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For Larry Hartke (if he visits here)

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The demise of Hartke was predictable when it was taken over by Samson. It was only a matter of time before the bean counters ruined a good brand. It's similar to what happened to Ampeg with LOUD, and what will happen to Turbosound with Behringer.

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So, I may have mentioned I dropped them a line on Instagram pointing them onto this thread and saying they should be concerned about there eroding reputation in Europe and the UK. Didn't hear much back. 

Did it again on Facebook linking the thread. Got a very serious response thanking me profusely for pointing this out to them. They have forwarded the relevant thread to "Senior management team" to "discuss the next steps" and that they are talking the matter "very seriously". They will be looking "forward to restoring the Hartke name in the UK"

Interesting to see if Hal Leonard get canned off!

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I always really rated the HA series heads.

They could’ve just kept that user interface and look and downsized it using a more modern power stage to reduce weight.

The LH’s were uninspiring. From what I remember - although remarkably tidy on the inside.

The Kilo made little or no sense (When it arrived) and we had 4 on order for people which never showed and resulted in cancelled or switched orders.

If a brand gets landed with a crap distributor - it’s game over.

 

 

 

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22 minutes ago, AndyTravis said:

I always really rated the HA series heads.

They could’ve just kept that user interface and look and downsized it using a more modern power stage to reduce weight.

The LH’s were uninspiring. From what I remember - although remarkably tidy on the inside.

The Kilo made little or no sense (When it arrived) and we had 4 on order for people which never showed and resulted in cancelled or switched orders.

If a brand gets landed with a crap distributor - it’s game over.

 

 

 

Exactly. The HA series is great. Just put a 1000w class D in it. Job done. But no. Let's discontinue the 5500 which is well beyond its alleged 500w output. It's just devastating. Total morons.

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6 hours ago, jimmy23cricket said:

They have forwarded the relevant thread to "Senior management team" to "discuss the next steps" and that they are talking the matter "very seriously". They will be looking "forward to restoring the Hartke name in the UK"

 

Pretty much exactly what they said to me when I linked them to the thread I had on here a few years ago discussing the awful issues I had with a kilo. Nothing ever happened, they just started ignoring my emails etc. Yes the distributor is poor but hartke themselves are pretty crap now too. 

I genuinely believe hartke ripped me and a load of others off with the kilo which they knew was flawed before they launched it. I lost £900 and never got so much as an apology. 

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As above, I went to the organ grinder when I got no satisfaction from the monkey, with my Kilo, the b*llsh*t I got from Korg uk was endless so I thought, 'right they say it's with Hartke USA, I'll email and find out what's going on', surprise, Hartke had no clue what was going on after looking into it, and kindly referred me back to my 'local' distributor with a very 'don't bother us' seeming email. I didn't lose out as DV247 did the right thing after a few more weeks of lies from Korg and let me pick another head from their inventory, which was at the time nearly £200 more than the Kilo so I was happy. But I wouldn't personally p*ss on Hartke if they were on fire after that experience.

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On 19/02/2020 at 10:17, Wolverinebass said:

Exactly. The HA series is great. Just put a 1000w class D in it. Job done. But no. Let's discontinue the 5500 which is well beyond its alleged 500w output. It's just devastating. Total morons.

I suggested years ago (at least ten) to Larry that they should have put a 1000W D Class module in the LH series. Actually, there was a discussion on here it too, but I cant remember who I was chatting to. Funnily, around the same time I spent quite a few emails suggesting to a well-known not-so-british-anymore UK brand that they should have taken their hugely successful valve based amplification and added D Class power amps to those as well. Paul the tech guy liked the idea but sadly it never happened, though both brands have finally embraced D Class amplification now though. Possibly a little late to the party? I don't know. 

Edited by Dood

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1 hour ago, Dood said:

I suggested years ago (at least ten) to Larry that they should have put a 1000W D Class module in the LH series. Actually, there was a discussion on here it too, but I cant remember who I was chatting to. Funnily, around the same time I spent quite a few emails suggesting to a well-known not-so-british-anymore UK brand that they should have taken their hugely successful valve based amplification and added D Class power amps to those as well. Paul the tech guy liked the idea but sadly it never happened, though both brands have finally embraced D Class amplification now though. Possibly a little late to the party? I don't know. 

