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Hartke Picks and Pans......Your Thoughts Please

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Rod Harder, Nov 28, 2003.

  1. Rod Harder

    Rod Harder Supporting Member

    Hey everyone,
    I would like to know what you all think of Hartke heads, cabs and combos. I'd really like to not have to wade through a bunch of "Hartke sucks" and "Hartke rocks" posts, just some real and honest opinions on the gear. I'd like to see what you have played and liked, and why, and also what you didn't like and why.
    I am the Hartke Rep for Western Canada, and I'd like to see what you think the hits and misses are in the Hartke line. Let me know what you think of the line, and any specific things that you like or don't like. I look forward to hearing your opinions......
  2. Munjibunga

    Munjibunga Total Hyper-Elite Member Gold Supporting Member

    May 6, 2000
    San Diego (when not at Groom Lake)
    Independent Contractor to Bass San Diego
    Hartke is good stuff. I had a 3500 head in a 115+5 combo (1155), and was very pleased with the sound. I never had any problems with it.
  3. hyperlitem

    hyperlitem Guest

    Jul 25, 2001
    Indianapolis, IN
    i had a hartke 7000 and a 4x10 transporter. For what it costs it was amazing. The trasnporter was durable as heck. What it came down to was i needed something with more power and you cant bridge the 7000, which is the number one complaint with this amp. When i got a head i could bridge, the ampeg b4r, it was too powerful for the cab so i had to sell that too. I liked the stuff, but i never tried the pro series cabs which ive heard are very nice too. Make a higer wattage amp, or bridgeable amp, and youll get alot more customers.
  4. I've had the 5000 for some 7 years or so. I like the sweepable crossover. I like the overall performance, though in hindsight I wish I had bought the 7000 for the extra power.

    I wish it were bridgeable. If it were bridgeable into 4 ohms I wouldn't need the extra power of the 7000. Also, there's not a whole lot of difference between the tube and SS preamps, to my ears. Finally, the graphic EQ with the LED's looks, well, kinda gimmicky.

    I think the new 5500, with the mono 500 watts, is a good move.
  5. Rod Harder

    Rod Harder Supporting Member

    You're right about the 5500, I think it will be quite successful, the fact that that the 5000 and 7000 are not bridgeable is an issue I have heard from a few users and dealers. I think that the 5500 head ( 500W @ 4 ohms ) will make some noise in the market when it starts shipping in the very near future.
    Thanks for all your input so far !!
  6. Eric Moesle

    Eric Moesle

    Sep 21, 2001
    Columbus OH
    I used Hartke cabs for over 5 years, a 4.5 XL and 2x15 XL, both aluminum cones. I was quite happy with them, except for the fact that one by one, the dust covers came partially unglued from the aluminum cones at some point, making the speakers sound "blown". Terrible distortion. Happened with EVERY one of the speakers at some point. I used them hard, gigging at least 2 times a week.

    The aluminum cones were a concern in the winter when it was cold outside, as they would get brittle. They were OK so long as they were permitted to warm up to room temperature prior to being used. Some of my more impatient friends weren't so lucky, and cracked theirs when cold.

    I was happy with the sound of these cabs, until I had the opportunity to run other speakers through my rig. Now I use all Aguilar cabs. I also thought Edens sounded much better.

    Hartke cabs are good, but for the same price I think a person can do much better.
  7. SuperDuck


    Sep 26, 2000
    I bought a Hartke B60 as a small practice amp- one I could take to lessons, really small gigs, etc. For the price, I liked it better than the other combos in that range. I think it was a very good buy.

    The only gripe I have is that the Shape control isn't defeatable. I like the notch filter idea, but that doesn't mean I want it on all the time.
  8. Sadly enough, I think the appearance of the heads (from a marketing standpoint) is quite a downfall. A little too boxy and cheesy looking. As far as sound...I liked the sound when I had one...It just wasn't my kind of sound.

    I like my 410XL too, but it is not turning out to be my sound either. Hartke isn't a common staple in Heavy Metal music. It's cool for the jazz and blues bassist though.
  9. ilfretless

    ilfretless Guest

    Mar 16, 2001
    Milan, Italy
    I have and still use a 20 w combo that works well. the sound is nice, not very powerful but it's 20W you don't espect too much. I like the fact that it is built well and it's very strong, it fell many times and still doesn't have any problems


    Aug 13, 2003
    Sulphur LA
    I had a 3500 head years ago. The power switch shorted out and caught on fire. The head always broke down and after a note would decay to a nice pianissimo there would be distortion on the tail of it. I didn't have very good luck with it. When it worked, it was fantastic sounding!
    I used to work for GK and some players have had the above problems with GKs. (I was the GK guy in these parts for a while.) I guess I had to have the above experience so I could be REALLY sympathetic in customer service mode. I no longer work for GK and I play Glockenklang now. Welcome to Talkbass Rod! :)
  11. MJ5150

    MJ5150 Terrific Twister

    Apr 12, 2001
    Olympia, WA
    I owned the 3500 head for almost two years. I never had a problem with it. It always sounded great, and had the flexibility to produce any tone I was looking for. Don't change anything about the electronics. I would however, remove the "Transient Attack" logo on the front. I often was made fun of for that. It does look rather cheesy.

