Time to make a decision, hartke,Carvin,Ampeg..???

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by cb56, Oct 21, 2001.

  1. cb56


    Jul 2, 2000
    I've been using my Hartke 7000 lately and I really like the tone and way it cuts through the mix with my loud classic rock band. I never have to turn the volume past 3. The Hartke makes my old ampeg rig that I just sold sound like it had a blanket covering the speakers. The problem is I got it used in a trade and now I'm having problems with one of the power amps distorting and cutting out. I've had it in to an amp repairman who really knows his stuff (twice) and he hasn't been able to find the problem and correct it. Keep in mind I got it used so I really don't know it's history. it could have been dropped down a flight of stairs for all I know. Since I just sold the last of my heavy ampeg cabs I am now in the position to buy a new amp head. I want a solid state head with dual power amps 350x2.
    Here is what I am considering as options w/ pros and cons(as I see them)

    Hartke 7000 $675
    Pros: I love the sound straight out of the box. Hardly touch the tone controls
    Cons: Only 1 year warranty, made in Korea, I've heard they have reliability problems(maybe what I'm experiencing now?)
    Not sure who I would contact for warranty or repair issues.

    Carvin R1000 $660
    Pros: Made in USA, Can call Carvin anytime and get a real person on the phone. I've owned other Carvin equipment (speakers ) and have been happy with them, good bang for buck.
    Cons: Only 1 year warranty, I've never played one of thier bass amps and am not sure if I can get that same growly,aggressive tone that I get with the Hartke (people that have played both Hartke and Carvin chime in here)

    Ampeg B4r $950
    Pros: Ampeg is very reliable, 5 year warranty, I live 90 miles from factory, I work in the same town with Ampeg dealer that is also an excellent repairman. I could probably trade in my hartke at my local Ampeg dealer and bring the price down some.
    Cons: I don't think the Ampeg tone is what I want for my band (but I should be able to get any tone I want out of an Ampeg right ?)

    Other: Make it good and convincing and $1000 or less

    Here is what I'm NOT going to buy. Anything over $1000 Eden,SWR, Mesa, or Anything with a bunch of tubes. A tube pre amp and a SS power amp.
    Thanks for reading through all this. And now time for your suggestions. :D
  2. pesci1313

    pesci1313 Guest

    Jun 2, 2001
    Urbandale, IA, USA
    i've heard some good things about EBS, all their stuff is solid state, however i'm not positive on the price of the one head they sell, but i think it'd be under a grand, but then again, who knows, then there's also GK, you'd have to try it to know if its your sound, but worth looking at
  3. joel the bass player

    joel the bass player Supporting Member

    Nov 27, 2000
    Omaha, NE
    If you were happy with the Hartke, then I would go with that, but if you wanted more power or versatility the Carvin or Ampeg would be a better choice. OF those two, I would go with the Ampeg just because I am very partial, and not to forget the fact that you can try it out first, and the warranty is longer. If those things aren't really big to you then the Carvin looks better since it is cheaper. Happy amp hunting!

  4. Luis Fabara

    Luis Fabara

    Aug 13, 2000
    Ecuador (South America)
    Audio Pro - Ecuador
    Get the Hartke.
    You have it right regarding the "Sounds good out of the Box"
    Thats what I liked about my Hartke, I didnt even use the EQ.
    700 Watts are plenty. And you are already used to the sound of that Head and you liked it.. Why Change?
    I had the 2000 Model, so I clipped it a lot with my 6 String.

    The R1000 on the other hand,needs a lot of tweaking on the EQ to sound good, but the trade its that because of that it is a lot more versatile.
    You can shape your tone enormously.
    Despite the 1000 watts, the difference against the HarkteĀ“s 700 Watts wont be much.
    Now, Carvin quality is excellent, all my Carvin products have proven to be flawless.

    On the Ampeg side... B series?
    Not enought bang for your buck at Ampeg.
  5. Mike N

    Mike N Missing the old TB Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Jan 28, 2001
    Spencerport, New York
    How about giving a different repairman a try?Nothing against the one youve been using,but evidently theres something hes missing.Might be cheaper to spend $50-$75 to have someone else look at it,rather than $675 for another one.

    Just a thought,good luck.
  6. count_funkula

    count_funkula Guest

    Dec 13, 1999
    Greenville, Tx
    I can speak for the Carvin but have not used the other brands you mentioned.

    I can get a very aggressive, growly tone out of my R600. It's also very versatile and cover a wide range of sounds.
  7. T. Alan Smith

    T. Alan Smith Guest

    Sep 9, 2001
    I learned an important lesson this weekend.
    I started with a really clean preamp(SWR-I know it's an SWR and has a tube in it, but anyway), then I tried different cabs and tested my headroom.
    It was amazing at the difference in tones the cabs provided-especially when turning down the main vol. and cranking the input gain.
    A BagEnd was REALLY natural sounding against an SWR Goliath III, for example. A Trace Elliott and Eden were somewhere in between but still totally different sounding.
    The Hartke is supposed to be a neutral head tone-wise. What cabs do you run it thru? Do you have an onboard pre in your bass?
    My point is: I recommend trying the amp thru your cabs with your bass. It's the best way to know for sure.
    ...just thought I'd share an approach you might feel comfortable with. You'll end up quite confident you made the right choices.

