"Look No Longer...This One Is The Best"
This reviewer purchased this item from Same Day Music.
Just the controls you need to sculpt the sound you desire. Panel is arranged to be efficient and logical. 7-band EQ is just enough. The bass attack controls give you access to a 'heavier' sound when playing music that calls for growl,etc. The 'shape' control is wonderful. One knob, when rotated, gives you a variety of sound contours to dial in the sound you are looking for. Compression control is excellent,...limiter is quick and effective. The Hy-Drive speaker is punchy when need be,...smooth without a 'flabby' sound on deep bass. When EQ'd appropriately this speaker can get crisp and drive hard. I tend to play in much less demanding venues (regarding volume and punch) and find the controls give me everything I need,... but I've 'lit' this rig up a time or two when playing with others who go for 'in your face' rock,...and this rig holds its own.
The controls are everything a bassist needs to achieve a complete range of sounds to fit all occasions. The cabinet is constructed very well and is solid...in order to transfer the nuanced harmonics that are available. It's also covered in 'tolex'?,... vinyl-type material. Exellent stuff. Not that stupid 'furry' cloth type that picks up every bit of debris and lint. The horn has a two position rocker switch that allows the player to brighten up as much as needed on the crossover frequencies. Another nice feature is the ability to unplug the built in speaker on the back of the panel and add an additional small cabinet. THe 300 watts will handle the load. A footswitch to control the Attack and Shape controls is not included. I bought a footswitch.... $30. It's really well made, solid.
I play all kinds of music except rap and slap...this amp is worth the money because of three key things: Very well constructed (nor corners cut to use cheap components), visually pleasing layout and design, most of all...the sound is extaordinarily good. YOu can brag up your $1700 SVT's all you want, but 99.9% of your listeners (including you) will never know the difference when you play through this setup.
Ease of Use:
The controls are laid out logically. The knobs are attractive and do not resemble the big old radio dial types like Fender, etc. The sliders on the 7-band EQ are a bit small for my fingers. I don't have any real problem with them, but if you're in a hurry to EQ you can get fumble fingered and move more than one slider at a time. If Hartke changed the design to make them bigger it would just end up changing all the other things I like already... so better left alone. I play a Peavy Cirrus bass with active controls, and a Kramer Stagemaster (vintage 1982) with passives. They both have significantly different tonal controls/ranges and produce much different fundamental tone characteristics. This amp is able to accommodate either bass and can be set to produce just the sound I'm wanting at the moment.
Fit and finish on the amp is excellent. The grille panel is extremely protective of the speaker(s)... heavy gauge. This amp has a great visual appeal as its design does not try to emulate anybody else. I'm certain this amp could travel well without worry of durability. Most people who spend time on the road know your equipment will last only as long as you care for it and treat it well.
Have not yet had to deal with customer service.
I did comparison shopping for three weeks before settling on this amp. I even went to a couple of music stores to test drive the products available. This product is worth the price.
The Wow Factor:
The design is 'eye candy' in the world of amps. It has a very appealing look and the special Hy-Drive cone design makes it even more mysterious-looking.
This amp meets every requirement I have to create the music I play,....and then some. I will not be shopping for other products in the meantime. I expect this amp to last years as I take very good care of my equipment. The only thing I added to the 'package' is an effects pedal I bought separately (a BP50) that gives me way more control of the sound I make than I ever expected.