GEAR - Early 1980s Harmony Plastic 5-watt practice amp





In my last gear post, I told you about my very first guitar which I bought in the early 1980s. That guitar is long gone, but oddly enough the cheap plastic transistorized amp I bought with it from Consumer's Distributing is still in my possession.


The amplifier itself has absolutely no make or model designation printed on it anywhere. I assume it's a Harmony, because the power cord that came with it is imprinted with the Harmony logo. The cord can be detached and the amplifier can run on 6 batteries which I think are "C' batteries. Does anything even use C batteries anymore? Okay okay, maybe a couple of things but lets keep it clean here.

Back to the amplifier. I can't remember how many watts it actually puts out, but I'd think 3 to 5 watts maximum - and transistor watts at that. A half watt tube amp could blow this baby right out of the water and throw it into a tree.


The amp features a bright and normal input as well as a volume and tone control. It also offers a 1/4 inch headphone jack. I decided to open it up for the first time and noticed it has a 5w 4 ohm speaker. There are a handful of other small components mounted on a PCB and that's it - pure catalogue-store, grade-z amp!





Why did I keep this cheap plastic thing? Well it never took up much room. More importantly, it's incredibly light. The speaker magnet probably weighs close to a pound, and the rest of the amp probably weighs in at less than half that. It's a model of simplicity. The plastic doesn't exactly have the resonance of a nice speaker cabinet but the thing sounds pretty woolly when it's cranked up. One thing I love about it is that it's SO underpowered, it precludes the need of having a distortion or overdrive pedal to switch from clean to dirty. So with all due respect to Jimmy Page, here's an example of what this amp can do on it's own with absolutely no effects whatsoever.


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2 comments:

  1. I have the same little amp.Mine says HARMONY POWER PAL on it. Can't find a power adapter for it anywhere so I run it on 6 -C batteries.

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  2. Cool. Wonder how many other folks kept this little guy through the years.

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