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Ampeg vs. Aguilar

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Jacob Bartfield, May 21, 2002.

  1. stick with the Ampeg SVT II Pro

    17 vote(s)
  2. buy an Aguilar DB 359

    29 vote(s)
  1. I just got an Ampeg SVT II Pro not too long ago and I already am having problems with it. The last large amp I had was an Ampeg B2 combo that I had a ton of problems with, and I'm afraid the same thing is going to happen with this one. I'm sensing a pattern as far as the reliability of SLM Ampegs is concerned. (I've been reading through a lot of what people are saying, and I can see I'm not the only one who has this opinion).

    Anyway, should I get it fixed, or just save myself the long-term hassel of having it break repeatedly. If I do get a new amp, I would definately want another tube amp. I'm seriously considering the Aguilar DB 359. I'd be going down from 300 watts to 200, but I honestly don't think I need that much power for the music I play.

    Any thoughts? I haven't played through an Aguilar yet, so I'd also apreciate some info on the difference in sound between an Aguilar and an Ampeg. Thanks.
  2. I forgot to put an "other" option. If anyone has any different tube amp ideas that would be appreciated too. Thanks again.
  3. j.s.basuki

    j.s.basuki Supporting Member

    May 14, 2000
    I have SVT 2 , it has been used almost everyday in the rehearsal hall of my music school without any problem, I have Aggie DB 680 and Demeter VTBP. I think Aggie and SVT is almost the same, but depends on your music but I like Demeter stuff among others.
  4. I just called the only semi-local music store that sells Aguilars, and the only thing they have there is the DB 659 preamp. Do you think I could get a pretty good idea of the all tube Aguilar sound by trying it out, or would I have to try the DB 359?
  5. brianrost

    brianrost Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 26, 2000
    Boston, Taxachusetts

    My experience with the Aggie pres back before they made any integrated amps was that they had "the sound", that big honking fat thing that Aguilar is known for.

    I think the pre will give you a very good idea.
  6. Jeff Haley

    Jeff Haley

    May 17, 2001
    Atlanta, Ga.
    I have the Aguilar db 359 and it is the best head I 've ever owned. Although the Ampeg Classic tube head was my second choice. They are both great choices if you want warm tube sound.
  7. I've never had any problems with any of the ampeg gear I've owned (1971 V4B, BA112, B100R, or my B2R with 4x8HE). I'm guessing half the gigging world that uses them doesn't have many problems either. Bad luck?

  8. Perhaps it is bad luck, but I had to get my last SLM Ampeg fixed at least four or five times in like five years, and my SVT II Pro is bassically new and is already having problems. I'd just rather not go through that whole thing again. It's too bad, because I've loved every Ampeg I've ever tried. By the way, I have a 1965 Ampeg SB-12 as well, which sounds awsome, and has yet to cause any problems. It seems they were built better back then.
  9. boogiebass


    Aug 16, 2000
    I think you're onto something here! :D I own a '70 SVT that has never given me a moment's trouble. I got rid of all SLM stuff I've ever owned. Not on the same level, IMO
  10. Did you have reliability issues with you're SLM Ampegs like I have been having, or did you get rid of them just because of the quality?
  11. boogiebass


    Aug 16, 2000
    A little of both, actually. The SVT Classic just didn't cut it for me tone-wise and several other heads (pro3 and 4) had service issues.
  12. Well, I'm gonna start by bringing the SVT II Pro to the music store to see if they can fix it. It seems like the problem has something to do with the power tubes, which is weird, because the amp is basically like new. Maybe just one faulty tube?
  13. ldiezman


    Jul 11, 2001
    I did not vote for either.. but I didn't only because I think both amps are great. both will offer you a something you can't get from the other... its a matter of choice.. but if you are having troubles with the Ampeg, take it back if its still under warrenty and get it fixed
  14. dabassr

    dabassr Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 6, 2002
    I had a 70s SVT and lugged it around for years, and loved it. Never had any problems with it and it had all the power I ever needed, and that deep full bodied classic sound. I regretted getting rid of it, untl I heard the Aguilar DB 750. I has excessive power and amazing tone. No lookng back.
  15. How does the DB 750 sounded compared to the DB 359?

    Also, I dropped my SVT II Pro off at the music store and noticed they had an old SVT there for about $1200. I didn't have time to try it, but I'm definately going to when I pick my amp up, (if it's still there). I'm curious, considering how all of you guys are raving about the original SVTs. I doubt I'll buy it though, because those things are just so rediculously big and heavy, and I really don't think I need that much power at the moment.
  16. BryanB

    BryanB Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    I would say that if you love the SVT sound, then definitely get rid of the SVT II and buy a vintage, (c. 1970's) SVT. These are wonderful heads. Be prepared to have the amp overhauled by a good tech in most cases. I have an Aguilar DB 728 400 watt tube power amp. I have also tried the DB 359 head. Both are really great also. The Aguilar stuff is more hi-fi sounding than Ampeg. Ampeg, to me, has a very characteristic mid-range honk. (It's a great sound that is un-mistakeably Ampeg.) The Aguilar stuff doesn't have this as much but retains a little of the Ampeg honk.

    As far as trying the 659 with a solid state amp, this won't even get you close to the sound of an all tube Ag. You really should try the 359 or the 659 with a 728.

    Also, check out the Mesa Boogie 400+ and the Sunn 300T. Mesa has a good reputation for reliability. (I have a 200 watt Bass Buster tube combo which is very nice.) I don't know much about the new Sunn amps.
  17. Thanks. I actually have tried both the Mesa-Boogie 400+ and the Sunn 300T. I really didn't like the 400+. It didn't seem warm enough for me. The 300T was nice but I prefer the sound of my SVT II Pro. The Sunn is also rediculously big.

    So what if I decide that an SVT is too big, and I want a tube amp? Having eliminated the Sunn, Mesa, and all of the new Ampegs, an Aguilar would seem like a pretty logical choice right? What if I'm unable to try an Aguilar? Should I go ahead and buy one anyway because there are no other real choices of tube amps, and they're supposed to be really nice?
  18. BryanB

    BryanB Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    I have a Kern IP-777 pre. Before I had the Aguilar DB 728, I used a QSC 1602PLX. I didn't really like the combination. I tried several other SS power amps. The Stewart was my favorite. (Yes SS amps do sound different IMO.) I wasn't able to the Aguilar in person, but I found a used one on ebay for $1000.00 (buy now). I decided at that moment to take the plunge and have not regretted it for a second.

    I have tried the 359. I prefer the Kern pre over the Ag pre, but the 359 is a great piece of equipment. (I tried the Kern into the 359 power section and it sounds just like the 728.) It would be a great choice for an amp.

    I think that you should not expect the 359 to be as aggressive sounding as the Ampeg. Like I said before, in my opinion, the Ampeg has very in-your-face mids. The Ag is a little more refined sounding. As for compactness, the 359 can't be beat.

    You can always by the 359 from Musician's Friend. They offer a 30 trial period. This should be enough to try it on a gig or whatever.
  19. Actually, as much as I like the warmth of an Ampeg, I sometimes find that the mids are a little aggresive. Perhaps the Aguilar would sound better to my ears. Are Aguilars just as warm sounding as Ampegs? One more thing, do you know if the DB 359 has a tuner out or a footswitch? Those are two features which I enjoy on my SVT II Pro.
  20. dabassr

    dabassr Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 6, 2002

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