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Aguilar Agro vs. Tonehammer

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by SpectorBass, Apr 20, 2009.

  1. After searching I wasn't able to find anything comparing these two.

    I'm looking to get some more grit out of my rig along with a bit more control over my mids, having just switched from an Eden Nav. preamp to a DB750.

    I'm using an EBS Valvedrive as an always-on, tube pre right now, but can easily start using that as my main overdrive pedal, as it only offers a mid cut.

    I have both an extra rack space and room on my pedalboard and am toying with the idea of picking up either one of these Aggie units. I know the TH is based on the OBP-3, so it will give me more control over the midrange but that agro looks tempting!

    Anyone compared the two?
  2. Poon


    May 20, 2003
    Los Angeles, CA
    I've owned both. I think if you're looking for permanent grit, either one is great. I personally like the sound of the overdrive on the AGRO better. It is amongst the best I've heard, but I believe the Tonehammer is more versatile in what it can do for you. So my answer is this...

    If you're looking solely for an overdrive or added grit into your signal, get the AGRO. If you're looking for something with more versatility in molding your sound, get the Tonehammer. Hope that helps you. Feel free to ask any follow up too.

  3. afroman

    afroman Supporting Member

    Aug 31, 2000
    Austin, TX
    I agree with Poon.
    The AGRO is for "the" overdrive sound for your rig.
    The Tone Hammer can do grit, grind and a whole lot more with the onbard EQ, plus is can be used with a poweramp and it serves as a good DI too.

    Can't go wrong with Aguilar IME anyways.
  4. Just like I thought, I want to get both now...
    Thanks guys.
  5. I'm bumping this for a question.

    How responsive is the AGRO to playing dynamics? Can it cop the feel of a nice tube amp, lightening up with softer playing, or is it like a lot of drive pedals where it's one setting of drive all the time?
  6. songwriter21

    songwriter21 I have an obsession for wood. The musical kind.

    Jul 31, 2005
    Sponsored by Hipshot
    I just got one of these, found my sounds, and "wow" is all I can say.

    I'm mostly using mine for the mids, for an on-the-fly cut/boost switch between finger and slap. The other beauty of this pedal, which I didn't expect, is the unbelievable overdrive...and it's non-tube! It doesn't sound thin or harsh like a lot of bass overdrives (Boss, etc.) and I can truely and finally get a Nate Watts vintage growl, like on "I Wish" and "Do I Do"! Plus, I can now stand up to, or destroy, my lead guitarists distortion. ;-)

    The Tone Hammer is phenomenal. If you're daring enough, and had in-ears of-course, you wouldn't even need a cab or amp at a gig. It's crazy, but totally doable with this gem.
  7. naturalkinds


    Jan 22, 2009
    Savannah, GA
    +1. I've been seriously impressed with mine. While I still prefer the warmth of the DI on my DB 750, the Tone Hammer does a terrific job massaging the signal from my passive J-bass. That said, I think what I'm most impressed with isn't the DI or the overdrive, though it kills with that. It's the sound and control it gives to my passive signal. It makes me want to make my passive bass an active bass with the OBP.
  8. irvinz


    Nov 23, 2006
    has too much gas
    exactly what i use mine for
  9. I have the TH and I really want the AGRO I think the auilar sound is definately for me.
  10. Cory


    May 16, 2004
    I haven't tried the TH yet.....but I've got an Agro in front of my DB680 and I love it! The one I have is sensitive to how hard you dig in on the strings. I like that a lot! The Agro is great! How come it is off Aguilar's site??
  11. SpankyPants

    SpankyPants That's Mr. SpankyPants to you.

    Aug 24, 2006
    Brooklyn, NY
    I hear there's an AGRO in the classifieds... :ninja:

    And in my signature.
  12. fclefgeoff

    fclefgeoff Supporting Member

    Jan 3, 2002
    Sorry to bump this older thread but I'm hoping someone might be able to give me some insight...

