1. Please take 30 seconds to register your free account to remove most ads, post topics, make friends, earn reward points at our store, and more!  
    TalkBass.com has been uniting the low end since 1998.  Join us! :)

Calling all Hartke amp users!

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by ONYX, Jul 13, 2000.

  1. ONYX


    Apr 14, 2000
    The story thus far........

    I am currently using a Hartke 3500 head. I'm more than happy with the sound, performance, power,etc. Here is my situation: A few weeks ago at a gig, between sets, I noticed a gentleman scrutinizing my set-up. He introduced himself as a fellow bassist. He then proceeded to tell me that my amp settings were wrong (?!?). Whatever.

    This has now sparked a huge controversy amongst my bass playing friends and myself.
    While we all agree that there are no "right" or "wrong" settings, we definitely do not agree on what sounds best.

    Soooo......now I am going to ask all of my fellow Hartke users out there in Bassland for their opinions. What are your favorite settings in regards to pre-amp volume, EQ, master volume, etc.?

    biggrin. The best answers will receive a free donut!! biggrin.

    Life is a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.

    [This message has been edited by ONYX (edited July 13, 2000).]
  2. Rockinjc


    Dec 17, 1999
    I don't have much of a Hartke, just the 1415, so I don't know if i'd be much help for you, but if you get up to Lansing I will try and listen to your sound and how it fits in with your music.

    My Hartke was set pretty much flat ,pulling back on the mids a touch. I found if I drove the lows tow hard it sounded muddy -15inch speaker and all.

    my .01999 $
  3. CS


    Dec 11, 1999
    1415 and periodically check that the controls are 'flat' sorry.

    Hello JC.

    Say something clever and someone steals it

  4. RickenbackeR


    Mar 28, 2000
    Though i don't have a Hartke (yet) i couldn't help to reply.

    If this guy told you that your EQ, etc is wrong, he probably doesn't know ****. Like you said, there is no right or wrong when it comes to such taste-dependant choices like EQ. Specially with the hartke, since it has such a great tone control.

    I've had some experiences of some people telling me that my this-and-that is wrong, and when i ask them, they have a whole 2 months of experience playing bass! Its generally the more experienced people who compliment me. I've found that experienced bassplayers (or any instrument, really) are modest, and let you learn from them instead of telling you that you're doing it all wrong.

    RICK- biggrin. -SOUND
  5. Hey ONYX,
    I used to have a Hartke 2x10 combo, played it for nine years, indestructible, great amp. I played strictly rock 'n roll. Here's the settings I used, just FYI..
    Solid State preamp: 6
    Tube preamp: 6
    Compressor: Noon
    EQ: Frown Shape (boost the mids)
    High pass: Noon
    Low pass: 2 o'clock
    Master: 1 1/2
    These worked great for me, but like you said, there are no right or wrong settings, don't let some guy you never met before tell you your settings are "wrong." Just find the tone you like from the amp and rip the knobs off!

    [This message has been edited by Dave Siff (edited July 13, 2000).]

    [This message has been edited by Dave Siff (edited July 13, 2000).]
  6. ONYX


    Apr 14, 2000

    Thanks for your input. The settings you listed are virtually identical to the ones that I use!! smile. I've always been happy and content with this " tone".

    I should probably state that I wasn't really put off by that guys comment. Like someone mentioned earlier, he probably didn't know squat. I just thought that it was kind of a strange comment for someone to make.

    In 20 years of playing, I've never had anybody tell me something like that! I've had comments like " too much bottom end" or "sounds tinny", but I consider those constructive criticism. What I hear on stage is not always what the crowd hears.

    Life is a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.
  7. Bass Case

    Bass Case

    May 20, 2000
    Own a 3500. Here's my setup.
    Tube: 7
    Solid state: 3
    Compression: 5
    Eq: Lowest frequency at zero, then the controls make a "wave" look, going from left to right, first rising then lowering and the highest frequencey is again at zero.
    Contour Low: +3
    Contour High: -3
    Master: Depends on the situation.
  8. I've used my Hartke 3500 for over four years.
    My settings:-
    4ohms, (one Mesa 1516E 4ohm cab. or two 8 ohm XL Hartke cabs.)
    Always passive input regardless of active or passive bass.
    Tube pre-amp 5 to 6 S/S pre-amp 4 to 5 (both together)
    Compressor 3
    EQ off for normal live work.
    Contour's flat with Mesa cab, low pass 1 o'clock with Hartke cabs.
    Master rarely more than 2.
    I have always been very happy with the 3500 in fact I got rid of my Mesa 400+ and got a second 3500.
    I'm not saying they're better than the Mesa, but the 3500 hasn't let me down yet, (the Mesa did on the 5th outing and was away for repair for 6 weeks) it's light, sounds great and I don't have to replace 12 tubes every year or so.
  9. Matthias


    May 30, 2000
    Vienna, Austria
    I agree with you and all the others, that there are no 'right' and 'wrong' EQ-settings. As it was already said, one could just critizise, that the bass sound is too muddy, too loud or not audible, whatever.

    There is just one thing that you can actually set 'wrong': Preamp volume vs. master volume. As you say you have 20 years of experience I don't mean to explain this to you, but one should state this in this context (for beginners who read this).

    For best signal to noise ratio, preamp volume should always be set at a level slightly before clipping occurs, the overall playing volume is ajusted with the master knob. If you play at VERY low volume, you might also have to turn down the preamp (when practicing with 400W in your living room for example smile. )

  10. ONYX


    Apr 14, 2000
    Hey Matthias, good point!
    It seems that the whole pre-amp/master volume deal is a bit confusing to beginers.

