MOSFET or NEW...??

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Highpines, Feb 3, 2005.

  1. I'm in the market for a "Hartke" amp, 3500 or 4000. Can anyone tell me the difference in a new one or the older MOSFET (I'm seeing some around 10 years old). There's also a 215xl cab on ebay not the 215vxb newer one and wondering if there are any horror stories from ordering on "ebay" Both of these items can save a person $200-$300 buying them used it worth it?? THANX
  2. Anybody know the difference in these????
  3. Pickebass

    Pickebass Supporting Member

    Jul 12, 2004
    San Antonio, TX
    The xls have the aluminum cones and the vx have paper cones. I see these locally around 300 each. It's only a big savings if you don't have to pay for shipping. The vx have a more "traditional" sound, while the xls tend to have a brighter sound
  4. What about the "Amp" (Hartke) 3500 .... it say's "MOFET" on the front, some people say these are better than the new ones but I do not know why.
    The speakers (Hartke) on "ebay'...215xl are aluminum and thats o.k , but now they have the BXL out and I don't know the difference between the 215XL cabinates and the 215 BXL. Is the BXL just the newer model than the XL or are the newer BXL's inferior to the older 215XL's ... Hope this makes sense.......................Dale
  5. BillyB_from_LZ

    BillyB_from_LZ Supporting Member

    Sep 7, 2000
    The only thing that I've read is that the new amps (with bipolar transistors...aka NOT mosfets) have "issues" with the quality of the soldering job on the printed circuit boards.

    I don't know if there is any sonic difference. I'm very happy with my HA-5000 (no mosfets).

    With eBay I've had good luck buying gear. You have to be careful, read the sellers feedback, always ask a question to see how quickly they respond and how professional they are about it. If it looks too good to be true, steer clear. And always photos can hide a lot!!!

    Shipping charges on large, heavy items can kill you... The other side of that is you stand getting a better deal on large stuff where the seller is in your area and isn't willing to ship as there are a lot fewer potential buyers.
  6. Thanks "Billy B" just wasn't sure ......I'll probably just buy new as "Sam Ash" is 20 minutes away, and just didn't know if the older stuff was better than the new! Yes, I thhink pictures are deceiving, and thank you for that................."Hartke" is great equipment ..... Just don't hear much about "Hartke here.
    Opinions are what we are all made of but sometimes it seems the products we use leave us blind to other options which in my opinion can minimize the outcome of the sound we are trying to achieve....
    I love this forum.....thanx for the info ....
  7. BillyB_from_LZ

    BillyB_from_LZ Supporting Member

    Sep 7, 2000
    Before you go to Sam Ash, print out the prices of the 3500 and 4000 from Bananas at Large I don't know how they compare but it's good to be armed with some potentially lower prices to get them to match...($449 and $499 respectively) Prices at are the (the online site) has the 3500 at $449.00 and the 4000 at $519.99.

    If your printout is better than Sam Ash's store price, you might just ask the sales person if they can do better before you ask for a price match...I have the feeling that the big stores didn't do too well this past holiday season and might be hungry to sell an amp.

    If you want to read other user's reviews, you can search here or look at in the user reviews section and at

    Have fun!!!!
  8. I did nor mean for this post to be another $$ war .....just another thread about "MOSFET" and the new "3500" and the older 215"XL'S" compared to the newer VXB215's made by "Hartke" ... :(
  9. BillyB_from_LZ

    BillyB_from_LZ Supporting Member

    Sep 7, 2000
  10. Kael

    Kael Supporting Member

    Dec 26, 2004
    Oklahoma City
    I started a thread on this subject a while back. Think it was called "What Happened to Hartke?" or somehing comparable. I have an old MOSFET head. Started having problems with it (it is about 12 years old or so). Though I'd pick up a new HA3500 as the prices seemed to be cheaper than the 3500 heads used to go for (and by that I mean quite a bit cheaper). Picked up the new head and bought it home. Sat there and A/B'd the HA3500 and the MOSFET version. They don't even sound like the same amp anymore. I'm not trying to irk any owners of HA series heads, but they seriously don't sound the same as the MOSFET's. I returned the HA3500 within an hour of it's purchase.

    If you try out the HA series and like it, great. If you can find a MOSFET version, I'd suggest at least going out of your way to hear it before buying the HA. I personally don't care for the new Hartke heads, but think that because of their low quality many people under value the older heads. I saw a Mosfet 3500 in GC here in OKC (used) about a month ago for like $300. That head should've been priced at least equal to the new HA3500.
  11. BillyB_from_LZ

    BillyB_from_LZ Supporting Member

    Sep 7, 2000
    Interesting... (and I'm not irked).

    Do you favor one preamp over the other? If you favor the tube side, could it be that you just had a more pleasant sounding tube in the MOSFET amp?

    I'm really curious about this because it seems if a lot of people felt that the MOSFET amps were superior, why on earth would Hartke change them???

    Any way, do you know if the only difference between the MOSFET amps and the biploar amps is the output transistors or did something happen in the preamp too?
  12. Kael

    Kael Supporting Member

    Dec 26, 2004
    Oklahoma City
    I thought that perhaps I just had a more pleasant tube when A/Bing the two heads also. So I turned that tube knob off and checked them using SS pre. Same result. I don't know what changed in the design/components but I did personally notice a difference. Too bad, I actually truly like my 3500 MOSFET.

    It has been a long time since I purchased that head, and I seem to remember the prices being slightly over double what I was able to pick up a new HA for. Perhaps it is more a matter of differing less expensive components. Less expensive components + cheaper price = more volume in sales. I am thinking that perhaps that equation came into play with the revamping of the 3500.

    PS: has the cheapest price I could find on a HA3500. They are selling them for $399.
  13. Years ago, before I bought my Eden WT-500, I purchased and returned two Hartke 3500s. If I recall correctly, the first one was mosfet, and the second bipolar (like my girlfriend at the time). ;)

    As it was around 1993, I don't remember the details too well, but I recall that they certainly did sound different. One of them had a much better sounding tube channel, and one of them had a better compressor, but I don't recall which was which.

    The first one I bought went back because it was cutting out due to cold solder joints, and the replacement I'm not sure about. I didn't keep either of them. Early Hartke amps had a lot of problems with poor soldering.

    I ended up saving some more money and buying the WT-500, which in my opinion is a far superior amplifier.