Bass Player|July 2020

The new big box from the esteemed amp-makers Hartke arrives on Stuart Clayton’s desk. Cover your ears, he advises
Stuart Clayton

With an artist roster that boasts heavyweights such as Victor Wooten, Nate Watts, David Ellefson, James Genus, and Billy Sheehan, Hartke remain one of the key players in the world of bass amplification. After venturing into the lightweight amp market just a few years back, the company are now adding to their line-up with the release of the new LX series. These are Class-D amplifiers with Class A tube preamp, available in both 500 and 800-watt continuous power configurations. We were sent the LX8500 to put through its paces.

The LX8500 has a sleek, modern look, comprised of a robust, curved aluminium chassis with a conveniently recessed carrying handle. It’s bigger than I was expecting, and certainly won’t t into the front pocket of a gig bag, although at just 8.5lbs, it’s certainly no hardship to carry. The controls feel sturdy in use and are circled by illuminated dots. The knob pointer line also illuminates, to make its position noticeable.


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July 2020