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Got My Aguilar DB 750...750 vs Thunderfunk...Surprise!!

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by tommixx, Jun 23, 2005.


  1. I went to pick up what I thought was going to be a brand new DB750 from Raleigh today.....Needless to say that is not what I got....Seems that GC Manhattan had a "couple of brand new ones in the box" and were going to send me one....imagine my surprise when we open the BEATUP shipping box and I see a black chasis with the "older" wide aluminum grips and the NUMEROUS scrapes and severe rack rash!! OOOOHHHHHH I was Pis**d!! Did a bit of checking and found that the amp had been sold before not once but twice and returned, had been sent off for repair at least once and then sent to me "AS NEW IN MANUFACTURERS BOX" I guess they "forgot" to send the manufacturers box though cause I did not get it.....

    Anyway, after the initial shock between me and the 2 guys I deal with at the Raleigh GC we got on the phone and cussed out the guy at Manhattan, hung up and proceeded to special order me a new one!! I was surprised when the guy said "hey man sorry you made the trip for nothing, take this one and check it out and we will have you a new one as soon as we can get it in." "Oh by the way, what price did he give you before?" After I told him he said that he will do better when the other one gets here. We checked it out through an Ampeg stack (using a KICKA*$$ Spalted Spector that the Spector rep was showing the Bass guys that was selling for over $6000!!! This thing was sweet!!) Turns out the Spector guy used to be a rep for Aguilar and was knocked out by the 750/Ampeg rig!! So I racked it up, got in my Jeep and drove home thinking that it probably would not even work when I got there!!!

    BOY, WAS I WRONG!!! I hooked it up to my El Whappo, plugged in my Sadowsky and BAAMMM!! I was hooked!! All I can say is WOW!! I have a DB680 that I use in the studio but it does not have the balls that the 750 does straight off the bat! I played the 750/EW combo for a few minutes getting a feel for the EQ and was immediately taken by the sheer "size" that this rig seems to have, even at LOW volume it is MUCH bigger sounding than any other amp I have used including a 72 SVT I have had since it was new. After the initial few minutes I wanted to see if it was really bigger than my T-Funk!!!

    Off to the races, First I put the T-Funk right on top of the Road case that the 750 is in...I get a feel for the tone of the 750 and then just switch the Speakon and the Cable to the bass going back and forth a couple of times and I got pretty close to the tone of the 750 with the T-Funk!! This was VERY unexpected and makes me REALLY take my hat off to Dave Funk!!! I have been using my original T-Funk for only a few months but this was a tone I had not really tried to get because I did not think I could!! The T-Funk at a slightly higher volume level is VERY VERY close to the sound of the Aggie by adding a bit of bass boost at about 30hz, a bit of 400 hz and a bit of highs at 4k, which are the center frequencies of the Aggie EQ. (Except for the 30hz which is the center frequency of the "deep" Switch)

    The BIG difference is the Aggie is a tube circuit EQ and the depth is very apparent on the Aggie where it is not quite as pronounced on the T-Funk. In fairness though, there is also quite a bit more headroom on the Aggie than the T-Funk and I would account for some of the difference here as well. I have to tell you that I kept going back to the T-funk not sure I was hearing what I thought I was hearing. It compares VERY well to the Aggie (or vice versa) when setup to do so.... I was VERY impressed by the T-Funk and now feel even happier that I have 2 of them!! (I think 1 is sold)

    I would say that the depth, high end sheen, and sheer size of the sound at lower levels in particular went to the DB750 but the clarity, and articulation at ALL Levels went to the T-Funk!! Considering that the T-Funk weighs about a third as much and costs roughly half as much and I would be HARD pressed to recommend the DB750 over the T-Funk.....BUT, if you want some SERIOUS, heavy duty, syruppy tube tone......fuhgetaboutit....the 750 is the schizzle!!! I MUCH preferred the 750 over my 680/CA9 rig!! To me it was not really much of a contest!! The 680 is very clean, very clear, almost pristine and surgical sounding compared to the 750...the 750 just has that throaty, ballsy, tube of death sound through the El Whappo that I know will sound great coming down against a good drummers' kick!! Think of that HEAVY duty Tommy Shannon thunder from the late SRV/Double Trouble stuff and you'll get the idea!!!!

