Ashdown vs Hartke vs ????

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by TaySte_2000, Aug 2, 2002.

  1. TaySte_2000


    Jun 23, 2001
    Manchester, UK
    Endorsing Artist: Mojohand, Subdecay, Overwater, Matamp
    The budget: 1000 pounds sterling (UK for those who don't know).

    The Amp: I need a head and a cab preferably a 4x10 but could settle for a 2x10, I love that half stack look.

    Competitors: Ashdown ABM 300 (679 pounds), Ashdown Mag 200 (379 Pounds), Ashdown Mag 400 (579 Pounds),Hartke 3000 (459 Pounds) Hartke 3500 (500 Pounds). Any suggestions for cabs to go with each.

    The Music: Everything from Oasis to Solo bass, Punk to Jazz.

    I want this to be like my last bass amp I buy for a long time it has to be load enough to play medium gigs. I plan on joining quite a few bands when I get back to the UK so it has to sound good at low volumes and then be loud enough to play with loud drummers and 100w marshall stacks.

    Also finally I'd like to use it for recording as a preamp so the DI out has to sound good, If I go for one of the cheaper amps I can also buy a Joe meek preamp so its only for the higher priced stuff everything needs to be perfect.

    I'd love to hear everyone opinions on these amps.
    Thanx in advance
  2. Steve Lawson

    Steve Lawson Solo Bass Exploration! Supporting Member

    Apr 21, 2000
    Birmingham, UK
    It's fairly obvious that my preference is going to be for the Ashdown stuff - tough call between ABM-300 head and MAG-400 though... all depends on how much you would use the tube sound - if you intend to overdrive the amp without using any other FX, then you'll have to get the ABM. If not, and you just want a good clean versatile amp, I'd go with the MAG.

    cabs? the MAG 2x10 is great,and a lot lighter than the ABMs. The ABM cabs rock, but on a budget, I'd probably got for the MAGs.

    ...though, if you got the MAG400 head, and the ABM 500W 2x10, you'd have a KILLER rig...

    as for Hartke - you're asking the wrong person, I really don't like the sound of them much at all.. Have got friends and students who've made them sound good, but they've never given me a sound I like...


  3. BFunk

    BFunk Supporting Member

    Clearly Ashdown. If I wasn't so hooked on all tube, I would be playing Ashdowns.
  4. TaySte_2000


    Jun 23, 2001
    Manchester, UK
    Endorsing Artist: Mojohand, Subdecay, Overwater, Matamp
    My basses are Rickenbacker 4003 and Tanglewood curbow if that helps both 4 strings
  5. I think that the Hartke 3500 would be a great amp. Also, i think that the Hartke 410BXL would be a good cab. :)
  6. leonard


    Jul 31, 2001
    My vote for Ashdown.

    The Hartke 3500 I used to have was made in Korea. It was unreliable and cold sounding.

    4x10 cabs sound nice and tight but are a pain to carry.
  7. I'm not a huge fan of the Asdown amps but, i've just got rid of a Trace 4x10 and 1x15 rig, before it cripples me back and replaced them with the ashdown mini48 and mini15 (I tried most of the speaker cabs available and the ashdown gear ABM and MAG came out on top for sound and price as far as i'm concerned) and for something half the weight and size the sound is mighty fine (Punchier than Marvin Hagler :) )...i'm still using me Trace amp tho :D . As for Hartke I just can't get them to happen for me..
  8. Steve Lawson

    Steve Lawson Solo Bass Exploration! Supporting Member

    Apr 21, 2000
    Birmingham, UK
    Fine cabinet choice, DrDrill!!! I'm using the MINI4x8 and a MINI1x10 at the moment, but will swap the 1x10 for a 1x12 ASAP...

  9. I almost went for the 1x12 instead of the 1x15. The 12 sounded better with an Ashdown head but with my trusty old Trace head the 15 won it by a whisker.
    As for mini48, I was dubious when I saw it and gobsmacked when I tried it :eek:
  10. brewer9


    Jul 5, 2000
    I'm not familiar with Ashdown, but I do know that Hartke sucks. Their quality is very poor. Quite over-rated and over-priced for what they are.
  11. Rod B.

    Rod B.

