Harley Benton MB-5 SBK Deluxe Series

36

5-String Electric Bass

  • Basswood body
  • Bolt-on maple neck
  • Roseacer fretboard
  • Matching headstock
  • Neck profile: D
  • Scale: 864 mm
  • Fretboard radius: 350 mm
  • Nut width: 45 mm
  • 21 Frets
  • Pickup: 1 Humbucker with coil splitting
  • 2x Volume and 1x Tone controls
  • Double action truss rod
  • DieCast bridge
  • Vintage style machine heads
  • Black hardware
  • Factory strings: .045" - .130"
  • Colour: Matte black
available since November 2020
Item number 493195
sales unit 1 piece(s)
Colour Black
Soundboard Basswood
Neck Maple
Fretboard Roseacer
Frets 21
Scale Long Scale
Pickup System H
Elektronic Passive
Incl. Case No
Incl. Gigbag No
$115
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A real five-string at an affordable price

Harley Benton instruments have a history of providing great quality for those on a budget. The Harley Benton MB-5SBK Deluxe Series five-string electric bass is no exception, featuring a signature Rock bass design with solid woods, a splittable humbucker, and a modern matt black finish added to the product range by popular demand, all at a rock bottom price! The bolt-on maple neck with its slim D-profile and six-screw neck joint ensures both a comfortable playing feel and good sustain, and thus the best possible resonance characteristics.

Plenty of punch and a splittable pickup

A basswood body and a bolt-on maple neck are the basis for a five-string bass that feels particularly at home in Rock and Heavy Metal music - where power and punch are indispensable. The humbucker, housed in a tortoiseshell-look pickguard, harmonises perfectly with this particular combination. Both coils can be activated separately via a switch, which like the volume and tone pots is located on the black control plate. Thanks to the slim D-profile of the maple neck with its 21-fret roseacer fingerboard, the Harley Benton MB-5SBK Deluxe Series is also pleasant and comfortable to play, which makes entry into the world of five-string basses a lot easier, especially for beginners or those who are making the transition to bass.

Affordable five-string Rock bass

Due to it affordable price, the Harley Benton MB-5SBK Deluxe Series Bass is aimed primarily at beginners who have to get by on a small budget - after all, an amplifier is also part of a successful start, and that has to be paid for somehow. However, you get a lot of bass for your hard-earned savings here, and your first sessions can definitely start with a cool sound! But advanced players might also find the MB-5 Deluxe Series Bass in Satin Black an ideal backup instrument for the rehearsal room and stage - after all, they get an inexpensive five-string bass that knows how to make itself heard in a band setting and looks good to boot.

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.

Powerful Rock sound with a modern look

Good quality doesn't have to be expensive at all, even in the bass department! The Harley Benton MB-5SBK Deluxe Series Bass is recommended as an entry-level instrument in the world of five-string basses. Thanks to the split humbucker and the comfortable playability of the slim maple neck, it offers a powerful sound which should appeal to beginners and demanding advanced players alike. A modern look is achieved both by the matt black finish with a red pickguard and the black hardware - because, as we all know, looks are always part of the game!

I
Awesome 5-string for a newbie
Ikaire 03.04.2022
This is the black satin 'stealth' finish. They seemed to be on the light weight side, and mine didn't disappoint at 8.6 lbs. The bass itself was flawless. Fit and finish are remarkable for a cheapo bass. The bass feels substantial and well put together.

The set up was not the best, but a few minutes spent reducing the neck curvature and adjusting the saddles brought it to a very comfortable action. The tuners hold tune well. The plastic nut seems well cut. The knobs work great with no noise or scratchiness. I haven't adjusted the nut yet because it plays well enough already, but I'll have to do that to make the top positions a bit more comfy to play.

I really like it. The neck takes some getting used to as it is wider (about 45mm) than a SR5 but not excessively chunky. I find it quite comfortable. The frets are level which I find surprising for such a cheap bass. The narrower string spacing and the additional string means I was a little clumsy to start, but I've been playing this bass exclussively since I got it and I'm getting there now.

In fact, I'm starting to really like this 5 string thing.

If I had to give it a one word review it would be 'wow'.

This is a very decent bass, regardless of price, but when you consider the price... yeah, wow.

It has that Stingray vibe and the passive electronics are just fine. Sure, not as versatile as having an onboard preamp, but I actually love passive tone controls, so I'm happy with it as it is.

It was a bit frustrating at first, but as I adjust to the different layout it becomes more fun... and I feel like something clicked. I'm enjoying immensely how I can move across strings and reduce the movement up/down the neck that way. That being said, it sounds surprisingly good. It has a growl to it that I was not expecting. The bass sat good in the mix and the lows were pretty defined. The B string wasn’t as sloppy as I thought it was going to be. I didn’t go below D on the B string and found fretting the E came in handy as opposed to playing it open on the E string. The only thing the bass really lacked was high end spank (could be due the the strings it came with). I don't use the additional lower notes that much, but I use a lot of the notes I would often play on the E string on the B string now, just moving across with fewer jumps to different hand positions on the neck which also means I look at the neck a lot less. And having the option to play those notes between the low E and A on the E string for more definition or on the B string for additional girth is really useful too.

