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User Review

Hartke HA3500 : Great amp!

Value For Money : Excellent
It's a hybrid amp.
Solid-state and tube peamp, solid-state power amp

2 pots for the preamp (tube and solid-state)
1 compressor pot
1 10-band EQ with On/Off switch
2 Contour pots (Low and High Pass)
1 Master/Volume pot
1 effects loop.
1 DI output with Pre/Post amplification switch
2 speaker outputs on 1/4" Jacks

UTILIZATION

There's a manual included, but the controls are simple and intuitive.
In the manual you can find setup examples, which is practical to start and find the right sound, because you can then fiddle with them a bit and find the desired sound.
The 10-band EQ is not very easy to understand in the beginning (I'm used to 3 bands only) and the bands are very sensitive, but you'll get used to it.
So you can easily find the sound you are looking for!

SOUNDS

It's great for all styles of music.
I play mainly rock/punk. With a Fender Precision the sound is very twangy, it's exactly what I was looking for.
This amp has been used by other bassists playing different styles of music during gigs and they have all been very satisfied. This amp adapts perfectly, regardless of the music genre!

I was disappointed by something: The built-in compressor is not on par with the rest of the amp. Up to 2/3, there's almost no effect and if you go beyond 3, almost no sound comes out of the amp. It's a mere accessory (not necessarily indispensable), but given its quality, it's better not to use it. I actually opted to buy a compressor pedal.

OVERALL OPINION

It must be 8 months since I use this amp and I am not disappointed, on the contrary. It's great for small and big stages. For the time being, I haven't been able to crank the volume knob beyond 2 during gigs (otherwise it gets picked up by the PA).
Tested at higher volumes at home, I was able to notice some noise with the volume set to 5/6 but up to now I have never had the need to play that loud!
Before buying this amp, I had the opportunity to test other brands, like Ashdown, Ampeg and MarkBass, as well as other Hartke models. I chose this one because, in my opinion, it's the most versatile at this price point. It's the best value for money, even if you don't quite have the same sound as with an all-tube Ampeg.

Now that I'm used to playing with it, I would buy it again without hesitation. It's powerful and with a relatively decent price, you can go for it with your eyes closed!