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Hartke HA3500 + AK115 Vs Ampeg PF500 + PF115HE

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by GattsYAC, Apr 2, 2014.

  1. GattsYAC


    Jan 10, 2014

    im a guitarrist for about 10 years, and now im migrating to bass for the last 8 months, and now i want to buy my first proper bass amp.

    im in between the Hartke HA3500+AK115 and the Ampeg PF500+PF115HE. i checked all the other amps (GB, GK, Orange, etc), but only these two caugh me. im looking for a simple amp, great tone, reliable and that cut in a hard rock band (something like led zeppelin mixed with muse). no need for much versality, as i found that the best tones are from simplest things.
    i researched a lot, saw a lot of videos, and reviews, and cant decide, and where i live, the stores dont have these models, only Kustom and Mesa Boogie.
    i know that the ampeg is more vintage and has its own color, and hartke is hifi. but i wanna know, which of the will suit me better, including my gear.
    i currently own: Fender Geddy Lee Jazz Bass (stock), EBS Billy Sheehan Drive, MXR Bass Compressor, EHX Bass Big Muff Pi Deluxe, and a cheap amp with 15' speaker.
    The tone of the amp, on its own, its very lame, but when i use with the EBS BS Drive plus the MXR Bass Compressor in the loop of the clean signal, i can get a good tone. I use these pedals on, pretty much all the time, and get my variatons only in the EBS BS Drive, or changing to the Big Muff Deluxe. The bass sound is always with a little dirty.

    My biggest influences in tone are: Billy Sheehan (in Winery Dogs), Geddy Lee, Chris Wolstenholme, Tim Commerford and Paul McCartney. Im trying to get a warm tone, that is a balance between vintage and modern.

    So, which of these two amps should i get? my concers is that i dont know if ampeg will be undefinied or wont cut a hard rock band, or that the hartke will be much sterile for my tastes.
    I will use it mainly for live use and rehearsal. i record direct in the interface, using a DI, and sending one signal unaffected and another with the pedals, and in the daw i put the amplitube in the two tracks, changing the models according to the song.

    Thanks in advance!
  2. GattsYAC


    Jan 10, 2014
  3. Needenaneden


    Feb 22, 2011
    I have a PF800 that sounds great and I have a Hartke LH1000 that sounds great. Both can be dialed in to get the tones you are looking for. I would imagine the HA3500 could be too. No reliability issues on either...yet.

    Billy sheehan sounded great using Ampeg. He now uses Hartke and still sounds like Billy Sheehan. ;)
  4. GattsYAC


    Jan 10, 2014
    i actually prefer billy sheehan with the hartke. but can be that he changed other things too... but what can work for one, may not work for another.
    anyway, he uses a dual amp setup.. and i cant afford that right now.
  5. Scott549

    Scott549 Supporting Member

    Oct 26, 2009
    Madison, Wisconsin
    You have to trust your own ears. I am a PF-500 fan but can't speak for the Hartke.
  6. GattsYAC


    Jan 10, 2014
    this is why im asking here... because i cant play them. i will have to make an international order. its a blind date.
    im more inclined to the ampeg pf500, cause i liked its tone, but also, i didnt find any real good demo of the hartke ha3500. and im afraid of the reliability of the ampeg pf500, as there a lot of problem reports.
  7. Needenaneden


    Feb 22, 2011
    Why not just get the pf800 then? Mine sounds great and hasn't had any issues.
  8. My PF-500 hasn't had any issues, sounds darn good too.
  9. GattsYAC


    Jan 10, 2014
    anyone that has the ampeg pf-500 or pf-800, can describe how it sounds with overdrive/distortion, in the front of the amp (not in the loop)? does it sounds muddy, or without definition? or lacking mids, and losing the texture of the overdrive/distortion?
    if anyone has tested with the EBS Billy Sheehan Drive, its better, but i think any overdrive based on a tubescreamer will do it.
  10. JimmyM


    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    Got a PF800 and I use overdrive and fuzz in front of the amp. Sounds great to me.