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Old Amps VS new D amps power ?s Hartke TX600 vs HA3500C

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Eddie M, Jan 8, 2018.

  1. Eddie M

    Eddie M

    Jan 5, 2018
    Gulf Shores AL
    Looking at Amps i want to learn how the new D amps work. Do the D amps put out the same power for loudness VS the older amps,

    Like the Hartke HA3500C 350-Watt VS the Hartke TX600 600 Watt

    Will the new TX600 be as loud and clean as the lower watt HA3500C.

    It seems that the TX600 with 600 watts should be louder.

    But i keep reading a few reviews saying the TX600 is not that loud and that D amps do not match the same watts and loudness as older amps,

    Anyone using the TX600 is it loud a real 600 watts? Looking at amps this seems like a great deal for 600 watts at $399. I like the built-in handle to carry it. Can also run a bike lock and wire to it locking it to a cab so it can not be walked off with easy..

    TX600 has compressor, mute, aux and phones, Tube preamp and shape. It seems to have everything I would need and at 7 pounds that would be great. But does it kick out some real sounds - power VS the HA3500C

  2. What cab(s) are you going to use with the amp?
  3. blubass


    Aug 3, 2007
    Modesto Ca
    Current: Blackstar, DR strings, Nady. Previous endorsements with: GK, Rotosound, Ernie Ball, Cleartone, EMG, Dean, Dava Picks, Rebel Straps, Dickies
    Class D vs others is pretty simple. Nobody here has compared two IDENTICAL amps, 1 having a class D topology, and the other having any other topology. Most class D amps have modified preamp sections, different voicings, and different features. Others will swear they know there's differences because they used 2 DIFFERENT power amps that have different topologies, and that's still not a fair comparison.

    Why are you isolating only Hartke in your question? Neither amp sounds alike, nor does the LH500/1000 sound like either the HA series or TX. I would say you're on the right track looking for an amp with features you want, but more importantly you should be concerned with what it sounds like. Also, watts aren't directly related to volume, though it's an important consideration. I've heard quiet amps with high watts, and loud amps with low watts. The entire design of the amp should be considered in that determination and it's not really something that the typical user can measure or compare other than simply plugging them in and using your ears.

    The TX600 uses a Fender style passive tone stack that doesn't have a center frequency, and doesn't necessarily introduce gain with each knob turned up. As such, many people don't understand how it works, and I think that preamp design can't be fairly compared to other 600 watt amps, especially if watts is only being considered as some sort of volume gauge, which also isn't fair or accurate. I won't assume Hartke is purposely trying to deceive people with the power claim. IMHO it was a poor choice of preamp styles for a modern bass market where most are familiar with the more common cut/boost preamps.
  4. dbase

    dbase Gold Supporting Member

    Jan 3, 2008
    South Jersey, USA..
    I've had two TX600's... The 1st one was DOA out of the box. The 2nd would power on intermittently sometimes... All you can do is send it back and they send you another one. It's hard to find a good amp tech anymore to inspect it and give you proper instructions on its use. I lost all trust in it for gigging. So I held on to my trusty workhorse LH500 as backup. I wasn't happy with the TX600 tone either., sounded flat to me. I had to turn the volume almost complexly at max to be heard. I got tired of fiddling around with the controls to get a decent sound out of it. If you do a search, I read some threads that explain very well the workings of that amp and how to set the controls. I just want Volume,Treble, and Bass.. nothing more, nothing less. Except of course and On/Off switch. The LH500 had a beefier tone and volume coupled to my twin Hydrive 112's. I only purchased it because at my age I don't like lugging around a 42 lbs bass amp head. I traded the TX600 in at a Sam Ash store for pennies on the dollar and noticed about a half dozen other 600's in the used equip dept also for sale.. I guess I wasn't alone. I like Hartke gear and I've had all their cabs plus the HA, LH, and TX series amps. For the money Hartke has been the best deal.
    brettjames likes this.
  5. Eddie M

    Eddie M

    Jan 5, 2018
    Gulf Shores AL
    I am looking at maybe running one TC K-2-12 cab and then adding a second cab a k 2-10 stacked tall with the 2-10 up top

    I am now also looking at the Fender Rumble 500 head as I keep reading great reviews on it and I like the warranty on it.

