no hint of a join. The finish, again, is flawless, the burst nicely applied and then buffed to a mirror finish. I have seen poorer on much more costly instruments. The pick-ups - branded 'Roswell - ' seem fine, with a good output.It is as loud as my other basses. The tone control doesn't do a great deal other than at its extremes, but the tones it has are very useable. Rolled off and with the front pick up on it can get a passable upright bass sound, but full on and with just the bridge pick up on it absolutely sings! Just the right amount of 'mwahh', plenty of sustain and very responsive to how hard you pluck and whereabouts you pluck. If I had seen this in a shop and tried it I would have expected to see it priced nearer £500. And I would probably have bought it! It really is that good. Maybe I just got lucky, but looking at other reviews I don't get that impression. I have no hesitation whatsoever in wholeheartedly recommending you buy one of these. It doesn't look out of its league sharing a stand with a Ric and a Fender, and at these astonishingly low prices I think I shall be buying more Harley Benton kit.

Buy one... you know you want to!

Thanks Thomann, and well done.
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Hard to put down.
Mofosir 15.03.2021
Had it for about a week now, and I love it. The finish is great, no blemishes found, overall it looks splendid! Straight out of the box it was set up pretty well, though I lowered the saddles a bit and adjusted the neck relief just to suit my playing. It has plenty of "mwah", and in the right hands it has that Jaco sound. Also the neck is very comfortable. It's hard to put it all into words, but it is ridiculous how good of an instrument it is, especially for this price! The moment I've gotten it I haven't been playing anything else, all my other basses and guitars are gathering dust, watching with envy as I continue to play this for hours upon hours. The roswell pickups are fine, they're not the best, but they are a definite upgrade to any no-name cheapo stuff you'd normally get at this pricepoint, or even a little beyond it. That being said, the pickups are absolutely good enough for whatever you're gonna throw at it, be it fast passages, harmonics, etc. The neck pickup is very soft and full, while the back pickup is punchy and tight. The guitar itself is pretty darn heavy, not too heavy mind You, but it has some heft. It is ever so slightly neck heavy, but it's minimal - the friction from a strap easily counters it. Also it sounds beautifully unplugged, a very earthy tone. One slight "fault", if I was to be nitpicky, is that he knobs are pretty darn stiff, so any adjustments on the fly will require some getting used to. Other than that, I couldn't be happier. Normally you'd have to spend at least twice as much money to get anything close to a fretless that plays as nice as this. Absolutely do recommend. (Also, a hurrah! for Thomann. With the pandemic in mind, this was both the fastest dispatch and delivery of any order ever. I was gladly surprised!)
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Absolute Gem
tonydunn 07.01.2022
Blown away by the quality of this instrument, it's an absolute joy to play, and I agree with other reviewers who feel it is worth 2-3 times the price at least. The finish is gorgeous, the playability is remarkable, the electrics are punchy and clear, nice variety of tones available, there is nothing I can find fault with, absolutely recommended.
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