Other Amps

Cute retro Harmony amp being (re)released

1

Harmony model 8418. 5 watts and a 6" Jensen speaker. 6V6, 6SJ7 octal preamp tube. Demoed here: Demo

2

Dang they coulda stuck an 8 or even a 10 in that thing.

3

Looks interesting and not bad for $400 It's made in Singapore, probably to keep costs down.

4

It’s a shame they didn’t squeeze an 8” in there. The wiring actually looks decent.

5

I suppose you could run it into a larger cab.

6

You can get the real thing for half the price of the fake one.

Questions?

7

Just like the Gretsch G5222/Fender Champ 600, they go with a tiny 6" speaker. Like the idea of a 5 watt amp, but I don't get the reason for too small of a speaker.

8

the parent company-bandlab tech.- is out of singapore...they own a whole bunch of brands...the current 3 solidbody harmony guitars are made in the old gibson/heritage factory in kalamazoo... they also run heritage

give'm props for a handwired octal amp...but vintage 47 is around..

cheers

9

I will stick with my Supro BK12.. that 6 inches kills it

10

I got no problem with a 6" ALNICO Jensen... it's better than the 6" POS foam-surround speaker Fender put in the Champion 600 Reissue... this little Harmony seems to be everything I WISHED the C600 was (but wasn't): good speaker, decent-sized cab (sounds better), hand wired, OCTAL (the original Champion 600 WAS octal)...

I don't think the price is out of line at all, and I'm THIS close to ordering one.... I always wanted a Moonshine 39 or Vintage 47, but truth be told, I'll never use these things live, they would be for my home use only, and the looks, size, construction, and price of this Harmony looks 'bout near perfect to me.

BTW I've been doing some digging, and it looks like the original 8418's had both 8" AND 6" speakers, I've seen pics of both.... so a 6" isn't "incorrect"...

11

I got no problem with a 6" ALNICO Jensen... it's better than the 6" POS foam-surround speaker Fender put in the Champion 600 Reissue... this little Harmony seems to be everything I WISHED the C600 was (but wasn't): good speaker, decent-sized cab (sounds better), hand wired, OCTAL (the original Champion 600 WAS octal)...

I don't think the price is out of line at all, and I'm THIS close to ordering one.... I always wanted a Moonshine 39 or Vintage 47, but truth be told, I'll never use these things live, they would be for my home use only, and the looks, size, construction, and price of this Harmony looks 'bout near perfect to me.

BTW I've been doing some digging, and it looks like the original 8418's had both 8" AND 6" speakers, I've seen pics of both.... so a 6" isn't "incorrect"...

– ruger9

I totally agree about the stock Champ 600 speaker, but the Italian Jensen’s aren’t all that. I’ve stopped using, replacing and recommending the new Jensens based on personal experience of multiple new speaker failures. Solder tabs and magnet structures falling off. Just terrible quality.

My two cents.

12

Ordered.

Old-school, new production, octal amps are as rare as hen's teeth (well, affordable ones are...), so this really seems to be a special thing... of course there are Vintage 47 and Nocturne, and if I were gigging and needed the volume that would be different... but for my own personal use, this sexy little thing seems perfect.

I tried and tried to get the Champion 600 Reissue "there", with mods and a new speaker (Vintage 47 alnico), but it never "arrived"... I think the tiny cab was holding it back (and the 12A_7 tube, of course)... the original C600s WERE Octal, and sounded amazing.

13

I look forward to the review. I'm quite impressed that the circuit is hand-wired and the lead dressing looks pretty good from the photo. There was a recent thread at the TDPRI about an inexpensive tube amp experiencing problems. The circuit had a flimsy PCB with teeny-tiny SMD resistors and capacitors - are you kidding me? On a high voltage amp? At least the new Harmony amp looks like it can be repaired (and modded) without too much fuss.

And listening to the demo on Reverb.com it tone is pretty sweet with the 6" speaker. I'm sure someone will come up with a mod to provide a connection to an external speaker cab - that would be quite cool as I would expect the amp to sound great though a 12" speaker.

I'd be more interested if there were a head version of this amp. Then I could make use of my old Vox Buckingham 2x12 speaker cab!

14

Looks great. Amazingly, it sounds exactly like a tiny 5-watt 1-tube amp with a 6” speaker.

How EVER do they do it?

