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Hartke HA 5500 head - opinions?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Black 'n Tan, Feb 22, 2005.

  1. I'm interested if anyone's heard this Hartke head. I demo'd it over the weekend and it sounded really good to me through two Hartke cabinets (couple of 15's, 10's and a horn). I'm very new and a novice to tone, but I liked it. The tube and solid state preamp knobs allowed for lots of tonal possibilities.

    Your insights are welcome.
  2. DWBass

    DWBass The Funkfather

    Have had mine almost a year now! So far, great amp. I use it with a 2x10 and a 1x12 (total 4ohm) setup and it barely breaks a sweat.
  3. The 5500 is a great sounding amp. My local store let me take one to a gig. I was very impressed with the tone. It blew my SWR 8004 away, it was much cleaner, more defined. I liked it best mixing the solid state and tube preamps. It lacked a few features that my SWR had, so I didn't purchase one. I ended up with an amp with even less features, so go figure. I started a thread on here about this amp, maybe it'll help your decision.
  4. Nickel ...

    I searched for a Hartke 5500 thread and couldn't find one. Can you point me to it?


  5. sure, here ya go.

    hartke 5500
  6. gary ashall

    gary ashall

    Jul 27, 2010
    In my opinion the hartke ha5500 is one of the very few amps that actually deliver the power, I run mine into a 2x10 and a 1x15 at 4 ohms and it really shakes the foundations, great tone too. So after going through a lot of bass heads in my quest to be heard above drums and valve guitar amps I have deffinately found a keeper. Great amp
  7. I've had my HA-5500 for 8-9 months, it has delivered everything I've asked of it except for 100% reliability. It's louder than I'll ever need it to be, and it sounds great with my Hartke 1x15 + 2x10. But in that time it has quit on me 4 times, every time at the end of our performance, last song. I believe my repeated heavy pick attack in the last song is what seems to be more than it can handle, and it simply goes silent. My master volume has never operated over halfway (12 oclock position), in fact my normal level is between 9:00 and 10:00 positions, with the preamp levels not beyond the 12:00. I'm not flogging this amp, it should have no trouble keeping up with me at these levels. After shutting it off for 30 seconds or so it will operate normally again. I'm running out of warranty, so it needs to go to Hartke for repair and I'll have to dust off my always-reliable HA-2500. I give Hartke a 50% chance of finding the intermittent problem and fixing it, so when it comes back it's probably going to be sold. YMMV, of course. Looking at a Mesa M6 Carbine.
  8. Norman mOGETZ

    Norman mOGETZ

    Sep 13, 2014
    I have owned my Hartke 5500 500Watt amp for about 6 months now. Sounds great no complaint there. However, after three months it started popping a few seconds after turning it on, the pods for Volume and the Tube pre-amp knobs have become distressingly noisy, and the fan has become very noisy until it warms up. I contacted Hartke by their online contact form, and wrote to them about these problems. My email was totally ignored as if I never wrote to them. I just wrote them an angry email today telling them how disappointed I was in their company, and how sorry I was for choosing their 5500 amp. If they will not honor their warranty, and provide no support, who needs them? I will just have to suck up the almost $500 I paid for this boat anchor. The Carvin BX1600 Amp looks good to me now, does anyone have any experience with them?
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2014
  9. BassmanPaul

    BassmanPaul Gold Supporting Member

    Aug 25, 2007
    Toronto Ontario Canada
    i gave mine away to a friend, He returned a Peavey Mark VI head which I had given him previously. The Peavey was then given to a young TBer. The Hartke was a very nice head and gave me no trouble whilst I owned it. I passed it on to my friend because he needed a better amplifier and I have quite a few! :D
  10. Norman mOGETZ

    Norman mOGETZ

    Sep 13, 2014
  11. Norman mOGETZ

    Norman mOGETZ

    Sep 13, 2014
    Well, here it is a year later. One mistake I made with Hartke Support was attempting to contact them via email. Finally, after not receiving a respond a few emails later I called them. Mother of Pearl Inlays they took care of me in a very flexible, professional, and caring manner. I was impressed from that moment on. I even got a call from an engineer asking me what climate I lived in here in New Mexico and customized my replacement amp for the high desert here a 7200 feet. Then they sent me my replacement amp, and it sounded rich and toneful. It's a year later and it is rock solid on performance and reliability. Plus, I will say this about the sound built into this gorgeous monster: Too many times an amp sounds great when you first get it because you are listening to how rockin' it is, then when you finally grow accustomed to hearing it, you start to hear it's limitations. This amp, a year into it now, and damn if I don't love its sound more and more every single day!
    middy likes this.
  12. A little over a year has ticked by, and the HA5500 is once again my number one amp. Hartke service got it fixed right the first time, and it has been 100% solid ever since. I bought a Mesa Prodigy last summer to use while the HA5500 was in for repairs, and while it has been a good amp, it's not the best amp for me. The Mesa runs out of steam at our normal volume, and distorts much more than I like, so it's now the backup amp. The Hartke gets any sound I want, unlike the Mesa, and has more output power than I expect I'll ever really need. I'm thinking now that I'll get rid of the Prodigy and my HA2500 and get a second HA5500 for my backup.