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Aguilar DB359 / Bergantino users - what are your settings and which bass do you use?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Ari, Dec 15, 2005.

  1. Ari


    Dec 6, 2001
    Hi guys,

    I realize I have never been really satisfied with the sound of my DB359 - especially since I bought an EA Iamp 350 a while ago. I'm wondering if it's because of the settings, the cabs, or simply if the tube-sound is not to my taste.

    To make a long story short, when I was still gigging periodically in France a few years ago I bought a DB359 and an HT-112. I thought that the cab sounded a bit "boxy" so I later bought an HT-115. Then I thought the HT-115 lacked definition so I bought an HT-210 and at the same time I stopped gigging because I had to move to the UK :D

    I left the Aggie/Berg stuff at my home in France and in London I bought a used Iamp 350 and later brought back my HT-112. I leave everything on the amp flat except for the use of the "bright" and "contour" or "contour II" switches - I really like the sound I'm getting with the combination of this head and the small Bergie 12". When I don't use the "contour" switch I think it sounds a bit "boxy" or "thumpy" (can't find any other words to characterize it) but when the switch is engaged there is a scoop in the mids, and it sounds great to my ears.

    I come back to France on a regular basis and when I use the DB359 there with the HT-210/HT-115 combination I can't get a satisfying sound. I don't have much experience with amps so it's hard to describe what I hear but the sound is not as pleasing as with the EA head - it's not as "smooth", I think the mids may be harsher, I don't know...

    Bass-wise I'm using an MTD535, a Smith BSR5 and a Sadowsky 24F/5 fretless. I sold my Sadowsky Vintage 5 a while ago cause I was not happy with the sound I got on the Aguilar, I wish I could have tried it on the EA head as I may not have sold it :meh:

    To all DB359 users out there - do you use it in combination with another preamp? What are your settings on the head? Which bass do you use?

    And are the controls (Bass, mid, treble) on the DB359 boost only or boost/cut?

    Thanks in advance for your input! ;)
  2. demon666


    Jul 16, 2005
    Providence RI
    I use my DB359 with a Bergie NV6x10. i have all the tone controls flat (12:00 straight up) bright switch on deep off gain around 1:00 1:30. I'm playing a Kingdoublebass with Emg/King pick ups through it. It sounds alot better then my Mesa M-pulse600 (even though I love the sound of that) but it doesn't have alot of power I'm pretty tapped out on it right now I can't really turn it up more without the power section really starting to overdrive.
  3. jokerjkny


    Jan 19, 2002
    NY / NJ / PHL
    tube amps arent fast or responsive enough for me sometimes.

    so i usually crank the mids knob, pull back the treb knob to tame the harshness, and add just enough low end to give roundness to the sound.
  4. cabcreaser

    cabcreaser Supporting Member

    Feb 12, 2005
    I do not use my db359 with a Bergantino cabinet (I use an Acme), however I do also own and use an Iamp 800. Needless to say, as you have noticed, they are two very different sounding heads and you may simply prefer the Iamp (I personally lean in the other direction, but to each his/her own).

    One thing to notice is the way the eq works on the 359. It is a very subtle eq section in that you can have visually extreme settings that do not generate extreme sonic changes (especially compared to the wickedly versatile Iamp eq section). In my experience, the mid knob mostly cuts (to my ears, the "flattest" midrange setting seems to be at around 3 to 4 o'clock). However, unlike the Iamp, flatness is not the 359's ultimate goal (it definitely adds a sweet gooey quality though, but it is a quality you cannot remove, you can only slightly alter the goo).

    My settings pretty much reflect jokerjkny's post: deep and bright switches off, treble below 12 o'clock, mid pretty cranked--around 4 to 5 oclock, sometimes up all the way, and bass a little above 12 o'clock (of course all this depends on the cabinet--I know jokerjkny also uses his with an Acme sometimes, so perhaps this explains our similar settings).

    Just so you know, I use a Sadowsky Vintage 5 with mine and have had nothing but fantastic results for my applications with the 359 and the Acme. Yet, the Bergie may add a little too much girth to what can be (depending on how you run the Sadowsky's very flexible onboard eq) a very fat bass being amplified by a fairly fat amp. who knows? hope some of this helps
  5. Pickebass

    Pickebass Supporting Member

    Jul 12, 2004
    San Antonio, TX
    All you're basses and cabs are really "modern" sounding. The DB359 has more of a "vintage" sound due to its power and preamp tubes. I don't know if you can get what you are looking for with the head and the cabs you have. I have 359 also and it works really well with my Smith and has a love affair with my Jazz Bass. Sounds good with 2 GS112s and awesome with a GS410. I have a berg 310, but it didn't sound great and this was due to the lack of power. Bergs really like alot of power and at higher volumes it didn't work well
    May want to consider another amp based on what it seems like you are looking for.

    All controls are boost/cut
  6. cabcreaser

    cabcreaser Supporting Member

    Feb 12, 2005
    Boost/cut is a little misleading regarding the 359's controls (though I know that is how their website describes). The eq is shelving so it is not symmetrical. Dave Boonshoft mentions that in this thread: http://www.talkbass.com/forum/showthread.php?t=147022&highlight=db680+boost

    12 o'clock is a great place to start, but it does sound a bit scooped in the mids to me.

    My experience with Bergantino cabinets is that they are the most lush and rich cabinets I have ever heard and because of that they seem to work really well with extremely punchy amps (the best I ever heard a Bergie sound was with an Ashdown--set with the eq controls bypassed and the master volume cranked). Regarding the power issue in relation to the cab, I seriously doubt that even the DB750 would provide the type of tone you want from your Bergantino because the Aguilar tube preamp is a pretty rich sound even at its most neutral settings.

