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Hartke 3500 Bass Head Problems...

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by nyfryte_josh038, Jul 20, 2005.


  1. nyfryte_josh038

    nyfryte_josh038

    Jul 20, 2005
    i bought mine used from ebay, which MAY have been a bad thing, but here's what happened. me and my band were rehearsing and the vibration from all the lows made the head fall off of my cab, thus breaking the master volume pot. so i take it to skips music in sacramento, california and it costs me $90 to get that fixed. the night i picked it up was the same night we had a show. so i hook up my rig and nothing... luckily, i brought my back up so i used that for the night, took it BACK to skips to get THAT fixed and it ended up just being the relay, so he fixed that free of charge. so from then on, it's working pretty good. no problems at all. one day we had an outdoor gig. probly in about 85 or 90 degree weather.so we come to the end of our set, the last song, and it just shuts off. the power is still on, it's getting signal because i can see the compression light flickering. so i tried turning it off and back on and it worked. we finished our set without anymore problems. so a few days later we have practice. halfway through the first song it does the same thing. so i thought since it was getting signal to the amp and not to the speakers, it HAD to be the output of the head, the cable, or the input on the cab, checked all of that and everything was fine. i tried maybe 3 or 4 different cables and everytime it would work for a little while and then die out. i called skips back and explained my problem and they said that it would be at least $150 to get it taken care of, if not even more. i bought the thing for 300 and im just not sure if it's worth putting that money into it, keep in mind that im only 17 years old and dont make enough money to have much extra after each payday. has anyone else had this problem and if so, what can i do to fix this? thanks for your time.
     
  2. MJ5150

    MJ5150 Terrific Twister

    Apr 12, 2001
    Lacey, WA
    $150 for the repair is still less than it will cost to buy another amp. Have the tech fix it up for you. Perhaps you can run it through some tests while he has it to make sure nothing else shows up later. I am actually surprised the tech did not check everything else before he gave it back to you the first time.

    -Mike
     
  3. nyfryte_josh038

    nyfryte_josh038

    Jul 20, 2005
    well, if i was going to get a new head, it would be ampeg so it will be a lot of money and will take a long time to save, but im hoping i will be done buying heads for a while. and with ampeg, i wouldnt expect anything less than perfection.
     
  4. bannedwit

    bannedwit

    May 9, 2005
    Buffalo, NY
    I used to have a Hartke 4000 (now you see why I "used to" have one). That amp was horrible!. I bought it brand new for $400 at a local music store and got 4x10 cabinet to go with it. The speakers were always good to me but that amp... ugh.
    Problems included: Clipping ALL THE TIME no matter how i EQed the bass (i had an active bass that this would happen on. I even took it to the store where a bass tech guy worked on the settings so i know that was legit.) The clipping would cut out the sound. Sometimes the amp would shut down like you said (pretty sure it was from overheating.) It would also shut down and restart on me (overheating as well?) I needed to get a compressor to take care of the clipping and cutting out issue ($100 for that) when the amps EQs should have that option or should lessen when you change the EQ's. I played with guys with 100 watt cabinets and i couldn't be heard so I bought a 1x15 transporter series amp and that helped to louden my sound. But once again the trusty Hartke 4000 ended up blowing the voice coil on my 1x15....
    I got a SWR WorkingPro 700 that i got on ebay for $550 shipping and all comming my way now!
     
  5. 4Mal

    4Mal Supporting Member

    Jun 2, 2002
    Columbia River Gorge
    Those amps don't compare to the 3500 favorably ...

    What did your tech tell you that he would do for the $150 ? Was it related to the stage dive ? Basically a mechanical problem ?

    I'm also with Mike that you won't be able to get a new amp for $150. You really can't sell this one without disclosing the problem and if you do that you'll lose there as well. Money, Karma, Money, Karma ... (hint - Karma is the correct answer everytime)

    If your tech can get your 3500 back to functional and will provide a guarantee on it for a while, a 3500 is a pretty nice head IMO. I ran one for a while and should have kept it as a backup.
     
