Hartke XK-4 Bass- Thoughts?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by SMaulick, Dec 24, 2002.

  1. SMaulick

    SMaulick Guest

    Hello TalkBass forum- this would happen to be my first post to your forum, so please keep your flames on low! :p

    I've been playing bass for about 5+ years now, and I use a Fender P-Bass Special, Mexican, with both the split P-J and Jazz pickups, and no real mods to it. I love the sounds I get out of this guitar, and even though it's not an American Fender, I don't think I can part with it. I also recently acquired a Jazz mexi fretless, w/ a Badass2 bridge for dirt cheap, which has such a warm and mellow tone. I enjoy playing both of these guitars greatly, but I recently had the chance to snag a Hartke XK-4 bass, the model 1 step down from the NJ-built XL-4, so I took it. You wouldn't believe the price I got it for, brand new. Here's a picture:


    The sound and attack on this guitar are excellent, especially running off of the neck pickups, and I like the room between the neck and the neck pickup- plenty of room for some popping and slapping without pickup interference. I REALLY like the Aluminum headstock and chrome everything- very sharp looking!

    My question is this- has anyone seriously looked at the Hartke Vaccaro-neck guitars for one of their basses? If so, what were your thoughts? Personally, I like it very much, and it's OK if others do not because they won't get the chance to play it anyway. (it's MINE!!) :D I do value your opinions about them though, and I wonder if any of you would like to comment about this guitar. This was the first time I saw one up close and in person, and it just jumped out at me and said, "Buy Me!" so I did.

    Thanks for reading, and please post away, should you feel like it. Thanks!
  2. Nino Valenti

    Nino Valenti Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 2, 2001
    Staten Island NYC
    Builder: Valenti Basses
    I thought thay looked cool whenever I saw them @ sam Ash but everytime I played one, something didn't feel right. I can't really remember what is it cause I just woke up & I'm still 1/2 asleep & I haven't played one is a while.
  3. SMaulick

    SMaulick Guest

    The big "feel" difference to me is the wider neck, compared to my Fenders which both have a Jazz neck. I'm still getting acquainted with the Hartke, so there may be other subtleties which I have yet to discover.

    Thanks for your response, and go back to sleep- it's Christmas Eve, so sleep on!! Me, I'm stuck at work. :oops:

    Wishing I was playing....
  4. Eric Moesle

    Eric Moesle Supporting Member

    Sep 21, 2001
    Columbus OH
    Beauty is apparently in the eye of the beholder. My first thought when I saw them advertised was "yuk"!

    What is important is that YOU are happy with it. Don't seek the opinions of others, because you don't want to hear me tell you it sucks weenies.:oops:
  5. SMaulick

    SMaulick Guest

    I actually do want to hear you say you think it's ugly, it sucks, etc.. I am not looking for anyone to validate what I like; rather, to provide any information or opinions from those who have played one, own(ed) one, or whatever!

    Trust me, I am happy with it! And, I actually like that others think it's ugly- any reaction is better than none. I've seen some basses on here that make me want to retch, yet they seem to be crowd favorites, which is cool.

    Thanks again, Eric! :)
  6. I tried a Hartke XK-4 about 2 yrs ago at the bass centre.
    I found the narrow, low fretwire a bit odd, also it having only 20 frets a drawback- I sometimes use the 21st fret high E.
    Hartke's claim that the aluminium/aluminum neck has exceptional sustain and no deadspots is a bit dubious- I found a deadspot around the 8th fret of the g string, and overall sustain wasn't noticeably better than an all-wood neck.

    the tone was quite good, but not "exceptionally clear" as Hartke claim.