Knock on Hartke

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by woody357, Jul 10, 2019.

  1. woody357

    woody357 Supporting Member

    Jun 17, 2005
    Ok I have a question. Why don’t more R&B players use Hartke? I use Hartke Hx cabs with Genz Benz heads shuttles 6.2 or shuttle max12.0 and cats are like I love you sound, but then at different times say I don’t like Hartke. What gives?
  2. joel406


    Dec 27, 2013
    I don’t like knocking stuff other people swear by.

    Having said that...

    I’ve had three “large” Hartke rigs.

    Premium heads and cabs.

    They didn’t deliver. Tried them in a country situation and a rock situation.

    I get more out of a GK 410 cab than I ever got out of a Hartke.

  3. jnewmark

    jnewmark Just wanna play the groove. Supporting Member

    Aug 31, 2006
    Stax 1966
    Third St. Cigar Records staff musician.
    I had a Hartke 3500 head with a 410 Transporter cab as backline on Blues gig and it sounded very good. Those old Transporter cabs get terrible reviews, but it sounded fine to me.
    Artman and bucephylus like this.
  4. primusfan1989


    Jan 17, 2005
    new jersey
    Hartke makes great gear IMO (especially at that price point). Ive had 2500 and 3500 heads for year (after 10+ yrs they finally have quit on me) and an XL series 4x10, They always delivered what I need from a bass rig. Ive only changed it up because I was looking for more old school tones (not the biggest fan of 10" speakers either).

    Like I bought my first hartke rig for $450 (250 for head and 200 for the cab) and it doesn't owe me a dime, Ill always suggest their stuff for someone who needs a budget professional rig
    MrNylon, Dilver and Artman like this.
  5. bucephylus

    bucephylus Supporting Member

    Aug 18, 2002
    Central Ohio
    +1 Exactly my experience as well.
    Dilver and Jim Carr like this.
  6. Al Kraft

    Al Kraft Supporting Member

    May 2, 2016
    Northern Virginia
    I haven't owned Hartke gear in years, but did have the 3500 ad 1400 heads and 2.5XL and 4.5XL cabs back in the 90's and early 2000 mainframe. I was doing a lot of rock and modern country and felt the gear sounded great. It held up well for me and I was playing a lot!

    What I would say is that it never struck me as optimal for R&B. It seemed to have more an edge that works well when you want a cutting, more aggressive kind of tone. That's not to say it wouldn't work for R&B, just that I'm not sure Hartke rigs of that time were designed as much for the R&B crowd as they were for sitting well in a rock mix. YMMV!
  7. JRA

    JRA my words = opinion Supporting Member

    i'd guess it's the fickleness of personal preferences + lustful jealousy + common ignorance. if you like it = it's got to be good! :thumbsup:

    i never cared much for 'em. :laugh:
    woody357 likes this.
  8. Warpeg


    Jun 20, 2005
    I worked in a music store from 2001 to 2006. The store carried Hartke, as well as Fender, Eden, Peavey, and Ampeg. One day it occurred to me that I had been seeing a ton of Hartke stuff come in for repair, compared to other bass amplification companies we were selling. Sure enough, the service log didn't lie. Over the 5-1/2 year I was at that store, there were 72 Hartke items that came to us for service. I remember that if you added up ALL other bass amps that came in for service, it was less than 10 in that time. For more perspective, Hartke was only the third best seller for the store, in terms of number of sales transactions. Fender was #1 and Ampeg was it wasn't just a matter of sales volume driving a higher field of possible repairs.

    Bottom line: Statistically speaking, you couldn't pay me to use Hartke in a situation where reliability matters.
  9. Thorny1


    Jun 16, 2019
    I've played Hartke heads back to back with Aguilar and GK gear, through the same cabinet. Hartke stuff may sound "fine", on it's own, but they just dont compare in terms of quality to other amps when compared directly. I cant speak for their cab's, but I dont see anything compelling enough about them to get me to risk my money on them. I can get Peavey amps and cabs for around the same money, and they're notoriously bulletproof.
  10. DWBass

    DWBass The Funkfather

    Had a Hartke HA3000 and a HA5500. Worked fine for several years and then they crapped out on me. The 3000 was my first amp head as I always used combo amps previously.
  11. Wicked G

    Wicked G

    Jan 19, 2017
    Hell Paso Texas
    I use to have 2 210XL cabs that I didn't like and 1 115XL that I did like. Neither of them could handle power though and when compared to other cabs, they could not keep up volume wise so they are gone.

