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Replacing Aguilar DB750 with...

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by lookiel, Apr 18, 2009.

  1. I need some advice, read through a lot of forums (thanks to all TB'ers for their input) but didn't find a clear cut answer.
    I recently sold my DB750 :crying:because of the following:
    -Too loud for me, not enough low volume control even with both gain and master around 9 o'clock.
    -Too expensive to haul around on bar/club gigs.
    -Too heavy (but this is the least of my concerns).
    However, the DB750 being the most responsive, ballsiest (!) and sweetest amp I've ever had the good luck of playing through, I'm now looking for a replacement.
    I'm going to try a walkabout through a few cabs and was considering the ampeg V4BH and the GK Fusion.
    Anybody have any ideas/comments about a similar sounding/reacting head with less power but enough guts?
    Ultimately I play through a PA on gigs and I know most people don't really care about the bassist's tone and all that, but my enjoyment and IMO the band's overall sound is greatly influenced by my sound and punch.
    Right now I'm playing through my backup iamp800 (which is a great tool) but it feels and sounds lifeless :meh:(even with a VT bass to warm things up).
    Am I doomed to be one of those guys that sell and buy back DB750's:help:
  2. Sufenta

    Sufenta Trudging The Happy Road of Destiny

    Mar 14, 2002
    The Signpost Up Ahead.
    I've seen many players who sounded great using rigs that were OK but not what we here would consider 'high end' here on TB. I've also gotten compliments on my tone/playing (perhaps out of shear pitty:D) by audience members on most of my gigs before I got my current DB750/NV610 rig. The difference, however, is that I now feel COMPLETELY comfortable playing with my current set-up, and without that mental distraction that my tone is missing something (even though listeners would say it sounded good before) I've had more comments that my playing seems to have markedly improved.
    There are lots of great amps out there that are way smaller than the hefty DB750 (LMII +/- VT pedal comes to mind) that I'm sure 99.9% of listeners would say sounded really good especially in a band setting. Face it, you will never subject your audience to a heads up bass amp comparison during a gig. The X factor is how an amp makes me feel about my playing, and a better player probably wouldn't let that affect his/her playing as much as I do. Lets face it, I need the DB750 to feel whole:D.
    You may find something else that works for you, but its probably going to be tough now that you've experienced the DB750.
  3. g4string

    g4string Supporting Member

    Sep 19, 2002
    Melissa, TX
    Carvin B1500.......seriously!! Do a search, they are a highly regarded amp. Some even prefer the B1500 over the DB750 and Glockenlang HR. To me, that means one thing.......the B1500 is no joke. The best part, it is $650USD new (w/ a 10 day test drive). It is about 10lbs lighter than the 750 and 4" more shallow than the 750.

    If the B1500 is still too big........I would have to say Thunderfunk TFB550 or TFB750. You can get some deals on used 550's. Check the classifieds. I even see one as low as $775USD shipped http://www.talkbass.com/forum/showthread.php?t=536345

    If the TF isnt an option........how about the Markbass LMII (now its a LMIII). $600 with a two year full warranty, thats hard to beat. There is a reason why a ton of people own these.....they rock!!

    Good luck with the search!!!
  4. +1 on the mental distraction of not being 100% happy with my tone Sufenta. Thanks for the input!
    g4string thanks for the suggestions. I've thought about the B1500 and tried out the LMii a few times. Never had the chance of trying out a TF but hear only great things about them. My main hangup is that although I never considered myself a tube snob, I've discovered over time that I find a tube in the gain structure somehow adds a certain something special to my playing.
    I played classical guitar pretty intensely for a good number of years (got sidetracked on my love for bass there:)) and I think electric instruments react very differently than acoustic ones. A tube/hybrid amp seems to help out in making me feel like my bass is reacting more like an acoustic (more pronounced dynamics, tone variation relative to attack and hand position, etc).
    Another thing I find hard in buying amps (as well as basses) is that trying something out in a store at medium/low volume with no other instruments really has nothing to do with playing at full band volume and fitting in the mix.
    I've read a certain number of post referring to the heft or weight of notes regarding the DB750 and I think that explains the feeling I get from the DB750. Like a P bass, or an upright, the bottom end just gets filled out and it's sweet!
    I'm pretty positive that with all the other options out there on the market, something has to fit my needs.
  5. JOME77


    Aug 18, 2002
    I used a Mesa M-Pulse 600 & a Walkabout for several years and really loved the huge, warm & tubey sound. You may really dig it.

