Best bass head for an active bass, aguilar or gk

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Sdagg1, Jul 4, 2018.


  1. Gallean krugger mb800

    18 vote(s)
    25.4%
  2. Tonehammer 500

    9 vote(s)
    12.7%
  3. Aguilar 700

    22 vote(s)
    31.0%
  4. Gallien krueger fusion

    11 vote(s)
    15.5%
  5. Messa D-800

    11 vote(s)
    15.5%
  6. Bergantino HDN 112

    2 vote(s)
    2.8%
  7. Bergantino B Amp

    5 vote(s)
    7.0%
Multiple votes are allowed.
  1. Sdagg1

    Sdagg1

    Feb 25, 2018
    Im in the market for a new bass head, II would like something small and compact. Some of the heads im looking at are the aguilar tonehammer, ag 700, gallien krueger m800 or the gk fusion. Im also thinking of getting the new musicman active stingray thats coming out with the 18v preamp. Would the powerful active signal have an impact on what type of head i should get in your opinion?
     
  2. Al Kraft

    Al Kraft Supporting Member

    May 2, 2016
    Northern Virginia
    In that crowd the TH500 is the odd man out. It anchors one end of the tonal spectrum, the MB800 the other, and the AG700 and Fusion are in the middle with the AG being more in the MB800 direction and the Fusion quite close to the AG700 but more towards the middle of the pack (all tonally/voicing-wise). Any of these heads can handle a hot bass.

    The real question that precedes yours is what kind of sound are you looking for? All of these, plus many other fine heads are small and compact. Choosing between an MB800 and a TH500 is like night and day IME (I actually own both heads).
     
  3. Sdagg1

    Sdagg1

    Feb 25, 2018
    Im kind of new to bass but have played guitar for many years so im not too familiar with bass equipment. Im currently using a fender rumble 500 stack with 4 x 10s I want i real thick aggressive powerful tone that cuts with lots of low mids .Growly type of tone. I.think the tone hammer fits that profile but im afraid it will grow to be a little to dark sounding and muddy for me in a band setting. I like the idea of the galien krueger 800 because it is supposed to be real clean sounding but videos seem like the highs could be harsh?
     
  4. Sdagg1

    Sdagg1

    Feb 25, 2018
    I should also mention im playing mostly alternative, rock, classic rock and funk
     
  5. Al Kraft

    Al Kraft Supporting Member

    May 2, 2016
    Northern Virginia
    For the money, GK gear is hard to beat. They have good quality, great tone (if you like the GK sound), it's made in the USA, and customer service is top notch. As a long time bass player I own a lot of heads and cabs. If I were asked to only have one, as much as I like the TH500, it might be lacking a tad in brightness for the occasions I want more top end. It is also top notch in every regard and US made with excellent customer support.

    FWIW, the TH500 is the most tube sounding amp that has no tubes I've ever heard, but it does take some experimenting to master its highly interactive and innovative tone shaping capabilities. The GK is much more intuitive IMO.

    The MB800 top end can be dialed back if needed and the GK tone stack is musical and effective, not to mention a little iconic/legendary. It's a great head! The nice thing is that if you have extra brightness you don't need, you can dial it down. If you have a head that's too dark for a situation, it's hard to create brightness that's just not part of the native voicing.

    I would also recommend looking at the Mesa D-800 and 800+. I own a D-800 among many other Mesa heads and cabs. I find Mesa to be a good voicing for rock type material and the categories you mentioned. Mesa gear is top tier, designed and built in the US, has outstanding customer support, and it comes backed with 5 year transferable warranty (that's confidence building IMO). Mesa and GK would be obvious first choices for auditions in my mind. The AG700 will come close to their voicing and that TH500 will be most different.
     
    Last edited: Jul 4, 2018
  6. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Inactive

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    DR Strings
    No offense... with the choices you've listed being all over the map, why rule out other amps?