    I recently picked up an Agro pedal to add a mild tubey OD to a Markbass 121p which I found to be a bit too clean for my tastes. I LOVE the tone of the Agro (I also own an Aguilar AG-500 that I pair with a Schroeder 410 for larger gigs) but I'm now wondering if I might not be better off with a Tone Hammer pedal?

    I realize that TH would have much more versatility for me in a variety of ways but I guess I'm wondering if it could replace or rival the slightly overdriven/tubey tone I'm getting from the Agro?

    FYI, I'm aware that the TH AGS circuit has a noticeable jump in volume when engaged but like the Agro pedal, I plan on pretty much leaving it on all the time so this is not an issue for me. Thanks!

    EDIT: For reference, I usually set my Agro pedal with the saturation at 10 o'clock and the presence & contour at around 9 o'clock.
  13. I think they are nothing alike.

    I liked the OD of the Agro, but found I liked my Tech 21 Oxford better, as it has a similar grind with the speaker sim turned off and more adjustability and brightness.

    I gave up hope on the Tone Hammer. It could not do the aggressive Agro grind, no matter how I set it. I tried very hard to like it/make it work. It didn't happen.
  14. P-oddz

    P-oddz Supporting Member

    Apr 7, 2009
    Milwaukee, WI
    As mentioned, they are completely different pedals. If you are looking for a slight bit of color and an organic, warm, tube-like OD, the Tone Hammer is great for it, IMO. It will definitely not get as aggressive as the Agro, nor is it intended to. It is meant for a set it and leave it EQ setting. The AGS switch is not meant to be kicked on, to go from a clean to a dirty channel. If that is what you seek - look elsewhere.

    For me the Tone Hammer works as a nice tone shaper for my Jazz. It gives it a little bit of push and a very usable EQ shaping before it hits my amp. It will do the low gain OD your Agro does (a little bit of hair on the signal, and a little bit of bite in your dynamics) with additional shaping features, but that is where its comparisons end.

    Suggestions: Listen to the clips on Youtube and on Aggie's site of the ToneHammer, and if you are searching for something with more bite, you might want to look at other alternatives.

    Here is a helpful video:
  15. fclefgeoff

    fclefgeoff Supporting Member

    Jan 3, 2002
    Thanks for the link. That was helpful. To my ears, I'd have to agree with FNM and say they don't sound alike at all (even at moderate levels it seems) so I guess if I pick up a Tone Hammer, I'd want to keep the Agro.

    Next question, are any of you using BOTH pedals together? :D
  16. crustychef


    Apr 4, 2009
    Seattle WA
    I'm right there with you on this one. I love my TH soooo effin much. Sometimes I'll switch my Streamer to passive and use only the EQ on the TH for a super Neo-Soul sound or engage them both for and over the top slap tone that just hits you in the chest. I had an AGRO too but it just didn't do it for me. I ended going with an Xotic BB preamp in front of my TH. That combo just rules for Earth rumbling tubey overdrive.
  17. coyoteboy

    coyoteboy easy there, Ned Supporting Member

    Mar 29, 2000
    Sactomato, CA
    I'm using both, but I'm still working them out, and using only an EUB, so I might no be much help.
  18. P-oddz

    P-oddz Supporting Member

    Apr 7, 2009
    Milwaukee, WI
    I own both, but the Agro got kicked off of my primary board. I started to really dislike the tones I was getting out of my Agro, and my Distortron did overdrive better to my ears without the low end loss I was experiencing with the Agro (no matter how I tried to dial it in). The Agro, in my experience, always had a top end "sizzle" that I could never get rid of (despite dialing down the presence). That said, I love my Tone Hammer and Octamizer.

    The Tone Hammer is great for beefing up your signal, but yes - I would still recommend having another OD pedal on top of the situation should you choose to purchase one. The TH will give your signal some balls, but it is nice to always have a second tonal option to kick on for extra drive (as I mentioned before, the TH is best a set it and leave it pedal). Also, the TH plays nicely (as mentioned in above posts) with other pedals.

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