Dismiss Notice

Psst... Ready to join TalkBass and start posting, make new friends, sell your gear, and more?  Register your free account in 30 seconds.

ampeg b2r or hartke3500

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by a e i o u, Nov 4, 2003.


  1. is the ampeg head really worth the extra cash? does all the hype add up? Im gonna buy a head this weekend, and im leaning towards the hartke because of the tube pre amp, but im not sure because everyone talks it up about ampeg. what would you do. Keep in mind, cheap = awsome
     
  2. I would go for the Ampeg.

    I had an Hartke 2000, which is basically a lower-powered version of the 3500. The tube pre does add a little warmth, but the tube channel seems like it's pre-EQd with a smiley face EQ curve, so anything I played with the tube pre on sounded overly warm, IMO. I also could never get any kind of usable distortion out of it. When cranked too loud, the amp would just give off really nasty solid-state style distortion. I actually wrecked an SWR Workingman 15 speaker this way. It is cheap though, and it does have a decent EQ section in it, so I guess it has that going for it. The tone is really neutral, but netural in a bad way.. I think lifeless is the right word. Mine always had big problems with it and never put out the wattage that it was supposed to have, so I ditched it the first chance I got.

    If you're looking for a good budget amp, you could do a lot better to get a Peavey or Gallien-Krueger.. both make high quality, good sounding heads, loads better than Hartke.
     
  3. CaracasBass

    CaracasBass

    Jun 16, 2001
    Madrid, Spain
    Hartke 3500, very nice amp
     
  4. tim4003

    tim4003

    Apr 30, 2002
    Dawsonville , GA
    I've owned a B2R for two years and have been very pleased with it. These things sound great running two 8 ohm 410 cabs!
    Ampeg amps have a five year transferable warranty. Be sure to keep up with your sales slip.
     
  5. 4Mal

    4Mal Supporting Member

    Jun 2, 2002
    Columbia River Gorge
    I own a 3500 and think it's a really good amp. Clean as a whistle though. That tube is in there for color not distortion. The DI is quiet. Into my MM 2x12 I'd like a bit more power, but that cab is not efficient at all. Into my 2 1x15 bins, I can move a wall or two ...

    I also like the voicing of the B2R when played through an Ampeg cab. I may be off here, but to my ear it seems like Ampegs work better as a matched set, head and cab rather than as mix 'n' match. I really haven't been able to try the B2R with many cab's though and there are lot's of variables ...

    Either one is a good amp, neither one is to die for. If you can A/B them, I'd take your bass and your cabinet and do that. One or the other will sell itself to you and you'll make the better choice.
     
  6. How do you think the ampeg b2r's tone compares to the svt 350h ? the svt350 is a hundred bucks more, but i have a chance of getting it used for $420, but im not sure on how bad the condition is.
     
  7. tim4003

    tim4003

    Apr 30, 2002
    Dawsonville , GA
    They're the same amp in different packaging. The 350 has it's own case, and the B2R is rack mounted.
     
  8. 4Mal

    4Mal Supporting Member

    Jun 2, 2002
    Columbia River Gorge
    Hartke 3500's are plentiful in the $275 range in basically mint shape.
     
  9. I've had both, sort of. I played a Hartke3500 for a gig a couple of summers ago. It was a decent head, I really liked the tube preamp sound, but I thought it was rather noisy. I just got a B2R, however, I've never cranked it up to even the least bit loud. I't in repair status right now, but I have found many usable tones, and it doesn't have the usual "solid state" sound, IMHO. If you can find a store with both, A-B compare them with your bass and see which one you like. I like the ampeg, and I think it's biult better, but if you're cash strapped, the Hartke's a good choice, especially if you don't need tons of high-end boost.

    So the SVT350H is a "poor man's"? No tubes at all? How unprofessional of Ampeg to do a thing like that! Make you think it's an when it isn't! SVT *means* tube amp doesn't it?

    Actually, When I was looking through the B2R schematic, it has SVT350H written all over it too. And the control panels are identical. It's just that big "SVT" style case that makes it look so good.



    Stay Low,

    BT
     
  10. citizen

    citizen

    Jan 24, 2003
    FRANCE,paris
    Buy the ampeg one!

    hartke is good, but the ampeg one is a high end amp, with ampeg sound inside!!!
     
  11. CPL

    CPL

    Aug 24, 2003
    New England Area. USA
    Well, I've had an Ampeg SvT3 Pro head and to be honest, it was a piece of junk. I do love the Ampeg tone, but I've had nothing but problems with it. I think it could have been a lemmon, though. I wish I never got rid of my old Peaveys, at least they never blew up on me, and had more volume.
     
