Well I finally got to try out my 2nd hand Hartke lh500 head tonight in a band enviroment. I purchased it for £170 (delivered) on ebay the other day there. Its 2nd hand, but apart from one chip along the top front edge, its in pretty much brand new condition.
Playing through a 1x15 and a 2x10, the first thing i noticed when turning it on was how much cleaner the tone is compared to any other amp I've owned. There was an instant difference between my usual ashdown head and this. It was also very noticeable that I could play this considerably louder than I could my old amp. Even at 'too loud' volumes it still felt perfectly ok to play, and that my cabs could handle it. Fretmeister told me before trying it that the amp smoothly increases in volume all the way up, unlike usual amps that begin to compress the higher you get. this was absolutely true. I cant wait to use it at a bigger venue where I might get a chance to put it up higher than 1 o'clock!
EQ-wise I kept the treble quite low. and the bass just about 1 o'clock. I then mucked about with the mid all throughout the rehearsal, not really settling on anything. What I will say though is that having only 3 knobs will be perfectly adequate to get a tone out of this. I was slightly worried about it before really giving it a go. The 'brite' option is pretty useless IMO. It didnt add anything good to the tone, so this will be permanently off I think. I had the limiter on constantly too. I didnt notice any limiting going on, but I'm sure it was doing a job!
The fan wasn't exactly quiet but perfectly acceptable. Other than that, no issues!