Harley Benton JB-40FL 3-Tone Sunburst

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
  • Ex-factory stringing: D'Addario EXL165 .045 - .104 (Article no. 144505)
  • Colour: 3-Tone sunburst

Further Information

Lefthand Model No
Colour Sunburst
Number of strings 4
Body Ash
Neck Maple
Fretboard Pau Ferro
Scale Long Scale
Pickup System JJ
Elektronic Passive
Incl. Case No
Incl. Gigbag No

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Our most popular Fretless Basses
276 Customer Ratings:
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4.6 /5
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Unbeatable Value
TonyOsax, 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.
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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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No Brainer purchase!
Boomer Bass Meme, 14.07.2020
At this price it would be hard to complain about anything. It arrived today and was decently set up out of the box. Fit and finish were flawless. Tuned it up and it plays like a dream! String height is set perfectly and so is neck relief. Intonation is a tiny bit sharp at the 12th position, but easily fixed. Have not got around to that yet, I finally set it down for a few minutes to write this.
Sounds good direct to amp. Really got fun when ran it through my board to get Jaco tones! I went bonkers on a jazz odyssey and ended up doing some swing too. Not really upright bass sounding, but something in between with the round wound strings. (probably because it is what kind of strings Jaco used) Even with the rounds, can get a wonderful old school Motown/Jazz sound easily. I have some DR Black Beauty flats to put on it for a more traditional upright/fretless sound to install later.
The old common issue others were seeing appears to have been fixed. Poles line up perfectly with the strings.
Hard to believe you can have this much fun and get this kind of quality at this price!
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Fun to learn fretless
FBGDWB, 25.08.2020
When I decided to try learning fretless, I could not beat the price or reviews of this bass. In the short time I've had it, I've really enjoyed it. I would love to give five stars across but have a few minor issues.
PROS:
- looks lovely and finish almost flawless
- slim neck
- nice fret-marks
- feels great and plays easily
CONS:
- one small blob of clear coat on the side of the fretboard where it joins the body
- very heavy body; the good news is that there is no head-dive but this will definitely be a sitting-down bass
- round-wound strings; I don't understand this choice as I'm sure they would scratch the fretboard; I've replaced with D'Adddario light chrome flatwounds
The bottom-line is I'm very pleased with what I have for the price. I have no need to spend more.
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Pickup System: JJ
Harley Benton JB-40FL 3-Tone Sunburst
(276)
Harley Benton JB-40FL 3-Tone Sunburst

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...

  • Lefthand Model: No
  • Colour: Sunburst
  • Number of strings: 4
  • Body: Ash
  • Neck: Maple
  • Fretboard: Pau Ferro
  • Scale: Long Scale
  • Pickup System: JJ
  • Elektronic: Passive
  • Incl. Case: No
  • Incl. Gigbag: No
Harley Benton JB-40FL LH
Harley Benton JB-40FL LH

Harley Benton JB-40FL LH; 3-Tone Sunburst Deluxe Series; fretless lefthanded electric-bass; bolt-on construction; American ash body; Canadian maple neck with pau ferro skunk strip; pau...

  • Lefthand Model: Yes
  • Colour: Sunburst
  • Number of strings: 4
  • Body: Ash
  • Neck: Maple
  • Fretboard: Pau Ferro
  • Scale: Long Scale
  • Pickup System: SS
  • Elektronic: Passive
  • Incl. Case: No
  • Incl. Gigbag: No
$158 €133.62
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The price in USD is a guideline price only!

Available immediately
Available immediately

This item is in stock and can be dispatched immediately.

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