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Aguilar Question

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by ElMon, Jul 6, 2005.

  1. ElMon

    ElMon Supporting Member

    May 30, 2004
    Oklahoma City, OK
    I've been contemplating some changes in my Aguilar rig for some time, and want the expert opinions of all of my fellow bass geeks before I do anything drastic. Right now, I'm running a DB680/QSC RMX850 through a GS410 cabinet. For the most part, this is an awesome setup. However, while in a studio situation, I had the opportunity to hear the DB680 by itself on tape, sans the QSC and was blown away by how much fatter sounding it was!

    This got me to thinking of how I could approximate this sound live. My first thought is that I could sell the DB680 and get a DB750. This would be slightly lighter, but would it really be any different than what I currently have? I've heard people mention that the DB750 sounds strikingly similar to what I am currently running: all tube Aguilar preamp with solid state power. To those who have owned both setups, what do you think? Is the DB750 thicker in the bass, or do I essentially have the same thing? Last but not least, is the DB750 comparable to the 680 in the studio?

    My next option would be much heavier and much more difficult to locate. How would the DB728 improve upon my rig? Does it make that much of a difference? I've heard rave reviews about the DB680/DB728 setup, but have never heard any comparisons to the DB750 in terms of live sound. I don't care about the weight if it pays off in terms of creamy fat bass tone. Any info would be helpful. Thanks in advance.
  2. pickles

    pickles Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 23, 2000
    Ventura, CA
    You need a flatter, truer, more HiFi speaker cabinet, something like an Acme or Accugroove. Its not the power amp that is changing the sound, its the way the speakers are reproducing it.
  3. Eric Moesle

    Eric Moesle

    Sep 21, 2001
    Columbus OH
    True, true. But beware of wanting the perfect tone out of your rig live, it tends to get lost in the mix. Every time I EQ my rig to sound great solo'd, the minute the band starts playing I go nuts trying to re-EQ my sound to cut through and sit in the mix correctly. That usually means something that sounds terrible solo'd on its own, heavy in the mids, lacking in low-end fullness. That fullness gets eaten up and muddied in the band mix. Therefore, my stage rig is something specific for the band I'm presently in, not my ideal rig. If I join a different band, I'll probably alter my rig a bit to suit it.
  4. kjones


    Dec 4, 2004
    I had a 680, and coincidentally, just used it in the studio. I traded it last week to get a 750, and have gigged with that twice so far, so my experience with it is somewhat limited.

    I used both with my Accugroove cabinets. I feel that the 680 had more of an uncolored, not to say clinical tone, compared to the 750. What I like about the 750 is that down in the bottom end, it has a massive but not muddy sound, which is exactly what I am looking for. I have not used the 750 in the studio, so I don't know what sound is coming out of it directly.

    I have never owned a 728, but in my live listening experience, I find the 750 to be just a little fatter, maybe a little thicker in the low end as you put it.

    Also, to some extent, I agree with pickles. I love the way the Accugroove spits out what you put into it. With the combination of the 750 and the 'groove, I have fatness on the bottom and articulation through the mids and treble. Perfect for me, you have to make your own judgment about that.
  5. I have both a 680/CA9 and a DB750 rig that I have used with my El Whappo.....I prefer the 750 Live and the 680 in the studio...Like you said the 750 gives you a massive but articulate bottom that really cuts through the mix and stage volume very well yielding a thick but not muddy or boomy sound......while the 680 is a bit more surgical in its sound and therefore to me, better suited for the studio....I would think that the 680/728 would be a different story though!!! I would love to hear that rig BUT I KNOW that it is too much weight for me!!!


  6. jacove


    Apr 12, 2003
    Aalborg, Denmark
    Tommixx, I've just played 3 gigs with the db680/728 and the El Whappo and it was BOOTYLICIOUS.....For the first time I really heard the full range of the Aggie combo, the fat thick low end and sweet highs were all produced extremely well by the Whappo...I ran a vintage Jazz in the Aggie, set the bass boost on "1", a small cut around 250hz and 2.3khz and the low end was so thick, powerful but tight that it was damn scary. I think I'll use the Thunderfunk tonight just to feel the difference....
  7. Well put.
  8. the dude

    the dude Supporting Member

    Sep 19, 2004
    I'd give a Crest CA9 a shot before you plunge into a 728. You will be amazed at the difference between that and the QSC.

    And as others have suggested, the other big factor is the speaker cabinet. It could be a change in your cab will give you more of what you are looking for.
  9. tombowlus

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

    Apr 3, 2003
    Fremont, Ohio
    Editor-in-Chief, Bass Gear Magazine
    I agree that it would be wortwhile trying the 680 with a different SS power amp, and the Crest CA9 is currently my favorite, too. The DB 728 is going to sound very different from the 680 with a SS power amp.

