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Trying to decide between amps

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by moe.moe, Jan 28, 2017.


Which amp?

Poll closed Jan 28, 2017.

    16 vote(s)

    5 vote(s)

    19 vote(s)
Multiple votes are allowed.
  1. moe.moe

    moe.moe Gold Supporting Member

    Jun 22, 2008
    Hi everyone,
    Just a simple poll to see what opinions are out here on TB land....
    I'm thinking of trading in my Aguilar Tone Hammer 500 for a TC Electronic RH450.
    Any thoughts, opinions or comments would be greatly appreciated!

    Thanks! :)
  2. bassman74

    bassman74 Supporting Member

    Jan 2, 2007
    I tried the rh450 and I don't understand the hype. I prefered the Fender Rumble 500 sitting next to the TC. It's been a while since I tried the Aguilar but I Liked it very much, a mix of modern and vintage tone.
    Aqualung60 and shawshank72 like this.
  3. The Aggie gives you real watts whilst the RH450 gives you TC watts. :)
  4. GrowlerBox


    Feb 10, 2010
    Nude Zealand
    I have the RH450 -- it's a really nice amp and feature rich; very flexible EQ, the Spectracomp and Tubetone are very nice when used judiciously, the tuner is accurate and fast, and it's plenty loud enough for me. It produces essentially no hiss, and the build quality is top notch. I have a ToneHammer preamp and also really like that, sometimes using it in front of my Markbass F1 (which I also like, but aside from a 4-band EQ has exactly no bells and whistles).

    For all that I like the RH450, I'm not sure I'd want it as my only head, whereas I could see living with the ToneHammer in that setting. Despite all the flexibility, the RH450 retains its fairly distinctive, kind of old-school voice, which is great when that's what you want, but when I want to open up the palette, I plug into the F1. I suspect I'd like the Aguilar for similar reasons.

    So, if you could keep both, I'd say definitely. If I had to pick one, I'd probably take the ToneHammer. Usual caveats ...
    arai and moe.moe like this.
  5. Catbuster

    Catbuster Supporting Member

    Aug 25, 2010
    Louisville, KY.
    Pizza... Yum
    Stu_Bass and moe.moe like this.
  6. kpc


    Apr 6, 2011
    It really depends on what type of music your playing and what your looking for. I would say the aggy but it's your decision in the end. The aggy has more power.
  7. Never got along with TC stuff... looks good.. but to small to fit any valves in...
  8. shawshank72


    Mar 22, 2009
    Stick with the TH500.
    Sartori and BassLover668 like this.
  9. MarkA

    MarkA In the doghouse. Supporting Member

    Sep 26, 2008
    Without knowing more about what you're looking for, I'd say the Aggie, but that's just my preference.

    The TC head I've only had a few, brief, in-store encounters with, so I can't offer much of an opinion on it except to say that, in the store, it didn't speak to me. I didn't dig the tube emulation and the tone struck me as unnatural and rolled-off up top -- maybe at the bottom, too (been awhile). That said, the layout and design were neat, the build looked good, and I could see it working well for a lot of people -- I just didn't dig it.

    I owned the Aggie for a little while and played it with a band a few times. Even and thick, fairly articulate, nice with my P-bass... just a little woolly for me. I enjoyed it, but felt a bit constrained by it. Both the TC and the Aggie strike me as somewhat colored heads.

    Pizza is my first choice. If you can get a decent deal on the TC and try it out against your Aggie, you could keep the one you like better (that would be my second choice). If it has to be one or the other, I'd pick the Aggie, but they are available semi-regularly here in the classifieds -- if you really wanted to try the TC and had to get rid of your Aggie to do so, you could still score an Aggie again at a decent price without much trouble.
  10. Linnin


    Jul 19, 2012
    Linningrad, Earth
    Deep Dish With Beats! ;)
    Rapisme and moe.moe like this.
  11. moe.moe

    moe.moe Gold Supporting Member

    Jun 22, 2008
    MARK A,
    If I may ask, what are you using for your amp needs?

