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Aguilar preamp users.....

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by KAOSBass, Oct 18, 2005.

  1. KAOSBass


    Mar 10, 2005
    Amarillo Texas
    What power amp are you using?

    I'm planning on finding a used DB659 and was wondering what you guys are using for power.....
  2. Larry99


    Aug 17, 2005
    Philadelphia, PA
    The DB659 is a great pre amp - simple to use, sturdy, wonderful tone and punch, esp the mids. You don't need to tweak it much to get a great tone. I especially like the potentiometers for the effects loop. You can blend your effects in parallel with the inherint 659 tone or have them come through completely in series. You better hurry, Aguilar just discontinued this preamp.

    I use a 659 thru an SWR Stereo-800 that feeds a pre-fender Goliath Jr (2x10) and a Big Ben (1x18). Sort of a hybrid set up but I think it sounds pretty awesome.
  3. tombowlus

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

    Apr 3, 2003
    Fremont, Ohio
    Editor-in-Chief, Bass Gear Magazine
    It depends on what sound I am going after. For all tubey goodness, it's DB 728 all the way. Huge sound, with lots of grind and growl (if you want it), and a palpable sense of what I call "sonic texture."

    For loads of heft/girth, but tight, quick, dynamic tone and boatloads of definition, I won't use anything but a Crest CA9 (or a nice big Crown).

  4. peabody

    peabody Supporting Member

    Oct 31, 2002
    La Crosse, WI
    I just sold my DB659...not because I didn't like it, but because I decided to go with a DB750 and have everything in one unit. I used a Stewart World 1.6 with the DB659 and I liked it a lot. The Stew had plenty of punch and at 16 lbs, it makes the rack weight very manageable. I was using two Aguilar GS212's for my speakers and they had plenty of kick.
  5. thejohnkim


    Sep 30, 2003
    i use a DB659. My rig is in the sig, I previously had an older 1 space peavey DPC 750 which also worked well, upgraded for more power. The CS800S has been discontinued since 1999 (i think), but its 23 lbs, so its pretty light and worth a look if yo usee one used.
  6. KJung

    KJung Supporting Member

    Quick question for you Ag guys... is the preamp in the 750 identical to the 659. I assume it is, since the layout is identical. Interesting... in the limited playing I've had on both of these units, I found the 659 with a power amp (it was some sort of Crest) sounded much punchier and more articulate than the 750, which had the massive booty, but was a little pillowy in the mid definition to me.
  7. thejohnkim


    Sep 30, 2003
    don't know the answer to that, but I definitely found that the 659 was substantially "more punchier" than the two other preamps I have used in my rig previously, the SWR IOD (which was pretty articulate), and the Ampeg SVP-Pro (which was neither)
  8. KJung

    KJung Supporting Member

    +1 it is really nice sounding.... one of the few preamps that has made me consider going 'modular' again..... and then they discontinued it!!!!!
  9. tombowlus

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

    Apr 3, 2003
    Fremont, Ohio
    Editor-in-Chief, Bass Gear Magazine
    This always baffled me a bit, too, as I would have expected the 750 to sound a lot more like the 659 with a similarly spec'd SS power amp. My experience is very similar, and I also found the 750 to sound a bit pillowy and loose in the mids compared to the 659 (and, say a single channel of a Crest CA9). I think I recall reading where the two preamps are in fact rather different, despite the similar layout and controls.

    This is the only thing that has kept me from picking up a 750. I really love the sound of the 659 into a good amp, and if I could get that in a compact package like the 750, I would do it. Can any 750 owners set us straight? Are we missing something?

    Thanks, Tom.
  10. jivetkr


    May 15, 2002
    I used to use the 659 also...I really liked it, but I ended up switching back to a head (eden wt800B).

    I really liked the tone...thick, punchy, & a little dirty when digging in...

    I also bought it when it was much cheaper than they are now...I would never spend that much for that preamp now.
  11. Larry99


    Aug 17, 2005
    Philadelphia, PA
    I was just looking at the Aguilar website. Says the DB659 is a descendant of the DB680 pre-amp which seems to have a tube for each function, from the EQ to the FX Loop to somthing called 'Tube Compliment' (10 tubes in all). The 659 just has the two 12XA7s for the EQ

    DB750 has four tubes (three 12XA7s and one 12AU7) for the EQ section, which is different from the DB659 entirely. I guess the front layout has nothing to do with the guts. You'd think four is better than two but I guess sometimes less is more?

    You'll usually see a used DB659 on the Bay every now and then going for a little over $500 in good condition. Not sure how it being discontinued will affect the price/demand?
  12. KJung

    KJung Supporting Member

    Thanks.... I should have looked at the detailed specs on the site. So... maybe the extra tube stages in the 750 preamp, while warming up the sound, tend to mush it up a little bit in the mids versus the additional SS circuitry of the 659. I GREATLY prefer the sound of the 659.

    Wouldn't it be great if they came out with a 500 watt 2 rack space version of the 750 with the 659 as the front end. That would be the bomb. Although, Demeter tried that and I guess the product pretty much bombed.... maybe too high of a price point.... or maybe in a funny crack in the market... not 'hi end' enough for the true audiophiles out there, but not that much better than other heads available for less money.

    I'd still like to see that Ag though!
  13. vision

    vision It's all about the groove!

    Feb 25, 2005
    Ann Arbor, MI
    Endorsing Artist: MTD Basses, La Bella Strings, and 64 Audio IEMs
    yep...the problem with that demeter is it would make more sense to just get the demeter preamp and pair it with a nice power amp. you would get ALOT more power than the HBP-600, and spend less $$$. its hard to justify spending close to $2000 on a 500 watt amp when the exact same preamp is available for around $600.
  14. thejohnkim


    Sep 30, 2003

    My rack right now is a 4 spacer: 1-Tuner, 1-DB659, 2-Power Amp, 1-rearmounted power strip (about 43 lbs w/ rack)

    but a 2 space Ag amp with the 659 pre would make me ditch the rack in a heartbeat. Especially since the pre only weighs about 5 lbs, which in itself is really awesome.

    The only thing that kept me from going for a Stewart/Peavey 1 space power amp is that theyre both long and dont allow for a shallow 2-space rack bang. Bummer.
  15. KJung

    KJung Supporting Member

    I feel the same way about the Glockenlang stuff.... if they could put out something with more ooomph than the Soul head but keep it in two rack spaces (versus the massive Heart Rock), I'd take the plunge in a minute!
  16. jerry

    jerry Doesn't know BDO Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 13, 1999
    I use a QSCPLX 2402 with my Aggie659.....sounds great!