From Mesa to Aguilar Cabs - Very cool experience
I felt some obligation to post a few comments on my continued experimentation with bass cabinets over the last year or so. Last night, was really cool. I'm now the proud owner of an Aguilar DB810 and man, what a special cabinet it is!
For that that have read a few of my threads, I was playing Eden cabinets for years until recently making the change to Mesa. I had a chance to own a pair of Ampeg 810E's and a PR-810 over the past 6 months too. Just collected them up used and it's amazing and how quickly all of them sold again!
I had a Mesa recent Powerhouse 8x10 up until last week.
Ended up selling it to a local guy. I was all about starting to make the move to more lighter weight cabs, but then I caught wind of an available DB810. WOW!
Since I've owned the four different 8x10's, still own two Mesa PH410's and two PH212's, and have demoed a PH412, let me just say that Aguilar DB810 truly blew me away!
I tried it first with the original owner's SWR SM-1500 (that's an old gem of an amp) with his Warwick bolt-on 5 and couldn't believe the sound of the B string. It was so even.....and the strings were dead on the bass!
The other very cool thing about the DB810 is with the rear porting, it fills the room with bass very evenly. I love that effect it has.
So, when I got it home last night, I had to plug it into my Ampeg SVT-2Pro and grabbed my Fender American Jazz 4 string......and of course, I was very happy with the results. It's going to be interesting to see how it sounds with my other basses and amps. I'm anxious to hear how my Mesa 400+ (not hot rodded up with brand new tubes and an adjustable bias) and my Titan V12 Big Block will sound through the DB810 I'll probably post some more comments as I've tested out my gear.
There was a few people on here who inspired me to take a look at the DB810 and I read Justin Meldal-Johnsen's comments as well. I've seen him play several times with NIN over the past 5 years and always loved his live sound. I always wondered how he was able to amplify his upright bass while playing 'Piggy'. I'm going to guess that it was going through an Aguilar DB for sure.
Now, this cabinet may have been a catalyst for a change in gear......but I think I might try a different brand of cabinet.
Still thinking of getting some lighter weight cabs. But I might just get hooked by a DB410. Ah, maybe I'll be swapping my Mesa 4x10's for a couple DB410's. Still want to try a couple more Bergantino's though. I played a 410 back in the winter that just smoked.
Anyway, hoping this thread will get some more people to check out Aguilar if they're looking for new cabs. I'll have to give the GS series a shot too......but I'm thinking they're going to be more similar to Eden.
I currently have 4 Aguilar GS cabs (112, 115, 210, 410). And I have a Bergantino NV610. And am planning to get an Ampeg Heritage 810 next week.
How does the DB810 sound compare to the Ampeg 810s you've had? I had a shot at a Mesa 810 last week and I've been shying away from ported cabinets. All my current Aguilar cabs are ported and my Berg is sealed. The Aguilars all sound better to me, when played alone. But, when played in a band mix, the Berg sounds better. Thus why I'm selling my Aguilar 410 to get an Ampeg 810 (which is also sealed).
I'd love to try that NV610 of yours, heard lots of praise about that one. As I was saying, I checked out a Bergantino 410, not sure of the model, and it was awesome......looked liked it may have been an AE410.
Unfortunately, I sold all the Ampeg's 810's recently, so I can't do an exact a/b with all cabs in the same room with the same conditions. However, from my experience with sealed cabs, they mainly loose out in efficiency, but still sound great. The Mesa PH810 against the 810E (either an old USA or made in China is what I had) or PR810 (big beast of a cabinet), the Mesa definitely won with efficiency and volume.
From what I've read, the GS series vs the DB series from Aguilar are slightly different animals. And it is definitely from the Front Porting VS Rear Porting. That's the key.
Mesa cabs are also front ported (except for a couple in the 'Vintage line'. I think the concept is to get the added sound out in front of you / at your audience VS the rear ported which is to 'surround you and the room'. Sounds great in the right room. This is just an assumption of mine, not sure if that is truly correct. And I know Justin Meldal-Johnsen sounded great live with NIN.
Are you using a solid state or digital amp? Maybe you're using all-tube?
If you've got lots of power to spare, Ampeg's are nice, just less efficient than the Aguilar's. You have to put more watts into the Ampeg to get it even close to the same volumes as the Aguilar, but you're not going to get the same sound.
Try and see if you can check out a DB810 and 810E side by side. If I had to describe the DB810 I would say it's more 'piano' like.......very even sounding with of course the room filling sound. I've never heard a B string reproduced as nicely as the DB810, so now I'm even curious as what else is available out there now. Now, the Ampeg, pure rock and roll. Tried and true. Now tweeter, doesn't need one......but they're meant to be cranked. The Aguilar...good at any volume.....and the key is.....they're much harder to clip than the Ampeg or Mesa.
I have a horrible looking DB810 that squats in the corner of our rehearsal bunker, like a 186-pound silverback gorilla. It is clear-yet-warm, rich, flat, even, and deeeeep. Love it! Very different from the both the Mesa PH412 and Ampeg 810s.
However, I can't see taking it out for gigs, unless I acquire some strong roadies.
The Mesa 412 is a little bit more together than playing with the 2-212's, but that's the drawback for portability. Definitely a mid-range hump in Mesa 12 cabs, great for cutting through. The Ampeg's are very thumpy, but sometimes definition is lost a little.....especially with Active basses, sounds great with passive instruments (as do most sealed cabs)
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