Hartke Piggy Back GT60/408 : MGR/Diego Ambrosio's user review
« Hartke GT60 Piggyback »
Amplifier: the GT60 Piggyback is a head with a cabinet, but smaller than usual. Features: two channels, one of which uses a tube. Channel 1 has crunch, volume, treble and bass. Channel 2 has gain, volume, bass, mid, treble. There is a reverb that works equally for both channels. There are output jacks for speaker and for headphones(!). There are input jacks for effects as well as for a CD Player sound(!).
Sound: very versatile, but isn't so natural as a JCM900. Channel 1 may be a bit 'clinical', without warmth, but the distortion sounds closer to 'natural' than the one on Channel 2. Channel 2 sounds closer to 'natural' when clean, but the distortion has an artificial impression to me. Still, Channel 2 is warmer for a slight overdrive. The fundamental tone reminds me of the 80's pop/rock as Huey Lewis. Still, I could get a trebly distortion resembling NIN, a fuzz sound (bassy, though) revealing some Down By Law, a subtle overdrive that showed a hint of Pink Floyd, a classic overdrive that resembled Rolling Stones and maybe the Beatles and a very clean sound as well. I find it terrible for vintage stuff, though. I think it can do a good job for general pop playing or any style that doesn't worry about a natural sound and/or sound refinement.
Response to Pedals/Guitar/Pickups: a trebly pickup will sound trebly, a bassy guitar will sound bassy, a mid-range pedal will sound mid-range and so on. The Piggyback doesn't mask much the sound of the pedals (SansAmp Classic, Boss CS-3, OD-2 and GE-7) and pickups (DiMarzio Air Zone, Fender Tex Mex and Fender MIM Standard) I tried.
Construction: despite the tube presence, this amp doesn't look fragile and shall do great as a working horse, rehearsal amp and live equipment. This amp still needs the usual maintenance as any other.
Rating: I'll give it 3 stars for it's steady, versatile, but doesn't provide a refined sound.
PS: I don't use the reverb because it generates a annoying humming. I think my unit in particular has a problem.
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