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Demeter Vs. Aguilar

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by BrandonS, Nov 15, 2000.


  1. BrandonS

    BrandonS

    Nov 15, 2000
    From reading several reviews here over the past month, it looks as though winner of "best preamp" based on tone is gear from Aguilar. Of course that's not to say that Demeter han't gotten the nod also. It just seems that the Aguilar is the favorite. From other reviews I have read, people have said that they both have awesome tone but that the Aguilar sounds a little thicker and a little slower in response to the Demeter. (I realize that optimal tone is subjective and am planning on testing them out myself).

    Having said that, I haven't read in one place on this site where the two have been directly compared. Has anyone done A'B comparisona between the Demeter (VTB 201) and Aguilar preamps. Any comments on tone differences would be appreciated. I am looking mainly for a clean dynamic tone, no rock overdrive or anything.

    Thanks A ton.
     
  2. john turner

    john turner You don't want to do that. Trust me. Staff Member Administrator

    Mar 14, 2000
    atlanta ga
    i used to own a demeter - very nice unit that i sold to a fellow talkbasser - pacman - and i now own an aguilar db-680. the demeter was very dry for my tastes - couldn't get a wide range of eq tones on it, and for me it sounded just a bit thin on the bottom end. the aguilar is the best preamp i've ever played (i've actually played quite a few at various namm shows) - the tone is excellent, and the eq options are very wide, with 2 fully parametric eq bands along with semi parametric bass and treble controls, as well as a built in x-over. then again, the aguilar is 2x the price of the demeter, so that comes into play too.

    as far as the tone is concerned, they both are very quiet - almost noiseless - and clear tonally. the aguilar, as i said, has many more tonal options available than the demeter, but, depending on what you are doing, the demeter might have that one tone that you need and love. straight up, no eq, the demeter has a bit more of a "solid state" tone than the aguilar, in my opinion, not quite as deep sounding, although both sound very clear on the high end.

    [Edited by john turner on 11-15-2000 at 01:12 PM]
     
  3. As far as tone goes(actual sound, not knobs or options), how does the Aguilar 659 compare to the 680 with everything set flat?
     
  4. john turner

    john turner You don't want to do that. Trust me. Staff Member Administrator

    Mar 14, 2000
    atlanta ga
    i don't know that one, i've never played anything but the 680.
     
  5. Which power amp do have set up with your 680? I would be interested in any feed back in this thead. Which Demeter have you tried? The new single space or H or the first model? I am a Mesa Boogie 400+ kinda guy, but I want a high end backup/alternative set up. I'm shopping.
     
  6. john turner

    john turner You don't want to do that. Trust me. Staff Member Administrator

    Mar 14, 2000
    atlanta ga
    have you tried the mesa tube preamp? that looks pretty cool.

    i use a bgw power amp with my bass amp, but i am going to be disposing of that one in favor of a qsc powerlight in the hopefully not too distant future.

    i had the old 2 space demeter preamp with the jensen di.

    you will get a lot more of the "Tube" character from the aguilar than from the demeter, in my experience.
     
  7. basspla915

    basspla915

    Mar 28, 2000
    Bangor, Maine
    I run the Aguilar DB 680 preamp with the DB 728 all tube, 400w amp. In terms of comparison to the DB659 (I had it for a week and quickly upgraded to the 680), the tonal variations with the 680 provide you with far more flexibility and a greater control over your sound.

    I have never tried the Demeter but it would have to go a looooonnnnng way to beat the Aguilar, IMHO.
     
  8. Bob C

    Bob C

    Mar 26, 2000
    Duluth, MN
    If you want to get technical (and I usually don't), last I checked the 680 has two bands of semi-parametric and two active shelving bands (bass and treble).

    I agree it has more lows and more tone flexibility than the original Demeter. I'm still looking for opinions on the Demeter H Series. How much of an improvement is it? How does it compare to the Aguilar 680?
     
  9. john turner

    john turner You don't want to do that. Trust me. Staff Member Administrator

    Mar 14, 2000
    atlanta ga
    the 2 mid bands are fully parametric - cut/boost, freq and q factor. semi-parametric eq bands are lacking he Q control.

    the bass and the treble are both shelving. i was thinking that the boost switches changed the freq that each effected, but i don't think they do. if they did they would be semi-parametric shelving filters.

