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Aguilar DB680 users: Which power amp now?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Admiral Akbar, Jul 31, 2018.


  1. Admiral Akbar

    Admiral Akbar

    Mar 12, 2013
    New York
    Just scored an Aguilar DB680 preamp. I’m looking forward to utilizing its hi-fi tube goodness and tweakability after 10 years of rocking a db750...

    In perusing Talkbass archives, a majority of DB680 threads are about 10 years old, and most seem to favor the Crest CA9 or Aguilar db728 power amps...

    So my question to current DB680 players is — given the current technological development in lighter power amps of today, what power amps are you guys & gals using, and why so?
     
    TheBear likes this.
  2. Admiral Akbar

    Admiral Akbar

    Mar 12, 2013
    New York
    I should mention that I’ve tried the DB680 preamp into the Effects return section of a Bergantino B|Amp, into Bergantino 410, and it sounds great..

    But am I ruining the “DB680 vibe” by using the power section of a 6.5lb class D amp?
     
    pickles likes this.
  3. pickles

    pickles Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 23, 2000
    Ventura, CA
    A db728 is best if that’s an option. Its a relatively dry sounding pre, paired with a super warm power amp. Try it through the effects return of your db750.
     
    Admiral Akbar likes this.
  4. Admiral Akbar

    Admiral Akbar

    Mar 12, 2013
    New York
    Yes Pickles - I definitely intend to use the Effects return on the db750 to amplify the 680 — the power amp of the 750 is an absolute beast!

    Is there a dedicated power amp that approaches the heft of the db750 in today’s world?
     
  5. pickles

    pickles Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 23, 2000
    Ventura, CA
    I thought my standalone preamps always sounded better through the 751 power section than anything else. But the 751 pre sounded so good I kinda gave up on rack pres. I think the real question is does the 680->Bamp sound better than the Bamp alone? Or just different? You could always try one of the jule or demeter power bricks. Or get a CA9, its not like you’re optimizing for convenience!

    These days I play through a Sadowsky SA200 and a mesa d-800+. They both sound great. The mesa is that good. I suspect the Bamp is too.
     
    agedhorse, murphy and Admiral Akbar like this.
  6. Admiral Akbar

    Admiral Akbar

    Mar 12, 2013
    New York
    Wait - the Mesa d800+ is as good as the Sadowsky?? Wow
     
  7. Admiral Akbar

    Admiral Akbar

    Mar 12, 2013
    New York
    Never played or heard the Mesa.

    The Sadowsky is the bee’s knees - lush tube sound, yet very responsive and modern at the same time.

    B|Amp is my favorite Class D. Adding the 680 pre amp to the B|Amp Power section basically “Tubifies” the preamp.

    And yes — I adore and respect the 750/1 and look forward to utilizing that power section with the 680.

    Might have to look for CA9 - I really want something perhaps a bit lighter!
     
  8. pickles

    pickles Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 23, 2000
    Ventura, CA
    In a weird room with a loud band ... yeah it gets the job done! Not talking golden ears going through a Neve to 2” ...
     
    Admiral Akbar likes this.
  9. Admiral Akbar

    Admiral Akbar

    Mar 12, 2013
    New York
    Gotcha. Of course - there are many places where the Sadowsky is more like using a German-made Miltex surgical instrument to carve a chicken. Sometimes just a nice sharp simple knife will do.
     
  10. Jeff Scott

    Jeff Scott Rickenbacker guru..........

    Apr 11, 2006
    The Aguilar db728 really is your only viable option. Why insult that preamp with anything less connected to it?
     
    TalHaz and Admiral Akbar like this.
  11. moogieotter

    moogieotter Custom Title

    Jun 16, 2009
    Duluth, GA
    Stewart World 1.2
     
    Admiral Akbar likes this.
  12. or a stewart pro reference 1000 or stewart pa 1000

     
    Admiral Akbar likes this.
  13. Admiral Akbar

    Admiral Akbar

    Mar 12, 2013
    New York
    Aggie db728 is tough to find....

    So you guys like the Stewarts?
     
    The Funk likes this.
  14. pickles

    pickles Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 23, 2000
    Ventura, CA
    I wouldn’t bother with anything between a CA9/728 and a demeter minnie (or equivalent).
     
  15. Jeff Scott

    Jeff Scott Rickenbacker guru..........

    Apr 11, 2006
    I used to have two W1.2 and one W600. They were okay sounding but had a somewhat harsh sounding treble range. Plus, they all got extremely hot while running. I have no interest in getting another one of those.

    Hope this helps.
     
    Jefenator and Admiral Akbar like this.
  16. The CA-9 or DB 728 would sound beautiful.
    I gigged a DB 680 for 2 years with a Carvin DCM 2000L. That power amp was part Class AB and part switch mode power supply if I remember correctly.
    Well, that combination of pre and power amp gave me seemingly endless clean power. The tone was warm and round too - pretty much flawless.
    I used a strictly clean tone - just bass through the cord to the 680. Granted, it was a hybrid rig. That particular Carvin died on me during a gig. I replaced it with a basic Crest 2.0 PowerLite.
    I think that the modern rack mount Class D power amps are absolutely great with such high quality rack bass preamps as the DB 680 - although I use a strictly clean tone.
     
    Admiral Akbar likes this.
  17. Dee-man

    Dee-man Supporting Member

    Apr 6, 2004
    SF Bay Area
    The Jules Amp M700 (or higher) was originally designed to pair with the Monique tube pre, if I'm not mistaken. It's a hypex class D. To my ears, it has an extended range that compliments tubes very well, but also won't have a low/low-mid bump if that's your thing (in which case, a Demeter Minnie among the class D's would be a good choice for that). If you've got to have a tube power amp (and you should!), you might find a used Mesa Strategy or M190, which will be a different and less expensive option than a db728 (if you can even find one). For non-class D lead sled, can't go wrong with the CA9 for slam and girth. Good luck, DM
     
    Admiral Akbar likes this.
  18. Jotha

    Jotha Supporting Member

    Jul 18, 2009
    New Jersey
    How about a Lab. Gruppen power amp?? I played those with some DB680's at Ultrasound Studios in NY, and they sound sweet...!!!!
     
    Admiral Akbar likes this.
  19. Admiral Akbar

    Admiral Akbar

    Mar 12, 2013
    New York
    So -- there seems to be no consensus opinion that there's a "Class D Amp Brand X" that is as good as the Crest CA9...?
     
  20. Dee-man

    Dee-man Supporting Member

    Apr 6, 2004
    SF Bay Area
    You will be very happy with a class D power amp that has an ICE power module (say the ICE 1000, which does 1200w at 4 ohms) or, so I've heard, the new Pascal power module. Or the Jule Amps I mentioned (including a very pricey M2500 if you need that much power). You can get an ICE power amp from RAD engineering here on TB if you search around. Sounds great and plenty of slam, weighs about 10 or less pounds. At my age, I would get that over a CA9. Good luck.
     
    andrew and Admiral Akbar like this.
  21. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

     
    Apr 19, 2021

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