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Ampeg Portaflex or Hartke LH

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by bojo440, Jul 22, 2012.

  1. Hartke LH

    17 vote(s)
  2. Ampeg portaflex

    18 vote(s)
  3. Other

    7 vote(s)
  1. bojo440


    Apr 16, 2011
    Hi, I'm looking to get a new bass amp (have a fender rumble 150 right now). I play about 4-5 gigs a month in bars and want to upgrade my rig. We play rock/heavy rock and I have a Stingray bass. Two of the most interesting choices right now for me seem to be the Hartke LH series with the hydrive cabs or the Ampeg Portaflex series. Anyone has played both and would like to share some advices?:hyper:
  2. I really love the way both amps sound, but I am going to say the Hartke LH1000. The Hydrive cabs are, I think, amazing and personally my favorite cabs. Playing lots of gigs means you never know what you are going to get with room acoustics and PA size (if y'all don't own your own PA). The LH1000 run with any one, or multiple Hydrive cabs could get you through any gig.
    I personally run an Ampeg SVT-4 Pro into two stacks of Hartke cabs. (I don't go through the bands PA) One stack is a Hydrive 810 and the other is a Hyrive 410 and Hartke VX410. I absolutely love the sound that comes out, as well as my band. This is just my personal opinion though.
  3. Vaticblade


    Jul 20, 2012
    I've got an Ampeg and a hartke. Not the same models your talking about tho. Tuff call, I lke em both. I really like the kickback on the ampeg but I also really like the EQ on the hartke so I built a kickback stand out of wood.

  4. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    There's legit reason to get both if you ask me. Neither really sounds like the other, and they both give way more bang for the buck than many amps costing more. I endorse Ampeg and they're my bros but Larry Hartke's also my bro and I use other things he makes if not his amps, so whatever you get is a matter of what sound speaks to you the most.
  5. bojo440


    Apr 16, 2011
    thanks guys! i'll get to try them probably this week as i'm heading to montreal for the week. if i get the hartke lh1000 i'm sure i'll go with the 410 cab. with the protaflex, what are your toughts, the new 410hlf or 115 and 210?
  6. René_Julien


    Jun 26, 2008
    It's all personal preference. I am a big Hartke fan... but out of those 2 amps I would choose the Ampeg PF350 without a doubt.
    But luckily there are more choices out there.
    I prefer the Hartke HA3500 over the newer LH series.

    I own the Ampeg PF115LF cab. And I would recommend it in it's price range. Even two of them if you need more volume. I haven't played any other cabs of the Ampeg PF serie.

    This being said, I myself might pick up one or two Hartke Hydrive HX115 cabs to go with my Hartke HA3500.
    Nothing wrong with my Ampeg or other cabs I own, I just feel like going all out Hartke.

    But... like said... you've got to try out everything you got a chance to play. To see what amps and cabs you like.
  7. pfschim

    pfschim Just a Skeleton with a Jazz bass

    Apr 26, 2006
    SF Bay Area
    2 very different amps. For you I would say go with the Hartke, because it is closer in sound to the Fender Rumble you use today. But that's just IMO.

    Either one of the choices will be a decent step up for you.

    I currently have a PF500, and have used an LH500 as a backup amp in the past (no longer own it).

    PF amps are all SS with Class D power sections
    LH's are Class A, with big iron trannys and tube (12AX7) pre's

    PF amps offer 350w and 500w
    LH's are 500w and 1000w

    PF amps have the classic Ampeg Baxandal tone stack
    LH's have the classic Fender style tone stack (passive mids)

    PF amps are true lightweights
    LH amps are a bit heavier (but not back breakers)

    Both companies make good gear and have solid reputations. I'm pretty sure that both amps come with a 2 year, non transferable warranty (I know this for sure about the Ampeg, but you should check this detail on the Hartke's).

    If you like the Fender Rumble you have been using so far, you will find the move to the Hartke LH amps simpler because they sound very similar and have a common tone stack/EQ design.

    The Ampeg PF series do deliver the classic Ampeg tone which is great for rock (and all styles of music really), but you will have to twist some knobs a bit to get used to the different (Baxandal) tone stack/EQ. Not very hard, but you will have to adjust.

    have fun getting your new amp.
  8. René_Julien


    Jun 26, 2008
    Not to bust your balls but LH amps are class AB. The preamp is class A which makes it a very nice hybrid. :p ;)
  9. f.c.geil


    May 12, 2011
    As ardent as Jimmy is about Ampeg, for him to openly endorse Hartke should tell you a lot about the quality of his products. Larry Hartke builds some of the best amps and cabs in the business, but it isn't my sound, so I went with Ampeg, which is. Play them both, decide which better meets the sound in your head, and get that one. To my ear, Ampeg has a better sound, but I think Hartke is better built.
  10. pfschim

    pfschim Just a Skeleton with a Jazz bass

    Apr 26, 2006
    SF Bay Area
    ouch! that hurt :cool:

    of course you are right, very few Class A amps at all, and then mostly guitar amps because of the typically low power (or at least inefficiency) of Class A for bass.

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