They've totally messed up Dood. The class D offerings Hartke have now are crap. They're underpowered. Laughably so. Plus, they juked the specs as someone on Talkbass took them to bits and sadly the power module labels don't lie.

They're stuffed.

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Ouch! The bass going public aren’t going to wear that. 

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5 minutes ago, Dood said:

Ouch! The bass going public aren’t going to wear that. 

I made a joke at the time that not only had they copied TC Electronics styling, they'd even copied their falsification of their power output ratings.

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In defence of the product (not distribution or service) Pirate studios have equipped some of their rooms with KB12 combos. I admit to my embarrassment that I had never heard or seen one of these tiny toy amps. The prospect of 4 hours listening to it slowly die competing with 2 Marshall half stack and a loud Drummer didn’t fill me with joy. I called the support team to bemoan the removal of the Rootmaster 500 and ABM 410 ! I was assured it would be fine and to try it.So I plug in set the gain with the clip LED all EQ at 12 Master Vol 3pm. Pluck ~ Boom-~ Twang~ Rumble flip me this thing is Loud and decent sounding dial in a bit of bass and twiddle the shape Knob ad bingo cooking on Gas. Easily keeping up with the luddites crunchy guitar an thrashing drums.

I pick it up to look round the back it weighs about the same as a baby chimp and spirts two rear bass ports. Power 500w RMS it the single 12 Hydrive Speaker no ext socket you get the lot in the box and that’s it.

blown away was i.

Yep your all right they are a bugger to find and god knows what aftersales would be like. But then I have an HA 3500 stuffed in a cupboard that works after 20 years of main amp becomes back up service

To nail it all you can pick a KB12 up for £310 !!!!!!

£600 for a 1000w dual amp rig that would do a pretty big room ......

Come on Hartke sort out your stinky poo and get this stuff out there. Kin ell call me ill punt it for you.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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On 21/02/2020 at 17:26, Stealth said:

In defence of the product (not distribution or service) Pirate studios have equipped some of their rooms with KB12 combos. I admit to my embarrassment that I had never heard or seen one of these tiny toy amps. The prospect of 4 hours listening to it slowly die competing with 2 Marshall half stack and a loud Drummer didn’t fill me with joy. I called the support team to bemoan the removal of the Rootmaster 500 and ABM 410 ! I was assured it would be fine and to try it.So I plug in set the gain with the clip LED all EQ at 12 Master Vol 3pm. Pluck ~ Boom-~ Twang~ Rumble flip me this thing is Loud and decent sounding dial in a bit of bass and twiddle the shape Knob ad bingo cooking on Gas. Easily keeping up with the luddites crunchy guitar an thrashing drums.

I pick it up to look round the back it weighs about the same as a baby chimp and spirts two rear bass ports. Power 500w RMS it the single 12 Hydrive Speaker no ext socket you get the lot in the box and that’s it.

blown away was i.

Yep your all right they are a bugger to find and god knows what aftersales would be like. But then I have an HA 3500 stuffed in a cupboard that works after 20 years of main amp becomes back up service

To nail it all you can pick a KB12 up for £310 !!!!!!

£600 for a 1000w dual amp rig that would do a pretty big room ......

Come on Hartke sort out your stinky poo and get this stuff out there. Kin ell call me ill punt it for you.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The original Kick Backs were fantastic!

I used to use a borrowed Kick Back 15 in a big band I played in when I couldn't get transport for my hartke traveller 15 and HA3500.

 

Which pirate studios were you using?

I'm attending a rehearsal at their Earlsfield place soon so will hopefully get a go on a KB

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I've just read the favourable LX8500 review in this month's BGM and was getting interested (probably in the 500w version as that's what I'm after).  According to the article, Hal Leonard Europe is still the distributor though.  If Hartke really have upped their game with this new valve pre-amp range, their discredited distributor will kill it before it grows in Europe/UK.

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I met Larry at the old Manny's, amazingly he listened to my band there and then, asked what I was using (at the time Ashdown), was I interested in going with his stuff.

To his credit, he must be offering artist endorsements to hundreds of people a year, but I took the bait, he handled Korg in the UK, and over the next few years used a combination of HyDrive enclosures...the 115/410/210.  The LH heads were nasty and I never got on with them...noisy and buzzy...but the cabinets were amazing really; I did well over 100 gigs and several hundred rehearsals with them.

Oddly, the only reason I moved them on was because I won the Barefaced Big One at the SE Bash three or four years ago.

