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Hartke users...

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Razor, Jan 24, 2005.

  1. Razor


    Sep 22, 2002
    Ok first off, I know a lot of people don't care much for Hartke amps. That's cool, to each his/her own blah blah....

    I am looking for people who have used/or use Hartke amps and have played another brand of amp that got a similar tone.

    I've played a good number of amps but I honestly haven't found one that gave me, well, that "sonic, high-fi tone" that I have really come to love.

    I have an OLD Hartke 7000 that just totally does it for me tone-wise. Problem is, it's just not as reliable as I would like. Classic case of "When it works..it works great, when it doesn't it's dead".

    I've played enough of a variety of amps to find that the warm, tubey sound just isn't for me. Nothing against it, just not my thing (cost me lots of money and time to figure this out).

    Some of the amps that I really had hoped would work for me were:

    Mesa 400+
    Great amp...a volume beast!! Couldn't put enough cab's on it to tame her and a true tube tone.

    Ampeg SVT Classic and Pro series:
    Likewise great amps, still too tubey.

    Various Pre/Power config's:
    Too many EQ features. I prefer a powered head feature..

    I could go on and on..but frankly this is getting drawn out. Two amps I tinkered with a bit, and got somewhat close to a hi-fi sound I am looking for, were SWR and Eden.

    The sound closest to what my Hartke produces, and what I am looking for is Robbie Merrill's tone (Godsmack).

    So, long story short..if there are any Hartke amp users who liked the sound their Hartke gave, and have found something else that closely resembles that tone..lemme know.

    I appreciate the help/feedback.

  2. andruca


    Mar 31, 2004
    Madrid (Spain)
    I have Hartke 4.5XL + 215XL cabs and up to now I was using a 3500 head with no problems FOR 8 YEARS! You must have a bad 7000, 'cause these heads are remarked for their reliability and road worthy status. I changed the 3500 for a pre/power setup 2 weeks ago. I also am a hi-fi freak (no tubes, thanks) and can only think of an upgrade... EBS solid state heads (TD650/HD350) used by Marcus Miller, Victor Bailey amongst others. Also, I tried the infamous Fafner head and found that, properly set up, it can sound really hi-fi too. Good luck!

  3. Razor


    Sep 22, 2002
    What rig did you swap over to? Just curious...
    Thanks for the reply..I am gonna look into the EBS stuff...from what I've seen it's pretty pricey.
    This 7000 I've got is great, but it's been through hell and back. :p
  4. andruca


    Mar 31, 2004
    Madrid (Spain)
    EBS's price is the reason I didn't upgrade to from my Hartke head. I moved to a SansAmp RBI preamp (with ETEK Dynamagic stereo multiband compressor + Behringer PEQ2200 Ultra-Q Pro 5-band fully parametric through the effects loop) + Behringer Europower E1500 stereo power amp (one channel for each cab). I always had my 3500 head racked and that helped keep it intact. Having the 7000 I assume you biamp so, why not get 2 used 3500s (cheap!)? How about a new 7000? It's not normal that a head works and stops working alternatively. I'm experienced with Hartke stuff and maybe I can help you. What kind of failure does your head have?

  5. Razor


    Sep 22, 2002
    I run it full range and lately I've been using a Mesa PH1000 cab. I use the cab as two 8Ohm loads from the 7000. Earlier today I was playing pretty hard and the signal started to go in and out, kind of like dropout. I first thought it was the cable..checked that and then made sure it wasn't an instrument issue. Next I plugged into my SWR cab's and still the problem was there. It's as if the amp would cut the volume off about halfway when I start playing hard..soon as I softened my attack the volume would instantly come back. The only thing I have even remotely touched was the compression and I didn't adjust it much.
  6. andruca


    Mar 31, 2004
    Madrid (Spain)
    Hartke heads' compression sucks, I suggest to never use it past 2 o'clock. But it's absolutely not normal that it goes that low (unless you're squashing it at full destructive compression). Have you tried to play as loud but with the compression knob off?

  7. DWBass

    DWBass The Funkfather

    I cannot comment on the 7000 or the 3500. I own a 3000 and a 5500. As far as a particular tone, I don't feel mine have any. I like plain old clean power and I adjust as necessary. I don't run my amps hot either as neither has ever been close to halfway up in volume. I'm with you on the 'tubey' warm sound thing! I find it too boomy and sometimes overdriven [depending on the amp]. I like solid thump and cut-through without being over bearing in bassiness. I'm more of a blend in type of player and only if a song dictates it will I be more 'out' in the mix. I plan to check out a GK1001RBII as I step up just a little more in power.
  8. Kelly Lee

    Kelly Lee Yeah, I'm a guy! Supporting Member

    Feb 17, 2004
    Marana, AZ, USA
    I gigged a Hartke 3500 for years with no problems whatsoever. I didn't even have it rackmounted.

    I think your problem could be a bad solder joint on the input. I had an amp once that did the same thing and thats what it turned out to be. I just reflowed the solder and all was well.
  9. Kael


    Dec 26, 2004
    Oklahoma City

    Definitely have someone check the solder joints in that head. If you are running that puppy all out with it on top of the cab, I would be surprised if something hasn't come loose. I have had my old 3500 head in the shop 3 times in the past year. Check out the newer hartke heads if you want, but I didn't like them. Newer Hartke heads just don't sound the same as the old ones.

    I get a lot of other bassists who look down on Hartke equipment giving me crap about my amp. Funny thing is when I do a show with another act, and let those other bassists use my rig, they invariably remark on how punchy it sounds and how surprised they were with it.
  10. andruca


    Mar 31, 2004
    Madrid (Spain)
  11. MJ5150

    MJ5150 Terrific Twister

    Apr 12, 2001
    Olympia, WA
    I gigged with a 3500 for a couple years myself. I had zero problems with it. It was pushing a 4ohm 215 most of the time at very high volume for long periods of time. It never once gave me a problem.

    I would suggest having your amp looked at by a pro, get it fixed. As you know, finding your "tone" is spendy and can be a long road. If you have it in that Hartke, don't switch to something else.