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Hartke + Aluminum = ??????

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by mikarre, Jun 21, 2004.


  1. mikarre

    mikarre Guest

    I'm looking for some info on the Hartke XL410 cabs with the aluminum drivers. Not so much about sound, I will decided that for myself, but just about things like reliability, maintenance, etc. I guess the bottom line is if I try this cab out and I like it my only decision would then be the problems associated with aluminum cones. So, what are the problems, if any, with aluminum cones and should this weigh in my decision? Also, will the cab handle a 5 string and are the aluminum cones more likely to be damaged under the stress of the low B?

    I'm in the process of putting a rig together. The amp I have decided on is the Hartke 5500. I have some experience with the 3500 and I liked it a lot. Now I am trying to match a cab with it. If I don't go with the Hartke XL cab I will next look at Avatar, which seems to have a whole other set of problems associated (cant handle low notes ???, only available online, etc). Genz Benz is on my list too, since I've used them before, but I cant seem to find anyone around here who stocks them anymore. Picking a cab seems like it's going to be a big headache. :spit:
     
  2. Eric Moesle

    Eric Moesle Supporting Member

    Sep 21, 2001
    Columbus OH
    I used Hartke aluminum cones for about 8 years, the XL series. There are some non-sonic issues pertaining to the unique materials.

    First, aluminum gets brittle when cold. I live in a cold climate, and in winter with sub-freeziing temperatures, I had to be VERY careful to let my Hartke's warm up to room temperature before firing up the sound. If not, the aluminum would crack. Very few people take their gear from a freezing trailer right into a gig without 30 or so minutes to warm up, but if you're ever running late to a gig, it might be an issue. On the same token, the aluminum's always sounded consistent in warm, wet, tropical climates where typical paper-cone speakers would sound mushy to me.

    The second issue was a problem I had with the center dust covers coming partially unglued from the cones, one by one, over the course of a few years. EACH of the speakers of my two cabinets eventually suffered this problem. The sound was a severe buzzing, typical like that of a blown speaker. It was only a $10 fix each time, but annoying as heck. I NEVER had this problem with a conventional paper-coned speaker. I surmise that the problem MAY have been the difference in the way the dustcover glue stuck to the aluminum when experiencing temperature differences, like from going from a cold garage or trailer into a warm room. The materials cooled off and warmed up at different rates, and expansion/contraction occurred at different rates, which eventually separated the glue.
     
  3. I'll second Eric's comments.
    The speakers themselves are very robust and can easily handle a Lo B string. I have had little problem over the 12yrs of playing Hartke speakers (115 Xl, 210XL, 2.5XL).
    IMO, the cold-warm issue (which doesn't happen to me now that i live in Houston), and buzzing. I have had 2 speaker issues in 12 yrs. One of my 10" finally went out, actually ripped, it had to be replaced, and recently, 12 yrs later, my 15" driver had the center paper cone lift off, just like Eric wrote. Other than that these speakers have been very reliable, and taken tons of abuse.
    frank