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Hartke cabs Good or Bad

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by mcweed, Feb 24, 2004.

  1. mcweed


    Feb 24, 2004
    Hi, I have been watching this forum for a while now and I was wondering what makes Hartke cabs less desirable to the active members of this forum. I'm just wondering because I'm considering getting a 2 by 10 Hartke possibly a transporter for a compact rig, I'm also eyeing the new DR. Bass stuff. Any opinions, thanks.
  2. The 0x

    The 0x

    Aug 24, 2003
    Timonium, MD
    Some people don't like the sound of the tin cans, such as me. If I were you, i'd get a 210 from www.avatarspeakers.com . You may like the sound of them, though.
  3. ChenNuts44


    Nov 18, 2001
    Davenport, IA
    Ever run your amp through a tin can? Didn't think so.
  4. MJ5150

    MJ5150 Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Apr 12, 2001
    Olympia, WA
    The Hartke cabs work for your average weekend warrior in a rock band. They don't sound bad at all. They put out a good, loud sound for your average bass player.

    Any of the following happens: You start getting into six or more strings, doing quieter gigs, more "technical" bass playing, and you are going to want higher quality speakers that re-produce your tone better.

    Think about it.....say you spend $1000 on a bass, another $1500 on a power/pre rack rig. Are you going to plug all of that into a $300 Hartke 410? Nope.

    OTOH, you plop down $250 for your bass, another $400 for an amp....now it isn't so bad plugging into that same $300 hartke cab.

    You appear to be a beginner, my apologies if you are not. There isn't anything "wrong" with Hartke cabs.

  5. icks


    Jul 12, 2001
    you get what you paid for.

    Hartke TP serie isn't in the course vs avatar or mesa boogie.
    BUT i like them it's avery good price quality product.

    Current G.A.S : 2x 4.5XL
  6. jawzzz


    May 23, 2003
    Denver Colorado
    Hartke XL series =Excellent, Tp series =O.K., VX series= not very good.
  7. chris h

    chris h Guest

    Jun 16, 2002
    Oxford, England
    The XL series are truly excellent cabs, I Love my 410 and 210. I very much like the sound from mine, they reproduce the natural sound of my basses, nothing else. and they do this very well indeed.
  8. cb56


    Jul 2, 2000
    Oh you mean guys like Jaco Pastorius, Jack Bruce and Will Lee?
  9. well I'll discount that tin can coment....
    but the Hartke cabs are decent cabs for the dollars. I've had the same 1X15 and 2x10 for 8 yrs. I recently bought a 2.5Xl to provide a more full range sound and it works greats, it just weighs a ton.
    What I've found w/ the transporter cabs is that they aren't up to snuff w/ the Xl cab series, and they don't handle the same wattage or abuse, but they do have the Hartke sound. Really thats what you buy hartkes for, they have a distinct sound. Warm, punchy and tight, very mid filled.
    A few reasons why people didn't like the cabs is; the tone-they aren't neutral sounding. They had a reputation for problems (thats seemed to change), and if you blow a speaker you have to send the cab back for repair.
    They have a definate sound and IMO the tone cuts well in a rock situation, and a 70s,80s,90's coverband.
    Try em first...
  10. VS


    Jun 6, 2002
    Mountain City, Tennessee
    Discounted Gear: Peavey

    Exactly. Also,not all Hartke cabs are cheap. The Professional series are up there. Would you give Fender a bad name just because you've only played a Squire? -Luke
  11. MMSterling

    MMSterling Guest

    Feb 19, 2004
    Leicester, England
    Well said, I've played through a Hartke Xl series cabinet and it was up there with the GK's, Ampeg's, Ashdowns etc

  12. Electricmayhem


    Dec 18, 2003
    I always hear very good things about the XLs and when I look at music123 they are some of the cheapest cabs available! When I scrounge up enough for an amp/cab rig, would the XL's be the way to go?
  13. I remember when Hartke and Trace were the sh!t. That's when I bought my 4.5XL with a matching 1 x 15XL. I've still got it but I haven't needed the 1x15 much, the 4x10 covers everything I've needed. I've never cared much for the other lines (TP or VLX) though. I've had great service from my 4.5XL. It goes deep and doesn't need a lot of power. I've used a 250W amp and never seen it clip. And that's working with some d@mn loud drummers and guitar players. The 4.5 has a zippy distinctive sound that I love, other hate it, hey it's the flavor of the month club, what can I say?
  14. MrBonex


    Jan 2, 2004
    New Hampshire
    Mcweed sounds like he might like GenzBenz as an alternative. Reasonably priced, great rock sound, somewhat more nuanced than Hartke, reliable.

