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Aguilar Amplification users, please step inside

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by nismaniac, Apr 10, 2005.


  1. nismaniac

    nismaniac

    Feb 21, 2005
    OKC, OK
    I did some searches and didn't quite find the information I thought I might. I am interested in hearing from those who use or have used Aguilar amps. I am mainly concerned with the heads and cabs although comments regarding the on board preamps are fine too. Thanks in advance for the helpful info. The 3 main brands I am looking into are Aguilar, SWR and Eden. If anyone has any comparison comments between these brands, I would love to hear them. Also, if anyone has any recommendations of another brand I should consider that would be on par with these brands, I would love to hear those as well. Thanks again. :)
     
  2. IvanMike

    IvanMike Player Characters fear me... Staff Member Supporting Member

    Nov 10, 2002
    Middletown CT, USA
    aguilar makes some very different sounding amps. the 680 preamp (IME) is on the "brighter" more "hi-fi" side. it does color the sound, but in a less obtrusive way than some.

    the 659 preamp and the amps which use similar preamps (i.e., the 359 and 750), have a "darker". "warmer", and "woollier" tone. very cool, but a very identifiable sonic stamp. warmer than eden, and way warmer than swr.

    the 500 amp sounds very similar to eden (again, IMO), and the overdrive is useful, but you either like it or you dont.

    IME, eden and swr have about the same power per stated watt, which is to say, they're a little generous with the stated power ratings. the 500 amp seems to fall in that same ballpark, maybe a bit louder, but not much.

    the 750 is LOUD. scary loud. one of my all time favorite heads i've tried in terms of a plug and play very loud amp.

    the 359 and 728 tube power sections add their own sonic stamp, one which you may or may not like.

    personally, my top choices would be an aguilar 750 ar an eden 550 depending upon how loud i wanted or needed to get.
     
  3. emjazz

    emjazz Supporting Member

    Feb 23, 2003
    Boston, MA
    What kind of music do you play and what's your budget? I'm sure many will chime in with their favorite gear thoughts. Mine is definately the Aguilar DB750 with a Bergantino HT322 cab. That would be a larger setup but easy to move with the castors on the Berg. For a more portable setup check out the Bergantino HT112/EX112 combo with the small head of your choice such as the Eden WT550, Aguilar AG 500 or the Thunderfunk amp.
     
  4. IvanMike

    IvanMike Player Characters fear me... Staff Member Supporting Member

    Nov 10, 2002
    Middletown CT, USA
    ah yes, the t-funk. that's also on my short list.

    gotta buy lottery tix...............
     
  5. Joelc73

    Joelc73 Supporting Member

    Nov 13, 2000
    New York
    The DB680 is a very flexible pre-amp with a super powerful EQ. The flat tone is thick and warm but it can molded into almost anything else from that point.

    The 659 sounds great but doesn't give you anywhere near the amount of sounds that the 680 will. That is OK for some, but could be a negative for others.

    All the aguilar amps sound very professional and will work for almost any gig that I can imagine.
     
  6. DEVILMAN

    DEVILMAN

    Nov 24, 2001
    New York,NY
    IME the 750 is a great all around sounding amp that works well with many hi-fi cabs(and some cheaper ones too). The 680/728 is an awesome combo that is totally different than the 750 & works best with very hi-fi cabs & basses. All in all, depending on what you're doing the only limit is $$$ & expermenting/narrowing down, what YOU like to hear...


    ~S~

    PS: All the brands you mentioned are definetly very top notch & shouldn't be cast out...
     
  7. Munjibunga

    Munjibunga Total Hyper-Elite Member Gold Supporting Member

    May 6, 2000
    San Diego (when not at Groom Lake)
    Independent Contractor to Bass San Diego
    The DB 750 has more overtones and a "richer" sound than the WT-800, mostly because it has 4 preamp tubes as opposed to the WT-800's one. On the other hand, the WT-800's EQ is hugely more versatile than that of the DB 750. Most folks run Eden amps nearly flat, usually not straying from noon much more than 11 to 1 o'clock. On the DB 750's EQ, you can crank the knobs 180 degrees, and still not change the tone into the unusable range. And I must agree that the DB 750 sounds louder than the WT-800.

    Bottom line, if you like clean, modern, hi-fi tone with the best EQ in the business, Eden is the way to go. If you like a little "woolier" vintage (but not too vintage) tone, go with Aguilar's DB 750. I like them both.
     
