Hartke first revolutionized the world of bass amplification in 1985. Since, we've developed a full line of gear for a new generation of bass players.
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 two-way bookshelf system with an eight-inch aluminum woofer, under the Hartke name.
In 1984, while Lorman was working as a stage manger and engineer at New York’s famous Bottom Line Club, the two crafted the first aluminum bass speaker cones into one of Jaco Pastorius’s old 810 cabinets. Only that single cabinet was made and shared by a lot of the players on the scene. When Jaco tried out the new cabinet, the solid, coherent low end and the extended frequency range of the mids and highs produced by the aluminum cones inspired him. As a result, Jaco began using the cabinet at all of his shows.
By 1985, the word had spread about the new quicker, clearer bass sound of Jaco’s 810 and Hartke began mass production of its first aluminum cone bass cabinet, a 4 x 10” module dubbed the 410XL. Eventually, Hartke developed an entire line of XL cabinets, including the 115XL, 210XL, 410XL, 4.5XL and 810XL, which have been played on stages around the world by players like Jaco, Marcus Miller, Darryl Jones, Jack Bruce, Will Lee and Garry Tallent.
While most of these models are still in production, that first Hartke/Jaco 810 now resides in the window at Hartke’s 48th Street Bass Lounge in New York City.
Hartke artist and bass virtuoso Victor Wooten talks about his touring rig of choice, which features the Hartke LH1000 Bass Amplifier, as well as the Hartke HyDrive HD410 and HD115 Bass Cabinets.