Acoustic B450 mkII vs. Hartke VX3500
I am a music teacher in a "school of rock" type after school program. My co-workers and I worked really hard last year with our students working equally if not harder and we were able to recieve some funding this year. One of the items I'd like to buy is a nice loud bass amp. We have two performances a year - one in the (Elementary) school auditorium and the other outdoors at a park. I'd like to get a bass amp that is loud and clear so that the students can feel the thump of the basslines that we teach them while they perform. I can run the amp direct in for monitor / house sound, but I'd like something that will give a good solid thump on stage that even the drummer can feel. Since I work for the city, I have to bid three places which unfortunately (?) carry different brands. The bass amps that fall within my price range are at Sam Ash and Guitar Center. We'll probably end up going with one of these places. Sam Ash had a Hartke VX3500 for $599 and it is a 4x10 with castors and a graphic eq. The Acoustic B450 is a 2x10 and goes for $499 at guitar center. Either one of these should work for us in terms of power and volume, but what I would like to know, is which one is more durable, and secondly, what sounds better. We teach students from the beginning, and they are in elementary school, so we don't have any slapping or popping (yet) and I play mostly guitar so I know a lot more about those amps than bass amps. The other equipment I'm ordering will not really make a difference which store we buy from, but I'd like a solid, reliable, strong, and easy to use bass amp. I'm not worried about dialing stuff in, but any other things that I might not be familiar with that could make a difference are things that I'd love to hear about. Please let me know if you have any expereince with either of these two amps. I'd have gone with Sam Ash and the Hartke right off the bat because the guys were really easy to work with at that particular store, but I read online that the newer Hartke VX3500's had reliability issues??? Anyway, please let me know what you think. Have a great day.
Acoustic is Guitar Centers "house brand", and about at the same level as the old Crate amps. Hartke is a much better brand overall, if that's important to you. Otherwise, go with your ears if at all possible.
Ironically, I have both the VX3500 and the Acoustic B450. I love them both, but the Hartke is heavy, and I have to hump it up stairs. That is why I got the Acoustic. With the Acoustic I got a B115, which is a cab with a 15" driver and a button for turning the horn on and off. The B450 also has a horn button. With the B115 you will get way more thump out of the Acoustic rig. If you aren't going to get the extra cab, go with the Hartke.
Go hartke. It has the ha3500 head in it. Great head, has stood the test of time, they also have great customer service.
If you want more info on the hartke, Google ha3500, read some reviews.
I own one, really like it. I wouldn't even consider the acoustic a contender.
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