Aguilar DB659 vs Demeter VTBP-201 vs SWR IOD

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Yamarc, Oct 31, 2002.

  1. Yamarc

    Yamarc Supporting Member

    Jun 25, 2002
    Northville, MI
    I currently have an Aguilar DB659 running through a Crest power amp and into an Aguilar GS115. I really like the Aggie pre but I am wondering what a Demeter VTBP-201 would do/change for my sound? Also considering the SWR IOD... (think Stefan Lessard, DMB Listern Supported) I have a Modulus Q5 and I really don't want to bring out the pankiness/high end sizzle of the graphite neck, what does anyone suggest? The Aggie is great but something loses a little in the clarity department, ala SVT. I will add an Aphex 204 soon so maybe this will make a difference? Thanks for any suggestions, Marc
  2. vanselus


    Sep 20, 2000
    Boulder, CO
    I used the Demeter for a long time before picking up some Aguilar gear, and if you're looking for clarity, the Demeter is IT. However, with the Demeter, you're never going to get anything BUT pankiness/high end. I used to play a MTD535 through the Demeter - backing the treble off 1/2 way, boosting the mids, & cranking the bass. Since the tone controls are passive, they don't do ALL That much. The aggie 659 doesn't have the mids that the 680 does - or the flexibility. If you're looking for a Stefan Lessard type of sound, i'd stay away from the aguilar and the demeter, IMHO. I'd suggest the SWR or even an ampeg pre... truly, if I were you i'd dump the Crest and just go for a SWR or SVT-3 head. Enjoy your search.
  3. Yamarc

    Yamarc Supporting Member

    Jun 25, 2002
    Northville, MI
    This has also been my experience with the Demeter. I noticed a LOT of highs with my Warwick, I thought everyone was saying that the Demeter was phat and warm, but not the one I had. I have to keep the Crest power amp, I got a great deal on it and love the tube-like bottom (deep!) and extra headroom, SWR IOD may be the way to go. Only problem is that it does not have a variable effect loop blend control and i would very much like to have one of those. I have owned a Grand prix and it seemed to have a lot of sizzle and brittle high, does the IOD have this also? I am not really concerned with the distortion or mega overdrive, I like a round phat but clear signal/tone. Anyone have any positive experience with the IOD or sound files? All the one I have heard are WAY distorted and overdriven, all I want is phat and clear! Maybe Aguilar is the best match, I don't know...
  4. vanselus


    Sep 20, 2000
    Boulder, CO
    If you're looking for FAT and clear, then Stefan is not a good example - to my ears he's more midrange honk than anything... but yes very clear.

    I'd strongly suggest the Alembic FX-1. I didn't mention it before cause it's less like Stefan and more tubey and fat - but I really think it has the tone shaping capabilities you desire, but the fatness is unparalleled.

    Buy it used! That way if you want to switch again, you're not out the $$.
  5. CaptainWally

    CaptainWally Supporting Member

    Oct 21, 2000
    Sandy Eggo, CA
    I'm pretty much in the same boat. I run a Modulus Q5 through an Aggie 659, and I really dig the Lessard sound too.

    I didn't have access to Bass NW, BC, etc. when I bought the pre, so I had to go on the written words of these brilliant folks here at TB.

    I'm pretty happy with the 659 overall, but I obviously wonder if I'm missing anything since I didn't get to try Alembic, IOD, and Demeter.

    I assume you've tried many different speaker configurations besides the Aggie 15? I love that cab, but I prefer 10's -- I have a couple of SWR Jr.s. Combined with the 659, it gets me pretty close to what I want. 15's are a bit round -- if you want more crispness, did you consider 10's?
  6. jerry

    jerry Doesn't know BDO Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 13, 1999
    Sounds like we all wonder if the grass is greener whenever we invest in /pres/ cabs/ wife etc;)
    I almost always wonder if I made a good can't really tell a piece of equipment in a store, it takes awhile! It seems everybody here has pretty good preamps.....I'll take one of each please:D
  7. Chuck M

    Chuck M Supporting Member

    May 2, 2000
    San Antonio, Texas
    I've owned all the preamps mentioned except the Aguilar, however, I did A/B the DB 659 with my Demeter. The Demeter is my favorite. I have yet to hear another design that matches the clarity, warmth and detail of the Demeter.

    Remember that when dealing with tube preamps, the tubes have some influence on the tone. The Eden tube preamps as not affected much by the tube(s) but all the other brands are.

    I have an SWR Grand Prix with a Telefunken ECC83 in it and it sounds wonderful-the brittle highs are gone when you pull out that GT 12AX7. That preamp also sounds very good with an RCA 7025 in it.

    I suggest you consider trying some tubes rather than a different preamp. I love to talk about tubes and would welcome email on the subject.

  8. "All Righty Then"
    What tubes do like best in the Demeter? I had the cover off and forgot to look at what was in mine.:mad:
  9. jokerjkny


    Jan 19, 2002
    NY / NJ / PA

    the Dem's pretty airy sounding to my ears, and the Aguilar DB659 i've tried was pretty warm and chewy to my ears. like Van said, i'd try an Alembic, or better yet, a Kern for that phat Bassman like feel.

    also, tube wise for my VTBP, i like a bright, open, airy tone that's great for slap, so i dig the Amperex Bugle Boys. bright, full thru the mids, and big bottom end. Tungsram ECC83's are similar and are my usual giggers tho, cause they're relatively cheap compared to the Ampy's.

