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Most Disappointing Experience (Amps)

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by dcbassist5, Feb 27, 2021.

  1. dcbassist5

    dcbassist5 Supporting Member

    May 11, 2011
    Baltimore, MD
    Endorsing Artist: Ashdown, Lakland
    I want to start by saying that this thread is NOT intended to poopie on gear!! I’m just curious to see what others experiences are.

    My story...I have been playing professionally for about 30 years. In that time I’ve played a LOT of gear. I have my preferences but I recently had a MAJOR let down. I’d like to hear about yours and/or some disagreements that may make me think twice.

    So...I’m all my years of playing I never had the experience of playing an Aguilar DB750. The price tag and lack of availability to try out this amp locally or really anywhere always bugged me...particularly because Chris Chaney (who is a beast IMO) has used one for a while. During Covid my band had the opportunity to do a live stream with full production and touring grade equipment. I pretty much had my pick of gear. When I heard that a DB750 and Aguilar cabs were on the list I seized the opportunity and used the head with (2) 212 cabs. I was stoked! I showed up with my Spector Basses and had high hopes. When I plugged in to soundcheck and setup I had about 60 mins to tweak and play. I was SO disappointed that I just couldn’t get this rig to sound good no matter what I tried. In the end I just played the show with the best settings I could get but to this day I am just bewildered that I couldn’t dial up anything exciting or even acceptable IMO.

    anyone have a similar experience with an amp? Anyone use the DB750 and love it?
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 28, 2021
  2. joelns


    Mar 10, 2014
    I had a similar experience with an old Ampeg SVT on a backline. It was plugged into an 8x10 fridge. No matter what I did, I couldn't find a good tone. Might have been that the amp needed work. Might have been that the cab needed some work. I really don't recall. 30 years have passed since then. I just remember that I was thinking that I couldn't figure out what all the hype was about. And yes, this was my first time into an SVT.

    I haven't plugged into that particular Aguilar yet. Right now, I'm in the honeymoon phase with a Mesa TT-800.
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2021
  3. smeet

    smeet Supporting Member

    Nov 27, 2006
    Woodland Hills, CA
    I had a DB750, and I understand. They have great sound, but it’s kind of a bedroom tone and basically no eq. Not enough mids and highs to cut through, a nothing you can do about it.

    I feel that way about the Tone Hammer series too. Thick but not much definition.
  4. bass12

    bass12 Why are you shouting? Supporting Member

    Jun 8, 2008
    Montreal, Canada
    Eden WT 300. I found the bottom end washy and not at all tight.
  5. bass12

    bass12 Why are you shouting? Supporting Member

    Jun 8, 2008
    Montreal, Canada
    Hmm, I haven’t experienced that at all. I’ve gotten great note definition out of all the TH 500s I’ve played, on a lot of different stages. Maybe it’s my basses?
    Dominic DeCosa likes this.
  6. smeet

    smeet Supporting Member

    Nov 27, 2006
    Woodland Hills, CA
    Yeah I don’t know, I’ve only used them in rehearsal studios with the Aggie 410, and it always sounded like mud, in several different rooms. Sounded big, but like mud even with the sweepable mids. Maybe the room, maybe the cab, maybe my fingers!
    dcbassist5 likes this.
  7. dannylectro

    dannylectro Supporting Member

    Aug 2, 2010
    Atlanta, GA
    Markbass. I tried, I really did. Three different amps. Could not not make them work for me. Thanking GC for liberal return policy!
  8. It took me a few gigs to really dial in my DB750.

    Now, I don't hardly touch the EQ, and it's a great live band amp. Imo.
  9. Wasnex


    Dec 25, 2011
    @dcbassist5 and @joelns I am right there with you.

    One of my peers had a DB750 and some of the Bergantino HT series cabs. I used the rig in a couple of rehearsals and was impressed with the massive perception of slam and power the rig delivered. But I couldn't really dial in a sound I could hear without burying with band with massive volume. I was sort of like driving a bull dozer on a golf course. Cool but not really the right tool for the job ;) IMHO.

    The first rig I ever bought was a brand new MTI era SVT with the matching 810. I wanted the best possible rig and read a bunch of articles that said the SVT was the amp to get. I had never heard or seen an SVT in person, and I had to have a local music store special order mine. They weren't even an Ampeg dealer. When it come in they gave me a call and asked if I wanted to play it. I had payed about half of it off at the time. Layaway was a big deal at the time.

    I rushed over, excited to try the awesome rig out, but to my ears it sounded so bad that I thought something was wrong with it. Also MTIs had a different look than the SVTs in the magazine articles I head read, so I also wondered if perhaps it was some sort of fake. I have played several SVTs and 810s since then. Now I know it was totally fine, I paid it off, took it home, and figured out how to make it work by biamping it with a Fender Twin loaded with JBL E120s. Man that was a big, heavy rig.

    What I learned. It's always a good idea to try before you buy. Those two rigs are some of the nicest, and most expensive bass rigs you are likely to come across, and many people would love the way they sound. But neither of them really worked well for me. I guess I am just too much of a cork sniffer :atoz:.
  10. Around ‘96 I bought an SWR SM900 along with a Goliath 4x10 and the Big Ben 18’er. This was going to be THE Rig of Doom. It just didn’t work out. In fact it farted out on me and my P Bass when I dug in. Fortunately GC had begun the 30 day return policy.
  11. DeepHz

    DeepHz Gold Supporting Member

    Jul 4, 2017
    Clifton Park NY
    I am so glad you posted this! I thought it was me. I was curious about the DB750 so I purchased one years ago.I spent hours trying to dial in a sound I liked. I could not find one. I do have to say it had tons of headroom. I thought it was for a Jazz fusion type sound with a burpy undertone (I have no idea what that really means). I ended up selling it within 2 years. And it did hold it's value. And I do now own a TH350 and love that sound.
    dcbassist5 likes this.
  12. Heavy Blue

    Heavy Blue

    Nov 11, 2017
    Prairie Canada
    Three and a half for me with bass amps.

