AG 700 vs TH 500 vs Mesa d800

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by pigpen1, Oct 12, 2017.

  1. pigpen1

    pigpen1 Guest

    Aug 2, 2017
    I'm sure this has been discussed to death on this forum (including a couple threads I've been a part of) but still I'd like to ask some opinions on the AG 700 vs TH 500. What are the major tonal differences?

    Currently running the TH 500 through a DB 212 cab and I'm just not getting what I like out of the head. I'd like a little warmer, cleaner sound (I think my definition of warm is a little different than others) with less upper mids baked-in , and fuller low-end. I have a gk mb 250, which is pretty decent, but want a little more clean power and something kinda in between the TH and the GK.

    The other choice I've looked at is the mesa d800.

    Prefer made-in-the-USAish stuff if at all possible.
    johnpbass likes this.
  2. Gearhead17

    Gearhead17 Supporting Member

    May 4, 2006
    Mount Prospect, IL
    The Mesa D800 will let the sound of your bass come through and is easy to adjust. Not a lot of color here and nearly a 180 flip on the tone spectrum from the TH 500. I suggest you go try one yourself; take a road trip and bring your rig and/or your bass. I am sure a TB member lives nearby and would be willing to let you try out their D800. I can't comment on the AG 700 - never tried it.
  3. pigpen1

    pigpen1 Guest

    Aug 2, 2017
    I've played one before, not with my exact bass though, but a similar one. Enjoyed it greatly. I may just end up with both amps. I think I haven't cracked the TH code, as some call it yet. To me the amp is very mid hi-mid heavy, so I end up cutting the highest sweepable mid freq about 50%, but then since it is a 3 band eq can't boost the low mid like I want to. Also rolling treble off abou 30% too. I don't really use the overdrive on the amp (or any amp) at all.
  4. mpdd

    mpdd neoconceptualist

    Mar 24, 2010
    really hoping to try an ag 700 at bass player live in three weeks, the mesa sounds like a beefier, clearer, and louder mesa d180 to my ears
  5. johnpbass


    Feb 18, 2008
    Glen Mills, PA
    I've been wondering the same thing pigpen1 regarding the TH500 vs. AG700 and haven't been able to find a definitive (IMO) answer. I love my TH 500 but I don't use anywhere near the overdrive capabilities of the amp. I run it fairly clean with just a bit of grind. I was thinking I could possibly get the same amount of grind from the AG700 plus have the added 2.67 ohm capability, more power, an a little more intuitive EQ set up.
  6. pigpen1

    pigpen1 Guest

    Aug 2, 2017
    Same here, although I don't user any grind on any amp. Just looking for a Tone hammer with a slightly different voicing and the ability to cut hi-mids and boost low mids (my go to formula)
    johnpbass likes this.
  7. I have a TH500 and AG700. I think they're very similar sounding, especially at lower volumes. The AG700 is a little brighter (and capable of being far more bright) than the TH500. It also has slightly faster response (and I think think the TH500 responds very fast — certainly in comparison to tube amps). Once you get louder, the AG700 doesn't have the "woolliness" that the TH500 has. As far as "grind", I'm not sure, since that adjective is kind of hard to define. You say you run the TH500 "fairly clean with just a bit of grind", but the AG700 is really clean (without sounding sterile). If you like the Aguilar sound (which I do!), moving to the AG700 will give you a close cousin, with some additional EQ flexibility, and more power (and more clean power); but if you want anything that resembles overdrive, you may need to add a pedal of some sort. I suppose you could get the best of both worlds and and the Tonehammer pedal and use it when you need some grit.
  8. pigpen1

    pigpen1 Guest

    Aug 2, 2017
    How does the low end and low/upper mid voicing compare between the too? I'd probably never use the bright switch on the 700 anyway. I roll by treble and hi-mids off alot on my TH.
  9. I just looked at my AG700, and it's set flat. I have my amp (the head, plus two Aguilar DB112 cabinets) set up in the corner of my living room. When I was using my TH500 in the same spot, I always cut the lows a little to make up for the low end that was boosted by the cabinets being in the corner, cut the mids a little, and boosted the highs. So, from my perspective, I'd say that when they're both set flat, the TH500 is little bassier and has a bit more mids, but less high end than the AG700. But they can really be set to sound VERY similar without too much work. If you're rolling the treble off on the TH500, you'll be rolling it off a lot more on the AG700.

