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tylerlangan

Hartke 3500a?

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Howdy!

I'm looking to upgrade my crappy combo (Laney r5) to a decent Head & Cab deal.... but being a pennyless student, I'm looking the lovely looking G&K's, SWR, Markbass and Eden rigs are sooooo far out of my price range!

I've heard alot of decent things about Hartke stuff and many people have said that you do end up getting alot of 'bang for your buck' so to speak =)

Just wondering if there was any truth in that statement?

If anyone's got/had/played through one of these at any points then I'd seriously appreciate some feedback on 'em.

I was thinking about pairing it up with a Hartke 4.5XL 4x10 and then maybe adding a 1x15 on for the bigger gigs? (If we ever get any decent ones lol...) I'd love to know what those cabs are like to use so once again if anyone could enlighten me I'd be much obliged

I've trawled through the harmony central reviews but I just find them to be so conflicting, I'd much rather get some proper wisdom of this here forum and it's members =)

Cheeeeeers in advance!

Ty

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Sorry I can't give you a review of the cabs but I can recommend the Hartke gear. I've used a 1155c combo for years now and reckon it sounds great. I tried Trace elliot gear at the time and just couldn't get a sound I liked.
My rig has the older 3500 model of head but still it's very versatile and certainly of pro quality. The combo has a 1x15 and a 1 x5 set up which seems to work well.
I'd only change the cab for something smaller probably just to save my old back but unless someone offered free Ampeg stuff to me I'll be sticking with Hartke.

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I too can recommend Hartke gear. I had an HA2000 for a few years then bumped it up for an HA3500. Plenty of beef, if I use the active input (I have a Warwick Fortress) I can run gigs with the master at 4 or 5, if I use the passive input with the same bass (just a 20db cut between the two) I can play with the master on 2! I get the feeling I could blow the windows out if I cranked it right up. Decent graphic, not too fussed about the main top end and bottom end controls, don't really use them. Tube and Transistor preamp is good and I use a blend of the two, been using the compression recently. No issues with it so far, had it for about 2 years.

Cabwise, took my bass and the amp into the shop and played just about every 4 x 10 they had within the same sort of price range (Peavey, Eden, Ashdown, Hartke) and came out with a Hartke 410XL, it just sounded better than the others. The cab seems pretty bullet proof but WEIGHS A BLOODY TON!!! about 42kg actually and is not a single man lift job. When we have a kitshare situation (as we do at most of our gigs) some of te other local bass players actually ask me to bring it all along so I guess they like it too. If you have the cash definitely go for the XL not the transporter range, not in the same class. Never played it with a 1 x 15 as well so no idea what that's like, the 410 gives plenty of bottom grunt though so maybe you won't need it.

Richard
VASQUEZ

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I have a HA3500 (the old version, I don't think they've made any changes to the new one apart from the pretty aluminium facia) and a Hartke PRO 2200 cab 2x12" 4Ohm. Someone commented that Hartke are a poor man's Ampeg and I think that's probably the best comparison i've ever heard. I love my Hartke and although I GAS for other amps I only have to play a gig with my current rig and realise that i've already got the perfect sound.

There's also a really good upgrade route from the HA3500 as I'd recommend you replace the pre-amp valve after you've had it for a while and then chuck an Aphex Bass Xciter in front of it and you'll want for nothing else.

Edited by peted

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Cheers alot guys!

I think I'm officially sold now, I read that Jaco used Hartke if that's true I'm seriously seriously sold!

after reading Rich's post I'm deffinately gonna settle on just the hartke 4x10XL although I'm kinda worried about the weight now...

Still I'm driving soon and plan on getting an Escort Estate, reckon it'd take the weight??

But yeah poor man's Ampeg here I come!

Peted, your cab is a proper monster! I'd love to hear what that sounds like =)

I do reckon they make some of the coolest looking cabs and hell Stu Hamm endorses them, so yeah can't wait to join you in the Hartke rigs!

Cheeers alot guys!

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I'm glad you've gone with Hartke. As far as weight of the cabs go, I can carry my cab over short distances with one hand and I'm about average build. I've spent £10 kitting it out with some heavy duty wheels from Machine Mart which makes things a lot easier. In hind-sight I'd rather have got a trolley or sack-barrow which I could re-use on other cabs and help my gu*tarists with.

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One hand! Arnold Schwartzenegger or what?

My HA3500 has the new aluminium facia but in all other senses is just the same as it always was.

Weight of the 410XL is just about enough to lift from the car to the house (about 10 feet) but no more. I have lifted it upstairs before and nearly gave myself a hernia. It's affectionataly known as "the monster" by my band mates as they always have to help me lift it and it's beefy enough to fill the room. Sack barrow.. good idea for long flat distances. It does fit nicely in the back of my car (Renault Scenic) although it's a big car. Escort estate should be large enough but I'd check with a tape measure.