    JAN Philips 12AX7's have a steely midrange that'd be kickin' for fast fingerfunk where you'd need that fast response.

    JAN GE's are deep, warmer and complex, but at the expense of a muted and sucked out midrange, that makes me wanna crank the mids just to be heard.

    Mullard CV4004's were ok, and nothing more. a bit disappointing considering they're supposedly Mullard 12AX7 British copies.

    Demeter's come stock with EH 12AX7's which sound really sizzly and a bit thin to my ears. i aint exactly enamoured with the tone.
  10. Pre EB

    Pre EB

    Mar 15, 2002
    Denton, Tx
    So a JAN Phillips is like a Savignon Blanc (without the cat pee), a JAN GE like a Merlot that's from an OK year, a Mullard like a Texas Red table wine, and the EHs like a Brut Sauvage? :D ;)
  11. Man, I was starting to get buzzed with all that wine talk. Thanks Joker for the run down. As usual no matter how thorough one is, Ol' Big String has a question....:D

    I'm liking the sound of my Dem quite well, but being a tube lover I know there is a vast number of tonal choices to make, so might as well pick everyone's brain. I am getting used the purity so eloquently stated by my pal from the Islands, Jerry. I am liking the sound of my axe but find it somewhat grindy/gritty but still would like to retain the "cut through the mix" thing the most. I'm not a slapper or stylist by any means. Just an in the pocket player finger style mostly. I like the womp-punch and sweet lows, but not overwhelming bottom on stage. My Berg HT212 really is sha-weet in clarity and low end. I have yet to try the rig with the band (next weekend) and just want to get some more ideas to play with. Equipment/Gear has become my "mid life" passion and I like to get the most out of my stuff. Thanks in advance.
  12. ganttbos

    ganttbos The Professor Supporting Member

    Dec 18, 2001
    New Orleans area
    Boy, that really nails my present sickness.;)

    So Chuck M and other tube gurus, where can I order JAN Phillips 12AX7's online? I've seen preamp tube threads before and I know this info is probably out there, so please forgive my post without a search. Thanks.
  13. ganttbos

    ganttbos The Professor Supporting Member

    Dec 18, 2001
    New Orleans area
    To answer my own question.... I just did a preamp tube search and found everything I could possibly want and then some (and then more than some!).
    There's a thread elsewhere on TB where a guy is complaining that there's not much happening here. People that post regularly on TB often emphasize the search function. Don't be lazy (like I was). Use it. Thanks to everyone.
  14. ditto on the F-1X. I use mine in conjunction with a Rane PE-17 EQ.
  15. jokerjkny


    Jan 19, 2002
    NY / NJ / PA

    Fromage, anyone? ;)
  16. jokerjkny


    Jan 19, 2002
    NY / NJ / PA
    Hey Biggie,

    what kind of onboard preamp (if any...) are you using? if it has a sweepable midrange frequency selector, you'd be golden.

    my j-retro's and bart 3 band preamp's with the sweepable mids makes the Demeter even more versatile. i love rolling to the lowest mids and bumping them up, for a bigger, bolder, punchier, kick in the pants.



    i've actually gotten most if not all the tubes from there. great site, with fast service. gotta love dem Canadians!
  17. Joker,
    I have all Laklands. Only my Deluxe is active with Bartolini Pre amp. I don't know if your familiar with the Lakies but they have a treble, mid, and bass that I guess you would call sweepable. The dedent is in the middle of each knob were they are flat and you can add or cut. The Deluxe has a natural purr to the mids. I always add about half way up on the bass knob to give it some giant roundness, and leave the treble flat. The mids are another strory. I've always added a little as the night goes on to cut the mix that always seems to get louder. It's my new squeeky clean rig (Dem,PLx) that I notice the gritty mids more, so I think it's the real sound of my axe shining through and I'm not used to it...

    And your right about the tubestore they are great. I hear Lord Valve has just about everything, and I know the prices are very close and right here in the "Good OL' USA." I wish I would have gotten my PLX from him instead of the place I got it from. Oh well next time.
  18. jokerjkny


    Jan 19, 2002
    NY / NJ / PA

    when i mean "sweepable", i'm referring to a separate knob from the midrange knob, that lets you choose which midrange frequency to boost or cut. its like moving the frequency curve up and down the spectrum to find the right frequency to boost or cut your tone.

    usually, i roll it all the way down the 125 hz range, then boost that particular frequency with my midrange knob for a nice bump in the low mids that gives everything an overall punchier feel.

    so nice.. :cool:
  19. Thanks JJ
    I guess I don't have sweepable. I did choose the Demeter 201s for simplicity. When I had the Eden I could never dial in the right sound, it always seemed when I added or cut something it woudl affect the sound somewhere else.. Anyway, I have a rehearsal tonight and I at least get to try it out with the boys tonight..
  20. JJ
    I found your post.
    I called around and could not find the favorite tubes you mentioned and the Philips 12ax7 has disappeared from the planet in the last three months. MR. Lord Valve has kindly provided me a pair of Sovtek 5751 that he recommended for my Demeter. So, I'm going to give them a shot. The 5751 have a slightly lower gain structure than the current EH bottles and the feed back he has collected from Dem users is positive on 5751 especially with active artillery.