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how can i make my Hartke sound better?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by mitchbass777, Mar 6, 2008.


  1. mitchbass777

    mitchbass777

    Mar 6, 2008
    fresno ca
    ok im new to talkbass so i hope noone has dealt with this yet.
    i did a search and nothing came up.

    I bought a Hartke kickback 15 its a 120 watt combo amp.
    At low to mid volume it sounds great. but when i got to crank it up past halfway on the volume it loses it tone and just farts at you so bad it unreal.

    I have the eq set as follows shape 75% bass 65% mid 57% and high 45% i gave these figures based on the knob all the way off is 0% 12noon is 50% and cranked is 100% just so there is no confusion.

    I thought the speaker might be in the process of blowing out but when i pulled it out and checked it it was fine.

    THe amp does not have and ext. speaker jack so i could not see if it was the head. but it runs just fine so i dont think its that.

    I have never used a aluminum cone driver so i though that was a possiblity.

    what do you guys think?
     
  2. BurningSkies

    BurningSkies CRAZY BALDHEAD Supporting Member

    Feb 20, 2005
    Syracuse NY
    Endorsing artist: Dingwall Guitars
    The shape feature is scooping out your mids, so without them, but with the amount of bass boost you're using, you're losing your speaker's 'headroom' and also the clean headroom of the relatively small power amp you have.

    Get rid of the mid-scoop, you'll hear yourself better and won't need to turn up as much. That should cure half the problem. Bring your bass boost down and that should help the other half.
     
  3. mitchbass777

    mitchbass777

    Mar 6, 2008
    fresno ca
    i have tried turning the bass down and playing with the eq and it still seen to fart at me just when i turn it up a little more on the volume. but ill try again in the morn its too ltae to crank it, maybe it will work.

    do these amps have a problem with low end in general because i thought i was taking a step up when i sold my crate bt100 witch is a 100 watt 15" speaker combo and i could crank that thing and it would get dirty but not fart like this.

    and by fart i mean the speaker just breaks the sound up over and over and it loses all of its tone and rumble.

    Thanks
     
  4. BurningSkies

    BurningSkies CRAZY BALDHEAD Supporting Member

    Feb 20, 2005
    Syracuse NY
    Endorsing artist: Dingwall Guitars
    going from a 100w amp to a 120w amp is less of a move up, and more of a lateral move. 20w is virtually un-hearable in the bass world. :(

    I still think you should be able to get a decent sound out of it with some EQ work, but you may also be asking the amp to do something it can't. The fact is that a 100w amp has limitations in both volume and tone. All 100w amps.
     
  5. mitchbass777

    mitchbass777

    Mar 6, 2008
    fresno ca
    im talking about sound quality. but yes 20 watts is just a side step.

    I was preaty sure harte was a better brand than crate and that the kickback 15 would be a whole lot better than the bt100.

    but do you know if the hartke has a low end problem or is just mine?
     
  6. BurningSkies

    BurningSkies CRAZY BALDHEAD Supporting Member

    Feb 20, 2005
    Syracuse NY
    Endorsing artist: Dingwall Guitars
    I played a 3500 for many years and never found it to lack lows. I have a feeling that its a combination of low wattage, over all setup and small cabinet discplacement.
     
  7. BassyBill

    BassyBill The smooth moderator... Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 12, 2005
    West Midlands UK
    You won't get huge volume out of a combo like that, I'm afraid. I'm not surprised it's farting with the settings you list. Try setting the EQ flat and then even rolling off the bass just a tad as you turn up. You may be able to get a little more out of it this way, but don't expect too much.

    It's also worth mentioning that the louder you get, the cleaner you need to play as the extra volume shows up every little fluffed note, mis-fret or clanky right hand technique. That's fine if you're doing it for effect, but it's true that higher volume is much less forgiving of untidy playing. Apologies for pointing this out if you're an experienced bassist - I was thinking you may be new to bass if you're new to TB. You're welcome here anyway! :)
     
  8. mitchbass777

    mitchbass777

    Mar 6, 2008
    fresno ca
    well ive been playing a solid 3 years plus 2 years before that where i was an on/off player/learner. So compared to alot i am a newbie but id say im good at what id do.

    But no offense taken. but for this case its not me being sloppy im sure of that. yea so what you guys are saying im just pushing this little amp too hard.

    But why is it i used to crank my crate bt100 up way louder and it held up and its just a crappy 169 dollar crate.

    When this hartke has more power a better speaker and is 350 more dollars.

    but thank you guys and i will try everything you have told me in the morn because i cant crank my amp this late in my apartment.
     
  9. Psychicpet

    Psychicpet Guest

    Mar 13, 2004
    Friend and Endorsee of Larry
    the Crate's paper cone will get "dirty" where as the Hartke's aluminum cone definitely 'breaks up' in a different manner.

    the Crate is a good amp for the dollar no doubt there but overall tone, I do prefer what the Hartke serves up...and yes, I am biased in regards to that :smug:
     
  10. Lia_G

    Lia_G

    Oct 27, 2005
    imho, Crate is underrated gear. I gigged all over Seattle in the Nirvana years with a Crate B160xl-EV combo and a Randall 210 extension cab. So I'm personally not surprised that the Crate seems to be outperforming the Hartke. But ... have you tried the Hartke with the eq completely flat? And after that, have you tried it with the mids emphasized slightly, rather than cut?

    Just some brainstorming ...

    Good luck getting everything sorted out!

    Cheers
     
  11. mitchbass777

    mitchbass777

    Mar 6, 2008
    fresno ca
    yea thanx for the ideas i will try those out for sure. when its not 12:20 in the morn. the niebors would kill me. haha.

    And by all means crates are a great bang for the buck but i pesonally thought the kickback 15 would be better than the bt100.

    I think i just dont like aluminum cones also:meh:
     

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