    Ari, I would vote that the tube sound is not to your taste.
  7. Ari


    Dec 6, 2001
    Thanks a lot for your comments on this. I have read the thread about the DB680 boost/cut debate - I know it's not the case but the way I hear it, the DB359 would be boost only for treble & mid and boost/cut for bass... because when I turn the bass knob all the way down I get a very very weak sound :meh:

    Anyway I'm coming back to France for Christmas so I'll try to take the Iamp350 with me and use it in combination with the HT-210 and HT-115 - I guess if it sounds good then the DB359 is probably not the sound I'm looking for - I may then put it for sale!
  8. jokerjkny


    Jan 19, 2002
    NY / NJ / PHL
    IMHO, EA heads and berg cabs go together like milk and honey.

    but you should definitely think about picking up an EA iAMP-800 head. waaaaay more beef w/ that extra wattage.
  9. emjazz

    emjazz Supporting Member

    Feb 23, 2003
    Bronx, NY
    I have to agree with Joker. If you like the iAMP sound than you'll need the power that the 800 will give you. My prediction is that you'll not like the sound of the 350 with your 210/115 setup. That setup requires much more power than the 350 can give you. The DB359 also lacks the power.
  10. cabcreaser

    cabcreaser Supporting Member

    Feb 12, 2005
    You are correct Ari, the eq on the 359 definitely boosts and cuts, the strange thing about the eq is where on the knob it boosts and where it cuts (since the eq is assymetrical). It seems to me that the bass and treble knobs offer a larger amount of boost and that the mid knob offers a larger amount of cut. However, I will not rule out the very distinct possibility that I am crazy.

    Regardless, I agree with the others that an Iamp 800 into the Bergantino 210 and 115 would be outstanding.
  11. Ari


    Dec 6, 2001
    OK - I was able to bring the Iamp350 with me and A/B it against the DB359. The difference is night and day between the two heads. Actually I can't believe what I'm hearing!

    It made me think of an old post by Dave Funk, where he said he had customers who spent thousand of dollars on high-end basses where in fact the problem was the amp! :rolleyes:

    The truth is, I bought the DB359 a few years ago without being able to try it first. But during a visit to Sadowsky in Brooklyn I was able to try my bass (a Sadowsky 24F) on a DB728+DB680+Aggie 112+Berg 115 and thought it sounded outstanding. I wanted to replicate the same sound with a smaller package so that's why I bought the DB359 and the HT112. As I said in my original post I was not happy with the sound of the 112 so that's why I bought the 115 then the 210. I even sold basses that I didn't think were sounding good enough but I now realize the "problem" was the amp. I simply don't like the tube-rich sound of the DB359 and prefer a cleaner sounding amp like the EA, where you can hear the true sound of the bass. As a result I will put my DB359 for sale.

    The Iamp350 sounded good with the HT112 and it sounds equally as good with the HT210 alone or with the HT210+HT115 combination. Maybe it would lack some power to run these two speakers at high volumes but from what I've heard the 350w seem quite loud already - I'm not sure I really need the extra power that an Iamp 800 would bring me... unless it sounds even better than the Iamp 350, in that case I would be interested! ;)

    I admit I'm quite intrigued by those ThunderFunk amps also...
  12. KJung

    KJung Supporting Member

    +1 on your experience. I really liked the tone of the DB359 in a 'music store' setting, but even playing alone, it didn't seem to have a lot of punch and volume. Lot's of posts support your experience with this. Also, +1 on combining very modern basses with an amp voiced for a vintage vibe... usually not the best combination.

    I owned both the iAmp350 and iAmp800 for a while. Of course, the 800 put out massive more lows and more volume in general. However, I actually preferred the analog amp 350 sound to the digital800... a little warmer and punchier to my ear. Both nice amps in their own way.

    Finally, if you end up needing more power, the Thunderfunk550 and the EdenWT550 are both small, reasonably priced, punchy, loud and warm sounding units that are in the same price and volume/loudness range as the iAmp800.
  13. emjazz

    emjazz Supporting Member

    Feb 23, 2003
    Bronx, NY
    +1 on everything that Ken said. I liked the sound of the 350 better than the 800. His suggestions for the Thunderfunk and the Eden are great one's.
  14. tombowlus

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

    Apr 3, 2003
    Fremont, Ohio
    Editor-in-Chief, Bass Gear Magazine
    I actually liked the sound of my 359 into my HT115/HT210 a lot, but only at lower volumes. It definitely ran out of headroom with those cabs as you turned it up. My best tones seemed to be set fairly flat, but with a bit of treble boost.

    That said, I do think that an iAMP 800 (or Walter Woods Ultra) would be a much better match for those cabs.

  15. zoloo


    Jun 7, 2005
    The final word is that Ari sold me his DB-359 (after I sold my Fafner with which I could'nt find my sound).
    So everybody's happy
  16. jokerjkny


    Jan 19, 2002
    NY / NJ / PHL

    i love it when threads have happy endings.
  17. Ari


    Dec 6, 2001
    I'm glad you enjoy the amp! ;)

    In the mean time I have replaced the Aggie with a Thunderfunk :bassist:

  18. jokerjkny


    Jan 19, 2002
    NY / NJ / PHL

    awesome setup...
  19. Big String

    Big String Supporting Member

    Apr 22, 2000
    Northwest Indiana
    I'm guessing you like this setup... I do very much.
    I like the TF better than my WWU I sold. Not as much power but I like the EQ better.
  20. emjazz

    emjazz Supporting Member

    Feb 23, 2003
    Bronx, NY
    Wow, now that's a great looking setup you've got there.