DB750 or Separate Pre / Power Rack

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by bucephylus, Feb 22, 2006.

  1. bucephylus

    bucephylus Supporting Member Commercial User

    Aug 18, 2002
    General Manager TecPadz LLC
    This is perhaps an old question, but...

    Is there enough that is special about the DB750 to scrap a separate Pre / Power Rack?

    This seems sort of like a Macintosh vs Open platform PC kind of question.

    Perhaps, another way to ask is when comparing the DB750 to a high quality rack with an Alembic or Demeter Pre matched to a high quality Power amp, does it become a matter of personal taste, or are there definite performance advantages that the integrated DB750 provides?

    I can't tell from all the various discussions whether this is a tomAto / tomahto question or whether there are intrinsic and significant tonal differences.

    And thanks to everyone on this board. There is just no practical way to look into this down at the local Guitar Center.
  2. kjones

    kjones Supporting Member

    Dec 4, 2004
    bucephylus, you know what my preferences are from prior threads. But to specifically answer this question, yes, there will almost certainly be a difference between a 750 and a pre/power combo. However, different doesn't necessarily mean better.

    I played through my 750, and I've played through separates. Even a 680/728 combination sounds different from the 750, even though you would think that an Aguilar pre would be fairly close to the 750. I also played through a 680 going into the power section of a Walter Woods Ultra. That sounded absolutely nothing like the 750.

    You ask in general whether there are performance advantages to a 750 as compared to separates, and that question simply can't be answered in the generic, rather comparison would have to be made to specific units (they all sound different) and you would have to be the final arbiter of what you preferred.

    When you're considering laying out that kind of cash, you simply have to a) listen to the candidates, or b) buy from a place with a solid return policy. Me, I'd rather listen to units at actual gigs if possible to get their real feel.
  3. bucephylus

    bucephylus Supporting Member Commercial User

    Aug 18, 2002
    General Manager TecPadz LLC
    Amen. The gig tells the tale.

    Thanks for the input. The reason for asking is that I'm sitting on an Alembic and trying to figure out whether to go lay out MORE dough for the Aggie.
  4. Get the 750, you won't regret it!


  5. bucephylus

    bucephylus Supporting Member Commercial User

    Aug 18, 2002
    General Manager TecPadz LLC
    OK, I've got one on order.
    2k$, delivered w/ 1 week trial period.
    It has a minor finish blemish on the bottom, but otherwise new full warranty etc.
    The shop has one more if anyone is interested. Expensive, but I think that's the best deal out there right now.
  6. Congrats. My DB750 is on my "will never get rid of" list.
    $2000 for that tone, that power, that simplicity, that booty shakin' bottom, AND a ten year warranty....How can you go wrong.
  7. kjones

    kjones Supporting Member

    Dec 4, 2004
    Well, buce, I'm pleased for you, but make sure you report all your thoughts when you get it. My advice is to start with everything in the middle; it kind of sounds good as is, then season to taste.

    BTW, was just in the studio this weekend, and ended up using the 750's DI directly into the board. This gave me the kind of tube sound I like, and I knew exactly where to adjust it. Of course, it sounded great.
  8. bucephylus

    bucephylus Supporting Member Commercial User

    Aug 18, 2002
    General Manager TecPadz LLC
    Thanks, will do. I hope the experience will somewhat alleviate my recent Acoustic 360 separation anxiety.
  9. lo-freq

    lo-freq aka UFO

    Jan 19, 2003
    The Republic of Texas
    I'd think the closest to the DB750 would be a DB659 with a Crown MacroTech or Crest CA6/CA9.
  10. kjones

    kjones Supporting Member

    Dec 4, 2004

    I think you're probably right, although I thought I heard a rounder tone from the 750 when I auditioned that pairing (659/CA9). Certainly more in the ballpark than, say, the 680/CA9.
  11. +1...I definitely agree!


