Hartke Break-up

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by ColonelZulu, Oct 29, 2001.

  1. ColonelZulu

    ColonelZulu Not Impressed By Those Who Flaunt “Authority” Supporting Member

    Apr 14, 2001
    I was warned. I thought I'd buck the trend and ignore the experts.

    I liked the sound of it in the shop. I thought I ran it through its paces. The Hartke 3500 has nice controls and sounds great when we are rehearsing. Besides, our band has an acoustic guitar, drummer, singer, and me. I didn't expect to need major wattage. I figured 350 would be plenty.

    Actually, it holds up well through most of the first couple of sets. But by the end of the night, as my drummer starts banging and the guitarist progressively gets his volume up, and the singer starts wailing, I've deteriorated to a pitiful gargle. That's at least what I hear from my onstage cabs. I've got the master volume at about 3-o'clock and the tube/solid pre's at about 11-o'clock. The parametric eq is scooped not too aggressively and averaging near the middle. There are also controls for hi and low gain that I keep at about 12. My on-board volume is usually topped out, but I use a volume pedal that I only kick in when called for.

    We play a place with a nice sound system, but, as with most places, the soundguy keeps the bass down. I'm sure my tone is OK through the mix, just not very pronounced. I can't really hear it through the monitors. Our style sort of requires me to be pretty distinguishable.

    So, I'm thinking I just need more headroom. I do play pretty aggressively on my Thumb BO. I use a 15" Bag End and sometimes I run a 12" Hartke speaker to my drummer when we aren't using a house system.

    I though 350w would hold up. I'm supposing I need to go with my original choice of an 800w Eden. I think I could sell the Hartke to someone who would benefit from it. I guess it was a lesson learned. I just hope 800w will be enough. there is a 1200w Sun that I could go for.

    But, like I said, I was warned that the Hartke 3500 would not work out for me. I hope I can find her a home. I just got it in August and only gigged it 4 times.
  2. WHOA... You guys must be L O U D !! You wearin' any ear plugs my friend ??

    I am kinda surprised to hear that the 3500 isn't loud enough. I have been running my Hartke 210 combo(w. Ha3500) with Hartke 1x15 XL cab and it is plenty loud. My settings are as follows: max vol: 4-5 and with both tube & solid state preamps on "6"(aka 1 o clock) mild scoop in the eq, low pass slightly boosted, hi-pass flat...it is waaay loud, but then again, that might not be enough for your situation.

    Good Luck on your quest!
  3. ColonelZulu

    ColonelZulu Not Impressed By Those Who Flaunt “Authority” Supporting Member

    Apr 14, 2001
    Thanks for the reply. Like I said, we play in loud rooms. The PA covers the crowd, but on stage I need the amp more as a monitor. The problem is, the soundguy can't make me too loud in the PA mix or I'll break windows. When the drummer uses the electric Roland drumkit, it's much better.

    Your settings are just like mine only the master is maxed out on yours and I have it at about 66-75%. I also keep the Tube/SS pre at just under halfway - you have it just over halfway.

    Any other reason I'm breaking up? Maybe I should drop down the entire EQ so the low point is hitting the bottom. I'm keeping it until I find a buyer and can get a new system. I still have gigs and I won't be able to keep two heads.
  4. Hey Zulu,
    I'm surprised to hear about your situation. I used to play through a Hartke 2x10 combo with a 1x15 Transporter on the bottom, never put the master volume on the amp higher than 1 1/2 or 2, and it was easily loud enough to cut through a Les Paul/Marshall at max volume and a very, very loud drummer at rehearsal. Onstage, it was more than adequate as a monitor. And that rig was bulletproof.. I shoulda kept it, but I got some money and decided to "upgrade."
    Anyway.. what jumped out at me in reading your post was your speaker set-up.. just a 1x15. You might get better results, volume-wise, with more speakers.. a 4x10, or a 4x10 and a 1x15. (You've probably thought of that already.) It would be cheaper to add a 4x10 than to get an Eden amp. And, like I said, my 350 watt/2x10 + 1x15 Hartke rig never failed to cut through an ear-bleedingly loud band.
    Good luck!
  5. You're probably plenty loud, you just can't tell from were you're standing. By the end of the night, the volume has probably worn your ears down, and your bass is always louder out in the audience than it is from the stage. You still may want to consider adding at least another 115 or 210 to your rig so that you're not pushing your amp so hard. 3:00 on a 3500 should be amazingly loud under normal circumstances.
  6. ItchyBass


    Oct 12, 2001
    Eugene, OR
    I would have to agree with Dave.

    I used to pump 500 watts through my BagEnd S-15D, and like you, I could not hear myself on stage. I added an SWR Bass Monitor 12 to the mix, and still I could not hear myself.

