Harley Benton G212 Vintage
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Thread: Harley Benton G212 Vintage

  1. #1


    Join Date: Feb 2015
    Location: NY, USA
    ME: Kramer Baretta
    MA: PRS Angelus Alex Lifeson

    iTrader: 0

    Harley Benton G212 Vintage

    After watching a number of YouTube videos raving about it, I purchased the Harley Benton G212 Vintage cabinet ( https://www.thomannmusic.com/harley_...12_vintage.htm ) a 2X12 cabinet with 2 Celestion Vintage 30 speakers.

    Before this purchase, I had 2 4X12 cabinets (from order of purchase): Crate Blue Voodoo BV412ST with Eminence 86-078-16 that is switchable between 4 or 16 Ohms. The other is a Mesa 4X12 with 4 Celestion Vintage 30s, running at 8 Ohms.

    For break-in, I ran over 12 hours of "pink noise" through the cabinet, before playing through it at higher volumes.

    I've had a few weeks with the cabinet, and I have to agree that not only is it a ridiculous value, it's also a GREAT CABINET, at least for home use.

    This past weekend, I had a friend come over, who has the same Mesa cabinet, and the main idea was to determine if I was going to keep the Blue Voodoo. Within 5 minutes, I knew the Blue Voodoo was going to be put on the market. It's not because it's a bad cabinet. To the contrary, it's a really great cabinet. Built like a tank, sounds great, but it's just a matter of taste. I play classic rock/hair metal style songs and that cab has served me well. But in comparison, it seems to have a lot more mid-range than the others. It would probably be "the Holy Grail" cabinet for someone who plays heavier rock.

    The rest of the hour and a half was doing a comparison between the Mesa and Harley Benton. At first, I fully believed this would be an unfair comparison, a $170 2X12 cabinet, vs an $750 4X12 cabinet. But, that was on paper.

    First off, this is NOT a scientific comparison. It's just 2 clowns in a room, listening to the cabinets. Take from it, what you will.

    - Set Up -

    The signal chain was simple:

    Synergy (with Plexi and Grail modules) with an MXR EQ in the FX Loop => Seymour Duncan PowerStage 170 => Cabinet.

    Each cabinet had a speaker cable, of the same brand and make, and I switched them at the PowerStage. I would turn off the PowerStage, swap the cables, and turn it back on.

    - Sound Test -

    During testing, as expected, the two sounded different. But to our amazement, each had it's own distinct properties that we really liked. The Mesa had more lower end, but at times sounded a little "flubby" when the bass was pushed or the SAG was turned all the way up on the Synergy. The Harley Benton seemed to be more "in your face", slightly brighter with tighter bottom end. There seemed to be more clarity in the HB than the Mesa, but that could be due to the fact that the HB had about 40 hours total play on it, and the Mesa has decades of break-in.

    After about 45 minutes, I was switching so many times that the output jack for the Seymour Duncan PowerStage needed to be tightened because the nut came loose.

    Each cabinet had it own characteristics that made it almost impossible to definitively pick one over the other. In some riffs, we both liked the Mesa. In other riffs, we both liked the HB. In every case, we both chose the same cabinet. I don't think there was one test where we chose different cabinets.

    This was the case for both the Plexi and Grail modules. Adding more bass, via the MXR EQ showed the difference in ability to handle the lower end. At no time was there any "flubbiness" in the HB. But, like I mentioned before, this could be because the speaker age more than the cabinet.


    - Quality -

    From a quality standpoint, there is NO comparison between the 2 cabinets. Will the Mesa survive playing out constantly? Yes, it's proven that already. Will the Harley Benton survive? I really don't know. It's not built anywhere near as well as the Mesa. Considering the price point, how could it compare to the Mesa?

    - Value -

    On the other hand, is the Mesa approximately $600 better than the Harley Benton? I would have to say no. If you're just looking for something for the home, the Harley Benton is a no-brainer. If you constantly gig, and are looking at the HB for a gigging cabinet, you could, as long as you put some money into it to reinforce it.

    For the money, I don't think you can get a better cabinet. The speakers alone are worth more than I paid for the entire thing. I couldn't be happier.

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  3. #2


    Join Date: Dec 2008
    Location: Pennsyl-tucky
    ME: Schecter KM-7 mk iii
    MA: Wasburn D12S
    Rig: Orange Brent Hinds Terror

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    i Have one of their Vertical 2x12" and quite like it.
    I didn't do any special break-in on mine, just played it a bunch.
    It doesn't have the best vinyl on it, but as it probably wont leave my house this isn't an issue. I may get a better enclosure at some point and swap out the speakers.
    ΜΟΛΩΝ ΛΑΒΕ

  4. #3


    Join Date: Sep 2008
    Location: Lake District, UK
    ME: Blackmachine
    Rig: Helix/Matrix/Zilla

    iTrader: 11 (100%)

    I picked up a V30 HB 212 used for £80. Ripped the speakers out and put them in my Zilla. Sold the Eminence V128 and Swamp Thang for £120. Someone effectively paid me £40 to put V30's in my cab

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  6. #4


    Join Date: Oct 2016
    Location: Greensburg, IN
    ME: Dean MLX
    Rig: Blackstar ID TVP 150

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    I have the vertical here too. i think Leon suggested it to me in a thread here. when they shipped me the first one, it showed up with the front panels busted loose. both speakers were still in good condition but i requested a refund right away. thomann and I emailed back n forth for a week until they finally told me to keep the busted one and that they would send me a new one for free. I asked them to put more packaging in the box since the first one didn't really have much at all. when the second one showed up it was double boxed with a layer of bubble wrap between boxes. it was in perfect condition as well. fixed the first one by just running a few screws into the panels and mounting them to the walls of the cabinet and sold it to a friend for $100. Killer sounding cabinet for the money, man.

  7. #5


    Join Date: Apr 2017
    Location: Kansas City
    ME: ESP/LTD DV8-R
    Rig: Kemper

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    Seems like the spiritual successor to those Studio 7 cabs that were doing the same thing about ten years ago. I had one of those 2x12s back in the day and it was really solid, I regret selling it. I've been eyeing this guy, because I've been wanting to do a 6x12 type deal at gigs. I'm not sure I really want another V30 cab but a solid 2x12 for $200 is really hard to pass up.
    C'mon son.

    Hellevate

  8. #6


    Join Date: Sep 2008
    Location: Virginia Beach, USA
    ME: ESP Baby Metal
    MB: ESP Horizon 5
    Rig: KR7, 5153, MKIV, UL

    iTrader: 5 (100%)

    1x12 vs 2x12 vs 4x12 is always interesting because the filtering from speakers changes as well as the more air you have the easier it compresses so the bigger the cab it is a bit looser/squishier. Then also the way they are built has an effect too obviously, so many variables lol.

  9. #7


    Join Date: Dec 2008
    Location: Pennsyl-tucky
    ME: Schecter KM-7 mk iii
    MA: Wasburn D12S
    Rig: Orange Brent Hinds Terror

    iTrader: 0

    As fate would have it I have an Orange v 2x12" incoming - very curious to hear the difference in these cabs.

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