Preamp Dilemma: Aggie DB 659 VS. EBS 1v2

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by mz91, Aug 4, 2003.

  1. Aguilar DB 659

    13 vote(s)
  2. EBS 1v2

    6 vote(s)
  1. mz91


    Apr 19, 2002
    Zug, Switzerland
    Where do i begin? I currently play through a SWR SM 400 into a single Epifani 2*12. The older one with the horizontal speaker setup. I dont really like the way the e.q is set up on the SWR and i am not really happy with it although i dont know why. Currently i have offers on the Aguilar DB 659 and the EBS 1v2 with the 2*400 Watt EBS Poweramp. From the information i have gathered the two preamps must be very different from eachother...I havent played either of them and most likely wont have the chance too. I dont really have a sound i am going for. I basically need versatility. I like to play marcus like slap all the way to bass heavy reggae music. I like how the Aguilar is very straight forward and simple in its design. If i buy it i need to find a poweramp that will match it well. and if i go with the EBS i will be a little confused on how to run it well cause it also has a complicated e.q. but it comes with a poweramp so i wouldnt have to worry about that...:confused: . I am really really confused! Oh, and the EBS is cheaper than the Aggie! What to do! What to do! It seems both these preamps dont have such a presence on Talkbass so it was hard to gather alot of information...any opinions are really appreciated! thanks alot guys! Michael
  2. KeithPas


    May 16, 2000
    You could power the Aguilar preamp with your SM400 head. I used an EBS preamp for a while and used my SM400 to power it and I found the EQ on the EBS more confusing than on the SWR. I also felt that the EBS, although it sounded great, really colored my tone a bit too much for my liking. Keep in mind that the preamp that I used may be completely different than the head you are considering to purchase.
  3. jokerjkny


    Jan 19, 2002
    NY / NJ / PA
    i had a few questions about the EBS preamp, too, and was told that will have a sample of the EBS preamp on their site! stay tuned...
  4. mattwells


    Mar 19, 2003
    I have the 1v2 and have not had that much time to play with it, but with minimal adjustment I already really like the sound. Very Hi-Fi but very good. If you want a Hi-Fi sound buy it, but I would really suggest trying them out with your bass and seeing what sounds good. The EBS will be a little harder to find than the aggie (probably), but search for dealers near you and see.

    The EQ on the EBS is pretty complicated, but as a result it is pretty versatile. If you are looking for something more straightforward you may want to look for an old black face Demeter VTBP. Very straightforward and great sounding.

    my $.02
  5. mz91


    Apr 19, 2002
    Zug, Switzerland
    Here in Switzerland these two preamps both dont come up these are basically one time i really need to make the right decision...both have been sitting in studios so they should both be in really good condition...i am really reluctant about the ebs because of the complicated eq. but maybe the aguilar will get me bored after awhile becuase its so simple. :confused: i am not sure if the hi fi sound is what im looking for...i dont really have anything to compare it too...what is hi fi? sorry if that sounds really stupid but i dont really have a concrete idea of what a hifi amp or cab sounds like...if it helps im playing a modulus quantum 6 SS and soon a Marcus Miller Jazz through an Epifani 2*12. I will most likely stick with the preamp for a very long time after buying it so i dont want to make a mistake on this one...i just would like to have your opinions on which you would buy and for what reasons. thanks!
  6. mattwells


    Mar 19, 2003
    Can you not go to the studios and try out the ones that you are considering?

    As for what is hi-fi, it is pretty hard to describe a sound, you may want to wait until puts out clips of the EBS. Meanwhile, see how you like the sound of the 680 they have up, the 659 will be similar. Listen to those clips if you absolutely cannot go try them out.

    I do not think you can really go wrong though. Both are good high quality pieces of equipment.
  7. Chuck M

    Chuck M Supporting Member

    May 2, 2000
    San Antonio, Texas
    I own an Aguilar DB 659 and you won't get bored with the tone! It is a great sounding preamp and the EQ gives you a lot of tone possibilities.

  8. mz91


    Apr 19, 2002
    Zug, Switzerland
    What are opinions from the EBS users? The thing that worries me is that the EBS will be too complicated for me..I dont really want to deal with a whole bunch of frequencies and i dont want to have to mess around for a long time before finding a sound i like... i want to be able to find certain sounds really quick. I think the Aguilar can do that for me and the EBS will be a little too complicated... Is that true about the Aguilar Chuck? can you go from a reggae sound to a rock sound to a funk sound really easily??? and you EBS users can it be done easily on the EBS?
    thanks! :bassist:
  9. inazone


    Apr 20, 2003
    Im curious about the ebs pre as well. I play a modulus q5 into a ebs td650 and love the ebs sound. All I had to to was turn on the amp and I new I had found 'the sound'. I use bergantino cabs and get alot of different tones with this set up. If you get the chance to try the ebs pre, let us know what you thought of it.
  10. mattwells


    Mar 19, 2003
    Define "easily."

