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DB359 vs. DB750...let's talk volume and headroom.

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by fiveightandten, May 9, 2006.

  1. I recently picked up a DB750, see the recent thread I started for the details:


    But i'm wondering if it's too much amp for me. I'm going to hang on to it and see how it does in different sized venues. But initially, it seems like it may have a bit too much power for me to get it into the sweet spot.

    I haven't played one, so I want to hear how the DB359 stacks up volumewise, and how clean it can stay. The 750 is rated 750W at .003% THD into my 4 ohm 4x10. Does anyone know how clean (technically) the DB359 is at the 200W rated output?

    I'm more used to a late 70's SVT than any other amp right now, as I came from that over to the DB750...so if anyone is able to compare the 359 to an SVT, volumewise and headroomwise...that would be great.

    Just trying to keep my options open if the 750 doesn't pan out. Thanks in advance,

  2. Gearhead17

    Gearhead17 Supporting Member

    May 4, 2006
    Roselle, IL
    Not sure what you mean "not enough amp". If you want some overdrive out of the Aguilar turn up the gain and lower the Master a little bit. If the sweet spot is the idea of tube growl and punch at high volumes, the DB 750 really is not made for that. It can growl, but Aguilar designed it to be very clean at any volume setting. Aguilar products generally have a tight bottom end, smoothe mids and well controlled highs. Your 70's SVT is more about growl and massive tube punch. It's like comparing apples to oranges here. I would suggest not getting rid of the DB 750, it can do 975 watts at 2 ohms! That would be really cool to hear!
  3. tombowlus

    tombowlus If it sounds good, it is good Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 3, 2003
    Fremont, Ohio
    Editor-in-Chief, Bass Gear Magazine
    The DB 359 actually stays pretty clean, even when pushed hard, but I gotta tell ya, it doesn't have anywhere near the volume/headroom of the DB 750. Not even close. It sounds great, but it's not as loud as a 750 (which is a kicking loud head, IMHO).

  4. thiessen3.14

    thiessen3.14 Supporting Member

    Nov 22, 2002
    wichita, ks
    I've not played through the db750, but the db359 is sure a sweet amp. You can get your "sweet spot" sound if you mean just the right amount of tube saturation at low volumes as you can crank the gain as much as you want while still controlling the master output. The db359 is really a versatile amp if you're not using low efficiency speakers (i.e. acme) in an all out rock band. For small to medium size venues the db359 really shines. I also found it to be much louder than my old swr sm-500s. Hope this helps.
  5. Thanks for the replies guys. I guess I could've been more specific. The DB750 sounds FANTASTIC. But it's unbelievably loud. I'm just not sure we play at the volume levels required to work the amp hard enough that it's sounding its best.

    From playing it though, I know that the "Aguilar sound" is definitely what i'm after. I was just wondering if, powerwise, the DB359 would be more suited for me. I don't, however, want to jump on the other extreme of things and wind up with an amp that isn't loud enough, or doesn't stay clean enough for me.

    I know that, for instance, an SVT-CL (or any SVT with a master volume) is perfect volumewise for what I do. A non-mastervolume SVT can be a bit much in some situations, as I can't really open it up all the time.

    I'm wondering how the DB359 would compare to a 6 power tube unit like the SVT, and how it compares to the 750...just in terms of volume and headroom. I know other 4 power tube units have not been loud or clean enough for me (Ampeg V-4, Orange OR-120.

    I guess I just want to hear some opinions about the volume and headroom of the 359 so I can try and judge weather or not it would sit in my situation well. Things like "I used to have an SVT-CL, and the 359 wasn't anywhere near as loud", or "my 359 is noticably cleaner than my Ampeg V-4/Mesa D-180/Fender Bassman 100".

    I appreciate the info so far. I hope that's a little less vaigue. Thanks again everyone.

