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Aguilar DB680 vs. DB659

Discussion in 'Amps [BG]' started by EBMatt, Aug 14, 2006.

  1. EBMatt

    EBMatt

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    How good does the DB659 sound when compared to the DB680? I know the DB680 has the semi-parametric EQ, but it is worth the extra cash. The DB659 is really basic, but still seems to be pretty solid. It looks alot like a DB750, but just without the power. The DB680 looks really good, but if I trade in my SVT-4 towards it, it would cost me about another $500 to get the used one at Guitar Center. If I trade my SVT-4 in towards the DB659, it would be about an even trade. What do you guys think. Tell me everything. :bassist:
  2. KJung

    KJung Supporting Member

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    Quite a bit of discussion about this in previous threads and posts, but might be hard to find using search, since a lot of the comments are buried in other threads.

    First, the DB659 is discontinued, and rarely is seen on the used market at this point IME

    680.... very precise, quick and studio clean to my ears... almost a little 'sterile' sounding to my ear... given that it's a tube pre. Very nice though if you are looking for a 'reference' type pre in tube format IMO.

    DB659.... warmer, more tuby...the nicest sounding Ag pre I've heard... wonderful... kind of like a modern take on the Alembic tube pre... tighter lows and crisper highs, but still very tube warm

    DB750 front end.... many feel that the front end of the 750 is quite different from the 659, even though it looks almost identical.... a little looser and more 'tube warm'. Some have stated that a tube swamp can tighten up the 750 front end to get closer to the tightness of the 659, others disagree.
  3. EBMatt

    EBMatt

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    Yea I'm on basstasters.com right now comparing the sound of the 680 and 659. The 659 does definately sound a little smoother and warmer. Should I dare say richer? But the 680 seems more open for dialing in the sound that you want. :meh:
  4. KJung

    KJung Supporting Member

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    Ps I'll say it again... MAN, is that Ritter beautiful:)
  5. EBMatt

    EBMatt

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    Thanks man. :) I love it. The Ritter is why I'm looking to get a new preamp. The SVT-4 isn't cutting it anymore. :(
  6. EBMatt

    EBMatt

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    Bump for a few more opinions...:bassist:
  7. WovenGraphite

    WovenGraphite

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    The DB680 has full (not semi) parametric EQ.

    It is very clean sounding. To me the sound of the DB680 covers a lot of ground. The EQ is very efficient.

    I can't tell about the DB659 as I have never tried it, sorry.
  8. Pickebass

    Pickebass Supporting Member

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    I've owned both... I kept my 680.... The 659 is a great unit and I don't think I would say that it is warmer, but it is definitely closer to the alembic.

    Sonically, the DB359 IME is closer to the 659 than the 750 is to the 659. The 750 is a little "closer" to the 680. In both cases it really matters what power amp you use. I use the 680 with a 728 and there is nothing like it. I would recommend the 680... It's hifi and warm. Like everything else, it is about what you will match it up with including speakers and power amp.

    It works for everything I do and everybass I own...
  9. arbitrary

    arbitrary Supporting Member

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    It's interesting that you're wondering about this since you just got a Ritter as well.

    I got my Ritter a month ago (all maple) and use an svt4 pro at times, and also a db659 at other times.

    I was stoked a few months ago when I got the 659, as it sounded significantly better than the svt4 pro with my Modulus Flea (didn't have the Ritter yet).

    But when I got my Ritter the 659 sounded good, but lacked some beef and was too punchy for me. It is clearer than the svt4, but not gearthy enough for me. My all maple Ritter has a lot more punch than my Modulus, which would explain some things. Your Ritter has different woods, so it should differ from mine a bit

    I like the 659 a lot, but with the Ritter, I actually like the svt4 more. With my Modulus I like the 659 more. I've noticed these results with my nv610 as well as my eden 410xlt.

