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 2-way bookshelf system with an eight-inch aluminum woofer, under the Hartke name.
By 1985, word had spread about the new, faster, clearer bass sound of Jaco's 810, and Hartke began mass producing its first aluminum cone bass cabinet, a 4x10" module. By 1989, Hartke had developed a full line of XL cabinets, including the 115XL, 210XL, 410XL, 4.5XL and 810XL, which were used on stages around the world by players such as Jaco, Marcus Miller, Darryl Jones, Jack Bruce, Will Lee and Garry Tallent.
Over the years, we found that some Hartke artists liked to play our aluminum cabinets alongside a traditional paper cone cabinet. They loved the clarity of the aluminum combined with the low end depth they could only get from paper.
Fast forward to 2005. At Madison Square Garden, Jack Bruce reunited with fellow Cream members Eric Clapton and Ginger Baker for the first time in nearly 30 years. Jack played through a pair of Hartke's traditional paper-cone cabinets and a classic 410XL aluminum cabinet. The inspiration for the next revolution in bass speaker technology was staring us in the face from the stage of the world's most famous arena.
Hartke engineers set out to merge the aluminum cones that had made our company famous with traditional paper cones. The goal was to create a new loudspeaker that was unique, powerful and inspiring. The result is the HyDrive Series. Hartke's HyDrive bass cabinets have become the foundation for the sound that world-class musicians like Victor Wooten, Billy Sheehan, Nate Watts, Frank Bello and many others rely on night after night.
Today, the XL and HyDrive cabinets are just one part of Hartke's extensive line of bass gear, which also includes the raw power of our bass amps and unique combo amps.
Starting 1984, when Larry Hartke first created an 8x10 cabinet using aluminum speakers for Jaco Pastorius, Hartke has been known for advancing speaker design. This marked a revolutionary shift in speaker technology and soon after, Hartke XL cabinets were seen on stages everywhere. Always driving the latest innovations in speaker and amplifier technology, the Hartke revolution rolls on…