    Jun 11, 2002
    My vote goes to Ashdown. I'd probably opt for the ABM stuff as it seems a bit more versatile and smoother. The ABM 210 seems like a great all around cab according to owners and Mark himself.
  12. =^..^=


    Jan 25, 2001
    Stuck on a rock !
    This looks like the Ashdown owners club !

    One of my regular gigs has a house backline featuring a Hartke combo amp. Used it once and lugged my Ashdown combo in after that..

    How about the 300 watt AMB head with a MAG 4*10 combo ? Should leave a couple of quid spare and it leaves room to upgrade the cab later - add a 1*15 when cash allows ?
  13. leonard


    Jul 31, 2001
    Is this Mini 4x8 cab usable as a standalone cab? Is the sound in any way comparable to the Ampeg 810 or 410? Is it ported or sealed?

    I'm looking for a cab similar to my Ampeg svt410 that wouldn't break my back.
  14. Steve Lawson

    Steve Lawson Solo Bass Exploration! Supporting Member

    Apr 21, 2000
    Birmingham, UK

    the 4x8 moves way more air than you would expect for a box of that size - it's ported at the back, and sounds amazing.

    Whether or not it's a match for your 4x10... you'd have to try it and see. I'm not that familiar with Ampeg stuff - last time I was offered an SVT with an 8x10 at a festival, I tried it, and still used my 1x10 combo in preference... :oops:)


  15. fleetwood


    Aug 29, 2001
    Swansea UK
    The choice has to be Ashdown. There is NOWHERE that you will get the fanastic service that the boys at Ashdown will give you if you happen to have a problem with your amp. I own an ABM 500/15 and an EB 130/15, each amp poles appart in price but each one has to be a leader in its class.
  16. Leonard

    If you're looking for earth shattering low end the mini 48 is probably just a wee bit 'top end zingy' on it's own but the good news is the mini series comes in handy 19.5" x 18.7" x 13.2" (495mm x 475mm x 335mm) packages which when you add a 4x8 and a 1x15 together only weigh 10lbs(4.5kg) more than the ampeg 4X10.

    My back is a very happy back, oh yes indeed:D

    Also they're not covered in that horrible carpet stuff that gets absolutely minging when you play in smokey pubs with a drummer who spills beer all over everything ;).

    Try them out if you can and see if your ears like them, your back certainly will:)

    Oh yeah the two cabs I got only cost £50 more than the Ampeg SVT410LF.
  17. Rod B.

    Rod B.

    Jun 11, 2002
    That is THE setup I truly would have liked to hear. But, I have no dealers within several hundred miles of me. :(

    What are you pushing them with? How do you feel they match up since the 4x8 takes 600w and the 1x15 takes 300w, plus the 4x8 is more efficient?
  18. I for one love Hartke. I will tote thier good name through everything. I play a Fender P-Bass through a Hartke Kickback 12 and the sound is so diverse. It can be deep or as high as you want due to Hartke's shape control.The Bottom Line in Bass: what sounds good to you probably is the right choice
  19. captainpabst


    Mar 18, 2001
    Of those choices i would pick the amb300. I'm not fond of the hartke 3000/3500; I believe the 4000 is much better.

    Maybe avatar cabs would send you a 4x10?
  20. Rod B.

    I have 2 heads a Trace Elliot AH350SMX which sounds like a Trace Elliot AH350SMX no matter which cabs you put it through... :D and a Trace V-type 600H which when played thru the 4x8 and 1x15 sounds brilliant...
    The two cabs are well matched to give a good overall sound.

    Another bass player I know has the 4x8 & 1x12 with an SWR SM-500, he's a slap monster and it sounds absolutely killer.

    I tried most of the ABM mini series combinations and they were all well matched cabinets, just mix and match to suit your own sound.

    Having said all that, it doesn't matter what anyone says, it all comes down to whether it sounds good to _your_ ear and since it's quite a radical change I would recommend trying before buying even if you have to go on holiday to your nearest dealer.
    I managed that while on a fly drive in Florida..." Oh look heres a place thats selling those Sansamp bass drivers i've been talking about.." , 'She Who Must Be Obeyed' was not amused...HEH!, HEH!