Piggyback review by Hartke

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  • Sound: 9
  • Overall Impression: 9
  • Reliability & Durability: 7
  • Features: 9
  • Reviewer's score: 8.5 Superb
  • Users' score: 8.8 (16 votes)
Hartke: Piggyback

Price paid: € 300

Purchased from: The House Of Music

Sound — 9
I use this amp mostly for playing styles like jazz, funk and soul, but it also sounds good when playing blues/rock, my guitar is a London City hurricane II (a PRS look-alike). The sound is great, it has a really clear sound, even on high volumes. The amp is very versatile, you can create a lot of sounds with it, ranging from smooth jazzy sounds to heavy distortion. Channel one has a bit of background noise, which I think comes from the tube, since channel two has no background noise whatsoever. But, despite the background noise, channel one is still great because the tube gives a really warm sound. Tha amp has two types of distortion: the crunch on channel one and the gain on channel two. The crunch gives a very fuzzy sound; it mostly distorts the high tones. The gain on channel two gives a heavier distortion, but not heavy enough to play something like metal (which I don't mind since I never play metal).

Overall Impression — 9
The Hartke Piggyback is a versatile amplifier, best used when playing jazz or blues. It has a great sound for just 300 euros, so if it was stolen I would defenitely buy it again. What I love most about this amp is the warm sound that the tube gives. And besides the great sound, it also looks really good.

Reliability & Durability — 7
I have had this amp for half a jear now, and so far I haven't had any problems at all. But if something would break during a gig (like the tube or a speaker), there is a good chance you could just play on because if the tube breaks, you still have channel two, and if a spreaker breaks, you still have trhee others left. The outside of the amp is pretty sturdy, the angles are renforced with thick plastic. However I doubt it would still work when it would fall, but I'm not going to try that out for you.

Features — 9
The Hartke Piggyback is a 6o watt tube mini stack. It has two channels and a channel Switch. Channel one actually uses the tube, whereas channel two doesn't. There are different effects for both channels, channel one has crunch (distortion), volume, bass and treble; channel two has gain, volume, mid, bass, treble. The amplifier alos has reverb, which effects both channels. The 60 watt amp and the 4 8-inch speakers provide enough power to play on stage. The amp is easy to move around, because it has wheels and handles. The Hartke Piggyback also has a headphone jack and a CD input jack, so you can play along with a CD-player. I never use the last feature, but it sounds ok. The amplifier has a little plastic window in it through wich you can see the tube, it glows when the amp is on. I guess this enables you, when it breaks down, to see if it's the tube or something else.

5 comments sorted by best / new / date

    Looks cool. I think i'll ask this for my birthday because I got now a crappy 20 watt starters amp.
    dude this is a decent review...i have this amp and i paid $200 for it and its ****in amazing for the price....oh and its more durable then u think...i dont have any problems with it and i play metal....more thrash but the distortion is perfect
    I have one as well. I bought mine from a private owner for $225 and it works like a charm. Something that wasn't elaborated upon so much was that the wheels help when you have strict parents/siblings under the same roof that tend to complain about the volume on the amp; most specifically, the wheels elevate the amp from the ground, reduce the amount of vibrations going through the floor down to lower levels. I only have one issue with the amp all together though: I'm kinda having a bit of trouble finding a distinct sound that appeals to me; however, this is more likely my guitar, as I have a crappy Peavey EXP series that is a knockoff of a strat
    i have the head. bought it for $100 at a pawn shop. the distortion could do up to hard rock, but not metal. i don't really use it other than running a mixer through its CD-in and using it as a P.A.
    This amp is really worth buying, very low cost compared to other stacks, and it works GREAT. I find the distortion really awesome, and you can get most sounds out of it, from fuzzy and warm distortion, to 60's and 70's clean blues/jazz/rock sound. I FUCKING LOVE IT