Not impressed with Aguilar!?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by tplyons, May 15, 2005.

  1. tplyons


    Apr 6, 2003
    Madison, NJ
    I played a bunch of basses through an Aguilar AG500 today and at $1200, it sounded like poo! Through a pair of 210's, I couldn't get a decent sound at all with any bass, was really noisy and everything was clanky. What gives? Arge Aggies typically sterile and harsh or did I just end up playing a bad apple?

    I switched to a GK400RB-IV and felt much better.
  2. I play an ag500 with gs112's and I've never thought it sounded sterile at all.
  3. I've never gotten a sound I liked from Aguilar amps either. Must be just me and my playing style, because I've heard other people sound wonderful through Aggie gear. I played an Aggie amp and it sounded very indistinct to me and needed a lot of EQing. Oddly enough, with other amps I've tried (like Mesa and EBS) I could plug in and quickly get a sound I liked when even run flat. Some good gear just doesn't work for some people, I guess, and some gear works better for others. That's why it's so great that we have so many gear choices presently.
  4. That's not how I would describe my AG 500 at all. I think either A) it was a bad apple, or B) just ain't your thang.
  5. I've never heard an Aguilar that was sterile. Quite the opposite actually.
  6. 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
    My DB 750 sure ain't sterile. It's warm and full. However, it took a few gigs for me to get used to it, since I was used to the more modern Eden sound. It really grew on me over time, and the Aggie goes to about half my gigs (the ones when my back isn't hurting). Also, Aggies seem to take a lot more knob twisting to get a significant change in the EQ, unlike Eden, which sounds great flat, and a little dab'll do ya on the EQ.
  7. popinfresh


    Dec 23, 2004
    Melbourne, Aus
    I tried an AG 500 through a Aggy 410 + 212 only a couple weeks ago.. Warm, punchy and smooth...

  8. thejohnkim


    Sep 30, 2003
    ive fiddled with an ag500 into an aggie 212 a few times at a local guitar center, and it was exactly like what popinfresh says: "warm punchy, and smooth"

    so im confused too
  9. Joelc73

    Joelc73 Supporting Member

    Nov 13, 2000
    New York
    I've played through a bunch of AG500's and I never thought they sounded sterile on any level. Actually, the first time I played through one I had the complete opposite opinion. I thought that it sounded remarkably warm - especially considering that it is a solid state amp.

    I had a great Aguilar experience last Friday. I wen't into the Aguilar shop to chat a bit with the guys. David Boonshoft gave us the full tour and I have to say that I was completely blown away by the effort and attention to detail put into their gear. They have a pretty amazing manufacturing facility. I think the thing that impressed me most was the amount of effort that they put into the testing process. When your amp leaves that shop, it's going to work exactly as it was designed to.

    Those guys really live and breathe their products. That, to me, is inspiring in and of itself.

    Sorry for the side bar!
  10. kringle77

    kringle77 Supporting Member

    Jul 30, 2004
    Massena NY
    As far as the AG500 goes, you should try a different cab with it. Mine sounds great through my ampeg 8x10 or my pair of avatar 2x10's. Must be a bad amp. I agree that the gallien stuff sounds great and I just ordered a 1001rb-II. I didn't realize that they could get such a great growl until I tried one over the weekend. It still will be a backup to the ag500.
  11. I've never been impressed with them either. I play a Euphonic head, so I'm used to the sterile sound, but I thought the Aggie was way overpriced for the tone I heard coming out of it.
  12. metron

    metron Fluffy does not agree

    Sep 12, 2003
    Lakewood Colorado
    Its really not fair to play through one product you didnt like and then start a thread that says you arent impressed with the company. Not to be harsh or anything but they offer lots of products that you should try before passing judgement on them. That said I think the DB 680 has beautiful tones.
  13. You know, the one time I played an Aguilar head (the DB750), I was also not impressed. I had my old GK 400RB-III there, and tried both through a bunch of nice cabinets. The Aguilar wasn't producing a very powerful sound. It was very dark, and yet sort of hollow. I'm sure good sounds must exist in there, but I didn't find any. I was trying cabinets, and wanted to test out a higher-watt head to see how they would react.

