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The Tone Hammer has landed....

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Matt Call, Sep 6, 2008.


  1. Matt Call

    Matt Call Supporting Member

    Aug 1, 2004
    Minneapolis, MN
    A few weeks ago, I shot Tony at Planet Bass an email asking him about preordering a Tone Hammer. I'd been meaning to do it for months, and I figured it was a long shot. As luck would have it... he informed me they'd be showing up in a week or two and that there'd be one waiting. :smug: So yesterday I hopped in the car and picked it up.

    IMG_0091.

    I picked it up around 2:00, played with it a bit there. I was playing with a relatively unfamilar bass/rig so it was a little harder for me to discern everything. However, my initial impression was something along the lines of "Holy crap, holy crap, holy crap..." I was in love.

    Fast forward to 3:00. Rehearsal. I ran it with an EA iAmp800 (flat) and a DB212. The tone was downright amazing. I'll be damned if I didn't turn around a few times thinking my AG500 was behind me. It was, quite frankly, a bit scary... in a good way. Tons of power, tons of tone.

    After that, I spent some time with it on my own. P bass, iAmp, Berg AE210, Tone Hammer. It allowed me to get more of a feel for the TH and what it's really capable of.

    The Controls. If you've spent any time with an Aguilar amp, you'll feel right at home with the TH. You can dial in your favorite setting in seconds. The mid sweep is incredibly easy to use. I'm a fan of low mids, so I boosted them ever so slightly to get a little growl. You've got a huge range of mids to work with... 180Hz to 1kHz. It's incredibly easy to find amazing, usable tones.

    The AGS. Is there some sort of reward I can give someone for this? It is by far my favorite feature of the TH. I'm used to gain really messing with the output level on everything. While it does affect it slightly, the gain knob feels like more of an additional tone knob. You can get the tight lows and glossy highs without being obnoxiously loud. Or a nice tube-like warmth. But then there's the AGS feature itself. Dear Lord, it's amazing. A little grit? Easy. OD? Easy. Fuzzy overdrive? Why not? It's actually usable, and musical... unlike many overdrives I've come across. Simple, and amazing.

    I freaking love this thing.

    Plus, I've been looking for a way to get that "Aguilar sound" when using a DI. I go direct at least 75% of the time and, while I got great tone with the Sadowsky DI... I always missed that certain something the Aggie brought to the table. Not anymore. :hyper:

    $189?!?? Deal of the decade! I continually hear people raving about Sansamps. The TH is cheaper, better constructed, and head-over-heels a better product. They could've priced it at $250, and sold just as many. I'm convinced that this is (or will be) the iPhone of the bass world. People will be wondering how they ever lived without it.

    To sum it up: cheap, user-friendly, AMAZING! Go buy one asap. ;)

    I was thinking of recording some sound samples and junk; but... I'd need someone to coach me through posting them. I've never done it, and don't know where to do so. I'm totally willing to do it though.

    Word,

    Matt

    IMG_0090.
     
  2. Andy Will

    Andy Will

    Apr 11, 2003
    London, England
    Well that review didn't help whatsoever...................with my G.A.S.!!!!:D

    Hoping to pick mine up next week, so many thanks for the preview of what I've got to look forwards to!

    Two more things I'd like to ask:
    1) What are the dimensions roughly? Looks kinda 2x MXR size at first glance, but just rough indication would be cool (No ruler necessary ;))
    2) If you get the chance in a rehearsal, could you see how it sounds only D.I.'ing through a P.A. using a monitor for reference? As I'll maybe have to do this on a gig shortly.

    Thanks again and in the meantime, enjoy!:bassist:
     
  3. Chef

    Chef Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    May 23, 2004
    Columbia MO
    Staff Reviewer; Bass Gear Magazine
    nice, thx for the post!

    can you run it into fx return on the iamp, bypassing the preamp section?
    this would give folks wanting to use it as a preamp an idea of how that works...
     
  4. lo-freq

    lo-freq aka UFO

    Jan 19, 2003
    DFW, Texas
    Nice!
    Thanks for the word!

    :)
     
  5. jnewmark

    jnewmark Just wanna play the groove. Supporting Member

    Aug 31, 2006
    Stax 1966
    Third St. Cigar Records staff musician.
    Can it drive a power amp on it's own?
     