    But in my case, that guy was refering to my tone settings and not the volume. I should have been more specific in my original post.
  11. Matthias


    May 30, 2000
    Vienna, Austria
    Well, we all know, that there are a lot of wanna-be's around, talking nonsense all the time... (not only regarding bass)
    Make it simple: forget him wink.


    [This message has been edited by Matthias (edited July 14, 2000).]
  12. Bob C

    Bob C

    Mar 26, 2000
    Duluth, MN

    I've owned a 3500 head for seven years, and in that time I've tried lots of tone settings and cabinet combinations. While the controls are straightforward, slight variations can make or break your sound.

    The "frown" pattern you use on the graphic is what Jack Bruce uses, according to information on his web site. Did this "fellow bassist" say WHY your settings were "wrong"?

    I'm currently driving a Peavey 8X10 cab in big rooms, and a Genz Benz 2X10 in small rooms. Through experimentation and a closer look at the owner's manual, my approximate settings are as follows:
    1 tube pre - 5
    2 solid state pre - 0 (I find that the two preamps together work against each other)
    3 compressor - just barely on (it squashes so much)
    4 graphic - pretty flat; 125 boost when I need it; 500 cut sometimes (I love the scoop sound, but you get buried when the rest of the band kicks in)
    5 countour controls - flat
    6 master volume - 2-6, depending on my needs

    As everyone else stated, there's no right or wrong tone. As for the pre/post thing, it's too bad the Hartke doesn't have any clip or overdrive LED's.

  13. I run my Hartke 3500 through an Ampeg Isovent cab 2x15 2x10.I think your settings have more to do with your bass and playing style than any thing else. I slap alot so this is how I'm set up on stage.
    Tube 7
    solid state 5
    compression 3 1/2
    30Hz -15
    64Hz flat
    125Hz +2
    250Hz +2
    500Hz -2
    1KHz +2
    2KHz +9
    3KHz +9
    5KHz +6
    8KHz flat (anymore and it will hiss)
    low pass +3
    high pass +10
    Volume 1 1/2
    I hope these meet with that guys approval!!!!!!!!!! biggrin. biggrin. biggrin. biggrin. biggrin.
  14. If a Hartke rig is good enough for Jack Bruce, it's good enough for me. biggrin.
    Although I wish I could play as good as him.
    Not any Hartke bashing on TBF lately, never understood why there was before. I have always found them extremely reliable.
  15. I.'.I.'.Nakoa

    I.'.I.'.Nakoa Guest

    Aug 10, 2000
    Fort Worth.
    i use my guitar players olderbrothers hartke its a ha5000 with 4 10s and a 15.. and i dont like the tone... the almuinum speakers dont have the sound i like either.. the hartkes have nothing compared to ampeg, swr gallien krueger (IMO) but preference is the biggest matter in choosing an amp
  16. brewer9


    Jul 5, 2000
    this turned out to be a very interesting thread. seeing what everyone does with EQ n stuff. I used a Hartke 7000 with 2 hartke cabs from 1993 through 1999 and thought it was very good.

    In terms of EQ, I use a "W" shape with the bass and treble up, the 250 band cranked and then the rest at various lower levels. It gives me a nice full, beefy sound with pleasing sustain.

    I switched to a Mesa-Boogie system last year that I drool over just thinking about it (400+ head with a 6x10 and a 2x15).
  17. Acacia


    Apr 26, 2000
    Austin, TX
    i just bought a used 3500 last week. as far as the setting, i haven't been able to anything but turn it on. haven't had a real chance to crank it. at "1" it rumbles my whole house with my SWR Goliath III.
  18. lawnpatio


    Jun 27, 2000
    3500 owner

    tube - 4
    ss - 0
    compression - none
    eq - zero at the left and slowly increasing the highs
    low pass - +15
    high pass - 0
    master volume - 2.5

    Hey, its what works for me
  19. I have a HA5000

    Tube - 5
    SS - 0
    Graphic - off
    Compression - off
    Master Volume - 5
    Low Pass - 2:00
    High Pass - 1:00
    Crossover - 500 hz
    High/Low mix - Equal

    I am beginning to like this amp less and less. It just does not have enough power. I'm starting to look for an old 70's SVT or other tube head.

    [Edited by Matthew West on 10-20-2000 at 09:42 AM]
  20. cassanova


    Sep 4, 2000
    I have to go against the grain here a little, I am not overly fond of this head or Hartke in general anymore. Not enough power for me,and results in a serious clipping problem even at the lowest sound pressures now, but mostly because everyone Ive heard including mine has way too much high end hiss.

    My settings change from week to week as Im always experimenting with the eq in search of different tones. But for now they are

    tube: 2 (usually at 4-5 but tubes gassing)
    solid state: 3
    compression: 5
    30hz rages from flat to +3
    64hz: +9
    125hz: +15
    250hz: +6 1/2
    500hz: +9 1/2
    1KHZ: +6
    2KHZ: +6 1/2
    3KHZ: +9 1/2
    5KHZ: +3
    8KHZ: flat (to avoid hiss)
    low pass: +18
    high pass: +15
    master volume: 2(home) (4 rehersal)
    do ya'll think I have the 125 hz boosted a bit much..lol..i love the low mids.

Share This Page