New Hartke Kickback Amp - 12 vs 15

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Flatwoundround, Mar 4, 2017.

  1. Flatwoundround


    May 18, 2014
    I wanted to get a 12 since they weigh about 7 pounds less than the 15 and they are less bulkier. I bought a 15 last night since they did not have a 12 in stock. The 15 sounded really good but I kind of would love to have the lighter smaller 12.

    What am I giving up if I go to the 12? Loss of some low end maybe? They are both 500 watt amps but since that is the max they are probably more like 250 watts. I would think the 12 could hold up against an average volume drummer?
  2. NoiseNinja

    NoiseNinja Experimental-psychedelic-ambient-noise-drone Inactive

    Feb 23, 2011
    Well a 12" will move less air at similar voltage, meaning it will be slightly less loud as the same amp with a 15", other than that I don't think you'd loose anything, maybe gaining a bit more bite and loosing some sub harmonics, but not sure.

    Anyway 250W ought to be able to hold up with your average drummer and guitar rig easily, even for gigs in small venues.

    If you eventually need more power you can always mike the cab up or run a DI.

    I play on a 130W old Trace Elliot SM combo with a 15", and I am more than capable of keeping up with the band I am in even if we play fairly loud.

    Actually I don't get any where near the 12 o'clok position on the level knob.

    I do however also have an active PA 12" 345W with horn running on the tuner output from my amp, but it's not like I even really would need that extra power, I just use it for mixing in a different tone to add to the one I got from my amp and the 15".

    I also owned an Ampeg B-15S at some point, which put out about 60W, and even if I am aware tube amps acts differently and I did push it extremely hard, I keeped up fine with another bass player in the band, a loud guitarist and a really hard hitting drummer, just utilizing a 15" cabinet, even at gigs in small venues without any mic or DI backup.

    Honestly I don't know what people need 800W amps and 8 10"'s for, must be really weak overrated amps and anemic playing.

    When that is said I owned one of the old 120W 15" Hartke Kickback models and I absolutely hated the tone I got out of it, sounded lifeless and bland to me.

    Whatever floats your boat though, I guess, and the new ones might be capable of producing better tones.
    Last edited: Mar 4, 2017
  3. akflyer


    Feb 27, 2008
    I just played a gig in a bar type venue Saturday with my KB12. Five piece variety band and it had no problem keeping up. Sound great with all settings on 12 o'clock. I've been very impressed!
  4. tfer


    Jan 1, 2014
    A couple weeks ago, I had a chance to play both these combos.

    The 12" was plenty loud! Had a pleasant bite to the tone as well. But, it didn't have the 'richness' to the bottom end that the 15" had.

    It's personal taste, but I always prefer 15" drivers.
    boco likes this.
  5. jlepre


    Nov 12, 2007
    Cedar Knolls, NJ
    You played with more than one bassist at the same time?
  6. NoiseNinja

    NoiseNinja Experimental-psychedelic-ambient-noise-drone Inactive

    Feb 23, 2011

    We did...

    This was more like it though:

  7. Callused Finger

    Callused Finger

    Feb 22, 2007
    New York
    If the drummer is at all loud you'll be glad you went with the 15.

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