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Head / cab repair ... fubar

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Chad Michael, Mar 20, 2004.

  1. A bass player / singer friend of mine has a Hartke HA2000 head and 4.5xl cabinet. Bought them used. He plays the rig at a gig and says it sounds bad.

    Gives me the cabinet to diagnose / repair, and I find a 10" driver that has a serious issue with the surround coming unglued from the frame. You could literally stick your finger between the surround and frame in several places. So I re-glue (as per recommendation of Orange County Speaker) and seems all is well. The driver sounded fine and was submitted to a frequency sweep on a test tone generator. Passed the test (as did the remaining 3 10's from that cabinet).

    He plays the rig live again, and his amp / cab combination still sound bad. So, he gives me the head and cabinet to diagnose. I find that the tube preamp sounds horrid when I play at the same gain levels he is using live. So, I replaced the preamp tube, work the tube gain control a few times, and it solved the problem. The head sounded fine. I was unable to coax the head and cabinet to misbehave.

    He takes the head / cab to his next gig, it still has some kind of distorted / bad sounding problem. Keep in mind, he is a pick player with a heavy hit, and is playing this rig (a 120 watt head and the 4.5xl cabinet) rather loud. :meh:

    I'm beginning to wonder if he is just clipping the hell out of the head, and our attempts to fix are futile. :confused: :meh: :rolleyes:
  2. jazzyb


    Feb 7, 2004
    norfolk england
    I used to run a Hartke 3500 head and 410 cab and apart from
    having to replace the pre-amp tube,no problems, this gear could handle all I through at it. The head and single cab put out around 240watts and 350 with an 8 ohm ext cab.
    I'm wondering if he could be pushing it too hard, some of these drummers take a lot keeping up with! or is it a bass issue if it's being played hard? My old amp had a compressor/limiter control and I don't think I ever got to grips with it, the sound was always clean though!
  3. lbanks


    Jul 17, 2003
    Ennui, IN USA
    I think his head may be underpowered for the 4.5xl. I believe its rated at 400 watts. I may be mistaken, of course...
  4. Arranger


    Mar 9, 2003
    Sounds like a serious lack of headroom. That Hartke 2000 head only has 120w@8ohm. It's rated 200w@4ohm. My Hartke Kickback 12 has the same power rating and it uses up its gas around 2/3 driven into 1x12. I can't imagine pushing 4x10 with that.
  5. Petebass


    Dec 22, 2002
    QLD Australia
    Does anyone else find it odd that he couldn't hear the faulty speaker flapping around? That's usually a sign that he's playing with a pretty loud band. In which case, yes, he would have to clip the 120w amp just to be heard.

    I'd try and go with him to one of his gigs and check out the situation in person. Or maybe loen him a more powerful head for one night and see if it served him any better.

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