This may be the bass that makes me finally 'get' 5 string basses. All in all it is a fantastic bass at €140 shipped. For my first five string I think I made a good decision getting this thing and have no regrets at all. I am glad I made the purchase.
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c
one of those 'for the price' reviews
chibbles 21.07.2021
finally landed one of these yesterday after months of waiting for thomann's somewhat 'erratic' (to be polite) restock estimates. so after all that waiting, its ....okay....

there is nothing wrong with the bass itself, its as described, fretwork is perfect, neck is straight, finish is pretty perfect - all the usual critiques. aesthetically i have no problem with the tort pickguard, and the glaring white nut on a stealth black bass is an odd choice, but again, its a minor detail. out of the box, the setup was decent. the bridge plate is very, very slightly wonky.

the biggest problem is the sound. after being blown-away impressed with the roswell pickup in the HB 51 PB, next to it this poor humbucking twin single coil *thingy* of a pickup just doesn't cut it. its way too thin, the highs are too crispy, mids too pronounced and the bass is non existant. i'm fairly sure with EQ it can be solved of course it can, but off the shelf, its poor.

a passive stingray wannabe, i can live with. but one with such a poor quality pickup, and this whole twin single coil thing? eh maybe not so much. but i mean they had to fill out those three knobs on the control panel somehow.

having said that, here it comes - for the price, this is a beginners instrument. its a budget as budget can be. given the quality of the actual body, neck, fretwork, finish and so on, a pickup swap is well worth it. the thing *looks cool*. Maybe even cheap two band EQ and a battery box, again, if you have the tools, this is the perfect candidate.

so all in all its a good buy. but, dayum, thomann. stick a decent roswell in this thing for the price increase you sneak on every three months
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AY
Great bass at an unbelievable price
Antonis Y. 01.09.2021
Ok, this is just amazing, especially at the price it goes for!

I don't really have to write very much here.

Fit and finish were spot on. And I mean, SPOT ON! Not a single spot on it is bad. No paint/clear runs, nothing. Everything is as it should. My only gripe with it is the white nut. Why they chose to put a white nut on a stealth black bass is beyond me (cost cutting, obviously but still).

As for playability. This one does have a few high frets and the nut did need a bit of filing. Nothing excessive and it can be set up with medium-lowish action without buzzing so I'm leaving it alone for now. The nut I did file a little but honestly, it would probably be okay-ish without it, if you're okay with a little higher action.

The electronics are also just fine. The pickup gets growly and grindy easily and, considering the price, you can't argue with it! It is passive, after all and I quite like it as is. I don't think I'd swap, honestly. Perhaps it might benefit from a 2-band preamp but it's fine as is. The separate coil volume controls work fine, although I usually have them dimed and roll off a little treble with the tone.

The low B is okay. Nothing crispy or perfect but it is servicable and it's by no means bad.

Bridge does its job, tuners are fine as well. I'd upgrade the tuners at some point but it's not really necessary.

What IS absolutely necessary is a string change. And I mean, right out of the box! Do not expect to like this bass very much with the stock strings. When I first tried it, the output was so low it was surprising. I though that was the nature of probably a cheap pickup in a Chinese bass.
But no.
After changing the strings, the bass came alive! MASSIVE difference in output. I have no idea what kind of strings were on it from the factory but they were absolute rubbish and sounded beyond dead. The only use for them is to serve as DIY nut files!

All in all, this is a 5/5. At this price, you can't get a better fiver and it punches way above its weight. If anything happened to it, I'd probably buy another one!
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J
Great looking 5 string bass
JLWII 13.01.2022
*Short Review*
Take the bass out of the box, change the strings, adjust the string height and enjoy your new bass.

*Long Review*
I was really disappointed with the bass the first day it arrived. The bass had horrible fret buzz on the D string. The B and E strings were dead and all strings extremely rough to the touch and would chew through my fingers within 10 minutes of playing. I've been playing bass for 21 years and have never had strings that bad. The pick ups didn't really produce much sound at all. I usually keep my amp on 2-4, but I had to turn it up to 5-7 to get the same volume, when compared to my Fender P-Bass. My amp is an Ampeg BA-210.

All is not bad. I put a new set of Fender strings and adjusted the string height and the bass really came to life. It was like a different bass. No more fret buzz, I had to turn my amp down to the normal 2-4 volume and the bass sounds amazing.

Overall, I'm very happy I got the bass. I'd say it is a much better bass than the price suggest. For under $140 USD, you could really do a lot worse.
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