Harley Benton Block-800B

Amp Head for Electric Bass

  • Power: 800W @ 4Ω
  • Class-D ICE power amplifier
  • 4-Band EQ
  • Smart Compressor
  • DI output with pre/post and lift/ground switches
  • High/Low switch for active/passive bass
  • Mute function
  • Tuner output
  • Line input with volume control
  • Headphone output
  • FX loop
  • Speaker Twist speaker connections - min. 4 Ωs
  • Dimensions 240 x 255 x 88 mm
  • Weight: 2.9 kg

Further information

Power 800 W
Equalizer 4-Band
Compressor Yes
Limiter No
Effects unit No
External effect loops Yes
Speaker Connector Speakon
Headphone Output Yes
DI Output Yes
Tuner Out Yes
Rack mount No

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3 written ratings Read all reviews
Total
features
sound
quality
handling

800W in a convenient box

Giga2, 17.05.2018
This head has the merit to bring a lot of power in a little and not expenive package. The preamp section is not exciting but does the job. I use the head mainly with an external preamp.
Pro:
- low price (a lot of value for the money)
- Fan not audible in home/studio usage

Cons:
- Low quality switches.
- Preamp section.
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Total
features
sound
quality
handling

Compact powerhouse with a very good pre-stage, quality output stage and quiet fan, but overall high cut-off frequency

Dennis79, 15.04.2018
Compact powerhouse with very good pre-stage, quality final stage and quiet fan, but overall high Grenzfreqenz.

I use the amp in a jazz-rock project with a 2x12 "box and play a passive P-bass with DiMarzio pickups, because of the passive pickups I have been looking for an amplifier with a very high input impedance to get the most brilliant sound possible Amplifiers with the lowest possible weight have high power reserves.This is exactly what I have found with the block 800B with its 800Watt at 4Ohm and an input impedance of 1.5MOhm.

The performance is certainly more than sufficient even for louder projects and in direct comparison with a Markbass 250 (this has an input impedance of 500kOhm) sounds the precursor clearer and more brilliant. It is also positive that, despite the high sensitivity, I could not detect any disturbing background noises such as noise. The DiMarzio pickups in my passive bass provide a fairly high level which some precursors can not cope with. The pre-stage of the block 800B, however, can easily pass the bass peaks of my bass free of distortion. Compared to the Markbass 250 and Tech 21 amplifier, which I tested last, the controls and the housing design seem a bit simpler, but certainly worthy. For my use, the equalizer offers meaningful intervention options in a non-exaggerated control range. Even with Vollauschlag the signal does not overdrive. Unfortunately, I have not tested the compressor, I will add that. In my opinion, the overall sound of the Markass 250 is a bit better tuned. The print heads for Mute Pre / Post etc. also leave a less good impression. These have a lot of play in the front and give almost no noticeable pressure point. Since the function is still present, this does not bother me.
All in all, the advantages for me in the amplifier outweigh, so I'll recommend this further.

To technology and audio freaks:

The ventilation slots show that a high-end ICEpower power amplifier of type ICEpower700ASC has actually been installed. According to the manufacturer's data sheet, this module delivers 700 watts for 300s at 4 ohms and a permanent 270 watts at 4/8 ohms without additional cooling measures. The power rating of 800Watt is probably achieved by using the fan and an additional cooling plate on the module.
Here, Herley Benton has definitely built a powerful high-end Endtufenmodul, for which you can thankfully also get a complete data sheet with detailed performance information for free on the Internet. From the data sheet, the suspicion is confirmed that the clipping indicator detects only an overdrive of the power amplifier. This is very useful to protect the box, but can not be used to level the pre-stage. Since I consider the display for the power amp to be quite reasonable, I would like to have an additional LED for the pre-amp.

Below I have examined the amplifier with the help of the free measurement software REW regarding the frequency response in more detail.
With the software REW can be created with the PC via an audio interface on the preamplifier and / or power amplifier of the amplifier for the entire audio frequency range known in terms of amplitude and frequency sine wave. If one measures now at the output of the amplifier (attention: at the output of Endtufen always an isolating transformer or mass filter and if necessary voltage divider measure!), One can determine the transmission behavior of the amplifier over the entire audio frequency range (20-20kHz). In this measurement, I noticed that the amplifier has a fairly high cutoff frequency of 45Hz -3dB. This means that the output signal at 45Hz is already attenuated by -3dB. 45 Hz corresponds to the frequency of the tone F # on the E string. At 30Hz, the gain is already reduced by -6dB, so the volume is reduced to half. Bassists with a H string (the fundamental frequency of the H string is 30.9 Hz) should notice this very well. In order to amplify the E-string and H-string unattenuated, a bass amplifier should have at least a lower limit frequency of 20Hz.
The lower limit frequency of the ICEpower power amplifier is according to the data sheet at 1.5Hz, so I assume that the reason for the high cutoff frequency in the preliminary stage is to be sought.
If the amplifier and the block 800B have sufficient power reserves, the lowering of the bass frequencies can be compensated with an equalizer.

+ very low-level preamplifier with high-impedance input (1.5MOhm)
+ very compact and lightweight
+ serial effects path
+ very quiet controlled fan, which is hardly audible without load or is completely switched off
+ Mute switch
+ very powerful and clear sound
+ two Speakon combi jacks
+ Through the ventilation slots it can be seen that it is in an ICE700 power amplifier, which is specified according to the data sheet only with 700Watt to 4Ohm. How the performance of 800 watts comes here, I can not understand.
+ detailed data sheet for power amplifier module ICEpower 700ASC available on the Internet

- The clipping display detects only an overdrive of the output stage and can not be used to level the pre-amp
-high limit frequency of the power amplifier at 45Hz (-3dB)
- The printheads for mute pre / post etc. have a lot of play in the front and give almost no noticeable pressure point.
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