compare: CAE preamp vs. Aguilar vs. Kern

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by EchoesOfEden, Jul 8, 2000.

  1. EchoesOfEden


    Jun 17, 2000
    What are your opinion on these preamps? If bought, they would be run into an Aguilar poweramp.
  2. Bob C

    Bob C

    Mar 26, 2000
    Duluth, MN
    Never heard of a CAE preamp. What is it?
  3. I have an Aguilar DB680 going into an Eden WT1000 poweramp and it sounds awsome. I've never played the other two preamps you spoke of so I can't compare them. I wanted to get an Aguilar poweramp as well but couldn't afford both of them. I have read previous posts stating that the Aguilar DB680 with the poweramp (DB728??) will give you some incredible tones...You may want to search the TB archives for more info.
  4. theJello


    Apr 12, 2000
    I have a 680 and 728.
    It has a very phat organic tone. I love it.
    Best thing I have ever heard.

    Their customer service is also excellent.
    Those guys will bend over backwards if you need anything.
    That means alot to me. Other "well known" companies I have
    dealt with have had pretty bad customer service, so its cool when someone really listens and wants to help.
  5. theJello


    Apr 12, 2000
    Oh, about the kern.
    I would avoid that thing at all cost.
    I have heard of several people having them fail on them.
    One guy had 2 and they both failed. Hmmm
  6. I have the Kern preamp running into a Crown K2 power amp. I like it verrrrrry much. Great tone and good versatility. I also like the simplicity of the Kern and the ease and predictability of getting certain tones.

    I ordered the Kern with an IEC power cord instead of the wall wart power supply. I also ordered a ground lift switch.

    I've read the posts of people having problems w/ the Kern. However, I know a professional bassist who has gigged with his for a looooong time with no problems. (I've had mine a short time).

    I know CAE makes great guitar stuff; I did not know they make bass amps/preamp. I did not try Aguilar; I felt it was overpriced and the Kern sounded great and is simpler to use. I prefer less features on my amps/preamps.
  7. theJello


    Apr 12, 2000
    The failing kerns could just be a freak thing. It would still kinda of worry me though.

    The aguilar stuff is expensive. BUT. Look at the craftmanship. 10 year warranty. That is some confidence their gear. Dave Booneshaft told me they have only had a few units EVER in for repair. Plus the tone is amazing and you will probably hold on to it for the rest of your life.
    So in the long run you are saving money.
  8. I've replaced my Kern with an Aguilar DB 659. I have never had a lick of trouble from the Kern though. I _slightly_ prefer the midrange sound of the Aguilar, and I like the lighter weight. The Kern is a terrific pre though.
  9. Bob C

    Bob C

    Mar 26, 2000
    Duluth, MN
    I still don't know what "CAE" is. Are they old, new, out of business, cheesy, high-end,...?
  10. RebSince74


    Jul 13, 2005
    The name says it all, and if it doesn't the name of it's founder might; Bob Bradshaw. Bob has been custom making gear for a very long time for high end pro's in the touring industry. These folks make a few different things, I've always been interested in the pre you guys spoke of, but never tried it. Their Guitar Amps are flat out sick, as is their Black Cat UniVibe pedal....but I'm not a guitar player (although some day, I will buy one of those pedals for my bass rig, but that's $700 away). The only gear of theirs that I own is the CAE 4x4 switching system with the RS10 Midi controller pedal. Basically what it does is offer 4 independent effects loops with 2 in and 2 out on each loop, beyond that, it also has 4 dedicated continuous controller channels. Each of those 8 channels (more or less) are controlable with the RS10 midi pedal. In addition it has midi thru, so you can program the RS10 pedal to access up to 124 different programs from external digital effects units and or/ other midi devices.

    The secret of what these guys do, is use high quality components and a very very simple design. Nothing tricky, all analog signal path other than the midi implamentation, and a clean design. You've seen their gear at concerts, you just didn't know what it was.

    For those that want more useless info:

    One band that used a little bit of everything that CAE makes was PHISH. While many people didn't like their style, one thing they were truly masterful with was their use of technology, they had a boat load of super high end gear (all the way from FOH, to the lighting systems) and CAE was the connective heart and sould of what they did with their amp/effect switching systems. The bassist and guitarist both had multiple CAE 4x4 switchers and RS10 pedals in their rigs.

    I'd also like to mention that their bass player used some interesting speakers. Other than a little SWR/Eden type 4x10 cab, all his speakers were Meyer Sound speakers. For those not familiar with this brand, they are about as high end as it gets in the live concert sound area, just incredible speakers. So he had 2 cabinets, each with 2x18" active subs with independent 650 watt power amps built in for EACH speaker. Then he had a couple of their full range speakers that each had a 15" and some sort of mid/horn array. Just SICK!! It's also worth mentioning that he used a Meyer Sound CP10 ten band parametric EQ (I think it's stereo 5 band, not sure), my understanding is that it's normally a FOH it makes sense that it would work well for just bass guitar, and it should for $3,000.

    "I'll put my custom Modulus 5 string up against any other guitar under $5,000, bring it!" :eyebrow:


    Nov 24, 2001
    New York,NY
    A member here named Prokenklang owns the Meyers setup mentioned above(or something very similar). The $$$ are also much more than 3K as you mentioned for all you listed. Also, the weight of the 2x18 cab is about the same as a small import car...

  12. SCT1422

    SCT1422 Supporting Member

    I also play a Kern and love it, never had any problems with it.. I've also owned the DB-659, great preamp and alittle more rounder sounding, but I preferred the Kern...


    Nov 24, 2001
    New York,NY
    ...oh yeah, I've got a Kern for a few years now & love it. Never ONE bit of trouble...

  14. thejohnkim


    Sep 30, 2003
    only have experience with the Aguilar DB659, but I really like it. Lets through the nuaces of my playing, like the thwump of my hard plucks, yet has that nice tube flavor, and warm attack when you play softly. Ideal balance of hi-fi and tubey in my mind.