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HELP! Hartke LX8500 & 410 Hydrive cab problem?


tm87
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Hello, hope everyone is doing well in these crazy times!!

 

So I bought the Hartke LX8500 bass amp head (it's Class D with Class A tube preamp) NEW and the 410 Hydrive cab second hand but looks in great condition.  Super excited, switched on and first thing I noticed was a fair amount of hiss! The kind you'd expect more from a high gain guitar amp... hmmm... no idea how normal this is for a bass head or for this model in particular, anyway, started playing and was very underwhelmed by the amount of output I got.  Playing in my small home studio, no compression, everything @12 O'Clock and with the preamp gain @ 90% and master volume @ 50% but it seems to be comfortably within practice type volumes, nowhere near gig volume (peaking around 80db on 2 different phone app db meters).  It gets a bit louder obviously if I push the master.  @ 90% I'm getting never more than 90db, bit more hefty but I'd be swallowed by a loud drummer! I thought this was supposed to be a great gigging amp with tons of headroom and plenty of power for small-mid size venues???

Amp is 800W CONTINUOUS @4ohms  so should be getting minimum 400W @8ohms with this cab (site I read reported 550W continuous @8ohms so should be plenty).  Does it sound like I've been sold a faulty second hand cab or been sent a new working but somehow underpowered amp head?? Is there any way I can test both of the amp and cab without other gear to plug in/mix with? 

At the lowish volumes I'm playing at (I can talk over it with relative ease at the settings mentioned above - 50% Master Volume).  I don't feel the head getting warm either... again not sure if that's normal for this unit but it does have a fan that's supposed to switch on at a certain temp...

 

Any help is massively appreciated!  Can anyone with the same gear get a db reading at the same settings or with comparable gear etc?  or again any help as far as testing.
I'm also playing an Ibanez SG series active bass (battery is fine).

 

Thank you beautiful people! 🙂🎸

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I can try! XD  Disappointed as I actually found it hard to get solid reviews on it and the ones on shopping websites were generally very highly rated (I know, can't trust them for S~*t) plus the very few demo videos on it seem solid :/.  I mean should it really feel this underpowered??  Any recommendations for a head??

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May be a dodgy lead or speaker cable. Check the easy stuff first.....

Re the hiss - check the bright button isn't engaged

The video reviews look pretty good and no one mentions that it's underpowered - I reckon its a lead or a faulty amp.

Edited by Mudpup
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Cabs don't create hiss. They reproduce hiss that amps create, so don't blame the cab on that. Why is everything at 12:00? That gives the same result as if those knobs weren't there. Use them. You should be getting 90dB with less than a watt, so some output voltage testing with a pink noise source is in order. However, I wouldn't put a lot of faith in phone app meters.

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I would never buy a Hartke now. A mate got the TX600 and when I tried it, it had no power. I'm sure that on talkbass someone had taken the top off to reveal the power module saying "400w." I fully suspect the newer ones will be the same. Underpowered junk.

 

They can have Victor Wooten on as many adverts as they like. It doesn't matter as their amps are dreadful.

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If you need so much gain that you're noticing a lot of hiss, my first thought would be that you aren't driving the amp hard enough. Hiss will usually be produced by the preamp section of the head. You're not using a passive bass into an active input are you?

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