UPDATE: Nov 2013
Still happy with the sound of the cab, but the construction is not Ford-tough. I already knew the glue for the covering would wear off (cosmetic defect), but the cheap plastic covering itself is paper thin & can pretty much be torn by a finger nail. The metal corners are also thin & dent very easily. Also, the nuts over the 1/4″ speaker jacks are plastic! For these reasons, I’ll never own a matching pair like I had hoped. I’ll be looking for a way to turn it into the Markbass New York 121…
I’m loving this cabinet, so far. I really wanted a 1×12″ bass cabinet, but remained open to a 1×10″ while researching features. My primary requirement was for it to weigh in at approximately 30 lbs, or less. After meeting that, it had to have the biggest sound attainable, expressed in watts & frequency response. My intention is to use a single cabinet for most gigs and double up with matched pair for louder/electric bass gigs.
Judging from the old armchair, the Hartke HX112 HyDrive is very close in features/value to the GK Neo 112-II, and I chose the Hartke over the GK, Bergantino AE112, Eden EX112, Epiphani UL2 (10″ & 12″), Euphonic Audio Wizzy (10″ & 12″), Markbass New York 121, and TC Electronics RS112. These were all available in the affordable $400-600 range. Although some very interesting models exist above that (Aguilar SL112!), it’s hard to imagine every owning a matched pair. The Hartke HX112 is 31 lbs, 300 Watts, and 41Hz-17kHz. The deciding factor for me was the innovative Ohmns selection on the back panel, allowing you to switch between 4 & 8 Ohms. However, I’ll probably be leaving it on 8 Ohms, as I’m now powering it with the Markbass Little Mark Tube 800, so I actually want the added resistance. Were you to power it with a 300-500 Watts @ 4 Ohms amp, the ability to switch the cab to 4 Ohms would come in very handy. Actually, the real deciding factor was that I saw one for sale which was cosmetically blemished for under $300. Couldn’t argue with the return policy, so I jumped on my chance to try it out. Lucky for me, the so called blemish is minimal :-). Danmnit!- another deciding factor was remembering how good Dave Holland sounded through a Hartke 4×10″.
Anyhow, the HX112 is my first upgrade to the GK MB150S combo, serving as an extension cab. Since the GK’s internal speaker can be turned on/off with a button, I was able to use the GK as a head (with the EQ flat), and compare the sound of each speaker side by side. What a world of difference! It’s so deflating to realize I’ve tolerated the thin, metallic sound of the GK speaker for so long, and for no other reason than convenience! The Hartke speaker is punchy! As the model name implies, the speaker is a hybrid between their signature aluminum cone and the traditional paper cone. It sounds great with flat EQ, yet can handle the boost of lows through highs with clarity. This speaker cabinet can, no doubt, deliver the added presence I’ve been craving on my gigs lately.