    I migrated from the Mesa's to the Thunderfunk amps and IMO they greatly improved my sound. The TFunk is really capable of getting some very warm tube like tones with much more low end focus than the Mesa heads. I was constantly fighting the boomy lows with the Mesa heads.

    And of course the Tfunk can also do the SS thing really nice. ;)
  6. pickles

    pickles Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 23, 2000
    Ventura, CA
    +1 on the M-pulse 600. I like it better than the DB750 and it is much less expensive and smaller/lighter. Big big tone and tons of headroom. Even the Titan is lighter and less expensive than the 750, same form factor (3U) though.
  7. +1 to that. It's difficult enough to focus on the notes you're playing. Good tone really helps IMO. Good luck in your quest. :D
  8. IvanMike

    IvanMike Player Characters fear me... Supporting Member

    Nov 10, 2002
    Middletown CT, USA
    depends on your budget.

    i don't think the ag 500 sounds like the rest of their "silver" series.

    the preamp only (359?) aggie gets 90% of the 750 tone, the rest seems to be from that great poweramp. you could always get one of those and plug it into the effects return of a smaller head to bypass the head's internal preamp.

    otherwise you have to try a lot of stuff. the aggie preamp really has a signature tone i haven't heard on any other amp so it's a search for you to find something you like.

    bet you $5 you buy another 750 in a year or two. :smug:
  9. Frankie Fender

    Frankie Fender Supporting Member

    Jul 13, 2004
    Central Massachusetts
    I replaced my DB750 with a Titan and couldn't be happier. IMHO the Titan has way all the versatility I want, sounds good at all volumes (even low), can compete with the umph of the DB750 (BALLS!), is lighter, has two independent channels, more tubes;), built in OD, includes a well designed footswitch, boost, Para EQ, and costs less. The similarities are that both can do 2 ohms and have wrecking-ball girth to the notes.:smug:

    All this is moot if you do not like the sound of the amp. I also get inspired by my tone and others (usually bandmates and other musicians) also notice. What it comes down to is either the Mesa sound or the Aggie sound which are both fantastic but can be very subjective. Coming from the place of owning a 400+, I like the Mesa sound especially for Rock. Tone for me has always been a compromise of weight versus performance (you younger guys will understand this some day). Yes, I would love to gig with my old 90 lb SVT but that ain't gonna happen anymore. Neither is lugging out the old reliable CA9 unless there is a real good reason.

    That is why I have made my goal to get the best weight to performance ratio and I have found it with the Titan. It has the balls of the heaviest all tubers without the weight. Is it *exactly* the same? No, but neither is the weight and that is my point.

    The DB750 is a beast to be sure, but the Titan is too. I sold my DB because I thought it was one-dimensional in sound, but what a sound! It does that sound like no one else and that is why you will find so many here that either love it or hate it. As an owner I am sure you know what I am talking about. I still regret selling mine and someday may own another. In the Rock Pantheon of great amps it is right up there along with the coveted vintage SVT and very few other heads IMO.

    As a replacement for the DB I would recommend the Titan because I feel it has more to offer as stated above. If your needs aren't as ambitious then I would say get a BB750, the Mpulse didn't do it for me, though I was very impressed with the Walkabout. I would have suggested the B1500 as the ultimate bar amp but after reading your comments about tubes, which I agree with, I withdraw that one. You really should check out the Fusion too. I has great tone also and a lot of weight to the notes. GK definitely has a winner there.

