Champion of affordable electric guitar gear Harley Benton looks to have hit another home run with its new range of tube amp heads, which puts golden era guitar amp aesthetics (and, hopefully, tones) at a considerably affordable price point.
Before moving into the nitty gritty of each amp, it’s worth pointing out this new collection – which comprises the TUBE5, TUBE15 and TUBE30 head, as well as a G110 Celestion cab – looks really quite spectacular.
Thanks to the cream casing and beige leather handles, each unit gives off the vibe of a boutique vintage guitar amp – aesthetics that belie the unsurprisingly uber-affordable price tags that start from just $138.
So, they look the part, but do they sound it? Well, according to the brand itself, its new family of amps looks to “harness the power of vintage rock tones”, and is concerned with delivering “rich, crunchy tones or warm, glassy cleans”, as well as “vintage overdriven rock tones”.
As mentioned above, there are three new amps, each of which arrive at a different power point. Naturally, as you work your way up the wattage, the feature set becomes more and more impressive.
The most compact of the trio is the TUBE5 – a home practice companion that comes loaded with a 12AX7 preamp tube, 6V6GT power amp tube and five-watts of power. There’s also a power attenuator to take things down to one watt, and onboard controls for Tone and Volume.
Its slightly larger sibling, the TUBE15, is (as you can probably work out) a souped-up, 15-watt version of the above, which is said to be more comfortable for “neighborhood-friendly volumes” and “smaller gigs”.
As for its spec sheet, the TUBE15 has a trio of 12AX7s, and drafts in a pair of EL84 tubes – a combo that hopes to tap into “the warm and wonderful tones of classic tube amps”. The control panel has also been bolstered, bringing into play onboard reverb, a three-band EQ, and Tone, Volume and Gain knobs.
Conveniently, that power attenuator button – which this time takes things from 15 watts to one watt – stays put.
That leaves the 30-watt TUBE30, which drafts in an extra channel for specific Clean and Overdrive tones. Each channel has its own Volume knob – the Overdrive channel is also treated to an additional Gain control – with a standard three-band EQ also making the cut.
As for the aesthetically matching cab, Harley Benton has fitted the G110 Celestion with, well, a Celestion speaker – a 1x10 G10E-30 unit, to be precise – with the cab delivering 30 watts of power.
As mentioned above – and, as is the case with all Harley Benton equipment – these heads are mighty affordable. The TUBE5, for instance, is available now for $138. That's a very enticing price tag indeed, especially when one considers its genuine tube components.
The TUBE15 and TUBE30 are equally alluring, weighing in at $233 and $479, respectively. Likewise, the G110 Celestion comes in under the $100 mark with a price tag of $94.
Head over to Harley Benton to find out more.