1. Please take 30 seconds to register your free account to remove most ads, post topics, make friends, earn reward points at our store, and more!  
    TalkBass.com has been uniting the low end since 1998.  Join us! :)

hartke cabs suck

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Cat, Jul 9, 2001.

  1. Cat


    Apr 5, 2000
    Penn State
    well i was planning on buying a 4.5XL and a 3500 or 5000 amp, but i played around at the store today and realized the truth! those aluminum speakers suck! the hartke cab didn't sound nearly as clear or loud as any of the others. i also tried out an eden 4x10 (extremely nice low-end) and a new peavey 4x10 (sounded very realistic to me, like how a bass guitar should sound!). ultimately i decided to order a peavey 4x12 since it costed about the same as the hartke anyway! i think i will be getting a firebass 700 to go with it unless it's really expensive.
  2. White_Knight


    Mar 19, 2000
    Actually, Hartke cabs do not suck at all. Perhaps you had some sort of odd EQ settings on the amp or on your bass. I have a friend who owns the 215 XL (2x15" speakers) and it gives a very nice sound - punchy, deep, and very natural. And yes, it has aluminium speakers. I do agree, however, in that I'd take Eden over Hartke any day. Not Peavey though - I will ALWAYS take a Hartke cab over a Peavey cab (well, the Hartke XL series anyway). At any rate, all of this is my opinion. So yeah.
  3. its a great thing that there are so many different cabs out there today since everyone's ear is different and everyone has different tastes. the last word i would use to describe the Hartke sound would be natural, then again that's just my opinion. to me they sound kind of harsh in away, especially if eq'd flat.... and that's my thing i guess, i normally don't touch my eq that much. i wouldn't want i cab that i have to eq to death to get a sound out of. but - to each his own.
  4. Ty McNeely

    Ty McNeely

    Mar 27, 2000
    Cat, just a word of advice from your friendly moderator. When referring to certain cabs/heads/brands, try not to use words like "suck". That is in YOUR opinion, not everyone else's. There are better ways to state your opinion than "so-and-so sucks"...you can simply say "I tried out a Hartke cab today, and I really wasn't all that impressed...it just didn't sound good to me". People seem to take offense to other's bashing their equipment.

    BTW...ask John Turner about Hartke.
  5. ... true, true
  6. Cat


    Apr 5, 2000
    Penn State
    hey i gave an explanation! :) but anyway, i found that the hartkes couldn't go nearly as loud on the same amp, and distorted at lower volumes. mind you i was playing with a 5 string bass and hitting that punchy low b a lot. anyway, with the eq flat, the peavey 4x10 sounded really clear and natural, and the eden had a real nice tight deep bass. while the hartkes had a nice sounding midrange, they didn't sound warm and realistic, nor did they have nearly the bass response or volume of either the other two. the hartke is rated for 400 watts, the peavey that was there 350, but i don't know about the eden. i would have guessed 400 or 450 maybe. anyway im gonna try out the peavey 4x12 with the firebass 700 amp and see how that sounds, and if i like it im gonna get it. the store guy cancelled the order for my hartke 4.5 since i don't think i'll be buying it. mainly because it costs quite a bit more (over $100 more) and doesn't sound nearly as good, IMHO.
  7. Phat Ham

    Phat Ham

    Feb 13, 2000
    I've found that people who don't like Hartke say Hartke cabs sound cold, which is what Cat also said. Of course I see them around all the time so there are plenty of people who like them.

    Personally I tend to stay away from Hartke stuff.
  8. I'm not too fond of the aluminum cabs, but their heads have a nice fat sound.

    BTW, my hartke combo does not have the aluminum speaker.
  9. SWR sucks!
    Eden Sucks!
    Bag End Sucks!
    Ampeg Blows!
    Fenders are crap!
    Ibanez suck!
    Talkbass blows chunks!

    :) just kidden'

    hope you enjoy your new cab! :)
  10. CrawlingEye

    CrawlingEye Member

    Mar 20, 2001
    Easton, Pennsylvania
    Well, some people like hartke, some don't. I think they get an overly sterile sound. Peavey Firebass gets a smooth sound. I have my highs at 3 o'clock on my firebass, and it's still really smooth sounding. Just make sure you know what you're getting... I personally would have taken the same path you're taking. (which I did)

    Except, I run a 115BXBW and 410TXF instead of the 4x12
  11. yawnsie


    Apr 11, 2000
    What he said.
  12. >ultimately i decided to order a peavey 4x12

    Congratulations. I have a 412 TVX and it's a great cabinet.

  13. nanook


    Feb 9, 2000
    Interesting, I saw Larry Taylor playing an outside concert last year and guess what he was using?????

    You got it, Hartke aluminum cones. A 4 X 10 and a 1 X 15.

