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Hartke 2x10XL vs SWR Goliath Jr III

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Butch Bobcat, Jul 12, 2018.

  1. SWR

    3 vote(s)
  2. Hartke

    1 vote(s)
  1. Butch Bobcat

    Butch Bobcat

    Jul 11, 2018
    Hey all, I'm looking to ad a second cab to my rig and it's between the Hartke 2x10XL and the SWR Goliath Jr III 2x10.

    I play an Ibanez SR605 through an Acoustic B600HD head running to an SWR 1X15T 200watt cabinet. I love the tone. It has a beefy low end and warm mids which is fantastic for my style of playing. I just want something that will give the audience a nice, pleasant throat punch that cuts through the other instruments when I go all Fancy Dan on the bass. :)

    Before I get people telling me not to get either and go with a GK or an Eden or Ampeg, I've played through enough of the other good brands' gear to know that they aren't for me. I'm a big fan of both SWR and Hartke cabinets which is why I've narrowed my selection down to these 2 cabs. I don't know which would be better for the punchiness that I'm looking for without overdriving or taking away from the low end being that the Hartke is a sealed cab with aluminum cones and the Goliath Jr is a ported cab that has a tweeter. Will there possibly be too much low rumble with the SWR and does the port actually take away from the mid range of the bass? Does the tightness of the aluminum speakers in a sealed cab ad clarity without diminishing the warmth of the 1x15 cabinet?

    Any thoughts, experiences, and insights with these cabs is much appreciated.

    Thanks in advance!
    BrentSimons likes this.
  2. BrentSimons

    BrentSimons Supporting Member

    Mar 4, 2004
    Vergennes,VT USA
    Hi there,
    The 2x10 xl was really supposed to be the high part of a bi amp system? Although there are some folks on TB that have had good results using it as a stand alone cab.
    Others may chime in saying that you shouldn't mix speaker size. But it's really up to you.
    The Goliath will get you lower by its design. The Hartke isn't ported. The Goliath also has a higher power rating and might handle itself better on gigs when you don't feel like schlepping two cabs?
    I'm a fan of both manufacturers so I'm sure I haven't been too helpful!
    Best wishes,
  3. Wicked G

    Wicked G

    Jan 19, 2017
    Hell Paso Texas
    I used to own 2 Hartke 210XL cabs as well as a 115XL and I could not get enough low end out of the 210XL's. They were too bright and also lacked in volume especially compared to the 115XL. Running 1 210XL on top of a 115XL worked pretty good, but running 2 210XL's together did not work for me. Although I do like the 115XL and 410XL, I'm not a fan of the 210XL.

    So in my opinion I would stick to the SWR if you are going to go the 210 route unless you are looking to add brightness and clarity to your sound. IMHO but YMMV.
    BrentSimons and Al Kraft like this.
  4. Red Planet

    Red Planet

    May 29, 2005
    The SWR cab blows away the Hartke in every parameter/spec.
    BrentSimons likes this.
  5. Crystalman85


    Nov 30, 2008
    Chicago, Il.
    If you want some punch in your sound, hartke would be a good choice for that. especially since hartke is famous for their aluminum cone speakers. the hydrive cabs has aluminum/paper cone fusion speakers which can gives you warm lows and punchy highs. but considering you own an swr 1x15 cab, you should go with swr goliath. it would match very well with your current rig.
    BrentSimons likes this.
  6. Butch Bobcat

    Butch Bobcat

    Jul 11, 2018
    That's where I'm torn because I know the Goliath should match up better and probably have a more well rounded sound. I just don't know if I'd have less possibility of phase issues with the Hartke being that it's sealed and there may be more separation in tone and response.
  7. Crystalman85


    Nov 30, 2008
    Chicago, Il.
    The only reason I suggested the swr goliath is that I've never seen anyone use 2 bass cabs from different brands. so I would assume it's better to have a matching brand name bass cab. don't know if it's considered weird to have 2 different brand name bass cabs. but what ever choice you make, go with it. I personally like gk and hartke amps. which is why I voted for hartke. still, go with which ever bass cab suits you more.
  8. Al Kraft

    Al Kraft Supporting Member

    May 2, 2016
    Northern Virginia
    I have played both and owned the SWR model (II not the III) for years. While I like the 210XL paired with 115XL, the 210XL on its own, being a relatively small sealed cab is much lighter in the low end and less powerful feeling.

    Now if you asked about a comparison with a Hartke 2.5XL (which I owned for years along with a 4.5XL ), you'd have a fair fight. While it's not a certainty, I suspect that an SWR with SWR cab combination would also be a better match up tonally.
    Last edited: Jul 14, 2018
    Wicked G and BrentSimons like this.
  9. Al Kraft

    Al Kraft Supporting Member

    May 2, 2016
    Northern Virginia
    I wanted t address some of this separately since my comments above were based on the performance of the cabs in actual use and the design aspects I thought were most relevant. While I first thought aluminum cones would have a night and day different quality than paper/Kevlar/whatever, I came to find the difference was much less significant. It is a choice in design that has pluses and minuses, but I've heard plenty of paper speaker cabs that sounded much more metallic than my old Hartkes.

    A sealed vs ported cabinet does in fact have a much different character and feel to me. Many folks have strong preferences here and find this design choice to make a big and usually obvious difference in the voicing. It is especially noticeable in the low end performance/presentation in most every case IME.

    As for a port impacting mids, I see no issue there at all. A well designed and properly voiced cab uses a port as part of the cab tuning and should have no negative impact on mids, or anything at all for that matter. Now having a mid or high frequency driver and crossover in the equation will almost always help the designer be able to give you a fuller tone throughout a broader frequency range if that's the design goal.

    My advice would be to focus less on the design choices and more on the cab's performance and voicing for your needs. Trying to pick or exclude a cabinet based on how the designer approached achieving the tone goals they had in mind is often a less than optimal approach IME. As always YMMV!
    AstroSonic and Butch Bobcat like this.

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