I have very fond memories of my time with Hartke, but now they just seem to be one of a dozen companies all scrapping in a limited marketplace with some rather bland low end product, whereas (when all this was fields), it was an aspirational brand

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This thread makes me sad.

I had the HA3500 for years and it never let me down. It was the heart of my original Rig of Doom handling all the mids + highs + FX.

I didn't particularly like the LH500 I had for a while, but I really liked the Hydrive 4x10.

 

Is their reputation in the USA in the toilet as well? Or are they still liked over there?

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"...but now they just seem to be one of a dozen companies all scrapping in a limited marketplace with some rather bland low end product..."

You've hit the nail on the head there NJ!  And that is precisely why poor customer support is all it takes to kill your company.  Watch out Hartke!

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8 minutes ago, scrumpymike said:

"...but now they just seem to be one of a dozen companies all scrapping in a limited marketplace with some rather bland low end product..."

You've hit the nail on the head there NJ!  And that is precisely why poor customer support is all it takes to kill your company.  Watch out Hartke!

Just as an aside here, during my first dalliance with Larry (there's been two or three)...this must have been 2009 or 2012...I was in New York for the US Open Tennis, so it was one of those years, he told me about the Kilo and told me he'd got Billy Sheehan and Jack Bruce as endorsees, but that I should keep schtum.

I was looking forward to giving the Kilo a punt, but it just kept being put back, so I went with the LH1000, which really wasn't that great.  I really needed something that a head that was going to give me a bit of dirt, so I ended going the outboard route (Sansamp) and now I'm on Darkglass AO900.

About a year and a half ago, I was looking for a smaller alternative to the Big One and was looking around at going with a pair of 1x12s - I did have a pair of Aguilars, lovely cabs but too hi-fi for my tastes, I did look at the HD112s, but I felt I  just couldn't go back to Korg and try to get a deal on them.  I guess if I did get something different, I'd consider selling on the prototype Barefaced and going with a pair of Big Baby IIs.

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I bought a HD112, about 5 years ago, which was very disappointing. 

They were approx £350 new but these days you can't give them away, secondhand.

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2 hours ago, fretmeister said:

This thread makes me sad.

I had the HA3500 for years and it never let me down. It was the heart of my original Rig of Doom handling all the mids + highs + FX.

I didn't particularly like the LH500 I had for a while, but I really liked the Hydrive 4x10.

 

Is their reputation in the USA in the toilet as well? Or are they still liked over there?

Still pretty well respected in the US (according to TB at least!)

it’s the poor aftercare by Hal Leonard in Europe that I feel is a massive contributing factor here.

still feel there last decent products were the hydrive cabs. Amp wise, not much has lit up since the HA stuff 😞

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2 minutes ago, gjones said:

I bought a HD112, about 5 years ago, which was very disappointing. 

They were approx £350 new but these days you can't give them away, secondhand.

The HD series were only released in 2017, so you may have had the original (silver grill) on which I think were branded as simply Hydrive 112?

I personally quite like the 112’s. Still have 2 and they are quite well thought of in some circles.

 

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32 minutes ago, jimmy23cricket said:

The HD series were only released in 2017, so you may have had the original (silver grill) on which I think were branded as simply Hydrive 112?

I personally quite like the 112’s. Still have 2 and they are quite well thought of in some circles.

 

Yes, The HX112

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Posted (edited)

I have a Hartke...

Currently serving as a garden potting table.

20200607_191920.thumb.jpg.e623b85adc7ccf6c4d302968db8d6f85.jpg

(Disclaimer: It was utterly beyond any kind or repair! All speakers ruined and the chassis riddled with damp and mould.)

Edited by binky_bass
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Most of this comes down to their terrible UK distro. Like, nonexistent. Nobody sells their gear. Criticising the LH series for a lack of tonal flexibility misses the point entirely - It's a Fender dual showman preamp/tone stack and a massive SS power amp. You want to sound like Hooky and only have 300 quid? There you go. I'm pretty sure it's aimed at (probably older) players who want an SVT or a big ole HiWatt but can't afford it. Personally, I trust it. The LH500 into a pair of 2 x 10 XL cabs is loud as hell and my DOD Meatbox has yet to melt anything. If you're paying pop gigs and carrying gear on the tube, forget it. If your drummer is an animal and you are stuck between a 2 guitar arms race, step inside. I'm looking for a HyDrive 15 right now.

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