Gear Dilemma

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by shreave, Jun 21, 2004.

  1. shreave


    Jul 12, 2000
    Seattle. WA USA
    So, I'm thinking about replacing my Aguilar 659 preamp with an Ashdown ABM RPM-1 preamp. I just found out though that the 659 I bought used for $450 is now worth $1250 new! Now I don't know if I should sell it.

    What do you think? Is is worth keeping a piece of gear just because it's worth a lot? I guess it comes down to whether I can AFFORD to keep it or not.

    The 659 is worth $500-$600 used to me and the Ashdown is $699 new.

    I know myself and will probably stick it in the closet and rarely if ever use it after I get the Ashdown. I'm just worried that I'll regret it later.
  2. Maybe try and trade someone for a RPM-1 instead of selling it?
  3. vanselus


    Sep 20, 2000
    Boulder, CO
    Sell it. Worth is no reason to just keep a piece of gear you're not happy with.

    And the RPM-1 kicks ass, much more versatile and tubey than the 659 IMHO.
  4. brianrost

    brianrost Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 26, 2000
    Boston, Taxachusetts
    Funny how the RPM-1 could be more "tubey" since it only has one tube and is mostly solid state while the 659 has nothing BUT tubes :rolleyes:

    Anyway, my advice is to keep it for a while just in case you get buyer's remorse or you decide that the RPM isn't really what you were looking for.

    If after six months or a year you haven't changed your mind, then sell off the 659.
  5. vanselus


    Sep 20, 2000
    Boulder, CO
    Yeah it is pretty funny, but true.

    I tend to trust my ears rather than just going off the specs. :rolleyes:

    You can hear them both for yourself at
  6. Happy MurphDay

    Happy MurphDay

    Mar 9, 2004
    QUICK QUESTION: How do you judge what is more of a tubey sound?, and what does "tubey" mean to you?

    (nothing mentioned above was sarcastic)
  7. DougP


    Sep 4, 2001
    i would like other opinions on this as well.

    i used to have a 100 W Fender Guitar combo with eleven tubes in it, and that thing felt like it was breathing, like it was alive.
    then i would turn on the all solid state Crate combo and it would sound very sterile, like there was no real thickness or substance to the sound.

    i havent played through a tube bass power amp in so long that i dont remember what they sound like.
  8. vanselus


    Sep 20, 2000
    Boulder, CO
    That's a tough one - it's not like the word "tubey" means anything concrete - that's why I would encourage you to go to and listen for yourself.

    To me however, "tubey" sound reflects a looser, juicier, and thicker sound than SS. Sometimes tube preamps are dark/smooth (alembic, kern), sometimes they are bright/quick (demeter), but they usually have a lot of texture in the midrange, depth in the lows, and a sheen on the top. Most SS preamps sound a little more "sterile", but I actually tend to prefer that sterile sound because it's tighter and cuts better - in general. There's always exceptions.

    It's really not the presence of tubes that will make a amp/preamp sound a certain way - it's the design, and how those tubes (or lack thereof) are put to use.
  9. vanselus


    Sep 20, 2000
    Boulder, CO
    Powerful, thick, with a definite kick to the sound. When I A/B a proaudio poweramp with the Aguilar DB728, the DB728 is definitely less flat, but it's got this great low-end grunt that I have yet to hear anywhere else... except maybe on an old SVT.