    The problem is that the 12’s & 15’s throw to far. If you were standing about 15 to 20 feet away from your amp, I would bet you would be able to hear yourself just fine. You need to get some smaller drivers, with a shorter throw. 8’s are great, but good luck in finding anything other than an SWR 8x8. Nobody, that I could find, currently makes a 4x8 – and the old 4x8’s (from either SWR or Trace) are hard to come by (at least without getting raped on price!). I know, I just spent forever trying to find one, and I finally gave up.

    I now have an amp that runs 600 watt @ 4 ohms… giving me roughly 300 watts @ 8 ohms. With just the 15 I can not hear the difference between the 300 watts and the 500 watts. However, I added an SWR Goliath JR III (2x10), and now I can hear myself just fine.

    A Side Note: Running that Hartke @ 8 ohms is only giving you about 200 watts (if that). If you are going to plug in an additional 8 ohm cab to get the full power out of it, don’t throw it away on your drummer. Set that 12” speaker about 10 or 15 feet away from you, aimed right at your head! You might be able to hear yourself with what you have now. Or maybe not…

    This is why guitarists always complain about bass players wanting to crank it up all of the time!
    Jerks! :)
  7. I would think your volume would be almost too loud.
    I play a 3500 into an Ampeg PR-1528HE 4ohm cab
    my master is between 12 and 1 o clock tube preamp at 11 o clock ss pre amp at 9 o clock eq is almost flat shelving is 1 o clock low and 11 o clock high.
    My level is actually a little too loud at these settings. you probably just need to run it at 4 ohms.
  8. something's definitely wrong. If there isn't even a electric guitar in the band you shouldn't be having any problems, ESPECIALLY with that setup.

    I play a 3500 through an SWR 2X10, NOT going through the pa, with TWO ELECTRIC guitars, drums and horns, in small and medium sized clubs, and have no problem. That's with master vol. around 12 o'clock and the tube preamp anywhere between 12 and 2 o'clock.

    I don't think more speakers are the answer. Troubleshoot everything first before spending more $$$. Check all your cables. Make sure it's not the bass giving low output. Make sure it's not the cab. How many Ohms is the cab? Are you really getting 350w?

    Based on my experience with the 3500, your setup should be more than adequate for the band you describe. If all your equipment is fine, try adding some mids and lows on your EQ (lose that scooped smiley face thing!) on the amp, bass, or both. A little mid sand lows can go a LONG way (and are much cheaper than an 800w Eden head!).

    Not sure what you mean by this, but if it's what I think you mean, this will only make things worse. As soon as you set any eq frequencies BELOW the middle, you're CUTTING that frequency. Start with everything flat (middle) and boost some bass and mids from there. don't LOWER anything. You may find a world of difference.
  9. geoffzilla


    Oct 30, 2001
    Nashville, TN
    Endorsing Artist: Fender
    I used to have all sorts of volume and performance problems with my 3500. I was running through 2 15" cabs and they'd start breaking up way before I was pushing the amp. I switched to a pair of 210's and have not had a problem since. I get better bass response, more clarity, and better volume( I've had to turn the master section down). Try adding a 210 and see if that solves it.
  10. here's my suggestion.....sell the Bag End 15, get a good 4x10 (any good brand), forget about a seperate speaker for your drummer, and keep the Hartke head. Here's why....

    with a 4x10, you have MUCH more surface area, which equates to a larger speaker in practice. The 10's will also be punchier and better heard on stage. Having 2 cabs placed away from each other negates the effect of the 2 being added together to create a larger driver.

    It's true, it's doubtful that your rig is getting less loud and less good sounding as the gig goes on, it's your ears shutting down. You may want to try wearing some non-hifi earplugs, as they will cut high and mid range frequencies, allowing you to hear the bass better.

    My .02

  11. I used to use a Hartke. Never had any complaints about it, but here's what I learned:

    1. Using both preamps together sounded like crap. Use one or the other. I usually ran the tube side. Upping the preamp volume will give you more overall volume as well. Try turning off one of the preamp knobs completely, then set the other around 2:00. See if that helps.

    2. That said, never run the tube preamp past 2:00 if you want to stay clean. The tube will overdrive when you start to play harder.

    But most likely, what's happening to you is a combination of ear fatigue and the fact that you're so close to your amp.
  12. harley_ou812


    Sep 30, 2001
    Lebanon, PA
    Well I have the Hartke HA-7000 wich is basically the HA-3500 with 2 power amps instead of one. I am running one 18"carvin right now at 350 watts. It is WAAAAAAYYYYYYYYYYYY loud. I turned tube and solid state preamps to about 4 and master to about 4 and played and blew the light bulbs in my room. I play in a band with 3electric guitarists that are LOUD and a drummer and i am plaenty loudrunning on about 2 and a half master and 4 preamp.