  12. citizen

    citizen

    Jan 24, 2003
    FRANCE,paris
    I have a svt3pro since 4 years.
    I never had a problem with it.
    You can have problems if you connect to the cab with a guitar jack, but it s true with all amps.
     
  13. Richard Lindsey

    Richard Lindsey

    Mar 25, 2000
    Metro NYC
    Are those definitely your only options? Personally, having compared them head to head (so to speak), I think a Carvin Redline is a significantly better head than either of those--though it may take a little more tweaking at first. But that's just opinion, and you know what that's worth. (Right, just what you paid for it.)

    If you're decided that those two heads are your choices, just take your bass down to the store, play both as much as you need to (or as long the store will let you, whichever comes first), and buy the one that makes you happier. It's not rocket science, and there's no right or wrong answer. It's about what works for YOU.
     
  14. jgsbass

    jgsbass

    May 28, 2003
    Floral Park, NY
    I had a 3500 and had nothing but physical problems with it. Sound was fine and never had a sonic problem.The amp is made out of cheap components. The rings protecting the fan came unwelded,the first day I had it. The handle broke on both sides ( a cheap piece of plastic and a 3/8 inch long set screw is all that holds in in place) twice in 2 years. The amp always rides on the front seat of a big American car, nice and cushy. One day I look and the bass coutour knob is sheared clean off! Plastic shafts didn't help. The EQ sliders on the graphic were very flimsy. The lights on them shorted out and some came off entirely. Maybe these issues were addressed and fixed on later models but I would steer clear of the Hartke, no matter what the price.
     
  15. 4Mal

    4Mal Supporting Member

    Jun 2, 2002
    Columbia River Gorge
    wow - you had bad luck with that head. I'm guessing it wasn't exactly babied though. If you whack an amp hard enough to shear off a pot shaft, even a plastic one - you're basically abusing the amp. Not much will survive that ...
     
  16. jgsbass

    jgsbass

    May 28, 2003
    Floral Park, NY
    The funny thing is, I babied that head. I'm an old man, doing clubdates, pretty much. I am the only person who touches my equipment. It seemed like every month that passed, something abnormal would break. When the metal rings that protect the fan break the first day ( no gig, just got it home) something is wrong. I wasn't expecting GK bulletproofness, I expect that an amp can survive being held by its handle. It couldn't even do that. Its made "inexpensive" to be competitive pricwewise to a number of amp heads. I noticed that their new updated version comes in a box, not just as a rackmountable head. That speaks to me about reliability issues that needed correction.
     
  17. 4Mal

    4Mal Supporting Member

    Jun 2, 2002
    Columbia River Gorge
    Sounds like you got a lemon for sure. Mine seems like a stongly built amp. I do tend to baby my gear (I'm not rich enough not to). If it's rackable - it goes in a rack. Everything else goes into a case of some kind. Stuff just seems to last longer that way.

    I think the Hartke 5500 is more a response to the market. Seems like we are in an 'integrated head phase, rather than a racked pre & power phase at the moment. So popping a head into a box with a big centered log kind of harkens back to a Marshall'esque look.
     
  18. kirbywrx

    kirbywrx formerly James Hetfield

    Jul 27, 2000
    Melbourne, Australia.
    If i had to go for one, it would be the 3500. it retails for $1200 in AUS, compared to $1799 for the B2R. But hey, you get what you pay for i suppose.
     
  19. EBMatt

    EBMatt

    Nov 21, 2003
    Springfield, MA
    I had a 3500 for a while. I think it was really good for the money. It didn't break, but I only kept it for about 5 months.

    I never played a B2R, so I don't know what's better for the money.

    Two other heads around the same price are the SWR 4004 and Fender Bassman 400 too. You may want to try those out too
     
  20. jgsbass

    jgsbass

    May 28, 2003
    Floral Park, NY
    There is new issue regarding SWR amplifiers.Since the buyout by Fender, there is practically no support or customer service. I brought in my 350X for warantee work yesterday and heard the sad story of the Fender purchase. One item that came up from my amp technician was the alarmingly short supply of replacement parts for all SWR products. SWR was dangerously close to filing for chapter 11 bankruptcy protection when the Fender buyout occured. They were already having production problems to to a lack of parts from suppliers. Since the buyout, it seems like Fender is letting SWR twist in the wind. Bottom line? If it breaks and needs parts, you're up a creek, paddleless.