Music Gear Review: Hartke HD500 Bass Combo

The high-powered, lightweight HD500 Bass Combo packs a pair of 10-inch, patented Hartke HyDrive speakers with neodymium magnets, and is powered by a 500-watt Class-D amplifier. This comes all in a sleek enclosure weighing only 35 pounds.

The HD500’s HyDrive speakers blend paper and aluminum materials into a speaker cone that produces an exceptional blend of warmth and attack that can’t be attained by traditional all-paper cones. The rare earth neodymium magnets help to reduce the combo’s overall weight but without sacrificing any of the Harke’s legendary attack and performance.

The HD500’s top-mounted control panel includes a selectable Shape control that activates a preset EQ curve for a unique tone with selective boosts/cuts across the entire frequency range. Further tone modification is accomplished using Shape’s variable filter and on-board three-band EQ. With an XLR direct out connector, 1/4-inch headphone jack and 1/8-inch stereo Aux input, the HD500 sells for $599.


Barry Rudolph is a recording engineer/mixer who has worked on over 30 gold and platinum records. He has recorded and/or mixed Lynyrd Skynyrd, Hall & Oates, Pat Benatar, Rod Stewart, the Corrs and more. Barry has his own futuristic music mixing facility and loves teaching audio engineering at Musician’s Institute, Hollywood, CA. He is a lifetime Grammy-voting member of NARAS and a contributing editor for Mix Magazine. barryrudolph.com