    I still wouldn't mind 2 115XL cabs. Nice tone from what I remember, but in the long run I would probably get rid of them again.
  12. DWBass

    DWBass The Funkfather

    Curious why the Transporter and XL cabs had such low power handling compared to other brands.
  13. dbase

    dbase Gold Supporting Member

    Jan 3, 2008
    South Jersey, USA..
    I've had the Hatrke 210XL's , the transporter 1x15, and now two Hydrive 1x12's. I had a Hartke HA2000 and a TX600 which I sold. I now have an LH500 as a backup amp, and currently use a Mesa WD800 head with the two 1x12's and these cabs can put out. Eventually I plan to get a Mesa 2x15 Subway cab as my main gigging rig. The Hartke LH500 has never given me a problem.
  14. Artman

    Artman a.k.a. Eddy Garcia Supporting Member

    Dec 28, 2017
    Georgetown, TX
    I had an early 3500 Mosfet head that was crystal clear and insanely loud. It never let me down. I’ve also since then owned two different ha3500 heads. Both were much the same. No issues. The model 3500 mosfet was noticeably punchier than the later ha3500 heads. I found that pairing them with the right speakers/cabs for the venue allowed me to get any sound I wanted. I always used them with cabs from Carvin, Fender, and a now defunct small company that was called Sonic. Great amps those 3500s.
    I have no opinion about the newer class d stuff from them, and I’ve never owned a Hartke cab.
  15. Hounddog409


    Oct 27, 2015
    I usually use my Mesa D800. But last gig, used my Hartke HD75. Smaller venue. No issues what so ever.
  16. Clark W

    Clark W Just Say No To Tort! Supporting Member

    Aug 26, 2018
    Sweetwater is the devil...

    Hartke LH1000 & HyDrive HD410 Bundle - $1139.99
    or pay it out at 379.99 a month for 3 months / $48 a month for 24 months

    Hartke LH1000 / HyDrive HD410 / HyDrive HD115 Bundle - $1709.99
    or pay it out at 569.99 a month for 3 months / $72 a month for 24 months

    Have never used Hartke, use GK, but want a new rig. Happy with GK gear but... been gassing over Ashdown and their blue line speakers. Someone always has to throw a wrench in to my gas and this is it.
    Wonder how well this gear will hold up? Only one way to find out. Oh well, not today, I got recording gear I need to be buying anyway.
  17. Bboopbennie


    Jun 16, 2019
    I use a Hartke a100 with a 15 inch speaker at rehearsal. Hear nothing but good things about Hartke, but this amp sucks big. Not played every amp on the planet, but my rumble 410 blow it away. Don't know if its the aluminum
    cone speaker in the cab? The onboard EQ only helps a little. I know a 410 will be louder, but I am saying the sound quality down low or loud! Maybe this amp was a thorn for Hartke?
  18. TinIndian

    TinIndian Supporting Member

    Jan 25, 2011
    Micco Florida
    I used to own a HyDrive 410. I used it for about 3 years. I liked the way it sounded with my GK 700RBII and I never had a single problem with it. I ended up selling it when I went to a different head and it didn't give me what I wanted out of it. I actually just bought a HyDrive 112 but haven't even had the opportunity to plug it in yet. I was looking for a cab to use for small rooms and it should fit the bill nicely.

    I have no experience with their heads.
    Helix likes this.
  19. Ampslut


    May 15, 2017
    Barrackville WV
    I had a 4.5 XL that I drove with a Alembic F1-X -> QSC-Plx1202. It did just fine for me. I replaced it with a SWR Triad. (big mistake). I still have a 115XL that I will probably never sell.
  20. FronTowardEnemy

    FronTowardEnemy It is better to go unnoticed, than to suck Supporting Member

    Sep 19, 2006
    Chicago Illinois
    I used Hartke in the 90s. I loved the sound of my old transporter cab. Crisp, tight and punchy. Not for everyone, but I liked it.

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