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Comparing Hartke Kickback 1200 to SWR Workingmans 12.

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by LoJoe, Oct 22, 2002.

  1. LoJoe


    Sep 5, 2002
    Concord, NC USA.
    Now that I am really learning to play fairly well, I'm wanting to upgrade the amp I use at home to something that will actually let my bass sound like a bass instead of an exhaust system on a dump truck. I currently have one of those Johnson POS amps that are always for sale 7x24 on Ebay and have had enough of it. I like the looks of the SWR Workingman's 12 and the Hartke Kickback 1200. I was able to try out an SWR at Guitar Center and it sounded sweet, but they have no Kickbacks to compare it to. Anyone have first hand experience with both? I am really leaning towards the SWR since I was able to hear it for myself and would have to order the Hartke sound unheard. I see that SWR gives their power ratings in RMS, but Hartke does not specify what their ratings are based on (Peak or RMS) Thanks for any insight!
  2. jasonbraatz


    Oct 18, 2000
    Oakland, CA
    i've logged lots of time on a hartke kickback 115 (cos that's what they have for us at the music school) and while i think it wouldn't be a bad choice, i think the swr is a better choice. why? more power, piezo horn, more tonal options, and i just think it flat out sounds better.
  3. mchildree

    mchildree Supporting Member

    Sep 4, 2000
    I own an SWR WM12, and I play fairly regularly in a club that has a Hartke Kickback 12 for the house amp.

    Get the SWR .... no contest.
  4. DigMe


    Aug 10, 2002
    Waco, TX
    I agree. I've compared the two as well and I do not care for the sound of the Hartke and I really like the sound of the WM's 12. It seems the logical decision too. Why order something you may or may not like when you can buy something that you know that you really like?

    brad cook
  5. LoJoe


    Sep 5, 2002
    Concord, NC USA.
    Thanks for the feedback guys. I think I am sold on the Workingman. I liked the sound, I like the looks, I like that it weighs 50 pounds! That tells me that there is one big speaker magnet and/or transformer inside the thing. Too bad I can't get back to GC before they close today.:mad: Thanks again for the responses!
  6. Hi:
    let me the sole prohartke post here, but I will temper it.
    I do like hartke cabs and the tone of hartkes aluminum cones, however since you don't know what they sound like you need to play them first.
    Everyone has an opinion on Hartkes Tone-a love it or hate kinda thing. I love it, to me its warm, punchy, and tight, to others its modern, bright, and w/out deep bass.
    I would suggets you play thru a hartke first, althou it seems you've made up your mind. TO me its what I'm looking for.
    As for the kickback, these are nice little combo amps. They work really well for home practice, a small band situation -with relatively subdued drummer and guitarists or coffee house kinda thing.
  7. snyderz


    Aug 20, 2000
    AZ mountains
    I'm with Frank on this one. I have a 120 watt Hartke Kickback 10 for practice and small rooms. The tone suits my fretless basses fine, and I even use the headphone output when I need to keep it quiet. Light weight and a keeper.
    Doc Snyder
  8. I'm a SWR guy, but i use a hartke KB15 alot for small gigs/ practice, i found this amp used for $250 so, this was flat out my choice,

    i'm not a big fan of the workingmans stuff, but at least try one and let your ears decide.

  9. turkish

    turkish Guest

    Jul 14, 2002
    FCCAUSA, or here
    i personally love the warmth and mids of the hartke aluminum cones but i wouldn't necessarily use one in a really loud band due to the hartke's lack of lows, so if you play in a band where the giutarist uses alot of distorion i'd go for the swr, you'd cut through alot better but if you mostly play by yourself then i'd say go for the hartke

    no rush, try both, let your ears decide

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