    T. Alan
  8. SRSiegel

    SRSiegel Guest

    Sep 17, 2001
    Ann Arbor, Michigan
    i use a Carvin R600. i really like the tone, and the thing is indestructible. its been dropped, kicked, rolled around in the back of a truck, you name it. still works great. The R600 is a little weak, i wish i woulda had teh R1000, though i cant say ive ever used one so im not sure how much the power increase would get you. I will say that the myriad tones that can come out of the thing are amazing, everything from low dub rumly bass, to high end sparkle. good for classic rock (thats what i use it for) as well as slap funk. I also used it with an upright bass with a piezo pickup on the bridge for two years. worked great. I like that it has two siwtchable eq's, one thats a parametric eq, with a sweepable mid, and another thats a 10 band graphic. theres also three pre shape notch buttons, that boost bass, scoop mids, or boost treble. pushing all three in yields a decent respectable sound without even messign with any of the eq knobs. i also like that fact that you can control the balance between the two poweramps, via the two power amp control knobs. once you get the right balance, you can use the master volume control. On newer redline amps, carvin uses a 12ax7 tube emulator. not a real tube, i guess to increase reliability. I havent heard one of these. mine is the older series 2 with an actual tube preamp. it does sound nice, adds a little bit of warmth where its needed. and like i said, ive had no problem with reliability. The back face is neat and easy to understand. on mine there are 4 speaker outputs. two for bridged mono, and two for either stereo of baimped operation. theres also three effects loops. you can have an effect on amp 1, amp2, or both. thats nice to put a distortion pedal on the hi range amp, and leave the low end clean while biamping. that way you dont lose your powerful clean low. another difference between the older series 2 and newer series 3 amps... the older ones provided 700 watts bridged mono into 4 ohms. the new ones give you 600. (at least thats what it says on the back of the head) also the new heads have speakon outs as well as 1/4" i only use 1/4" speaker cables, so it doesnt matter to me, but if you want speakon, the new carvin heads have em. and to boot they just look sweet with those red anodized aluminum knobs! hope that helps you in your search.

    btw ive also played a lot of hartke rigs, with hartke speakers (my old high schoo ljazz band uses em). i never liked the sound, as it could never get warm enough for me. but mind you this was the aluminum cone driver too. i never played the hartke 7000 though, so it may be different, but overall i thought hartke's stuff to be too sterile, and carvin to be much warmer. and of course its a great bargain. i hope this helps.

  9. cb56


    Jul 2, 2000
    well I ordered the carvin R1000 and will put it to the 10 day tryout. We'll see what happens.
  10. seamus

    seamus Guest

    Feb 8, 2001
    Cool, let us know what you think either way. :)

    FWIW, I don't do too much tweaking on the R1000. I don't use the pre shape EQ buttons except maybe for the low one on occasion. I boost the mids around +3 in the 300-400 range. I tend to gravitate to lower mids over higher mids, but also experiment with boosting the mids around 800-1k here and there. The nice thing is that you can use the sweepable mid for your main emphasis, then add a little something else in other ranges using the graphic EQ. I don't go for the scooped mid sound, was never really my thing. I'm sure this amp will accomodate that well though if you like it.

    On the high end, I leave everything level. I have the tweeter on my 10's turned off since I don't slap much, and don't favor an overly bright sound. Fact is, the tweeter on my 10 cab could be better I think. Most of my basses have maple fingerboards, and though I love that sound, I admit it can get overly harsh and tinny if the tweeter is not kept in check. I like the sounds of 10's without the tweeter just fine, but that's just my preference.

    Basically, I adjust only the mids on this head, and sometimes add a little low end. Any other EQ adjustments I make are before the head's preamp; e.g, on the bass or my Sans Amp. If you have the means, I highly recommend the Sans Amp, it really does nice things for these heads IMO. Adds some warmth and fullness to the sound, love it.

    I don't use the noise gate. Sometimes I'll use the compressor sparingly, but I usually don't use either of these controls. They have the potential to get in the way if you know what I mean. I've never tried the DI on these heads for recording anything, I would opt for a good DI and studio grade compressor in that case though. However, I could definitely see micing the 10's and blending that with the direct signal. I have not done that yet, but my expectations are favorable.

    I guess the short version is that although this is a versatile head, I don't mess with it much at all. I think a lot of what you decide to do with EQ will depend on the bass you are playing at the time.

    If you decide the Carvin isn't for you, I like Ampeg over Hartke. Like you said, they have a better warranty than Carvin and you are close to a reliable repairman should anything go wrong.

    Good luck! :)
  11. Phat Ham

    Phat Ham

    Feb 13, 2000
    I have a Carvin R600 and I think its great. The head is built tough and reliable, and is extremely versatile in the tone department. The R1000 is the same thing just with a bigger power amp.
    I've actually played through an Ampeg B4 and a Hartke 3500 before, albeit with different basses and speakers, but IMO the Carvin beats both. If you are already happy with the Hartke 7000 you might want to stick with it.