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Aguilar DB680 with odd Tube layout?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by blueacid4l, Feb 8, 2016.

  1. blueacid4l

    blueacid4l Supporting Member

    Mar 9, 2006
    I have a friend who lent me a DB680 to try out before buying. He said he hated the sound... too muddy and the Power bulb kept burning out.

    I got it and opened it up to try some fresh tubes and to clean it out and to my surprise found only 4 tube slots instead of five.. only 2 12AU7s instead of 3.

    I swapped out the ancient looking AX7s and I immediately heard it to run quieter and it didn't sound as muddy any more.

    I've got a pair of 12AU7s on their way, but all the wiring diagrams and pictures I see show 5 total tubes. Anyone ever heard of a different layout? It has a really low serial number and I'm wondering if it use to be built differently or or if this maybe have been modified by a past owner.

    As a side question... does the 12AU7 Tubes really effect the sound that much?
  2. cfsporn


    Aug 20, 2011
    New York City
    This is really strange.

    I did a google image search for DB680 and found two pictures of the insides. One of them had five tubes, but the other had four. Maybe there was some revision in the spec early on?

    5 Tube

    4 Tube

    Very strange... I'd call Aguilar.
  3. Munjibunga

    Munjibunga Retired Member

    May 6, 2000
    San Diego (when not at Groom Lake)
    Independent Contractor to Bass San Diego
    I'd say the number of tubes ain't the only thing different between those amps. Look at the caps. Completely different PCBs, too.
    Chef and cfsporn like this.
  4. What's the serial number? That should be an indication of when it was built.
  5. blueacid4l

    blueacid4l Supporting Member

    Mar 9, 2006
    Serial #049
  6. cfsporn


    Aug 20, 2011
    New York City
    The four tube one I posted above is #329.

    I'd call Aguilar and see what's up.
  7. Chef

    Chef Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    May 23, 2004
    Columbia MO
    Staff Reviewer; Bass Gear Magazine
    Yup. Call Aguilar; or, message Dave Boonshoft on the facebooks maybe
  8. pravus


    Feb 5, 2013
    Denver, CO
    I have #314 and it's a 5-tube version. So within the 14 units between those two the design changed apparently. I wonder which serial number is actually the last 5-tube board.
  9. jazzercountry

    jazzercountry Supporting Member

    Apr 12, 2000
    Endorsing Artist: Lakland Basses
    Also, the indicator light problem was going on with my old one as well. The limiting resistor for the bulb was getting too hot resting against the board. The tech I took mine to replaced it with a higher wattage resistor and then left some room between it and the board.
  10. Mine is a 5 tube and number 215 (hand written not a sticker)
  11. Aguilar/Dave B.

    Aguilar/Dave B. Aguilar Amplification Commercial User

    Nov 8, 2003
    New York City
    President: Aguilar Amplification
    Hi folks,

    The earliest versions of the DB 680 did indeed have only 4 tubes.
    The layout change and additional tube occurred in the mid-1996. Based on what I remember, I believe that the serial number of any 4 tube version would be under 100.

    Hope this is helpful!


    Dave B.
    Snaxster and Chef like this.
  12. 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.

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