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Which Harley Benton / super cheapy should I buy as a practice beater to keep at work?


Jolltax

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I work on rotation abroad - backwards and forwards to Africa every 4 weeks, I am a beginner and don't want to take my 'good' bass to work and back every 4 weeks on a plane.

My plan is to get a cheapy that I can practice on whilst away and (provided it survives the journey) leave it there, so  I have been looking at Harley Benton basses, trying to decide whether I should get the JB-20 or push the boat out for the JB-75 (they seem to have stopped making the 4 string MB-4 stingray copy which I also fancied). I like the other HB cheap basses (PB, PJ) but am worried about the thicker necks making them more difficult to play.

I had originally thought I could pick up something beaten-up but still functional second hand, but to honest locally they are all more expensive than a new HB! Additionally I am a noob so I don't really know what I am doing and am quite likely to buy something horrible.

Currently working from home but might get remobilised in May / June so need something by then.

Only criteria is :

  • Good learner instrument
  • Will have a chance of surviving the journey
  • Style isn't super important

I am a competent(ish) solderer and have some electronics / DIY experience but would prefer to buy rather than build.

What do you guys think I should get, any recommendations?

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@Jolltax

 

Spring for the JB-75 but have a comfortable chair when you practise, they are quite heavy.

 

Never played the JB-20 though a friend in Kenya reckons it's just fine, he sold the 75 because of the weight.

As for the JB-75, it's a rock solid bass and outstanding value for money. Looks like a jazz bass, plays like one and sounds like one 😀

 If I was buying another it would be the sunburst/pau ferro again.

 

 

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Theres a Peavey Fury II - slim 38mm nut, single humbucker, 3 band EQ, hard case, thoroughly pre-loved appearance - for sale here for £120-ish. If someone doesnt buy it soon I'll end getting it just because I can't bear the thought of it sitting there unwanted!

I'll get the link....

Fury II for sale

And here's a 2012 thread on the very instrument:

Peavey Fury II

Edited by Ricky Rioli
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Posted (edited)
4 hours ago, itu said:

Can you source anything locally? I would be amazed if there was nothing in local stores. Or maybe you could find a local luthier?

@itu I live in Tenbury Wells WR15 8TB, I did look around a bit, my local guitar shop sells Cort beginner basses that are OK, but I doubt they are any better than HB online. I think I would need to go into Birmingham to find something and I am kinda worried they would see me coming, I have literally been playing a few weeks.

4 hours ago, Geek99 said:

Why not take the neck off and ship both parts in your suitcase ?

@Geek99I might do this, it would probably fit in a large suitcase and is less likely to get damaged 

4 hours ago, Ricky Rioli said:

Theres a Peavey Fury II - slim 38mm nut, single humbucker, 3 band EQ, hard case, thoroughly pre-loved appearance - for sale here for £120-ish. If someone doesnt buy it soon I'll end getting it just because I can't bear the thought of it sitting there unwanted!

I'll get the link....

Fury II for sale

And here's a 2012 thread on the very instrument:

Peavey Fury II

@Ricky RioliIt does look good, but I know nothing at all about basses, is it a good choice for a beginner?

4 hours ago, Jus Lukin said:

If you're happy with a 5-string I have a light, slim-necked Harley for sale...

 

Thanks @Jus Lukin it would be perfect except I am struggling to learn the notes on a 4 string at the moment, I think it might be a leap too far for me at this stage!

Thanks all for your replies, much appreciated.

Edited by Jolltax
I dun speld it gud
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4 hours ago, Ricky Rioli said:

Theres a Peavey Fury II - slim 38mm nut, single humbucker, 3 band EQ, hard case, thoroughly pre-loved appearance - for sale here for £120-ish. If someone doesnt buy it soon I'll end getting it just because I can't bear the thought of it sitting there unwanted!

I'll get the link....

Fury II for sale

And here's a 2012 thread on the very instrument:

Peavey Fury II

 

20 minutes ago, Jolltax said:

 

@Ricky RioliIt does look good, but I know nothing at all about basses, is it a good choice for a beginner?

I'm pretty beginnery myself, and it seems to me like it would suit, but shall we ask @Paul S ? :)

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I don't know if you would gain that much by ordering in from Germany, and would also consider ordering from the UK e.g. Andertons have instruments such as the Ibanez Talman for a decent price on their beginners page. In your shoes, for travel, I would have a look at the Talman short scale TMB-30 in particular.

 

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1 hour ago, Ricky Rioli said:

 

I'm pretty beginnery myself, and it seems to me like it would suit, but shall we ask @Paul S ? :)

I cant imagine you could buy a better bass for the money, frankly.

