LH500 Review

manufacturer: Hartke date: 12/14/2011 category: Bass Amplifiers

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Hartke: LH500
Hartke's hybrid LH500 is a giggable bass head that aims to fill the gap between features and affordability. This is a hybrid amp that pushes out 500 watts.
 Sound: 7
 Overall Impression: 7
 Reliability & Durability: 10
 Features: 5
 Overall rating:
 7.8 
 Reviewer rating:
 7.3 
 Users rating:
 8.3 
 Votes:
 10 
 Views:
 5,405 
review (1) pictures (2) 1 comment vote for this gear:
overall: 7.3
LH500 Reviewed by: JustRooster, on december 14, 2011
2 of 2 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 399.99

Purchased from: Not Purchased

Sound: I played this amp through three different basses. I started off with a Squier Vintage Modified Jazz Bass to try and get the best funk tone that I could muster. This amp, I found right away, was incredibly smooth. No matter how hard I hammered on the J bass, it always evened out to a balanced and smooth sustain. While some people may like that, if you're looking for punch and presence, this might not be the way to go. The next I played was a Schecter bass with active pickups. This was to attempt to get some really nice jazz tones. This is where, I think, the Hartke LH500 really shined. The warmth was incredible for a solid state amp. As with the Jbass, everything was smooth and even, almost as if it were being put through a condenser. Lastly I played a Gibson Thunderbird IV. I was trying to get some growly low end, which this amp accomplished, but not to a Stellar degree. Just for fun, I also threw a Big Muff Germanium in front. I was surprised by how well this amp took to pedals. The fuzz seemed thick and well articulated from the head. This is a great amp if you're looking to play rock and jazz on a budget, but I'd be wary if you're wanting to play funk. // 7

Reliability & Durability: There isn't much else to say other than that it's indestructible. Full metal casing on a rack mounted head? This thing wouldn't take damage in a room full of three year olds and hammers. We get quite a lot of traffic that goes through the shop. This amp sits next to a few ampegs, so it doesn't get THAT much attention. However, I've never seen one thing go wrong with this head. // 10

Overall Impression: This amp is great on the wallet and on the tone. The real money will be finding the best cabinet to play this with. I played through a Hartke Hydrive 410 for this test, and I would comfortably suggest that as well. If you want Jazz and smooth Rock tones without going broke, definitely take a look at this amp. // 7

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