Harley Benton has rolled out a pair of very smart extended-range bass guitars that offer adventurous players something a little bit different and an impressive spec for a retail price comfortably under £500.
The five-string BZ-5000 II NT and the six-string BZ-6000 II NT swell the ranks of the budget gear brand’s newly launched BZ-1000 NT series of basses, which already includes four and seven-string models.
Harley Benton says they are “certainly not for the traditional player!” But what does that mean? Well, it means these are an evolutionary hop, skip and jump away from the multitudes of budget P+J variants on the market; these are for the player looking for something different, perhaps a whiff of that contemporary boutique vibe – i.e. neck-through builds, a veritable feast of tonewoods with a natural finish to show them off.
It is not hard to see the appeal in them for the progressive, metal or djent player, with both five and six-string models equipped with a pair of Tesla soapbar pickups and an active circuit featuring a three-band EQ.
Both feature a similar build and aesthetic, with mahogany and ash bodies topped with a AAA figured maple veneer. Necks are five-piece builds made from Canadian maple and nyatoh and fashioned into C profiles. The heel is contoured almost out of existence – a benefit of the through-neck build, and enhancing upper-fret access.
That’s the sort of thing we usually talk about in high-performance electric guitar circles but when you have a six-string bass taking a solo or playing in higher registers is very much on the menu.
Harley Benton has sprung for ebony fingerboards, both boards seating 24 medium jumbo frets. The BZ-5000 II NT has a 34” scale, the BZ-6000 II NT a 35” scale.
You will find the five-string’s neck measuring 21mm thick at the 1st fret with the six-string measuring 22mm. The five-string has a nut width of 45mm while the six-string’s nut measures 54mm.
Both have a Sung-Il bridge and a set of WSC JB-15DLX 17:1 die-cast tuners, with the hardware finished in a muted satin black, matching the pickup covers and complementing all that natural finished wood nicely.
As with all Harley Benton instruments, the BZ-5000 II NT and BZ-6000 II NT are available exclusively through Thomann. And you can pick them up now. The BZ-5000 II NT is priced at £438. The BZ-6000 II NT is £482. For more details and pics, head over to Harley Benton.