Weightwise.. it's 42kg. I weigh 85kg so it's like having half of me in your boot, no problem. I think people always worry about loading gear into their car but don't ever have an issue with shoving 3 mates onto the back seat with a collective weight of up to 300kg, as long as the weight is reasonable distributed, any car will be OK with it.

Soundwise, hard to tell I know, and with my bass heavy bottom end (oo-er Mrs) ... I did have it all miked on two of our songs on myspace www.myspace.com/vasquezdownload (The Ballad... & Flesh & Blood).. can listen to the others if you like but they were recorded direct into the desk.

Richard
VASQUEZ

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I blew one of my amps up a while ago in practice. I had to borrow a mates Hartke 3500 to carry on with the rehersal.
I thought it sounded excellent at the time, and as such I'd have no qualms using one again. If I remember it sounded quite gritty with a very quick response.

Vasquez - I quite like that flesh and blood tune.

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I would like to add some details about the Hartke 4.5XL cab, as I see you have mentioned pairing it with a 1x15.

This will sound harsh, but trust me.. don't bother with the 115XL. On it's own its a nice cab.. and with less sensitive cabs its is fine, but the 4.4XL eats it for breakfast in every department. the 4.5 is deeper, bassier, fuller LOUDER and also has all the other benefits of 10" cones and the tweeter. If you want to pait the XL with any cab.. another 4.5 sounds amazing. I really dont mind admitting that I miss mine so much.. but I have a poorly back and am hoping my new cab will at least sound similar.

I really cant say anything bad about Hartke. (oh except for the transporter and VX ranges)

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[quote name='dood' post='11482' date='Jun 3 2007, 06:15 PM']I would like to add some details about the Hartke 4.5XL cab, as I see you have mentioned pairing it with a 1x15.

This will sound harsh, but trust me.. don't bother with the 115XL. On it's own its a nice cab.. and with less sensitive cabs its is fine, but the 4.4XL eats it for breakfast in every department. the 4.5 is deeper, bassier, fuller LOUDER and also has all the other benefits of 10" cones and the tweeter. If you want to pait the XL with any cab.. another 4.5 sounds amazing. I really dont mind admitting that I miss mine so much.. but I have a poorly back and am hoping my new cab will at least sound similar.

I really cant say anything bad about Hartke. (oh except for the transporter and VX ranges)[/quote]

Yep, didn't like the Transporter or VX cabs, cheap rubbish in comparison to the XL range. I agree about not needing a 1x15, although my 410 doesn't have the tweeter, it does sound round, full and reproduces the frequencies well over the whole range that I play (mostly bottom end, none of the 20th fret rubbish hahaha), have thought about possibly getting a 1x15 to go with it, but I don't play anywhere that would actually need the extra air push (have played 500 capacity venue with just the 410 dead easy. So I never really got further than thinking about it... and I didn't want to have two of the things to lug around... oooh me back!

Richard
VASQUEZ

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i have a vx 210 and a vx 115 and i absolutely love them , ive not played anything that sounds as good, to my ears anyway and they are feather light . it sounds great just the 210 or 115 and GODLY when the two are used together . id love to hear what their 810 sounds like

again i have a hartke head to pair with these cabs and i love it aswell unless i become super rich i will continue to use this rig untill it breaks into teeny weeny pieces

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I have played through the 4x10 VX combo and I thought it sounded pretty good. Considering the cost of the paper cone VX cabs they do a perfectly good job. They pale into nothing compared to the XL and PRO series aluminium cones though. The Transporter range is the worst of the bunch.

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+1 on the bass xciter.

The 3500 is a wicked amp for the money. I had one and loved how it sounded. The Hartke cabs are brilliant for the money as well. Try get the ones with the aluminium cones :)

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This is My Rig:



Hartke 3500 Amp with the preamp tube upgraded to the 12ax7M tube, with an Aphex Aural Exciter in front of it. All run into a Hartke 410XL cab (without the tweeter).

This has been my main gigging rig for the last 3 years, it has never even given me a peep of trouble. Sure, the cab is heavy and my back is not enjoying it, but it does have a superb sound that never seems to fail to impress live.

The Aphex just seems to make it sound bigger than I expected, ad before I got the 410 cab I too was thinking "ill whack a 1x15 in thwere with it later" - Ive never needed to.

If you are in or around berkshire or London this month and next, ive got a few gigs coming up with Natalie, and would be happy for you to come and have a little play with my rig before/after the show if you like. Standing in the crowd will give you a good representation of what the amp can do live too.

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I have a Hartke 3500 and the 2.5xl and 115xl cabs and I like them a lot.

But

I have nothing to compare them to as I have only been playing for a year and it's the first and only rig I've ever had. I chose it because, having researched the subject to death, it seemed to be the rig to go for in the price range. Eden, Ampeg etc would be nice but I'll wait until "I'm good enough to justify it"

Sure Jaco used Hartke gear, but that was 1986 or something and a large bucket with a pfeizoelectric balloon inside it was still considered pretty neat back then. However, I see that Jack Bruce uses Hartke and I've seen others use it too.

