Hartke Aluminum Bass?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by summers, Sep 26, 2010.

  1. summers


    Jul 5, 2010
    Some ten or twelve years ago, I was considering learning to play the bass. I often went to web sites to view keyboards(which I now play) and I would look at the basses that were available at the site. I remember seeing a Hartke bass made of aluminum. They had a four and a five string costing $400 to $700.00. They stopped selling them several years later. I almost bought one at the close out price. I have always been curious as to why they were discontinued, and how the basses held up in service. I would like to know if anyone in this forum has (had) one or is familiar with this bass. If so, how did it turn out as a bass, and I wonder what they are worth now?
  2. I believe Vecaro actually designed and built the aluminum neck basses for Hartke. I don't think most players warmed up to metal neck basses. Travis Bean and Kramer both had aluminum necked basses in the '70s and their lifespan was rather short. I really think Hartke sold aluminum neck basses to draw attention to their aluminum coned speaker cabinets, and once that was done there really wasn't a need for the basses. From what I recall they were quite well built and I doubt there was much of a profit margin on them. It probably made the most business sense to just discontinue production. I haven't seen one of these basses in a while, but I haven't heard anyone craving for one either. My guess is they probably maintained their value, but haven't really gone up in value, but that is just a guess.
  3. darkstorm


    Oct 13, 2009
    A problem with the aluminum neck kramers and Travis Beans of the 70's was cold and hot necks when playing outdoors. The metal on the neck would get cold in cold weather and hot in hot weather. The versions with inlaid wooden veneers where better since you had some wood surface which didnt get the felt temp effect.

    JAUQO III-X Inactive

    Jan 4, 2002
    Endorsing artist:see profile.
  5. summers


    Jul 5, 2010
    Thanks for your responses. I often wished that I had bought the five string and kept it, even if only as a conversation piece. (but only if they played and held up well)
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