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Hartke Vs. SWR?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by heath_the_great, Feb 22, 2004.

  1. howdy peeps....

    basically the question is what will be the better buy...

    a full hartke rig
    HA3500 + 410TP

    or a full SWR rig
    Workingmans 4004 + Workingmans 410T

    Roughly the same wattages but im looking for overall tone control...and buy the way...i totally hate parametric mids..it just makes everything seem muddy to me

    and im playin a kubicki (18v Preamp) so most amps ive tried seem to distort really easily with this bass....

  2. Sundogue


    Apr 26, 2001
    Wausau, WI
    Well, first off, the Parametric mid controls on the HA4000 makes the sound anything but muddy...and I've found that I have way more control over the tone with the 4000's parametric EQ than with the 3500's graphic EQ. Rather than simply boosting or cutting a band on the 3500's EQ, with the 4000 you can cut or boost narrow or wide bands of both low and hi mids...as well as controlling the intensity of that boost or cut. Way more control.

    Having said that, I have never cared for SWR's sound. I've tried their heads with a variety of cabs and I'm not sure what it is exactly, but no matter what I tried they all seem to have a boosted mid sound (which is great if you like that). SWR sounds like SWR, no matter how you set it up...IMHO.

    However I've found that Hartke's 4000 gives a variety of tone. Moreso than the 3500, though the 3500 is an awesome amp and the 5500 is the 3500, only with 500 watts.

    I'd go with the Hartke 5500.

    NOTE: I play with a Cirrus 5 string (18v pre-amp). I cannot distort the 4000's input. All of Hartke's amps have passive and active inputs. I even play my Cirrus through the passive input and it still does not distort. It actually sounds a little cleaner through the passive input!
  3. B.Hendrix


    Mar 24, 2000
    Atlanta, GA
    Another vote for the Hartke - HA4000 in particular. For the price, can't be beat IMHO. SWR rules when you go high-end, but for this price point - Hartke cant be beat. I use to own a SWR WM-15 - great modern sound, but nowhere near as versatile.

    Currently playing my Spector Q4 and Fender P through a HA4000 to an Eden 2X10 XLT and Mesa Boogie 1X15 - the rig absolutely rocks :D
  4. jawzzz


    May 23, 2003
    Denver Colorado
    If you plan on playing loud, don't get the 410TP. It is only rated at 300 watts and will fart out on you real quick. I loved the sound of it, I just did not like fretting over the the thought of blowing my speakers. If you are going to go with a Hartke cab, go with the XL series.All the prices have been lowered an insane amount for what you get.

    The 3500 is a good head to start with. It is loud and versatile.

    I don't know much about the workingmans series, but I love my Goliath III. It does not have the deep growl like an Ampeg,but you can still get an awesome lowend sound out of it.
  5. also i was just checking out the hartke website...and i noticed the VX series with the paper cones....do you think the vx410 or vx410a whould be worth checkin out????
  6. MJ5150

    MJ5150 Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Apr 12, 2001
    Olympia, WA
    Peavey makes a 15" with two 8's?

  7. peavey used to make a cab like this in the 80's?.....it was called the 1516...it had 1x15" and 2x8" black widows...no horn unlike the hartke...ive only ever seen one in my area and it was great.....and they must be good because the Pod's??? i think emulate them
  8. I've got a HA5000(same as 3500, but stereo 250W + 250W), which I run with two 4-Ohm Peavey cabs, a 410TVX and a 115BXBW. This thing is plenty loud for rehearsals and gigs running one cab at 4-Ohms, which is only 250W. If you only want to be running one cab, then the mono 3500 will have more power, so your volume is taken care of.

    As for EQ, being a sound engineer I like graphics, a lot. I know which frequency ranges do what, and which frequencies cause problems with rumble etc, so having a graphic for room acoustics is top notch for me. The Hartke's 10-band graphic is real flexible, but real powerful too. My sound is pretty much flat, with 2dB cuts at 30Hz and 8kHz, and 3db boosts at 125Hz, 500Hz, 1kHz and 3kHz. This may be because I prefer the flat sound of the Hartke, which is very transparent (almost too transparent on other people's crappy basses).

    The Workingmans has a five band graphic, but it's more of a plug in and go head IMO. It sounds pretty nice, but lacked 'oomph' for me. The tube in the Hartke can grunt a little bit and add chunk to the very sterile solid state preamp, especially after I changed it out to a JJ ECC83S. My 5000 shipped with a Sovtek 12AX7WA/7025, which sucked more than anything you can imagine.
  9. Sundogue


    Apr 26, 2001
    Wausau, WI
    I too, have used graphics quite extensively. I do know that Hartke is one of the few manufacturers that put decent EQ's into their heads...be it graphic or parametric.

