Harley Benton unveils the versatile, modern and very budget-friendly Marquess bass guitar

Harley Benton Marquess
(Image credit: Harley Benton)

Harley Benton has launched the Marquess series of four- and five-string bass guitars. Ergonomically shaped and equipped with active electronics, they present an affordable option for bassists looking for a do-it-all instrument.

The five-string versions come equipped with G&B Soapbar 5ST humbuckers, while the four-stringers are fitted with a P/J configuration with a G&B JB at the bridge and a G&B at the neck position. Otherwise, the builds are similar, with eye-catching Blue Stain, Black Stain and Sunburst Stain  finishes on flame-maple topped sungkai bodies.

Necks are five-piece sandwiches of Canadian maple and padauk, and join the body with a five-bolt joint, while the amaranth fingerboards have a 16" radius and are topped with 24 jumbo frets. The five-string models have a 45mm (1.77”) nut width and 35" scale, with the four-string models a slimmer 40mm (1.57") at the nut and a 35" scale.

They certainly look the part, but at this price, it's the active electronics that are the most exciting thing here, allowing you to dial in a tone for jazz or funk, or a sound with a little more bite and clang for rock. Both have the same setup, with a power active G&B system offering a hefty 12dB of boost/cut to treble or bass to each pickup, with individual volume controls allowing you to blend the sound nicely.

Elsewhere, you've got chrome Sung-Il BB007 and BB008 bridges and matching JinHo JB-150 die-cast tuners, and a graphite nut. Not bad when you consider the Marquess-5 models are priced £249, with the Marquess-4 coming in at £219.

Both are available now through Thomann.  See Harley Benton for more details.

Jonathan Horsley

Jonathan Horsley has been writing about guitars and guitar culture since 2005, playing them since 1990, and regularly contributes to MusicRadar, Total Guitar and Guitar World. He uses Jazz III nylon picks, 10s during the week, 9s at the weekend, and shamefully still struggles with rhythm figure one of Van Halen’s Panama.