Harley Benton looks to tempt Jim Root fans with sleek $166 JA-20HH Active SBK offset

Harley Benton Active SBK electric guitar
(Image credit: Harley Benton)

Not only is Harley Benton known for its uber-cheap collection of standard electric guitars, it’s also recently been dabbling in offering guitarists affordable options to some of the most popular models on the market.

Case in point is its recent JA-Baritone model, which looked to be a $196 version of the cult classic Squier Vintage Modified Baritone Jazzmaster.

Now, Harley Benton has bolstered its range of satin-finished six-strings by debuting the Victory Active SBK and JA-20HH Active SBK – the latter of which might be particularly appealing to fans of Slipknot’s Jim Root.

It’s a different beast, but the JA-20HH looks to take at least some inspiration from Fender’s no-frills Jim Root Jazzmaster signature guitar, which featured a similar finish, twin-humbucker configuration, hardtail bridge and minimal electronics.

The spec sheet differs, however in the JA-20HH's poplar body, bolt-on maple neck and roseacer fretboard, as well as a 12” radius, 22 frets and 42mm-wide nut.

In the electronics department, it features two high-gain proprietary HBZ active humbuckers, wired to a single volume control knob and a three-way selector switch. Elsewhere, it makes use of diecast tuners, a hardtail bridge and a double-action truss rod.

At a glance, it certainly gives off a similar aesthetic vibe to Root’s Jazzmaster and utilizes an identical no-nonsense control layout, but rings at a fraction of the price at just $196. Naturally, the quality of components might not be as good, but it that price could be enough to tempt some fans.

Joining the JA-20HH is the similarly styled Victory Active SBK – a V-style solidbody that employs a premium mahogany body and neck, as well as a 22-fret, 12”-radius roseacer fingerboard.

Aside from the body shape – and the presence of the tune-o-matic-style bridge – it otherwise recruits the same specs as its Root-inspired peer, featuring two active HBZ humbuckers wired to a sole volume parameter and three-way switch.

Other appointments worth mentioning include the three-ply black pickguard, output jack situated on the upper horn and double-action truss rod.

The Victory Active SBK is slightly more expensive, weighing in at $208.

To find out more about each model, head over to Harley Benton (opens in new tab).

It's coming to the end of what has been a busy 2022 for Harley Benton, which has bolstered all of its electric guitar, acoustic guitar and bass guitar catalogs over the course of 11 months.

Highlights from the mammoth expansion packs include $200 SG-esque DC-60 Junior, newly finished $177 JA-60CC offsets, EMG-loaded Fusion models and a new range of two-in-one effects pedals priced from $67.

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Matt is a Staff Writer, writing for Guitar World, Guitarist and Total Guitar. He has a Masters in the guitar, a degree in history, and has spent the last 16 years playing everything from blues and jazz to indie and pop. When he’s not combining his passion for writing and music during his day job, Matt records for a number of UK-based bands and songwriters as a session musician.