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Aguilar vs GK

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Mascotbass, Feb 19, 2014.

  1. Mascotbass


    Feb 16, 2014
    I'm new to this forum stuff. I'm trying to decide between getting a Aguilar TH500 with (2) Aguilar 1x12's. Or a GK MB500 with (2) GK 1x12's. I've been using an SWR Bass 350 with a 2x10 cab and a 1x15 for about 13 years now. I have a Stingray and Sterling but been playing my King Double bass with steel strings/magnetic pickups for most of my gigs. Both setups have the same wattage, are lightweight, and very portable. I've read that the Aguilar is a "warmer" and a more "organic" sounding amp. While the GK is a bit more bright and crisp. While price does factor in, I'm more looking for sound. I've played a lot of different musical styles from jazz to metal. So I'm looking for the more versatile amp out of the two. Any suggestions?
  2. Jungy


    Jun 9, 2011
    Any local music stores you can try them out in?
  3. Hello and welcome to TB.

    You really need to A/B compare them for yourself to know which YOU like best. Personally, I'm a BIG fan of G-K's sound - YMMV.
  4. Kael


    Dec 26, 2004
    Oklahoma City
    GK in general does better with double bass than aguilar. That being said, I've used an aguilar quite a bit lately. Either can work. With the aggie, you'll want to use an external preamp if you start using a piezo pickup. With magnetics, maybe not.
  5. Jungy


    Jun 9, 2011
    You might want to throw the AG500 into the mix as well. A bit more hi-fi in my opinion than the TH500.
  6. jonathanhughes

    jonathanhughes Supporting Member

    Jan 3, 2009
    Buffalo, NY
    "GK in general does better with double bass than aguilar."

    Esperanza Spaulding and John Pattitucci might argue otherwise. (although I have no idea whether they use an additional preamp).

    I have the TH500 and two 1x12 cabinets (one DB112 and one DB112NT). I think it's the boost beautiful sounding rig I've ever played through. I used to own an SWR amp, and have played through all sorts of different combinations of SWR heads and cabinets when they were provided as back line. If you like that sound, you probably won't like the Aguilar. I decided I hated that sound, so I got the Aguilar. I've played through more SWR stuff than GK stuff, but he GKs I've played through veered more towards an SWR sound than an Aguilar sound. You might have to do some searching to find a store where yo can try out the Aguilar stuff (as well as anything other than the most popular GK stuff).
  7. I think both can get pretty versatile.
    As soon as you said metal, I was thinking GK.

    The crisp and high end sound can be dialed in and out from a GK.
    I'm not sure the TH500 has that capability.

    You might like the GK 700RB though.
  8. FWIW: I've been a G-K user for 30+ years and SWR doesn't sound like G-K.
  9. dwjazz54


    Jan 21, 2003
    Jersey City, NJ
    And Dave Holland, Charlie Haden, and Chris Wood might not. ;)

    In the end, endorsements don't really matter - in my opinion, it's *mostly* a marketing thing. I'm sure all of them have played through other amps, and still essentially sounded like themselves. Amps and EQ's can be tweaked.

    (Maybe it's best to use an example: when my band recorded our album, some sessions were done with a miked Ampeg. But I'm a GK fanboy. I was evantually able to get a sound that sounded like ME, but it sure was easier when I brought the GK in.)

    As has been stated earlier, the only way to answer this for yourself is to try them both - they are distinctively different in their natural tones.
  10. bigswifty1


    Dec 8, 2011
    OP: You're gonna hate me ..... I use a Tone Hammer Preamp into an mb500 head.
  11. el murdoque

    el murdoque

    Mar 10, 2013
    If you're in for a boombastic lowend and smooth, organic warmth, aggie is the way to go.
    I've kept my Markbass head when i bought my Tonehammer because it can do that ultra dry sound with sharply articulated lows and highs that hurt the ear. I've never used the Markbass after buying the aggie, though.
  12. jonathanhughes

    jonathanhughes Supporting Member

    Jan 3, 2009
    Buffalo, NY
    "FWIW: I've been a G-K user for 30+ years and SWR doesn't sound like G-K."

    True. But I think G-K sounds closer to SWR than Aguilar does, and if the OP likes the SWR sound, the G-K will get hi in at least the parking lot of the ballpark, whereas the Aguilar will be way down the street.
  13. gpx1200

    gpx1200 Supporting Member

    Apr 24, 2013
    spencer mass
    kind of the same thing here.
    I use and love my gk rb700 and mb800 threw gk cabs but I have agular opb-3 preamps in my 2 main basses witch I also love. the combination is a killer.
    +1 to the statement that gk is tighter and brighter and the agulair(preamp anyway) is more warm and fuzzy feeling.
  14. Yay for compromise?
  15. Munjibunga

    Munjibunga Total Hyper-Elite Member Gold Supporting Member

    May 6, 2000
    San Diego (when not at Groom Lake)
    Independent Contractor to Bass San Diego
    Those two amps have significant tonal differences. You'll like the TH500 if you favor a more "vintage" sound, rich in low mids without a lot of sparkle. If your tone goals fall more in the clean, modern category, then you'll probably like the MB500 more. I like the sound of the MB500 better, but that doesn't mean the TH500 isn't a great amp for a lot of people. When I did a stand-in gig with a lot of Beatles and Beach Boys tunes, the TH500 was the amp of choice. For my classic rock gigs, I've been using my MB800 or MBF800. Of course, your cabs are going to make a difference, too. I've been using my Bergantino CN212 for my gigs lately, and almost any amp will sound good through that cab.
  16. xroads


    Nov 6, 2012
    Try to find out what the signature GK sound and Aggie sound is (wither by playing them yourself, or browsing through youtube clips). Then decide what you like best. I went GK because I need a versatile rig that also can do crisp and modern.