Hartke first revolutionized the world of bass amplification in 1985 with the creation of a unique aluminum cone driver that produced a bass tone with far broader dynamics than had ever been heard before. Since then, we have introduced a complete line of bass gear, and introduced the Hartke sound to a whole new generation of bass players. Our success can be attributed to a long history of inspiring world-class musicians with our innovative bass speaker technology.
The Hartke Story
In the late 1970s, electronics gurus Larry Hartke and Ron Lorman began tinkering with the first prototype aluminum cone drivers. It wasn't until 1980 that they released their first products, an aluminum cone, free edge tweeter and a 2-way bookshelf system with an eight-inch aluminum woofer, under the Hartke name.
By 1985, word had spread about the new, faster, clearer bass sound of Jaco's 810, and Hartke began mass producing its first aluminum cone bass cabinet, a 4x10" module. By 1989, Hartke had developed a full line of XL cabinets, including the 115XL, 210XL, 410XL, 4.5XL and 810XL, which were used on stages around the world by players such as Jaco, Marcus Miller, Darryl Jones, Jack Bruce, Will Lee and Garry Tallent.
Over the years, we found that some Hartke artists liked to play our aluminum cabinets alongside a traditional paper cone cabinet. They loved the clarity of the aluminum combined with the low end depth they could only get from paper.
Fast forward to 2005. At Madison Square Garden, Jack Bruce reunited with fellow Cream members Eric Clapton and Ginger Baker for the first time in nearly 30 years. Jack played through a pair of Hartke's traditional paper-cone cabinets and a classic 410XL aluminum cabinet. The inspiration for the next revolution in bass speaker technology was staring us in the face from the stage of the world's most famous arena.
Hartke engineers set out to merge the aluminum cones that had made our company famous with traditional paper cones. The goal was to create a new loudspeaker that was unique, powerful and inspiring. The result is the HyDrive Series. Hartke's HyDrive bass cabinets have become the foundation for the sound that world-class musicians like Victor Wooten, Billy Sheehan, Nate Watts, Frank Bello and many others rely on night after night.
Today, the XL and HyDrive cabinets are just one part of Hartke's extensive line of bass gear, which also includes the raw power of our bass amps and unique combo amps.
Kicking Back with John Ferrara
John Ferrara (Consider the Source) and a special guest show us just how versatile the bass can be. The performances were recorded using Hartke Kickback KB12 and KB15 bass combo amps. The Hartke Kickback bass combo amps feature a powerful, lightweight design, are ruggedly portable, and deliver serious tone with the classic Hartke sound.
Starting 1984, when Larry Hartke first created an 8x10 cabinet using aluminum speakers for Jaco Pastorius, Hartke has been known for advancing speaker design. This marked a revolutionary shift in speaker technology and soon after, Hartke XL cabinets were seen on stages everywhere. Always driving the latest innovations in speaker and amplifier technology, the Hartke revolution rolls on…
Larry Hartke builds 8x10" cabinet for Jaco Pastorius
Hartke Launches XL Speaker Cabinets
Hartke Introduces Transporter Cabinets
Hartke launches the legendary HA3500 amplifier
Hartke adds the 4.5 to the XL Cabinet line
The Hartke Kickback revolutionizes combo design
B Series Combos are introduced
Hartke Pro Series including the model 2100 take the stage
Hartke Launches VX Speaker Cabinets
Hartke Bass Attack Pedal is launched
HyDrive Cabinets with patented Aluminum/paper speaker cones are introduced
AK Paper cone speaker cabinets
TX600 Lightweight BAss Amp
Hartke launches the HyDrive HD series
Introduction of the HyDrive HL lightweight cabinets
Hartke insights + Updates
How to be a Session Bass Player with Victor Wooten
Video: Kickback with James Genus
Video: Kickback with Nate Watts
Join the Hartke Team
Hartke is always looking for talented, energetic and creative team players. We encourage musicians, engineers, sales or customer service professionals with a background in the consumer and pro audio industries to contact us about our current job opportunities.
Get in Touch
Have a question or comment? Please contact us for product support, or assistance with your online order. We are here to ensure your get the help you need.