Guitarsite Forums Guitar Discussion Guitar Ext cab connection question

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  • #24801

    Harley Benton GA15 tube combo amp has a 8 ohm int speaker. The amp has speaker jacks of 4, 8, and 16 ohm.(1 jack per ohm rating) The int speaker is plugged to the 8 ohm jack. If I want to use a 8 ohm ext cab and the int speaker at the same time, could I use a Y cable, and connect them both to the 4 ohm jack?
    I understood that two 8 ohm speakers in parallel is equal to 4 ohms.
    Is this the correct way to do this?

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    • #127161

      Yep, I can see a lot of good reasons for buying the Harley-Benton 15W, most of which you’ve pointed out. If it were not for the fact that I get the WEM Dominator MkIII for under £150 with a little patience, I would consider one myself. The Dominator is God’s Own Combo, but now 30 years old and that means issues that might need sorting, and you can forget modern ideas like FX loop or even ext cab sockets.

      The H-B is much cheaper than the Epiphone, doesn’t have the awful DSP, and I know plenty of real tonehounds enjoying them. 15W of valve is different to 15W of transistor. Whereas solid state will reach 15W and then just square-wave off, a valve amp is rated as 15W “undistorted” and can pump out considerably more oomph with a bit of distortion that guitarists quite like anyway. Perfect for light rehearsals and home/studio use.

      I’d do the same as you. Use an extension cab for pushing out and the internal (lower quality) speaker as a monitor. I wouldn’t mess about spending tens of euros replacing the OPT. However, I would think about Mullard EL84s and I am sure this would require a change of the screen grid resistor. Mullard EL84s have a “mini-Marshall” sound at fairly low volumes and I do love that. With a lot less effort, though, the primary ECC83 can simply be swapped for a Mullard (they’re damn pricey though; compared with the EL84) or (cheaper) a Tungsram or RFT and you’ll notice a pleasant improvement without any tech knowledge or soldering required.

    • #127162

      The HB GA15, IMHO is a good amp for the money. Straight out the box it isn’t bad at all. With my Gibson LesPaul, it has a good warm sound. It responds like a tube amp should.If a person wants tons of distortion, a pedal will be needed. It doesn’t have quite the noise problem like the HB GA5H that I have. I only have tried the stock tubes, I have not changed anything.(Yet) When I put my GT-8(NO amp sims) in front, things get better. I use natural OD, the EQ, and just a hint of delay and reverb, and this little guy sounds good to me. I have used it in the bandroom this way with good results.(Vol about 12oclock)
      When I hook my ext. cab to the amp like I asked, to me, it sounds great. The ext. cab really enhances the overall tone. the int. speaker is not total junk by any means, but it cant compare to my ext. cab. I like to have the int. speaker working so when I sit the amp on top of the cab, it brings some sound up closer to my ear.
      I like the versitility the FX loop(serial) provides. I can run the GT-8 with amp sims direct to the return, and they sound pretty decent, but I doubt I will use this option much, because the amp sounds good on its own.
      My only complaint thus far, is there is a little rattle coming from somewhere when I really crank it. Its not horribly bad, but I need to track it down.
      Again. I don’t think you can go wrong for the money. I will say again, this is my OPINION!!! We all know how personal tone is to a guitar player. Just remember what it costs, and what it is, and I don’t think anybody could really complain. 160Euros(German cost) for a full tube amp. Not too shabby.

    • #127159

      Hello Shmuck and welcome 🙂

      The Harley-Benton combos and heads are made by the same people who make (and are practically identical to) the Epiphone valve amps like the Epi Valve Jr (1xEL84, 5W) and the Valve Standard 15 (2xEL84). The difference between your Harley Benton and the Epiphone Valve Standard 15 is that it is a lot cheaper, partly because the H-B lacks the Epi’s built in DSP. Now, most amp’s built in DSPs are unsatisfactory but the Epi’s sucks like Grandma with a quail’s egg so you have done yourself a considerable favour buying the H-B (not such a shmuck after all 😉 )

      The early 5W valve Jr had numerous, cheap + gunky component issues that gave rise to a lot of mods. Later models have been improved, although the industry surrounding the mods, particularly BitMo, is now well established. Not so much attention has been given to modding the 15W (I presume the speaker is the same, and is a prime candidate for replacement) and one review on the web says the 15 is better sounding than the 5W in stock form.

      AFAIK, it is assumed that an external speaker would be plugged in to give more oomph (and improve on the internal’s tone) so most people would disconnect the internal and plug the cab into the 8 ohm socket. If you wish to retain the internal whilst using the cab, I think you’re right. You can either use a splitter to connect cab + internal to the 4 ohm socket (the two 8 ohm loads in parallel will equate to 4 ohm overall) or a 2nd option. If your cab has a 2nd, “daisy chain” jack socket (many do) you could use a female-male jack extension lead to plug the internal into the “daisy chain” on your cab and a standard lead to connect the cab to the 4 ohm socket (again) of the GA15.

      For 150 euros, the GA15 is an outstanding bargain, IMO, and can be upgraded further. First stop is the speaker (so a nice external cab is a bonus) and some would go to the lengths of replacing the output transformer (not a quality unit in the original and the OPT does have an effect on tone). Resistor tweaks to cut down the Jr/5W brightness don’t appear to be so necessary with the 15, particularly if you’re not deliberately trying to get a “Fender” or “Marshall” tonestack. Me, I would like to replace the cathode resistor so that I could use old Mullard, RCA etc EL84s rather than the modern JJs and Sovtek rubbish that the amp is designed to use. But, as Lee will tell you, I’m a boring valve-sniffer with a fetish for old British and US glassware.

      Please tell us more about how the GA15 sounds to you, likes/dislikes etc.

    • #127160

      1bassleft will sort you out on your speaker question, but while we are waiting for him…. what do you think of the Harley Benton? ive seen them on Thomann website :

      they seem to look OK, they are cheap enough so what do you think? worth a buy? i must admit i would have bought the 15watt head rather than the combo.

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