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15" Cabs - Hartke vs. Ampeg

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by White_Knight, Mar 19, 2004.

  1. White_Knight


    Mar 19, 2000
    Hello folks,

    This weekend I will be heading to some music shops out of town to try out some cabs, but I figured I would see if there is any general consensus between these two cabinents. Both seem to be regarded pretty well. I can get the Hartke BXL-115 for $300 and the Ampeg SVT-15E for $400. Is the Ampeg worth another $100 over the Hartke? How about the quality of each of these cabs? Any downsides?

    I play four string fretless (Fender Jazz), so they don't need to go incredibly deep, but I do want to hear the fundamental. From the specs, looks like either will do that ok, though I noticed the low end of the Hartke seems to be incredibly deep (something like 30hz) - which I'm assuming is at -10db, because otherwise that would be exceptional, especially for a cab in this price range.

    Any suggestions? I've heard of several problems with the Hartke aluminium cone speakers, but I've heard good things as well. My gut tells me, before playing anything, that the Ampeg is the way to go (seeing as I liked my Crate BX-100 that I used to own), but if there is little difference between the two cabs then I would rather save the $100. My setup for an amp will be DI box into a small mixer. From mixer, I'm going to a 5 band parametric EQ and then into a poweramp (ART SLA-1 studio amp at 260 watts). Pretty low power...mainly just looking for the Crate tone I had, but a little clearer on the top end, deeper and punchier on the bottom. And a little louder of course. Nothing too extravagant. ;)

    Thank you in advance for your help everyone. P.S. I've looked into Avatar a little, but the specs on them don't impress me too much. They seem like decent enough speakers, but their 15's just don't seem all that impressive (especially in the low end, which is the most essential part of a 15 to me). So that's why I'm not going with them - and also the whole not being able to try before you buy thing.
  2. White_Knight


    Mar 19, 2000
    Quick update - I am also very interested in the Aguilar GS112, but the specs don't list -3db or -10db for the frequency response which concerns me. Also, I'm not quite sure that the 12" is going to give me quite the depth and overall thump that I am looking for. However, if anyone has owned the GS112 and either the SVT or the XL, then perhaps you could let me know your impressions? Thanks again.
  3. Mike A

    Mike A

    Oct 3, 2002
    Hmm.. look for the Ampeg used. I paid $270 for the SVT-115en I had, used, but in very good condition. I've never owned a Hartke cab, and probably never will now that I have the Bergantino.
  4. VS


    Jun 6, 2002
    Mountain City, Tennessee
    Discounted Gear: Peavey
    My best suggestion is: Don't limit yourself to certain brands. There are probably 30 to choose from right off the top with a very wide variety of tone and cost. I'd look around,keep shopping and find what fit's you! -Luke
  5. Eric Moesle

    Eric Moesle Supporting Member

    Sep 21, 2001
    Columbus OH
    I used to have a Hartke 2x15, bought it mainly because it visually matched my Hartke 4.5XL. Frankly, it was one of the worst sounding 15's I had ever experienced. Aluminum cones were cool for 10's, but for 15's they were severely lacking, IMO. They just can't withstand the low pumping that a 15 is designed for. Personally, I'd recommend steering clear of the Hartke 15's if you can afford to. There are so many better choices in 15's out there for about the same price.
  6. White_Knight


    Mar 19, 2000
    Hey all - thanks for the info. Well, I ended up with an Ampeg. Went out, and actually found that 15's seemed to be a little out of style or something because there was very little selection. Tried a Workingman's 1x15T - it was decent, but didn't seem to have that thick meaty bass that I was looking for. Looked at a Hartke VX115, but it just didn't seem to fit the bill. Last shop I went to had a stack of Ampeg BSE-115T's which I wasn't too thrilled about when I first saw them. I had been looking for the SVT-15E and hadn't seen one all day, but I figured why not? So I plugged in and tried out the BSE...all I can saw is wow! Just more proof that specs don't mean everything I guess.

    The cab is pretty punchy but also deep (even without boosting the low-end EQ). Plus, it came with free castors ;) . Seems to be built rock solid. So needless to say, I walked away with one of those - very impressive and a lot better than I expected it to sound. Thanks again everyone for your help.
  7. Paying that much for a cab seems like a joke when you can have equal sound and quality and perhaps better customer service with www.avatarspeakers.com You could buy a second cab with the money you will save.

    Edit: Typo
  8. Beefbass

    Beefbass Guest

    Feb 4, 2001
    Having had both 10" and 15" Hartke speakers before, I would go Ampeg here. Their cabs sound really nice IMHO. Way better than any Hartke's I've ever played thru. Again, my opinion.

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