HESU Little Bastard

Discussion in 'Gear Reviews' started by matisq, May 15, 2014.

  1. matisq

    matisq SS.org Regular

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    Jan 13, 2011
    HESU Little Bastard - The Sound starts Here

    HESU is a Polish company founded in 2010 by Tobiasz Hes. Initially HESU offered guitar cables, cabs and cases. Recently HESU has decided to get into the amp market for the first time in the company’s history. What can we expect from the new HESU Little Bastard 20W all-tube amp? What makes it special? Let’s try to answer these questions.

    What you need to realize at first is that I am a white tolex bitch. Generally speaking I hate to have regular, black, boring guitar gear. Obviously the sound is the most important for me but I also want to have gear which I can just put into my room and look at it with pleasure. That is why I adore HESU Little Bastard with matching HESU 2x12 cab loaded with two Celestion Vintage 30 speakers! It sounds and looks great at the same time!


    HESU Little Bastard is an all tube 20W amp with 2 independent channels (clean and drive). Preamp is based on 5 x ECC83 tubes and poweramp is based on two EL84 tubes. Let’s see the front and back panel:
    Front panel from left to right:

    - Guitar input jack
    - Channel I (Clean):
    - “Middle” switch
    - Bass, Treble, Gain
    - Channel I volume
    - Channel toggle switch. Channels can also be switched via footswitch
    - Channel II (Drive):
    - Normal/modern switch which adds extra gain stage
    - Bass, Middle, Treble, Gain,
    - Channel II volume
    - Loop on/off toggle switch
    - Global presence and volume


    Back panel from left to right:
    - Power Supply cord connector
    - Hi voltage fuse
    - Katodal fuse fail info system.
    - Power and standby
    - Speakers output for 4,8,16 Ohm
    - Tube FX loop with adjustable both send and return level
    - Stereo footswitch jack input for control channels switching and loop on/off


    How does it sound?
    I had an opportunity to test HESU amp for more than two weeks. I have tested it at home at low volume, at rehearsal room at moderate volume and in a gig situation at high volume level. First you have to realize that 20W of power generated by Lilted Bastardy is enough to play in every band situation.
    Personally I play metal and I can assure you that in a real band situation I had no problem at all to be heard.
    The clean channel is gorgeous and middle switch really does its jobs. I prefer to play without mid boost, with bass, treble and gain in a noon position. It’s really clean and despite 20W of power, it doesn’t break up even at high volume, it’s clean with a lot of headroom. You can hear it an the end of the playthrough video below.
    The drive channel has a lot of drive, especially with modern switch on. At low and medium volume level it is very tight. I stopped using TS in front of HESU Little Bastard because it doesn’t need it! At higher volume overdrive channel breakups smoothly and sounds very organic even with active pickups.
    Tube FX loop have both send and return level knobs. That’s why it can act as an attenuator or boost. In my opinion it is a great feature.
    I used one of HESU amp prototypes so I can’t say for sure what the final product will sound like but I believe it will sound very similar, if not exactly the same. The only downside for me was the lack of bass ‘oomph’ when using the drive channel. Initially I thought this is a problem related to the EL84 power tubes which are known for not being as “ground shaking” as 6L6 or EL34, but when I used clean channel at high volume I noticed a pretty good mount of bass response. In this case it seems that bass is somehow cutoff in preamp stage and probably that is why Little Bastard is so tight.

    In this video example you can hear HESU Little Bastard playthrough. My friend is using Epiphone SG400 with Seymour Duncan SH-4 in a bridge position and some old pickup “made in ESP/LTD”.

    In this example I compared Laney Ironheart 60W head, Peavey 6505 with bias mod and HESU Little Bastard. I set up microphone preamp gain at the same level for each example. Also the mic position was the same for all amps. For this test I used Audix i5 plugged directly to Roland UA-55 audio interface.

    In this example I used HESU Little Bastard for all my guitar sounds. Also this time I used Audix i5 plugged into Roland UA-55.

    Final word
    HESU is getting more and more popular in music business nowadays. Ola Englund, Misha “Bulb” Mansor, Keith Merrow, Jeff Loomis, Vogg from Decapitated, Orion from Behemoth and many more are using HESU products. I think it is a great moment for the HESU company to introduce their first amp. It is very versatile and can be used from jazz and blues to rock and metal without any problem. Just enough controls to shape your sound, all tube loop, 20W of raw tube power and with this lightweight amp you can rock from bedroom to pub! Check it out at HESU - official webpage | The Sound starts here!

    Mateusz Trojak
  2. Hajtosek

    Hajtosek SS.org Regular

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    Jun 24, 2013
    Kraków / Cracow
    What's the price ?
  3. Bloodshredder

    Bloodshredder SS.org Regular

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    Feb 17, 2014
    Sounds (and Lokks) good. I only heard about the hesu cabs so far, but that head seems really promising.

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