  6. bigtexashonk

    bigtexashonk Supporting Member

    Glad to hear the TH has landed somewhere. Mine is currently on the way and I'm about to chew my foot off waiting!
     
  7. Delta_Petra

    Delta_Petra

    Feb 26, 2008
    Portland, OR
    Be still my heart, your p-bass is beautiful. I want to get a maple, black blocked and bound neck so bad.
     
  8. Chef

    Chef Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    May 23, 2004
    Columbia MO
    Staff Reviewer; Bass Gear Magazine
    Aguilar say yes.
    That was my first question...


     
  9. + alot. I've been dying to hear a TBer's account of the Tone Hammer in this capacity. I'm pretty much sold on this anyway. OpaqueBass' review pretty much solidified my need for it this morning. I seek as we speak :ninja:
     
  10. Matt Call

    Matt Call Supporting Member

    Aug 1, 2004
    Minneapolis, MN
    1) It's ~ 5.5" x 4" x 2" Give or take a little space, about the size of 2 Boss pedals. It's bigger than I expected... but with good reason.

    2) I'll run it using only the DI tomorrow night, and will let you know.

    Will do. I've been running it with the iAmp's preamp bypassed, using the "flat" switch. I'll try it this way shortly (gotta practice!).

    Give Tony at Planet Bass a call. ;) Fantastic guy, and a pleasure to deal with.
     
  11. Tonally how does this compare to the sadowsky di set to clean?
     
  12. (n00b question) Can it be used as a headphone amp?
     
  13. DiDi G

    DiDi G

    Dec 7, 2007
    Melb OZ
    Great~Mine is on shipping ~I can't wait to play it~
     
  14. Matt Call

    Matt Call Supporting Member

    Aug 1, 2004
    Minneapolis, MN
    As far as a clean tone, the Sadowsky is a completely different animal. Being treble/bass boost only, the mids are left up to your fingers and your bass. I feel like it retains the natural tone of whatever you're playing. A Fender still sounds like a Fender, a Stingray like a Stingray, and so on. However, you can't cut any frequencies. So if you switch to a naturally bright sounding bass, the only way you can compensate for it is boosting the bass knob (and vice versa). It's an amazing little unit, and there's just something about it that I can't place. Probably some of Roger's magic dust I've heard rumors about.

    As far as the Tone Hammer goes... You can get a sterile, flat tone pretty easily. Just turn it off :D;). All kidding aside though, it's very similar. Statistically speaking, the Sadowsky is boost only, giving up to 13 dB of boost. The Tone Hammer is working with 18 dB (+ or -). So it essentially goes there... and then some. It's incredibly easy to work with, and very responsive. A little bass goes along way. If you're not careful, you'll give it too much without even thinking about it. It also sounds very natural, with a little more color than the Sadowsky; but... it also gives you the ability to dial in substantially more color.


    Any help?
     
  15. SBassman

    SBassman

    Jun 8, 2003
    Northeast, US
    So, with the massive GAS stoking at TB, and with half the planet pre-ordering this thing, is there any chance there's actually going to be more Stock of it available any time soon?
     
  16. I can't find one anywhere...

    Peace,

    T
     
  17. SBassman

    SBassman

    Jun 8, 2003
    Northeast, US
    I shouldn't be asking, anyway. I just can't afford to spend that kind of money on a preamp. My speed is closer to about half that.
     
  18. $189? for what you are getting this is a steal...This could take the place of a rack mounted preamp. I am currently using a $4,000 Neve 8801 and I am hoping that this $189 box can take the place of that for a LOT of my travel gigs...I think the price is actually on the low side considering my experience with Aggie in the past. If you read the Dan Lutz story on the Aguilar website you may have a different perspective about it.

    Peace,

    T
     
  19. SBassman

    SBassman

    Jun 8, 2003
    Northeast, US
    Listen - I'm not saying it's not worth it. From what I read, it's probably worth 4 times the price. But, due to economics and other factors, I play all low end stuff. And, at this present moment, I'm not even gigging. So, it's just sorta criminal - for me personally - to spend $200 I don't have on it. But, believe me, I lust. :)
     
  20. Sorry....my post came across the wrong way! I did not know the price of these and when I read your post I thought it must have been much higher. I did not mean anything by it all. When I saw the price I freaked out! I have placed an order for one and look forward to trying it out...Hope you get the chance as well!

    Peace,

    T
     

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