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Blown amp??

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by DryWater'Bass, Aug 24, 2003.

  1. Last night, I was filling in for my brother's band's bassist...and after the end of the first set, my HA3500 is distorting...BAD, the volume's still there, the DI out is clean sounding out front, but the sound from my Cab is crap! we checked cables, switched cabinets...We just couldn't get a clean Hartke sound...There was a guy with a Peavey Mark IV and he let me use it.Anyone got any idea of what's up with The Hartke?
  2. IvanMike

    IvanMike Player Characters fear me... Supporting Member

    Nov 10, 2002
    Middletown CT, USA
    could be a bad tube
    does switching the amp to just solid state preamp remedy the problem?
  3. Not at all...the distortion's still there.
  4. rllefebv


    Oct 17, 2000
    Newberg, Oregon
    I've had two problems with my Carvin R600 in the past year, (after nearly 5 years of massive use and abuse!), both resulting in distortion... The first was a blown ceramic resistor in the power-amp stage... DI was clean, but the output from the cabs was way distorted, exactly as you describe... $1 and a little solder fixed that.

    The second was a nasty clipping distortion all of the time when I hit any 'A' on the bass... This was dirty pots, believe it or not... Some contact cleaner on all the pots, while rotating them through their full range of motion cleared it up... I also sprayed some on all of the sliders on the EQ while moving them and sprayed some on an old 1/4 plug and worked it in and out of every jack on the amp. I was so happy when this immediately cleared up the issue...

    Just trying to illustrate that it can be a very minor thing causing your problem. If you're confident in your ability, open the amp and look for any obviously loose wiring, components or cold solder joints... Buy a can of fast drying electric contact cleaner and clean the pots, eq sliders, output jacks, chiclet buttons and an other moveable/exposed components, (this is now an every other month or so routine for me...)

    If you're not totally comfortable going inside your amp and looking around, then by all means, take it to someone who does this for a living... $50 now is cheaper than a possibly well intentioned mishap with you amp's innards!

    Good luck!

  5. mikemulcahy


    Jun 13, 2000
    The Abyss
    I agree, a few bucks to a real tech is well worth it. Best we can do is a guess, get some professional eyeballs on it.

  6. g4string

    g4string Supporting Member

    Sep 19, 2002
    Melissa, TX
    I know what the problem is...you have a Hartke lemon.

    I had a Hartke 5000. That POS crapped out on me all the time. It would crakle-disort, etc. I would take it in and have it serviced, then 1 month later the same s**t.

    I am not trying to make fun of your amp, I used mine for about 5 years, 5 looooong agonizing years. But seriously, when you get some extra dough, I would seriously look into getting a better, more reliable amp. IME, I have nothing but problems with Hartke.
  7. I used to hate hearing people trash hartke, but I should've listened...

    I own your same amp, the HA35000... The thing clips like crazy with JUST a 15... I suggest running this head into 2 8 ohm cabs...it remedies the problem, letting you turn up before clipping.

    It's also CUT OUT on me 2x. I would be playing, then it would cut out and I'd hear a faint sound, and then it would come back in, cut back out. They cheaped out on their component my friend, they get dirty and you get distortion and it will cut out too... GO in there and touch up the jacks with a cotton swab and some rubbing alchohol, I hear the radio shack kind will do damage though... Unfortunately I like the tone I get out of this amp, but it's just not reliable... You need to give it maintenance, clean pots, clean jacks and jack connections to the motherboard, etc...
  8. This is an email that fron I guy on HCBF who i got a 410 from. He uses hartke heads too and figured to shoot him an email when mine started cutting out...

    "This cutting out thing happened on both my Hartkes. The sad truth is that they cheaped out on the input jacks. The same deal with the cutting out with a tiny bit of sound left to hear is somewhat common. Only problem I ever had. For whatever reason, they get dirty and stuff starts happening.

    The first thing to do is to get some rubbing alcohol and some Q-tips and stick the soaked Q-tips into the jacks to clean up the contacts inside. Stay away from that TV set contact cleaner from Radio Shack - it often does damage. All this with the power plug taken out of the amp, dig? It that doesn't work....................

    The major surgery is going in and cleaning the PC board the jacks are on. That involves removing the 35 million screws that involve taking the top off. Just make sure they're only the screws that hold the top on. It helps to arrange the screws as they are found on the amp when you take them out.

    Then, you loosen the nuts on the front of the amp that hold the jack onto the front panel. The jack PC board will have a set of wires that end in a socket on the mother board. Pull this out and be careful as all hell - easy does it. Remember which way the socket fits so you put it back the right way. I think it's set up so you can't really put it in wrong.

    You'll probably see a thin layer of white gunk on the jack PC board. Clean this all up with the alcohol, and get everything immaculate. This can take a while. This means the front and back of the board, as well as the jacks. Then, reverse the steps to reassemble. Usually solves the problem. Again, make sure the amp is not plugged into the wall in any way. If worse comes to worse, you could probably get a new jack PC from Hartke, but that's a living hell in and of itself.

    If you're uncomfortable with any of this, don't do it. However, It's good practice for the field repairs you'll eventually run into."

    Obviously, I'd try going in there, cleaning the jacks, clean the pots, and just clean everything where there's connections, just be careful....
  9. MJ5150

    MJ5150 Terrific Twister

    Apr 12, 2001
    Olympia, WA

    I have used the HA3500 for two years. I noticed a quiet "swishing" sound when I was not playing, unnoticable when I played. I took it in to a tech, who promptly cleaned up the contacts, and pots. No problmes now.

    Besides the little "swishing" issue, I have had no problems with this head at all. I run a 215 most of the time.

  10. Right now, a friend of mine's on his way over here, he and I are gonna sit down and contact clean everything to make sure that's not it...And this was just when I was gonna trade it in on this killer little Yorkville BM400...at least with it, I know where the service center is, and can have it looked at with 35-40 minutes of driving round trip...Plus I'm friends with the dealer, which helps with things like this.I'll be back to see how it goes...