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Hartke HA3500a DI volume problem

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by guido2sc, Apr 10, 2009.

  1. guido2sc

    guido2sc Guest

    Aug 9, 2007
    Jacksonville, FL
    To the old salts and pros out here, havin' a bit of an issue... I just got my hands on a Hartke HA3500a and have a bit of a problem. The DI is producing NO volume whatsoever and is so quiet that one can barely hear it through our Fostex recorder/mixer. We tried everything. To make sure it wasn’t the board we tested a couple other bass heads and they worked just fine. Changed XLR cables 4 times. Nadda. I have no volume control at the HA3500a whatsoever into the Fostex. I do have it (yeeeeah buddy) in the open. We tried this with the cab plugged in and unplugged and still no good. Otherwise the head seems to be acting perfectly fine with my Peavey 115BX BW cab. My original rig was a Peavey Firebass 700 which I loved but finally bit the dust. Versus getting it fixed up I decided to downgrade (which turned out to be an upgrade).

    I sent an email to Samson but know that somtimes the real-world players are more accurate with the answers. Can anyone give me some direction with this? Before I roll out with the head to the local music shop I hope to be armed with sme truths and facts. Many thanks… I am quite impressed with the head thus far and showcasing the tube pre-amp did wonders to my sound.
  2. This does sound pretty fishy - my guess would be the D.I out has snuffed it, I mean D.I outs on bass amp without volume controls probably do vary here and there with volume but it certainly shouldn't be as quiet as you just described it!
  3. guido2sc

    guido2sc Guest

    Aug 9, 2007
    Jacksonville, FL
    sockdeluxe, it's almost inaudible. I sat there staring at the rig wondering if I should just shoot it or head to the nearest church for some devine intervention... I'll settle for the nearest music tech on this one, tho. Anyone ever run across this? If it's a part I need to replace or a DI box then hey, I'll bite the bullet and get to it. I really do enjoy this amp.
  4. Hey there my friend,
    Coincidentally I was just reading an old Bass Guitar Magazine the other day where they reviewed your Hartke. In the review the player said he had an enormous drop in volume through the DI when using the active input. On the passive input the DI worked great and he even complimented how good the sound was. Hope this helps,
  5. guido2sc

    guido2sc Guest

    Aug 9, 2007
    Jacksonville, FL
    Thanks for the info, Brent. Sadly, I tried it both passive and active. I run a G&L L-2500 Trib (which incidently sounds incredible through the head). Been searching around for a possible "quick fix" DI box for cheap just to tide us over until I can figure out the digs with the 3500. Any other ideas, low-enders?
  6. BassmanPaul

    BassmanPaul Gold Supporting Member

    Aug 25, 2007
    Toronto Ontario Canada
    If this is a used item it could be that the previous owner used the DI into a mixer with phantom power switched on. Many SS amps use a couple of OP amp sections to generate the DI's signal that can be damaged by the 48V phantom power.

  7. guido2sc

    guido2sc Guest

    Aug 9, 2007
    Jacksonville, FL
    BassmanP, hadn't even come close to thinking about that. I'll have the thin-stringer look it over to see if that could even be as issue. If it is then I'll have him cut it off and we'll run the rest to see if it's needed. Much thanks for the info, guys. In my haste to get the thing resolved I scooped up a Whirlwind DI box (the cheapo) for now. We'll see how that pans out and I'll re-port.
  8. jaywa


    May 5, 2008
    Iowa City, IA
    FWIW and as a long-time Hartke user, I can tell you that Hartke heads are notorious for having issues with the onboard D.I.

    I have a 3500 head from the early 90s and have probably had it in 6 or 7 times over the last 5 years cause the D.I. would keep shorting out. Just had it fixed recently again (by a new tech, so I'm hoping the fix sticks this time cause when it's working it sounds great).
  9. RickenBoogie


    Jul 22, 2007
    Dallas, TX
    The Whirlwind is a good solution. Fwiw, even on high end amps, I never use the built-in DI.
  10. guido2sc

    guido2sc Guest

    Aug 9, 2007
    Jacksonville, FL
    Many thanks for all the info and advice. This is in fact the way I'm headed... we have everything staged now with no hassles. Low drama is good for the soul. Thanks, ya'll...

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