Using Aguilar DB750 as a power amp

Discussion in 'Amps [BG]' started by jacoby75, Dec 20, 2012.


  1. jacoby75

    jacoby75

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    Hey gang,

    I recently snagged a used DB750, my dream amp, only to find that it actually sounds kind of like butt compared to my current setup, which is a Demeter VTBP-201S into a Carvin power amp, to an Epifani UL2-410 (playing a Lakland 5-str passive jazz). By, "like butt", I mean incredibly mid-rangey, and like a blanket has been thrown over my speakers.

    I have asked here in the past and have been told that the issue is my speaker cab, and that the Aggie's sound better with a lower-fi cab, like an Ampeg. However, I can't afford to cab swap right now. Changing the tubes might help (it was retubed by the last owner with all EH tubes, I believe, which I know aren’t great), but I need to do something else in the meantime. I'd really like to sell the Carvin to raise some money for a camera, and I'm not willing to sell the Aguilar, as I don't want to give up on it yet. I do really like the power section of the Aggie, as it has more oomph than when I use the Carvin.

    Last night, I tried running the Demeter into the “preamp in” of the Aggie, and it sounds really good, but it renders all controls on the Aggie inactive. Since the demeter only has a "gain" knob (which will affect the level that I send to the house) and not a seperate volume knob, I have to tweak the gain to change the overall amp volume, which I don't want to do because that will mess the house up. Another part of the problem is that we’re a house band, and there is always a dance class before us, so I never have time to tweak things and mess with it before we play. We have to just get up there and go.

    I tried this briefly at the end of the night just to see if it worked, but I haven’t really been able to play with it. So here’s the question: What about plugging my bass into the Demeter, running the Demeter into the effects return of the Aggie, and maxing the return knob, then using the master volume on the Aggie? Any issues with doing that?

    Thanks
     
  2. KJung

    KJung

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    The DB750 tone is a bit dark, a bit fat, and not totally clean. Of course, with the bass boost engaged, it is also a low end hammer. However, it is totally different than your more 'clean tube tone' demeter.

    There would be NO reason to use that very large, very heavy DB750 as a power amp. If you don't dig it, sell it, and get a nice 10 pound, 1000 watt two space class D power amp for $500 (or less) and be very, very happy:D

    That being said, I too think the DB750 sounds like complete dog with the 401UL, so you have a decision to make I guess. Try a new, more evenly voiced and tighter in the bass cab, or dump the DB750.
     
  3. jacoby75

    jacoby75

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    Yeah, I'm hesitant to sell it because I wanted one for so long. I might try re-tubing before I sell it to see if it redeems it for me. But as I've read in other posts, sometimes you get something you just know you're going to love and wind up hating it, and that's okay, I guess.

    I did try the Demter with a Crest power amp in the past, which weighs about 10 times as much as the Carvin (which is a light series Carvin), but surprisingly enough didn't really see a difference in the tone. Sure, there was a lot more power, but it didn't justify the weight difference.

    If I weren't in a house band and still had to lug my rack all over the country, I for sure would stick with a lighter amp. But since I'm in a house band now and never have to move my stuff, and am actually trying to get out of full-time music anyway and back into the job market (long story), I'm not too worried about the weight. It's more about tone.

    Maybe the Aggie will still pull through for me. But in the meantime, using it as a power amp did sound a lot better than the Carvin.
     
  4. CL400Peavey

    CL400Peavey Supporting Member

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    That amp is crap... I will trade you my IPR 1600 for it, and I will cover all the shipping charges. :D
     
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  6. jacoby75

    jacoby75

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    A man with "Peavey" in his name is willing to part with a Peavey? That just seems wrong. I don't think I could do that to you. Thanks, though.
     
  7. CL400Peavey

    CL400Peavey Supporting Member

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    Its just one of many of my Peavey amps... It would give me an excuse to get a IPR 3000 DSP as well.
     
  8. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

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    I just played a DB751 for the first time two weeks ago, and I noticed something odd about it...it comes with knobs that allow you to change the sound of it.

    :D
     
  9. KJung

    KJung

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    That head has a very distinct tone, and no amount of knob twisting changes that significantly. Like many amps, you either dig it or not, and EQ will vary the tone of course, but not much. IMO and IME.
     
  10. jacoby75

    jacoby75

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    Yeah, when I played one as part of a backline, my bass had never, ever, sounded better. I was in heaven. But that was through a DB410 cab. Then I got my own and played it through my Epifani, and was like, "This can't be the same amp."
     
