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Eden vs. Aguilar Heads

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Modern Growl, Dec 27, 2005.


  1. Does anyone have any observations on basic tone differences between these two companies heads? They both offer hybrid and all ss heads. Both are cream of the crop as well.

    Which would you go with and why?
     
  2. Eden is basically SWR on steroids, while Aguilar is essentially Ampeg on steroids... in the really basic explanation of the tone spectrum anyways.

    Lots of guys who own the amps will tell you how clean their aguilars can get or how warm/full their Edens get.

    But in the real world, without any EQ, Edens are more Hi-Fi and Aguilars are more full/punch (kinda like ampegs).

    Just my opinion - take it or leave it...
     
  3. Doug Parent

    Doug Parent Supporting Member

    May 31, 2004
    San Diego, Ca.
    Dealer Nordstrand Pickups.
    I get your point, however, beg to differ somewhat. When I switched from a SWR SM-400s to an Eden WT800, there was a real difference that I heard in the mids department, a definite change in color and vibe which for me, really was a huge change.
     
  4. Aguilar makes two heads at the moment... the massive 750, which is a very loud, very tube-like sounding, and very heavy(!) hybrid. The 500 series comes in single and dual channel models and is a SS design... 500 watts into 4ohms, 18 pounds. The second channel on the 500 dual channel model is designed for overdriven sound. I'm not particularly impressed with the 500 (vs. the Eden550 and 405 and the Thunderfunk550). While the build quality of the 750 is among the best I've ever seen, the 500 seems not quite at the 'hi end' level, and the sound doesn't seem to 'punch' as much as other high quality heads of similar price and wattage (e.g., WT550 and TF550).... as always, IMO. :)

    Eden.... they've really revamped their line since the buy-out. Their primary products are the hybrid WT550, 800(b) and 1205.... wonderful stuff.... I have not had the pleasure of trying out the two channel 1205, but the 800 and 550 are wonderful.... the tube pre warms up the sound just a touch, but the amps really retain that SS quickness and punch. The Eden sound, as mentioned above, is very warm and punchy.... just a great match with J-type basses IMO.

    They also have a totally SS model called the 405.... it still retains the Eden warmth and punch at a somewhat less expensive price point.

    So, to me, the AG750 is a massive beast for those looking for a refined tube-like sound with huge headroom. You regularly see these for sale used due to players getting tired of the weight and mass of the the amp. The Eden800(B) and 1205 have a more 'middle of the road' punchy sound but IMO can keep up with the 750 volume-wise (maybe not in huge low end rumble, but that usually gets in the way on a gig anyway... IMO of course).

    The AG500 and the WT550 and 405 line up reasonable well with each other.

    The WT550 is just a wonderful combination of power, affordability, classic Eden sound, and a small size and weight that can be either rack mounted or carried in a bag. Next to the Thunderfunk550, it's my favorite 'small head'.
     
  5. bino

    bino

    Jun 27, 2002
    Orange County
    My feelings exactly.

    I'd still like to try a TFunk out sometime, but I'm happy with the big, full sound my Eden is giving me right now. I do love Pbasses, though, and feel the need to boost the mids on the WT550 to get the tone just they way I want.
     
  6. Wilbyman

    Wilbyman

    Sep 10, 2003
    Parkersburg, WV
    Hey J, how was xmas?

    I use a boost at 400 and a boost at 1.2k on the WT-550. Not much, just a little.
     
  7. cheezewiz

    cheezewiz

    Mar 27, 2002
    Ohio
    I can't comment on Aggie heads, because I haven't owned one, but the Eden heads are wonderful. I don't agree at all with the comparison they are SWR on roids. To me, SWR's have a sterile, all lows and highs sound. Edens are warm and fill the mids nicely.
     
  8. jokerjkny

    jokerjkny

    Jan 19, 2002
    NY / NJ / PA
    as long as you dont ruin yourself by trying out the DB750, the AG500 series will sound just fine. ;) but its a fine amp.

    the Eden is another nice sounding head that's a bit warmer sounding, and IME, i much prefer the semi para EQ setup of the WT550.

    if you're plug 'n play, either one will do, but if like me, you dig a well voiced EQ, the Eden is the way to go.
     
  9. Chef

    Chef Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    May 23, 2004
    Columbia MO
    Staff Reviewer; Bass Gear Magazine
    Having owned a swr super redhead, swr bbII 2x8, and both an eden wt800b and navigator pre, I have to argue that eden and swr are not very simlar sounding. I think the eden is both warmer, and much fuller, and has a much broader range of eq. You really ought to look at the Thunderfunk product of you're torn b/t eden wt800b and aguilar db750...similar power (sorta), sorta similar base (flat) sound, and in my opinion, nicer eq section thatn either, which is well augmented by yhe timbre and enhance controls.
     
