Aguilar it is

Discussion in 'Ask Justin Meldal-Johnsen' started by jmjbassplayer, May 3, 2009.


  1. jmjbassplayer

    jmjbassplayer Justin Meldal-Johnsen Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 25, 2005
    I am now, as of just a few days ago, endorsing Aguilar amps.

    I did a shootout with stuff from Mesa/GK/Ampeg/Line 6, and a few other bits of gear. Their DB750 amp through DB810 and DB412 cabinets just seemed to communicate my tone better than anything else. The Mesa Titan and Vintage Powerhouse cab came close. The Titan is a stellar amp. But the Aguilar package, as a whole, was the better fit....and, wow: what a GREAT midrange. That's so much of what it's all about for me. Not to mention visual aesthetics and a whole host of other subtle details.

    It was kind of ridiculous, getting everything ready at the last minute for this NIN tour, with a huge line-up of amps and cabs, going back and forth, trying to decide, while also rehearsing like an animal. But the Aguilar stuff won out. Had flight cases custom-made for the cabs over the last two days of rehearsal, a miracle in itself. Plus, I don't know if any of you have had a chance to deal with any of the staff at Aguilar, they are a great bunch of guys.

    Just thought I'd share. Feel free to ask any questions if you're inclined.

    Best,
    JMJ
     
  2. JimmyM

    JimmyM

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Yamaha, Ampeg, Line 6, EMG
    Only question I have is where's the pics???

    Glad you got it settled. Had a feeling you were going with Aggie after your comments the other day. I know how much you loved that Titan/Powerhouse so Aggie must have really kicked some ass for you. Are you going with basic black or chocolate thunder? ;) And what about Pez?
     
  3. jmjbassplayer

    jmjbassplayer Justin Meldal-Johnsen Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 25, 2005
    Basic Black with Pez dispensers.

    Pics - don't have any yet, will take some at rehearsal tomorrow.
     
  4. Jerose

    Jerose

    Nov 28, 2005
    Syracuse, NY
    Awesome!!

    I bet that 4x12 sounds especially yummy. Did you get to preview the DB751 at all?
     
  5. jmjbassplayer

    jmjbassplayer Justin Meldal-Johnsen Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 25, 2005
    DB751 is getting to me very soon to try out.

    412 and 810 combo is sick. Will know more about the sonic footprint of both cabs as I use it on different stages.

    Right now the DB412 is being driven by an AG500, and the DB810 is being handled by a DB750. It's fairly intense.

    JMJ
     
  6. GregC

    GregC Questlove, Black Thought, Hamilton Gold Supporting Member

    Jan 19, 2007
    Chicago
    Very nice, Justin! The 750 is a beast--a little wooly with a heavy low end, which suits your style, I think. I've been drooling over the DB cabs (especially the basic black, with that vintage Fender look--and the chocolate thunder, too), but haven't had a chance to try'em yet. And I met Dave B. at a Talkbass event last year, he was very cool.

    What gave the Aggie package the edge over the Mesa, for you? (I'm sure it was close, since Mesa makes great stuff.)
     
  7. kyral210

    kyral210

    Sep 14, 2007
    Manchester
    Never really looked into them, hmm, maybe I will. It sounds tasty!
     
  8. JohnDavisNYC

    JohnDavisNYC

    Jan 11, 2008
    Brooklyn, NY
    Endorsing Artist: Aguilar, D'Addario
    awesome dude.... they are great people and make great gear!

    the 12" cabs are awesome... i use the db 212, and it kills... i'm sure the 412/810 combo is RULING.

    john
     
  9. jimmy rocket

    jimmy rocket

    Jan 24, 2008
    Ayden, NC
    Aguilar = EPIC WIN!!!
     
  10. jmjbassplayer

    jmjbassplayer Justin Meldal-Johnsen Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 25, 2005
    The thing about Mesa which diverted me to Aguilar was that I found their large cabs, like the 6x10 and 8x10, too aggressive in the upper mids, and just kind of strange-sounding under my hands...it's a bit hard to explain. Just not the right overall sound for me. The Titan head? Excellent in every way. Walkabout? Incredible...especially with a Scout 1x12 cabinet. My old Diesel 1x15 cabs with EV's? Great. So I give Mesa major props.

    However: I haven't played a single piece in the Aguilar range that wasn't excellent. Every one of their cabs, heads, preamps, DI's have sounded delicious to me, each with its own voice. And I wanted to go with a company in which I found total satisfaction with their whole range, if it was even possible. And it is.

    The DB750, while being very wide and warm on the bottom, is also very impactful and tough sounding, especially when paired with those DB cabs. In fact, every bit as tough as my long-standing rig with Two SVT810E's and a Mesa Titan, Sans AMP PSA + power amp driving it. But now, with more detail, and more "ass". The Aguilar stuff also sounds great with all my effects, EVEN with the horn on just a smidge for a little bit of air on top.

    Next up for me: I'm going to try adding DB115's, if I can get away with all that on-stage real estate. It's already way too loud with what I'm running. But I want to enjoy myself as much as possible, especially while I'm in a position to have someone else set it up every day.:cool::bassist:

    Best,
    JMJ
     
  11. SmittyG

    SmittyG

    Dec 24, 2003
    Texarkana, Texas
    That is the major point right there. :D Great reading how someone in your position can still be so enthused over getting some new gear. I hope you have a great time with it.
     
  12. Mr. Pickles

    Mr. Pickles Supporting Member

    Nov 11, 2006
    Dutchess County, NY
    Are you running the AG500/4X12 and DB750/810 simultaneously? Or are they separate setups?

    I'm sure those custom cases add a fair bit of weight. Good thing you have roadies:D
     
  13. JimmyM

    JimmyM

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Yamaha, Ampeg, Line 6, EMG
    I still think you should have gotten chocolate thunder ;)
     
  14. thombo

    thombo Supporting Member

    Aug 25, 2006
    Denver, CO
    that distortion on the ag500 is monstrous!
     
  15. jmjbassplayer

    jmjbassplayer Justin Meldal-Johnsen Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 25, 2005
    All at the same time.

    Yes to roadies. My tech Mike handles it beautifully.

    Best,
    JMJ
     
  16. Bjazzman

    Bjazzman

    Dec 7, 2004
    Madison WI
    did you try the m6 or m9 mesa carbine head?
     
  17. kdog15

    kdog15

    May 31, 2008
    Baltimore
    Justin,
    just because you're a rock star the rules still apply. NO PICS, NO AGGIES!!
     
  18. jmjbassplayer

    jmjbassplayer Justin Meldal-Johnsen Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 25, 2005
    Yes, both. Great heads. I actually helped them early on with those heads, when they were in prototype form.

    JMJ
     
  19. basmartin

    basmartin

    Aug 6, 2007
    Sweden
    Yeah, Aguilar makes great stuff. Congrats to the endorsement!
     
  20. GregC

    GregC Questlove, Black Thought, Hamilton Gold Supporting Member

    Jan 19, 2007
    Chicago
    Thanks for the answer, Justin, very interesting! I'm not in a "big-cab" situation at this time myself. I have the Scout combo and I agree, it's amazing. I'm looking for a more modest-sized cab (212, maybe a 410) to pair with the '70s Ampeg V-4B I just bought. (Loving the tubes.) I'll keep your comments in mind as things to look for while I'm searching, thanks again. Enjoy the hell out of that rig, I'm sure it's a killer!
    That finish is really tempting, especially since at least one retailer has cut prices on the cabs in that finish and monster green. Plus, it's the coolest name for a finish ever. Don't tell the real Chocolate Thunder, though, he might demand royalties.
     
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