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Hartke aluminum cone cabs: pros and cons

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by dhagler, Mar 8, 2008.

  1. I have a GK Backline 600 and I am looking for a 4x10 cab. Craigslist has several Hartke cabs (410XL and 410TP in particular) in my price range (less than $300 used). I've read the specs on each one but I would like to know, from a player's perspective, the advantages and disadvantages of using a cab with aluminum cone speakers as opposed to paper ones. Thanks in advance.
  2. figuredbass

    figuredbass Supporting Member

    Jul 11, 2007
    NYC vicinity
    I've used Hartke aluminum drivers in the original 410XL for 12 years, and still use the 12" Kickback today. All IMO/IME:

    Pros: Great sound, among the best I've ever heard. No harshness, no "metallic" sound, very clear. Frequency range goes very low, and also higher than many paper drivers. Excellent midrange voicing that both punches and sits well in the mix, like a recording.

    Cons: Relatively low power handling. At 400 watts max, this is only half or less than a lot of contemporary 4x10's from other companies these days. Despite that, I haven't blown any of them out and they seem to last for a very long time. Hartke doesn't offer a 4ohm version of their 4x10 either. There is no neodymium version available yet either, only in Hartke's Hy-Drive hybrid drivers. The conventional ceramic maagnets make their cabs fairly heavy too.
  3. +1 I found the same tone description with the 4.5 I used for about 10 years.
  4. Thanks for your response. If I use an 8 ohm cab I would only get 180 watts from my amp, but I think that would be OK because I have P.A. support at church.
  5. Curtybob


    Jun 2, 2007
    Jackson, MO
    Con #1: carpet covering. So hard to keep clean.

    Con #2: seems to miss some of the upper bass/ lower mid frequencies. It jumps straight from the punch down to "you can feel it more than hear it" frequencies.

    Con #3: No tweeter knob or switch.... it's just ON.

    Con #4: low power handling

    Pros that correlate directly with the cons:

    1: Carpet is cheap to replace after it gets funky... or keep the funk to compensate for lack of funk in playing.

    2. Pair it with a 15 and really does sound killer... I pair a 2.5 XL with a homemade 6x10 and they compliment each other perfectly (my 6x10 turned out very bottom heavy and boomy)... It really helped to cover my mistake on the cab.

    3. The tweeter (at least in the 2.5XL and the 4.5XL) doesn't sound too harsh, and will only displease the staunchest of the anti-tweeter set. So lack of adjustable attenuation is only a problem if your amp is lacking in the EQ section.

    4. The power handling sucks.... but they are fairly efficient cabs. They aren't super extraordinary efficient, but they do get a lot done with a little bit of power.
  6. RickC

    RickC Gold Supporting Member

    Jun 9, 2005
    I love mine. The weight is the only issue, and the only reason why I'm thinking about replacing it with a neo cab.

    I normally run mine with a Thunderfunk, but I have tried it with a Backline 600; sounds good, giggable volume.

  7. GeddyFlea1974


    Feb 11, 2007
    +1 to everything said so far. I find the aluminum cone cabs to be pretty good sounding. They cut through the mix real well, and with the right EQ, it's easy to dial in pretty much any tone you want. They're insanely durable, too. I've run my 4.5XL and 215XL through their paces for 2 years now, after buying them used, and they're still holding up. The only real cons have already been mentioned. I really don't like the carpet, it attracts pet hair and everything else. And they're pretty heavy too. All in all though, they're great cabinets, so long as you're strong and/or have someone to help you carry them.
  8. 2Loud4You


    Jan 18, 2008
    Norcross, GA
    It seems the 10's hold up fine but after replacing 4 15" speakers when I had a 215XL I say the 15's are crap.
  9. lazyone2


    Jul 27, 2006
    new jersey shore
    I have used the 2.5 XL for a couple of years and i think its a very underated cab. The Transporter cabs really are crap and a waste of money. If your set on 4x10 get the 4.5XL you won't be disappointed.
  10. tplyons


    Apr 6, 2003
    Madison, NJ
    Aluminum cones sound different, they're crisper. If you like it, buy them.

    I'm itching for some aluminum cones one day.
  11. dreadheadbass


    Dec 17, 2007
    i have a harke transporter you can say all the cons you want they dont matter when you have a gig on the top floor of a uni and the elevators are out of order that little lightwieght cab is the best thing since someone combined cookies n chocolate
  12. danomite64


    Nov 16, 2004
    Tampa, Florida
    I bought me son the paper-coned Hartke 4-10 for his birthday for $130, which I thought was a good deal. Last week I returned to the pawn shop to find a 410XL for the same price, which I thought was a steal, and so far I like it a lot. It's an older one with no horn and is only rated at 240 watts, but it really sounds good. I can see myself trying to get a 210XL to go on top of it.
  13. GreaserMatt


    Sep 4, 2004
    Seattle, WA
    I love mine: 4x10 paper cones XL series w/ alum tweeter in the center; $100 craigslist score.
  14. I have a 4.5XL that's been my main cab for around 15 years. I used to love it, but lately not so much -- and I'm not sure if it's the acoustics in the new rehearsal space, or maybe it doesn't mesh well with the MarkBass LMII that I picked up recently. (I need to lug my heavy old Hartke head down to practice one night and see if that makes it sound like I remember.) I haven't had a chance to compare it to the current crop of 4x10 cabs (most of which would cost twice as much, BTW) but to my ears the Hartke puts out a surprising amount of deep bass. I use my low B string a lot, and this cab really pumps it out. (Their specs claim it goes down to 30Hz, which seems like *quite* a stretch -- is that -10db or -25db, LOL -- but it does sound really good on that low B.) Years ago I used to run an 18 under it to get crazy loud, but as long as your volume is reasonable it should be more than enough on its own. The biggest problem with the cab (assuming you like how it sounds) is the size and weight. It weighs just under 100 lbs., and it is very deep from front to back -- about 19 inches I think -- so it will not fit into a normal car's trunk. So that's something to consider if you don't have a truck/SUV or hatchback. I have been able to wrestle it into the back seat of a couple mid-size sedans, but that is really a pain because it's a one person job -- a second person would just get in the way. Oh, and as many others have mentioned, the carpet covering will gather so much cat hair you'll think the cab is growing it.
  15. rudedogg


    Mar 23, 2007
    I think if you are buying Hartke...go with the xl series only, and if possible the 2.5xl and / or the 4.5xl. Ive owned and gigged both, and they sound very good. I will warn you though that they are very heavy by todays standards, do not handle a ton of power, and if you overpower them for a second, they are toast! My 2.5xl blew a speaker, Hartke repaired it fast and free tho, and the 4.5 i use at practice is rattling a bit after being subjected to abuse from the Markbass LMII. My fault, i clipped the amp a bit, due to a new active bass i did not e.q. properly, but not a forgiving cab if you goof! Paper cones seem to be able to take at least one good fart! I dont mean to discourage you from purchasing Hartke, i think the sound is very good, just be careful not to abuse them! I have beat the living poo out of my Trace cabs for years and they dont flinch, if thats how you play, stick with paper cones. just my two cents.

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