Any experience with Harley Benton JA-60?

Discussion of newer designs, copies and reissue offset-waist instruments.
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Rab1s
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Any experience with Harley Benton JA-60?

Post by Rab1s » Tue Nov 17, 2020 12:42 pm

https://www.thomannmusic.com/harley_ben ... series.htm

I stumbled upon this on Reverb looking for a jazzmaster type guitar. Ive had the squiers and just didn't vibe, though I dodnt do to many mods to them. I wanted to try a better bride, maybe a new nut.

These guys have the look, but has anyone played one? How's the body size compare to regular JM's? Hows the neck feel? I do like the Binding and Block inlays. Sound isnt too big of a deal, as I can swap pickups, but how does it compare to VMJM?

at $156 it would be a good platform for mods. Just wanted to know how it is stock.

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ohm-men
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Re: Any experience with Harley Benton JA-60?

Post by ohm-men » Sun Nov 22, 2020 12:48 am

I used to own one of these. It's a rather ok-ish guitar for the price, but expect no Squier Jazzmaster... imho.

Body is smaller, neck is nice though, but more "D" then "C" profile. Fret ends needed quiet some work on mine.
Headstock is, euhmmm... not nice. Although the block and binding are nicely done.
Body is Basswood of something in the likes and most have a veneer top to hide the amount of blocks used to make the body. I think mine was made from 4 to 5 pieces of this mystery wood and then veneered to make the sunburst look ok.
No Alder. Quiet lightweight.
All the hardware is kind a cheap feeling. TOM and stoptail are ok-ish, tuners are due for replacement. (imho)
Pick ups are very generic sounding. Ceramic and kind of mis the typical P-90 bark. Too thin for my taste (even if they are marked as Wilkinson, which means little to me. Just cheap made pick ups. At one point I put a "Deusenberg" Les Paul trem on it and made it a tad more usable. I ended up selling the guitar for the same amounth I bought it for and never looked back.

Here in the EU Harley Benton are seen as beginners guitars, but due to some Youtubers they have gathered some magical status, which they have not... I find their quality very inconsistant (after all they are mass produced cheap instruments) and you get what you pay for.
Perhaps a nice modding platform (to sink more money in) and end up with a guitar with zero resale value...
Now there is an even cheaper brand called "Fazley" here, that now seams to have the flavor of the month vibe...

I paid arround $ 80 used for the JA-60 and that's what's it's worth.
Do yourself a favour and save up some more pennies for a Squier JM.

Sorry if the above seams to be too biased or negative, but really stay away from these, unless you get them for free... They will serve you well as a beginning musician, but you'd be on the lookout for something better soon.

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