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NAD: Hartke LH500

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by SolarMan, Jan 3, 2014.

  1. I'm in love with this thing.

    Sounds just like eveyone says it does. Powerful, punchy, warm, articulate.

    Tube preamp and fender style tonestack. The "brite" switch really adds treble.

    The limiter, as they describe it in the manual, seems like a compressor limiter? I liked the sound with it on, and I liked the sound with it off - but I got a bit carried away with the volume and now my ears are ringing.

    My new rig:


    The most I ran through this speaker until today was 20 watts - so I am a bit stunned at what this speaker can do as well.

    Thanks for looking!

  2. SirMjac28

    SirMjac28 Patiently Waiting For The Next British Invasion

    Aug 25, 2010
    The Great Midwest
    Nice rig congrats.
  3. spaz21387


    Feb 25, 2008
    Portland oregon
    I love my lh500 I run it into a pre fender swr 6x10 and its amazing..
  4. The love affair with this amp is full on. I can't stop playing.

    I'm really amazed at how quiet this thing is. Volume set at 6 and not even the slightest hiss. Dead silent. It is awesome to hear such power jump out of such a silent background. Doesn't even seem normal, or possible.

    My fan doesn't turn on at startup either. I know that they used to so this must be an updated design. When it does come on - you can barely hear it.

    Does anybody know how the Limiter works? In the manual it is described a few different ways:


    page 3

    "A built-in Limiter which not only adds real "loudness" to your bass sound, but also allows you to smooth out volume differences between notes."

    page 5

    "Limiter switch - This switch is used to engage the LH Series Limiter circuit. The LH Series Limiter is an automatic dynamics processors used to control the level from reaching clipping. Use the Limiter to even out the loud transients that can cause distortion. Using the Limiter will also help protect your speaker system"

    page 9

    "...When you engage the Limiter, you'll hear peak signals (such as string slaps and pulls) begin to sound increasingly "squashed," relative to the lower-level signals produced by standard playing. The result will be a decreased dynamic range but an overall leveling of signal throughout the full pitch range of your instrument."


    As far as I can tell - I think it is adding just a touch of compression at the levels I am playing (volume in the 4 to 6 range).

    Anybody know what this circuit is really doing?

    Thanks again!

  5. kbakerde

    kbakerde Supporting Member

    Jan 24, 2012
    Love this amp!!
  6. Tbone76


    Aug 24, 2013
    Upstate, NY
    I think it acts like a compressor. I agree that this amp sounds awesome, regardless of price. I just picked mine up a few days ago. I've been running it thru a TC Electronics BC212 cab, and I get a little hiss because the cab has a tweeter without a volume or on/off switch. I'm thinking about picking up an AK410 cab to pair with this head. Congrats on the purchase.
  7. shoot-r


    May 26, 2007
    Just recently went to a Hartke LH1000 head driving two 210 cabinets.......absolutely LOVE this set-up!

    I've done 7 jobs and 4 rehearsals with this LH head so far.
    It just keeps impressing my ears!
  8. EmptyCup

    EmptyCup Supporting Member

    Feb 25, 2013
    Nashville Area
    Great head, great price.

    These heads don't get enough love :(

    Mine sounds very good with an Ampeg PF 210. Congrats on your new rig.
  9. travhop42


    Dec 21, 2010
    Nice amp, what kind of bass are you using?

    I just ordered a used one from GC, I think my Gibson SG will sound good thru it?

    What you think?
  10. Jaycephas

    Jaycephas Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 3, 2003
    Waxhaw, NC
    I'm curious - could I run my Aguilar Tone Hammer into the Effects Return and use the LH500 as a poweramp only? That would make this a very excellent option.
  11. I'm playing a P bass with Delano pickup and roundwounds.

    It's going to depend on a speaker cab that can handle it - but assuming you have that, yes, it should sound huge!

    Yes - that is exactly how you would do it. Should work great.

    I'm really in love with the built in preamp. I'm still in the honeymoon phase but I just about fall over every time I hear this amp.
  12. travhop42


    Dec 21, 2010
    Played an outdoor BBQ (200-300 size place) venue this weekend and the LH500 amp sounded great. I should buy one more as a backup! Used a 1x15 and 2x10 Genz Benz cabinets and Gibson SG Bass Special. For the first time ever I felt like I had the perfect sound. This amp should sale for much more than 349.00 new. I also have a Genz Benz Neo Pak 3.5 head which although has nicer features does not sound as good as the LH500. sorry GB
  13. dbase

    dbase Gold Supporting Member

    Jan 3, 2008
    South Jersey, USA..
    I love my rig. (see avatar)
  14. dbase

    dbase Gold Supporting Member

    Jan 3, 2008
    South Jersey, USA..
    I had a 2x10+1x15 but the 15 sounded muddy, sold the 15 and added another 2x10.. sounded great. Then moved up to the 12's The 12 cab cost twice as much as a 2x10 but the sound is incredible, 4 and 8 ohms switch , tweeter with controls.
  15. jjk2007


    Apr 16, 2008
    Austin, TX
    Endorsing Artist: DNA Bass Systems
    Congrats on the purchase. The LH 500/1000 amps are great. A little old school and heavy for the light weight crowd, but I think mine is great. I've had my rig for a couple of years now and it's still going strong week in and week out.

  16. jjk2007


    Apr 16, 2008
    Austin, TX
    Endorsing Artist: DNA Bass Systems
    Also, a "flat" EQ on these amps is somewhere around a 2-10-2 setting. Just an FYI for a starting point. You will also see a nice gain in volume when you start bumping up that mid knob.
  17. No, this isn't gonna work, I tried this out for myself using a Sansamp in the send/return.
    The problem is that there is (only) one volume knob on the amp, and that only adjusts the pre-amp input volume, and so the total volume.
    When sticking a pre-amp in the return, that volume knob doesn't work, making the overall volume uncontrollable from the amp.
  18. iDaemon


    Jan 31, 2013
    Greet from Thailand, First sorry of my poor English.

    Now after the second ampeg head dead on me which I like it's sound but I've seem enough for those PF head QC.

    So I'm looking for replacement between Hartke LH500 or Aguilar Tone hammer 500

    I've used Hartke Hx112 and DI from amp to PA ,

    But I've never in with Hartke amp before, so I need suggestion, advice, compass, info, Any one in this club that already fall in love with this head.

    which is strength point, weak point, why I must have this amp,

    any opinion welcome for my decide, Thanks in advance

    now my choice is hartle or aguilar :)
  19. Great to hear when a new purchase exceeds expectation !
    Cool looking rig man, nice minimalist lines, congrats and enjoy that new found power, tone and excitement...
    Gotta love that monster green :)
  20. The_Janitor


    Jun 30, 2012
    Madison, Wi
    Congrats on the amp! I have a LH1000, love it.

    A limiter is similar to a compressor - it limits volume spikes.

    A compressor will limit spikes and increase the perceived volume of low-volume sounds to even everything out to a consistent level.

    So a limiter allows for a little bit more dynamic range - soft sounds will still be soft - but if you really dig in the limiter will stop dramatic volume increases from damaging your speakers.