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1 hour ago, Jolltax said:

@itu I live in Tenbury Wells WR15 8TB, I did look around a bit, my local guitar shop sells...

...where by local I meant Africa. Local woods, might be fun to find something completely different stuff.

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8 hours ago, Geek99 said:

Why not take the neck off and ship both parts in your suitcase ?

I do that with my Yamaha RBX270. Leave the strings on, takes 2 minutes to take the neck off. Always take it on holiday/work trips, fits nicely in a largish suitcase. Also take a little vox amplug headphone amp. Don’t forget to pack the screwdriver so you can put it together at the other end.

Edited by 41Hz
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3 hours ago, Paul S said:

I cant imagine you could buy a better bass for the money, frankly.

The tempting devil whispering in my ear is saying that it would be great to have a cheap j neck bass strung with flats for when my hands are tired. Despite the fact that I've already got a not-quite-so-cheap j neck bass strung with flats getting no attention whatsoever. 🙄
 

If I had one fewer bass than I wanted rather than one more than I would like to have, that Peavey would have got bought weeks ago.

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As you’re new to bass I’d personally think about getting something similar (body shape, pickups, neck width etc) to what you play at home. Might make life a fair bit easier for you when you’re in either location.

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Slightly off on the answer, since you're looking for HBs... but for travel, I'd choose something that's smaller and more compact. The ideal would be a headless with a detachable neck, but not sure they have them for that cheap. The Spirit by Steinberger is headless and not too expensive, but cannot be folded. 

Point is, if you get a headless with a bolt-on neck, you could replace the neck bolts with machine screws with inserts (from Monty guitars), which would make an easily removable neck that would not be destroyed by multiple detachments 🙂

 

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34 minutes ago, MrWalker said:

Slightly off on the answer, since you're looking for HBs... but for travel, I'd choose something that's smaller and more compact. The ideal would be a headless with a detachable neck, but not sure they have them for that cheap. The Spirit by Steinberger is headless and not too expensive, but cannot be folded. 

Point is, if you get a headless with a bolt-on neck, you could replace the neck bolts with machine screws with inserts (from Monty guitars), which would make an easily removable neck that would not be destroyed by multiple detachments 🙂

 

There’s a guy on eBay selling screw-in bold inserts with hex bolts - that might solve issue 

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1 hour ago, PaulWarning said:

just a thought, can you buy one from Thomann's and get it delivered to Africa?

@PaulWarning Seems logical, but in reality even if they can delivery to Africa the chances of it ever arriving at its destination are almost zero tbh and certainly not in one piece  😀

 

1 hour ago, Geek99 said:

There’s a guy on eBay selling screw-in bold inserts with hex bolts - that might solve issue 

13 hours ago, 41Hz said:

I do that with my Yamaha RBX270. Leave the strings on, takes 2 minutes to take the neck off. Always take it on holiday/work trips, fits nicely in a largish suitcase. Also take a little vox amplug headphone amp. Don’t forget to pack the screwdriver so you can put it together at the other end.

@Geek99 @41Hz I think that could be the answer, I am pretty sure i could get the whole thing in a large case and it might have a better chance of surviving the journey

I only need to disassemble / reassemble it once to get out there and then once again to get it back in a few years so probably could just use the normal bolts?  Good tip to remember the right tool :)

Great advice here, so happy I asked the question!

 

 

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1 hour ago, Jolltax said:

 

@PaulWarning Seems logical, but in reality even if they can delivery to Africa the chances of it ever arriving at its destination are almost zero tbh and certainly not in one piece  😀

 

@Geek99 @41Hz I think that could be the answer, I am pretty sure i could get the whole thing in a large case and it might have a better chance of surviving the journey

I only need to disassemble / reassemble it once to get out there and then once again to get it back in a few years so probably could just use the normal bolts?  Good tip to remember the right tool :)

Great advice here, so happy I asked the question!

 

 

Sustaiiiin! Stable guitar neck attachment: bolt-on neck threaded inserts and screws 45mm https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B085X17NLY/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_glc_fabc_8EBASVP40PYPWSRNHK2D?_encoding=UTF8&psc=1

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7 hours ago, Jolltax said:

 

@PaulWarning Seems logical, but in reality even if they can delivery to Africa the chances of it ever arriving at its destination are almost zero tbh and certainly not in one piece  😀

 

@Geek99 @41Hz I think that could be the answer, I am pretty sure i could get the whole thing in a large case and it might have a better chance of surviving the journey

I only need to disassemble / reassemble it once to get out there and then once again to get it back in a few years so probably could just use the normal bolts?  Good tip to remember the right tool :)

Great advice here, so happy I asked the question!

 

 

Remember to take a sales receipt with you, if you have one, in case HM customs quiz you on your return 

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