15

Just like they did 60 years ago Tim.

16

Looks great. Amazingly, it sounds exactly like a tiny 5-watt 1-tube amp with a 6” speaker.

How EVER do they do it?

– Proteus

hah..actually its got 3 tubes!!! the 6v6 power tube, a tube rectifier and the octal preamp tube!

harmony also showed a series 6 - amp line at one of the recent namms...marked coming soon on their site....tho not w octal preamp tube

cheers

17

Just like they did 60 years ago Tim.

– Yavapai

I always wanted one of those. It may sound like a fart in a cardboard box, but it looks so damned cool.

18

Finally got the shipping notice. It's coming from California... interesting, since the company is in Kalamazoo MI. Right off the boat?

19

It's here.

Very quick review:

It definitely has that old-school tone I have heard out of amps like Vintage 47, where they are going for that old amp thing. IDK if that's the 6SJ7 specifically, or the circuit, but it does not, for example, sound like the Champion 600 Reissue.

It does not get dirty... in the demo video, Andy is pushing it with clean boost to get those tones. This amp, by itself, is capable of no more than what I would call "Charlie Christian breakup"... which is fine with me, that's what I'm after. The Champion 600 Reissue got MUCH dirtier... you had to put a 12AU7 in it to get it down to the clean levels this Harmony 8418 is putting out.

It has to be up at 7 or higher to do this (10 is best). And at 10....

1) it hums. This is not abnormal, every tube amp I own, when cranked, hums. It's the nature of the beast. It hums less as you turn the volume down, which is of course normal. The Champion 600 hummed. My Bad Cat hums. My Supersonics both hum.

2) even on 10, it's not loud. At all. Nowhere near as loud as the demo makes it out to be. This is TRULY a "home amp"... even on 10, you won't be disturbing anyone. Which-again- is OK with me... that's MY purpose for this amp: old-school tones at home volumes. Actually, anything below 5 on the dial is so quiet it's not even usable for me... no idea if the original ones were this quiet...? [interestingly, the Champion 600 Reissue: out of the box, with it's 12AX7 and Fender tone stack, was much louder and dirtier and brighter. But I disabled the tone stack for more mids, put a V47 hemp cone in for darker tone, and a 12AU7 in for cleaner tone.... and that MODDED C600 did sound a lot like this Harmony, in both volume (lack of) and tone.]

I only wish I had a proper P90 archtop to play through it, that would be the ultimate test for me. I have a tele, a P90 thinline tele, and my Grestch with Filtertrons. Oh- that's another observation: this amp is not capable of that "Gretsch sparkly" sound... at least not with Filtertrons... the high end is simply not available.

If you have any questions, fire away. But I'll say that for old-school tones, at low volumes for home use, and cool looks to boot, they done good.

OH- and there doesn't appear to be a HI and LO input like we are used to; both inputs are the same. As if to plug 2 instruments into the same amp... I assume the originals were like this as well.

20

quick addendum:

I put a Spark Booster in front of it, and was able to achieve more blackface-y/Gretschy tones (the full-size Spark Booster is an EQ as well as a booster). I guess this is the reverse of say, putting a Junior Barnyard in front of a PRRI.

21

Lots of room to experiment with that preamp.

22

I'm done modding stuff. Aside from swapping pickups and speakers, I have decided I either like something as is or I don't; I'm tired of trying to bend things to my will. I accept them for what they are, like them or don't, and move on.

I had THREE Champion 600s, modded the hell out of 1 of them. Sold them all. In the end, a Champion 600 with a lower-gain preamp tube (my favorite was an ECC832) and a V47 speaker (which is a hemp cone made by Tone Tubby), that little amp then sounded like this Harmony. I only sold it because I knew I wouldn't use it much, and I wanted other stuff.

IDK if I'll keep the Harmony or not. It IS that old-school, octal, Charlie Christian tone, no doubt about it. At VERY friendly home volumes. It would go beautifully with an ES-125, Loar 309, or Godin Kingpin P90... none of which I own (yet)

23

I really like the idea of this amp. Beyond that, jury's still out.

24

Well, as I said- it depends on it's usage. If you want the octal amp thing, at low home volumes, for your own enjoyment (which is MY usage), it's perfect. If you want that octal amp thing to gig with... you need a Nocturne Moonshine '39, a Vintage 47, or an actual vintage octal tube amp.


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