    In short check out: Mesa Titan V12 as a direct replacement or BB750, Walkabout & Fusion 550

    I love my Titan and wish you well in finding yours.
  10. GBassNorth


    Dec 23, 2006
    As the new owner of a DB750/GS412 (many thanks to Chinjazz and NKUSIG) I know exactly what you're saying. The 750 pairs well with half and full stacks and really let it bring out the full bass heft - feel as well as tone.
    I also own a Thunderfunk 420 and it sounds nearly as good as the 750. In fact with very little eq-ing I can get it to sound identical to the 750. The only limit I run into is clipping at very high volumes one one of my active basses that has extremely hot pickups, no problem with my passive or other active basses.
    Interestingly enough however is that I can get a very sweet Aguilar tone (Full and fat bottom end with detailed highs and that Aggie "heft") at small club/bar volumes with my 15" Ampeg combo fed thru a VT pedal. It's especially sweet with a passive jazz or p bass but still sounds great with the hotter pickups on a G&L or Stingray.
    I don't know what size cab you're playing but if you're looking for a low cost investment, fairly compact size and want some ease of mind on the value of the gear you take to a bar or gig the 15" Ampeg combo/VT pedal might be the ticket. It also has a great DI out.
    If you're not into combos then I'd go with the advice others have already mentioned - the Thunderfunk or the LMII are both great choices. Depending on the cab you'll be playing thru you should be able to dial something very near that sweet Aggie tone.
  11. IvanMike

    IvanMike Player Characters fear me... Supporting Member

    Nov 10, 2002
    Middletown CT, USA
    i don't have one but have played one several times.
    It is a one dimensional amp preamp wise, but a great sound nonetheless. IMO, the power section is one of the most impressive sounding and "feeling" of any solid state amp. Loud as poseidon to boot. I especially dug plugging other preamps into the poweramp input. Just as loud if not louder than my stewart 2.1 amp bridged mono.
  12. Thanks again to all for the suggestions!
    I'd have to agree with those saying the DB is one dimensional but does the job remarkably well. For better EQ I use a Catalinbread vari-o-boost in front. It has a semi-parametric mid boost/cut (70 to 1400 hertz or so) and a gain boost (quite transparent), does wonders and stays simple.
    However I'm not all that stuck up on the ''Aggie tone'', meaning my next amp doesn't have to be a copycat tonewise, but I require the balls, heft and tube reaction. I think Ivan Mike may be right in stating the power section is what sounds and feels impressive.
    This brought me to Mesa because they use mosfets driven by a tube and I'm hoping for a similar result with less power/volume and weight.
    I know cabs are a huge factor in volume and tone so I'll try a few cabs with the walkabout. I'm thinking that tight hi-fi cabs with low heavy heads like the DB (and some say the M-pulse line) are a good matchup for me.
    The incredible thing with the DB is that it sounds pretty good (understatement) with just about any cab I tried.
    The titan V12 sounds very nice but I think it's a little too big/powerful for me and I tend to gravitate towards simpler setups (although miy iamp has buttons galore:))
  13. +1 on the tone/weight ratio.
    I pratice at 3 different locations regularly (not counting gigs) and even though I have a car and don't live in NY, carrying gear gets old pretty fast for me. I can definitely understand why a lot of old school (no offense meant) bassists who gigged out of 810 fridges and SVT mammoth 100 pound amps have back problems!
    I don't really care about micro heads but I would like to keep my amp below the 30 pound mark for sure.
    I'd really like to try the Fusion for a while. Played at a store and really like it in that context. Very clean and clear tube/hybrid sound, loud and has all the necessary goodies except a blendable parallel FX loop à la Aguilar. Surprisingly there doesn't seem to bemuch love on TB (maybe because it's GK or the motorized knobs gimmick).
  14. Poon