  8. Munji:

    What kind of rack units are those in your pics?
     
  9. nismaniac

    nismaniac

    Feb 21, 2005
    OKC, OK
    I appreciate all of your replies so far, they have been very helpful. Right now I'm using a Carvin R600 and Carvin redline 410 cab. I have had this amp for a long time and it has never failed me, but I just feel like it is time to move up to something a little higher end. I just want an amp that will give me a solid fundamental sound that will sit well in the mix. I might tend to lean a little on the agressive side of the spectrum just so things don't get muddy, but a lot of that can mostly be acheived by the bass I use. Solid sound, high quality, and reliability are my main concerns. I'm willing to spend what I need to to get a quality rig, but I don't want to go overboard.

    My research tonight has led me to the following models to compare. This is based on the power and EQ features I would like to have and the price.

    HEADS:

    SWR SM900 Mono: 900w@4ohms, 650w@8ohms
    SWR SM900 Stereo: 400w@4ohms, 240w@8ohms
    +/- $1600

    Eden WT800 Mono: 800w@8ohms (8 ohm min on this head in Mono mode)
    Eden WT800 Stereo: 400w@4ohms, 240w@8ohms
    +/- $1600

    Aguilar DB680 (comparable EQ/Bi-amp features as other two, but no power amp. This is another thing I would have to research. Any info or recommedation on power amps would be appreciated as well.)
    +/- $1600

    CABS:

    SWR Goliath III 4x10 4 ohm 40Hz-15kHz
    $849

    Eden 4x10 XLT 4 ohm 50Hz-14kHz
    $999.79

    Aguilar GS 410 4 ohm 40Hz-16kHz
    $859


    From a numbers standpoint only, the SWR head and cab look like the best combo based on power and cost.

    The Aguilar stuff would work too, but I don't know how much I would need to spend on a 2 channel power amp that would have power levels comparable to the SWR and Eden.

    The Eden stuff is the most expensive but still not out of question. My only concern is that I want to have a 4 ohm 4x10 cabinet and if I was in a situation where I wanted to run the Eden in Mono mode, it would not handle the 4 ohm cabinet because of it's 8 ohm min load requirement in Mono mode. I want to use a 4 ohm cab that way I can get the most power out of stereo mode. The SWR and possibly whatever power amp I choose to go with the Aguilar would give me the best of both worlds. I will only be running 1 4x10 cabinet in the beginning.

    Sorry for the long post. These are the conclusions I am looking at right now. Any feedback regarding these choices would be greatly appreciated. Also, I know that I will need to go play through them and A/B as many as possible to make sure the tones work for me, but I appreciate the comments and comparisons of tone between these brands.


    By the way, what is the general consensus regarding SWR products? I know they have a unique sound, but I've never played through them personally.
     
  10. pickles

    pickles Supporting Member

    Mar 23, 2000
    Ventura, CA
    GS410 eats the other two for breakfast, IME :D Its like the eden, only faster, clearer, and deeper, and without the eden "low mid hump".
     
  11. Akito

    Akito

    Dec 1, 2003
    Spokane
    To be honest I think you would be pretty darn happy with any of those setups. Are you strictly looking at buying new gear as your price list seems to suggest? You can get an awesome sounding rig chock full of quality used stuff for half the price. I've used SWR amps- redhead, sm400, sm500, sm900, eden and swr cabs for years and always liked the results. The thing I have always liked about the sm900 is the bi-amping capability that is a breeze to use. With the effects loops, effects blend, crossover, and lo/hi blend controls it is easy to get my effects on the high end, clean low end sound that I like to pull out once in a while.
    Just looking at your list, maybe the eden stuff would be a nice middle ground between the hi-fi swr and the tube Aguilar?
     
  12. Munjibunga

    Munjibunga Total Hyper-Elite Member Gold Supporting Member

    May 6, 2000
    San Diego (when not at Groom Lake)
    Independent Contractor to Bass San Diego
    There's a Korg DTR-1 tuner in each rack. The Aggie also has a dbx 160A compressor in that picture (not there any more, I don't dig compressors). There's a Furman PL-8 or something like it in the back of each rack. They are SKB ATA cases, 4-space for the Eden, 6-space for the Aggie.
     
