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Help! I broke something on my Hartke 3500

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by fsanfili, Mar 4, 2005.

  1. fsanfili


    Feb 5, 2004
    Los Angeles
    Playing a gig the other night, a little louder than usual, but not excessively so. Playing a passive bass through a 90s Hartke 3500, into a Hartke 1x15 Transporter cabinet. Tube and SS preamps were on about 3, master output around 5. About 20-30 minutes into the set, my sound got increasingly distorted over the span of about 5 minutes, and then cut out entirely. Luckily, the direct out was still working, so the sound guy just put my bass through the house PA for the rest of the set.

    I'm at work, and haven't had a chance to troubleshoot this. Could it be as simple as just the tube in the preamp burning out? Would that kill the sound coming from the SS preamp as well? And if that's the case, why would the direct out still work?

    Or did I blow something in the cab?

    Any input would be appreciated.
  2. ESP-LTD


    Sep 9, 2001
    I'd be looking at the cab and speaker cable first.
  3. Kael


    Dec 26, 2004
    Oklahoma City
    +1, defintely try it with a differing cab and cords.

    It don't see how it could be a tube in the preamp as you were using both solid state and tube sections of your pre amp (ps: try turning your SS knob off and ganking your tube sometime, I did and won't go back now). Try turning off each "area" of your head at a time if you decide that it is the head. ie: kill the compression/graphic EQ/even the passive "Bass/Treble" knobs. If the head is still exhibiting the same problem I would hazard a guess at the power section.
  4. Okay....if the direct out works, then your preamp section of your Hartke is probably good. So that leaves several possibilities:

    a) the cab.
    b) the speaker cable
    c) the power amp section of your Hartke.

    To rule out a) and b), do you have another amp that works that you know is good? Use the cab AND the cable you were using at the gig, plug them both into the good amp. If they work, try them back into the Hartke, if nothing works, the problem is in the Hartke. Obviously, if the cab/cable doesn't work in a known good amp, the problem is with the cab or cable...

    Conversely, if you have a cab and cable that you KNOW is good, plug them into the Hartke...

    If the Hartke doesn't work with a known good cab and cable, something fried in the power amp section. Usually however this is associated with smoke and the acrid smell of burning electronic parts, but not always...sniff the back of the amp, see if it smells burnt (I'm serious).

    Hopefully (I guess) it's the cab. An ohmeter can see if you fried the speaker's voice coil: you will have infinite resistance ( a lack of continuity). If you don't have an ohmeter, here's another way to check. Plug a known good cable--actually for this test it can be an instrument cable, if need be--into the cab then take a 9 volt battery and touch the two poles of the battery to the two sections of the exposed plug. As you do so, you should hear the speaker make a "thump" noise. No noise, the speaker may be fried.
  5. 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
    I had the same thing the day I bought my 3500 ... it did it in the store. It was the tube. They replaced it right there and it's worked great ever since.
  6. You can also plug in your cable into your speaker cab and use a 9v battery touched to the plug on the tip and sleeve. The speaker should make a pop and stay out or in (dependimg on polarity). This won't tell you if the speaker is rubbing, just if it has been fried/blown or VC opened up.
  7. Get the tube changed, its in circuit even when turned to solid state it just has a very low signal, change the tube and all will be well again.
  8. fsanfili


    Feb 5, 2004
    Los Angeles
    Thanks for all the feedback. Which screws do I need to unscrew to open the 3500 up?
  9. fsanfili


    Feb 5, 2004
    Los Angeles
    Actually, I just got around to troubleshooting, and the cab fails the battery test. I also tried running another head through the cab, to dead silence. So I blew something in the speaker, I believe.

    Is it worth trying to replace the speaker in this beast? If so, anyone know a good place in LA to have this done?
  10. I wouldn't pay anybody, I'd put a new speaker in it myself. We're talking a few screws, it's pretty foolproof.

    LAST thing I'd do is take it to a Hartke dealer. And I personally wouldn't replace it with a Hartke driver either...

    I'd buy an Eminence Delta 15 from Parts Express for around $100, maybe less. This is an 8 ohm speaker.

    Another option is from Carvin:
    This is a 4 ohm speaker which will let you get the full power out of your head. However, with a 4 ohm speaker note that you cannot put another cab in parallel with this, as the resulting impedance would be too low. So if you just want to carry one cab but get the full pwer from your head, go with the Carvin.

    Now I realize these drivers may not be optimum for your cabinet's dimensions...but what the heck, it'll still rock.
  11. I like Peavey Black Widows. You can get one ised for cheap. They last for ever!!