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Paper or aluminum cones?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by skoti89, Mar 31, 2006.

  1. skoti89


    Feb 23, 2006
    Chico, Ca
    Im looking at harkte bass cabs, which is better, paper or aluminum cones? pros and cons. also, is harkte a good brand> for being so cheap, im skeptical.
  2. tysonlb


    Mar 9, 2006
    Long Beach, CA
    try searching "Hartke cabs" up above. This topic has been discussed ALOT over the last week.

    good luck!:bassist:
  3. Look at Avatar. Much better.
    As for aluminum vs paper, they have different sounds. Aluminum sounds like sterile **** to my ears.
  4. sparrow


    May 26, 2005
    back in belgium i saw a band named (de mens/translated: Men/mankind) and the bass player used Hartke, it sounded very well, it was very loud, and very eum.. don't know the proper term, 'bassy'. He played it with a MMstingray, and after breaking a string he used a Fender P-bass, well, you defenitly heard the difference between the 2 basses and imo the stingray sounded much louder and fuller..

    @Plain old me: do you mean by sterile sound that it doesn't colour the sound coming out of you bass?

    (i must mention that the amps ran trough a PAsystem, it was on a open air-stage)
  5. IMO the aluminum cones add a brittle & harsh quality to the sound. YMMV

  6. janek65


    Apr 7, 2005
    paper. warmer. :)

  7. +1 on both accounts, well, i wouldnt say warmer for paper, just more natural (even tho yeah it isnt natural yadda yadda yadda you get where im coming from)
  8. BassyBill

    BassyBill The smooth moderator... Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 12, 2005
    West Midlands UK
    I like the ali cone Hartke cabs myself. They sound really clear and "detailed" to me. Hi-fi, if you like, but not in the scooped mid sense. I guess what I call clear and detailed (or articulate, perhaps - another great word ;)) others would call sterile or lacking in warmth. It's all there with those cabs though, they certainly don't lack low end as some have said in the past. Nice tight punchy tone, no mud, farting or slop. Muffled, woolly and indistinct do not apply in this case. But they aren't kind on sloppy playing - I suppose even clarity can have its down side.

    Aren't adjectives wonderful? :D

    1000 posts!! Hoorah!!
  9. bagman


    Sep 28, 2005
    SE Florida
    I use to use a Harkie 810XL ($650.00) 8 10" alumuinim speakers. It was a sealed cab with no port. It sound great to me. Used at play at medium size clubs with no PA support.

    Looking for a better sound, I bought a Aguliar 412
    ($1,050.00). 4 12" paper speakers, ported cab. It took a while to get the EQ right, but what an impovement to my sound.

    My advise to you is play a many cabs at as many shops as you can. Buy the best you can afford.
  10. andruca


    Mar 31, 2004
    Madrid (Spain)
    I have first hand experience with this subject. Had Hartke XL cabs for the past 9 years. The combinations I had were:

    4.5XL + 215XL

    But I've grown a little tired of alluminium. You definitely can tame the hi-mid bump they naturally have, but you have to be a little rude with EQ. Hartke XL cabs are incredibly well constructed and solid and that's why I kept them for so long. Some months ago I decided to make some changes. I swapped the 5" on the 4.5XL for a PA compression tweeter + attenuator. Then changed all the speakers for paper coned ones. User Eminence Legend BP102 for the tens and Eminence Kappa 15LF for the fifteens. Had to retune the cabs. The 4.5XL cab size is a little small for the BP102s but as I use this box hi-passed, no problem with reducing lo-end response (and it still works ok when I need it as a stand alone cab -not hi-passed-, which I couldn't do with the original Hartke speakers without them farting). Couldn't be happier with the results! So what I'm doing is warning you: alluminium sooner or later fatigues your ears. I have friends who are also Hartke owners and they have had the same issues (can take longer or shorter). Besides this, Hartke cabs are loud, punchy, clear and reliable pieces of gear.

    Good luck!

  11. spectorbass83


    Jun 6, 2005
    I have not been a huge fan of aluminum drivers. I played through a Behringer 2x10+1x15 at my local music store, it had the aluminum cones and I hated the sound..way too shiny and had no warmth. I have not played through the Hartke stuff, but I have heard mixed reviews and could not really say good things about the brand based on research...until I watched my Joe Satriani - Live in San Francisco DVD. I noticed that Stu Hamm is playing through four Hartke 4x10's and it sounded great!
  12. +1
  13. andruca


    Mar 31, 2004
    Madrid (Spain)
    Yes, they sound like $hit. But not because of the alluminium coned speakers but because of plain $hitty speakers. Period. Can't judge alluminium (nor paper) based on an experience with B cabs. I own Behringer stuff, but their cabs are definitely something I'd never buy.

  14. ibz


    Apr 14, 2005
    Columbus, OH
    I think butyl rubber would make much better speakers than aluminum...

    I'm not sure why any manufacturers haven't gone this route, especially if they have the money to waste making aluminum speakered cabs.
  15. ibz


    Apr 14, 2005
    Columbus, OH
    But yeah, I'd definately go with paper.
  16. jive1

    jive1 Commercial User

    Jan 16, 2003
    Owner/Retailer: Jive Sound
    I have yet to hear aluminum cone speakers that I actually liked the tone of. But there's a reason why sound companies seem to like the Hartke cabs, and why they are popular rental rigs. They are cheap, loud, and durable.
  17. Kronos


    Dec 28, 2005
    Philadelphia, PA
    I guess it's really a matter of preference. I happen to like the tone that comes from aluminum cones.
  18. Chef

    Chef Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    May 23, 2004
    Columbia MO
    Staff Reviewer; Bass Gear Magazine
    I played another bass player's Hartke 410 aluminum cabs last weekend with a GK head.
    My personal opinion: didn't like it, even a little.
    Definately try before you buy. Might be heaven for you, I did not care for it.
  19. seamonkey


    Aug 6, 2004
    Try them before you buy, but some of the aluminum cones were made from recycled Miller light cans, some from Red Bull cans. Miller light are too mellow and Reb Bull out of control. I wish they'd paint the logos back on the cones so you could know.


    Really, if Harke drivers have a tone, it's more likely because Harke designed them to have a special tone. Doesn't matter much if the cones are paper, aluminum, hemp, or wood, as long as they're appropriately designed.
  20. My rig is a hartke 3000 head and vx1508. Sounds ok and for now I am happy with the rig but there are probably better used choices @TB for your money. I would look at Avatar, great cabs imho. I would stay away from the aluminum cabs, to me they sound like pinging tin.

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