Originally built in the 1950s, the 8418 tube combo is being reissued by Harmony in a limited edition in conjunction with Reverb.
Harmony 8418 tube combo
This small five-Watt 8418 combo from Harmony is a reissue of a classic, no frills combo. A small tube amp can be a glorious thing, simpler circuitry generally makes for a better amp, as long as the build quality is good and the components are well chosen.
These days, Harmony is owned by BandLab Technologies (of Cakewalk fame). This amp is a is hand-wired affair, designed using the original blueprints.
With this in mind, it could be a right little tone monster. As a fan of small valve amps, I’m pretty intrigued to hear what this model will sound like, especially in a modern setting. If you want to get an amp from the 50s, you’ll probably have to invest in repair and servicing. But this reissue could be a great way of getting some vintage tones without all the hassles of owning a 60-year-old amp.
The 8418 uses an Italian made 6-inch Jensen speaker, with an alnico magnet. The set of tubes consists of a single 6SJ7 preamp tube and a single 6V6 power tube. All components, from the capacitors to the US-made output transformer have, Harmony says, been chosen to give you maximum tone and reliability. And with only 5 Watts of power, the circuit design is pretty simple.
On this amp you can expect to achieve natural-sounding breakup into overdriven tones by pushing the preamp tube with a high output pickup, like a humbucker. Or by giving it a little juice using a boost pedal. That should be enough to make this little combo sing. The 8418 only has a single Volume control – this thing is as simple as it gets – will that equate to a great sounding amp?
I think the pricing is really good. If you are looking for a simple amp – and this one looks well made and should have great tone – then you should consider one of these little combos. I’m thinking of getting one to put in my living room, just because of its stylish looks.
Currently, the Harmony 8418 is only available in the US, so you may need to import one if you live outside the States.
RRP – USD 399