Need advice with micro bass head. Possibly Aguilar Tone Hammer
I know there is a lot of debate around here regarding micro heads vs lead sleds and yada yada.
My tube head is going nowhere, but it has let me down twice in two years.
I think it's a good idea to invest in a class D head. For two reasons:
Portability: Those rainy night thursday night gigs I don't really want to play, I don't want to kick my heavy tube amp around.
Backup: It's nice to have an extra head in my gig bag.
I see a lot of brands are putting out bad designs. To prevent debate, let's not mention them.
I'm currently considering an Aguilar TH 350. The price and weight can't be beat. Also, being made in NYC, I love supporting my local economy.
I've read a lot of people saying their heads cut out, or even blow up. This is unacceptable IMO.
Is the TH 350 a solid head that can be pushed?
Thought I'd bump this.
You might want to check the Aguilar Tone Hammer mega threads, there are at least two of them for the TH350 and for the TH500.
I'm an Aguilar player myself, been gigging the DB 750 for 6-7 years and love it.
Only very limited experience with the Tone Hammer here, so I cannot really comment on that, but from what I've experienced the TH500 seems to be one of the finest micros out there, if you like the Aggie signature tone of course.
Whether you dig the tone or not is anyone's guess. I love the big low end (meaning very round and punchy), the very present midrange (easy to control with the powerful semi-parametric mid control) the very nice DI, the good wump of power (even with the 350), and the stellar reliability of the head based on virtually no failure reports or even safety shutdowns. I think someone had a big dump/spike of power that blew out a DI and was quickly fixed, but that is about it.
Anyway, impressive head that can keep up with most of the 500 watt models out there. The gain control has a lot of tonality to it, and the drive control is a nice control for tightening up the tone and adding a bit of feel.
If you run your all tube amp very clean, and crank the bass and treble for that super deep, scooped, sweet extended top end sort of thing, this amp might not be for you. If you like it growly and punchy, and 'not sizzly' up top, it is amazing. Amp seems to be MADE for a P Bass or a 60's J with nickelwounds.
IMO and IME.
Edit: One thing to be aware of. If you are really cranking the TH350 and using an 8ohm cab, you will see the 'clip light' come on. The clip light on the Aguilar is not the 'typical' input gain overload indication, but rather an indication of the overall preamp being driven hard. It is 'post master volume/pre power amp'. So, if you see that come on, it does NOT mean you are running out of headroom or that you need to turn down. It just says that the preamp is hitting the point where it is adding some additional 'grit' to the tone, which sounds good to many. That is the primary difference between the TH350 and TH500... a bit more output of the power amp at given preamp settings that results in you having a bit more clean headroom. Otherwise, they sound identical, minus a couple features on the 350... the second speakon out, and the effects loop.
I think he was referring to "micro heads" in general..blowing up..shutting down. .etc. and wanted to know if the TH had a bad rap. I cld be wrong tho.
for the record..I run a "micro"..with no backup...regularly. ;)
(Granted..its a GB shuttle) ;)
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