    Did I mention how much my Sadowsky LOVES the MID CONTROL on the 750? This is the main area I think that I preferred the tone of the 750 over the T-Funk I could not quite get the girth on the T-Funk that I got on the 750...AWESOME!!! And while we are on the subject of did I mention....

    I played my Sadowsky NYC Vintage 4 as the primary test vehicle but I also played my Marcus Miller 4 (through a Sadowsky outboard pre) my (real) Vintage '62 and '67 jazzes, a late 80's Spector NS-2 (after being inspired by the Spector guy!!) and a Warwick Streamer Stage 1 Custom 5 and a Warwick Thumb 5 NT....ALL of these basses sounded great but the added EQ flexiblity of the onboard pres on the Sadowsky and the 2 Warwicks made them standouts....The Marcus Miller and the Sadowsky Vintage 4 were my favorites!! I CAN'T WAIT TO GET MY ASH/MAPLE SADOWSKY AAAAGGGGHHHH!!!!!! If it is better than the Marcus through the Sadowsky pre I don't know how I will sleep at night!!!!

    Overall, I HAVE to tip my hat to Dave Funk again for such a great amp in the Thunderfunk and certainly to Mark Wright at Accugroove for making without question, the finest cabinets money can buy!! I am thoroughly impressed everytime I play ANY amp through the El Whappo but my belief in the pairing of the Thunderfunk and the Accugroove products is actually even STRONGER after this test!! For the ultimate light amp there is now no doubt about it to me the Thunderfunk wins hands down!!!

    I will no doubt use the 750 for certain things (especially bigger gigs where I can open it up a bit) like blues and funk dates (slapping is OFF DA CHAIN because of the dynamics of the 750) BUT, I will ALWAYS keep a Thunderfunk in my arsenal now!!! If anything, this little exercise made me want to add a Tri 210 or a Tri 112 to my aresenal to use for the ULTIMATE lightweight rig!!! I tried to call Accugroove today and got Voice mail, but I am going to try again tomorrow!!! Jeeezz does it never end???

    Peace,

    T
     
  2. burk48237

    burk48237 Supporting Member

    Nov 22, 2004
    Oak Park, MI
    Tommix, Congrats on the pickup, I bought a used 750 off the bay two weeks ago, and with my RV5 I am in tone heaven. It is warm, fat and seems to have natural tube compression like a good lead guitar combo. It is also incredibly dynamic, the touch sensitivity and punch are sick! And the headroom !!! :D
     
  3. it is the dynamics and the headroom that really make it a homerun for me....You definitely FEEL the tubes in this thing!! Believe it or not, I could get almost the same warmth from the T-Funk with just a touch of EQ in the aforementioned spots....I was shocked actually....AND I preferred "the switch" in the down position while using the EQ this way....I usually run it up and use barely any EQ at all other than the Timbre and Enahnce....needless to say I learned a GREAT lesson about the T-Funk in this process and now I even more HIGHLY recommend it to anyone looking for that lightweight powerhouse!!! Thanks!!

    Peace,

    T
     
  4. Folmeister

    Folmeister Knowledge is Good - Emile Faber Supporting Member

    May 7, 2003
    Tomball, Texas
    My 750 + Whappo Jr. rig makes me giggle.
     
  5. jacove

    jacove

    Apr 12, 2003
    Aalborg, Denmark
    Tommixx, THANKS for the review!...EXcellent....have you tried running the DB680 into the DB750 poweramp section?...
     
