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Hartke Kickback 12 or 15?

Discussion in 'Amps, Mics & Pickups [DB]' started by iman184, Nov 27, 2003.

  1. I'm thinking about getting a Hartke Kickback combo amp and don't know whether to get the 12" or 15" speaker. I'm planning to play my double bass through this amp which is why I'm leaning towards the 12" for a more natural tone. However, I do plan to play an electric bass through it eventually and I will also be playing with a drummer.

    At 120 watts apiece can anyone explain why I would want to go with the 12" over the 15" or vice versa?

    Will the 12" be loud enough to cut through the drummer?
  2. tww001


    Aug 13, 2003
    Telford, PA
    IMO, Hartkes are terrible for DB, I played through one for over a year, and no matter how much I tweeked with the EQ, I could not get it to sound what I concider good. A large part of this is due to the aluminum cones in the speakers, which add a lot of coloration. Hartkes are absolutely wonderful for EB though, that's why I bought mine in the first place. Also, I personally have a philosophy of never going below 200 watts, especially if you're powering anything bigger than a single 10"
  3. JJBluegrasser

    JJBluegrasser Wannabe Snazzy Dresser

    Apr 17, 2003
    USA, Raleigh, NC
    Please don't get the 15". I don't really know anything about the 12", so I won't speak for it, but I know the 15" that I have is horrible for DB. I bought an EA 1x12 and a QSC amp to drive it. It is much better. I know the EA stuff is pretty pricey, so even you don't want that, there has to be better stuff out there than the Hartke KB 15.

  4. I don´t agree about the sound, because it depends way too much on the pickup, the bass, chops and everything. The aluminium cone against the cardboard one is not a crucial matter.
    But if ya gonna drag the amp around along with a DB, the 15 is way too big, heavy and lumpy. The 12 will cut through nicely enough, if you can live with the sound. It´s not the easiest or roadworthiest around, but I´ve had my 12 for 6-7 years and it´s been working flawlessly.
    Try both with your own DB and pickup before considering any order. Hartke even had a Kickback with a 10" speaker, but I don´t know if it still is in production.

  5. Thanks for the info so far. I have a K&K Bass Max pick-up and I'm planning to get a Fishman Pro-EQ Platinum preamp. Do you think with this setup the Hartke 12 will sound OK?

    I've also heard that the Ampeg BA115 is a nice amp (at least for electric bass) so I may try that as well. Anyone play on a BA115?
  6. Chris Fitzgerald

    Chris Fitzgerald Student of Life Staff Member Administrator

    Oct 19, 2000
    Louisville, KY
    About a month ago I got called in at the last minute to play a gig at the local jazz club, and didn't have time to bring my whole amp rig. The house bass amp at the club is a Kickback 12", and it sounded a whole lot better than I thought it would. Not fantastic, but definitely doable, and better than many I have heard. Can you go play them both and let your ears decide?
  7. Quote ( originally posted by IMAM ):
    "Do you think with this setup the Hartke 12 will sound OK?"

    You´ll have to let your own ears decide, I can´t tell. But what I´ve heard about K&K Bass max, it´s a decent pickup, as well as the preamp you´re intending to get. You´ll have many possibilities to fix the output signal with that kind of equipment, no matter what amp you choose. So, take your bass with the K&K Bass Max, the preamp ( if you can test drive it ) and hail thee to the nearest Hartke retailer to find out.


    PS. ALWAYS test any amp with your own gear
  8. mikeln

    mikeln Supporting Member

    Dec 2, 2003
    San Diego, CA (Poway)
    A couple of things... I don't have either kickback combos. But I do have an old Hartke 15" combo amp/3500 Head. My DB sounds great through this setup...I use it for Big-Band Jazz.

    For small groups stuff I rely on my GK MB150S. Small, Light, and sound Great!

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