Cab Dilemma - Ampeg vs Aguilar

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Dgl44, Apr 5, 2022.

  1. Dgl44


    Oct 30, 2014
    It's been a while since I posted here.
    I've found myself in a rut regarding a choice of cab and would greatly appreciate your input (I've used the search button, gone through everything I could find)

    I'm currently gigging weekly in a 4pc wedding band and a 6pc funky ska punk collective. Almost always supported by PA except small underground parties, so stage monitoring is the main concern.

    I'm running a TH350 through a Harley Benton BB210T which I believe is something of an Eden XST210D clone.

    I'm finding that my rig lacks low end definition and punch.
    It seems as it's either all mids or very boomy as soon as I get to (subjectively) higher volume levels (gain at 10 o'clock, master at 12 o'clock, drive either off or up to 12 o'clock).

    I've narrowed down my upgrade choices to either an Aguilar SL112 or an Ampeg PF115HE. I can get a new PF with a discount or a used SL at about the same price if I decide somewhat quickly.

    I've only been able to try the Aguilar on a few wedding gigs last year and I liked the tightness ok, the lows were sufficiently pronounced, I LOVED the portability... But it didn't really move much air. Mostly heard, not so much felt. Buying two of these is not an option currently.

    I can't really get my hands on the Ampeg, would have to order online, but I've been craving to come back to that sweet Ampeg cab tone more and more lately.
    I'm more than willing to sacrifice a little portability for the sake of great tone.

    What I'm concerned about is the Ampeg being a sealed cab, supposedly needing more juice than a ported one, would it be much quieter, same or louder than a single SL112 using a TH350?
    I've read one too many farting-out-at-low-volume horror stories about it here.
    Also, how's the dispersion for stage monitoring it being a 15?
    I'd be ok with a PF210 as well if it provides better stage sound, generally prefer 10s actually, but from what I read here it's supposedly thinner, quieter and has less low end than the 15?

    If the Aggie is an objectively much better cab I'm willing to sacrifice some tone for a cab that will last me a while.

    How does an Ampeg PF115HE (or possibly 210HE) compare to the Aguilar SL112 - mainly volume and low end punch wise?

    Thanks so much for all your answers in advance!
    DJ Bebop likes this.
  2. chris_b


    Jun 2, 2007
    I'd get 2 SL112's. Move more air and improve your tone.
  3. Dgl44


    Oct 30, 2014
    Thanks for your input!
    I understand that would be the best option,
    but as mentioned it's currently not possible due to budget constraints.
  4. Get a Sweetwater Card and the two Aguilar SL112, pay 0% and make small monthly payments.

    In the end, budget doesn't know the FOH or soundman.
  5. paskisti


    Jan 20, 2005
    My brother ended up 10 years ago to Hartke Hydrive 2x 112 as a poor man's Aguilar SL112 (his words) with Tonehammer 500 amp. He said that it was loud enough for everything he were playing (acoustic music with electric bass, rock, funk, pop, not metal).

    I finally tested it last weekend and if was actually pretty good setup, flexible and taking B string very well. I got feeling that TH500 had big part of tone shaping capabilities and Hartkes were open sounding and neutral.

    I would definitely say that test pair of their more recent Hydrive HD112 (á 399€ at Thomann) cabs to pair with your TH350. Other option could be pair of Markbass Traveler 121H (á 473€ at Thomann) being neutral and lightweight too, but I don't have experience of that cab in practice.
    Last edited: Apr 5, 2022
    DJ Bebop likes this.
  6. My bad, didn't see your location. That Sweetwater thing is out of the question. I have no idea about the market options in eastern Europe.

    Good luck!!
  7. two fingers

    two fingers Opinionated blowhard. But not mad about it. Inactive

    Feb 7, 2005
    Eastern NC USA
    Unfortunately, your best bet will be more speaker surface area. Staying about the same, or even going down in sq cm of speaker surface area will be going in the wrong direction.

    Neither of those cabs will be a lot louder or more punchy than what you have. If you want to hear yourself better, you will need a 212, 410, a couple of 210s stacked vertically, etc.

    There are exceptions to this rule. But they are expensive anyway.

    What we like to say about cabs around here is this. Light, loud, and cheap. You can pick any combination of TWO of these.

    If it's light and loud, it won't be cheap. (Think Mesa Subway series cabs....worth every dime to me.)

    If it's cheap and loud, it won't be light. (Think older SWR 410 or Ampeg 810. Loud cabs that can be found for cheap. But not light.)