  6. Pickebass

    Pickebass Supporting Member

    Jul 12, 2004
    San Antonio, TX
    The 359 is nowhere near as loud as the 750. That being said, the 750 is bone shattering loud. As someone mentioned, it works very well with an efficient cab. I have one and it sounds awesome with the GS410 and I could take it to any gig and it would be more than loud enough. I have the 680/728 also which is a comparable "upgrade" from the SVT. If you are looking for a "grownup" SVT sound, this will get it.

    One thing you may want to consider is grtting a used 659 and a 500-1000 watt power amp. This would get you the sound and not have to deal wih the extreme power for your application.

    Based on what you are saying the 359 is probably more of what you want.
  7. jokerjkny


    Jan 19, 2002
    NY / NJ / PHL
    i concur w/ the borg.
  8. ptidwell

    ptidwell Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jun 13, 2005
    Los Angeles
    Owner LoPHAT Cabinets
    I am reading your post and going through the thread and can relate to all the comments. I own a DB750 and have played through a DB359. For me the DB750 is the truth. Now your title was about volume & headroom, and between the 750 and the 359 that would be the DB750 if its volume & headroom you are really looking for, but in your post you said that it may be to much amp/power to get into the sweet spot. IMHO I don't think you could have to much power, we are all looking for headroom that's what makes it clean, and volume can be controlled. You may need to work with the 750 a bit more utilize the master and gain you will find your sweet spot and when you do she will scream. just IMO however.
  9. Yeah, the 750 is extremely loud. I went with that over the 359 because I didn't ever want to be in another one of those "damn, I don't have enough power to fill out this room" situations. I may just need some more time with it. My cab (Ampeg 4x10HLF) is definitely not all that efficient. So i'd be worried about the 359 not having enough oomph (hence this thread).

    I'm thinking if worse comes to worse, I can always try a lower gain pre-tube towards the end of the DB750 pre-amp so the signal to the power amp is lessened (I know there's already a 12AU-7 in the PI position, but maybe the one before that would help). The other thing I may try out is running a jumper cable in the effects loop, putting it in series operation, and using the effects loop level controls to take a little of the volume down before it hits the master.

    I'm pretty sure I can get the compression I need from the pre-amp alone, just because of the whole premise behind how the amp is desgned. But the master volume is so touchy at low volumes, that's my main gripe about it. A little signal attenuation before the master would do just the trick.

    I'd like to stay away from rack components if at all possible. I like things as simple and compact as possible. Hopefully i'll be able to learn how to tame it when I need lower volumes, and i'll have all the power I need when I get it in a big room.

    Thanks for the response.

  10. Thanks for the insight. I'll definitely take a good deal of time to learn the amp inside out before i do anything rash and regret it.

    If you have any tips you've learned from experience, i'm all ears. What i'm looking for is enough pre-amp saturation for just a hint of tubey breakup...nice even note compression, and a good deal of sustain...basically what I get from my SVT running a good chunk into its power reserve, but with the tone of the Aguilar, and at a controllable volume.

    I appreciate the response.

  11. Ya know what...let me ask a few specific questions that will probably help me put things in prospective with minimal disgression...

    Does the DB359 have more/less/the same headroom than/as an SVT?

    Is the DB359 louder/quieter and/or cleaner/dirtier than an Ampeg V-4?

    The DB359 with the master on 10 and the pre-amp gain dialed in to get the maximum amount of headroom is about equal to the same pre-amp/eq settings of the DB750, with the 750's master at about _____

    Is the DB359 louder/quieter, cleaner/dirtier than a GK400RB?

    Any takers on the above blanket statements?

  12. ajb


    Mar 20, 2005
    I own the Aguilar DB 359 and based on what you've said, I think it would be plenty loud for you. The DB 359 is a loud amp that kicks out a tremendous amount of low end. Pound for pound, it's probably the most powerful, deepest sounding amp I've ever played. I have never had volume issues with my band. In fact, I'm often asked to turn down when I use the DB 359. I once asked the guitarist for the band about "miking" the DB 359 for live play (I'm a noob about playing out, PA systems, etc.). He looked at me incredulously, pointed to the amp, and said "You're going to mic that thing?"

