AG 500/SC or LMII?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by greenbass5, Jul 7, 2008.

  1. greenbass5


    Sep 16, 2007
    Oklahoma City
    Can anybody that has gigged both or these amps share their thoughts? I'm wondering which is capable of the most volume and does one have any other advantages (besides price and weight).
  2. christoph h.

    christoph h.

    Mar 26, 2001
    I've used both in band context and I would prefer the AG500SC for sound. If I had to describe it, I'd say it has more character and "authority", but describing sound on a WWW forum is useless in my experience.

    For portability, the LM2 is better. Of course, the AG with an amp bag isn't much of a problem either.

    Regarding most volume: I've never been in a situation where I would have needed to use either amp to it's full capacity. Honestly, I'd say if you have to do that, you (or your band mates) are doing something wrong.
  3. They're both freakin loud.
    The LMII has a better EQ arrangement and the Aggy has a sweeter tone (IMO).
  4. eff-clef

    eff-clef Supporting Member

    May 6, 2007
    I bought the Littlemark from GC and loved it but there is no D.I. level control for the mixing board. Our Yamaha board didn't like the hot output. Also there is no control for pre or post EQ for the D.I. It is stuck on post EQ. So I returned it. Then I bought a Aguilar AG500sc and giged with that twice. I really wanted to love that amp but didn't. I thought the Markbass was louder and much easier to get a good sound. So I returned that to Musc 123. Then I found a Canadian company that had a Markbass SA450(befor they were available in the U.S).. It is the same basic sound and amp that the Littlemark is but it has a adjustable frequency controls(semi-parametric) for the low mids, and high mids. It has a level control for the D.I., and selectable Pre/post EQ. It also has two outputs that are both 1/4 inch, and the speakon/Neutric tppe. I love this amp. It's only 7.5 lbs and loud as hell! In all fairness to the Littlemark, it was $200. more.
  5. Ezbass


    Apr 3, 2008
    I demoed these 2 side by side. Running with the EQ flat I preffered the Aggie as it had a slightly more complex mid range voicing, but the LMII was still very sweet, slightly more old school (I was replacing an Ashdown ABM head EVO300 head which is voiced more like the Aggie). At the end of the day the LMII was significantly cheaper (at least here in the UK) and with a bit of EQ tweaking just as toneful, so I bought the LMII and couldn't be happier and that's before we even talk about size and weight. Using the LMII live I have received many comments about how good it sounds and the support from Markbass has been astounding which other TBers also attest too. With regard to the DI out, which appears to have differing opinions, I always take a DI pedal to gigs in case of amp failure anyway, so this isn't an issue for me.
  6. dave_bass5


    May 28, 2004
    London, UK.
    I just wanted to point out that the LMII's XLR is line level and not mic so that could be why it was too hot for your desk. Ive had no trouble with this output in to various desks as long as i use a XLR-Jack adaptor on the end on the lead.
    There is a jumper inside that allows you to change from post EQ to pre for the XLR out. Its a very easy thing to do but yo udo need to take the lid off.
    Aslo the LMII also has the dual speakon/Neutric output as well as the jack out.

    I agree though that the SA450 is better. Its my main head but to be honest im happy using either most of the time.

    like Ezbass i also replaced a ABM EVOII300 with a LMII and couldn't have been happier.
  7. I've also A/B'd these two. Both are great. I found the Aguilar had a little more 'give' to the tone... a softer mid response and a low end that did not quite have as much lower mid character (punch) versus the LMII (even when EQ'd).

    Like the Thunderfunk, I find the LMII to sound pretty much 'sounds like it sounds' with a wide variety of cabs, whereas the less complex mid response of the Aguilar, even when EQ'd, seems to work very well with some cabs (fabulous with the Bergantino HS series cabs IME), but can lack a bit of articulation and punch with others (Epi, GS series AG cabs, etc.).

    To use a cliche, I found the AG500 to have a little bit of 'tube' feel in its response... a little bit of give and a warmer, bloomier, fatter low end. The LMII is about as SS and quick as you can get to my ear... still warm and musical, but clean, clean, clean, and tight, tight, tight... which can be a little much for some.