I don't gig (I'm a classical pianist) but my circumstances are such that I can play as loud as I like - occasionaly my curiosity gets the better of me ... I find that anything above 7 is just too distorted when you're standing near this thing (but sounds nice about 100yds away LOL). When sitting noodling in my house and practicing my arpeggios about 1.5 is ample.

The 2.5 sounds fine on it's own as does the 115, although I think there is a nicer low end with the 115. But this could have a lot to do with the room I have them in, I don't know enough about it. I see many folks in the know say that the 115xl is unnecessary and just to go with the 4.5 or even 2 of them, I've seen enough gigs with such a rig to believe this and I guess these folks know far more than this newbie. Hang fire on the 115xl?

Good luck and enjoy

BH

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> Hartke 3500 Amp with the preamp tube upgraded to the 12ax7M tube, with an Aphex Aural Exciter in front of it.

'scuse my ignorance, but what is all that you have with your amp? I've googled Aphex, exciter etc, but just get info on pedals.

TIA

BH

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Hmmm am I the only one with TP4x10 who thinks it's actually good?, I can't see why everyone dismisses them so quickly, sure they are cheaper and not made of the same stuff but to me my cab sounds lovely and punchy thanks to the aluminium cones which are the same in the XL series. 've doen a good amount of gigs with the cab since I got it and it's gotten good praise from other bassists who know they're stuff and as much as I hate and loathe my Warwick head adding the cab made the head sound better and it really helped me get that punch I was looking for and since getting my jazz its brought out the best in the cab I think.

They get frowned on alot and I guess some guys have had bad experiences such as they break to easily or other assorted problems but mines done nothing besides help me find my own voice really, and when I eventually get the HA3500 I know that it will just be smooth and punchy as anything, I guess I might just be lucky and have actually gotten a decent or subsequently someones going to think I know nothing but ah well until I can afford Ampeg etc.. I'm happy with it, just not the head :)

Edited by Josh

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I've had a a HA3000 which was OK but also a Hartke HA5500 which was really good with the valve preamp and 500watts on tap. The valve blew and i swapped it for a mesa boogie 12AX7, Supplied under warranty from Coda music, and it sounded even better.
If a big powerful amp and stack is your thing then I'm sure an HA3500 would be a great choice for the money.
Can't say I've tried the cabs, mine were Ashdown, but the amps are great.
I've now just got a little Markbass combo which I love dearly, sounds great and is much easier on the back

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[quote name='bonehead' post='12595' date='Jun 5 2007, 05:43 PM']> Hartke 3500 Amp with the preamp tube upgraded to the 12ax7M tube, with an Aphex Aural Exciter in front of it.

'scuse my ignorance, but what is all that you have with your amp? I've googled Aphex, exciter etc, but just get info on pedals.

TIA

BH[/quote]

Hi Mate,

The easiest way to describe what an Aphex Aural Exciter does is to think about the way a speaker will physically react to sound when it is moving air - speakers by thier very nature are very inefficient, sometimes moving out when it should be pulling in, and so forth. The Aphex helps to reduce the inefficientcy of the speakers in the cab (well this is my understanding anyway).

In the real world, the effect it has is subtle, however if you have a relatively small rig, it can make a big difference at volume. I have noticed that it can make a small rig sound HUGE, its very hard to explain what exactly the Aphex does for my setup in words, but if I played you something with it on, and then played the same thing with it off, you would notice.

Perhaps someone more knowledgable than me on the subject can explain it better than I?

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[quote name='lukeward2004' post='12971' date='Jun 6 2007, 12:30 PM']... speakers by thier very nature are very inefficient, sometimes moving out when it should be pulling in, and so forth. The Aphex helps to reduce the inefficientcy of the speakers... can make a small rig sound HUGE, its very hard to explain what exactly the Aphex does for my setup... but if I played you something with it on... then ... off, you would notice...[/quote]

sounds like a fimware/pcb manipulation of the signal?
I wouldn't have called your rig "small"!

Thanks for the response. I notice all sorts of add-ons in the racks of bass rigs; compressors and whatnot. Just starting to check out all the other potential toys out of interest, but I really just want to sound like like Billy Cox one day (in my dreams) - but I'd settle for Stanley Clarke LOL!!

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I'm having a similar situation to you as we speak! Upgraded my bass to a warwick streamer stage II, my trace commando is letting it down ( i think, never played it through a different amp ). Very interested in the hartke seems sweet! Gunna play my warwick through the trace 7215 my dads basist owns. then buy myself a hartke on GCSE students budjet! yeah, no student loan for me.... or over draught! So let me know how it goes..... regards Tom!
kEEP pumpin' those strings ~MMG~

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Guest subaudio

Sorry if this is a really dumb question but, as the Harke has a valve in the preamp, if this blew at a gig would it still be possible to use the amp in solid state mode ?

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