    That said, everything is relative. I play in a straightahead rock band with musicians that are mature enough to want to be able to hear what they and everyone else in the band is playing. I suppose if I was playing in a death metal band and competing against one or more Marshall stacks the DB 359 might not be enough. But it doesn't sound like that's your situation.
  13. tombowlus

    tombowlus If it sounds good, it is good Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 3, 2003
    Fremont, Ohio
    Editor-in-Chief, Bass Gear Magazine
    I have not played an SVT-CL, but compared to a vintage SVT (70-72), the 359 doesn't have anything close to the volume and headroom of the SVT.

  14. demon666


    Jul 16, 2005
    Providence RI
    I own both a db359 and a svt cl the ampeg will crush the aggie volume wise but the aggie sounds 100 times better the aggie is an amazing amp the tone is unbelivable and the fact that its 2 rack spaces for a tube amp is cool ( although it is still heavy but not that bad) the aggie stays clean but you can get some dirt out of it . like the others said you NEED an efficient cab with the aggie I've never played through a db750 I 've often wondered if it has the same sound as the db359 just louder or if it could get pretty close or would i be better off going with a db659 and a power amp?
  15. Keeaumoku


    Dec 29, 2004
    I play my DB750 through one of the most efficient cabs that 'used to be' on the market: NV215 (I also have an NV425). The amp sounds great at any volume... especially low volume. I even found that, when I hook both Bergs up to the Aggie, I can run it a low volume, and the 3 x 15"s and 3 x 10"s fill the room with clearly defined bass tones, yet not at an offending volume level. I use a Shure PGX-14 wireless, so I can go out from the stage and do my own sound check... so to speak. My sound level blends well, yet doesn't dominate... but you certainly feel it. However, when you crank that monster up with both Bergs on the line... only a poet can best describe the experience... :eek:
  16. tombowlus

    tombowlus If it sounds good, it is good Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 3, 2003
    Fremont, Ohio
    Editor-in-Chief, Bass Gear Magazine
    Agreed. First off, the 750 into an NV215 is a phenomenal pairing. Second, I have also found that it will fill a stage and venue, but without getting obnoxiously loud on stage. Very cool.
  17. Thanks for the insight. So, that's a vote for it being loud enough. We are pretty concious of our volumes, my guitar players use a Vox AC-30 and a Blackfaced Fender Bandmaster w/2x12. But of course, when we get in a big room, the bass gets sucked up a lot quicker. They made some faces when I told them I was getting a 750W head, as the SVT had too much power for most of the situations we're in (according to them at least...I liked knowing it was there if I needed it).

    In all likelyhood, i'll probably wind up keeping the DB750. But I wanted to hear opinions like this in case it really just isn't right for me powerwise. Thanks again.
  18. ArwinH

    ArwinH run rabbit run

    Dec 1, 2005
    Southern California
    I bet that if joker could handle that description...
  19. Thanks, that's the kind of comparison i'm intereted to hear. I don't find the SVT all that clean. Plenty of volume...but I like the ability of the DB750 to be cleaner when I need it to. I'm thinking that moving down to a 359 may be moving to the other end of extremes...maybe not something i'd like in the long run.

    Well, the DB750 does have the same exact pre-amp as the 359. So any change in tone is mostly due to the coloration (or lack thereof in the 750) of the power amp. I played an SVT-CL for a while, and my last amp was a late 70's SVT...the 750 just plain buries both of them in terms of headroom and sheer volume. One twist of the master up to half volume, and it's a no brainer. Not that I know anyone who needs that kind of power...but it's nice to have the headroom if you want it. MY cab (Ampeg 4x10HLF) is also definitely not what i'd call efficient.

    The amp I have is looking more and more like the best decision. Thanks for the reply.

  20. How are you running yours, if you don't mind me asking (settings/bass)? I read a lot of accuonts of people saying the 750 sounds great at low volumes. I'm guessing I just haven't learned the trick of getting that master volume in just the right spot in the lower regions of its rotation. It just so darn touchy until you hit 25% or so.


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