    Maximum volume seemed pretty close, which is not surprising, although the LMII has the edge there. Build quality is great on both (feel of knobs, switches, etc.), although the Aguilar has the edge there.

    IMO and IME.
  8. Petebass


    Dec 22, 2002
    QLD Australia
    Whoa, that's like trying to decide between a Harley and a Ducati. Both are awesome, but they're so different I'm surprised to see someone contemplating one over the other. If there's any way possible to go and try these amps out, I strongly recommend you do so.
  9. jokerjkny


    Jan 19, 2002
    NY / NJ / PHL
    i love the aguilar ag500 series. frankly, the EQ is EXACTLY where i live in terms of EQ'ing. highs give me definition, upper mids give me attack, lower mids give me punch, and the lows add fatness, while the brite button gives me air, and the deep button adds that room shaking bottom. what more could you want?

    well... for starters, while the amp doesnt need a tube by any stretch of the imagination, with my SIB valvedrive feeding the front end of the ag500, the sound only teased me as to how much more awesome the ag500 could have been!! and i'm still waiting for the day when dave & co. put that awesome EQ on the 750, or heck, into its own 12ax7 loaded 1u rack mounted pre. but i digress.

    the LM's EQ voicing is fine, but not quite the aguilar to my ear. the LM does seem more versatile, thx to the VLE/VPF knobs. but the more i fiddled w/ the VLE/VPF knobs, the more i realized, i didnt really need either knob.

    also, when last at my local GC, i tried the MB LM head and an ag500 into a few cabs in the store (aguilar, mb, ampeg, swr, etc.), and honestly, i much preferred the sound & feel of the aguilar. when mated up to their respective companies' cabs, the mb gear sounded a bit drier and not quite as sweet as the aguilar. also, my fingers just liked the aguilar more. the LM did feel quicker and more responsive, but my fingers seemed to really sink into the aguilar's sound.

    another option for the money that the LM goes for is the GB shuttle 6.0. its smaller than the LM, carries a simpler yet just versatile enough EQ, and has a sweet tubey sound that can do a nice grindy rock sound that the LM nor the 500/sc cannot. its not nearly as "quick" feeling as the LM, but i guess that's the tradeoff you're gonna get.

    besides, in my book, black on black w/ silver white trim pretty much always trumps bumble bee yellow on black. ;)

    funny, we're talking about this, cause i'm looking for a used ag500 for my epifani cabs. they go together like milk and cookies.
  10. Great post! I have a new Shuttle 6.0 arriving today just for the reason you stated, to get the grindy/tubey rock sound that eludes me on the otherwise excellent clean channel on the AG500. That, and I could really benefit from the tiny size and light weight of the Shuttle. My Aggie AG500 (perfect condition) is for sale in the classifieds section. Check it out and PM me if interested. Thanks... Jim
  11. greenbass5


    Sep 16, 2007
    Oklahoma City
    Well, all I can say is my two main amps are an SM-400 and a
    V4BH. :)I want my amps to be vastly different. I'm interested in these two for that reason actually. Maybe a TFunk too. And how they are different from what I have. Thanks everyone!
  12. jokerjkny


    Jan 19, 2002
    NY / NJ / PHL
    funny, but i thought the tfunk and the ag500 amps were in the same camp tonally. and with a little finagaling, i could make one sound eerily similar to the other, barring the overdrive channel.

    course, the tfunk is that much more the versatile amp, which is like the aguilar if you want more tonal options. IME, the enhance and timbre knobs take it to another level. the timbre is like one stop shopping, while the enhance is quite awesome for DI to the board stuff. gives a track some breath and openness. another fav~!

    still, the ag500's sheer simplicity in finding a terrific tone is hard to beat.
  13. greenbass5


    Sep 16, 2007
    Oklahoma City
    Dang, that's good info Joker. Very interesting for sure. I doubt I'll get to try the Tfunk around here any time soon. I've tried the LM II at GC of course. I kinda just threw the Funk out there because there is so much talk about those knobs!

