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Last minute advice: Hartke + Avatar

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by mikarre, Jul 8, 2004.

  1. mikarre

    mikarre Guest

    Thanks everyone for all the rig building advice over the last few weeks. Tommorow is "go time". I have decided on a Hartke 3500 head and 2 Avatar compact cabs...the 112 and 115.

    As for Hartke, I am wondering if it is better to buy from a dealer or from a place like American Musical Supply. I really like AMS because they deliver fast (I think I only live about 75 miles from their warehouse) and I know the gear is brand spankin new. On the other hand, buying from a dealer means the amp is a little older and more worn, so it works at least, plus the "service" you get from a dealer. Is that worth it? Is it hard to deal with Samson/Hartke without the support of a dealer? Should this be a factor in my decision?

    My plan tomorrow is to go to a couple of Hartke dealers and see what they have to say. If I am not happy with them I will go online and order the amp there. What do you think?

    Also, I will be calling Avatar tomorrow. Anything I need to know about that?
  2. Get Avatar.

    Trust me. Avatar will be the better buy.
  3. Slater

    Slater Leave that thing alone. Supporting Member

    Apr 17, 2000
    The Great Lakes State
    I think you should always give your local dealer(s) a shot first. Most will match on-line deals and give you good in-person customer service. If the local guys can't satisfy you after you've paid them a visit, then buy on-line.

    Plus, when you buy locally, you're playing your new gear the same day!
  4. kyo


    Jul 6, 2004
    well, i got a hartke 2000 head, which is lower in the same line, and i love it. i could only really imagine the 3500 being better. go for it :cool:
  5. Kelly Lee

    Kelly Lee Yeah, I'm a guy! Supporting Member

    Feb 17, 2004
    Marana, AZ, USA
    Definately give your local store a shot before going online. It helps build a relationship with them and it can help out both parties in the long run.
  6. 4Mal

    4Mal Supporting Member

    Jun 2, 2002
    Columbia River Gorge
    yep - the 3500 is a nice head. Clean, clear and punchy. It ought to make the Avatar cabs dance for you. You are getting a pair of 8 ohm cabs for a total 4 ohm load, right ?

    The older Hartke front panel design leaves the controls pretty exposed. I would recommend doing the rack mount thing. Even a cheap SKB roto type rack will protect it's face during transport and you won't have the snapped off knob / slider complaint. That is the biggest complaint I have heard about Hartke. Guys tend to fault the head as being fragile, but carry it about in a milk crate or bag ...

    I drove a couple of 1x15's with mine and it thumped hard. It doesn't have the guts for my current cab setup but few heads do so no complaint there.

    Far as where to buy, I would check the Gear For Sale, here and at The Dudepit first. Far as electronics go - if it hasn't been thrashed it's probably going to be just fine. My experiences here (and at the TDPRI and The 'Pit) have all been positive. I would much rather let someone else absorb the depreciation on buying new. YMMV

    Electronic components tend to die on the bathtub curve. Cut a bathtub in half - you get a 'peak' on one side and a peak on the other, steep sides and a flat bottom. The peaks represent the very beginning and the absolute end of the component's life span. Electronic stuff tends to fail in the first couple of days - if not it runs pretty much forever until it get's surged, spiked or dropped... you can consider that the original owner 'burned it in' for you. A used 3500 generally pulls 250 to 275 in pristine condition, rarely do they get more than $300.

    Sounds like you are putting a nice rig together, hope that it works out for you!
  7. mikarre

    mikarre Guest

    Thanks guys. Regrettably, sorta, I ended up getting the Hartke online. I did drive around and talk to some dealers but I was not too impressed. I should have it soon.

    I also ordered the Avatars and the guy there, Dave, was very friendly. I should have them in a week or so.

    I was a little depressed to have to order the amp online, but weeding out local dealers who have failed me in the past and then a few others who I visited but didn't even have the amp in stock, it seemed to me the best option. I hate to see this happening to local merchants, the way big companies seem to be out dueling them to their end, but as a consumer I need to make the best decision for me. When I bought my Ibanez bass I first went to a local dealer even though I knew I'd have to pay a bit more. They told me they wouldn't have it until September and this was a couple of months ago. I ordered it online and had it the next day. So it seems like if I decide to help local dealers I usually do so at my expense, where as if I buy online I hurt local music merchants, which I don't want to do either. Very frustrating.

    In any event, by this time next week I should have my rig together, so at least I accomplished something there.
  8. Zirc


    May 13, 2001
    Los Angeles
    I support the Harke 3500 head as my signature shows :p
  9. Kelly Lee

    Kelly Lee Yeah, I'm a guy! Supporting Member

    Feb 17, 2004
    Marana, AZ, USA
    It is a shame that unfortunately your right. Local dealers tend to take forever to get something in for you. I would have asked them how long it would take and if they would give you a better price if it was going to take a week or so. Let them know you are ready to buy now. A good shop may not be able to do anything(to fill your needs at the moment) but you will see if they will try to work with you. If they try, you just might have found yourself a keeper. I built a relationship with the dealer I buy from and it has paid off. They are a great bunch of guys. Back at X-mas time I went down to get my son a starter guitar (not a bass :crying: ) and amp. I bought the the guitar for $30 less than Musicians Friend. I also paid $10 less on the amp! I like buying local :D
  10. BillyB_from_LZ

    BillyB_from_LZ Supporting Member

    Sep 7, 2000
    I look forward to reading a review of your new amp! Congrats!!!! :hyper:
  11. mikarre

    mikarre Guest

    A little update:

    Apparently, according to the Fed Ex tracking page, my amp was delivered to my front door on Saturday night. It was, however, not. So it was evidently delivered to someone else's front door. No signature. Just dropped off. :confused: I called Fed Ex and they said they'd contact the driver and I'd get a phone call. This was last night, but still today, no phone call. So I called again tonight. Now it will take 24-48 hrs to respond to my inquiry. So, one day to lose a package, 2 days to find out where it went. :eyebrow:

    American Musical Supply, who has never let me down in the past, has assured me that things will work out okay. So I am not worried in that regard. I just don't dig Fed Ex so much. I have had countless experiences with UPS both shipping and receiving and never a problem, but Fed Ex seems to screw up left and right.

    I guess nothing is ever easy. I won't get the Avatars for a few days anyway, so I guess it doesn't hurt that my amp takes the scenic route. Then again, Fed Ex is supposed to deliver the Avatars as well. :rollno:
  12. BillyB_from_LZ

    BillyB_from_LZ Supporting Member

    Sep 7, 2000
    I've used FedEx Ground (and UPS) lots of times. FedEx Ground had never let me down until recently. Lost an amp somewhere around Hartford...a month ago.

    When it was a day late, I called FedEx Ground to have them track it down. A week later they said that the barcode "probably" fell off.

    The insurance claim went in about 10 days ago and the seller was going to bug them about it today. I feel fortunate that I'm dealing with a guy that cares and is doing his best to get the claim covered.


    mikarre...when all is said and done...you'll have a very nice rig to make music with.