Was thinking about trading it in for the Ibanez Promethean, but decided to keep it. Does all you can ask from such a small amp.
Typical features, nice headphone out and direct out.
Truly awesome tone for it's size. But you gotta like the Hartke Aluminum thing! You will almost always end up with the bass control dialed up to 3/4
to get real bottom - But for it's size what can you expect?
Had it for 5 years now, bought it used...Never a problem.
It may not appeal to everyone- out-and-out rockers and metallers are unlikely to find it loud enough and will possibly feel that it's petite charms aren't macho enough for them, but if your music is more mellow and you want a small, convenient amp that is handy to get to and from shows but loud enough that you can be heard at those shows this is a really good choice.
Model Year: 2004
Price: $360.00 UK pounds (new)
Where Obtained: Guitar Village, Farnham, England
This is a small lightweight amplifier that packs a surprisingly hefty punch for its size. After struggling to get a massive Marshall combo to gigs and rehearsals I decided I wanted something smaller and this was the best thing I could find. It has simple controls - a single input, a volume control three band EQ and a switchable shape control but that is all I really want from a bass amp. I don't feel I need a large amplifier because at any gigs where I need to be louder than this can handle I am going to be going through the PA (using the balanced line-out socket on the front of the amp) and I can use the cut corners to lean the amplifier back and use it as a bass monitor.
The only weakness is the speaker- it is of excellent quality but it is still only a 10" speaker and there are limits on how much noise that can make. I find it does sometimes start to distort slightly when I'm using it loud and unsupported but the EQ is flexible enough that I can work round it. I always tend to use a clean sound and I think if I was using a distortion pedal the amp would probably lack the sheer force of volume to cut through with that.
I play it completely clean with an active Patrick Eggle bass. It works well for the alt-rock/americana type of music I am playing and I think it would fit in nicely in most situations where you're using a clean sound- as I mentioned above it does distort slightly as you ramp the volume up ( I get distortion above 12 O'Clock on the volume control but I have a very high-output bass ) and I don't know how well it would work if you are using a lot of effects - the lack of effects loop would perhaps have an impact here.
The controls are simple but give you a lot of tonal control from smooth pure bassiness to zinging treble- I have never been unable to find a sound I wanted from this amp.
No-one will be challenged by this control setup - it is simpler than any other amplifier I have used- but what makes this essential is it's size and weight. I can carry my bass, amplifier and bag of leads and other bits from the car to the gig or rehearsal in one journey. It's worth it from the jealous looks off the guitarists alone.
I have been using it for a year now with weekly rehearsals and around 2 gigs per month, on average. It still looks pretty much new and it sounds as good as it ever did. It's covered in heavy duty carpet with solid rubber corners - I don't really think you can comment on durability until you've had a few years working with a piece of kit but so far it has served me well.
I don't think I could have gotten a better practice amp. I have enjoyed using it very much.
Model Year: 1999
Price: $400.00 (new)
Where Obtained: Guitar Works-Greenwood
The Hartke Kick back 10 has a volume control, shape control, low, mid, high control, direct out, and headphone jack. I bought it with my first bass, an Ibanez roadmaster II. It is a good practice amp. I use it for practicing at home. It has enough power, 120 watts, to fill our family room. The headphone jack comes in handy late at night. It does a fine job as a proctice amp, which is why I bought it. The shape control works very well.
I play a Fender P base made in Mexico, and an American made Fender J-bass. Both sound very good with the Kickback 10. I like to play along with Bob Marley CD's and the shape control along with using mostley the neck pickup, I can get a very good tone. Take all of my comments with a grain of salt, I have been playing for a year and a half and am still pretty much a beginner. My son has taken the amp to play at his friends, they have an alternative band, and it came back in one piece. No buzzes or strange noises were noticed. I am sure it spent the night with the volume at 11. So for playing at home, it does a fine job. I sometimes wish I had gotten the 15, but I don't really need more bass for playing at home.The 10 inch speaker will make all the pictures dance on the wall during "Stir it Up".
It appears to be made very well. The corners are reinforced. The cabinet is covered in carpet. They only thing I would be worried about is the air vent on the top. Someone could set a drink there and spill it into the electronics. If I were playing live, I would have to go through the mixer with the direct out. It wouldn't have enough to be heard in a club. It is very well constructed.