  10. burk48237

    burk48237 Supporting Member

    Nov 22, 2004
    Oak Park, MI
    I tend to agree with most of the comments I've read. I own a WT550 now, and have owned a DB750. The Aggie 500 has never blown me away, the 750 on the other hand is the ultimate headroom, old school Rock and R & B head. Unfortunately is overkill for a mediocre working sluff like me, and it is HEAVY and doesn't carry well in a rack case IMHO I tried the Thunderfunk before I bought my 550 and might have gone with it, if not for the price difference. They are excellent heads, I find the Eden to be a little warmer (tube front end) and the Thunderfunk to be a little punchier. Both are very portable, versatile packages. I think you could make an argument that the Eden WT550 and the TF 550 are the best "workingman's" packages on the market today.
     
  11. Joe Beets

    Joe Beets Guest

    Nov 21, 2004
    The Eden may sound fantastic. But that anodized brushed aluminum faceplate and those goofy colored knobs reminds me of my mom's 1965 Speed Queen washing machine.
     
  12. Crockettnj

    Crockettnj

    Sep 2, 2005
    North NJ
    "The Eden may sound fantastic. But that anodized brushed aluminum faceplate and those goofy colored knobs reminds me of my mom's 1965 Speed Queen washing machine."

    thats half the reason i bought the eden... god, that was one hellofa washing machine.
     
  13. Joe Beets

    Joe Beets Guest

    Nov 21, 2004
    I know what you mean. Speed Queen was the top of the line back then. I think she paid $800 for the washer and dryer. That would probably be $4000 in todays money.
     
  14. jokerjkny

    jokerjkny

    Jan 19, 2002
    NY / NJ / PA
    lol,

    we gettin' nostalgic?
     
  15. IvanMike

    IvanMike Player Characters fear me... Staff Member Supporting Member

    Nov 10, 2002
    Middletown CT, USA
    well sorry in advance, but i'm gonna do the same thing i did in the alembic vs demeter thread. If you recall i cut and paste some observations i made on a whole bunch of preamps and heads.

    Preamps​

    Aguilar DB-659 – This is a single channel unit with less features than the company’s flagship 680 preamp. It is identical to the preamp in the 750 head except that it contains one less tube. (Comparison to the preamp in the 750 revealed almost no discernable differences). Tone is handled by active bass, mid, and treble controls, and bright and deep switches. The unit also has an effects loop that is switchable from series to parallel mode (a very cool feature), and the loop has level controls for both the send and return.

    The Aguilar preamps have a tone all their own, probably best described as “thick” and “assertive”. They can be very reminiscent of vintage SVT heads. The bass response isn’t super warm, but rather stout and aggressive. The mids can be very authoritative, and the highs can be quite cutting and precise sounding.

    Aguilar DB-680 – This unit has 5 preamp tubes and adds a fully parametric EQ in place of the 659’s fixed mid control. The effects loop has send and return controls, but is hard wired to parallel. Set flat this preamp sounds quite similar to the 659 with perhaps a bit more high end “sheen”, when adjusting the bass the unit sounds a bit “warmer”. The fully parametric EQ is phenomenal and is perhaps one of the most musical sounding EQs around. In short, it shares the same stern and commanding tone of the 659, with a ton of EQ flexibility.

    Eden Navigator – This is the preamp only version of the company’s WT series heads with the addition of controls for the compressor, a tube character control, and a parallel effects loop as well as a ton of patching options. The unit also has the pre and post series effects loops, a crossover, and a balance control between the outputs of the two channels. There are both pre and post EQ XLR DI outs.

    The Eden is one of the more neutral starting tones of the preamps listed, and has a touch of warmth to the basic tone that can be very pleasing. The EQ is one of the most powerful around, with an enhance (that acts as an “instant smiley-face EQ” global tone control, bass and treble shelving controls, and three semi parametric EQ bands. The bandwidths of the parametric EQs are fixed, but seem to be set in a very useful position, that’s not too tightly notched, nor too imprecise. The enhance control is flat all the way to the left, all of the other EQ controls are flat at “12 o’clock” and offer 15 dB of boost and cut. Boosted frequencies are very tight, down to the lowest bass boost; cut frequencies are also voiced in a way that is very musical sounding. Highs are very sweet and controlled sounding. Overall the Eden is a warm and tight sounding preamp with lots of tone control.

    Heads​


    Aguilar – As stated, the Aguilar DB-750 really sounds identical to the DB-659 preamp. The AG-500 head has a different sound. It retains the aggressive nature of the Aguilar tube preamps, but is brighter and less warm and thick sounding. It also has a very present midrange character to its tone. The overdrive channel on the 500 seems to be more of a fuzz than an overdrive, and is voiced very well for bass. The character of the OD can be altered for a ton of OD tones. Both Aguilar heads have effects loops that are switchable between series and parallel, and have level controls for the send and return.

