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Hartke Kickback 12

Discussion in 'Amps, Mics & Pickups [DB]' started by fasch003, Mar 24, 2003.

  1. I play both Electric and Upright Bass. I have a Fender P-Bass Special and a Kohr K61V laminated upright equipped with a K&K Bass Master Pro pickup and preamp. I have an opportunity to purchase a used Hartke Kickback 12 combo amp. I want to ask for opinion absout using this amp for my upright, as well as my electric bass. Thanks.
  2. sean p

    sean p

    Mar 7, 2002
    eugene, oregon
    my limited experience with a similar hartke combo (12" i think, with the aluminum cone) in a big band rehearsal left me with the impression that the sound from the cab was much thinner (midrangey) than from my gk mb150. didn't have the punch, more string noise, and probably cut a lot better.

    sean p
  3. FALSCH007:

    I have had a Hartke 12" Kickback for about 4 years now. The only thing I was suspecting before buying it was the aluminium cone, which makes the amp look like something made for slap funk with a plank.
    Anyhow, IMO it does not sound more bright than those with cardboard cones...and it has an EQ to cut out the brightness.
    I know a coupla guys who use a 12" or 10" Kickback up here, and I have not heard any comments of dislike, nor poor quality or circuit problems. The speciality of the thing is the shape of the cabinet, which allows you to use it in a monitor position. There´s an XLR-connection in the front panel for the PA.
    If you have a change to a-b the amp with your current rig ( both BG and DB ) it would be a lotta help.

  4. mje


    Aug 1, 2002
    Southeast Michigan
    The bassist in a band I play with occasionally has a Kickback 12- it's his favorite. He plays BG but is seems to have enough tone control and fidelity to deal with UB.
  5. Chuck M

    Chuck M Supporting Member

    May 2, 2000
    San Antonio, Texas
    I sometimes use a Kickback 12 for Upright but connect a SABDDI between the bass and amp to fatten up the tone. Sounds pretty thin without the Bass Driver.

    It is not a bad practice amp for electric bass but I only use mine for upright bass when portability means more than volume and tone.

    I usually use my Super Redhead for upright.

  6. For electric I think it would cut it pretty well... my experience is with the kickback 15.

    The KB15 works well with an electric bass, and I like the sound I get from a Low B on my Schecter 5 string electric. WHen I plugged into it with upright, it cut pretty well, and got loud enough, but the speaker was moving back and forth, and I dont think that's a good thing; correct me if I'm wrong... Sounds good, I think the KB 12 would be great though. I own a hartke 2x12 combo amp run by 120 watts (the cheaper paper coned ones). This model is the one with one speaker facing down. The quality of the 15 let me get some low end in because I notice the sound of uprights going into an amp tend to be really trebly, unless you have an expensive P/U and preamp.
  7. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member In Memoriam

    I think it would work pretty well - I had one of these and used it with BG on Jazz things. Two Jazz pros who play DB asked to try it and eventually bought one! Another one borrowed it a few times

    There are another 2 local DB players who use one and it sounds OK - pretty loud and bassy.

    I think you have to be careful when trying - there is a "shape" (I think?) button - when this is in (depressed) it sounds great. When it is out - then it sounds very thin and tinny!
    I´m not sure if You´re talking about KB12 or 15, but anyhow here´s my experience.
    Both have the same amp section, only the cabinet and the cone vary in sizes. So both of them have the same "shape" feature, including the button You mentioned and a potentiometer on the side. I think it´s supposed to work as a parametric EQ. When you push the button down the potentiometer is functional, and when it´s up fiddling with it doesn´t affect to anything.
    I can do a lot with it, especially when I need to emphasize only the deep end. Sometimes not using the "shape" feature helps me to cut through more easily. What I´ve learned it depends on the room and club setting, and of course the general balance of the band.
    I´ve borrowed my KB12 to fellow bassists many times and everyone seems to like it´s simplicity and quality of the sound.
    A KB15 would be too big for my purposes.

  9. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member In Memoriam

    Why are you addressing me - I'm just answering the original poster's question. :confused:
  10. Man,
    that was not addressing, it was a friendly greeting.


  11. Yes, that's hartke's "Shape Circuitry". When the shape button is out, it's disengaged, meaning the shape knob will not work no matter which way you tweak it, it will automatically be set the the center 12 oclock position. basically when the shape's disengaged its the same sound you'll get as if were engaged, only set at 12. My b120 combo has the shape circuitry, but it doesn't let you turn it off, basically if you want it at 12 oclock, you have to put it at 12 oclock. That shape 'button' is basically a way to bypass any "shaping", though the EQ still works.
  12. Picked up a KB12 recently and found it easy to use. I can "shape" the tone to cut through the band without going crazy. I also like that it's (relatively) light weight and doesn't take up alot of space. The XLR output allows me to run straight to the PA. Convenient as hell.

    Oh yeah, I run a MIM Jazz through it.

    My two cents :>)
  13. Michael McCarthy

    Michael McCarthy

    Jul 16, 2014
    out of tune and out of touch
    I own both the Hartke 120 12" kickback and gk mb150s. Hartke gets a bad rap for the aluminum cone as sounding "tinty". It's always sounded the closest to a tube amp without the tube to me. Warm and full. Now that's speaking for electric. As for upright it's garbage with a realist, too many overtones and doesn't cut without being too loud. With the shadow sound pickups it does well. I don't know why. The gk mb150s is great, no complaints on upright, it's everything I want on an upright bass amp. As for electric gigs where I have to be loud, warm and meaty, the Hartke every time.
  14. Staredge


    Aug 7, 2010
    Germantown, MD
    I have a 15 that I was given (needed work. $90 later I had a working amp). I love it. I'm just getting to the point where I'm using it enough to start working on my tone, but I'm pretty happy with the lows I'm getting.
  15. lurk


    Dec 2, 2009
    I occasionally sub on a church gig where this is the house amp. Sometimes it's an upright gig, sometimes fender bass. The amp sounds good with both; that shape knob is very useful. Not my favorite amp, but a very nice workhorse for the price.
    Michael McCarthy likes this.

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