  13. thejohnkim

    thejohnkim

    Sep 30, 2003
    NYC
    If you are able to, I'd highly recommend checking out a 410XST. They sound different enough from the XLT cabs to me, that I like the XSTs a good deal more for its deeper voicing. they're maybe in a sense more laid back, but can still growl with a thick tone with all the notes on the high E and down to the low B
     
  14. Pickebass

    Pickebass Supporting Member

    Jul 12, 2004
    San Antonio, TX
    I have used/owned/own most of the equipment you are looking at. (Sorry this one's gonna be a long post)

    SWR- Great stuff. I little sterile for me. Nothing like the other two sonically. the 900 with a 410 is OK but really shines with the another 410. Not the deep bass I like. You don't get the chest pounding bass you can get from the others. On the other hand, the highs are very crisp and clean. Like many I prefer the Goliath II vs. III.

    Eden-Great sound out of all products. Can sound dark in comparision to the SWR stuff. The 800 is a standard for a reason and is great with the 410XLT. The EQ sectio is very linear. One slight move and the eq can change dramatically. Too much and you can make the amp sound bad. The 410xlt is one of my favorite cabs. Yes, it's not flat, but it can cut thru better than most 410 cabs I've used including the SWR. This cab with enough power can provide chest pounding sound and works well with most styles of music.

    Aguilar- I own alot of aguilar gear, 680,728 359 GS410 and 2-GS112s, not to mention preamps. The GS410 is very similar to the 410xlt and provides the same level of chest pounding sound but a little flatter than the eden.
    The 680 is a very flexible preamp and soundmen will love you everywhere. With the parametric eq and the bass and treble switches any bass will sound good. What I like best about this pre is that it is musical and more natural sounding than the eden or swr. Needless to say sounds best with the 728 poweramp. I've used the combo with an XLT and didn't go to the PA and filled the room (holds 1000+ people)

    The AG500 is a good amp, I don't know if I would run to it. At the price range, there are other amps that tonally are very similar and may give you other features that are more important. I would consider a Thunderfunk, or the Epifani 502 (which is a little more)- I want one of these!!

    The 359 is one of the most toneful (is that a word?) amps I've heard. Great depth and richness in sound. Complete 180 from the SWR stuff. Yeah, its super warm. Sitting at home, playing by myself, this is the amp that I want to play all day long. Maybe a little underpowered for a really loud stage. For most things this is about as good as it can get (IMO)
    Aguilar stuff tends to be very gig worthy and sits in the mix best. It cuts, but really fits well in a band or recording setting. I just bought a GS410 and love it. Pickles call the sound of the GS410 perfectly

    Overall, you can't go wrong, depending on what sound you are looking for. I would put your carvin between the SWR and Eden sonically and closer to the SWR side by a little. The aguilar is definitely at the other end of the spectrum from the SWR. The eden stereo heads are not my favorites because it bridges at 8ohms only. I've heard the new ones bridge at 4ohms

    Good luck on your decision...
     
  15. inazone

    inazone

    Apr 20, 2003
    Colorado
    If it was me and I was going to spend the amount of $$$ your looking at, and from what your looking for (head + 410 cab) I would go for either;

    ag db750 + bergantino 322
    or
    db750 + epifani 410ul

    you will have this rig for a long time.
     
  16. mrtreacle

    mrtreacle

    Jun 18, 2003
    Los Angeles
    I use a DB750 coupled with a GS410 and GS115, and to be honest it is the best sounding rig I have ever used. This thing cuts through just about anything. When I play smaller gigs (500 people) I use just the 410, and for larger gigs (5000) I use the whole rig. It's never let me down and the built in D.I. in the DB750 is the best I've heard. I can't say enough about Aggie gear and how good it is. I was an Ampeg guy for a long time, but those days have passed.
     
  17. The rig I use most frequently consists of an Aguilar DB750 with an AccuGroove El Whappo cabinet. If I had roadies I might have them haul my DB680/DB728 to the odd gig, nonetheless I've found that the DB750 does an admirable job in every situation and would not hesitate to recommend it.

    Unfortunately my Eden and SWR experience is several years out of date.
     
  18. IvanMike

    IvanMike Player Characters fear me... Staff Member Supporting Member

    Nov 10, 2002
    Middletown CT, USA
    i have to agree with all the comments so far re swr eden and aggie, (even mine!). all the other poster's comments re tone are right on the money.

    one thing, don't trust numbers (i.e. wattage ratings and cabinet ratings) they can be fudged.

