New Rig Day - Hartke Content

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Fletz, Nov 20, 2015.

  1. Fletz


    Jan 16, 2009
    New Jersey
    Hartke artist
    From the guy who writes entries that are way too long for Talkbass, but hopefully entertaining enough for those that read them…

    When I started playing bass, my first amp was a little 25 watt “Stadium Bass” brand combo box. I used to carry it across the neighborhood to my best friend’s house – he was a drummer. Played it like it was stack. My very first experience playing bass was through my Dad's Ampeg B-15 - but that's a story for another day. But MY first “real” rig was a Hartke HA3500 I bought in 1990 along with a 210 Hartke Transporter cab. I had that set up until about 2008. I had stopped gigging for a number of years in between and started getting serious again around that time. And, it’s not that I didn’t like my Hartke, I was just in a different place in my life. I wanted to try and play other gear. I had a real job, no kids yet and I was gigging again so I started experimenting. The following list of heads I owned, sold and/or traded is no exaggeration (remember, since 2008!):

    Hartke 3500
    Ampeg SVT 7 Pro
    Peavey Tour 700
    Markbass Little Mark
    Ampeg PF500
    Genz Shuttle 6.0
    Genz Shuttle 12.2
    GK 1001RB

    And don’t get me started on cabs. Various 410s, 210s and 115s. Mesa, Ampeg, Genz, Fender…

    Over the last several years I have been gigging fairly regularly with a couple different bands. I also “friended” Larry Hartke on facebook (like any of us can) and ran into him at the Sam Ash Bass Lounge a couple years ago on a fairly regular visit to the store (the old and the new) in NYC. At first, I was awestruck. I mean, it’s Larry Hartke… the guy in the bass magazine ads. The guy who gave Jaco his rig. The guy who knows all the guys in the industry. And he was super nice.

    For my day job, I am in the city fairly regularly – a couple times a month sometimes. And every time, because I am a bass nerd (like you!) I would go to the Bass Lounge. And Larry was more regularly hanging out there – running the bass section. It got to a point where he started to recognize me. He’d ask me about my bands and other things I’d post on facebook. There were literally times where I’d walk into the store and not even end up playing a bass because we’d just be talking.

    And then, if I’m being honest, I started feeling a little guilty that I played Hartke stuff for 18 years and then abandoning it to become an amp drifter… a gear whore... couldn't settle down. He was cool about it. Whenever I’d mention some new piece of gear (that I would buy at a good price here on talkbass) he’d say, “yeah that’s cool,” and not make judgement at all. But, I’m just that guy. I mean, it's like telling Henry Ford you bought a Nissan. Kinda. Maybe. I dunno...

    The last time I was in the store I told him I was looking to replace my B-list 410/115 set up to go a little lighter but keep the same power (or similar) and upgrade again to pro-level gear. He set me up in the store with an LH1000 and 1 Hydrive 210 to just try out. I then tried two of them together and I loved them. And it didn’t hurt that he made me an offer I couldn’t refuse. He did the same sort of thing on the US Geddy bass I bought from him – still don't have the heart to tell him I traded that for a practically new Rick 4003s!).

    So, I called the artist relations number he gave me and ordered up my two 210s. Within days they were in my garage and I put my GK1001 up on ebay. I bought a used LH1000 here on TB for a great price and am now back in the Hartke family. He has some new stuff coming out in the Spring I believe and so I may upgrade the LH1000 directly from him then … by then my attention span will probably require something different.

    In the meantime, here is my new rig. I am so glad to be back with the Hartke stuff. It really does sound amazing. It’s got power and clarity like nothing else in the price range. Seriously, if you are going to spend $500 on a head and you don’t buy an LH1000 you’ve made a huge mistake. The cabinets aren’t light, but they aren’t heavy. At 30-something pounds, they are easy to handle and getting two 210s vs one 410 gives me a ton of flexibility as a bar band bassist. I can bring one cab if I need to or, as I expect I will one day, I can add a 410 and essentially have a 610 for venues where “size matters.” But 2x210 is great for a local gigging bass player (like most of us here). And they are tight sounding. The punch and power is hard to beat.

    And, if you get a chance, I cannot urge you enough to go see Larry at the Bass Lounge at 34th street in NYC. He’s a great guy who will gladly talk shop with you or leave you alone and let you play anything on the wall. He is The Man in our industry. The Lounge has everything from $200 Squiers to Sadowskies and Rickies. Effects for days and, of course his amps (and other brands). You’ll also see his “barbecued Fenders” and a few museum pieces from Jack Bruce, Stu Hamm and the original Jaco cabinet. When I was there last he also had one of Dave Ellefson’s Megadeth stage rigs.

    I am counting down the minutes to my next gig to get out and play this stuff … I will be posting a demo video this weekend.

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Nov 20, 2015
    kaba7a, yakmastermax, lifer_ and 2 others like this.
  2. shoot-r


    May 26, 2007

    BIG +1 on the old school, big iron, Hartke LH1000 bass head.....

    Several year back I thought I "had" to jump on the class "D" micro head band wagon.

