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Hartke 410 Cabinets with Aluminium Cones

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Brown Shark, Jul 16, 2005.

  1. Hartke 410TP Transporter

    0 vote(s)
  2. Hartke 410XL

    11 vote(s)
  3. Hartke 4.5XL

    29 vote(s)
  4. Other

    4 vote(s)
  1. I have being having trouble getting clarity back into my tone for the last six months. I currently run a Stingray 5 into an Ashdown ABM 500 head and Sovtek 410/Hatrke VX115 and have just been getting a muddier and muddier tone as I continue to rehearse/gig. I've tried all the tricks of upping the mids and highs, soaking the strings in alcohol and changing them weekly, even my BDDI hasn't been able to brighten my tone up enough to hear note articulation clearly. Until Wednesday night ...

    I turned up to our rehearsal space and another bass player's rig was there (a Hartke 3500 with a Transporter 410). I thought I would give the Transporter a go and kept the VX115 in the car for the night. The aluminum cones in the Transporter cab brightened up the tone just the right amount, even with strings that were on the way out. In fact, combined with my paper cone 410, the rig sounded fantastic - great bottom end with sweet clarity of each note.

    So now Im thinking of dropping the VX115 in favour of a Hartke aluminum 410. But which one should I go for? The 410TP sounded great on the night, but I have heard these are the budget line, and as such may have quality issues. Apparently the XL series are better, but does the addition of aluminum high frequency driver in the 4.5XL make it too bright/sterile? Please let me know what your opinions are of the Hartke aluminum 410s and what one you think I should opt for in this case.
  2. BassyBill

    BassyBill The smooth moderator... Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 12, 2005
    West Midlands UK
    I have xl series Hartke cabs and they are absolutely great IME. These seem to be the ones that are rated the best, the cheaper versions don't enjoy the same rep. The 410xl and 4.5xl are both ali coned, ported cabs, but as you say the 4.5xl has the HF driver as well. I have 115xl, 210xl and 2.5xl cabs. The 210 is a sealed rather than ported design and so isn't great on it's own, but works really well with the 115. The 2.5xl is ported, has deep, tight, punchy lows, fantastically clear mids and highs, works really well alone (for smaller gigs) or in a bigger stack. I personally don't find it too bright. Let's face it, it's dead easy to roll off high end a bit if necessary. It's adding it in when it isn't "there" that's hard!

    I think you'd be happy with either the 410xl or the 4.5xl, but if it's clarity you're after I think the latter would be the one to go for. Some people don't like the tone of Hartke cabs - you obviously do so I really don't think you can go wrong with this one. Hope this helps.
  3. el_Kabong


    Jul 11, 2005
    I haven't used the hartke boxes but I can offer an opinion on the 5in aluminium tweeter they use. I put one in my ampeg 4x10 hlf cab and love it. It has none of the hiss or harshness the standard horn driver has (imo, ymmv etc). It has just the right amount of sting for slap and makes the bright switch on my svt classic a usable option. I find that now I don't use the tweeter attenuator on the cab I just use the tone controls and leave the tweeter on full. So I wouldn't think you'd find it too bright. I agree with you, I think there's some good tone to be had combining aluminium and paper drivers. I've been wanting to try one of those el cheapo behringer 15in aluminum cabs under my 2x10 ampeg.
  4. Steve


    Aug 10, 2001
    I happen to like the GOOD Hartke stuff. Especially with a nice GK 800RB on top of it.

    The XL4.5 is a great box. ANY cab that uses an actual speaker for the high end as opposed to a horn is going to sound less shrill and give a better dispersion through the room. IMHO of course.

    as 50 people pile on me saying their horns sound great......
  5. Eric Moesle

    Eric Moesle

    Sep 21, 2001
    Columbus OH
    Stay away from the VX and Transporter series if you are looking to clean up your tone. Those series are manufactured to meet a consumer price point for sales, NOT for performance. The XL series is the way to go, IF you want the Hartke sound.

    I was formerly a long-time user of Hartke cabs, fine if you like the sound, but beware of two drawbacks:

    1. It is hard to replace a damaged driver with them. You can't get one quickly or cheaply as with many other manufacturers. You WILL have a bit of downtime should you require a replacement driver.

    2. After a few years, the center black dustcovers come unglued from the aluminum cones, which creates a slight buzzing/blown speaker sound. Easily and cheaply fixed by removing and re-cementing the dustcovers, but a pain nonetheless. This happened with EVERY ONE of my Hartke drivers over the course of 5 years. The aluminum and felt material expands/contracts to temperature changes differently, and it will separate eventually, and it only takes the tiniest bit of separation to cause the buzzing. Of course, YMMV, that was just my experience and that of others that I know.
  6. Tash


    Feb 13, 2005
    Bel Air Maryland

    +1, and let me add a point 3...

    3 - Hartke drivers are very sensitive to temperature changes. You cannot have one say, sitting in your car in 10 degree weather for an hour, take it out and start playing. It needs to sit for a while to come up to room temperature. Playing them while cold will cause the cone to crack. This was ultimately the issue that made me drop Hartke. Back when I used them I was living in upstate NY and regularly played gigs where I'd have to leave my rig in the back of an unheated van for several hours between sound check and start. I cracked two or three drivers before giving up on them. I do miss them though, a 4.5XL and 115XL are simply awesome in combo!
  7. poundround


    Mar 8, 2005
    Lynchburg VA
    I too used Hartke cabs for years with no problems. But switched to Eden recently do to the abrasive sound of the Hartke on my high end basses. I believe you are over looking the Hartke 4200. Its their best 410 I think.
  8. thedoctor


    Jun 20, 2005
    I love the 4.5XL but not by itself. I make it play with an Ampeg 1 X 15 or a Sunn 2 X 15. Both with paper cones. Just fills in the void the metal cones leave.
  9. Thanks for your responses - it sounds like the 4.5XL is the one to go for, or perhaps the 2.5XL as bassybill suggested.

  10. andruca


    Mar 31, 2004
    Madrid (Spain)
    I use a 4.5XL + 215XL setup and it's absolutely awesome. But, unlike almost all of the posters I found the 5" in my 4.5XL was capable of delivering harsh but not a lot of brightness to the sound (I like the 12KHz kind of brightness) so I changed it for a Beyma CP16 horn (intended for PA use, in fact). It got a little noisier, but real bright. I love the combination of 4x10 + 2x15.

  11. BassyBill

    BassyBill The smooth moderator... Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 12, 2005
    West Midlands UK
    Just to clarify...

    As I said in my earlier post, I use the 2.5xl with a 210xl and a 115xl. My pick in response to your question would be the 4.5xl.
  12. So you wouldn't recommend using the 2.5xl with my existing paper cone 410?
  13. Triad

    Triad Commercial User

    Jul 4, 2006
    Luthier - Prometeus Guitars
    I wouldn't.

    Sorry guys to hijack the topic...
    I'd like to know if anyone here has the 10" aluminium woofers parameters (Thiele/Small) and all the informations can be precious as I'd like to build a cab with Hartke woofer but I'd need these informations to build a well tuned box.