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Db659/Stewart2.1 vs AG500SC

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by jazzmcs, Apr 17, 2009.


  1. jazzmcs

    jazzmcs

    Feb 26, 2009
    So I think I've narrowed down my choices to replace my failing power amp. I am highly interested in the Aguilar AG500SC because of its weight. After listening to some sound clips on the Aguilar website (Adam Nitti) I can hear when Adam digs in it distorts a bit where when Adam plays the DB750 and digs in it sounds slightly more smooth. This must be the difference between tubes and no tubes. So that little issue does bug me a bit but of course I really need to try one with my bass. The other way I could go is just to replace the failing Mackie 1400i with a new Stewart 2.1. The Stew is not a lead sled so I fear I might lose some girth but with that much power I doubt it. The Stew claims 1800watts into 4ohms bridged vs my Mackie at about 1100Watts into 4 ohms bridged. So a little extra headroom. Of course the thing I like the most about the stew is it weight about 18lbs. Add that to the lightweight DB659 and a rack bag we are only at about 30lbs or so vs my current 70lb rack or the slightly lighter AG500 with carrying bag at about 22lbs. So you can see this is a bit of a dilemma. Also, I hear the AG500SC is a bit more focused and hi fi than the DB659. That would be a plus for me and confuses things a bit more, lol.

    Opinions on whether I should:
    1. Just buy a Stew 2.1 and put it and the DB659 in an SKB rack for a lightweight tubey rig.
    2. Buy the Ag500SC with its carrying case because its light and does not require a rack and hope it has enough power and sounds tubey enough for me, with the advantage of a more hi fi top end.

    BTW, I play a Pedulla Thunderbass into a Berg AE-410.

    Thanks;)
     
  2. derrico1

    derrico1 Supporting Member

    Apr 12, 2005
    Charlottesville, VA
    I love the DB659, but I recently sold my Stewie 2.1 for a couple of reasons. If you want to put together a small/light rack, the Stewart only gets you halfway. It's light, but it requires a deep rack. (The rack bag you mention isn't likely to work.)

    In place of the Stewart, I now use a DCM1000 with the 659. The Aggie output and Carvin input match very well, and in a shallow rack the whole rig is still very portable.
     
  3. afroman

    afroman Supporting Member

    Aug 31, 2000
    Austin, TX
    Subscribed
     
  4. Jeff A

    Jeff A

    Oct 22, 2005
    CT

    I put the Stewart 2.1 in a Gator shallow rack. I took the rack ears off the 2.1, drilled new holes in them, spun them around and reinstalled them. This allows the 2.1 to stick out a little bit in front and a little bit in the back. Plenty of room to get the covers on.

    All of the racks in the picture are Gator shallow racks.

    100_0265.
     
  5. Jefenator

    Jefenator Supporting Member

    Aug 22, 2008
    Oregon
    I think option 1 is going to completely blow away option 2 if tubeyness with headroom are what you seek.

    For size, weight and power you might also give the QSC PLX series a look. I'm sure there are others as well.
     
  6. IvanMike

    IvanMike Player Characters fear me... Supporting Member

    Nov 10, 2002
    Middletown CT, USA
    Genius! Sheer Genius!
     
  7. jazzmcs

    jazzmcs

    Feb 26, 2009
    Good idea Jeff! Looks like I'll go with the Stew. I've been tweaking the 659 a lot over the weekend and have come up with an incredible tone with some help from up here. My pedulla into the berg ae410 sounds best with the drive at about 2 oclock (just before noticable distortion but loaded with harmonic content), treb and mid at 1 oclock, bass at 11 oclock (set flat it is just too muddy through the ae410) deep and bright switches engaged. Also, I put the AE410 tweeter at about 3 oclock for a brighter cutting tone. On the AE410 the flat setting is a bit muffled for me with this preamp even with new strings. This seems to be the tone! I'll demo it out this weekend!

    Thanks :)
     
  8. KJung

    KJung Supporting Member


    Very cool!
     
  9. jazzmcs

    jazzmcs

    Feb 26, 2009
    Thanks Kjung. You helped me get the tone right. Like you said, give the Ae410 more low lows = engage deep switch, and take out some upper lows = take a few db out via the bass knob :D
     
  10. jokerjkny

    jokerjkny

    Jan 19, 2002
    NY / NJ / PHL
    little OT,

    but how does the 659 compare to the kern? i have the kern.
     
  11. afroman

    afroman Supporting Member

    Aug 31, 2000
    Austin, TX
    Right now I own a DB750 which is not going anywhere and a AG500.
    After reading your post, you have all corrupted me!!!

    If a used DB659 crosses my way I might go crazy and get one and pair it up with those light QSC PLX1804 power amps.

    It would probably sound better than the AG500 but would it sound so good that it could replace both the AG500 and the DB750????
     
  12. jazzmcs

    jazzmcs

    Feb 26, 2009
    I do not have a db750 but from all the research I did I would say that the db659 into a Stew or QSC lightweight will not have the same low end girth compared to the 750. My idea of a db659 into a Stew is a compromise between a DB750 and the AG500SC. Bassically I get most of the tubeyness and headroom of the DB750 but much closer to the weight of the AG500SC. Still definitely not as much girth as the DB750 or as light as the AG500SC. Weights for them are AG500 at 18lbs vs Stew at 17lbs plus DB659 at 6lbs = 23lbs. Db750 is 43lbs. Add in a rack, tuner, power supply and whatever else to get the gigging weights.
     
  13. Supertanker

    Supertanker Watch the dog! He is trained to bite!

    Jun 23, 2005
    CinCinNati
    I had a 659 paired up with a Carvin 900.

    900 watts into 4 ohms @ 23 pounds.

    I was a little slice of heaven.

    To my ears the AG500 and DB750 are looser on the bottom (more ragged and wooly sounding)
    than a DB659 which is smoother and tighter (after a tube roll) on the bottom and middle.

    I like the AG500 and the DB750, but I like the DB659 + a good power amp more.
     
  14. afroman

    afroman Supporting Member

    Aug 31, 2000
    Austin, TX
    Reaaaaally?!?!?!:eyebrow:
    Oh Im in trouble...
     
  15. Supertanker

    Supertanker Watch the dog! He is trained to bite!

    Jun 23, 2005
    CinCinNati
    IMG_1717.
     
  16. Poon

    Poon

    May 20, 2003
    Los Angeles, CA
    Dude,

    I've owned the DB659, DB750, AG500, and PLX21804. NEVER get rid of that DB750. The PLX21804 is a great power amp. But I don't think anything will feel like the wrecking ball we all love...ala DB750. The 659 will sound a lot like the DB750 though. Depends on your power requirements. I guess you'd be sheding a lot of weight if you went with that...Maybe 20 or so lbs. Hmmmmm....Decent thought buddy. I guess you could always compare them.
     
  17. Poon

    Poon

    May 20, 2003
    Los Angeles, CA
    Was that vs. a Tube Rolled DB750 though?
     
  18. Poon

    Poon

    May 20, 2003
    Los Angeles, CA
    I'm glad I'm not the only one who loves the "S" series Aggie Cabs.
     
  19. afroman

    afroman Supporting Member

    Aug 31, 2000
    Austin, TX
    Don't worry, you're not the only one...

    S810.
     
  20. Supertanker

    Supertanker Watch the dog! He is trained to bite!

    Jun 23, 2005
    CinCinNati
    No? Stock.

    You can significantly tighten up a DB750 with a right tube swap.

    But a DB659 will still be tighter and smoother (according to Tom B.)...
     

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