Recently I was looking for an affordable Jazz Bass and I stumbled upon the famous Harley Benton JB-20. I was very impressed by its low price, so I immediately decided to get it for myself.
After a few weeks of using it, I can safely say that it’s one of the coolest budget basses out there. It’s not ideal, but it looks almost like a Fender and it’s actually very comfortable to play.
So in today’s article, I want to tell you a bit more about that bass so maybe you’ll decide to get it for yourself too. It’s not a sponsored review or anything like that – I bought it for myself, so you can be sure that this article will be unbiased.
Let’s start with a quick sound demo. Full video review: here.
About Harley Benton JB-20
This is probably the cheapest copy of Jazz Bass that you can currently find on the market. And I love it! Don’t get me wrong – there are a lot of other affordable basses out there, for example Ibanez TMB100 – but it’s just not the same.
The JB-20 is the closest thing to a real Jazz Bass that I had to pleasure to check out at this price range. So if your budget is limited and you can’t afford getting a Fender (or even a Squier Jazz Bass), this is the way to go.
I was very impressed after unboxing – mainly because of that awesome blue metallic finish! I don’t know if my photos accordingly present that color but trust me, it’s awesome. So if I was just thinking to myself “damn, what a nice looking bass”, you’ll probably to the same.
Although it’s a Chinese-made guitar, the overall quality of it is very good. You can’t expect it to be flawless though. Since it’s a budget model, most of the materials in that bass are pretty cheap. That means: basic tuners, basic pickups and a plastic nut. But even though these materials aren’t high-end, I’d still give this guitar a solid 9/10 for the build quality.
As you can probably see on the photos, the JB-20 has chrome hardware. It looks good and it gets the job done. Harley benton decided to put two JB-Style single coils into that model and to be honest, they sound really good. The only thing that annoys me is the humming sound (you can probably hear it in my sound samples). However I can’t confirm if it happened only in my guitar or if it’s happening in all of these basses.
Here’s a few more tones – it’s all pretty basic but it should give you a brief idea of what you can expect of that bass.
Sample #1 – Clean
Sample #2 – Chorus
Sample #3 – Distortion
If you’re the kind of guy who wants to know EVERYTHING about their new guitar, here’s a few specs that you may find interesting. It’s the boring stuff for the nerds, but I’m sure that some of you will really enjoy it.
|Neck Profile||Modern C-Shape|
|Pickups||2x JB-Style Single-Coils|
|Electronics||2x Volume & 1x Tone|
This is a very affordable guitar, so you shouldn’t even care too much about these cons. But let’s face the truth – there is a few things that could potentially be better in here.
The disadvantages are:
- the tuners could be better
- same with the pickups
- plastic nut
- that humming sound is quite annoying!
On the other hand, you get what you pay for. I’d even risk and say that this guitar is actually underpriced. Despite of these flaws, you still get a very functional and beautiful instrument that should serve you for years to come. And that’s what matters the most!
If you want to find out more about that guitar (and you want to watch how I played all of these sound samples), feel free to check out the video on my YouTube channel called Best Guitars Now.
Who Should Get It?
It’s very easy to determine who should get this bass. I don’t really care if you’re an absolute bass noob or an advanced player – you will definitely be pleasantly surprised with that bass. From the minute of taking it out of the box it will most definitely make a very good impression on me.
But I’m pretty sure that Harley Benton JB-20 is mainly created for all those who are just starting out. If you’re looking for your first bass and you don’t know what to get – this is a very safe choice.
Alternatively, even if you’re an intermediate player (like me) and you just need a bass to casually practice some bass lines, the JB-20 will be excellent too. I usually use it for music production, although I have to say that I will have to sort out that humming sound – it’s not the best for recording.
Summing up – wow! What a bass. I’m so happy that I got it. Leave a comment if you’ll end up with it in your hands – I wonder if you’ll experience that humming too.
I’ll be checking out the Harley Benton PB-20 too, so I’ll definitely update this article once I get it. It would be a good idea to compare both of these guitars and tell you about all their differences.
Thanks for reading this review, hopefully it was helpful and you learned something new about this affordable Jazz Bass. I’m sure that it’s not as good as real Fender Jazz Bass, but it’s a good starting point for those who are starting their journey with bass guitars.
And if you want to find out more about cheap guitars (or if you’re bored as hell and you have nothing to do), make sure to visit my YouTube channel. You can also find more written reviews (with sound samples) here on the blog. See ya next time!