    May 20, 2003
    Los Angeles, CA
    This is sort of late in the game. But What did you find out you liked? Did you like the walkabout through bigger cabs? I own both the DB750 and the Walkabout. I think the walkabout sonically is one of my favorite if not my singularly favorite amp. No one denies you can't beat the heft of the DB750 and the raw power of it. But for most applications, I love my walkabout. It's light (13lbs), sounds a lot louder than 300 watts. I have the scout combo, but take out the head occasionally to use with smaller cabs (smaller than my 2 8x10's :D). Through all of my pedals into the DB750, it's my favorite tone with my Aggie 8x10. But just bass through head through cab, the walkabout's inherent tone is in my subjective opinion, better than the DB750's tone.
  15. JimmyM


    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    If moving an SVT causes back problems, then you are doing it wrong. I am 47 and moved an SVT for 20 years, then took 10 years off it, and now I'm back on it. I have also worked the preload at UPS, moved furniture, and moved pianos and organs, and I don't have a single back problem (knock on wood).

    That said, I can understand why some people don't like using them, and I certainly wouldn't move one around for practices. But I WOULD replace a DB750 with one ;)
  16. ElMon

    ElMon Supporting Member

    May 30, 2004
    Oklahoma City, OK

    As 'one of those guys' myself, I'll say that yes, this may in fact happen to you. I keep coming back to the DB750 in the same way that I came back to a Sadowsky. I hope I've learned my lesson.

    +1. The part in bold in particular sums up my experience with Big Daddy Aggie, and hi end gear in general. It accomplishes the goal of making me smile about my tone, which in turn lends to a better performance since I can completely focus on my performance. For me, this comes about from using the DB750 with my Sadowsky and Epifani UL410. A solid, thick, supportive tone that wraps around a mix and creates a fat pillow for the band to sit on. Perfect for me.

    Its good to know that I"m not alone in giving equal time to the Walkabout as I do my Aguilar. I LOVE this little amp, and was lucky enough to buy it back from GC after stupidly trading it away. It also accomplishes the same goals, tonally, that I get from the DB750 (big thick tone with clarity) but with more EQ flexibility for bad rooms, and a smaller overall footprint on stage. AND it can also do 2Ohms if need be. Awesome. I use my walkabout as my small gig head, but know that I can always have it with the Aguilar as a backup for medium/big gigs, as it puts out an amazing amount of headroom for its stated 300 measly watts. On top of that, I've been LOVING the sound of the Walkabout on tape.
  17. Big String

    Big String Supporting Member

    Apr 22, 2000
    Northwest Indiana
    3rd DB750 here. ;)
  18. Well, I had the Walkabout for a short time and I definitely think it has great tone. It certainly live in the same tone zone as the DB750 when run clean.
    It is also loud for it's wattage but in the end I find it lacking a bit in clean headroom. I thought that it was a bit boomy in the lows and the low end response was different from string to string. Nothing dramatic but enough to bother me.

    I would have kept it to get to know it better but I had an opportunity to purchase an AG500 for a nice price and wanted to try one out after I spent an afternoon in a music store A/B'ing a bunch of amps and found the AG500 quite to my liking. No tube but I'm willing to try it out. Seems to have a warm middy character that should sound great in a band setting.

    Jimmy M, I agree with you on proper lifting technique and all, but not everybody has the same physical capacities, morphology or accident history;)

    I did lay down some quick tracks the other day and compared the walkabout DI to a Radial JDI. Very close (to my ear and eq'ed for that), but the JDI was way more even in response and tighter on the lows. (The fact that the mesa's DI is post eq also bugs me for live applications)

    The search goes on...

    PS I've learned a lot reading threads here on many different topics but damn! TB is addictive:)
  19. Big String

    Big String Supporting Member

    Apr 22, 2000
    Northwest Indiana
    So are DB750's

    "Giddy Up"
  20. matt11

    matt11 Supporting Member

    May 19, 2006
    Well I know that Eden has a bad rap for its CS recently, but I use a wt-550 as a backup (no problems in four years) to my DB750 and find with a boost in the mids and a bit of a bass boost/treble cut it does a great job. Rich, punchy and textured.

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