Alembic FX-1 or Aguilar DB659

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by BassGreaser, Oct 9, 2003.

  1. BassGreaser


    Aug 22, 2002
    Austin, TX
    I'm looking at getting a pre to use with my tube power amp. Which pre would you pick, and why?

    I current setup is my Trace Elliot Hexa head which i'll be using as a power amp for the pre, and a EA VL210. I'm using a Dano DC bass with fender flats.
  2. Either or and you will be giddy. The Aguiliar has a tad more of that "Ampeg" grit I believe but my F-1X is wide, fat and deeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeep.


  3. I've never tried the Alembic, so I can't comment on it, but you won't be dissapointed with the Aguilar.
  4. kboyd


    Jul 6, 2002
    Alembic hands down. I will never get rid of mine.
  5. jokerjkny


    Jan 19, 2002
    NY / NJ / PHL
    both are killin' preamps, and you'd be hard pressed to choose one over the other. just to add to what Mad said, the aguilar's does a hifi ampeg like sound, while the alembic's more an old school, fender sound.

    but the aguilar's a pretty penny, while the Alembic's a great deal, and you can find them readily on ebay or the forum's own classifieds.
  6. Jerry J

    Jerry J Supporting Member

    Mar 27, 2000
    P-town, OR
    I'm quite happy with my F1X. With an NOS tube in there is sounds great. And it's a very simple plug-in and play. Although the Aggie will have a lot more EQing options if you are one that likes to fool around a lot with the EQ.

    It would work for your reggae band.:bassist:
  7. Kelvin


    Apr 30, 2000
    Alembic. At around $600 new, it scores highly in the "bang for the buck" dept.

    The same basic design has not changed for the past 25 years... and for good reason.

    Killer slap sound with the deep and bright switches. Go easy on the treble with the bright switch on.
  8. I have torn through SO many of today's most popular baas amp rigs trying desperatly to just find ONE that would give me a rich flexible tone. I've had every single doo-hickey and knob on these things; my last, the Mesa M2000 hadsomething like 21 knobs and switches?? When I finally bit the bullet and bought an Alembic, I was so worried about the limited tone functions (only B,M,T) that I made sure to nab an SF-2 as well. Haven't used it ONCE, go figure. That "limited" number of EQ knobs get's me EVERYWHERE, I swear?? Funny....
  9. Lex P.

    Lex P. You've got it awful loud -Kathy P. Supporting Member

    Mar 19, 2003
    I had bought a new F1-X about 4 years ago. And for a fair amount of time I was more than satisfied. But always having GAS pains I sold it and bought a DB659. After about 5 seconds of playing I thought to myself what have I done. But I stuck with the 659 for about a year. One day I found a guy trying to trade or sell an F1-X, I made the swap and have not looked back. I know I could have sold the 659 and came out ahead but I just wanted the deal done. And have no regrets.
    IMHO DB659 = sterile tone. F1-X = WARM DEEP tone.
  10. David Wilson

    David Wilson Supporting Member

    Oct 14, 2002
    Lower Westchester, NY
    I owned a DB659 briefly, and while it was perfectly fine it just didn't have the mojo that the f-1x has.

    The Alembic set flat has a huge warm sound.
    It's my default recording preamp, and engineers always remark how much they love it's sound.
  11. Sufenta

    Sufenta Trudging The Happy Road of Destiny Supporting Member

    Mar 14, 2002
    The Signpost Up Ahead.
    Have any of you A/B'd the Alembic with the new BBE pre-amps? How about the Alembic vs the SVP-Pro? I know there are several threads comparing pre's, but....
  12. grinx


    Mar 24, 2003
    Raleighwood, NC
    have had an F1X for 8 years. it'll go to my grave.

    the ex-wife got everything but my car and my F1X

    proof that there is still a God =)
  13. Never owned the FX-1 but I did buy the DB659 early this year.

    I think the FX-1 is a better dollar value, especially used ones I've seen for sale. Plus, it holds it own in the tone dept., although I bought the Ag because I like it better for straight-up rock.

    The DB659 is nice, but this past winter, Aguilar took a large price hike and, to me, went from merely "expensive" to "ridiculous." (I lucked out and got the last one Bass Central had at the old price).
  14. BassGreaser


    Aug 22, 2002
    Austin, TX
    I agree Agi in my mind are WAY over's not like they are making anything new, just putting their own touch on something already made. Don't get me wrong Agi makes top notch stuff, but it's not like it's Walter Woods..if that makes any sense
  15. vanselus


    Sep 20, 2000
    Boulder, CO
    There's Alembic F1-x sound clips up on

    For comparison, the DB359 uses the DB659 preamp...
  16. BassGreaser


    Aug 22, 2002
    Austin, TX
    I just listened to all the preamps on that site....I was surpised on how big the trace sounds, but I love the F1 for keeping the true sound of each bass used. Now all I have to do is save for the F1:D
  17. Jim Dombrowski

    Jim Dombrowski Supporting Member

    Jan 16, 2002
    Colorado Springs, CO
    A few years back, BassPlayer mag gave the F1X a perfect score in a shootout of 10 or 20 preamps. I've had a Kern IP777 (too dark), an Aguilar DB659 (nicer than the Kern), and I now an Aguilar DB680 (my favorite).
  18. Anyone know what F1-X stands for? (Love mine, by the way, six years and going strong).
  19. vanselus


    Sep 20, 2000
    Boulder, CO

    (but i still can't wait for the Epifani preamp to arrive!)
  20. jokerjkny


    Jan 19, 2002
    NY / NJ / PHL
    ya know, i dunno if they sound the same, despite using the same preamp section.

    from the DI of my DB359, and the DB659's DI's i've heard from a few recorded rehearsals at Euphoria studios, they seem quite different. i just dont remember the tones of the DB659's DI to be as deep or wet as the DB359 DI. *shrug*

    but man, if you could bottle up the DB359's tone, you'd have quite the winner of a 1U rack preamp.

    and yea, the Aggie DB680 does rock. its mixture of sheer versatility and tone is hard to dethrone.

    its pretty much tops until we all hear the new Jack Read, George Alessandro, or even the Epifani (where-the-heck-is-it-Nick-we're-dyin'!?) preamp. ;) :D
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