    Eden – The WT series heads sound identical to the navigator. The Time Traveler Head retains the characteristic Eden sound as well. It lacks the semi parametric EQ, but the mid knob is switchable between two very useful frequencies (550 Hz or “low-mid” and 2.2 KHz or “high-mid”) which allow for lots of relevant tonal options. The Eden amps all have pre EQ effects loops (almost all other amps have post EQ effects loops), and the loops are series only. The 2 channel heads also have a Post EQ effects loop with stereo returns, a crossover, and a balance control for the outputs of the two channels. The XLR DI out is post EQ only.

    Summary​


    Aguilar DB-659 and DB-750 Thick and assertive tone with a bit of vintage SVT vibe. Stout and aggressive bass boost, highs can be made to be cutting and precise when boosted. stern, authoritative mids.
    Aguilar DB-680 Similar to the 659 with a bit more high end sheen. Boosted bass a little warmer sounding then the 659. Parametric EQ powerful and very musical sounding.
    Aguilar AG-500 Brighter sounding than the 659 and a little less warm and thick as well. Very aggressive with present midrange character. Overdrive channel more of a fuzz than an overdrive, OD seems very well voiced for bass.
    Eden (all models) Neutral flat tone with a pleasing warmth to it. EQ is very tight sounding, powerful and precise. Bass boost can be very full and warm, highs very sweet sounding. Units with the semi-parametric EQ have a ton of flexibility.
     
  16. Joe Beets

    Joe Beets Guest

    Nov 21, 2004
    Both of them were all stainless steel on the inside and pretty much bullet proof. And with those gold anodized face plates they looked really sharp. You could throw in a few pairs of dirty greasy jeans and a some sweatshirts stinking from transmission fluid and they would come out spotless. Mom used that rig for twenty years without a repair. Unlike the Fender Bassman I bought in 1965. It was so gutless I got rid of it after a month. You couldn't hear a note out of it next to my guitar players Sears Silvertone half-stack. Oh yes, I like my Aguilar. Next for me will be the DB750.
     
  17. joker you have pm.
     
  18. Fawkes007

    Fawkes007

    Sep 13, 2005
    SF Bay Area
    Funny you should mention it...I am looking at buying a second amplifier just to shake things up a bit (currently running Ashdown ABM gear). I was considering Aguilar and Eden.

    Yesterday I went to GC and tried the Aguilar 500 and their 12 inch speaker. My opinion? It was...."meh." Pretty bland sounding, almost sterile, nothing special IMO. I think if you A/B/C'd it with a GK or an Eden Nemesis you might not go with the Aggie. Seems expensive for what it is; I would steer you to the Eden Nemesis 650 if you wanted all solid state. Now that is a cool amp! I played that today and if my budget was $650 I'd buy that in a minute. Alas, I am a tube pre amp kinda guy at this point, so...

    ...I tried out Eden 550 today, too. I was blown away by this head. Tight, punchy, solid, great sound flat, a little tweaking here and there, turn up the volume and look out. Plenty of headroom. It almost seems effortless to dial in a great sound (much like Ashdown gear in that regard). The only thing I wasn't crazy about was the compressor; then again I'm not a fan of compressors in my amp heads.

    Anyway, the long and the short of it is, Eden blows Aguilar out of the water. No contest. Playing thru the Aggie rig was uninspiring; playing through the Eden gear was AWESOME.
     
  19. 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
    I own a WT-300, a WT-800 and a DB750. The WT-550 blew the AG500 out of the water. I can guarantee you that your assessment of the DB750 would be quite different. Most of the other posters' comments comparing the WT-800 to the DB750 have been right on the mark. They are both superb heads, but quite different. The DB750's 4 preamp tubes give it a "furrier" sound than the hi-fi Eden. With amps of this quality it always gets down to personal preference. I like them both a ton, but for different reasons.
     
  20. jokerjkny

    jokerjkny

    Jan 19, 2002
    NY / NJ / PA
    yea, me too.

    Eden heads are much warmer, and furrier sounding vs. SWR stuff.

    to take my initial post a little further...

    while, i've been on the hunt for an Eden WT800B myself, the DB750 is far and away one of the best heads i've ever used/heard/salivated over. warm, fat, punchie, and incredibly responsive. i really have yet to hear anything like it. i like the AG series, but the 750 has soured me to most anything else aguilar. the only problem is the massive weight. i thought the AG500 would capture that essence somewhat, but no.

    The Eden gear is terrific, cause i really dig their EQ sections, which are more appealing to me than the aguilar stuff, DB680 nonwithstanding. unfortunately, the 1205 seems like a step backwards, cause the 3 section semi-parametric setup of the other lines are much more flexible, IMHO.

    still, i doubt you'd go wrong with either. BUT, if you're using aguilar cabs, i say go aguilar, and vice versa. IMHO, while mixing and matching is fun, i've found manufacturers actually pay attention to their gear, and make them sound good together! ;)