This is my Harley Benton HB-20R Review.
You know, they say that size isn’t everything, and in the case of the Harley Benton HB-20R, they might be onto something. Let’s think about this for a moment. We’ve all been that kid (or adult, no judgment here!) who’s walked into a guitar store, plugged into the biggest amp on display, and hoped nobody noticed when we accidentally played that off-key version of “Stairway to Heaven.” Enter the HB-20R, Harley Benton’s little pocket rocket that’s out to prove it’s not the size of the amp in the fight, but the size of the fight in the amp!
- 20 watts of power
- 8″ custom voiced speaker
- 2 channels: Clean and Overdrive
- 3-band EQ
- Built-in reverb
Control Panel and Connections
The control panel is what makes or breaks an amp for many players. For its size, the HB-20R offers a surprisingly intuitive layout. With dedicated volume controls for both the clean and overdrive channels, it makes channel-switching a breeze. The 3-band EQ, consisting of Bass, Middle, and Treble, provides ample room to shape your sound. And let’s not forget about that built-in reverb – the cherry on top. Connection-wise, there’s an input for your guitar, a headphones out for silent practice, and an aux-in for jamming to backing tracks. All in all, a simple yet effective panel.
When it comes to amp sounds, it’s clear Harley Benton has tried to capture a broad spectrum in this little guy. The clean channel is crisp and, dare I say, chimey. Flip over to the overdrive, and you’ve got grit that ranges from bluesy break-up to full-on rock roar. It’s not a metal machine by any means, but for its size and price point, it covers quite a bit of ground.
The HB-20R offers a decent amount of volume for its size, and while it might not stand up to a full drum kit in a rehearsal space, it’s perfect for home practice or acoustic jams. The aforementioned EQ provides enough flexibility for various genres, but the reverb does steal the show. It’s lush and spacious, adding depth without muddiness.
Electronics and Hardware
Delving into the electronics and hardware, the 8” custom voiced speaker punches above its weight. While it might not have the bass response of a 12-inch speaker, for bedroom practice and small gigs, it more than holds its own. The amp chassis feels sturdy and is well-finished. The knobs have a tactile feel, making dialing in your desired tone a pleasant experience.
Pros and Cons
- Affordable and offers great value for the price.
- Versatile range of sounds for its size.
- Surprisingly good reverb.
- Limited headroom on the clean channel.
Based on customer reviews, the general consensus is that for the money, the HB-20R is hard to beat. Here are a couple of notable mentions:
- “I can’t believe how bloody loud this thing is, wholly overkill for me on so many levels. Highly recommend as a beginner amp. 11/10.” – Danycaster.
- “For a beginner or someone needing a practice amp, this is a no-brainer.” – Jimmy L.
- “I was surprised by the overdrive. It’s not just noise; there’s character there.” – Sarah M.
However, a user did mention this:
- “I wish the clean had a bit more headroom. It breaks up a little too early for my taste.” – Mike D.
The Harley Benton HB-20R is a solid option for those on a budget or in need of a compact practice solution. While it might not replace your main gigging amp, it’s perfect for those late-night practice sessions or small gatherings. Remember, it’s not trying to be the biggest and loudest on the block – it’s just trying to give you the best bang for your buck.
There you have it, rockstars! Whether you’re shredding in your bedroom or just starting your guitar journey, the HB-20R might just be the little amp with a big heart that you’re looking for. Keep rockin’! 🎸🤘