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iamp 500

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by craigers2, Aug 2, 2004.

  1. craigers2


    Sep 26, 2001
    well, i've owned my harkte 3500 for 7 years now and it finally started to give me problems. on my last gig, i was playing during my second set and the amp just stopped working for about 10 seconds and then started up again like nothing happened. i managed to make it through the rest of the gig without any other problems, but i was stressing the entire time :crying:

    i took it into my repair guy on sunday, but he still hasn't gotten back to me with a quote to fix the amp.

    i'm thinking that now is the time that i should just move on from the hartke. i was never a huge fan of the sound, but it was a very reliable amp for hundreds of gigs and it got the job done.

    i'm really considering getting an EA iamp 500. i've heard great things about the sound of these amps, but was curious about their reliability. my band plays 100 + gigs a year, and i really need something dependable. my bands stage volume is not that loud, but my equipment does take a lot of abuse being loaded in and out of the band van every night.

    has anyone had a problem with thier iamp 500's or other EA amps?

    thanks for the help.

  2. vanselus


    Sep 20, 2000
    Boulder, CO
    I've had one issue with my iAMP 800 since it's been mine, just a preamp problem. EA took care of the problem so fast that I had the iAMP for my gig the next weekend, and they fixed it for free (even though i'm not the original owner) and even shipped it back on their dime.

    Contrast that with my Aguilar gear which cost me HUNDREDS to ship back, pay bench rate and parts to fix, and return shipping.

    The moral: every amp will break eventually, but a company that stands by their product and bends over backwards to amaze their customer is priceless.
  3. jokerjkny


    Jan 19, 2002
    NY / NJ / PHL
    yup, John at EA was one of the coolest cats i've ever worked with. :cool:

    EDIT: i cant spell at 2am :meh:
  4. andruca


    Mar 31, 2004
    Madrid (Spain)
    craigers2, I know what the problem is. I also have the same amp and had exactly the same problem playing live. The thing is that it has a heat protection. When it overheats, the power output to the speakers is cut for about 10 seconds, just to prevent the power stage to blow. But the balanced XLR output still works so no problem about the sound that goes into the PA. In my case, tha cause was a 1000W light that was 5 feew away from the amp and pointing directly at it, so the cooler was not able to keep it cold enough to work safely. This was the only time I had such problem but I didn't want to take any chances so I changed the fan for one the same size an voltage that moves double the air that the original did. I've been told all these by the Samson tech support (very responsive and kind). I know you're planning to change it so I'm not trying to save your amp (although I realy love Hartke stuff) but I know it's clearly what I'm telling you so you can save some bucks by telling the tech guy (a) not to touch anything (as you can sell it as it is, because nothing is broken) or (b) to change the cooler for a more powerful one. Take care...

  5. craigers2


    Sep 26, 2001
    thank you for the info! i was going to call my amp guy today to get an official quote - but i think i'm just going to have him change out the tube and get it back from him. i really can't say anything bad about hartke because it has been very reliable for hundreds of gigs.

    i'm just looking for a change right now and i think the EA is calling my name.

    thanks again
  6. tombowlus

    tombowlus If it sounds good, it is good Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 3, 2003
    Fremont, Ohio
    Editor-in-Chief, Bass Gear Magazine
    This mirrors my experience. I have had my iAMP 800 sent back to EA twice, and each time is was for something that I wanted them to do to it (first time, to update to newer circuitry and swap black for red knobs, second time to adjust the overload protection circuitry), and not because it was "broken." I was amazed each time at how quickly they got it back to me. And like Vanselus, I am not even the original owner! I have played Hartke, and IMHO, you would be making a huge upgrade if you switch to the iAMP 500.

    Good luck, Tom.
  7. Fred Labbidie

    Fred Labbidie Guest

    Apr 22, 2004
    So you're saying that you got boned by Aguilar? They didn't stand behind their product?
  8. basss

    basss Supporting Member

    Aug 27, 2001
    I agree. The iAmp 500 is a great amp. I've had one for a few months now. It's a nice balance of power, versatility and portability and I like how the price isn't too outrageous compared to other high end heads.
  9. jock


    Jun 7, 2000
    Stockholm, Sweden
    How much does the iAmp 500 go for? It looks great.
  10. vanselus


    Sep 20, 2000
    Boulder, CO
    No, i'm not saying that at all. They simply have a different warranty policy and a different outlook on post-purchase customer service.

    It's a business decision for both companies, but also a stark contrast that is important in my eyes (and my wallet!)
  11. I've had an iAmp 500 for a few months now. I originally bought it to go with my Acme as my ABG rig, but it's become my small electric rig as well, and it seem to do equally well in both applications. Somehow it manages the feat of being both warm *and* clear. It was a replacement for an Eden WT400, which, though a nice amp in its own right, doesn't suit my needs as well as the EA does.

    Although the iAmp's EQ is pretty powerful and versatile, I find that I don't need to use it that much. Mainly I just push in the Contour 2 (or sometimes Contour 1) preset, give myself a little more low end either with the Deep preset or with the low knob set to about 40-50 Hz, and leave the other knobs alone.

    One little feature I really, and somewhat unexpectedly, love is the front-panel button that switches the speakers off. This lets you tune up quickly (if you leave a tuner plugged in, as I do) *in silence*, without having to unplug any cords or mess with any of your volume settings.

    The soft case, though a tad pricy, is a must in my book--it just makes it so easy to cart this little baby around.
  12. craigers2


    Sep 26, 2001
    thanks for all of your opinions. i just got off the phone with my amp repair guy and he thinks that my hartke 3500 just needs a good cleaning. if the amp isn't getting enough ventallation, the heat sink will shut off power to protect itself from completely overheating like andruca said.

    i still think i'm going to sell the hartke and get the EA iamp 500. it seems like a lot of amp for the money.
  13. For my money, there's no comparison between the two in terms of quality, versatility, and tone. Good luck.