    Also looking at maybe the rumble 500 combo and then a 15 cab added to the bottom but that will not be as tall as the two TC K cabs to get sound up to my ears more. I guess I could make something to add in between the two cabs to make the top one higher up. But then I might not be able to see the Rumble controls that high in the back

    Or maybe the Rumble 500 combo and some 2-10 cab that slants like a floor monitor to put on top so the tens are pointed up at me but then I would not be able to get to the rumble controls.

    I am looking for lighter as well. My last system was a rack mount and very heavy cabs I put EVs in.
    dbase likes this.
  6. My experience with traditional (for want of a better name) heavyweight class AB bass amps is that they seem better at handling transient peaks in output when close to maximum volume better than class D amps. My Hartke AH3500 was more capable than my Markbass F500 in this regard. Although rated at 500/600 watts RMS, Ashdown ABM heads state on the rear that they can deliver twice that as a peak. My F500 simply shut itself down which may be the safer response but is a real bummer on a gig.
    If I was running multiple cabinets at highish volumes I would trust my 600 watt ABM600 evo iv much more than a 600 watt class D to keep going. Alternatively you can do what a lot of players are doing now and go for an 800 to 1000 watt class D head which appears to be the new equivalent to the old 350/400 watt heads.
    Eddie M likes this.
  7. agedhorse

    agedhorse Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 12, 2006
    Davis, CA (USA)
    Development Engineer-Mesa, Product Support-Genz Benz
    To dispel a common myth, EVERY amp, no matter what class, will deliver double the peak power compared with it's "RMS" power rating. The difference between the two ratings and their associated numbers is purely a math excercise as the signals are identical.
    BassmanPaul, blubass and honeyiscool like this.
  8. BadExample


    Jan 21, 2016
    For Sale - Mesa D800

    If the seller has proof of purchase date, there might be a lot of warranty on this one. If not you can call in the serial number to find out.
  9. I'm sure you are correct, but it's some of the newer class D offerings that have been shown to have exaggerated outputs specs and crap out when pushed. I'm also sure that those class D designs that you have been involved with are excellent but many others are proving mediocre.
  10. agedhorse

    agedhorse Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 12, 2006
    Davis, CA (USA)
    Development Engineer-Mesa, Product Support-Genz Benz
    There are plenty of lead sled amps that have quoted peak power without stating units, implying otherwise. This is not a class D thing at all.
    BadExample likes this.
  11. wizard65


    Sep 1, 2014
    That’s not a class D thing, some amps are better than others regardless of which class.
    BadExample and agedhorse like this.
  12. I agree again. During the past 40 years I have owned dozens of bass heads and used many many more of all types. Some sounded better than others, some were louder than others although rated similarly but never did the shutting down routine as I am always very careful with my gear. I'm sure advances in amplifier self and speaker protection designs are a great thing technically (and financially), although I can hear when my speakers are near their limit my F500 sounded fine up to the point of shutdown. My mistake was to assume this head could drive my cabs as well as my Markbass class AB 500 watt heads. It couldn't. Nothing to do with being class D probably, but if I ever get another class D it will be 800 watts min at 4 ohms capable.
    I guess my experience has colored my view and each time someone else relates a similar experience with these micro heads the prejudice is reinforced.
    wizard65 likes this.
  13. Modler


    Jan 16, 2017
    Excuse me if I am ranting a bit here, but...

    It doesn't matter much whether the rating is given in rms, peak or some home invented term (like EBS's "dynamic output power"). Nor does it matter whether the amp is class A/B or D.
    As long as we don't know by which standard the manufacturer has measured the output of a given amp, the power rating will be more or less arbitrary.

    Ask yourselves this: if the power ratings were exact and measured by the same standard, how likely then would it be that, for example, the Orange 4-stroke 500, the Eich T500 and the Tech 21 VT Bass 500 all happened to have the exact same output power rating at 500 watts rms, despite them being three differently designed (and differently priced) amps?

    I think it mostly comes down to what the company wants you to think (or believe) about their amps, and given that it takes as much as a 10 times increase/decrease of output power to double or halfen the percieved loudness from the speaker(s), and that several other factors (especially the speakers) impacts on the loudness, the companies have a pretty wide margin to put their power ratings within.

    I have seen Ashdown rating some of their amps in more "uneven" values, like 330 and 570 watts rms (I think that was for the Tonemann 300 and 600 respectively). Now, that sounds more like values that they have actually measured, but then again: by which standard? We don't know.

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