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Looking to upgrade my TH500 for something more powerful. Ag700? Suggestions please!

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by MAFbass1992, Nov 24, 2017.

  1. MAFbass1992

    MAFbass1992 Supporting Member

    Feb 4, 2012
    Hey there,

    I've been using my trusty Aguilar TH500 for a couple of years now and I always loved it. Recently I've been doing a lot more gigs with two Bergantino 1x12 cabs and even with the master volume on the Th500 at around 1 I get a lot of that ''red clipping light'' when I dig in and play harder. I know the debate about that red light and I know it doesn't break the amp but I wonder if I should get something more powerful... I don't mind sometimes the head having a dirtier sound from the clipping but most of my overdriven sound are on my pedalboard anyway...

    I also spotted a nice AG700 head on the classified and I wonder if a 200w jump would make a big difference or if I should just keep the TH500 or buy something else, like the Demeter VTB-800D tube head. I'd like to get a head with a warmer sound, so a tube head or a good class D like the TH500 that was more inclined to that sound

    I'd really like to get a used AG700 but I know it has a cleaner sound. Simply wondering if I can get other warmer sounds too... since I play lots of styles (top 40, rock (not too trashy) , folk, indie etc.)

    Anyway, starting to consider all my options... thanks!
  2. StayLow


    Mar 14, 2008
    All else equal, you need double the watts to get a noticeable increase in volume (3dB). My own real-world experience is that I have some amps that come in both 500w and 800w versions and there's no appreciable difference.

    And I doubt you can put much more than 250 watts of bass safely into a 1x12 no matter what the ratings claim. If you need more volume, you probably need more cone surface area or simply bigger cabs. Two Bergantino 1x12 puts out a fair bit of volume though. I'm curious what type of situations you're in that requires more than a 500w amp and two of those cabs.
    SJan3, Lobster11, Al Kraft and 2 others like this.
  3. Fun Size Nick

    Fun Size Nick

    Feb 21, 2006
    Hong Kong
    I don’t think you’re going to see much of an increase in volume with a more powerful amp - it’s more speaker that you need!
  4. If you like the tone you are getting from the TH500, I’d look for a rack mount power amp and use the Aggie as just a preamp. Then you can run 1,500 watts bridged, or two channels running a 4 ohm cab on each side, etc. Flexibility with what cabs you can use and loads of headroom.

    When you need more volume, typically you need more speakers. If you find yourself clipping, look at your eq and lower the bass setting. You might be able to get a bunch more volume by pushing less lows.

    The AG700 might be louder, but not much difference in 700 watts vs 500. The “built in tone” of the amp might be different enough though that you might push less lows with the AG700 and it ends up sounding much louder than the TH500. Or the opposite could happen - depending how you eq each.
  5. Stumbo

    Stumbo Wherever you go, there you are. Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 11, 2008
    Song Surgeon slow downer. https://tinyurl.com/y5dcuqjg
    Is your cab 8 ohms?
    If so, your working with 250 watts.
    If you add another 8 ohm 1x12 you'll get the full 500 watts.
    Double the power and double the speakers.
    SJan3, Roberto Nunez and Aqualung60 like this.
  6. bucephylus

    bucephylus Supporting Member Commercial User

    Aug 18, 2002
    General Manager TecPadz LLC
    I’m probably going to get the designations wrong; but, IIRC, the TH500 shares the same 250ASX2 output stage with the Demeter. That is a pretty powerful output section; but it does tend to run into limiting issues.

    The more recent 700ASC has less power on paper into the same 4 ohm load; but, tends to not run into limiting issues. It’s one of those Class D idiosyncrasies we are learning to live with. I do think one of the more recent 700ASC units, such as the Bergantino, Mesa, or Genzler boxes, would give you more perceived headroom at high volumes.

    That said, a Berg 212 cab deployment is fairly stout, but only goes so far. A further advantage of the 700ASC units is that they will drive a 312 configuration; and that would most definitely give you more push. Probably your best option, if you want to stay with a micro.

    As others have posted, a power amp, such as a Crest ProLite is another good option, if you are really pushing the power envelope. Just be careful with your cabs in that case.
    Last edited: Nov 25, 2017
  7. I used to get that too using 2 112s with my TH500. I got 2 Fender Bassman Pro Neo 115 cabs. Problem solved.
    Stumbo and kat888 like this.
  8. chris_b


    Jun 2, 2007
    After several years I recently moved from a TH500 to an AG700. I don't know if the AG can go louder than the TH but at the same volume it seems to have more punch, definition and authority in each note. I don't need any extra volume but I felt I was invading the "headroom" of the TH. Now my 5 string basses sound massive at volume through the AG and my Barefaced cabs.

