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Aguilar DB 900

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by skinnypete, Oct 27, 2005.

  1. skinnypete


    Oct 7, 2004
    New York, NY
    Has anyone ever used this direct box in front of amp. Is that a recommended use, would it add anything to otherwise sterile sounding combos that I find myself playing through at clubs all the time? Just curious.
  2. tombowlus

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

    Apr 3, 2003
    Fremont, Ohio
    Editor-in-Chief, Bass Gear Magazine
    I have tried this, and I personally don't feel like it does a great job in this application (and it doesn't seem to have enough gain to drive a power amp). I do like it a lot as a DI box, though.

  3. Had one for about six months. Nice unit but there is nothing special about it. Mine had a little bit of noise too. Prolly could have been tweaked or maybe my AC ain't the best though that has not been an issue with other tube DIs at my place. And I've thoroughly checked out almost every DI made since the early 1970's: from the Tycobrahe to the Type 85 to the Brooks Sirens to the Radials to the Valvotronics and others in between.

    My advice: avoid tube DIs (that's not to say that there aren't nice ones out there). Use a simple, stripped-down DI with a good tranformer. The transformer will get you much of the character from your bass. Leave the rest to a nice preamp.

    As far as using it before a bad sounding amp? There is no DI that will help.
  4. Aguilar/Dave B.

    Aguilar/Dave B. Aguilar Amplification Commercial User

    Nov 8, 2003
    New York City
    President: Aguilar Amplification
    I thought I would clarify that the DB 900's application is only as a DI.
    One of the keys to the design of the box is that the tube is used in a very linear fashion. If we introduced any gain, we would also add noise and distortion-and then we'd be on the road to having designed a preamp. In a direct box, you really don't want gain-that's what the mixer will provide.

    So...you get whatever level you put in knocked down 20 dB by the Jensen transformer in the unit. This will give you mic level, which is what your mixer probably wants to see. The signal path is tube-buffered, which is an improvement in theory (IMHO) that would be also be helpful going into the front of an amp. Will it compensate for a truly bad amp?
    If you need a DI anyway, it might help; but if your amp truly blows you should get a new amp. YMMV, etc...

    Dave B.
  5. tombowlus

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

    Apr 3, 2003
    Fremont, Ohio
    Editor-in-Chief, Bass Gear Magazine
    LOL! That's good advice! :D
  6. Dan Knowlton

    Dan Knowlton Sarcasm: Just ONE of the many services I offer! Gold Supporting Member

    Using it as a DI (the way it is designed!) I'd rate it as the best I've ever used - made the soundguy drool!

    Dan K.
  7. It is a great direct box, but for this use won't help you a great deal...

    But as the others said, as a DI it is one of my favorites, I recorded ONGO's "NEGRA" cd with a blend of The Aguilar and a miked SVT and the direct sound was so amazing I only used the miked signal to add body...