VX3500 review by Hartke

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  • Sound: 10
  • Overall Impression: 10
  • Reliability & Durability: 9
  • Features: 10
  • Reviewer's score: 9.8 Superb
  • Users' score: 6.2 (13 votes)
Hartke: VX3500

Price paid: $ 500

Purchased from: eBay

Sound — 10
I play the VX3500 with a Rogue LX406 (laugh if you want, it's worth more than its price) which has 2 sngle coil pickups. So for saying my bass doesn't have excellent pickups, this amp still copes well to fit my genre of metal. Like I've said, this amp is LOUD. It's hard to get it to a volume that's nice to jam on your own, because it basically goes from silent (when the knob is about 3/4 of the way to 1) to blasting you with power when you go just past 1. As far as environments, this amp sounds great indoors, in small or large places, as well as outside under a pavillion at a club or wherever. You can get basically whatever sound you want from this amp because of all of it's tone shaping features listed in the above paragraph. This amp will distort at high volumes just like any other, but there's no reason to turn this amp past like a 4 tops, and it sounds clear at that volume.

Overall Impression — 10
I bought this amp on ebay because I wanted it, but for a relatively low price. If you buy this amp in a store, it's going to be right around $800 after tax. I got mine for 500 something. Anyway, I play death metal for my band, but jam out with some other genres. This amp is truely unbeleivable with its tone. The 1 inch titanium horn makes your high end cut through so well, and the 4 10 inch paper speakers provide the power. I've owned this for maybe 6 months now, but I've been playing almost 2 years. I've never owned an amp quite near the size or wattage of the VX3500, so it's not like I can compare it to the Peavey MAX112 I had before. This combo amp is better compared to a half or full stack. The only thing I would asked beforehand is about the castors. You attach them yourself, the screws and everything is supplied for you though. It got a little confusing seeing as there were different screw sizes, but it all worked out. If this amp were stolen or lost, I would definately buy it again. What I love the most about this amp is the wattage. It is 350 watts. I've played shows with Carnifex on a volume of slightly past 1. I honestly think this combo amp is louder than most full stacks, for bass or guitar. There are so many tone-shaping options on the amp too, which is really great. There is nothing to hate about this amp.

Reliability & Durability — 9
Shortly after I got this amp, it got tipped and fell onto its back with the power cord plugged into the head. So it got jacked up (literally, at it's input jack) but my dad still managed (with not much trouble) to fix it up with some screws and electrical tape. So a few months and dozens of practices and shows later, I've had no problems. Everytime I play a show I choose to play it, knowing it'll get the job done, other than the time I was forced to play through a Behringer full stack, which totally sucked on tone. So in the about 6 months I've owned this amp, the only problems I've experienced came from faulty cables or batteries in my bass. This thing takes a beating being loaded into the car to go to shows every so often, but it's only had physical damage (the plastic corner piece cracked when it hit up against something, but it's no big deal).

Features — 10
I don't know what year this amp was made. This amp could fit any style of music I'm sure. Ideally it would probably work bes with jazz because of its 1" titanium hor that lets your high end Shine. But I play in a death metal band and it works great for that because it cranks out low end power and brings out the high ends too. This amp has an active and passive channel, you have to switch them manually though. No headphone jack, but I'm pretty sure there is an effect loop in the back of the head of the amp (after all, this combo amp is just a Hartke 3500 head permanently attached to and 4x10 VX series cabinet). I use the back of the head to direct out for recording or playng shows. This thing has plenty of features including: solid state and tube preamps, bass and treble contour controls, a 10 band graphic EQ (which can be turned off), and variable compression (which can also be negated). As you see, you can create virtually any tone with these features, and all are used in getting that perfect one. I use this amp anywhere from band practice in a basement to a show with bands like Carnifex in clubs that hold hundreds of people. I play those shows and practice on a volume slightly past 1. I'm not even joking about that either. This thing has all the power and volume you want and then 9 levels past that.

2 comments sorted by best / new / date

    I forgot to add into here that I feel Ampeg full stacks are used by what seems like EVERY bassist out there. I highly recommend switching it up (for the better) and using hartke products, after all they were the ones that started kickback amps, aluminum cones, and the hybrid paper-aluminum cones. They're the most copied off brand, yet seem underrated!
    I just got one and I'm happy with it. It's a bit noisy thru its own speakers and also thru the direct out. Otherwise has the power and punch - and as noted above good control over a variety of tones. ps: It's heavy to lift and transport, around 110 pounds.