    Thanks for your input brother! :)
  12. Wicked G

    Wicked G

    Jan 19, 2017
    Hell Paso Texas
    I for one had the Tone Hammer 500 for a short while and the RH450 is still with me after several years. To me the RH450 is much more versatile and also more powerful sounding, YMMV. While the TH500 can get loud, it gets there while overdriving. And I agree that the RH450 can sound dark and low middy, but the EQ is pretty versatile. I don't see my RH450 head going anywhere ever. Your best bet is if you can A/B them both to see which one you like better as you are going to get a lot of different answers here and none of us have your ears. If you do decide to go with the RH450, I have seen them new for around $350 on EBAY through ProAudioStar, Cobra Sonics, and Phantom 48. Good luck.

    Edit: Forgot to mention that while the TH500 may have more watts, The TC puts out higher cleaner volume. If you really like the Drive on the Aggie though, that is another thing to consider. The TC has the Tubetone but the TH500 Drive is petty cool. Again IMHO and IME but YMMV.
    Last edited: Jan 28, 2017
    moe.moe likes this.
  13. chris_b


    Jun 2, 2007
    I've owned the Staccato and RH750 and liked them a lot but I ended up selling them to fund my Thunderfunk. I still use the TF but my go-to amp is a TH500.

    My amp GAS went when I bought a second TH500 as a backup.

  14. moe.moe

    moe.moe Gold Supporting Member

    Jun 22, 2008
    Interesting........ :). Thank you!
    chris_b likes this.
  15. micguy


    May 17, 2011
    So long as there's pepperoni...I don't play very often with an amp, and when I do, my current rig works really well, aside from being a bit on the overkill side.
  16. MarkA

    MarkA In the doghouse. Supporting Member

    Sep 26, 2008
    My main amp for some time has been a Genz Benz GBE 1200 (the big lead sled). I've owned a bunch of small class D amps -- Markbass, Aguilar, Genz Benz, Genzler, GK, Quilter, Peavey, Glockenklang. Many have been nice (some very much so) in several respects, but none has put everything together (at least not everything I look for) in a compelling enough fashion to make me give up the big (and heavy) GBE. I picked up another big, heavy amp not too long ago -- a Glockenklang Heart Rock 2. I like some things about it better, some things about the GBE better. The Glock is probably a more natural sounding amp, the GBE a bit tighter and more aggressive/impactful... we'll see how they play out in the long run. I've also played around with some preamp+poweramp setups, but that's a whole 'nother thing. Still searching for the perfect combination of tone and feel (which will remain elusive, even after I find it) but, for the time being, my passive P/J through the GBE into my MAS 112 is my go-to setup.

    I just got an Eich T-900 (played it for the first time last night). Initially thought I wouldn't dig it at all -- struck me as wide, boomy, and not very clear when I played the first notes through it -- but the Taste knob on it has a huge influence on the overall character of the amp. Dialed it counter-clockwise to ~11:00 and it tightened and cleared things up immensely. Some small boosts to the low and high mid bands and I've got it sounding not entirely unlike the GBE. Doesn't have quite the visceral impact and solidity of the GBE -- and the overall character is far removed from that of the Tone Hammer -- much more hi-fi -- but... nice amp, so far.

    I want to emphasize again that my experience with the TC was very limited. I'd take it with a liberal dash of your favorite seasoning. Wicked G makes a good point -- your hands, ears, instrument, and cabs will all influence what works for you.
    Last edited: Jan 29, 2017
    jwindham, HolmeBass and Wicked G like this.
  17. mmbongo

    mmbongo Five Time World Champion Supporting Member

    Aug 5, 2009

    Mesa Subway D800.
    Hounddog409 likes this.
  18. BusyFingers


    Nov 26, 2016
    The TC has too many bells and whistles. The Aguilar sounds awesome, and has a number of very useful tones. A tell-tale sign of an exceptional circuit is that you can turn the EQ knobs in any direction and every sound is good and useful, but different. It appears the Tonehammer 500 has that ability:

  19. BusyFingers


    Nov 26, 2016
    At the 30 second mark this video has a decent overdriven tone for the aguilar:

    Sartori likes this.
  20. beans-on-toast

    beans-on-toast Supporting Member

    Aug 7, 2008
    Deciding which amp works best for you is not so easy.

    BurnOut likes this.

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