Hartke VXL Bass Attack
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Hartke VXL Bass Attack

VXL Bass Attack, Bass preamp pedal from Hartke in the AC series.

MGR/martinc 02/12/2005

Hartke VXL Bass Attack : MGR/martinc's user review

« Hartke VXL Bass Attack Pedal »
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I was not satisfied with my tone. I saw several reviews about the Hartke bass pedal saying it was a good stuff, so I bought one from www.misk-service.de for 99 euros plus 15 euros shipping.

This unit provides really various and good tones. I have completely bypassed the preamplifier section of my combo and plug my bass into the pedal and then directly to the power amplifier section. The result is far better than with the original preampli.

This unit can do 4 things :
- DI box
- pre amplifier (with volume, bass, treble, mid ("shape"))
- distorsion effect
- tone selector (2 footswitches)
What I regret is that on stage or rehearsal it is difficult to perform a fast tone change because it is very difficult to see how the potentiometers are set and the "shape" function can be distinctively louder when engaged with a footswitch.

The box is made out of metal and looks strong enough to whistand the assaults of time and use. Inside it is neat and clean. Good old analogue components are used so it should not be too difficult to repair if needed. For my part I speak from experience since I received the unit with the "brite" potentiometer broken. It could not have been seen from the outside. The potentiometer was broken due to a misalignment with its dedicated hole in the box when the two parts of the box were closed. Hartke does not test the pedal after assembly...
This incident somewhat cooled down my enthousiasm. On top of this I must say that the user manual is under expectation. It lacks a diagram showing the relations between inputs, processes, switches, outputs, such as any mixing console provides. It lacks indication of impedance and levels for the inputs and outputs. It lacks indication of consumption on 9V supply. Last but not least, page 9 of the manual describes a setup which is impossible. I asked Hartke about this, and after two answers besides the point they decided to keep a prudent silence.

Today I don't know of any other pedal providing similar functions in this price range. The competitors are at least twice more expensive. The Hartke pedal can be used in many situations and provides very good tones. I would recommend a try to anyone who is not satisfied with its current sound or to anyone who needs one of the functions provided by this pedal.

This review was originally published on http://www.musicgearreview.com