  6. Thanks to Tommixx my Thunderfunk is safe...thanks for curing my Aguilar GAS!! :bassist:
     
  7. bassmonkeee

    bassmonkeee Supporting Member

    Sep 13, 2000
    Decatur, GA
    It's nice to see that the GC near you is taking care of you. I've always had a good relationship with the Mgr of the Guitar Dept at the Atlanta GC. It makes a world of difference when their buying power is matched with someone who knows what the hell they are doing.

    I had one of the first DB750s, but I simply couldn't justify the weight considering that my main gig was backing up a guitar player who uses 7 1/2 watts and no distortion. If I was doing anything louder, I would have held onto it since it is one of the best sounding amps I've ever heard.

    But, let me tell ya--their solid state stuff is as good as their tube stuff. :hyper:

    On Monday, I picked up an Aguilar AG500SC from the Atlanta Bass Gallery. It has the Aguilar sound, and it's 17lbs. I compared it to EA, Ampeg, and Thunderfunk amps, and it was my favorite. All of them sounded great, but the Aggie sounded like "me."

    It seems like Sadowsky through Aguilar is a popular choice. My Metro through AG500 might be the "economy" version ($3000 economy version? :eek: ), but I couldn't be happier with the tones I hear out of my Schroeder. I agree that the Aguilar mid voicings really go well with the Sadowsky onboard EQ points, too.

    First gig with it is tonight! :bassist:
     
  8. Firstly, congratulations Tom and thanks for a great review on both amps. Now, just wait until you've had the chance to play a few gigs with the DB750!

    You've pretty much summed up my current thinking on the DB750.

    One of the reasons that I try to keep my gear enthusiasm under control is that I'm not using a Sadowsky (or similar) as many folks here are.
     
  9. Do you guys with DB750 find the XLR output in the front only to be a hassel ?? I couldn't find a rear view on the Aggie site to see if there is one in the back too...don't think so. Also, there descriptions and specs are not very good imo, even in the so called manual. Also, would you consider the 659 close tonely to the 750? If the 680 is so different with the CA9, I might consider a 659 with my CA9 before going with a 750. TIA, thanks in advance.
     
  10. Thanks a lot, Tom. Great review. Some reviews are so formal and yours lives. I can feel myself going through the discovery process, from the anger to the amazement, with you. I've heard, loved and lusted after a DB 750. But, barring a lotto win, the finances for the next several years won't allow it. Great to know that I might be happy with a Thunderfunk.
     
  11. Hey Big String,

    I kind of like the XLR in front myself, a little slack and send it through the side handle and I'm good to go...I heard a 659 and though I did not try it next to the 750, I know my 680 well enough to say that I thought the 659 was not as fat or thick as the 750 (probbaly to do with the amp being there as well. I would say, of the 3 the 680 is definitely the most polite of the bunch with a considerably higher degree of flexibility, however, I would probably choose the 750 between the 3....

    Peace,

    T
     
  12. BigMikeW

    BigMikeW Banned

    May 25, 2005
    Nashville, TN.
    Banned by TB Administration for refusal to account for funds
    Thanks for the review man.

    I loved it the three times I have played it. Never tried a T-Funk so I can't comment.

    I like what the 750 does and I think that is what I am going to do if I need a full rig.

    p.s. no bashing me for the Line 6 Thread! ;) :oops:
     
  13. Great review. I agree with you on the TFunk. I own or have owned just about everything, and the TFunk is one of the best amps I've ever played through. With the 'switch' option, you can really get about any sound you want.

    I've played out of the 750 in a number of music stores and also love the sound of that amp. However, in a live situation, the subtleties of the 750 vs. the TFunk would most likely disappear. Given the weight and price advantage of the TFunk, along with its 'transistor reliability', I could not imagine carrying around a 750 on 75 to 100 gigs a year. I don't even use my WW Ultra much any more (and it is a GREAT amp)!

    One final word on the TFunk... it sounds good with every bass I've played through it... MTD, Sadowsky, Celinder, Rob Allen, Lakland, etc. I can't say that for most amps I've tried.... and the amazing thing is... I run it virtually flat with all those basses. Simply amazing for the money and weight.
     