    I have a whole new respect for them.
  14. I have an Eden D215XLT, a Mesa 1516BE and two Hartke cabs, 115 & 410 XL’s.
    I tend to use the Hartke cabs with the cover’s band as they are kept in our bands secure lock up and our roady just picks them up and take them to the gig. (I don’t trust him so much with the Eden and Mesa which I mainly use for the orig. band and transport them myself)

    Whilst I have to admit that I prefer the Eden & Mesa cabs, the Hartke’s do sound very good with my Ashdown & H 3500 heads, have much more headroom than I need and are very warm, punchy and clear sounding and really cut though, if not, believe me, I wouldn’t use them.
    I have tried quite a few set-ups over the years, which sound great in the shop and at home but not so good in a loud live situation.
    Can’t speak for the budget TP series as I have never tried them although I think our very own Bruce L. is fairly happy with his.

    Also Jack Bruce, Tom Hamilton, Will Lee, Stu Hamm and many more names use these cabinets exclusively, so I don’t think they could suck, as you put it.

    Anyway just my opinion, congrats on getting the Peavy, if YOU preferred it to the Hartke then you made the right decision.
  15. brianrost

    brianrost Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 26, 2000
    Boston, Taxachusetts
    You do need to pay attention when you audition cabinets.

    I used to own the Peavey 210, used their 410 on some gigs (borrowed) and they have a "pillowy" low end that's very seductive. But on a gig the Hartke having weaker bass but much stronger mids would actually cut through better. I had gigs with the Peavey where the low end was too much, to the point of obscuring the pitch of the notes.

    I hear a lot of people obsessing about low end and even talking about using subwoofers when for the average guy (that's everybody but JT :) ) something like an SVT cab (which actually doesn't have much low end) is a better way to go. The low notes are the hardest to reproduce an the ones most affected by room acoustics. Some cabs overexaggerate the low end which is sexy but if you hear a speaker like an Acme which goes really, really low but is not exaggerated at all you get a new perspective on what low end is all about.

    Speakers will color your sound much more than the amp head you use so you need to listen very carefully and decide whether the coloration you get is going to be useful to YOU.


    It's likely that Larry Taylor uses rental amps on many of his gigs. I saw him not long ago playing through a Cerwin Vega 18" subwoofer!!! At most outdoor shows, the sound comapny provides the backline that everybody uses. Hartke is a safe choice (as is Ampeg, SWR and Eden) and if you start doing outdoor gigs you'll probably plug into those four brands over and over again.
  16. Good point, and one that's often overlooked when assessing players' gear choices. During the 90s, I did a lot of outdoor gigs, mostly out of town, and I hardly ever used my own stuff. Mostly what would show up would be a GK 400 or 800 and either one or two Hartke 4-10s. I always asked for SWR or Eden but hardly ever got it, except once in France and once in California (surprise). Once I had to play through an 80 W Trace combo, which was rough. None of this gear was what I was using for myself at the time--it's just what the sound companies could conveniently provide.
  17. Cat


    Apr 5, 2000
    Penn State
    well it sounded to me like the hartke colored the midrange and upper frequencies to make them more pronounced, while the peavey sounded more natural all around. i think that the eden's lows were a little exaggerated however. i'm hoping the peavey 4x12 will have the rich natural lows of the 4x10 but be more powerul sounding like the eden.
  18. Cat


    Apr 5, 2000
    Penn State
    i take back saying that hartke cab's suck. they are decent cabinents. however, for my purposes (mainly hard rock like deftones and sevendust which involve loud low notes), a cab with powerful lows is more important then clear mids. the peavey and eden 4x10's sounded the best to me, but i think the peavey 4x12 will suit me even better (i have yet to try one yet since the store is sold out and is getting some more in this week).
  19. CS


    Dec 11, 1999
    I have two amp systems both using Hartke speakers so I am glad they don’t suck any more I was about to sell them for Black Widows.

    Room acoustics and how hard you are driving the amp/speakers make a big difference. I have a Hartke 1415 combo that sounds too dull in the hall I normally play in but too bright in a theatre I have been playing in. I also have a 4x10 cab and at low volume theres not much difference between the 10s and 15. However drive the amp hard and the 'character' of each speaker comes out. I find 10s to be tighter and the 15 to have more…. Oomph for want of a better word.

    If you can find any 4x10 that does it for you then good, but I suspect that you will be better off with a 2x10 and a 1x15. BTW Hartke Ashdown (and others) do single cabs with a mixture of 10s and 15s.
  20. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Supporting Member

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    DR Strings
    This is a very good explanation of why "you" didn't prefer the Hartke. Of course it doesn't read like anything "sucks", just that you prefer one over the other.

    I had the original Guild/Hartke 410 and 115 cabinets, back in the day. IMO it's funny how our eyes can influence our ears. The "metallic sounding" thing has always amused me, for a couple of reasons:

    1. I honestly don't know what it means

    2. I never had "my" sound described as such.

    I ran both cabs with a 400w head and they never failed to cut through and give me tight sound that always cut through. I realize I may be out of step...practically every time I go into a music store someone is usually playing with an overly scooped sound with very annoying highs. I prefer a slap sound with more punch and the Hartkes worked very well for that. The only reason I stopped using them was the size.

    Very few rigs will give you earth-shattering lows along with punchy mids. I rely on the PA for the really big subs.

Share This Page