  12. burk48237

    burk48237 Supporting Member

    Nov 22, 2004
    Oak Park, MI
    I can not imagine any stadium situation where you would need more headroom then a DB750 has to offer. And if you like the tone (A punchier cleaner SVT) I can't imagine any situation where it wouldn't do the job. I gave mine up because it was TOO powerful for most of what I play, and I play some 1500 seat venues. One note, it does sound good at low volume, but most players just don't need it's capabilities!
  13. My 750 is my main gigging amp. I do have a CA9 and Demeter 201s that is great and actually more powerful, plus it's more versitile. They sound quite different also. The Crest/Dem rig is around 22lbs heavier and much more cumbersom. The 750 sounds thicker and is somewhat less clear but in the mix it's fantastic. They are both great but if I had to pick between them I would pick the 750. I may someday add some type of additional EQ to the DB750 or a low pass filter for funky rooms.
  14. Keeaumoku


    Dec 29, 2004
    A wise choice, indeed. I have one, I winced a little as I handed over the check, but I've never regretted my purchase decision since. I even sold my beloved Marshall VBA400 later on, as I knew I wouldn't be using it anymore. I play my Big Daddy Aggie through a pair of Bergantinos: NV425 stacked on top of an NV215... :eek:
  15. Munjibunga

    Munjibunga Total Hyper-Elite Member Gold Supporting Member

    May 6, 2000
    San Diego (when not at Groom Lake)
    Independent Contractor to Bass San Diego
    Yes, I would be forced to agree with this.
  16. bucephylus

    bucephylus Supporting Member Commercial User

    Aug 18, 2002
    General Manager TecPadz LLC
    Just to bring closure to this thread, I received the DB750, played for about an hour, put it back in the box and shipped it back.

    OK, before you start pounding on me, realize this was at a re-stocking / shipping cost of $250; so, I did not make this decision lightly.

    In fact, as in all things the situation was complicated, in that some things worked and others didn't, but one of my main specifications didn't get met.

    I also realize that these decisions are by far best made by trial at a gig. That is my normal preference.

    What I found surprised me a little bit. As reference, my Alembic F1X/QSC PLX into the NV610 produced fantastic pizz tones, but suffered on the slap tones. The DB750 was almost the polar opposite, in that it yielded amazing slap tones, but I really struggled with the pizz tones. The neck pup / P Bass tone was awesome. But, leaning on the bridge pup produced a bunch of fuzziness in the lower mids that I could not get rid of.

    The bass I am using is an early Gibson era Tobias 6. This bass is a bit weird because the Bart preamp toggle selects active or passive mode. The active mode is compressed sounding, so I rarely use it because a lot of detail gets lost. I really should replace this with an OBP. I also used a standard passive Fender J with the same results.

    Anyway, the really odd thing was that the DB750 sat up and spoke when I engaged the active preamp in the bass. However, as I mentioned, the detail also went out of the tone at that point. But, I believe the amp would work best for active instruments. I could clean this up by putting a Tube Channel in front of the DB750, but with 2K clams on the line, I didn't feel like I should have to add a lot of stuff on the front end.

    Settings on the amp were basically flat with the treble enhance toggle engaged, passive input selected. I was trying to use the input gain set at about 1 o'clock to get the preamp tubes into saturation; and that was what caused the tonal disconnect for me. I just didn't care for the wooliness that ocurred in the lower mids as the input tubes saturated. Not my tone. BTW, I have the same problem with the SVP pre-amp. I've seen other posts stating that some of the cats here are using the input gain around 10 o'clock; and that setting did clean up the tone for me. However, it wasn't as tubey with that setting as what I was looking for.

    So, different strokes.

    I did locate a Trace Hexavalve on Bassgear, and purchased that piece. We'll see where that goes. Anyway, thanks for all the advice. I really appreciated it, even if that tone wasn't for me.
  17. To bad you didn't give some more time. I ditched my first one pretty quick and regreted it .... so it really cost me to get another. The thing with the 750 is definatley LIVE. Sure it sounds ok sitting in the practice room and you can find certain things you don't like, but I find that with all my gear. I too like clean, but I've been running my 750 gain at 1:00 master on about 11:00 with the bright switch on and the treble around 12:30 depending on which bass. Sometimes add some mid too. The thick tone takes some getting used to. Plus it really shines with the sealed cab I have NV215. Anyway good luck and I respect different tastes.
  18. Rich's_Alice


    Aug 18, 2005
    Atlanta, GA
    Hey you only have to make yourself happy. For $2,000 I am sure you will find something, lots of good stuff out there.

    On a seperate, unrelated andthreadjacking note, Gain at 1:00 and master at 11:00??? That's up in effin loud territory!
  19. Yep, that is gigging volume... no wonder my ears hurt.
  20. bucephylus

    bucephylus Supporting Member Commercial User

    Aug 18, 2002
    General Manager TecPadz LLC
    That would certainly rule the road. I didn't get past 9:00. My band would toss me if I used that kind of level.

    One of the positive things I did not mention was the awesome power the DB750 has. Unbelievable.