What Head and Cab is reliable?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Jack Dudek, Nov 4, 2020.

  1. I'm looking for a major upgrade to my amplification setup around the 700-1000 watt range, for playing metal/punk type music. I've looked at things like the Hartke LH1000, the microtubes 900v2, and the tonehammer 700, as well as struggling to find cabs that will work well and produce the hard tones I'm looking for. I've done a lot of research on this, but I feel like you lovely people here would have the best idea on what works in the long run, since I want something that's going to stick with me for many years. How good are these heads actually, and what cabs should I pair?
  2. Killing Floor

    Killing Floor Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2020
    Austin, TX
    Mesa. Good luck breaking it. But if you do they have the best aftermarket service in the market. But you won't need it. Why are you wasting your time not getting Mesa?
  3. Pulverizor


    Jun 14, 2018
    New Zealand
    I wouldn't take a brand new Mesa amp to a rowdy punk/metal gig!
    Get the Hartke and secondhand 610 or 2x410s. It's better to use pedals for your drive sound as tastes change over time but 1000watts of clean power is always in style lol.
    Jack Dudek likes this.
  4. jeff7bass


    Apr 9, 2009
    You're not gonna find any true reliability rankings in musical gear. Everybody has some failures but it eases the pain when you're treated right when something goes wrong. Lots of good cab companies and amp companies. Mesa does both, so does Aguilar, Hartke, GK and Bergantino. All great stuff with solid reputations. Some do just cabs like Revsound, Acme, Baer, Barefaced, LDS, and Avatar. When you say you looked at the Tonehammer 700, which is a great amp, does that mean you bought one and it failed you in some way? You also say hard tones... By itself or with effects? Maybe you would like Orange amps. The Terror Bass 500 actually measured more watts than advertised. Gets nasty too.
    Jack Dudek likes this.
  5. I really love the sound of Harke especially because I'm a huge fan of David Ellefson's bass tone, the only thing that bothers me is that the LH1000 head is 1000 watts at 4 ohms but the hydrive 410 is 1000w at 8ohms, so no matter what I'm basically wasting half of the output capability of the speaker cab for any of their cabs.
    Pulverizor and jeff7bass like this.
  6. I have not made any purchases of any of the products mentioned yet and haven't gotten to try them in person, just looking at as many online resources regarding them as I can and that's one of the top contenders for a head. And I'm looking for a very punchy clean tone that I can add light distortion to with pedals if needed, but I really want to fall in love with a tight, hard-hitting clean sound on whatever amp setup I go with.
  7. I've just started looking at their heads and they look very good! On sweetwater, which is really the only retailer I can reliably get new stuff from, they have 4 different 800w heads so I guess I have some decisions to make on which one if I decide to go with mesa. Thanks for the rec!
  8. jeff7bass


    Apr 9, 2009
    That's still a ton of power going into a single 410, enough to burn it I would imagine. Maybe a pair of 8 ohm 212's would suit you better. Keep the head if you like it that much.
  9. Pulverizor


    Jun 14, 2018
    New Zealand
    Just brag to everyone about your massive headroom, pro style!
  10. agedhorse

    agedhorse Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 12, 2006
    Davis, CA (USA)
    Development Engineer-Mesa, Product Support-Genz Benz
    You aren’t wasting anything, it’s not a bad match actually.
    Al Kraft and Jack Dudek like this.
  11. I might give that LH1000 and 410 combo a shot especially since it's a few hundred cheaper than the other options, just a bit concerned because some people have said that they've had issues with Hartke amps whereas I don't ever hear a single complaint about Aguilar or Mesa, and I just wouldn't want to save money only to find out that I need to get it fixed or replaced after only a little while
  12. MarkA

    MarkA In the doghouse. Supporting Member

    Sep 26, 2008
    Per the LH1000's specs page and manual:
    • Dual Parallel mode offers 2 x 225 watts at 8 ohms, 2 x 320 watts at 4 ohms, 2 x 545 watts at 2 ohms
    • Bridge mode offers 750 watts at 8 ohms, 1,100 watts at 4 ohms
    • THD < 0.5%
    If those are RMS ratings (and I believe they are, though you can inquire to be sure), you're getting 750 Watts at 8 Ohms (not 500 or so), which I'd wager would be enough to bring that cab to its knees, despite its 1000 Watt rating.

    My GBE 1200 is 550 Watts at 8 Ohms, 1000 Watts at 4 Ohms, and 1200 Watts at 2 Ohms (which I've never done, though a friend who borrowed it for a stretch did). I'm glad that it's set up this way because there are very few 8 Ohm cabs (at least of any reasonable size) that it can't push to their limits. If I need to bring the thunder with a larger, 4 Ohm setup... well, there's plenty of thunder.

    Another point of reference: I used to have a mid-loaded, 4 Ohm, 2x12 cab with two Faital 12FH500 woofers, rated for 1000 Watts RMS (2000 Watts peak). The GBE, running at 1000 potential Watts into 4 Ohms, could max out that cab without breaking a sweat -- I could absolutely have launched the woofers across the room (figuratively, of course) if I wanted to.

    If you're bridging the amp, I suspect that, even at 8 Ohms, the cab will be the limiting factor.

    I haven't owned a Hartke amp (though I've played through a few) and can't speak to the reliability of it. Most of the Sweetwater reviews are positive, for what that's worth, though one questions whether the DI is isolated and whether it's phantom-power safe. If that's important to you, might be worth asking about.
    agedhorse likes this.
  13. seamonkey


    Aug 6, 2004
    The head and cabinet with the longest factory warranty and used within manufacturer's spec is the most reliable.

    2 year factory warranty is suspect to just getting by, by the manufacturer.

    5 year factory warranty is outstanding. And it indicates you'll probably never need warranty service. It would be too expensive to offer a long warranty if there were problems with the gear.

    Granted both need actual ways to get then into authorized and competent repair service centers.
    CincyBassMan likes this.
  14. chris_b


    Jun 2, 2007
    There will always be a very small percentage of electrical components that will fail. You can't stop that, but I would guess most gear failures stem from ill or indifferent treatment. My experience is that if you treat your gear well, it will last.

    You can break gear by pushing it too hard. Buy more powerful gear so you don't have to run it into the red.

    I put my cabs in covers and amps in racks or cases. I don't let anyone move my gear unless I'm on the other handle. I cable up my gear myself, roll them up correctly afterwards, and my leads never break. I have an instrument lead that just celebrated it's 30th birthday. This isn't OCD, I'm just looking after my gear because I expect it to work 100% time, and it does.

    I use Aguilar amps and Barefaced cabs, but I would expect Hartke (or any other company in the market) to be reliable. I would guess they are all using pretty much the same components, just putting them together differently, so have faith, choose the gear that makes the right sound for you and treat it well.
    Murch and CincyBassMan like this.
  15. Bassdirty


    Jul 23, 2010
    Sounds like a great thing to me, now you can add another 410 cab down the road, and more speakers = more louder, more louder = More Better!
    And we know how awesome 8 10s look. :woot: :drool:


  16. That's definitely a good way of looking at it, I'll have to take that into account trying to decide whether it's worth paying almost 1.5x the cheaper one for a guarantee that it likely won't break down for a long time if it ever does.
  17. Yeah that's a very good point, I am pretty uptight about keeping my gear safe and taken care of anyway so that shouldn't be too much of an issue!
    chris_b likes this.
  18. VERY good point haha I really hope to be at a point where I need a second cab soon, I miss club shows existing :(
  19. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

    Jun 12, 2021

Share This Page