    The 750 will blow the 900 or 800 out of the water volume wise. My stewart 2.1 is a heck of a lot louder than either the 900 or 800 when bridged into an 8 ohm load (1400 watts!). the aggie is just as loud (well, almost) at 450 watts into the same 8 ohm load. to quote bass player mag, (about another amp), this is one amp that is so loud that it will make you sweat.

    I would say the goliath 1 or 2, eden 410T, 410XLT, aggie GS410, and S410 are all great cabs. (i dont care for the goliath 3, and havent heard the 410 XST)
     
  19. GRoberts

    GRoberts Supporting Member

    Jan 7, 2003
    Tucson, AZ USA
    Everytime I plugged into a DB750, I could not get the clarity, presence, sparkle and glassy, clean highs that I crave. The DB750 is just TOO wooly sounding for my taste. I wanted to like it, I really did. But I honestly *hated it* everytime I played through it. No disrespect intended to those that love it. It is a great amp without question. To be fair, I heard a bass player who was touring with Keb'Mo play through a DB750 and it sounded GREAT. Loved his sound. So go figure. My point is that the DB750 for me is an amp that I think you need to play and hear for yourself.

    The DB359 I LOVED! I agree that it is a TONE machine through and through. DB680 Pre - LOVED it!

    I have loved SWR SM-900's in the past, but have since found other amps that possess better power/headroom and have punchier lows and equally sweet mids and highs.

    Eden's have a lot of flexibility and very nice tones. They sound really good and are highly versatile. Decent power at the WT550 level and up.

    I just got a Mesa Walkabout and love the tones from that little amp. Would make me want to check out the Mpulse 600 for sure.

    I am ordering a Thunderfunk 550 this week. A leap of faith based on a lot of research and feedback from others here. I have a feeling I am going to LOVE it. Good luck!
     
  20. bassvegas

    bassvegas

    Jul 6, 2004
    Las Vegas, NV
    Eden and Aguilar are two of my favorites amps. Here’s my two cents;

    DB680 / DB728: My all time favorite tone. You can coax a lot of sounds from this combo; warm, fat, smooth, aggressive, articulate. The 680 is a world class tube pre with very flexible EQ. Depending on how you dial it in, and what bass and cab you match up with, this combo can do anything; rock, R&B / funk, country, jazz, etc. The 728 at 400 watts is as loud as a 900 - 1000 watt SS amp. My 65 J-Bass and Stingray sound great through this rig. Down side; too heavy for casual gigging.

    DB359 – I love the tone of this unit – not as flexible EQ as above, but it has the same signature sound. My experience with this unit is that, unfortunately, it is severely underpowered. I was missing the headroom. I sold it because of that alone. It does sounds awesome and could work in some small to medium size venues though.

    DB750 – I recently picked this up on eBay. After I put a new set of new Aggie tubes in it, it sounded better. This is not your father’s Oldsmobile (or Aguilar tube amp for that matter). This is a loud, aggressive 48 lbs. beast. It ‘s taking me awhile to get use to it – but I do like it. It does do warm and fat – but not nearly to the extent as the two units above. The mid-range is much more aggressive. My Stingray is almost too edgy for it. I have to back off on the mids a bit. It does have the Aggie tube sound, but I think it would be sweeter with the 680 on the front end. I haven’t tried this yet, and I don’t know if I will because it kind of defeats the purpose of having a self-contained amp – and besides, the 680 / 728 combo sounds better to me. Obviously, your bass and cab combination is going to affect your sound. I’m sure some Telefunken or JAN/Phillips tubes would make a big difference as well. Did I mention I like this amp?

    Eden WT400 – Ah, let’s see…when did my love affair with my Eden start…
    Oh yeah…when I plugged in my Stingray and spanked it through my EV B215-M.
    I dial it up thick and aggressive - and this setup rocks. The EQ is extremely flexible, and I’ve never run out of headroom or came up short on power. I’m sure the WT550, WT800, or the new WT1205 would kick the same or better. It is a different vibe than the Aggie stuff.

    Lately I’ve been favoring the DB750 over my WT400. Partly because its new and I want to get a bead on it, and partly because it rocks. I still prefer the 680/728 when I have a good reason to haul it out.