     
  10. nunk6

    nunk6

    Jul 29, 2000
    can you use one of those pre amps before running into a bass head, say GK400RB, or does it have to be a strictly pre amp to power amp setup?
     
  11. john turner

    john turner You don't want to do that. Trust me. Staff Member Administrator

    Mar 14, 2000
    atlanta ga
    you could, but it would be a waste - the gk would color the tone - that's like putting crappy tires on a lambourghini. ;) furthermore, you would probably end up distorting the input stage of the second amp, since the gain added by the 1st preamp would be higher than what the 2nd amp expects (instrument level)

    many integrated preamp/poweramps have a "pwr amp in" where you can plug a seperate preamp into the poweramp section of the 2nd amp. the preamp on the 2nd amp is then bipassed.
     
  12. Bob C

    Bob C

    Mar 26, 2000
    Duluth, MN
    the 2 mid bands are fully parametric - cut/boost, freq and q factor. semi-parametric eq bands are lacking he Q control.

    [/B][/QUOTE]
    John,
    I didn't realize it had a "Q" control. I tried one out, but it was quite a while ago. Do you utilize the parametric and other tone controls, or do you get a great "flat" sound?

    Bob
     
  13. theJello

    theJello

    Apr 12, 2000
    Bob.

    I have a 680 and I run it flat. It sounds great that way with my bass and speakers.

    If you do use any eq you wont need much. Its very sensitive.
     
  14. john turner

    john turner You don't want to do that. Trust me. Staff Member Administrator

    Mar 14, 2000
    atlanta ga
    hey bob

    mostly, i use the eq a little bit, but not too much, probably within 10% of flat. in fact, in general i like to keep things flat all around, which is pretty funny considering the # of knobs on some of my basses :D.

    sometimes i like to boost a bit more around 1.5 kHz, with a high Q (tight bandwidth) to accentuate finger "pluck". that's about it for "extreme" eq. otherwise, mostly flat.
     
  15. Bob C

    Bob C

    Mar 26, 2000
    Duluth, MN
    Thanks guys. I realize that besides being subjective, a great tone is the sum of your playing style and ALL the components in your setup. One reason I've never messed with effects much is that I'm constantly working on that perfect "pure" sound to start with.

    Sometimes if you just can't get enough lows (for example), maybe the answer is to add more power or use say, 18's instead of 10's, etc.

    Having said that, some preamps just sound better than others. Some can get a hundred different sounds, but not one GOOD sound.

    The Aguilar has a great inherent sound. I'm happy to hear jello report that the tone controls are sensitive. I'm curious about how effective the "Q" control is, since most bass amp manufacturers leave it out. Also, do the bass and low boost controls beef things up with too much boominess? Finally, why didn't they make the second parametric band lower? It seems to cover roughly the same range as the treble knob.

    I intend to try this thing out again, as soon as I get a chance. I'm just trying to remember everything that will make for a good test drive.



     
  16. theJello

    theJello

    Apr 12, 2000
    The bandwidth "q" control is useful. It makes a big difference in the sound. Its also easier to screw your sound up with it if you dont know what your doing.
    Again, I leave mine flat for the most part.

    I think the reason most amps dont have one is because most are no where near the quality of aguilar.
    Having a bandwidth control is especially useful for cutting freq. because you can really narrow in on the frequency you want to cut.
     
  17. Bob C

    Bob C

    Mar 26, 2000
    Duluth, MN
    Yeah, I understand what it does. And I think I understand why it's usually left off: cheaper, and less chance of bass players getting a horrible sound out of their expensive amps.

    I don't know how much you can vary the bandwidth, but if John says a narrow setting on the highs works for him...he's the man!

    What I always try to do with my eq (graphic, or what have you) is cut out the honk in the mids without giving up the punch or definition.
     
  18. theJello

    theJello

    Apr 12, 2000
    I think the bandwidth spans 2 octaves.
     
  19. iloveloosey

    iloveloosey Guest

    Sep 9, 2000
    then wouldn't the db 659 be adequate?

    i.e. instead of spending all that cash on a db 680...
     
  20. john turner

    john turner You don't want to do that. Trust me. Staff Member Administrator

    Mar 14, 2000
    atlanta ga
    the signal path on the db 659 may not be the same as the db 680, although i have never played through the 659, so i don't know for sure.