Aguilar DB728 Owners - preamps & cab pairing question

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by conttador, Dec 4, 2021.

  1. conttador

    conttador Supporting Member

    Jun 10, 2010
    San Antonio, TX
    Fellow DB728 Owners, looking for a little insight from you.

    What preamp(s) & cab(s) have you used with your DB728? I have a DB680 & an EBS Evolution Pro 210 & an EBS NEO 212 that I use with mine.

    I am going to pick up a Sadowsky Rig that has two Sadowsky 210 Cabs & I’m thinking my EBS cabs may need to be moved. I may use the Sadowsky cabs interchangeably as I don’t know that I can justify having 4 cabs of similar sizes. I may try to pick up a 410 in lieu of the EBS cabs but I’d like to hear what you’ve used with your DB728.

    I am interested in your preamp pairing(s) as well as I read a review that said using the DB728 w a DB680 essentially cancels each other out so I may look at a different preamp to pair w the 728. Also, the 728 w the 680 make for a very heavy rig!

    I thank you guys for your time and insight.
  2. conttador

    conttador Supporting Member

    Jun 10, 2010
    San Antonio, TX
    No DB728 owners up in here?
  3. matti777

    matti777 Supporting Member

    Dec 13, 2007
    Edmonton, Canada
    Not answering your question but it reminds me of this guy with his old SWR cabs
    conttador likes this.
  4. conttador

    conttador Supporting Member

    Jun 10, 2010
    San Antonio, TX
    That’s the preamp I’m using w it. Interesting pairing. Thank you for sharing!
    matti777 likes this.
  5. Wasnex


    Dec 25, 2011
    I found many comments that suggested the DB680/DB728 pairing was awesome. I would not let one review throw you off. I am guessing this is the review you are referencing: Sadowsky SA200 vs. Aguilar DB680/DB728 It actually is fairly positive on the DB680/DB759 pairing, although he likes the DB659 better and describes it as essentially more tubey.

    A quote from the post:
    Much of this will boil down to personal preference, of course. I can see some folks preferring the 680/728, some preferring the 659/728, and some preferring the SA200.​

    Since you already own both DB680 and DB728, make up your own decision. If you want more tubey, try the DB659. I would probably want both :smug:.

    IMHO if the rig is too heavy, keep in mind the vast majority of the weight is the DB728. The DB680 weighs 17lbs and the DB728 weighs 57lbs. Combined weight (74lbs) is not actually all that bad for a 400W tube amp, but they need a good case. IMHO the case is really what pushes the weight to a level that possibly crosses into unmanageable. This type of rig is really best for high-level touring where the components can be housed in a rolling rack...and never lifted.

    You problably already know this, but it's a good idea to provide some sort support to the rear of the 728. AFAIK the front panel and chassis are not really strong enough to support the torque loads that occur if the case takes any sort of hit. My DB359 has the same problem.
  6. conttador

    conttador Supporting Member

    Jun 10, 2010
    San Antonio, TX
    Yes! That’s the review! I’m probably going to pick up the DB659 to experiment which will probably mean I’ll need another amp to pair with my extra preamp! I saw a Crest C9 as another recommended pairing w the 680.

    thank you for your response!
    tombowlus and Wasnex like this.
  7. jasonbraatz

    jasonbraatz Supporting Member

    Oct 18, 2000
    Walnut Creek, CA
    680 + 728 + GS412 was probably my favorite rig ever. Had it with the little rackmount AGRO Aguilar made for a minute, it was so good.

    Just too much to schlep and too expensive to not schlep.
    Wasnex likes this.
  8. conttador

    conttador Supporting Member

    Jun 10, 2010
    San Antonio, TX
    That rig could be called the back breaker!! Heavy!!!
  9. tombowlus

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

    Apr 3, 2003
    North central Ohio
    Editor-in-Chief, Bass Gear Magazine
    The OP and I have chatted a bit in a conversation, but I thought I'd join the fun here, too. :thumbsup:
  10. I have used it with mesa powerhouse 112's, Bergantino HD210, and Fearful 115. It's a pretty clean and clear amp with a lot of low end muscle, but it is balanced. It sounded great with all of the above. Each cabs character showed through with the heft of the 728's tone added in.

    I liked it best by itself. It has a gain stage, so you could use it by itself, you just might not get it to start driving the power tubes to saturation without a boost from a pre or boost pedal.

    I have had both the DB680 and DB659. I still have the DB659. Neither of these preamps is a perfect gain stage. Both color your tone significantly. I have modified my DB659 to get rid of Boonshoft's tone meddling as much as possible. His idea of what bass should sound like is not my own. I changed the tone stack and gain stages to make mine more transparent and neutral to my ear. The most significant change was the removal of the anode bypass cap that was not even in their schematics.

    I would suggest trying the Nordstrand pre/DI pedal, epifani, Wayne Jones, Phil Jones, or any other. These will unalter your bass's tone and drive the DB728 to saturation should you desire.

    If you want the tube pre tone, keep the DB680 if you like it's installed character. The DB659 is definitely worth a try and is like a mix of an Alembic F1 and an SVT (the 659 shares the same gain stage topology and tone stack freq centers and is a woollier version with buffers for the effects loop and a regulated supply).

    Demeter, SWR Grand Prix, Archam, and Trace Elliot are other tube pres worth a try.

    The DB 728 is a great amp and worth the schlep if you are in love with it's tone.
    Last edited: Dec 14, 2021
    Wasnex likes this.
  11. conttador

    conttador Supporting Member

    Jun 10, 2010
    San Antonio, TX
    Thank you for your feedback!
    Presently I use it with 2 EBS cabs (210/212) and it sounds good. I use the 680 and have a 659 on the way too. I have the Sadowsky pedal that I use with my passive bass. It seems like it’s easier for me to dial in tone from my basses than it is from the preamp. I guess I may need to explore the preamp further.

    I would like to get an F1 at some point too though I’ve never heard one. I guess that’s the fun part, exploring all the endless possibilities!

    Thanks again!
  12. Note: the DB659 is a woolier version of the F1/2, not the SVT. The 659 has a Fender tone stack, not the Baxandall/James type stack of an SVT. It is only like the SVT because of it's wooly rock flavored texture.
  13. I would also suggest tube rolling in both as they will show the different qualities of the tubes.
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