  11. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

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    Ya, setting knobs at noon makes it sound somewhat dark, but I was able to brighten it up considerably, although we might have different definitions on what "considerably" means. Had no desire to switch allegiances after playing it, but I thought it was pretty cool.
     
  12. Modern Growl

    Modern Growl Supporting Member

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    Its not the amp for you. I wouldnt use it as a power amp.... If you don't like it, sell it.

    Too many amp choices out there...

    PS, try setting the gain knob around 9:30/10:00. It does sound "cleaner" and "quicker". Noon and past sounds fatter and more middy.
     
  13. jacoby75

    jacoby75

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    Thanks for the tip. The Demeter is, I suppose, pretty "hi-fi", but I'm not looking for terribly clean or "hi-fi". When I push the Demeter gain to around 12:00, it sounds very warm and full. My main issue with the Aggie is the middiness. And when I A/B'd the Demter into the Aggie vs the Aggie alone, it literally sounded like I had just put a blanket over my amp. Maybe I just need to tweak it more. Or maybe it will never sound good to me, but part of me still doesn't want to part with it. Maybe I Just need to get over it.
     
  14. Modern Growl

    Modern Growl Supporting Member

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    When I first heard the DB751 I thought it was a bit dark and hazzy sounding. After 20 minutes or so that turned into fat and warm, yet very detailed (that power transformer is a monster). It will amplify everything you play to a warmer precision. That thing will "command" your speaker cabs... its a dampening monster.

    I'd say give it more time and don't do A/B comparisons anymore. Its a completely different animal.

    If you liked your tone, why not stick with the same Pre and just get a bigger power amp?

    If you want something different - you sure as heck got it :) - try to embrace the difference.

    I personally fell in love with the Aguilar tone... in the begining it did sound a bit too "warm"... but that grew on me more and more as I played it.
     
  15. KJung

    KJung

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    +1 The DB410 is almost the polar opposite of the 410UL. Mix and match!

    I really dig the DB750/7510/TH500 through the DB cabs.... has that classic Aguilar 'fat and warm' thing going. Same thing with the Bergantino HS410.
     
  16. KJung

    KJung

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    Amazingly, I've come around myself. As I get older and the music is changing (more hip hop, more Indie rock, etc.), the Aguilar voicing is becoming much more interesting to me. Still dislike that AG500 quite a bit, but the whole DB750/751/TH500 thing sounds very good with a classic passive instrument in a mix and context where the role of the bass is all about support versus 'look at my chops':p This is good timing for me, since my chops are slowly going to hell.
     
  17. jacoby75

    jacoby75

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    And for the record, I would never recommend buying an Aggie just to use as a power amp. That's ridiculous. But I figured since I already had it, and wanted to sell my other power amp, I might as well give it a try.
     
  18. KJung

    KJung

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    +1 Also, I'm clueless on tube swapping, but there are many TBers who swapped just one of the tubes with a different brand/model and feel that it is a huge improvement. Not sure what to search for, but peruse the Aguilar threads or search the DB750 threads, and it is pretty clear which tube and which of the tubes in that amp benefit (for some looking for a tighter, brighter tone) to swap.

    Hope it works out for you. That 'Demeter' tone is wonderful also, but quite different from the DB750 vibe IMO.
     
  19. David Jayne

    David Jayne

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    I like the sound Gary Willis gets, but to each his own. I have that Dem preamp. Very bright pre. A/B comparisons between the two will show a huge difference as you've found. The Dem is more of a tone machine, while the DB is more of a 'feel' machine. IMO.
     
  20. jacoby75

    jacoby75

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    @KJung, yeah, I read the tube swapping threads before I bought one. I'll probably try that at some point.

    I realize the Demeter and Aggie are very different beasts. I guess I just expected the Aggie to blow me away by how much "better" it was, but I have come to realize that "better" is all relative, and very subjective, and depends a lot more than I realized on the speaker cabinet as well.

    But back to my original question, anyone see any issue running the Demeter pre into the effects return of the Aggie so that I have some volume control on stage independent of the pre's volume that I'm sending to the house? I guess what's the worst that could happen? I just don't want to fry the amp, but I don't know that can happen by doing that.
     
  21. David Jayne

    David Jayne

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    Not a problem, just watch your initial gain(s) setting so you don't blow stuff(speakers)up.
     

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