    If it's cheap and light, it won't be loud. (Think smaller entry-level 110 or 112 cabs/combos.)

    Best of luck with your search.
  8. Dgl44


    Oct 30, 2014
    Thanks for all the great input so far! I really appreciate it.

    Just to clarify, I'm actually not looking to get louder in general, just for a more defined, tighter tone at the same volume I can comfortably achieve now.

    I know that one SL112 can and does deliver exactly that in exchange for a little oomph so that's a safe Plan B.
    But if the Ampeg could at least keep up, I'd love to go that route. All Ampeg cabs I've tried and heard so far always put a huge grin on my face. It'd be great to hear if anybody has experience with both how they compare.
  9. paskisti


    Jan 20, 2005
    I would forget Ampeg if you want light and powerful. I'm pretty sure TH350 with neutral 2x 112 cabs will get you there.

    Generally: is SL112 neutral or does it have special voicing?
  10. johnpbass


    Feb 18, 2008
    Glen Mills, PA
    Not cab related but if you feel you're lacking low end, maybe first check your Gain/Drive settings on the TH350. Remember that the Drive setting rolls off low end at higher settings.
    Ampeg cabs work great with Aggie heads, IMO. I use a pair of SVT112AVs with my TH500. I will say though that the 112AVs roll off the lows. The PF115HE would give you a bit more low end. There also is a PF115LF that gives you more lows than the HE.
    Last edited: Apr 5, 2022
  11. dbsfgyd1


    Jun 11, 2012
    Mascoutah, IL
    I would suggest that you consider the efficiency of the cab if you are using a one ten or a one 12 inch cab. There is a huge difference in the dBs from a cab that is 97% efficient and one that is 103% .

    that said I’m with the others if you are looking at 10s or twelves, buy 2 speaker cabs.

    Side bar, I have an Eden D-210xst. You would have no problem with this gig, or your desired tone. There is a 4 ohm one for sale in Michigan in the TB classified for not a lot of money. Looks like it’s in great shape.
    Jesuguru and GroovyBaby like this.
  12. 6-3-2


    Sep 20, 2003
    If tightening up your tone is the main thing, then I'd stick with Aguilar. I'd also consider Phil Jones for a tighter tone though. I like a really punchy tight tone and they're the ideal speakers & amps for that in my opinion. They're not the lightest, but not absolute back breakers. Prices are much lower than Aguilar too.
    Dgl44 likes this.
  13. Dgl44


    Oct 30, 2014
    @paskisti But but but that Ampeg tone.. :roflmao:

    As far as can remember from using it a bit last year the SL112 is a little mid scooped so coupled with the TH amp - which I find a bit mid heavy - it produces a very smooth warm tone. Colored, but in a warm cozy blanket kind of way, unlike Ampegs grindy grin inducing punchy way.

    @johnpbass thanks a lot! I used my TH350 with one of the SVT 410's (not sure which exactly though) not so long ago and the tone of that setup was best I had yet. I also own a B200r but while it sounds amazing it's waay too heavy for my day to day. The 20kg of the 115HE stills seems reasonable. Also I'm a big fan of HF drivers and don't need extreme depth, just solid tight lows, so that's why I'm leaning towards the 115HE or 210HE if it would provide better dispersion as opposed to the LF.
    I'm just worried about the farting out at low volume posts here, any idea any how of these would handle a TH350?

    @dbsfgyd1 Thanks! I have a hard time judging how much difference in sensitivity ratings 0.3dB mean. Ampeg is rated at 99.6dB per 1W 1m and the Aguilar at 99.9db.
    I've heard that the Eden 210 is one of the best out there. I think that my HB is not the most well executed clone out there haha. I'm actually deciding between one 15" and one 12" cabs. :)

    @6-3-2 Thanks for the input! Exactly the kind of information I'm looking for! If I go that way I'll probably go with Aguilar, matchy matchy and all that! :D
    I'll certainly look into Phil Jones as well.

    Thanks for so much input already everybody. I realize I'll have to pull the trigger one way or another at some point, and make peace with it, but for now I'm still very much on the fence, slightly changing my mind every few hours haha!
  14. Sushi Box FX

    Sushi Box FX Supporting Member Commercial User

    May 23, 2020
    Chicagoland, USA
    Sushi Box FX, owner
    I know this isn't the point at all, but I think more weddings should have funky ska punk collectives for entertainment. I wish my wedding did.