    In the past my TH saw off several top class amps but I think the AG700 has already taken over as the amp against which all others will be judged.
    Chuck M, Al Kraft, NEOBart and 2 others like this.
  9. buldog5151bass

    buldog5151bass Kibble, milkbones, and P Basses. And redheads.

    Oct 22, 2003
    Agreed that the answer is more speaker area.
  10. Ampslut


    May 15, 2017
    Best solution (imho): Get 2 more berg 12's. Drive them with a power amp that you line out (effects send) from your TH500
  11. 3bc

    3bc Supporting Member

    Mar 12, 2010
    Chicago Burbs
    If money is no object get a forte and another berg cab. More power and more air being pushed.
  12. Al Kraft

    Al Kraft Supporting Member

    May 2, 2016
    Northern Virginia
    I like my TH500 and those things it does well, it does extremely well. However, it has always felt a little less powerful than its rating (reminds me of an Ampeg B2R I once owned in that regard). I attribute some of that to how it's voiced and some is probably due to its design.

    That said, with two high end 112's and 500 Watts available, it's unlikely IMO that you will solve your volume problem with 200 more Watts from the AG700. Now you may like the voicing better and it may even cut through a little more clearly, but you're probably running short on cabs not amp power.

    If money is no object, 3bc's suggestion above looks like a first class solution that's sure to please! :)
    Fred312b likes this.
  13. jonathanhughes

    jonathanhughes Supporting Member

    Jan 3, 2009
    Buffalo, NY
    I agree (except for the fact that the AG700 definitely seems to be able to go a bit louder).

    The TH500 could get a bit "wooly" at higher volumes, whereas the AG700 is clean all the way to the top. So you're definitely going to get a to more clean headroom out of the AG700 (plus a little more volume).
    NEOBart, chris_b and Al Kraft like this.
  14. FrenchBassQC

    FrenchBassQC Supporting Member

    Jul 13, 2011
    Gatineau QC CA
    I have both a TH500 and GK MB800 Fusion and there is definitely a volume difference as well as more punch and definition comes out of the GK but they are completely different amp by design, one is a SS and the other one is an hybrid.
  15. The pair of single 12s are probably already limiting your rig. The 700 will give you more amp headroom, but with the same speakers you may not be able to take advantage of it. Just because you have 500 watts worth of speaker, that doesn't necessarily mean they can take all of what a 500 watt amp will give it.
    IMO, a 4x10 or pair of 2 x10s or 2x12s would open up your 500, and/or allow the 700 to not be limited by a pair of single 12s.
    InhumanResource likes this.
  16. jmattbassplaya

    jmattbassplaya Looking for a gig around East Islip, NY!

    Jan 13, 2008
    punchclock, PWV, Atter and 1 other person like this.
  17. jnewmark

    jnewmark Just wanna play the groove. Supporting Member

    Aug 31, 2006
    Stax 1966
    Third St. Cigar Records staff musician.
    I have a couple suggestions. Use the preamp of the TH500 into a power amp, as someone else suggested. If you like the tone that much, maybe a used Streamliner 900.
  18. D.A.R.K.

    D.A.R.K. Supporting Member

    Aug 20, 2003
    If you want to keep things small, and decide the amp needs changing over adding speakers, I suggest trying out the Quilter BB800. It's worth a comparative listen.
    Sixgunn likes this.
  19. 74hc


    Nov 19, 2015
    Sunny California
    The TH500 has a more powerful amp module than most competitor's 500 watt heads.

    I'd say that if you are feeling the need to go beyond that, you should look at fixing the PA and/or monitors first. If you increase your sound on stage, odds are very good that your bandmates will do the same, and it will be a continuous "cancelling everyone out" climb into hearing loss.
  20. chris_b


    Jun 2, 2007
    If the cabs really are the bottleneck (and I'm not so sure. I used to get 2 Berg 112's to go prertty loud) get a third one.

    I used to run 2 AE112's with my TH500 and 3 AE112's with my Thunderfunk. . . . a fantastic modular system.

    I would make the jump to the AG700 anyway. I think the tone improvement just makes sense.

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