    Most manufacturers put EQ's in that do not really deal with the low frequencies of bass. It's as if they put an EQ range meant more for guitar into their heads. Not Hartke.

    I've always been more a fan of graphic EQ'a rather than parametrics as you can isolate problematic frequencies faster (providing there is a wide enough band of them that covers the bass properly)...but the parametric on the Hartke 4000 is the best parametric I've ever used...much, much more extensive than a typical parametric...more on a par with a graphic, but actually better IMO, as you can slide between frequencies to isolate, whereas if there is not a slider on the graphic for that frequency, you have to alter the ones next to it as well, to get it nailed down.

    Either way, Hartke, IMHO, has done it right with regards to EQ-ing their ampheads. No matter what you choose, I feel you can't go wrong with Hartke.
  10. robareed


    Feb 12, 2004
    i just got a hartke 3500, vx410a, and a vx115 and its sounds great and is plenty loud.
  11. Hartke = tube preamp
    SWR = no tube preamp

    'nuff said ;)
  12. Sundogue


    Apr 26, 2001
    Wausau, WI

    My Hartke HA4000 has no tube preamp either...but it does sound like a tube amp to me...IMO.

    SWR just does not fit my sound...for whatever reason. Perhaps their higher end models sound better, but I haven't had a chance to try them...all I know is any of them that are regularly offered in shops, just don't sound right to me.

    Obviously, there are a lot of people who love them...and for them SWR's sound is what they are after. I think of SWR as being tonally challenged...as far as variety goes. I think they all sound alike and I can't get "my" sound out of them...and I can get my sound out of damn near anything. No slight to SWR, just not my cup o' tea.
  13. The 0x

    The 0x

    Aug 24, 2003
    Timonium, MD
    I don't like either, so i'll vote BOALG.

    ...wait, this isn't Harmony Central. :meh:

    So, lemme give my 2 cents.

    The 4004 is IMO overpriced for what you get, and the tone is just sort of bleh. If I were you, I'd check out a Yorkville XS400H, the new one with the tube preamp and overdrive controls. So far I've heard nothing but great reviews, except a few minor things in the QC dept, but I think that was all taken care of. Pair that up with a Yorkville XC410 (awesome cab for the price, -3db is at 41Hz), and you'd have a seriously LOUD and toneful rig for about a grand, and you can always add another 410 or 115 later if the need arises. The XS400H is $479 at MF whereas the 4004 is $599. You get much more features, and better customer service AND a better warranty by going with the Yorkville.
  14. where i obught my kubicki they had a second hand HA2000 and a Transporter 15" cab....which is $1300 but they'll give it to me cos i've bought my last 2 amps and 3 basses there......and what i was thinkin was gettin that rig and getting a transporter 4x10" and usin my peavey mark3 to run the 15" and the HA2000 to run the 4x10"...i also just checked out the carvin website....there is no carvin gear here so i have no idea...but how come they're so bloody cheap???


    for example......now im thinking of going hartke vs. carvin :p
  15. Falk


    Jan 18, 2004
    I'd lean over towards SWR. I bought my SWR rig quite recently. I favour of a Hartke rig.
    But then again, I love the sound of a SWR.
    If you want to play loud, go for the SWR.

    The fact of the matter is that you get alot more db (decibels, ie. sound) from a SWR than a Hartke, with equal wattage & ohms.
    A friend of mine tried to explain the science of this to me a while back, but I don't remember it exactly.
    It has something to do with wattage efficiency, and alot of mathematical equations.... ehh... :p
    But it really means that SWR is louder than Hartke. :)
  16. Sundogue


    Apr 26, 2001
    Wausau, WI
    Decibels = volume...not sound, but I digress.

    If you want volume, go with SWR...if want volume AND great sound (i.e.- great tone) go with Harkte.
  17. brianrost

    brianrost Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 26, 2000
    Boston, Taxachusetts
    The two rigs will sound VERY different.

    Hartke is more "old school", no tweeter in the cab, lots of midrange.

    The SWR cab goes for a scooped mid tone which is the "moern" sound.

    As far as the amps, the SWR stuff is better built than the Hartke.

    Go try both and pick the one that sounds better to YOU.
  18. Sundogue


    Apr 26, 2001
    Wausau, WI
    That's interesting, because I love scooped mids...yet I hate the SWR sound. Well, hate is a strong word...more like indifferent.

    SWR better built than Hartke? Perhaps with some models. If there is a more solidly built amp than mine, it must be a solid block of concrete.
  19. The 0x

    The 0x

    Aug 24, 2003
    Timonium, MD

    Because their redline heads are underpowered and their redline cabs have no bottom end whatsoever.

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