    But anyway, I did end up buying an Aguilar 212 cabinet, which definitely fills a room. I remain super-pleased with it. I picked on sound, price, and wieght, not just sound. How could I get so much quantity and quality of sound at the least price and weight.
  14. Eric Moesle

    Eric Moesle Supporting Member

    Sep 21, 2001
    Columbus OH
    This thread is insane. Aguilar is top quality gear. EVERY amp has its own flavor, and if its not the flavor you prefer, so be it. If its flavor is good, but not worth the price tag, then so be it.

    But to claim they sound weak, hollow, gutless, sterile, bland, or any other such term is insanity. It very well may be that there was something wrong with the particular unit you tried, or with the bass, cable, or cab you tried it with in the store. Who knows.

    But again, this stuff sure isn't crap. Its warm, powerful, and many pro's use them.
  15. fretlessrock

    fretlessrock Supporting Member

    Aug 8, 2002
    My first thought was: Which 2x10's? Did you try different cabs or just one setup? and was the GK going through the same cabs.

    As a guy who used to sell home audio I have learned from a master that you can make a $150 pair of bookshelves sound like the voice of god and a $5000 set of (name your poinson) sound like poo. It can be accidental (probably your experience) or on purpose to move higher markup gear over lower markup gear.

    This scenario is what makes so much of the amp/cab discussion so pointless, or at least so subjective. What amp, what cab, what bass, what room.... it all makes a difference. If you play in a lot of different spaces you know that things that sound great in one place might sound terrible in another. It sounds like you got unlucky, Tim.

  16. I don't think anybody said the product is crap. Everybody has their own taste, and there seem to be several people here who don't care for the Aguilar product. I think the guy was just doing a sanity check to make sure he wasn't the only one on the planet who didn't like the product. And apparently he isn't!
  17. pickles

    pickles Supporting Member

    Mar 23, 2000
    Ventura, CA
    Maybe one of the cabs was out of phase? :confused:
  18. D.A.R.K.


    Aug 20, 2003
    i just tried the ag500 through my gs2x12...
    thought it was remarkably weak with both my nscr5m eub and my '65 hagstrom.
    i could be wrong, but i believe the class d power section is probably the culprit, it just sounds enemic to me.
    no way was that amp putting out 500 watts, even when it was dimed.
    it started farting out with the eq flat and no input clipping with the master at 3 o'clock.
    very peavey sounding to me.
  19. I have on one occasion run my AG 500 at about 4 o clock into 4 ohms. Going through a mesa 115 and an avatar 210. No farting, and it was PAINFULLY loud. Enemic need not apply.
  20. IvanMike

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

    Nov 10, 2002
    Middletown CT, USA
    i just gave the aggie amps another whirl the other day so here's my take.

    (BTW i even plugged the preamps into the poweramps of the other heads back and forth with a/b switches and such)

    the 500 is not as warm sounding as the 750,659, and 680. not that it's "sterile", but it isn't as thick and full sounding. this seems to be entirely preamp related, as the other preamps into the 500 yeilded the "thick/full/warm" tone. the 500 also has what i heard as more "presence" of the lower highs (somewhere around 2k-6k) variety. kind of like what might happen if an swr and an aguilar 750 had a baby - :smug: .

    all the aguilar amps/preamps are great. just different. the one thing i really was knocked out by was how similar the 680 and 659 really sound when they are set "flat". it seems that when you start to use the eq (not just the parametric, but all of the knobs/switches) that they end up sounding different. however, the 680 does seem to start out with a bit more "sheen" from the get go.

    if i had to pick a word to describe all of the aggie amps it would be "aggressive" they all have a really "in your face" vibe to them. not in a bad way, but in a "we're cool but if you mess with my sister i'll kick your butt" sorta way. :p