    Oddio owns both the 680/728 and the 750, and he may be able to provide you with additional insight.

  10. KJung

    KJung Supporting Member

    a big +1. It's amazing how 'bad' a beautiful, solo hi fi sound can be in a live situation. You need a little bit of those 'ugly' mid and upper mids to find a space between the drums and guitars, etc. This was really made clear to me when I bought my Lakland 94-55 a number of years ago. I had all these beautiful hi fi sounding hi end basses. When I played the Lakland in my practice space, it just sounded pathetic compared to the more pristine sounds of other basses I had at the time like the Fodera, etc. However, when I got it on the gig, it just had a way of punching through and sounding good. I think the same thing goes for cabs.
  11. Jacove.......you are NOT helping....LOL!!


  12. jokerjkny


    Jan 19, 2002
    NY / NJ / PHL
    the same EXACT thing happened to me and my Sadowsky's. thus started my search.
  13. Personally I love the DB750 for it's set-and-forget tone and convenient (although weighty) 3U package. That said, it's a lot lighter than the DB680+DB728 in a rack but also lacks the EQ flexibility of a DB680.

    If I can paraphrase someone else's words (can't remember who said it, prolly Vanselus), the DB680 has a tendency to be brighter whereas the DB728 is quite dark-sounding... together they're a winning combination. It's my belief that the secret lies therein.

    I didn't spend a lot of time playing with a CA-9. I had one briefly to test out, but did not have a PLX for direct comparison at the time. Some folks here swear the CA-9 sounds better than a PLX, but having spent time many years ago on Dr. Floyd Toole's listening panel at the NRC here, I tend to lean towards the idea that all power amps of the same class have a job to do, and at identical volume levels shouldn't sound noticably different. Either one would be suitable, but I don't think that they're going to sound wildly different. That is clearly IMHO, so please let's not make this into yet another PLX vs. CA-series thread. PS - I'm not using Tara labs cables either.

    Perhaps you would get a better bang for your $ by experimenting with different tubes in your DB680. A few folks on this thread have experience with this...
  14. tombowlus

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

    Apr 3, 2003
    Fremont, Ohio
    Editor-in-Chief, Bass Gear Magazine
    You are running all that great gear with cheap, shoddy cables! Shame on you! :p
  15. Sorry - I couldn't resist. :D

    As to the question at hand, I believe that the DB750 preamp is more similar to the DB659. It still sounds very good in the studio, but my preference is the DB680. There have been some good threads here on this in the past that might help.

    The EQ on the DB680 is flexible enough that you should be able to dial in what you're after without too much difficulty. Had you thought of adding another cab, perhaps a pair of 12"s?
  16. ElMon

    ElMon Supporting Member

    May 30, 2004
    Oklahoma City, OK
    First off, thanks for the input. I can always count on the players on this site for 'real world' experience. I've tried the aforementioned poweramp combos and I've also previously owned 2 aggie 112's. I think in general I'm gravitating to an old school, fat jbass sound with my playing, and am currently looking to trade my MTD535 for an NYC sadowsky 5 with ash/maple in a 59 burst. My experience of playing this bass through a db750/GS410 rig was pretty eye opening. The DB680 is indeed a little more clinical live, which for me is not what I'm after. I think I will look towards trading for a 750 in the near future. Thanks alot, and if anyone wants an MTD 535, let me know. Tulipwood/Myrtle, with wenge neck and board. I'd love to have an NYC Sadowsky. GAS!!!!!!! It's tearing me up inside. :p
  17. The DB750 will not be a disappointment. I hear you... those NYCs even have me tempted.
  18. burk48237

    burk48237 Supporting Member

    Nov 22, 2004
    Oak Park, MI
    I'm running to Sadowskys, a metro RV5 and a NYC MV5, into a 750db, FAT CITY! :smug:
  19. ElMon

    ElMon Supporting Member

    May 30, 2004
    Oklahoma City, OK
    Even though the wood choice is different in your two basses, would you say that the quality of your metro is equal or lesser than that of your NYC model. I am considering trading my MTD for a Sadowsky, and with the average trade value of an MTD being around 2500, I am shooting for an NYC, but yet if the Metro series is not that different, than I'll just make the trade and hopefully get a little extra bread. Once again, thanks for the input.
  20. burk48237

    burk48237 Supporting Member

    Nov 22, 2004
    Oak Park, MI
    Yes, I would, but my NYC is probably 1/2 pound to a pound lighter. It looks a little prettier (quilted top) I bought it used for a metro price, (2500) but another Metro would not bother me in the least. From what I've seen I bought under market, if your going to buy used you almost have to check the net DAILY. I've had 3 pms from people who would have bought my NYC on the spot had I not seen it first.

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