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Hartke 2000 vs Ashdown MAG-300

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by flexo, May 3, 2005.

  1. flexo


    May 3, 2005
    Perth, Australia

    I'm a guitarist that dabbles in bass and at present i'm looking for a bass amp so i can actually hear my bass! I want to get something that can keep up with a band and i am more than likely going to get one of the amps in the title thread.
    (I am in Australia, which means all bass/guitar gear is a hell of a lot more expensive than over in the US, so i will probably get a friend to buy through avatar and than send it to me here.)

    I have played a friends Hartke 3500 combo and i thought it was pretty decent, though i didnt have time to muck around with the settings. I have read the reviews on HC and both amps seem to have very favourable reviews.
    On the HC forum however, the Ashdown seems to be favoured over the Hartke models.
    The Ashdown is slightly more expensive ($278 vs $197). Is it worth the extra money over the Hartke? What are the differences in sound between the two?

    If it helps, at present i have an OLP MM-2, which i will probably upgrade next year. In terms of bass tone, i really like the tone that Dirk Lance from Incubus gets on the morning view cd/dvd. :bassist:
  2. Roundwound


    May 13, 2004
    Peoria, IL
    I own a Hartke 2000, but I've never tried the Mag. One of the significant differences between the two is wattage. You will get more watts with the Mag (307w) vs. the Hartke 2000(200w@4ohms). Although the 2000 can get loud, the Mag will stay with a loud band better. I'm thinking your wattage needs are the most important factor in this purchase.

    Regarding tone, the Hartke has a 10-band eq (vs. 5 or so for the Mag), and tube and solid state options w/blending in the preamp (with a real tube), so the Hartke overall has more tone shaping options. I think the Hartke is of overall better quality, but you sacrifice wattage. However, you can buy a decent Hartke 3500 head (350w @ 4ohms) used for less than a new Mag. If you go with that option, you win both ways.
  3. flexo


    May 3, 2005
    Perth, Australia
    Thanks for the reply.

    Unfortunately used in Australia will probably cost more than new in the US, that's how much higher the prices are here!

    As for the comparison, despite the Ashdown being all solid-state and the Hartke having a tube pre-amp, most people on HC seem to say that the hartke sounds 'sterile' and the Ashdown sounds heaps warmer and rounder. Not having tried the ashdown, im just wondering what everyone thinks of that statement, and how the two compare?
  4. +1. The warmth of the Ashdown certainly DOES belie the fact that there are no valves in there IMHO. :D
  5. I'll have to disagree with Roundwound. First of all, the extra 100 watts isn't really going to buy you much in the volume department. In theory, doubling your wattage will give you a 3 dB increase in volume, which is only slightly louder to the human ear. So an extra 100 watts in this case is no big deal. You'd need at least 400 W for it to make a real difference. Look for a used SWR Wkgmn 4004 or a Peavey (maybe a firebass or databass head), they will be cheaper per watt and will give you 400 or more watts.

    I found the tone of my Hartke very flexible and using the tube side of the preamp it was very warm sounding to me. When I had my Ashdown, I never did get used to it, ( I had it only a short time) I guess I never took the time to find 'my sound'. I'm really an Eden guy.

    Another way to increase your efficiency is to buy another cab. I don't know what you're using but there are lots of efficient cabs out there that will help you get more out of your amp.

    Hope this helps
  6. Roundwound


    May 13, 2004
    Peoria, IL
    Although I've never heard an Ashdown, I see why people put the Hartke on the "sterile" side, especially if they pair it with the Hartke cabs with aluminum speakers (not meant to be as warm and round without a flurry of EQ). I use my Hartke with the VX410 cab that uses paper cones, biamped with an old Peavey TKO with a 15" paper cone speaker. I do get average roundness and warmth with the 4x10, but I do need the 15 with the hartke's tube selector turned up somewhat to get full booty-shaking warmth and roundness (using a late 70's to early 80s Fender MIA P, too).

    One negative about the HA2000...It does not have a XLR out to hookup to a PA. I had to buy a separate preamp/DI box to cover that need. Otherwise I'd have to use the Send on the effects loop to send a signal to the PA using a 1/4" cable (this doesn't cut the signal chain within the amp, and you can still hear things through your cab just fine).

    With your needs for wattage and roundness, you probably should go with the Ashdown. Read the reviews on talkbass for both amps, and the user reviews on www.harmonycentral.com are a very good resource to use.
  7. Jack


    Sep 6, 2003
    Newcastle, UK
    There are Ashdown soundclips on basstasters. Despite it being the ABM line, with little or no eq and no tube, the sounds are almost identical. ;)

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