  14. IvanMike

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

    Nov 10, 2002
    Middletown CT, USA
    See?

    I knew i was right about the aggie 750 (see my review on it in the gear reviews section) Great amp.

    And while i still have not heard a T-Funk I have played AMP gear and loved it, and i like all the russ allee preamps like swr and eden, so with an allee preamp and the "just like AMP but better" feeling I really want one of them too.

    Thanks for the side by side comparison.
     
  15. KJung..thanks a lot!! I used the 750 on a big outdoor gig this weekend and the results were good....big, thick, solid bottom, good articulation throughout the entire range of the instrument and a very focused but huge sounding mid thump from the El Whappo!! I was very Happy to say the least....the one thing that I seemed to get from the 750 was a bigger apparent size and greater depth over the T-Funk...I would attribute that to the tube front end and the greater power rating from the amp....Everyone in the band commented on the tone and how big the bass sounded that night....

    .....BUT, I will NEVER be without a T-Funk and I have decided I MIGHT keep the 750 for the larger venues....the El Whappo REALLY likes that 750 Watts!!! You are spot on about the subtleties not being that apparent in the band setting and that is why I said MIGHT keep it....I think with a little more experimentation I can get as close to "that 750 sound" as I need to be with the T-Funk......17 pounds that sounds like almost 50...now that deserves some applause to Mr. Funk!!!!!!!

    I also agree about the EQ being flat on the T-Funk, BUT, I will say that when I used the EQ to match the tone of the 750 I was VERY surprised at the flexibility that is there....I recommend EVERYONE who has a T-Funk give the EQ section a good workout to see what is in there....

    Peace,

    T
     
  16. Larzito

    Larzito

    Aug 1, 2000
    Dallas, Texas
    I had a similar experience with the 750 vs the Ashdown EVO 500. While there were certain tube juice aspects about the Ag that were VERY sexy, my back told me I was never going to have sex again if I kept lugging an amp around that weighed more than my cabinets. The Ag's low low bass notes were also more solid than the Ashdown...attributed to the Ag's massive power amp. Eventually, I found myself using the Ash exclusively because it is more versitile and lighter and has all the power I ever need. And although the tone of the Ag was nice in many aspects it was always a tad "fuzzy," not a tube overdrive fuzzy, more of a "sheet of tracing paper" over the entire spectrum. My conclusion was that its a wonderful amp for some, just not the perfect amp for me.
     
  17. Chef

    Chef Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    May 23, 2004
    Columbia MO
    Staff Reviewer; Bass Gear Magazine

    Yep! I love mine! They weren't doing the 550 when I bought mine. I may have to upgrade one of these days, more headroom is good headroom. I can't say I've ever felt like I needed more tho...

    And Tom, that eq section on the T-Funk is one of the things I like best about it. *Four* band semi para, *plus* bass and treble over and under, *plus* enhance and timbre make for a veeery wide range of adjustment.

    When I go back to using my swr or eden stuff, I find myself missing the 4 band a lot. You wouldn't think it would make that much difference, but if you have "one problem spot" it lets you leave everything else a little more alone. And additionally, it let's you push and shove a little more to match this bass to that speaker, or rig to the room...or just have fun;)

    The dang thing sounds so awesome flat though! I find myself using the tone section much as you did "to replicate this or that sound." TFB's sound great just flat, but you really can dial in just about whatever you want....
     
  18. rok51

    rok51

    Sep 2, 2002
    Crawfordville, FL
    As a brand new Thunderfunk owner, I can add that every time I play this thing I am more impressed with the sound. It took me a couple of nights to dial in 'my' sound, which is what I wanted to do for a reference point. The crazy thing was that along the way I kept finding one tone after another that sounded great...just not what I was looking for at the time. The tonal pallette of the TF is amazing...I couldn't find a sound that I didn't like. All of this sound in a 15 lb package still blows me away.

    Kim