    You can change your sound quickly once you know where that sound is, it is a matter of turning a few knobs. I am a huge fan of "plug it in and get that oh-so-sweet beautiful sound." This is not really one of those kind of preamps, but it is not all that hard once you fiddle with it. Granted I have only had it for a couple of days of hardcore fiddling, I have found a sound I really like. Actually a couple for different playing situations. I have written them down on a little sticky and put it in my rack. I would say 20-30 sec. to adjust the sound from one to the next (probably less, have not timed myself and I do not have settings memorized).

    again, my $.02
  11. lo-freq

    lo-freq aka UFO

    Jan 19, 2003
    The Republic of Texas
    I suspect that the EBS will get you closer to a clean sound.

    I voted DB659.

    Depends on the tone you're after.
  12. Dont know about the reggae part but Marcus endorses EBS. My TD-650 is on its way from Sweden right now! I cant wait.
  13. mz91


    Apr 19, 2002
    Zug, Switzerland
    Thanks for the opinions...i guess the problem is that not alot of people own the EBS pre's so its hard to find alot of information on them..
    Hey Matt, with easily i just mean that if stop between songs and i want to quickly change the eq to for example give myself more bass that its easy...and the aguilar looks like it can do that cause it would require just turning up the bass nob (duh) :oops: . but the Ebs looks like it would require alot more time to do the same thing...
    The EBS is very clean, i am not sure thats what im going for...I like the sound of the aguilar pre on the basstasters website!
    The guy that is selling the EBS equipment is not willing to trade anything for it...So i would need to come up with quite some cash....Although the Aguilar is more expensive than the EBS Pre i would need to buy a poweramp, any suggestions to which go well with this Pre? But, the guy thats selling it would be willing to trade with my SWR SM 400 and some cash... :confused: Right now im leaning towards the Aguilar Pre.... Thanks for the replies so far!
  14. lo-freq

    lo-freq aka UFO

    Jan 19, 2003
    The Republic of Texas
    Any of the following amps are good amps:
    QSC PLX1602 or PLX2402
    Stewart World 1.6 or 2.1
    Crest LT1500 or LT2000

    If you're tight on cash and don't mind carrying some extra poundage:
    QSC RMX1850HD (excellent amp & excellent price)

    P.S. The DB680 on basstasters doesn't sound particularly strong in the low end, but everything is set flat. The Ag's have a magic switch labeled "Deep", flip that and "kaboom", instant powerful, solid, deep bass.
    [Actually, the DB659 should sound more like the DB359 on basstasters, which to my ears sounds like the best of the bunch.]

    My comments on the preamps are here.
  15. Are you sure those two are your only options? What about glockenklang(DE), swr interstellar(US), ashdown(UK), alembic, demeter...

    I know these are available in Europe (in the price range of Aguilar).

    Good luck

  16. jerry

    jerry Doesn't know BDO Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 13, 1999
    I have a older EBS preamp that I use in my smaller rig.....the EQ takes a little getting used to, but sounds great! If you want simple, go for the Aggie or a Demeter.
  17. jivetkr


    May 15, 2002
    There is a EBS preamp listed in the for sale forum. Why dont you PM the seller. He should be able to answer all your EBS preamp questions.
  18. mz91


    Apr 19, 2002
    Zug, Switzerland
    thanks again for the replies...the guy is selling an EBS Classic pre. and from what i read on the EBS website the two preamps are very different..:( . I still dont know what to do? im trying to find a used poweramp now that could compliment the aguilar...but so far no luck...i will further talk to the sellers and try to ask them to better the deal :D .
  19. lo-freq

    lo-freq aka UFO

    Jan 19, 2003
    The Republic of Texas
    Another option to consider: if you can't get the deal you want on one of the preamps, you could just keep looking for a good deal either on another used preamp or on a good used power amp.

    As mentioned before you could use the SM400's power amp section with a different preamp. Alternatively, if you found a good deal on a power amp you could use the preamp section of the SM400 until you saved the money and found a good deal on a preamp.

    Main tip from me (FWIW), take your time and don't hurry.
    You'll be happier in the end, if you get a good deal on something you will really enjoy.
  20. mz91


    Apr 19, 2002
    Zug, Switzerland
    lo freq,
    thanks for the good advice..i was thinking the same thing about the poweramp. i will definatey take my time with it. But with the pres, these two are both good deals where i live. I havent seen any think being sold from either aguilar or ebs. and all of a sudden i saw both of these so i decided i had to jump on one of them :D . Michael