    I played a couple jazz gigs with one of my single eden 10" cabs, my Ritter and my practice GK Backline 600. It sounded perfect, and I recieved many compliments. I've tried the Ritter with other gk heads and like it a lot, so it seems like I will buy a gk2001rbp (preamp) and a crest ca9, and get rid of the svt4 and 659 eventually.

    Hope that helped some.

    Edit: you can also get a seperate rackmountable fully parametric eq if you wanted.
  10. EBMatt

    EBMatt

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    Thanks, that really helped. I now have a Phil Jones P-1 preamp on order, but I can get an Aguilar DB659 for pretty cheap. About an even trade for my SVT-4PRO. So I think I might go for it, and have two preamps. I'll go home and give my Ampeg one more shot tonight though.

    A little off topic - What Ritter did you get???:hyper:
  11. arbitrary

    arbitrary Supporting Member

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    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    Sorry for so many pics, but I love it. It's a Classic.

    I got it off ebay about a month ago. I love this thing. Tuned it E-C.

    Let me know how that Phil Jones Pre works for the rock music.


    I'm going to try a tube swap in the 659 next week and see if that makes any difference. I'm tempted to keep it as well though.

    What power amp you looking at using?
  12. EBMatt

    EBMatt

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    Man, that Ritter is great. You must love it. I LOVE mine. Yea, I'm looking forward to the Phil Jones. I'll definately let you know how it is. It's pretty decked out for a preamp, graphic, parametric, compression all in a 1 space rack. So, I'm kinda liking the idea of a plain old tube DB659 and a decked out P-1. I have a 700 watt QSC on the way right now, I bought it off a TBer for pretty cheap. It will do for now, until I get the $$ for a nice one. My wallet is still recovering from the Ritter purchase. :smug:
  13. Pako

    Pako Are we having fun yet? Supporting Member

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    Recently got a used DB659 that I have grown to love. It has a tonal characteristics consistent with Aguilar but I found the Low end to be too loose for my taste. I needed it to be tighter and more consistent with the rest of the tonal range. Swapped out the Sovtec's for some Telefunken's and that did the trick. I really like the simplicity and can get good tone out of it without a lot of nob twisting. Basically, once it's set for the room, I can make any additional tone adjustments at the bass. Not sure if it's the tone you're looking for, but it sure works for me. I thought I would miss my parametrics but I really haven't. I like the 5 nob operation vs. the 17 nob operation of my prior amp. I can't imagine going wrong either way.

    Good luck on your quest!

    :bassist:
  14. jokerjkny

    jokerjkny

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    i love my 680. the 659 was a little too dirty for me, and after i figured out the 680's EQ it was nearly impossible to go back to the 659. FYI, the 680 doesnt do the dirty thing at all.
  15. Pako

    Pako Are we having fun yet? Supporting Member

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    Dirt is a good description, or grit in your teeth after a sand storm. :)

    The 659 is clearly not a transparent Preamp. What tubes are in the 680?
  16. jokerjkny

    jokerjkny

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    from what daveb told me, just your good ol' sovteks, which is cool, cause despite the run o' the mill tubes, which are readily available, the guys at aguilar were still able to pull out some good tube lovin', and not make the preamp rely too much on great tubes to sound great. :cool:
  17. Pako

    Pako Are we having fun yet? Supporting Member

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    Awesome!!! I would love to try a 680 through my IP rig. Too bad no one around here would have one to try.
  18. jokerjkny

    jokerjkny

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    my uber wallet tempter of a rig would be to pair my 680 w/ an IP310. :eek:
  19. Pako

    Pako Are we having fun yet? Supporting Member

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    Oh and back on topic. What about routing features? The DB680 has much better I/O options IMO.
  20. Pako

    Pako Are we having fun yet? Supporting Member

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    Oh man...:hyper: :eek: :eyebrow: :hyper: :bassist:

    Or get sick and match it up with 2-IP310's with stereo effects. :D

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