Your thoughts please
I am looking at my first amp head buy. My current situation is that whatever head I get is going to have to last until at least next year. I have narrowed it down to these two. A Hartke HA2500 for $219. It is a "factory resealed" head or a GK backline 600 from GC rated as "great" on their scale from excellent-good for about $196 with tax, shipping and a one yr warrenty. So my questions are: do I go fairly new (Hartke) or used (GK) with a year warrenty. I should mention that I do not play in a band yet so volume is not a big issue. I am just trying to get a rig setup for future use. My main concern is that whichever I decide on has to be reliable. I have no experience with "used" gear or buying from GC or how their "pro coverage" warrenties work
Should mention that I play mostly classic rock with a Peavey Foundation if that matters
I've played Hartke and been impressed, and their general reputation seems very good, plus Larry Hartke himself is an active TB member and has a great record for customer support. GK's Backline seems to be a *budget* version of their regular line- which is already very affordable- so to make them cheaper, I have to think something is missing- a degree of reliability or headroom..? I'd go Hartke
Mr Griley, it doesnt seem like we have people jumping in left and right here to give thoughts, so let me offer a bit ...rather than tossing out an opinion based on my taste/situation, I checked your profile and a few of your posts to get more info ... a couple thoughts ..
... this sounds like something that you are trying to put together for 'when' you get the chance to play out, or into a band situation .. if that is the case, and that may be down the road a ways, a one year warranty will not do you much good, especially since I see no cab listed or mentioned yet ... if that year could come and go before you get using it, nothing gained with a warranty. Speaking of cabs, what are you thinking??
... I also noticed that you are small town, with nothing really around other than the pawn shop, and a GC couple hours away. That can be tough, as I am small town as well, however I am very much tuned into the online sales of gear, probably too much so, ask my wife. If you have figured out the Paypal deal, another option for you would be to focus on the GC for a larger item, like a speaker cab, and then watch here on TB Classifieds for a good reputable seller moving a head that seems to hit your switch ... also, some very good deals can come by Ebay, but there again, Paypal is your friend in that scenario.
Anything you buy should be lasting you until 'at least next year', and hopefully well beyond .... I have 20 and 30 year old heads, and didn't pay much (if at all) over what you are talking to pay for those two.
A LOT will depend on WHEN and WHAT you will be needing a giggable rig, but there is so much out there in the market right now in the $2-300 range, that I would not be totally thrilled to rush into either of the options that you have listed ...
.. also, being 50 is that a concern for you as far as weight/size of the gear you will be lugging?? .. if that is the case, the older stuff is usually a little less expensive, but generally also heavier and larger ....
With all that said, of the two selections above we have to choose from, I would opt for the GK BL600, but I would not be too excited about it for $200, there are too many other options in that price range .... I like and have GK gear, and there is a lot of info available in the archives here from when a TB'er FDeck worked with one .... I have also owned a few Hartke heads, and had absolutely no issue with them, some of the old 2000's in the $100-125 range ... as mentioned, Larry H is available on here, but then so is Robert Gallien ... I have spoken with both, both have good gear and are very accomodating.
Bottom line, I guess maybe more info would help .. especially that time line you are thinking to needing gig gear ... if the gear is holding you up, by all means act now ... if need for the gear is off a ways, maybe broaden your avenues of gear acquisition and see what other options funnel in between now and then ... not meaning to sound condescending any way, just tossing out a few things to consider .. good luck!! ...JMHO's
Edit to add: .. just to clarify, either of the two should work very well for you if you should prefer to buy from a store type scenario, and as long in good repair, either should be reliable ... I am not familiar with your Peavey bass, so maybe a good option would be to bring that to the GC and try it with several cab options, both heads, and see what gets your attention ... it may come down to the layout of each head or features over brand name, etc ... :)
The backline is actually really good for whqt would be considered a budget amp though the hartke is no slouch either.
Either is a good deal and either would last a lot more than a year, so, go play through both and just pick the one you like best.
Take a look over in the TB classified section , there's always something available . There's a Hatrke LH1000 there now at a little more than the price of the 2500
I bought the backline 600, and I was happy with the purchase. I was impressed with the "budget" line, so I took a leap and picked a 800rb here on TB. My recommendation is to take your time, this piece of equipment could last the rest of your time playing bass. There is no need to rush, do your homework. TalkBass is a great place for looking up useful information (search feature does wonders).
Thanks everyone but it looks like my situation may have changed (for the good). After some research it seems I may have about $500-$700 extra in tax my refund this year. That plus the $200 I have now should get a head/cab setup to last me for many years. The only downside is I will have even more options to narrow down as far as make/model go
More options is good. Just figure a base-line. I'd suggest an amp in the 300-500 watt range, and most importantly, put your money into a really good cab, or two. Many like the 4x10, (I don't), and a good 2x12 would also be a great start. A 2x15, and you're done. Remember, if your amp is 4 ohms minimum, (most are), go with 2 8 ohm cabs, or 1 BIG 4 ohm cab. If you choose an amp that's stable down to 2 ohms, your choices open up considerably. Best of luck.
* If you play rock with loudish guitars and a heavy handed drummer you will need either 300 watts with a cabinet with 3+ speakers or 500 watts with a single 15 or 2x10 (big generalization but reasaonably good advice for most gear)
* No matter how good the head, a crap cabinet = crap sound
* Your bass is fine and does not need to be updated
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