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Should I get rid of my Hartke Ha 5500?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by schnigges, Mar 26, 2009.

  1. schnigges


    Jun 29, 2008
    I'm a little confused. I have bought this head with a 4.5xl and a 1x15 xl aout one and a half years ago. At the beginning, I really liked the tone, much punch etc. but i've recently bought a 30 watt ibanez soundwave combo. Now when comparing the two heads on the Hartke cabinets, I find that the HA 5500 sounds like **** compared to the ibanez (which cost me 400 bucks less than the hartke head alone). Am i simply not able to eq my head, or does it have this cold, powerless characteristics that don't allow the slightest amount of growl?
    What I'd like to hear is :

    1) What could I try to do with the eq?
    2) What other heads (300-500 Watts) would you recommend me for little cash?
  2. schnigges


    Jun 29, 2008
  3. Os yours the one with the 10 band eq??

    There's nothing wrong with your head (at least the bass one ;)

    I had a HA 7000, and that 10 band EQ is a very powerful thing. I was running an old westone bass from the mid eighties with passive HB's and the only way I could get a good sound was through that EQ.

    Its kinda hard to tell someone how to dial in a EQ, but you should start with it all set flat and just adjust the low and high passes out side of the 10 band. Then srart getting into the 10 band, one frequency at a time.
  4. Yes, get rid of it. Send it to me.
  5. joegeezer


    Mar 9, 2005
    Northern Wisconsin
    Avatar Club#12 Eden Club Lucky# 13--USA Peavey Club#37 Carvin Club#5
    Yes, sell it. Buy an Eden head. You'll love it!!
  6. clubdude

    clubdude The Ten Man

    I have a 3500 (with a LH1000 on order). There is so much versatility in those 3500's & 5500's. JimiLL is right.

    A lot of folks with these heads bypass the EQ, fyi. Stu Hamm runs his flat with just a tad of bass frequencies boosted.

    First thing I would do would be to set you EQ sliders flat. Then toy with the preamps, until you get your favorite mix of the tube side and the solid state side. I run mine at 10 o'clock on the SS side, and 2 o'clock on the tube side. I also replaced my stock tube with a JJ ECC83s (same as 12AX7) from Eurotubes.

    Next, work with your Hi & Lo filters. I run my low filter flat (12 o'clock), and my high filter at 2 o'clock.

    I set my EQ with a very slight "smile". Flat in the middle, with just a notch or two of bass and treble boost.
    I set the limiter to where there is no light under normal conditions, but lights up occasionally under the most intense playing.

    Mine is extremely warm and tubey. It has bunch of low end kick, and a light treble overtone. If you want more growl, try turning you SS preamp down or off, and kick up your tube preamp side.

    I also run a Digitech Badder Bass Monkey (from Humphrey Audio) in front of my rig. That will gives me all the growl (and more) that I ever want.

    Just suggestions, since I don't know what your tastes are.
    P/S: I have an Ibanez Sound Wave in my studio. Apples and oranges. It has one speaker and one tweeter, so it has a completely different sound than my 10" speakers. I like it ok turned down, but loud, I hate it. I'm not a tweeter guy.
  7. SteveC

    SteveC Moderator Staff Member

    Nov 12, 2004
    North Dakota
    Yes. Get a Genz Benz. I don't know why anyone would play on anything else.
  8. schnigges


    Jun 29, 2008
    Thanks a lot for your help,
    I've tried quite every settings on the 10 band eq, but there still is this "unpleasant coldness" , even with the tube pre at full. I guess a little overdrive pedal would do. But i'll also take a look at the guitar store today, just to check out some alternatives. Any opinions or negative experiences with the markbass little mark 250?
  9. NorCal Dog

    NorCal Dog

    Nov 28, 2005
    try a Tech-21 VTBass pedal in front of your amp to warm it up as little, or as much warmth as you need at your fingertips, you decide

    love mine
  10. I would have to call it a mistake to go out and buy higher end gear when you dont fully understand how to optimize the one you have.
  11. schnigges


    Jun 29, 2008
    Thanks, altough I was a bit offended at first, you were totally right. After all a 10 band eq is very versatile. :)
  12. perhaps you can try to swap out the stock 12ax7wa tube with a JJecc83s tube?

    I've done exactly that and i prefer the tone much more now.

    I did a few tests, with the stock tube, play a little, then swap it out for the jjecc83s, play a little again, then swap back and forth.

    I ended up with the jjecc83s tube in there.

    What i hear from the difference is this:

    the stock 12ax7wa tube is much louder - more volume at the same knob level than the jj tube, but it sounded cold.

    the jjecc83s tube is much softer at the same knob level, but the tone is sweet and warm.

    jjecc83s tube being softer in volume is no problem, it could easily be solved by turning up the volume.

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