In a world full of tube amps made of Fender, Orange, Marshall and VOX, there’s also one underrated amp which deserves a lot of attention – Harley Benton TUBE15 Celestion. I recently had the pleasure to test it out and it was awesome!
TUBE15 is pretty much a perfect tube amp for any guitarist – it can be used for practice, gigs or even recording. It’s way cheaper than and Fender and it’s actually on a similar level.
And no, this is not a sponsored review. I’m just a really big fan of that piece of gear! I’ll make this post unbiased as possible, so don’t worry – we’ll cover the disadvantages as well. It’s not ideal after all.
About Harley Benton TUBE15
This is probably one of the coolest 15-Watt amps made by this brand. I had the pleasure to test out the HB-10 and HB-20R (solid-state), but they were significantly worse than TUBE15. It’s not surprising – in the end, it’s a highly responsive tube combo.
Based on the reviews on Thomann, it seems very clear that most people are happy with it. As of today, the combo was reviewed 572 times and it has a high score of 4.8 out of 5. That’s pretty good, right? If you want to read these reviews, they’re on the TUBE15 product page (you have to scroll down to see it).
The manufacturer equipped this model with a 12″ Celestion 8 Ohm speaker. This is sick! I think that it’s probably one of the most important factors that makes this combo so cool.
The sound is really good, especially when you crank up the volume. Your neighbors will definitely hear you.
What’s interesting, this model also has a 6.3 mm Jack loudspeaker output. This means that you can connect it to an external speaker as well. So if you want to get even a louder tone, it’s totally possible.
Harley Benton also used a lot of high quality tubes in here. That includes:
- three ECC83/12AX7 preamp tubes
- two EL84 power tubes
If you don’t know that much about tube amps, just believe me – the quality of these components is really good. They will definitely last you for a long time.
The simplicity of TUBE15 Celestion is also a big advantage. As you can see on the photos, it has a few controls that include Gain, Volume, Tone, Bass, Middle, Treble, Reverb.
There’s also a switch that allows you to change power from 15 Watts to 1 Watt. It’s very useful, especially if you want to use it at lower volume.
The built-in reverb is quite nice too. It’s not the best in the world and it won’t replace a high-end reverb pedal (such as Walrus Audio Slo for example), but it still gets the job done and it adds a lot of space to your tone.
I actually quite like that spring reverb sound! It’s perfect for indie, alternative and surf rock tones. Here’s a really good demo that highlights that tone.
The overall build quality also deserves a high score. As you’re probably aware, Harley Benton’s products are usually made in China. But it doesn’t mean that they’re bad. I NEVER had problems with their stuff.
It’s quite heavy (around 11.5kg) and it’s made with a thorough attention to detail. This is important, because it means that you’ll be able to use it for years to come.
Just don’t annoy your wife with your playing and you’ll be fine. Otherwise, she’ll probably throw it away. But I’m sure that you’re an amazing guitar player so she’ll never do that!
So shoutout to Harley Benton and the quality control in their factories. Your employees should get a big raise!
If you’re a type of guitar nerd like me, you probably want to know all the stuff unnecessary for normal humans. That’s why I created a little table for you with all the specs.
|Number of Channels||1|
|Power||15W / 1W|
|Input||6.3 mm jack|
|Footswitch||Yes (not included)|
|Dimensions||42.7cm x 43.5cm x 23.5 cm|
|Introduced in||January 2020|
|External FX Loop||Yes|
|External Speaker Connection||Yes|
Want to hear it sounds? Well, there are A LOT of demos out there. You can either check out sound samples on Thomann or you can watch some of the video reviews on YouTube, for example the official one below.
Let’s be honest – although TUBE15 is generally a great combo, it could always be better. There’s a few things that you just have to be aware of.
I can think of two major cons of that amp. That includes:
- limited power for larger gigs
- no footswitch
If you’re a gigging musician like me, you need a reliable and powerful combo. Ideally, you should get a 20 or even 30-Watt amp. You can still use a 15-Watt amp like TUBE15 for gigs, but you will have to use a mic.
The lack of footswitch is also a disadvantage. Come on Harley Benton, you can do better than that. Why can’t include it with the amp and save us a lot of time?
Who Should Get It?
I think that Harley Benton TUBE15 Celestion will be ideal for everyone who wants to get a high quality tube amp without paying too much. Forget about the Marshalls and Fenders, this is probably the best tube amp that you can get at this price level.
It’s also beginner-friendly. Are you a guitar noob? Perfect, you can still get it. Choosing a cheaper solid-state amp is probably a better idea, but you’ll be happy with it nevertheless. So no matter whether you’re an amateur, a skilled guitarist or a pro, you will be pleasantly surprised with its quality.
I’ve been testing out different amps and guitars for a while now and I stumbled upon a lot of good gear. Here’s a few of my recommendations for those who believe that TUBE15 is a bit too expensive for them.
The Crush 20 is probably one of the best cheap practice amps that I ever tested. It has everything you need – enough power for rehearsals and practice, low price and great tone.
Two channels make it very easy to switch from clean tones to overdrive. It’s not a tube amp, but it sounds close to TUBE15.
This is a smaller version of Crush 20. It’s smaller and less powerful, but on the other hand – it’s cheaper. So if you’re looking for a practice combo and you’re okay with having 12 Watts, this is the way to go.
The biggest disadvantage is only one channel. It means that you’ll have to adjust all the settings manually every time when you want to switch from clean to dirty tone. Kind of annoying, but it has its charm I guess.
This is an absolutely sick battery-powered amp. You can take it pretty much anywhere with you and it has enough power for efficient practice at home. It will never sound as good as TUBE15, but it’s way more affordable. If that’s what you’re looking for – go for it!
My Thoughts On Harley Benton’s Gear
Guys, I have to say that I’m a big fan of gear made by Harley Benton. I tested dozens of their guitars and a few of their amps and their quality was always on point.
Their gear is far from being the best, but I’d risk and say that right now they’re the best in the segment of low-level guitars and amps. You just won’t find better gear at this price level.
So if you’re wondering if their gear is worth it – yeah, it’s worth it. Maybe it’s not Fender, VOX or Marshall, but come on – their gear is only slightly better. When you directly compare Harley Bentons with their competitors, it seems clear that they are actually VERY close to providing the same quality as their more expensive counterparts.
Long story short – TUBE15 Celestion is a fantastic tube combo which is worth every cent. High quality tubes, great build quality and relatively low price – who needs anything else?
If you end up with it in your bedroom, make sure to leave a comment down below. Other readers will benefit from reading what you think about it.
Thanks for checking out today’s post, I really appreciate that! If you’re looking for more gear recommendations, I have a whole section with reviews of amps, guitars and pedals that I had. Photos and sound demos included!