    Tough call on the cab situation though. I've had nothing but good experience with Aguilar, and you said you usually have PA support so moving air isn't as critical if you like the tone. But if you're looking for a nice low rumble, I expect the 115 would do well. I'm kind of surprised you're not getting a good punch out of the 210, I favor 10" cabs for bass because they're typically punchy. I've had a Peavey 210 for years that punches nicely, and I recently picked up an Eden 610 that moves a lot of air, but alas it weighs about as much as I do.

    Trying in person is obviously ideal, but that's hard to do because you don't often get to try in person with your amp and in a similar venue to what you're going to be playing in.
  15. dbsfgyd1


    Jun 11, 2012
    Mascoutah, IL
  16. pepj


    Mar 25, 2021
    Not a great fan on SL112 but if you like it, fine.
    But I'd have 2x112 come what may.
    Since that isnt an option, you have to go used.

    GS112 can be cheap in a pair and I prefer them to SL anyway. They do well on a stage.
    Depending on your market, you could get 2 for 800euro.

    Other cheaper options might be Rumble options or EBS classic 112 x 2.
  17. Rip Van Dan

    Rip Van Dan DNA Endorsing Artist Supporting Member

    Feb 2, 2009
    Duvall, WA
    I presume you are trying to say the Harley Benton BB210T is a clone of the Eden D210XST? And then you go on to say it lacks low end definition and punch? Then it is definitely not a clone of an Eden D210XST. The defining characteristic of Eden's XST cabs is the low, tight, and focused bottom end. Frequency response on that cab is 30Hz to 14KHz and there is absolutely nothing muddy about it. Price for a new Eden D-series 210XST cab is about the same the price as a new Aquilar TH-500 amp.

    There's a reason the Eden cabs are more expensive than the Harley Benton cabs - they are far better cabs with none of the problems that are currently plaguing you! Their sound is clear, clean, and warm, with a solid low end. You'll need to play through an actual Eden D-series cab to understand what an Eden cab sounds like. They are often available used for a significantly lower price than new - definitely worth looking at.

    In general, I would really recommend you look at 210 cabs for use with your TH-500. They will generally push more air than a 112 or 115 and if you get a 210 in 8Ω, your TH-500 amp can put out 250-watts rms into it. That will be enough for small and medium venues. If you need to play a large venue, or a medium to large outside venue, then you can get a second 8Ω 210 to add to it. Two 8Ω cabs will put a 4Ω load on your amp which will deliver 250-watts to each cab (500-watts total). Your rig becomes a de facto 500-watt, 410, set up. That's a nice modular set-up that lets you just use the one 210 where you don't need to lug around a 410 and yet you have a 410 if you need it.

    I bought an Eden EX112 cab because it was perfect for a small brew pub that we played all the time and because a friend of mine swore by them. It sounded so good that first night that I ordered another one the next day. I used just one for the small brew pub and two of them for medium venues for about a year before I got my DNA Endorsement in 2019 and bought my DNS-210 by DNA. Those EX-112's were $269 each whereas one Eden D-112XST is ~$800 and there sure wasn't anywhere near $530 difference in the sound. I got a lot of nice compliments on my sound with them. Eden also makes a nice EX-210 cab in their EX series that is worth checking out.
  18. Winton


    Nov 21, 2017
    Tokyo, Japan
    I’d suggest getting a 210 cab as well. Also, my recommendation is getting a TC Electronic 210 or 212. I had their RS212 and it had so much low end but also had a solid core to the sound. Plus, you can get them fairly easy throughout Europe.
  19. LukeSlywalker


    Jun 9, 2014
    Don’t think this was suggested yet but do you have another bass to try through your rig? When I switched from my precision to a PJ bass, I noticed my lows sounded much more tight and punchy. Through the same rig I was using with the p bass.

    Just a thought. Regarding your question, I like the Aguilar more than ampeg cabs for punchiness.
    BobDeRosa and Winton like this.
  20. BobDeRosa

    BobDeRosa Supporting Member Commercial User

    May 16, 2012
    Finger Lakes area of New York State
    Owner, Tritone Jazz Fantasy Camps
    I was about to suggest what @LukeSlywalker just suggested in #19. The problem may have more to do with the bass electronics than the amp.

    I've used the TH350 with either a Markbass 2x10 or a Fender Rumble 112 and the 112 always works better for delivering low end. I've never tried the Aguilar SL112 but remember seeing a YouTube where a guy A/B-ed the SL and a Rumble cab and wound up keeping the Rumble.