    First micro I had, G.K. MB2-500, loved the sound, started having problems on a gig about the time it turned one year old.
    G.K. fixed it, I found it a new home when it was returned to me.

    Next up, two of Ampeg's class "D" PF-500 heads.
    First one lasted 30 seconds into it's first power-up.
    Second one lasted roughfully 5 hours.
    It also quit on a gig.

    I wanted to go back to when heads where dependable, went with a Hartke LH1000.
    That's been years and many, many jobs and rehearsals ago.
    The LH1000 has been rock solid.

    But, I've not quite learned the lesson yet.
    Recently I jumped back in the micro band wagon with a G.K. MB-800.
    So far, it's been dependable, but I'm not totally bonding with it.
    The past 4 of 5 gigs I've been back to using the LH1000!

    A suggestion.....

    Try stacking your two 210 cabinets in the vertical.
    I've been running my two 210's as a vertical 410 for 6 or so years, BIG improvement to my ears.....

    Last edited: Nov 21, 2015
    Fletz likes this.
  3. MJ_Sotti

    MJ_Sotti formerly "Mike in Chicago"

    Apr 3, 2011
    I've been seriously considering buying the HX410. used one a couple of times, really liked it.
  4. DanTheMan2112

    DanTheMan2112 Formerly known as dannnnn Supporting Member

    Nov 14, 2007
    Beaufort, SC
    I'm still annoyed that the Hydrive 210 came out after I bought two 112 cabinets. :sour:
  5. lifer_


    Oct 19, 2011
    Incredible amp, I love mine! Too bad it's for warranty service, at the moment because of a bad A channel. I brought second hand HA3500 but it roughly can exchange the tone of my fat and full sounding LH1000! It helps that I have a Bass Attack and its shape control! I am using a single HX410 and considering buying another one.:D
  6. Spent


    May 15, 2011
    Upstate NY
    Larry is an awesome guys, really cares about the musicians. I bought a HyDrive 410 a couple of years ago right after my Hartke 410XL blew a driver. Only had it about a month and a driver went out on it as well. It was just used as a stage monitor as everything goes through the board. The place I bought it from wanted me to send it out for repair which would have taken weeks. I'm in an active band and can't be without a cab for that long. So I called Larry, got his number from a TB thread, and had a great conversation with him. He not only sent me a replacement driver for the HyDrive, but a replacement for the 410XL as well (it was at my house three days after the call). I told him I bought it used and it was at least 10 years old. He couldn't care less, just wanted me to be happy with them. I use a variety of amps, but only Hartke cabs.

    When I called him I was awestruck as well, but soon realize she was a regular guy. Also friended him on FB and still get a kick out of his "arguments" with Sandi, his daughter; she's always threatening to sell his prized gear for next to nothing. Can't say enough good things about the man and his brand.
    Meaculpa, Jv-d, Artman and 2 others like this.

    MYLOWFREQ Supporting Member

    May 13, 2011
    I also had the pleasure of meeting him at the lounge and he is super helpful by any means. We talked about gear and the first aluminium cabinet he built for Jaco (which is there at the lounge btw!) Hartke is my favorite so far. Although, currently I only have the old kickback 15 combo.
    lifer_ likes this.
  8. MJ_Sotti

    MJ_Sotti formerly "Mike in Chicago"

    Apr 3, 2011
    I don't think I've ever played a 410 that was as loud as that hydrive.

    it's a little flashy looking...
    lifer_ likes this.
  9. Fletz


    Jan 16, 2009
    New Jersey
    Hartke artist
    Here's the demo:
    Meaculpa and lifer_ like this.
  10. mam1862

    mam1862 Supporting Member

    Nov 10, 2008
    Richfield, Ohio
    Good demo. That Geddy Jazz sounds great. Looks like a nice portable set up.
  11. dbase

    dbase Gold Supporting Member

    Jan 3, 2008
    South Jersey, USA..
    Back in the 60's I had one of these monsters
    Then after 45 yrs of not playing, I got back by getting a Hartke 2000 with a vx115


    Then added a 2x10

    hartke amp.jpg

    Then added another 2x10


    Then sold everything and got this... I thought I was satisfied until I saw those rigs on top of your 1000. I want them now. What are they?


    Attached Files:

    Meaculpa likes this.
  12. Fletz


    Jan 16, 2009
    New Jersey
    Hartke artist
    I have a Fender RT-1000 rack mounted tuner. Pretty cool - not made anymore. And a SansAmp RBI.
    dbase likes this.
  13. Steve23


    Mar 5, 2015
    Have a HyDrive 210 Combo - taped the "Hartke" shield & flat-blacked the grill . . .
    It's lovely . . .
  14. MJ_Sotti

    MJ_Sotti formerly "Mike in Chicago"

    Apr 3, 2011
    does the flat black stay on it?
  15. Steve23


    Mar 5, 2015
    Sprayed it around late Spring 2014 (Rustoleum flat black?), screwed the grill back on (some agro) & haven't looked back . . .
    Live in Colorado - low humidity (usually); gigged it from 15 degrees (F) a coupla' times, up to mid 80's; bangin' it in & out of a Prelude (when I'm not taking my Berg CN212 & TH500) . . .

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