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Aguilar DB 680

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Jebthebassist, May 24, 2005.


  1. Jebthebassist

    Jebthebassist

    Dec 8, 2004
    I'm curious about checking one of these out. What are your thoughts on this preamp? How does it compare to other preamps such as eden's navigator and ampegs preamps? Thanks for your feed back :)
     
  2. tombowlus

    tombowlus If it sounds good, it is good Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 3, 2003
    North central Ohio
    Editor-in-Chief, Bass Gear Magazine
    The DB 680 is absolutely one of the top-flight preamps out there, IMHO. My Navigator is more flexible in regards to signal routing options, and has more tone-shaping tools, but in a gig setting, there really isn't much of anything my Navigator can do that my 680 can't. That said, I am also a big fan of the Navigator (and several other pre's), and the 680 doesn't totally blow it out of the water, either. But, in my mind, I don't really think of the Navigator as a "tube" preamp (although there is a valve in the signal path). The 680 really does capture some beautiful, 3D, texture and sheen, but it remains very clear and very articulate. It's one of the best preamps available, in my book.
     
  3. inazone

    inazone

    Apr 20, 2003
    Colorado
    I sold my navigator after I got my 680. Even after almost two years Im still finding new sounds and ways to run. Its a great preamp and will do a lot more than you think it can.
     
  4. Pickebass

    Pickebass Supporting Member

    Jul 12, 2004
    San Antonio, TX
    I sold my demeter when I got mine... Like tom said, it really is a tube pre with good eq. It can be super clean or grungy if you are looking for that sound...Definitely one of the best available
     
  5. metron

    metron Fluffy does not agree

    Sep 12, 2003
    Lakewood Colorado
    I also sold my demeter when I got the DB 680 a few months ago. Unfortunately I dont have much experience with it yet but I have no desire for another preamp.The full parametric mids are a very powerful EQ tool once you get used to it.
     
  6. Jebthebassist

    Jebthebassist

    Dec 8, 2004
    yeah, i want to sell my wt800 and go the preamp power amp route, ive been told to go with aguilar preamps so i thought id ask you guys what you thought of that model.
     
  7. metron

    metron Fluffy does not agree

    Sep 12, 2003
    Lakewood Colorado
    it really is a great sounding pre. for me it has everything i want. you should try before you buy if you can. the only drawback IMO is that its heavy. about 20 lbs i think...
     
  8. David Wilson

    David Wilson Administrator Staff Member Administrator Supporting Member

    Oct 14, 2002
    Lower Westchester, NY
    My favorite tube preamp bar none. There are plenty of other great ones out there - Alembic, Kern etc. But the Aguilar has the tone AND the flexibility which something like the Alembic likes.
     
  9. Jebthebassist

    Jebthebassist

    Dec 8, 2004
    thanks guys. I think i will go check one out ASAP. What do you guys think of the lower model. I think its the 659 or something like that?
     
  10. tombowlus

    tombowlus If it sounds good, it is good Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 3, 2003
    North central Ohio
    Editor-in-Chief, Bass Gear Magazine
    I also own the 659, and I think highly of it as well. It is a different sounding preamp, though. It's no "680 Lite." I've tried a few different sets of preamp tubes in mine, and the 659 is very responsive to tube changes (moreso than the 680, IME). With Sovteks, it was a bit on the wooly side, and could nail some nice agressive, old school rock tones. But I had a hard time getting the mids to be as clear as I like. Throw some NOS Telefunkens in there, though, and the midrange improved in pretty much every regard. This is how I have it tubed now, and I couldn't be happier. The 659 also has some effects loop options that the 680 does not have. In addition to send and return levels, you can select instrument or line level and parallel or serial, which is pretty cool, I think. The 680 definitely has a wider range of tonal options, though.

    Tom.