    Check out a Quilter Bass Block 800... they've been around a couple of years now but people are still unaware of that option. It only has two two controls which are flexible but not intuitive for many bassists but aren't that hard to figure out. I have no issue dialing in whatever tone I'm after and they handle active basses very well. Available under $600. Made in the USA.
     
    jcerio, Frank77 and Al Kraft like this.
  7. moogieotter

    moogieotter Custom Title

    Jun 16, 2009
    Duluth, GA
    Each choice will be a nice upgrade from the rumble 500.

    Please keep us posted.
     
  8. Sdagg1

    Sdagg1

    Feb 25, 2018
    I agree about the tone the tonehammer sounding dark and lacking the ability to add highs. I like that sound to a point but im afraid it will grow old and i will want more high end after a while, has this happened to anyone? Ill have to check out the other amp recomendations that were given. I heard about the mesa and watched a you tube video on it but didnt like the sound of it. Im sure it could be totally different in person though. Im looking for a real huge thick sound with some growl that doesnt lack in highs. Thanks
     
  9. Al Kraft

    Al Kraft Supporting Member

    May 2, 2016
    Northern Virginia
    Of the choices you gave both the MB800 and AG700 can deliver with ease, the Fusion (I assumed you meant 550) is larger and heavier, but sounds pretty sweet. If you meant MBF500/800, they will deliver as nicely as the MB800 IME.
     
    Sdagg1 likes this.
  10. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Inactive

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    DR Strings
    Since you're new to bass you should bear in mind that a big part of your results will be what you do. So if you have a relatively bright bass and have too much treble it could be at the expense of thickness. Bright gets loud fast.
     
    GlassToMouth and Sdagg1 like this.
  11. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Inactive

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    DR Strings
    I preferred the Rumble over the Tone Hammer... not that I use either one.
     
    scuzzy likes this.
  12. Sdagg1

    Sdagg1

    Feb 25, 2018
    Yeah i was thinking about the tonality of the bass being a factor. I think im getting the 2018 musicman stingray which shouldnt be an issue because it has an active 3 ban eq.
     
  13. mmbongo

    mmbongo Regular Human Bartender Supporting Member

    Aug 5, 2009
    Carolinas
    I'll just leave this here....


    SubwayD800-large.jpg
     
  14. Al Kraft

    Al Kraft Supporting Member

    May 2, 2016
    Northern Virginia
    That bass will sound great through any head IMO.
     
  15. ctmullins

    ctmullins fueled by beer and coconut Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 18, 2008
    MS Gulf Coast
    I'm highly opinionated and extremely self-assured
    YouTube is a lousy avenue for evaluating audio devices, for lots of reasons. So don’t do that. Audition in person, preferably with your bass and your cabinet(s).
     
  16. Sdagg1

    Sdagg1

    Feb 25, 2018
    Well from what im reading it sounds like i cant go wrong with any of them
     
  17. Al Kraft

    Al Kraft Supporting Member

    May 2, 2016
    Northern Virginia
    Based on my own experience with owning and/or playing each of those heads (and brands) I can honestly say there isn't a bad choice in the group. They're not all the same breed of dog, but they will all hunt.

    However, since you're new to bass I strongly suggest you audition some other heads as well and make a decision that you can live with. The rest of us can share some perspectives about our own experiences that might help you narrow things down a bit, but at the end of the day your ears and those of your band mates and audiences are the only ones that count!
     
  18. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Inactive

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    DR Strings
    This is true... depending on your idea of great. I've played through a couple of the listed heads and they didn't appeal to me without some serious tweaking. I go for more of a plug and play solution. When I start off in the ballpark it saves a ton of time on a gig.
     
    Sdagg1 likes this.
  19. MrLenny1

    MrLenny1

    Jan 17, 2009
    New England
    GK MB800 Punchy, growly & Loud.
    The Aggy tone is more like an Ampeg, soft , wooly.
     
    Sdagg1 and Al Kraft like this.
  20. Ken Lloyd

    Ken Lloyd Supporting Member

    Dec 22, 2004
    Portland, Maine
    Yes yes yes to the Mesa D800. Great tone, useful and easy controls and DI options, rock solid build quality and fab customer support. I rarely gig without mine.
     
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    Primary TB Assistant

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