Which head would you choose?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by ash2008, Jun 25, 2008.

  1. ash2008


    Jun 9, 2008
    midlands, uk
    well ive recently made the leap to bass and looking for a decent beginner head to buy.
    its a toss up between hartke 4000, hartke 7000 and ashdown mag 300. anyone had any experience with these?
  2. Spinal Tapper

    Spinal Tapper

    Nov 15, 2007
    I don't have experience with any of those, but I've heard better things about Ashdown than Hartke...as the saying goes - you get what you pay for.
  3. ash2008


    Jun 9, 2008
    midlands, uk
    i know the general feeling is ashdown is more upmarket but ive heard they can sound 'wooly' and im looking for a brighter sound.
    suppose i should add the hartke 4000 is going for 100quid the 7000 200quid and ashdown 110quid.
  4. SERPENT865


    Jan 1, 2007
    Wichita , KS
    GK 2001RB
  5. Yeah good suggestion, Serpent865. The 2001RB will certainly deliver the goods but it's total overkill unless you're gonna be playing some real bigass venues as you won't get the benefit of the oodles of power the 2001RB has.

    Ash2008, you've mentioned two amps there that IMO are at total opposite ends of the tone spectrum. I've just very recently sold my Ashdown ABM300 as I found exactly what you said was true...wool to the max. i had to torture the preamp with ridiculous amounts of hi-mid and treble boost to get anywhere near enough bite in order for me to cut at all. Don't get me wrong, the Ashdown's a great amp and can shake the walls good and proper.

    Hartke, I've never owned but I've played through them and they are good sounding amps but not to my liking either. They have plenty of brightness but somehow, just don't float my boat.

    I now have two amps, both will melt your face with biting mids if you want but both have bags of power and bottom end.

    One is a Gallien Krueger 1001RB (the original 540 watts version - not the mk II, which I think is closer to 700 watts solid state) and the other is a Marshall VBA400 which is 400 watts all tube. Now that thing sounds immense.

    Anyway, I digress. Serpent865's suggestion of the Gallien Krueger was a good one. GK also do a model called the 700RB. I think it's got going on for 400 watts in to a 4 ohm speaker load. You might wanna look at Eden amps as well - as they are excellent ballsy sounding amps too. :)

    Some of those might seem a bit expensive to you as a beginner but don't think to yourself, 'oh I'll just get a cheap, low powered amp for now' because you'll enjoy the sound of a better one more and you won't be forced to upgrade when you're ready to play gigs.
  6. porkchop[


    Dec 10, 2005
    I'd say Hartke.
    I have 2 3500's, one is like 12 years old and has never failed me.

    the 4000 will give you 400W at 4 ohm, the 7000 is basically 2 3500's in one box, 350W rms per side at 4 ohms, 240 x 2 at 8 ohms.

    Plenty loud crisp and clean sounding. especialy with the hartke cabs or a cab with a horn.
  7. ash2008


    Jun 9, 2008
    midlands, uk
    generally im looking for a brighter sound so i reckon hartke is more for me. is the 7000 not just an extra 300watts, is it a different model so to speak?i read on in hartkes brochure that the 4000 is 'latest in hartke amp technology' which made me think it has more features.

    sorry noob question coming up: would i be right in thinking with the 7000 i could link two cabs due to the 2x350 whilst with the 4000 only one?i currently own a 8ohm cab at 400w, now if i connected that to the 7000 and then bought a 4ohm cab and connected that to the head too would i have a 4ohm in parallel with a 8ohm thus making 2.67ohms total, which would be too low for the 7000? i think i said that right...

    ill have to look into GK, its just the 4000 going for £100 and the 7000 £200 which seems very cheap to me, i guess what i need to know is would the 7000 be worth the extra 100quid?my band are gigging fairly big venues some holding upto 700 people...not saying we fill that though:D
    sorry about the onslaught of questions!
  8. Ezbass


    Apr 3, 2008
    The difference between the Ashdown MAG and ABM series is very marked with the MAG being somewhat dull in tone, but for the money still a great amp with good features (looks great too). For a brighter sound the Hartke will fill the criteria better, but at the end of the day it's the speakers that deliver the sound and a bright head will not make dull speakers zingy. To that end Hatke aluminium cones are great at getting that fast, bright response.

    Although a great many of us mix and match our heads and cabs, at the lower end it is probably (IMHO) best to try and stick with one manufacturer as the heads and cabs will have been primarily built to go with one and another. That's not to say another cab won't be better, but it's a safe way to start.
  9. Out of those choices I'd go for the 7000. It should bridge to a decent 480 watts thru your 8 ohm cab. (its not stated on their site). "The latest in Hartke technology" roughly translates to "our copywriter got a B+ in marketing".

    Thats right for the 4000. This would give double the juice to your 4 Ohm than to your 8- so another 8 would be best (I doubt the 4000 would deal with a 2.67 load). The 7000 actually has 2 separate power amps so will give 350 watt out of 1 channel and 240 from the other. Youd do better here with a pair of 4 Ohmers

    My 2c..... I had a Hartke for a while and found it to put out a fair bit of hiss and hum- It may have been just my unit to be fair. My vote goes to you giving the GK a good hard look. They rock.
  10. ash2008


    Jun 9, 2008
    midlands, uk
  11. quickervicar

    quickervicar Supporting Member

    Jul 21, 2006
    Lancaster, PA
    I've had a Hartke 3500 and a Trace AH350SMX. Hartke never failed me, but the sound was always lacking. The Trace was a beast and the build quality was far, far better. If you like the Trace tone you won't go wrong
  12. ash2008


    Jun 9, 2008
    midlands, uk
    what is the trace tone in comparison to ashdown and hartke? cant find anything on the internet about series 6:meh:
  13. Well, this is a demo of a AH500-7band through a Trace 4x10 and 1x15: (Click this)

    and this is a Series 6 through a 2x15: (Click this)

    I hope they help. Trace tone is really good IMO.
  14. porkchop[


    Dec 10, 2005
    With the hartke you always just pull down the 10K fader on the EQ to kill any hiss. I've always gotten great sound out of mine and compliments for it, Thats all opinion though. If you get yer settings right it'll sound nice and warm.

    A better preamp tube helps also.
  15. ash2008


    Jun 9, 2008
    midlands, uk
    are the 7000 and 4000 both fitted with the same preamp tube?whats a good replacement?
    btw i think im gonna go for the 7000 if the 4000 has nothing special over it, i can see me buying the 4000 and in 6 months needing more power.
    thanks for the advice guys, think ive learnt more over past couple days looking for new amp then in 6months playing!