    I agree that the cabs are not that great for heard rock/metal. Never owned one, but played through the 4.5XL for a long time. It was always "just alright". Not good enough to take on a gig, but alright for practice. It just doesn't have the "balls" for that type of music. Some guys dig the aluminum cones, they sound too tinny, or crackly for me.

    I once owned a Hartke 210 combo. It was two 10's powered by the 3500 head in a great combo package. I was never able to find anything from Hartke about it. Can you tell me anything about it?

  12. Rod Harder

    Rod Harder Supporting Member

    Has anyone out there in TB land tried the 2100 (2x10" w/horn) and 2200 (2x12" w/horn) cabinets at all? I have heard really good feedback from those I know who have played them - what's the TB take on these boxes?


    Aug 13, 2003
    Sulphur LA
    I tried them out at store I was visiting for GK and I thought they sounded great!
  14. bazzanderson


    Oct 7, 2002
    Austin, TX
    I think the Hartke 3500 is an excellent bass head (especially for the cash). I've had mine since 1997 or 1998 (can't remember) and it's served me well in pop punk, metal, alternapop and southern rock bands. I can get THE tone for any bass I've played...some basses take longer than others to coax THE tone out of them but the options on the 3500 are many and all seem to function quite well. Because of my ignorance...it did take me a while to really know how to work everything to my advantage.
  15. ster


    Oct 18, 2003
    New Jersey
    Yes I have owned a 2200 Pro series for about a year. It was a great sounding cab. It provided very deep lows(rated at 29Hz) and never farted out on me like the other Hartke stuff I have owned (410XL,210XL,115XL)This cab had a much more focused sound, was super easy to transport. I know this sounds silly but it smelled really good:D. My only gripes about it was the lack of power handling(300 watts for a 4 ohm cab) and the pastic horn which produced a plastic sound. I have also owned a 4200 4x10 cab which sounded incredible but it was a huge heavy cab, impossible to bring up and down stairs for any normal human being. But since then I switched to Eden because I was able to get bigger (and warmer)sounds out of smaller enclosures. Although I miss the customer support.
  16. jgsbass


    May 28, 2003
    Floral Park, NY
    I had a 3500 once. Maybe it was a dud. The sound was ok butit was the poorest made amp I have ever owned (thats over a 30 year span so it includes a lot of amps). The first day, one of the rings that protects the fan from little fingers became unwelded and had to be removed because it kept hitting the fan blades and made noise. The handle. It broke at the holder. 4 times. Thats 2 times each for each side. All in less than 2 years. I would think Hartke could put a handle on the amp that could last a little longer than 6 months. The amp used to ride to jobs on the front seat of a big American car ( very cushy). One day I look over and the bass contour knob was sheared clean off, shaft and all. The EQ sliders were cheap and although lights in them was a nice touch,once they were gone, there was a ground hum when the EQ was engaged. I also think 48 screws to be removed to get to the inside is a bit much. To sum it up, nice sound but physically very unreliable. Maybe it was just mine but I complained to customer service early on and they seemed unconcerned. I will not buy Hartke products because of this.
  17. Like Munji, I own and still use an old 1155 combo (1x15" + 1x5" with the 3500 head)which I bought used at Guitar Center, as my main "large combo" setup, for rehearsals and small to medium gigs. Quite adequate, tone and volume-wise. I had to perform a couple of relatively simple repairs on it, but it's still going strong. Nice to see that they've brought out that combo with the 3500 and the VX410. I also have the 7000 head, which served me well as a first-string choice until a couple of years ago (replaced by an Eden WT-800, but still on hand for backup). I echo the sentiments regarding bridging. I think my biggest observation about the original amp line is that they were never updated, with maybe surface-mount components, bridging for the 5000 and 7000, and a better compressor. No complaints about the tone, though. The 5500 is a great idea, but I'd be more impressed if I found it to have a few newer ideas under the hood. I really like the basic construction of these heads, with the cooling in and out from just the rear, which makes them easy to use in a two U rack. But Hartke has sold quite a few of these, I suspect, and for whatever reason has progressed only as far as we've seen, so I suppose they're happy with the results.
  18. I have not really been able to like Hartke amplifiers much. I find the tone to be too dry and sterile, and except at a few settings, generally harsh if you use the aluminum-cone speakers with it. the idea of aluminum cone speakers is not a bad one though, i like the idea because it means extended HF response without a power-draining horn. i played a 4x10 cabinet once with two paper-cone drivers(they were Fane Axiom 10s) and two Hartke 10" aluminums. it looked a little funny but it did sound nice. anyway, i'm not thrilled about the sterility of the amps but you guys seem to be selling steady, so it's obvious there are people who prefer their tone that way.
  19. gfab333


    Mar 22, 2000
    Honolulu, Hawaii
    I've jammed through a friend's 3500 head and an SWR 4X10 a number of times. The amp sounds great. nice bottom and highs, along with good punch. I liked the fat bottom that the tube preamp gave to the overall tone. I also like the option of mixing the solid state tone with the tube tone in varying degrees. It's a very nice amp for the price.
  20. Marley's Ghost

    Marley's Ghost Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 9, 2002
    Tampa, FL
    I have the HA5000. I like the tone and power, but the lack of bridging will limit which cabs you can use with it.