    First being Markbass. I don’t get it. I really wanted to like them but I couldn’t get a sound I liked out of the 3 I briefly tried. Can’t say I’m a big fan of that loud whatever shade of yellow or orange that it’s supposed to be either.

    Next we’re back to the Tone Hammers, in my case the 350. I’ve read on here about how there seems to be two kinds of TH users. Those like post #11 above that get it and get great tones out of them and those like me that couldn’t get a decent sound out of it if my life depended on it. What is with that weird drive control that sorta isn’t anyways?

    The half point goes to Peavey. I’ve really liked some of their heads and cabs setups and regularly use a silver stripe 115 of some sort (no tags on it so I don’t know what exact model it is) but the combos? Nope, not ever, not even once.

    Last and most painful to say is Traynor. I’m a Canadian and I’m glad that we do have a manufacturer in this & I do want to support them. I’ve had some great guitar gear from them but tbh the 3 bass amps I’ve had in the past had have left me kind of underwhelmed. They often seem kind of dark and have EQ sections that don’t seem to do a lot to the base tone. I’m about to check out the SB106 & 110 for the next month though as it was half price rentals at Long’s this week past & I picked them up yesterday to give them an honest try. I would also still like to try out the new YBA-100 as well. I had the 200 for a couple of years and while it was nice for bass it was a bit too polite for my taste. As an aside, when playing distorted metal guitar, I used to feed the 200’s power section with the preamp out from my B-52 AT-100 hi gain channel then and then ran that into my 4x12”/2x12” 3/4 stack. Playing a good Les Paul, it was like the Finger of God had struck the earth lmao. I gotta say, it was pretty amazing.:woot:
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2021
  13. TrevorR


    Oct 3, 2015
    Near London, UK
    For many years I had a Trace Elliott combo that I loved but on a post gig load out a band ate dropped it - bye bye beloved Trace. With a gig the following Saturday I needed a replacement fast. I’d occasionally played through a chum’s Ashdown Mag rig (the early English made ones) and loved it so the choice seemed pretty clear. The next Saturday I tested and grabbed a MAG300 EVO2 and 4x10 from the local big music store and confidently headed off to the gig. It sounded OK that night but just OK - which I put down to not having time to dial it in. It also weighed a flippin’ ton too! Tried and tried over the next year to dial it in to my satisfaction but just couldn’t and it never even approached my mate’s amp for tone. Between the original British amps and the overseas EVOs some of the mojo had gone.

    So finally I went amp hunting and discovered the (pretty new to the market at the time) MarkBass LMII and Traveler-style compact cabs. And I loved them. Great fat but punchy sound with the controls “flat” (yes I know, baked in tone, not really flat spectrum blah blah blah) - OK with the controls on 12 o’clock and little extra EQ adjustment. That was back in the mid-2000s and been nicely happy with my rig ever since.

    PS I actually like the distinctive colour scheme. No problems with the bumblebee look, and if I ever decide to join a Stryker tribute band (highly unlikely!) then I’m sorted!
  14. oldcatfish


    Jan 8, 2011
  15. lbbc

    lbbc Supporting Member

    Sep 25, 2007
    Seaford , DE
    70's Ampeg SVT w/810 fridge. No matter what I did, it was too muddy of a sound for me.

    Ashdown 300 head with Ashdown 410 cab. I wanted to love it but couldn't dial in a sound that cut through the mix.

    I now have an Acoustic B300HD head with a 4 ohm 210 Carvin cab. It is exactly the sound I always wanted!
    2strings2frets likes this.
  16. john m

    john m Supporting Member

    Jan 15, 2006
    SWR 750.
    Used one once on a fill in gig because it was on the tour bus. Ampeg 4-10 cab.

    Next time I subbed for the guy, brought my own head.
    dcbassist5 likes this.
  17. Jason Schulhz

    Jason Schulhz

    May 1, 2020
    +1 for Markbass. The tone was great, but I kept stacking cab on top of cab and I couldn’t hear myself next to my guitarist (who had a 20 watt Vox) and drummer. I had all the watts I was supposed to and other bassists on this forum said they cut through fine, but I tried everything and couldn’t. I also got disillusioned with how many people were saying they broke down on them. I sold them and got a 500 watt Fender Rumble and now I can break the neighbor’s windows. Markbass does have a new tube pedal I want to get, though. It’s just the amps I’m done with.....
  18. Jason Schulhz

    Jason Schulhz

    May 1, 2020
    One more thing- I am surprised to hear the story about Aguilar. I honestly want one currently because I can’t find a bad review of them anywhere. Even YouTubers who have no technique at all sound good on demos with them. And by all accounts, they are built like tanks. All I can say is you might have used the wrong cab, (wrong cab for YOU is what I mean), because they have a ton of different cabs to choose from that all sound slightly different.
  19. DirtDog


    Jun 7, 2002
    The Deep North
    Eden Nemesis
    PeteOlig, stephanz and Hypocrite like this.
  20. FrenchBassQC

    FrenchBassQC Supporting Member

    Jul 13, 2011
    Gatineau QC CA
    I play mine with a variety of basses and I also have never experienced this as well. :meh:
    bass12 likes this.
  21. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

    Apr 14, 2021

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