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What happened with the Hartke cab craze?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by SanDiegoHarry, Sep 23, 2008.

  1. SanDiegoHarry

    SanDiegoHarry Banned Supporting Member

    Aug 11, 2008
    San Diego, CA
    I had a 4x10 cab back in the late '80s - you know, with the aluminum speakers - the cab the weighted a freakin' ton?

    Just musing - those were EVERYWHERE for a while, then they just kinda disappeared... Are the used units cheap now? I know I paid...something around $600 for mine, then I sold it to get in to SWR (another company that sorta came and went, popularity wise)...

    Just wondering - anyone out here still play those hardke aluminum cabs?
  2. sevenorchids

    sevenorchids Supporting Member

    If you search for Hartke, you'll find a lot of players that still use them...

    They've got the new Hydrive cabinets out now...kind of a mix between the Aluminum and Paper speaker cones. Getting good reviews from most.
  3. xshawnxearthx


    Aug 23, 2004
    new jersey
    a lot of people woke up.
  4. Low Key

    Low Key Supporting Member

    Feb 2, 2007
    That's funny - I was just thinking about this the other day. I had a Harkte 4x10 in the late 80's and early 90's. I sold it to downsize. Those things had decent low end to them, but they did weigh a metric ton.

    I think Trace Elliot, then SWR, then Eden all came rumbling through. Also - a big movement back to Ampeg for lots of people.

    But to your question, I have not used or seen people use Hartke cabs at gigs in a while.
  5. Gearhead43


    Nov 25, 2007
    haha ;)
  6. James Hart

    James Hart

    Feb 1, 2002
    Endorsing Artist: see profile
    when everyone had to have Hartke cabs (generally pushed by GK heads)... I went with a Bag End stack and feel I had better tone, volume and sound pressure. I use to get laughed at by the GK/Hartke stack (and Ampeg) guys pre show time... afterward, they'd all be hitting me with a thousand questions about me gear because their monster stacks couldn't compete with my 'little' rig (1x12" + 1x15" pushed with a 250 watt head)

    Over the last decade I flirted with a couple other boutique cab brands but found my way back to Bag End (single 2x12" cab this time)... I even replaced my old AMP BH-250 (had done the monster tube head and massive power amp with pre routes).
  7. derrico1

    derrico1 Supporting Member

    Apr 12, 2005
    Charlottesville, VA
    I played the Hartke 410XL cabs in the 1990s. These days, I usually reach for my Schroeder 21012 because it's louder, smaller, and much lighter. Barring that, I'll gig a Carvin LS1503 (smaller, much lighter, and more even than the Hartke) or for small gigs an Eden 112 (*way* smaller and lighter than the Hartke).

    However, I hung onto my favorite Hartke 410XL and keep it in the rehearsal space of one of the bands I regularly gig with. I still like the cabinet a lot for punchy rock or roadhouse. It can sound great, and it's nice not to haul a cab for rehearsal with that band.

    That said, if I'm carting my own gear to a job, that 94 pound cab is more than I want to tote given my other options. Averaging 2-3 gigs a week, I only gigged the Hartke once last year.
  8. Chinguschild


    Apr 17, 2006
    Chico, Cali
    I have been buying them all and shredding the aluminum cones.

    Thank GOD the new ones dont do that.
  9. WillPlay4Food

    WillPlay4Food Now With More Metal! Supporting Member

    Apr 9, 2002
    Orbiting HQ
    I have a TP210 I picked up in '02 I still use in practice situations. I'm still impressed it can get out the sound while going against a heavy handed drumer and two guitars.
  10. jaywa


    May 5, 2008
    Iowa City, IA
    I've been using a 410XL since the mid-90s and I still love it. Well except the weight, as others have noted. But I will take the sound of my Hartke over an Ampeg, SWR or other cab any day of the week.

    If the Hydrive actually does combine the punch and articulation of the aluminum cones with the warmth of paper, then they are really on to something. I have not played through one though, nor have I talked to any who have.
  11. Mojo-Man


    Feb 11, 2003

    I fell into the "Hartke" craze of the 90's.
    Had a 4x10 cab. ( for about two months)
    Hands down the worst cab I've ever owned.
  12. jokerjkny


    Jan 19, 2002
    NY / NJ / PHL
    they got sold to every flippin rehearsal hall in the greater new york new jersey area.
  13. jokerjkny


    Jan 19, 2002
    NY / NJ / PHL
    if its good enough for victor...

  14. And every backline rental company in the MidWest!
  15. JTE

    JTE Supporting Member

    Mar 12, 2008
    Central Illinois, USA
    They were the only good 4x10 cabinet when they came out. After the sucess of them, others started making 4x10s. The other thing is that I think they got diluted a lot by the Transporter series. The original Guild/Hartke cabinets and the second generation Samson/Hartke (the XL series) were and are very good. However the Transporters with their flimsier frames, smaller magnet assemblies, and much inferior cabinets for not really that much less money didn't help them. Too many people can't or won't make the distinction between the XL and Transporters and lump them all together.

    I had two Guild/Hartke 410s when they first came out and kept one of them until 2004 (and only sold it post-divorce as I was moving to a 2 bedroom apartment). Great punchy sounding cabinet that wasn't that heavy compared to other 4x10's available in through 1998 or so. And I had a 4.5XL that was also very nice. I still really like the way the small tweeter in that cabinet sounded, especially compared to the much more common tweeter used on most cabs.

    I replace the Hartke cabs with Edens as I really liked the way the XLT series sounds, and the greatly increased efficiency (95dB vs about 103 dB @ 1W/1M if I recall correctly).

  16. bggeezer

    bggeezer Guest

    May 25, 2001
    i use 350 head thru 1x15 and 2x10 transporter cabs...nice and light , good sound, plenty of headroom for most venues
  17. jaywa


    May 5, 2008
    Iowa City, IA
    Not sure about that. Every backline cab I've seen up here in the Dakotas/Iowa/Nebraska/Minnesota is an Ampeg.
  18. Thunderthumbs73


    May 5, 2008
    I don't know. I saw Victor Bailey use a Hartke stack with a GK head two weeks ago at a live show. Sounded fine. People still use Hartke.
  19. +1 Lot's of those on the club/small tour circuit. For the corporate stuff, it was the 410 Hartke's and GK 800's for a decade or more before Eden took over. Now, for some reason, the cheap line of SWR stuff (WorkingPro or whatever it's called).
  20. bertbassplayer

    bertbassplayer Supporting Member

    Jul 7, 2000
    Dallas/Ft. Worth, TX
    A lot of it is plainly they got a bad rap as being a beginner only line, a lot of it due to their transporter series. It's simple economics, if you have something people consider inferior once they progress they refuse to use it anymore... even though it might sound good. It's pretty much the same with Peavey in a lot of ways.

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