    That said, my first memory of Hartke was when it was Guild/Hartke (quite a few years ago...). I matched it with a blackface Fender Bassman and I thought it sounded amazing. Of course it wouldn't go very loud, but the tone was great.

    The next time I tried it was with a GK of some unknown wattage, and I thought it sounded like hell. So I think there might be some issues with amp compatability.

    The lesson? Listen.
  15. MJ5150

    MJ5150 Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Apr 12, 2001
    Olympia, WA
    Sorry about that cb56, I was referring to the inexpensive end of the Hartke product line.....the cabs a weekend warrior would most likely be interested in buying.

  16. rob_d


    Jun 14, 2001
    I used a Hartke 410 for a while when it was all I could afford. To go along with it I had a Hartke 3500 head. It didn't sound bad. I played a Marcus Miller jazz bass through it and it was servicable.

    I then when on a big old spending spree. I bought a Modulus Q6, an IAmp600, and a EA VL310 cabinet. Of course there was no comparison between my old rig and my new rig. However the diffrence wasn't really evident until my 310 cab went down. It's currently being repaired and I've been forced to go back to my Hartke as a backup. I just can't wait to get my EA cab back.

    Of course, there is something to be said for the fact that in all the time I've had the Hartke cab I've had zero problems with it. The EA cab broke down after 4 months. That being said, it's still under warranty and the guys at EA have been fantastic.

    The bottom line, as someone said above..is that often times you just get what you pay for. The ultimate test would be to try one out. Many shops will let you take one to a gig one night to see how you like it in a real live situation.
  17. mcweed


    Feb 24, 2004
    Hey thanks for the great responses. I have tried out a 1 by 15 transporter and a stack ot 2 4-10 XL's and I really liked the punch factor both setups offered. The stack was powered by a crown amp and unknown preamp and the 15 was with a GK 400 RB. What I was interested in knowing was is the punch a unique characteristic of the Hartkes and do other medium or high end cabs match or surpass the punch or low frequency response I was impressed with in the Hartkes? I want good punch and low end and of course some clarity to cut through the mix. I was interested in the transporter 2 by 10 because of the transportability of the 36 lb cab but I'm not sure the power is enough. I am looking to play small to medium sized clubs and also have another cabinet added for larger gigs. I play mostly rock but also some funk-rock and blues mix, thanks
  18. mcweed


    Feb 24, 2004
    Oh by the way I didn't mention that I had as my giging rig for a while an swr big ben 1-18 and a peavey 410 cab running through a carvin 400 watt power amp and carvin preamp and I was still impressed with the hartkes I tried out, just a little background info. I didn't get the same umph out of the stack I had compared with the hartkes, yet it did sound pretty good. I was also wondering how do you guys feel about 12 inch speakers for bass, I tried one recently and was pretty impressed by the sound and I've been reading about the aguilar 12's and was impressed. It's too bad a lot of the 12 inch cabs are not being made to accomodate a stack with a 2 by 10 that could fit on top though.
  19. The 0x

    The 0x

    Aug 24, 2003
    Timonium, MD
    Jaco only used Hartke for about 6 months.
  20. blaire


    Jul 15, 2003
    The land of Rice
    Hey, I have a Hartke B30 (non tin can speaker) and I only wish it was 300 watts! It sounds awesome. I have even used it live with it miked and it sounded great. But as for the Hartke I use in the practice studio , an xl410- that sounds like crap! If I dial in a nice fat tone on my 5 string the speakers vibrate and make this ****ty sound. REALLY annoying. Maybe the cab is stuffed ? I dont know. I always book the other studios now.

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