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Microphone Month

Hartke KM200 Review

This is a very punchy monitor!!

I first picked the KM200 to review mostly because I was unfamiliar with Hartke’s offering in the lineup of keyboard amplifiers. I was well aware of their well-deserved reputation for making excellent bass rigs, and so was somewhat curious to see how the KM200 would perform.
I am happy to report that I was not disappointed in the least bit. Moreover there were a few very nice inclusions that I found to be very useful and well directed in the overall use of the KM200.
First off – At this price point it’s a LOT of amp!! Two hundred watts to be exact. This will allow for most club players, through most intermediate venue sizes, to have more than enough power to monitor themselves cleanly and easily. In addition they are stereo linkable so a person can run two of them from the same source.

Next there is a 7-band EQ on the output stage which can allow for some very critical sound contouring when needed. Enough for even a demanding ear or difficult monitoring situation. Most of the others in this range usually offer only 2- or 3-band EQ.

The kickback wedge action is a nice touch. The dual use angling ability is perfect for use on a table top, or pointing right at you from the floor as a “wedged” monitor.

Next, and I think most importantly, is the sound. If anyone has ever been looking for a reasonably priced keyboard cabinet that can really deliver the lows – coming from a 15″ aluminum cone driver. These come through as very well defined and punchy in almost any keyboard range – and from what I could see, at almost all volumes (I tried to see if it would take it all the way up to “Max” , but I had to stop in order to save my eardrums). The highs too – delivered from a titanium compression driver, were very crisp, tight, and articulate. This is a very punchy monitor!!

Last we can talk about the connectivity – more than enough for most players and situations! Four discrete channels can be run in mono or stereo, with the expected, normal 1/4″ inputs, and on the unexpected side, even an XLR on one channel and an RCA input on another for anything from vocals in a small cafe to bringing in a CD player or other outside source. This will allow the KM200 to double as a nice small PA in a small, intimate playing situation. With a seperate dedicated headphone out for cueing, and a separate set of outputs (both TRS and XLR) for direct-to-the-PA signal – Overall I rate it as powerful, very well laid out, and well connected. The KM200 scores very high – a definite buy in my book.

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