GA5H review by Harley Benton

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  • Sound: 10
  • Overall Impression: 9
  • Reliability & Durability: 8
  • Features: 8
  • Reviewer's score: 8.8 Superb
  • Users' score: 8.5 (6 votes)
Harley Benton: GA5H

Price paid: $ 113.46

Purchased from: Thomann

Sound — 10
I use this through my Marshall Valvestate VS102R 2x12 with a tube screamer clone and it's just awesome. It breaks up with the volume at around 4, anything over 8 with a humbucker sounds very overdriven and British. When using my strat through it I can hear all the shimmering highs I was missing with solid state amps. The EQ really alters the tone of the amp, I can't understand why they don't use it on the Epiphone VJ. With the amp at full volume through a 2x12 cab it is very loud and could easily be heard over a drummer.

Overall Impression — 9
I think this amp could cope with any style of music, it just depends on what pedals you use. If you look at the other small tube amps out there this wins hands down for value. It's only 62, that's half the price of the Epiphone Valve Junior and the Fender champ 600. It's easy to mod as well, for just a few pounds more and a few hours with a soldering iron this GA5H can be turned into something sounding like a 1000 boutique amp. Don't let the fact it's only got 5W of power fool you, this little fella is loud! If it were stolen I would buy another, at this price I might even buy two.

Reliability & Durability — 8
Solid. I have heard of problems with the combo version but the head seems bullet proof. It looks really classy with its cream vinyl finish. The feet and the corner protectors are attached with self tappers and are going knowhere, all the knobs and inputs feel very durable. I would gig this without a backup.

Features — 8
The Harley Benton GA5H, guitar head, 5 Watt (class A), 1 channel, 1 volume, and 1 tone control, 1 x 12AX7 and 1 x EL84 tubes, speaker outputs 4, 8 and 16 Ohms. Made in 2007 this amp is just an Epiphone Valve Junior with a tone knob added, they make them in the same factory but badge these up as 'Harley Benton' for Thomann. It's a very simple but brilliant little amp, the front panel consists of the input jack, a volume knob, an EQ knob and the power Switch. The only thing I would add is a headphone output.

10 comments sorted by best / new / date

    i would avoid the combo like the plague, the speakers tiny and horrible, but combine it with a Harley Benton vintage cab, 112 212 or 412 (I find it works best with the 212) and you've got class A tube into celestion vintage 30s for a damn bargain. and a 212 cab worthy of almost any other head you could put on it, I also found the stereo mode useful as I change can use it as a 112 for late night jamming. also I hear the G212 vintage cab is the cheapest way to get V30's in the states plus you get free wiring and a nice 16/8 ohm 2 input backplate for DIY cabs
    i feel so stupid, i just read through my above comment thinking "wow this guy knows what he's talking about" then realised it was me, makes sense really, i do think that stuff. LOL
    i have a valvestate too, how did you match the HB head with the valvestate? i would like to have the HB cleans in the valvestate but how do i do it? did you modified the HB head? thanks