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Hartke 3500 occassionally distorts....problem??

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Philthy, Dec 28, 2004.

  1. Philthy

    Philthy Supporting Member

    Jun 12, 2001
    Flanders, NJ
    I just recently picked up a used Hartke 3500 head to use primarily for at home practice. I play active basses; Spector Euro 4 strings to be precise. I just recently noticed that, on occassion, when striking the E string really hard with a pick, there was a kinda farty distortion. It doesn't happen all the time, just when playing hard. So, I tried another cabinet....same thing. I changed the tube in the head....same thing. This only happens when using the tube preamp. The solid state preamp on the head is fine. Spector's Tonepump preamps are pretty "hot" and have lots of output. Could this have something to do with it? Is it simply that I'm over driving the tube and clipping because of the active bass output? Or is it a problem with the head?

    This doesn't happen with my main head....an SWR 750.

    Any help or advice would be appreciated.

  2. Korey


    Oct 29, 2003
    Lexington, KY
    Ive got a hartke 3500 I use for about the same purpose. I can almost make that amp "fart" on command. I've never really been happy with that purchace. I want to replace it with a low end ashdown..... But it still beats lugging my 400+ everywhere.

    I think the distortion is normal. Make sure you're plugged into the active input, and back off the preamp gian a little and it might help, but in my experiance, you can still get it to crap out if you boost the bass much at all on your bass or the amp itself.
  3. jdagger


    Nov 21, 2004
    I have a Hartke 3500 head. If Korey's comments don't solve the problem post your Preamp settings (solid state and tube) and your EQ settings and I will try to duplicate the problem. Maybe we can determine if it is indeed systemic to Hartke 3500.

    I am running as follows:
    Tube = 1:00 o'clock
    Solid = 12:00 o'clock
    EQ = flat at 0 db (or out of circuit completely).
    Lo and Hi Contour at 12:00 o'clock (0 dB).

    The setting sounds pretty mundane I know, but with the Schroeder cab I am using I can do eveything I need to do on the axe itself.
  4. Philthy

    Philthy Supporting Member

    Jun 12, 2001
    Flanders, NJ
    Ok, I tried jdagger's suggested settings and it eliminated my distorting. It doesn't sound bad, either. My bass' on board EQ works nicely and sounds good thru my SWR S.O.B. 1x15 cab. Thanks for the help!!!