Does anyone like the Hartke Kickback 12?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by megiddo, Sep 20, 2003.

  1. megiddo


    Apr 5, 2003
    Houston, Texas
    I was wondering if there is anyone out there that actually likes the Hartke Kickback 12? I've read the reviews at Harmony Central and they're not bad, but after searching here it seems you guys don't think to much of it. I'm considering trading in my Peavey Basic 112 for one. I play contemporary praise and worship music in a medium/large church with two guitars and a drummer. If volume becomes an issue I can play through the PA. (The Hartke makes that easy) I'm going to test drive it at Mass and rehersal before I commit. I find myself needing a small amp that I can lug to lessons and setup at church quickly. The Peavey is the right size but a little heavy and the music director is always telling me to turn up. I was considering buying a Peavey Microbass amp for practice and lessons and saving up and getting an Ampeg B100R for gigs. I think the Hartke may be more cost effective. If I go with the Hartke I'll save up for a more powerful 300 - 500 watt Ampeg amp with an Aguilar GS112 or GS212 in the future. I might get there faster if I get the Hartke as a stopgap. What do you guys think?
  2. FretNoMore

    FretNoMore * Cooking with GAS *

    Jan 25, 2002
    The frozen north
    I tried it briefly, but was not too impressed. A guitarist friend was going to use it as a stage monitor with his POD. He ended up buying a Behringer amp instead. I found the Hartke OK on low(ish) volume, and four-string bass. Couldn't really handle the B-string at any volume. Live it might work as a personal monitor, but don't expect your band mates to hear much. In your shoes I think I'd keep your current amp and save the money for the bigger rig instead.

    If the PA is an option why don't you get a DI to hook up to the PA and also get some bass support from the floor monitors?
  3. Lockout


    Dec 24, 2002
    I agree completely. It just doesn't like that B string, and it doesn't sound great either. Not worth the money IMO. :)
  4. Try the kickback 15... it handles the B pretty well and is very quick for a 15. I'd be willing to bet that you'd like it much more than the 12.
  5. megiddo


    Apr 5, 2003
    Houston, Texas
    Thanks for the replys. I'd get the kickback 15 but whatever amp I get has to fit in the trunk of an 87 BMW so the 12 is about as large as I can go. I used the 12 for practice today and it sounds better than my Peavey Basic 112 here in the house. I also noticed that there is a big difference in sound when its kicked back as opposed to sitting flat on the floor (way more bass when its sitting flat) I'm going to listen to it in church tomorrow and see how it goes. The music store where I like to go carries Hartke, Peavey, Orange and Fender amps. The owner of the store has been very supportive and I want to give him the business. (BTW his name is Kevin Perry and his store is Great Southern Music on Hwy 6 in Houston)

    I'm playing a stock MIM Fender Jazz Bass with GHS Boomers and it's sounding pretty good. Since I'm a beginner maybe I don't know what to listen for. I'll do 99% of my playing in the church so I guess the key is how it sounds there.

    All that said, does anyone have any positive to say about it? I mean, compared to the Peavey Basic 112, it's a step up. Isn't it? :confused:
  6. I got one for my son a couple of years ago and it has been a great amp. He uses it for school jazz band and pep rally's. And on occasion Ive used it for small gigs. It has been durable, and reliable.
  7. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member In Memoriam

    I had one and certainly thougt it was better than the Trace Elliott combos I have heard. What I would say is that it sounded much better with the "shape " control engaged. Without this - I didn't like the sound - but just pushing this one button, in made the whole thing sound do much better.

    It was great for small Jazz-style acoustic gigs and I leant it to several people including a Jazz pro DBer who liked the sound. But ultimately I found it wasn't loud enough and was actually heavier and less portable than using EA cabs with a small high-quality amp. Oh and these sound a level up in quality! ;)

    I now think combos are a bit of waste of money - you always get much more with separate amp/cab and this can be much more portable as well. Combos are simple and plug and play - but ultimately do a bit of rearch and you can always find an amp/cab combination that delivers more in any respect.
  8. megiddo


    Apr 5, 2003
    Houston, Texas
    Thanks for all the imput, it has been very helpful. I used it in church today and it just didn't have the low end I had hoped it would. I love the cab design, power and weight but I really need to get those growling lows. The accustics in the church are horrible and the Hartke just couldn't overcome it. Anyway thanks again guys!
  9. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member In Memoriam

    Churches are a horrible for bass - the worst possible acoustic - no amp will make any difference to that!

    Church acoustic is great for making voices sing out and reverberate - but just turns bass to mush!
  10. hyperlitem

    hyperlitem Guest

    Jul 25, 2001
    Indianapolis, IN
    my guitarist has one and i LOVE it. Im a big fan of 10's though so im real into bright punchy sounds. Itd durable as heck and i think it sounds great with my spector, i havent tried it with my stingray yet. Very rounded smooth sound.
  11. aladdin


    Mar 7, 2003
    Chiba, Japan
    Take a look at the SWR Workingman's 12. This is a nice amp for the money. I would even suggest buying one used... one of the ones before Fender got its hands on SWR.

    They work very well, are durable and can go quite loud for a small 1x12. They also have useable XLR out.

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