  6. nyfryte_josh038

    nyfryte_josh038

    Jul 20, 2005
    i told the tech exactly what i said in my first discription and he said that it would probly cost at least $150 but he wouldnt know untill after he looked at it. and i THINK it's like $35 or $40 an hour for labor and you KNOW that the dude is gonna take his sweet time so who knows how much it's gonna cost me. im thinking about just selling this one for parts and buying a behringer for the time being. 120 watts(my backup) just isnt enough. i actually even tried replacing the tube, which it needed anyway, but i still have problems. i dont know if this will help any, but when i turn it on, i used to hear a click noise, but i dont anymore. i only hear it when it functions properly. hopefully that will help in figuring this out but im not sure. im hoping it's something as stupid as just securing a wire a little better. who knows.
     
  7. MJ5150

    MJ5150 Terrific Twister

    Apr 12, 2001
    Lacey, WA
    Don't take a step backwards bro. If you really want to buy another amp, check out the Ashdown MAG series. Buying the Behringer is a step backwards. You don't want to be doing that, trust me.

    -Mike
     
  8. nyfryte_josh038

    nyfryte_josh038

    Jul 20, 2005
    i've looked into ashdown a little, but i wasnt really sure if they were a dependable brand. and i dont think there are any dealers around my area for me to try one out. and with the behringer, you get what you pay for, im sure. but im so desperate for some power. i have to make the two guitars in my band turn themselves down and then the drummer overpowers everything and it's just difficult. but i'll look more into ashdown if you feel they are dependable.
     
  9. nyfryte_josh038

    nyfryte_josh038

    Jul 20, 2005
    also, there is this black rectangular hollow box thing with all these little fin things with a little board thing connect to it with 8 smaller black things. not sure what THAT does but it doesnt get hot anymore, it used to when it was working, but now when i turn it on it doesnt get hot. maybe it's a connection or something. i checked and secured everything though so i am really clueless as to what is wrong with my head. maybe it's done or soemthing. im no amp tech but either it needs a replacement part or it's totally dead. whatever it is, it probly isnt simple and is probly very expensive.
     
  10. The Nanny

    The Nanny

    Dec 23, 2004
    Ottawa, Canada
    $90 USD to get a master volume pot fixed? You got ripped off buddy. Sorry...sounds like skips may be the problem...
     
  11. 4Mal

    4Mal Supporting Member

    Jun 2, 2002
    Columbia River Gorge
    That would be the power amp section of your head. The fins are part of the heat sink the 8 smaller black things are very likely your output transitors.
     
  12. Aj*

    Aj*

    Jun 14, 2005
    West Yorkshire, UK
    Have heard from other 3500 owners that sometimes the internal soldering which is machine soldered on newer 3500s can come undone quite easily, can't remember who it was but some TB member got it fixed by a tech who just resoldered the dodgy joints. I would imagain if your head had any dodgy joints then it falling would have made them iffy (but this is just a theory). Best thing is to take it to a tech but $150 seems excessive for just about anything to do with the amp tbh. If someone can remember who that member was he knew a good tech who charged very reasonable prices (NA based) so that should help you. $90 for a master volume pot is also too much, seems whoever fitted that is more interested in making a cheap buck than fixing your amp. Stick with the amp bro, it's awesome when you get it in the zone. After ordering my 3500 locally (got a very good price) it was dropped on delivery to the store by the courier, amp was a write off so had to wait another week untill a new one was shipped out, it happens unfortunatley.
     
  13. nyfryte_josh038

    nyfryte_josh038

    Jul 20, 2005
    yeah, i kinda figured that i got jacked. $90 was WAY too much to fix a nob... what it needed to be done. it's kinda hard to find decent techs out here that dont want to take all my money. if i can find anywhere else other than skips, i'll go there. but until then... im afraid im stuck with skips. i think what i'll do is try to tell him with i think is wrong, i'll probly be wrong, but who knows. but i think the power section got disconnected, cuz i left the thing of for like an hour last night and it didnt get hot like it used to. but i talked to my friend tonight and he said that some wires or something might just need to be saudered, but i dont know about that becuase before it stopped working completely, it would work a little, and then cut out, then cut back in, and then out. so i honestly dont even know what it COULD be. but if anyone knows any numbers to techs around sacramento california, i would really appreciate it if you shared them with me.
     
  14. jgsbass

    jgsbass

    May 28, 2003
    Floral Park, NY
    If it works/doesn't work, there's a short somewhere. Probably those solder joints becoming undone. I had a 3500 and although it sounded good, it was the worst made POS I have ever seen in 40 years of playing. So although it worked and never failed on a job, pieces would break off constantly. Try 3 handles in less than 2 years. The bass contour knob was sheared off, just riding on my cars front seat. The fan guard broke on the first day. Customer service sent me a bag of replacement parts but by that time, I was fed up and dreaded the next breakage issue. A good tech should be able to restore your amp to working condition but down the line you should think of trading it or selling it and moving up. And Behringer is NOT a move up.
     
