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Larry Hartke is the man!

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Spent, Mar 1, 2014.

  1. Spent

    Spent Supporting Member

    May 15, 2011
    Upstate NY
    I know this has come up before, but I gotta say it again. There's nothing like a guy who stands behind his product. I had two speakers, in two different Hartke cabinets go on me. One was a brand new HyDrive and the the other a used 410XL.

    Keeping it short, but in a nutshell I don't play loud or in a loud band, the amps were rated at or below cabs ratings and I did not poke the speakers with carrots or any other produce item. In 25+ years I've only blown one other speaker and that was many years ago when I did play in a ridiculously loud band.

    OK, now on with the story. I got the HyDrive from MF and they threw in gold coverage. When I called them, no problem, they set me up for a pickup and repair. It'll be done in a few weeks, Weeks!! I gig every other weekend and have four gigs this month alone. So I call Samson. Same thing, no problem, just send the speaker back and I'll have a new one in a few weeks. Again, I don't want to be without a cab for several weeks. Nobody's fault, I get it, I'm not their only customer. Now, before someone chimes in with the "why don't you have a back up" thing, I do, but it's my 410XL and it has a blown speaker. When I called Samson to buy another they were out of stock. They suggested gunk and it's actually held so far (I don't play loud, so I'm not over extruding the cone), but I don't feel confident using it at a gig in that condition. So, per someone's suggestion I called Larry directly to see if he might be able to help. I told him the story of both cabs, and he was genuinely concerned. A couple of days later I get an email from him, expect a package shortly. Today a box arrived with replacement speakers for both cabs, just in time for my gig. Larry is the man!
  2. Flatbass


    Mar 13, 2004
    Awesome story!

    Dealing with big companies after a purchase is usually a pain, but Hartke seems to be a huge breath of fresh air.

    Can anyone tell if Hartke's customer service is the same outside of the US?
  3. Lo-E


    Dec 19, 2009
    Brooklyn, NY
    Larry is a really nice guy. Very down to Earth and very accessible. While I've never been the biggest fan of his product lines, I respect him and, therfore, his company a great deal. He is 100% for real.
  4. Cirk


    Jan 16, 2011
    Pittsburgh, PA
    Precisely why I recommended his amps last night to a guy who wants to learn how to play.
  5. musicman666


    Sep 11, 2011
    Unacceptable! These cut-out problems have to be..........Oh sorry wrong thread!
  6. Flatbass


    Mar 13, 2004
    Same here. Never been a fan of the ubiquitous HA3500 and VX410 I encounter in rehearsal studios everywhere, but the LH1000 and Hydrive series have made me turn my head.

    Also, Hartke deserves some credit for getting some basic engineering things right with the LH-series:

    1. The air flow goes from front to back. This is how all rack-mountable amps should be. Not sideways (SWR, Glock, ...), as hot air tends to stay inside the rack and get sucked back in. Or having a fan that sucks in air through the top (GK), keeping you from mounting anything deep right above the amp.

    2. Handles on the front of the amp. Again, something all rack-mountable amps should have. I really helps when putting the amp in a rack, and it protects the knobs when attaching the rack's front cover.

    3. It has a limiter. Is there any reason not to have one? A lot of amps are going to be cranked. A lot of bass players need all the power they can get. I often find that I have to run amps without a limiter far below their maximum volume, because once in a long while I might play an accent that'll clip the power amp and send a harmful signal to the speakers.

    All PA power amps have these features, so why can't bass amp manufacturers take note? Oh well, kudos to Hartke for getting it right.

    Oh, and... 4. It's not bright yellow, orange, red, green or whatever. It looks classy and solid. This might be personal taste, though :)
  7. tgriley62


    Jan 25, 2011
    S.E. Mo
    I agree. Just got this setup last week:p

  8. ctufankjian


    Sep 28, 2007
    Endorsing Artist: Unicornbass.se
    I met him at sam ash one time. He's a character for sure...and he's definitely the man.
  9. tjh

    tjh Supporting Member

    Mar 22, 2006
    Was the 410XL under warranty? if not, what did the replacement driver cost?
  10. beans-on-toast

    beans-on-toast Supporting Member

    Aug 7, 2008
    I told you that he'd be interested in hearing what you had to say.

    Good to hear that he was able to help expedite the repair.
  11. pica


    Nov 26, 2009
    I've never had any contact with him but I love a company who's owner really seems to care about his customers. So hard to find these days. Kinda makes me want to buy a Hartke rig now.
  12. jjk2007


    Apr 16, 2008
    Austin, TX
    Endorsing Artist: DNA Bass Systems
    Sounds like classic Larry Hartke to me!
  13. scowboy

    scowboy Supporting Member

    Jun 9, 2006
    Sacramento area
    I love to hear about this stuff!
  14. tbirdsp

    tbirdsp Supporting Member

    Sep 18, 2012
    Omaha, NE
    Similar story - I have an 1155 combo (3500 head with a 115+ a 5" midrange, both aluminum cone). I bought the amp used in like '92. Some years after that I noticed the 5" wasn't working. I called Hartke looking to buy one (not sure who I talked to) and they sent me one for free. This was on an amp that was long out of warranty that I bought used.
  15. steveinohio


    May 27, 2007
    Great story! Good guy. Great company owner.
  16. bobalu


    Oct 1, 2004
    above the 49th
    I have also had excellent customer service from Hartke for my LH500. The only other company that I've experienced such great service with is Mesa Boogie. These companies (and Larry of course) deserve kudos for standing behind their products after the sale. Certainly not a common thing to do in this day and age...........:scowl:

    Aside from great tone, this is why I continue to buy their gear.
  17. Cirk


    Jan 16, 2011
    Pittsburgh, PA
    I bet Larry likes to read threads like this when he's having a rough day.
  18. Since I bought my Fender Bassman 100t, I have considered buying Fender cabinet to match. No plans to do so as my Hydrive 410 is most awesome. Hey Larry, can I buy a black grill for the Hydrive? ;) Either way, kudos to Larry for the care and attention shown.

  19. Flatbass


    Mar 13, 2004
    Maybe you can order a complete AK410 front and replace it with that?
    For cabinets, I (also?) prefer the 'black box'-look instead of the bright chrome shiny-ness.
  20. Spent

    Spent Supporting Member

    May 15, 2011
    Upstate NY
    The 410XL was not under warranty, I bought it used. In never would have even mentioned it to him except that it was the same speaker positions, bottom left, as the Hydrive. I told him that I tried to get a replacement for it, but they were out of stock, so I just went ahead and bought the Hydrive. I figured that is eventually get a replaciememt speaker and use the 410XL as a backup. He said he'd send me a replacement, at no charge, along with the HyDrive speaker. I reminded him that it was an old cab and he said he didn't care, he just wanted me to be happy with it.