Aguilar DB359 vs. Ampeg SVT Por II and Mesa 400+

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by fusion, Aug 3, 2001.

  1. How does the Aguilar DB359 compare to the Ampeg SVT Pro II and Mesa 400+ . I am getting one of one of these three, but no one carries Aguilar around me and my Mesa dealer dosen't stock the 400+. I have played the Ampeg Pro II and the reissue Classic SVT. Also what is the difference between the new reissue (all tube) SVT and the Original. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
  2. Nino Valenti

    Nino Valenti Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 2, 2001
    Staten Island NYC
    Builder: Valenti Basses
    Welcome to TB!!!

    I've never played the Aguilar amp but I like the idea of am all tube amp in a 2 rack space.

    I own the SVT2 PRO & it blows me away everytime I plus into it!!!!! I use it through an SVT 810 & it kills!!!! More power than I'll ever really need (but it's nice to have all that power just in case)

    Iv'e tried the Meas 400+ & never liked it. IMO, it just dosen't have what I'm looking for.

    Original SVT's from the late 60's early 70's sound incredible. If you can find one in good shape, it's gonna cost <b>BIG $$$!!!</b>
  3. Yep. Very heavy, not very high powered, and expensive to retube.

    Why not an SVP Pro preamp and a big, kicking power amp like a QSC? Get the ampeg tone, and the QSC power/reliability, skip the weight, and still have 10x the power.
  4. Larry Kaye

    Larry Kaye Retailer: Schroeder Cabinets

    Mar 23, 2000
    Cleveland, OH
    If you're gonna shlep around a big heavy tube amp, (and you have some bucks) I'd go for the 400 watt aguilar and a preamp, or would try the Eden tube head also. I owned the agauilar 359 and although it sounded nice, I'd opt for more power like the SVT Mesa Eden, and you may look into a Trace Elliot all tube head. They're pricey, but are also 400 watts.

    The Bargain tube head of the year is defintely the sunn 300 T. Has much more tone shaping versatility and a ton of other features including a graphic, two channel switchability, high and low compression etc.,than the three you mentioned. There's one on Ebay right now which includes a two 15 cab brand new for $800 for everything. If I wanted to shlep, I'd buy it and sell the 2 15 for $250. This would be A TREMENDOUS bargain for $500-550 net cost + shipping!!

    Good Luck to ya.

  5. My Ampeg SVT-300 is currently awaiting a new sexet of 6550s and re-biasing. I know so many people who have experienced problems with Ampeg gear. The SVT2 Pro I wanted to try out in the music shop kept cutting out, hence I couldn't demo it.

    If you want to go the way of a valve power stage, then the Aguilar might be a good bet. It has greater headroom than the Ampeg, uses a lighter output transformer and will almost certaibly be better built.

    That said, if you choose the right power amp (An SWR Interstellar overdrive for example) you can use asolid state or digital power amp and still achieve a very warm, tube-like sound without the reliability and weight issues.
  6. Rock City

    Rock City

    Apr 8, 2001
    The Aguilar DB-359 is not even in the same ballpark as an SVT of any era! The 359 has ZERO sack or punch for any rock gig! I have used my friend's a couple of times only to be in the middle of a set with a distorting, farting mess. God forbid you use a cabinet with a horn as all that clipping shows up as high frequency in the horn. NICE! I agree that the newer Ampeg stuff is not known for it's reliability, but the tone is very good. Mesa doesn't do it for me as they're a bit too stiff. Do yourself a favor and hunt down a Magnavox era SVT, have a tech retube, bias, clean, and resolder every joint
    and you'll have yourself a MONSTER amp for FAR less than a lot of modern day amps. The whole deal should run $1200.00-$1500.00 and is well worth it!
    Good luck!
    P.S. Stay away from Linden, N.J. era SVT's as they have proven troublesome for me. The very early ones, '69-early '71 use 6146B radio tubes and need to be converted to 6550! EXPENSIVE!
  7. Rock City

    Rock City

    Apr 8, 2001
    I agree with you on the tubes lasting a long time issue, and the SLM is crap deal for sure! I must say though that Ampeg did use 6146B until late '70- early '71. I have a late '71 that has a tube chart that specifies 6550 and 6146B. I don't think anyone but Everett Hull knows the REAL story!
    And yeah, the Aguilar has more headroom? Has this guy EVER heard an SVT?
  8. Larry Kaye

    Larry Kaye Retailer: Schroeder Cabinets

    Mar 23, 2000
    Cleveland, OH
    Although certainly not the quality? of the SVT's of the past, how do you feel about the Sunn 300T?

  9. Thanks for all your replies, thay have been really helpful. Hey Psycho Bass Guy, so you think that 72 SVT on EBAY is a fake? I have decided to go with an older SVT and I bid on it but, I did not make his reserve. Now seeing your comments, I guess I'll keep looking. Where could I find one that I know is the real thing? What were the best years and the differences between them?
  10. boogiebass


    Aug 16, 2000
    Yeah, Psycho, that "not very high powered" comment killed me, too. Funny.
  11. James G. Ellis

    James G. Ellis Guest

    Jun 22, 2001
    The DB 359 has no punch? Did I read that right? I had one for a while and it cut right through a pair of very loud guitar rigs and a double kick drum kit at very high volumes.
    No, it is not quite the power of an SVT, but tone wise, it sounds better than any SVT of any era I have ever heard played by anyone through any set of speakers.
    There's a reason the Aguilar stuff has a great rep... unless you play crap through it you will never get a crappy tone.
    Granted, SVTs of a vintage nature are great, and as PBG said, can be properly run to last a long, long time. But I see no need to bag on a great 200 watt boutique amp to take a futile stab at making a point.
    The DB 359 is a butt kicker that will do any gig other than arena rock at 8, 4, or 2 ohms depending on how you've ordered it. If I hadn't been in a pinch, I would have kept the one I had. Should I be able to land another at a reduced rate, it shall not depart this time.

    worxforme likes this.
  12. Bass18

    Bass18 Guest

    Jul 21, 2001
    Hey Nino, I've got a few questions about the SVT-2PRO that you own.

    Im planning to buy either an SVT-3 or SVT-2 head to go with an ampeg SVT410HE cab. How much wattage does the SVT-2 have in 8 ohm? And does it have versatility for punk styles, what is the equ and graphic like?
  13. boogiebass


    Aug 16, 2000
    For what it's worth, I know Jeff Snyder (the ebay seller of that circa '70 SVT) and I've found him to be a righteous dude. He did some nice work on my '72 B25B and a '79 Twin. His custom shop in San Diego, Jeff's Guitars, is one of the best in the county and Jeff is known as a very good tube amp tech. If I didn't already own a great '70 SVT, I'd jump on that amp in a second.