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Harley Benton BA500H

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Sten, Apr 4, 2011.


  1. Sten

    Sten

    Nov 18, 2001
    Estonia
    I apologize beforehand if I will insult somebody by bringing such company up in this forum, but here goes:

    Harley Benton 500W class D head; 235 EUR:
    HARLEY BENTON BA500H - Thomann UK Cyberstore

    For those of you not familiar: HB is a low budget starter level manufacturer whose guitars, basses and amps are sold in extreme amounts in Europe due to their low cost. I think the majority of the users are the people for whom this is the first guitar and amp ever. In the top 20 most sold basses at Thomann.de, HB holds 16 positions in the list.

    Now I'm sure the preamp of this one is a tone-sucker, but they've managed to include a 500W class D amp in a 235 EUR package. Now if you take out the cost of the preamp, control knobs and equaliser - the cost of the poweramp cannot be much. Also, I'm pretty sure you could not tell be ear whether it's the poweramp from Harley Benton or Markbass.

    Therefore it is still a bit hard for me to understand why the cheapest class D micro head is 488.- EUR (GK MB500) and the cheapest standalone poweramp (SWR Amplite) is 529.- EUR. Where's the catch? Why aren't there any 250-400 EUR class D micro poweramps on the market?

    If the HB had an FX loop so I could pass the preamp, I would already own it.
     
  2. Hi.

    I don't have any first hand experience about the HB amps, but if the quality is even close to the quality of their basses, You get pretty good bang for the buck. Their basses do need a bit of tweaking, but an active 6er for 173€, what instrument wouldn't.

    After the 3 year warranty expires, You're on your own AFAIK though.
    But then again, no budget amp is repairable after the warranty period.
    Regardless of the make.

    I'm a tube kind of guy, but even I would not buy an amp that has no FX loop unless I was planning to mod it for one. Doing any mods on these amps would require at leat getting the schematic, and even that will be impossible.

    As for the power, I'd guess it's closer to 200W than the advertized 500W. Impossible to know for sure unless someone has benched one.

    Regards
    Sam
     
  3. bb5000

    bb5000

    May 30, 2006
    Sundsvall, Sweden
  4. Sten

    Sten

    Nov 18, 2001
    Estonia
    Let us know what it feels like when you get it (do knobs feel like they will break in 2 days, does it sound anywhere close to 500W etc).
     
  5. bb5000

    bb5000

    May 30, 2006
    Sundsvall, Sweden
    Yes, will do...the main reason for me getting this is that I need a light backup, and also something that I can use for church gigs etc...for smaller gigs I will use 1 EBS 15" (4 ohm) or one of my SVT410's (8 ohm), I guess even 200W would be overkill for such sessions..
     
  6. IngerAlb

    IngerAlb

    May 11, 2007
    Yup, HB is Thomann's in house brand. I wish I'd knew what company is actually making them and where.

    FWIW I'd actually rather get one of their amps than a Behringer (I had a few issues with B stuff in the past so I try to stay away from their products now)...then again Thomann is also a Kustom dealer ;) I'm currently using a DE200 head with a DE410 cab and I'm planning of adding a Groove 600 head and maybe a KXB200 since it seems to be the newer version of my amp ;)

    I wish Thomann would add to their list the GK 200MB amp...the 500 version is too much for my needs and sadly a tad too expensive.

    All in all, judging by my (still limited) experience with the HB stuff (a few basses and small combos) I'd say it's a starter/budget brand, but with a very decent price/value ratio and I was actually a bit surprised that their products do hold some value, instead of being completely crap (as I was expecting at first). Like previously stated, I'd buy HB over Behringer or Stagg...but with just a little extra money, there are better options. I guess it depends on how tight your budget really is and how much money you're willing to spend on gear ;)
     
  7. bb5000

    bb5000

    May 30, 2006
    Sundsvall, Sweden
    I posted a link to the manufacturer in China a few posts up
     
  8. Sten

    Sten

    Nov 18, 2001
    Estonia
    I just doublechecked and indeed it's not there. I'm 100% sure they had it a month ago or so though. Somewhy this has been removed.
     
  9. it's too bad it didn't have a preamp in, or an FX loop. If you didn't like the sound, you could bypass the preamp there and use your external preamp of choice.
     
  10. bb5000

    bb5000

    May 30, 2006
    Sundsvall, Sweden
    It has an "Aux in", I would imagine that could be used
     
  11. IngerAlb

    IngerAlb

    May 11, 2007
    Thanks! ;) Interesting ;)


    @Sten: I can't remember seeing the GK MB200 in their list, but at that time I was interested in another brand/model, so I could have missed it. I hope they'll come to their senses and order some new units, because I've been through the entire official GK European distributors list and so far Thomann seems my only shot at getting that amp...pff...
     
  12. I wonder if that would work--the aux inputs I've dealt with (not too many) don't run through the power amp section of the amp, but (parallel?) to it.

    (not sure if that's the correct way to say it, but the main volume doesn't control the aux input)
     
  13. bb5000

    bb5000

    May 30, 2006
    Sundsvall, Sweden
    yeah, maybe it only mixes the signal to the headphone output...
     
  14. bb5000

    bb5000

    May 30, 2006
    Sundsvall, Sweden
    The HB BA500H arrived today, I've tested it briefly in my 2 x Ampeg SVT410HE , the amp should deliver 500W at 4 ohms.

    On occasion, I crank my 300W tube head at home just for kicks. The BA500H can compete with that. No problems.

    Tone ? For me, the answer is the Contour control. LOW at 1 o'clock, HIGH at 10 o'clock and CONTOUR at 2-3 o'clock. Graphic EQ off, no BASS BOOST or BRIGHT BOOST, COLOR control off. Thats it..

    A nice, 3.4kg, backup/portable head for 249 €.

    IMG_0100.jpg

    IMG_0099.jpg

    I haven't checked the possibility to use another preamp, but the manual states that the Master Volume controls the level of a signal inserted at the AUX input (stereo) so it might work.

    EDIT: I've inserted a signal from Line-out of a PC audio card into AuxIn and can control the output level with Master Volume so I guess that an external preamp would work..
     
  15. Sten

    Sten

    Nov 18, 2001
    Estonia
    Something is going on, the MB500 is removed from Thomann webpage now aswell. This is really suprising for me. I hope they are not going to discontinue selling GK.
     
  16. IngerAlb

    IngerAlb

    May 11, 2007
    This usually happens when they don't plan on restocking that specific item...the MBs were probably too much of a competition for the more traditional GK amps so that might be the cause....
     
  17. TheBass

    TheBass

    Jul 2, 2004
    Germany
    @bb5000: I am going to pull the trigger for the BA500H as well. Any issues with your BA500H after 2 months ?
     
  18. gafbass02

    gafbass02

    Nov 9, 2005
    cheltenham uk
    I'm very tempted too. Love to hear more first hand experience
     
  19. and in europe many were aleardy using the markbass light stuff
     
  20. bb5000

    bb5000

    May 30, 2006
    Sundsvall, Sweden
    Yeah, actually I had to return it for repairs after 3 weeks. The problem was similar to problems identified with the Ibanez Promethean, it took 15-90 seconds for it to power up after switching it on. They changed the power supply and it has been working fine since then. Thomann refunded the shipping cost and the support was excellent.
     
  21. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

     
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