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Hartke LH500

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by KJung, Jun 19, 2008.

  1. BlacknWhite

    BlacknWhite Supporting Member

    I believe its pre EQ post pre amp tubes. Yeah its a nice little head. I used one for about 4 years of solid gigging and it never let me down. Could get some pretty killer tones out of it.
    jcburn likes this.
  2. MattNY


    Sep 23, 2016
    Finger Lakes , NY
    Just wanted throw my hat into the ring regarding the LH500:

    Love it! I play in a classic rock cover band and a doom metal band: the LH500 is great both genres. Likewise, I play hardcore and punk tunes; again, the LH500 works so well for me. To echo what others have said, the tube preamp will not give you grit or breakup, but I do hear a warmth to the tone that I attribute to the preamp. Of course, no where near the warmth and tube sag you get with an all-tube amp (I play my brothers Bugera 1960 Infinium as a bass head from time to time, so that's my frame of reference for this comment). My basses are a Squier VM Jag (stacked tone knobs), MIM Fender P, and an Ibanez ATK200. This amp responds well to all three of three of theses basses. For effects I run a Green Rhino, Red Llama, Boss ODB3, DOD Gunslinger, and the Behringer BDi21. This amp responds wonderfully to all these effects! Good clarity and projection into the room!

    The eq stack works well for me: I dime the mids while setting the bass and treble to 2. Very even tone response and I have no issues with achieving any tone I want. The Bdi21 turns this thing into a great sounding Ampeg-ish machine. I generally set the eq to a flat tone, shape my mids with an eq pedal, then dial in some grit and warmth with the above effects. In summary, I would say that my bass's natural tone comes through wonderfully; i.e. very little tone coloration. The pre-amp adds a touch of warmth (again I do not want to convey that this amp can give you the warmth of an all-tube amp) to your bass's tone. No reliability issues so far and I am not sure of the amp's birth date as I bought it used via Guitar Center. Pots get scratchy from time to time, but no major impact on the amp's performance. The input jacks tend to loosen up some as well; I just finger tighten them and I am good to go.

    Some day I desire a an all-tube amp because they are fun to play though! Otherwise, this amp is it for me....It allows me to obtain the tones I need without sounding lifeless or sterile and yet my bass's tone shines through. How Cool! My backup amps are Ibanez Promethean 500H and GK 400rb. The LH500 is more transparent than the Promethean and lounder to my ears: it projects my sound into the room to fill the space better than the Promethean does. The Promethean is quite transparent, but it adds this organic woody sound to the tone that does not slam through the guitars in a heavy mix whereas the LH500 can. The GK rb400 is sterile and cold sounding to my ears when compared to the LH500. Also, the LH500 responds much better to my passive basses and effects than the GK does. I always thought the rb400 sounding crummy with effects and did not allow the character of a passive pickups to come through. The rb400 slices through, over, or under the mix...I can never get that amp to produce a tone that SITS in the mix to fill the the band's sound out.

    I've been playing the LH500 for a bit over a year now - it's my go to amp! I would like to try the new Hartke Attack for tone shaping, and would love to get my hands on a Hartke Kilo if the funds permit me doing so.
  3. freshbass


    Jul 17, 2004
    Great amp. $399 new at sweetwater.
  4. freshbass


    Jul 17, 2004
    The LH500 has a fan filter port on its face for easy cleaning.
  5. jjk2007

    jjk2007 Supporting Member

    Apr 16, 2008
    Austin, TX
    Zombie thread resurrection! I used to have the LH1000/Hydrive 410 setup and it slammed! GAS got the best of me though.....
  6. Lowtonejoe

    Lowtonejoe Supporting Member

    Jul 3, 2004
    Pasco, WA
    I've used the LH500 through a Bad End S15-CUS for years.

    Most EXCELLENT amp.
  7. dbase

    dbase Gold Supporting Member

    Jan 3, 2008
    South Jersey, USA..
    Here's my 2 cents, I mean 2 12's
    bass rig.jpg
    SteveFromBerlin likes this.
  8. Blaze Barlow

    Blaze Barlow

    Mar 8, 2018
    I dont care anything about Hartke...I had a LH1000 and used it for a practice / tune up amp...at loud volume the metal top of the amp would rattle / buzz really bad from vibration...especially when I played an "A" note..got rid of it right away.
  9. Lowtonejoe

    Lowtonejoe Supporting Member

    Jul 3, 2004
    Pasco, WA
    Bummer. Did you throw a screwdriver at it? A rattling lid seems pretty darned minor.
    dannnnn likes this.

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