  15. I've got to disagree with the poster who called the Hartke the worst POS ever made. Knobs and handles and fan guards don't just break and fall off on their own....put the thing in an enclosed rack case, for crying out loud, that's what it's got rack ears for. Let it bounce around on a car seat, exposed things will be broken off

    I've had my 5000 for 8 years now with no problems. I've looked at the inside, it's made well, and I'm not completely ignorant when it comes to amps. The circuit boards are not cheap, the components aren't surface-mount, and it's made to be easily serviced. And Hartke doesn't make knobs or fan guards or even handles, they buy them from the exact same manufacturers that other amp companies buy them from.

    But like anything, sling it across the room onto a concrete floor, things can be damaged. That's not Hartke's fault.
     
  16. jgsbass

    jgsbass

    May 28, 2003
    Floral Park, NY
    Yes, stuff can happen to an amp without really trying. Bouncing around on a car seat? This amp sat on the front seat of a large American car: a very cushioned ride. I babied that amp and still, stuff just fell off this amp. Before you chastise for not "handling" this amp right, let me remind you that in 40 years of professional playing( as in probably older than you) I have NEVER had the structural problems I incurred with this amp. Tell me I carried it wrong and thats why the handle broke. 3 times. Thats unheard of.The cheap plastic parts just break. Thats not an abuse issue, its a design flaw. The little L.E.D.s on the graphic EQ would fall off fer cryin out loud. This amp sat in my living room 'til I moved it to the seat of my car. It then rode to the job, was carried inside, placed on my speaker, did a job and the process was reversed. No heavy handling here. When one of the welds breaks on the fan guard on the second day I owned it ( and it hadn't been out of the house yet) I questioned the amps integrity. This amp was babied and it still fell apart. No other piece of equipment I have owned ( in my 40 years) has been so cheaply assembled. I'm sure other 3500's may have fared better, my point here is: mine didn't.It soured me to Hartke products.
     
  17. jgsbass

    jgsbass

    May 28, 2003
    Floral Park, NY
    PS. Easily serviced? 48 screws to get to the inside is not my idea of easily serviced. Pots directly attached to the board is another hard to service issue. After I sold the amp to a friend, he went to get the amp serviced by a very good tech ( Jess Oliver, he designed the Oliver amp series after he left Ampeg) and the tech just freaked at the shoddiness of the design. Even Hartke put the amp in a protective box as an updated improvement.
    I liked the sound. I wasn't going to wait around for the amp to fail on a job. The amp eventually went on tour and was dropped by roadies ( in a rack case) and totalled. Maybe it was a lemon. Or an amp with a death wish. Best of luck with yours.
     
  18. BurningSkies

    BurningSkies CRAZY BALDHEAD

    Feb 20, 2005
    Seweracuse, NY
    I Have one of the old 3500s and have never had a problem with it in the 12 years I've had and used it...and used it hard.
     
  19. billfitzmaurice

    billfitzmaurice Commercial User

    Sep 15, 2004
    New Hampshire
    Owner, Bill Fitzmaurice Loudspeaker Design
    Your amp crapped out because it was overheated. The 3500 has a thermal breaker that kills the juice to the power amp while allowing the preamp to keep operating, once the amp cools down it resets and works again. Running a 3500 in the sun is a guarantee of trouble. Even normal playing can cause problems; I added a second fan to mine and it's been fine ever since. Keep it out of the sun and if it's rack mounted, which blocks the cooling vents, add another fan.
     
  20. ebladeboi123

    ebladeboi123

    Jul 11, 2005
    Oberlin, Oh
    I used to run my HA2000 in the sun alot, but i all ways had to cover it up, so that it was in the shade. Never had a problem with it having to much lows, my HA2000 couldn't produce ANY lows, then again i was also useing a SUB 5. My best solution is that, sell that amp, after you get it working, or tell the buyer its in not working condition. In which case i would then go and buy a used Ampeg or a used GK. Personally you can find some really cheap GK 800 RB's, ( 350-450 ), which isn't bad at all.