    Of course there's been some saying that the LMII can almost do the Thunderfunk.....aww crap..I'm gonna be thinking about this all day now!

  14. I think it depends on what you are trying to make sound like what in a way. I never could really get that very tight, punchy, 'bap, bap, bap' sort of burp that is built into the TF voicing out of the AG500. On the other hand, even with the Timbre control and the lower band of the semi-parametric EQ, I couldn't really replicate that deep, almost tube-like fat low end that seems to be built into the AG500 out of the TF.

    Similarly, if I shifted the voicing of the LMII more toward the low mids but cutting the bass and boosting the low mid control a touch, and soften the top end of the LMII but reducing the upper treble response with the VLE filter, I could get reasonably close to the punchy, warm and slightly compressed TF550b tone. However, I could not get that deep low end and very sparkly upper treble response that the LMII is capable of out of the TF550b.

    So, they all have their overlaps and strengths... and depending on your tone goals, weaknesses.

    If I was a rock guy, I'd probably be all over the AG500. For my more funk/pop type playing, that punch and clarity and sizzle (if you want it) of the LMII is pretty darn cool, etc.

    IMO... all good stuff, and I still own my TF550b... GREAT head.
  15. msquared


    Sep 19, 2004
    Kansas City
    I definitely agree with the above. To me the difference was mainly a matter of whether you want a ton of options or can get by with some well thought out basics. Both are outstanding heads and I keep finding myself wanting to dump my CA9 for one.

    I'm kind of surprised that the Timbre hasn't been built into a million pedals and preamp stages at this point, given how long it's been around.
  16. Petebass


    Dec 22, 2002
    QLD Australia
    The trouble is, it's been around in too many different guises. On the TF, it kind of shifts the whole EQ curve like it's on a see-saw (teeter totter). Great idea. It comes in very handy for balancing for room acoustics. For example if you turn up for a gig and the room sounds muddy or boomy, use the timbre control to brighten everything up. If the room is glassy and harsh on your treble, use the timbre control to warm things up. You can of course do this on other amps with EQ, but only the TF has a "one-knob" solution.
  17. msquared


    Sep 19, 2004
    Kansas City
    Really? What other guises? My understanding is that the only way to accomplish this outside of the timbre knob is by using a multiband EQ which spans the useable frequency range (ie you can't do it with the normal bass-mid-treble knobs or even the Thunderfunk/SWR style semipara EQ).
  18. jokerjkny


    Jan 19, 2002
    NY / NJ / PHL
    i used to use the timbre knob in that fashion, but frankly, it still only does so much. rather, i've found its more like a "make that annoyingly bad rehearsal room cab sound that much better" knob. have a crappy hartke cab that could use more bottom end? roll left. have a muffled ampeg like fridge to deal with? roll right. its like the perfect "rentals/cartage" head. tommixx anyone?

    and yea, while there are many iterations of the "timbre" knob, the tfunk still is quite awesome. the MB heads have the similar VLE, but it sounds like to me a mere roll off kinda thing, whereas the timbre knob on the tfb is like an "add some lower end kickbutt, or add some snappy upper mid sauce" knob.

    again, if dave merely made an amp that had only volume, timbre and enhance knobs, i'd plenty happy.
  19. Petebass


    Dec 22, 2002
    QLD Australia
    Your guess is as good as mine. A device that has "timbre" on it could be anything from a "tone knob" to a full blown HPF, or even what we nowadays commonly refered to as an "enhance" knob. You'd never know until you tried it out, and even then it wasn't always obvious.

    If the industry ever falls into consensus over that a timbre knob should do, as it has eventually done with the enhance knob, then I hope it resembles the timbre knob on the TF.
  20. Petebass


    Dec 22, 2002
    QLD Australia
    That's exactly what it is. It's basically a LPF that starts work at 250Hz and the slope of the rolloff increases as you add more VLE. The VPF is basically a notch filter that cuts 380Hz while boosting highs and lows a little (similar to an enhance knob).
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