Hotone isn’t and never has been as “trendy” as Fender or Marshall. At the same time, the engineers of this company win over the regular men and women with their top-notch hardware with affordable price-tags. Affordability always comes first; add industry-leading reliability and flexibility, and you’ll get one hell of an offer. The Hotone Thunder Bass amp head is exactly what the beginner needs: it is durable, looks good, won’t take much of your space, and is simply perfect for practicing at home or at the studio with your friends. The first thing that will probably capture your attention is the highly unusual design.
It looks like something not from this world – Hotone uses forward-thinking designs to impress the potential clients. As for Thunder Bass, it is a 5-Watt-strong head with enough kick to satisfy the needs of the practicing musicians/students. Despite the more than affordable price-tag of 100+ dollars, it’s capable of producing some amazing tones. The level of control is also unusually high for an amplifier in this price range. Another important thing: it weighs +/- 1 pound, which makes it an obvious choice for the mobile musicians. You can put it in your backpack/bag and travel light.
The Hotone Thunder Bass Amp Head – What’s It All About?
Aux inputs for smartphones/notebooks and outputs for the headphones are the new standard, and Thunder Bass comes with both. Please be aware that no matter how good this hardware is, you won’t be able to hear it without a proper speaker (cabinet). It works with cabs in the 4-16 ohms range. The tiny size, the low weight, and the reasonable price turn Hotone Thunder Bass into one of the most popular choices on the market. It does look a bit ridiculous sitting next to a huge cab, but that doesn’t really matter as long as the tones are good – and they are, indeed, very good!
The control panel features the basic Volume and Gain knobs, along with a solid 3-band EQ for fine-tuning that tone. The only other thing is the Effects Loop – that’s it. As you could’ve guessed from the name, this amp is intended for bass guitars only. And, it produces a fairly rich, balanced, strong bass sound. Now, technically, this isn’t a studio-level amp; yet, if you own a decent guitar and know your way around studio equipment, it will be possible to record some impressive bass parts. For a thick, well-pronounced sound, push the gain knob close to the limit. For something more light and funky, make sure to add lots of highs (and maybe also mids).
The Verdict – How Well Does It Perform?
The Gain knob is capable of creating a huge line-up of different tones, especially if you use it in combination with the Equalizer. The bass guitar is not nearly as flexible and versatile as the electric guitar, but it can still be slappy, full of attack, groovy, booming, laid-back, harmonic, melodic, and everything else in between. Use the Hotone Thunder Bass amp head to find the perfect sound for every single record. Compared to the rivals, it generates a tone that’s significantly better and bigger, which is vital for bass. Plus, that 3-band EQ is a welcome addition to the standard Volume-Gain pair.
And finally, don’t forget about the FX Loop: for using your favorite external effects and making that guitar sound even better, it is exactly what you need. True, 5 Watts aren’t enough for a large venue, but for home recording and practicing, you won’t need more. If, for some reason, TB isn’t what you’re looking for, make sure to check out the other models from Hotone’s collection. Purple Wind, Heart Attack, and the rest of the amp heads might be a better fit for your current setup and goals.