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Any Hartke 3500 owners?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Magneto, Jan 15, 2004.

  1. I would welcome some feedback about Hartke bass amp heads. I need something in the "affordable" range, and I need a good EQ onboard. The 3500 seems to have most of what I need.

    It's been awhile for me, and there are many brands around now that I have never heard of. The Hartke 3500 seems to have what I want, but I'm interested in the sound quality and how you might rate it compared to the more expensive bass heads. Anyone own Hartke and have problems with them?

    Thanks for sharing your opinions...

  2. 4Mal

    4Mal Supporting Member

    Jun 2, 2002
    Columbia River Gorge
    Used one for about 6 months. That head is a real value. At 350 into 4 ohms it isn't the ludest thing on the block so you have to watch cabinet sensitivity. I'd say it is as close as you can come to a 'pro' rig for the money.
  3. I bought a 3500 when they first came out. It was a good head, but I sold it when I started doing a low volume gig and used a small combo amp. I later returned to playing in a loud rock band and ended up buying another 3500. I have had really good luck with Hartke. And they are LOUD. Sounds great with a Sansamp.
  4. Jodaka


    Jun 28, 2001
    Riverview, FL
    i bought mine almost 3 years ago, and i've had no issues with it at all. i've been thinking about upgrading, but that's mostly g.a.s. and doesn't have anything to do w/the 3500. i think it's a great head for the price...

  5. kirbywrx

    kirbywrx formerly James Hetfield

    Jul 27, 2000
    Melbourne, Australia.
    The Hartke 3500 is a great rig. if i had the money, this would be my head of choce, and it seems to be one of the most popular rigs here on TB
  6. The 0x

    The 0x

    Aug 24, 2003
    Timonium, MD
    Personally, I don't really like Hartke (nor do many people from Harmony-Central). A nice head that competes well with the hartke for only a few more bux is the Yorkville XS-400H. Many more features, a compressor that doens't suck (the hartke compressors are horrid), tube preamp, 400 watts, and Yorkville reliability and warranty. Can't be beat. Of course if you like hartke, then go with it. :meh:
  7. Hey people, thanks for the opinions. I have also heard about the compressor on the 3500 lacking a bit from reviews around the web. I'm not honestly sure how important this is to me at this time.
    I have never heard of Yorkville or the model mentioned. Has anyone tested any of these?

  8. The 0x

    The 0x

    Aug 24, 2003
    Timonium, MD
    The Yorkville is at Musician's Friend. I'm too lazy to hunt down the link right now. just search for Yorkville XS-400H. So far all great reviews.
  9. afroman


    Aug 31, 2000
    Austin, TX
    I've owned a 3500 for more than three years and it's taken a lot of pounding. It's avery affordable and great sounding amp for the money. I feel it is plenty loud and can adapt to all styles of music.
    The compressor really is horrible.

    hope this helped....

    PS. I second that Sansamp comment. Get one if you still don't nave one.
  10. The 0x

    The 0x

    Aug 24, 2003
    Timonium, MD
    Heh, seems like everybody's using their Hartkes as poweramps only. :D
  11. Thanks... I hunted down some info on the Yorkville last night, and ran across it over at M-F.. Not a bad price consider all that it has to offer. Very comparable to the Hartke's price.

    The XS-400H seems to have just about everything I could ask for in a bass head, and has a better compressor (never experiemented with one).
    Seems to have some serious EQ controls as well.

    Well.. thanks a bunch (again!) and I'll do some more research on the differences.

  12. 4Mal

    4Mal Supporting Member

    Jun 2, 2002
    Columbia River Gorge
    As a power amp ? I found the pre to be clean and quet. The graphic EQ and contour controls are voiced for bass. The one knob compressor isn't bad as one knob compressors go - If you don't set it too high. I do not use one knob compressors as I find them to in-flexible.

    The Yorkville stuff I have seen seems pretty well made but there isn't much used market there. A used 3500 will run $275 in mint condition.

    My only real issue with the 3500 is the wattage. Driving my very efficient single 15" bins (2 at 8 ohms each for 4 ohm total) it was plenty loud. Driving m Music Man 2x12 - it fizzled. That cab just needs a whole lot of power.

    Basically heads in this price range are not 'life-time' rigs. I wouldn't bother buying a new one. Play the used market, get the best deal you can make and plan on upgrading somewhere down the road ... or not as the case may be!
  13. I'm using two of them. One drives a HARTKE PRO4200 ( 4x10 ) and one drives a HARTKE PRO1800 ( 1x18 ).

    The Hartke 3500 can easely compete with amps that are twice the money. They are LOUD, even for a 350w amp. and the tube preamp provides plenty of booty. On my amps i replaced the tube with one who has slightly more overdrive, and hte hartkes sound a little more " Mesa boogie "-like now. real nice :)
  14. geoffzilla


    Oct 30, 2001
    Nashville, TN
    Endorsing Artist: Aguilar Amplification
    I feel like I've responded to one of these threads before, but it bears repeating. I have had the same 3500 rackmounted head for at least 8 years. Every time I start looking at other heads, I realize that I have no reason to switch.
    It handles a 4 peice rock band with headroom, and that's with obnoxious guitar levels.
    I also regularly receive compliments on my tone from other bass players.
    The amp has only needed to be serviced once during this whole time, and that was last week. I was more than willing to pay for the 18 dollar failed component, and the labor charges.
    I also think that the rarity of the York may cause problems for service and parts, while the Hartke is so commonplace it's ridiculous.
    Disclaimers: I do not like to do any tone shaping at the amp level. I use the preamp knob and the master knob. the EQ is bypassed, and everything else is flat or off. The compressor truly is god-awful.
    Good luck with your purchase!
    -Geoff S
  15. Man, a bassist just has to love this forum. Glad I found it.

    I appreciate the opinions. I am still leaning towards the Hartke in the near future, but that Yorkville has ALOT of cool features that can't be ignored either.

    Of course there's so many others that I have not researched, but I'm not seriously considering them at this time due to prices that I cannot justify.

    Well, I'd better keep this short and just say THANKS again..

  16. MJ5150

    MJ5150 Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Apr 12, 2001
    Olympia, WA
    The first rig I ever owned was a Hartke 3500, and a 215 cab. It was given to me by the bass player leaving the band I joined. Not one time did I have a problem with volume. We played rock covers at mostly outdoor, garage, and barn gigs. One other guitar player, and the typical "mad-at-the-world" drummer.

    I am not the most experienced bass player, so I can't comment about compression. I just turned it up till the green light turned off. I adjusted the EQ a few times during playing to account for what song we were playing. I always liked the tube part of it, made my bass sound buttery smooth.


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