    The only reason I got the AG700 is that the TH500 (which I'll be selling shortly) got a title too gnarly at high volume gigs. I prefer a clean sound for what I do, and I figured the AG700 would give me the same sound, but stay clean at higher volumes (it does).

    It one of the threads on here about the AG700, i posted some clips I recorded with both the TH500 and AG700, but I can't find the thread (I did a search, and it didn't show up). If I can find it, I'll post it.
  10. Ahhh, the reason I couldn't find my post was because it was in the Aguilar group on Facebook. Here's what I wrote:

    I just got my AG700 today, and I made a quick recording to compare it to the TH500. Everything was set flat on both. Gain was at 12:00. Master volume was set so they were comparable in volume. The cabinet is a DB112 with the tweeter all the way up. I put a Rode NT1000 a few inches from the front, and it ran into a Universal Audio Apollo 8 with no additional EQ or compression. The P Bass has flatwounds on it. The J Bass has roundwounds. Both have volumes and tones on full.

    0:00–0:24 P Bass, TH500
    0:24–0:48 P Bass, AG700
    0:48–1:12 J Bass TH500
    1:12–1:36 J Bass AG700

    At low volumes, the difference is pretty subtle, but you can hear that the AG700 has less of the TH500's "wooliness." I imagine this difference will be even more pronounced at louder volumes. I didn't include any slap examples in the recording, but the AG700 seems to be slightly more percussive. I also didn't include any recordings with my Sadowsky five string, but the AG700 seems to be tighter with the low notes on the B string than the TH500 is.

    One thing to note is that the fan on the AG700 seems to come on a lot sooner than with the TH500, so you may hear a little of that in the background.
  11. Lovep

    Lovep Supporting Member

    Mar 17, 2011
    Indianapolis, IN
    Nice comparison! I just purchased an AG700 today as an upgrade from my TH350. Can't wait!
    jonathanhughes likes this.
  12. Fred312b

    Fred312b Proof that gear doesn't make you a better player Supporting Member

    Apr 23, 2002
    Chicago, IL
    Here’s a few TH500 eq settings I forgot I had- the pics are from the FB group and the text is from here, hopefully I have given credit where creidt is due. Hopefully this will help the OP get more out of his TH500.

    And I don’t know why it is sideways, amd can’t figure out how to change it.

    Attached Files:

  13. SJan3

    SJan3 Supporting Member

    Dec 8, 2010
    Prefer the tonehammer
    Lepparda likes this.
  14. bearpaw


    Jul 27, 2008
    i'm having similar issues with the TH500. love the tone, but as soon as i crank it up or use an octaver, it gets a little muddy and out of control. i have been looking into the options darkglass microtubes 900, quilter bassblock and aguilar ag700. since i really like the aguilar tone, i think i will go for the ag700, hopefully those extra 200 watts are enough headroom. oh, and it's not the cab. i use a greenboy audio fearless 115.
  15. I'd love to hear more talk on TB for the AG700.

    jonathanhughes, thanks for posting those clips. I was considering the TH350 and wondering if it might have too much wool (not saying that it's a lot in the first place) for my preferences (current head is a Genzler Magellan 350).

    In your soundclip, I liked the P with the AG and the J with the TH :D
  16. Lovep, would love to know your comparison of the two!
  17. Lovep

    Lovep Supporting Member

    Mar 17, 2011
    Indianapolis, IN
    I loved both amps, but the AG was better for me. It was much more clean with less baked in sound than the 350. The sound of the AG was more hefty. The AG is a much better amp in my opinion.
    FeltTipPen likes this.
  18. I do like a cleaner amp and the AG being more hefty definitely moves it among the very top contenders. Thanks for replying Lovep!
  19. I've had my TH500 for 8 yrs or so, and, for me, it's magic is not so much its overdrive capabilities, but it's ability to sit just on the edge of tube style break up and FEEL. I've STILL not tried/ heard another solid state amp that'll do it anywhere close.... disregarding the DB750/751 perhaps.
    Very rare to find a class D amp that'll feel like a tube amp imo/ime.

    And, again, once you work out three controls, it'll easily do clean with enough(for me) highs
  20. JUMBO 70

    JUMBO 70 Supporting Member

    Mar 8, 2012
    Curious- can you describe the feel you are referring to? Sometimes the "tube feel" is very unresponsive and spongey to me. With that said, I played through a Tone Hammer rig at a club that had it as their backline in brooklyn. The sound was insanely good. Maybe it was the amp, maybe it was the room, you know? But it felt good that day.