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GremlinAndy

Aguilar DB680 pre-Amp

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I'm just going to say a few words here guys. Because this is info some of you may have been keeping quiet.

[i][b]"If you can possibly try an Aggie DB680, then you should."[/b][/i]

I bought one fairly recently, and it was like an epiphany! I have always prided myself on having a good sound. But after hearing my sound through this pre I realised that I've been missing my best possible sound by quite a margin.

Now it's not like I don't have experience of other pre's... I currently own: A Bass pod Pro XT, an Alembic F1-X, A Hughes and Kettner "Fortress", Trace Elliot MP11, GP12, GP11 MK5, Sans Amp, and a couple of other not worth mentioning. Plus A lexicon MPX G2 which has a great pre in it's own right.
Some have a tube upfront, some are just SS, but NONE of them have the sweet tones of the 680. You might, like me, have read some reviews, and while people rave about the 680, it's true to say that the owners of many other pre's rave about thiers too. Well I would have to say, PLEASE try this out for yourself and make a call yourself, if you can possibly get access.

The Aggie makes your sound more tonally pleasing than ever before, it makes the high notes more balanced with the lows, (bye bye reedy thin highs, hello fat fullsome singing highs.) Yet the lows ring with a bell like quality ...and "sympathetic frequencies" (I'm searching for the correct phrase here, forgive me), previously unheard, come to the fore and add to the richness of the sound...
It's a MARKED difference. You'll even find that the drummer notices (sorry drummers that was a cheap shot. But *actually* true) that the bass guitar is more pronounced, but not overpowering.
If anything it sits in the mix much easier. The difference is very musical.

I've had mine for a while now, but I've resisted actually raving about it, because I wanted to get me a second one before I potentially increased the competition on them. However I ordered my *spare* one today and it's on it's way. A mark of how impressed I am with this pre is the very fact that I *NEEDED* to secure a second one in case my first one ever fails. And with a retail of nearly £1000 that's not an easy call. ...but that does maybe tell you just how good this thing is.

[b]Pro's: [/b]the best sound bar none! Nuff' said!

[b]Cons: [/b]If you want a dirty filthy overdriven sound, then I have to warn you... Thats the only sound the 680 can't accomplish (actually, hardly at all) You should look elsewhere for that particular sound. And the price... The 680 cost me double my second most expensive pre, but honestly, it's worth every penny if you can afford it.

Andy

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Hi Andy

What you've said about the DB680 is absolutely spot on. The DB680 is still the best valve preamp bar none for quality of sound, Alex Aguilar and Dave Boonshoft of Aguilar Amplification really captured the absolute best frequencies and sound that just amplify bass perfectly. We miss the ones we imported and sold very much!

In our humble opinion we always say to customers that if you want the very best valve sound then it can only be Aguilar, although their DB359 and DB728 are no longer produced (but we have a used DB728, monster with 8x 6550 power valves, 400W with switchable 2, 4, and 8 Ohm output) and then for the best in solid state there's only one Glockenklang...but then we are somewhat biased!!

I'll post a picture of the first power rig we got reviewed by Roger Newell when 'Bassist' magazine was still around. It consisted of an Aguilar DB680 with a DB728 housed in a BAG END 19" rack unit atop two awesome BAG END Q10BX-D 4x10" bass cabs!! Massive sound, massive quality, massive bass!! Coming soon!

Ciao

Ian

Edited by Crazykiwi

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[quote name='joegarcia' post='130397' date='Jan 30 2008, 12:11 AM']How much is the DB728 you have in? :)[/quote]

It was used on a Simply Red tour and needs a look at as someone decided to remove the speaker cable while switched on. We're due to get it repaired and serviced and it will form part of our studio set up alongside Glockenklang amp and cabs, our 2x superb high end Wayne Jones 2x10" cabs from Oz (awesome output at 780W each!). So, at this moment in time we're not looking to let go of it. They were well over £2K when new and are absolutely bullet proof strong.

If we do decide to let it go in the future we'll let you know as it's the perfect partner for the great DB680. Next will be some equally excellent cabs to carry all that quality of sound and power!

Ciao

Ian

Edited by SMART

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Yeah I have a DB680 + DB728. It was the DB728 that convinced me to order the DB680. If I remember at one point the DB728 was more like the thick end of £3K.

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[quote name='Lee-Man' post='130642' date='Jan 30 2008, 01:29 PM']Yeah I have a DB680 + DB728. It was the DB728 that convinced me to order the DB680. If I remember at one point the DB728 was more like the thick end of £3K.[/quote]

I've played this rig and Man of man I want it but oddly he turned down my offer of a shiny button and a half eaten mars bar.

I will be sending my management in the aguilar direction when it comes time to sort endorsements

:)

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[quote name='tayste_2000' post='130652' date='Jan 30 2008, 01:41 PM']I've played this rig and Man of man I want it but oddly he turned down my offer of a shiny button and a half eaten mars bar.

I will be sending my management in the aguilar direction when it comes time to sort endorsements

:)[/quote]

You mentioned nothing about a half eaten mars bar!

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You know, it's really odd, but I feel like I 'discovered' something very special... And the irony is that the DB680 has been 'hiding' in plain view, camoflaged only by the amount of other pre's in the market. It's obviously been in circulation a long time, and every review raves about it. (But don't reviewers nearly always rave about their purchases? Even the low end stuff pleases people who can only afford the entry level stuff. How are we to find a jewel amongst so many favourable reviews?) Well, I'm saying that I've tried most of them out there, and the aggie is *noticably* superior to the nearest other.
The other thing which obviously keeps it from 'mass appeal' is it's price, which will obviously make it beyond the reach of many.
However, if anyone is reading this thread and is still unconvinced... PLEASE, actually try this pre! (if you possibly can)
It may be highly priced, but really, it's all the sound you'll *ever* want. Right now I'm convinced that I couldn't better it.


SMART: I too would have made an offer on that 728 so, please, keep me posted if it comes available. (This was my thread initially, curse you joegarcia!) :)

GremlinAndy

Edited by GremlinAndy

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I use a 680 with a QSC power amp and an Aguilar GS410. Looking to add another GS cab - any suggestions?? What other power amps are you guys using with your 680's??

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My gig poweramp is a "Powersoft Digam 3002".
Headroom +1
Although I'm trying to find an aggie tube poweramp as we speak.

I'd be interested to hear the Warwick, Jonas Hellborg Poweramp too. They sound like they'd be an interesting amp.

In fact now I mention it, I'll do a search on here see if anyone has tried one...

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[quote name='GremlinAndy' post='134748' date='Feb 5 2008, 11:56 PM']My gig poweramp is a "Powersoft Digam 3002".
Headroom +1
Although I'm trying to find an aggie tube poweramp as we speak.

I'd be interested to hear the Warwick, Jonas Hellborg Poweramp too. They sound like they'd be an interesting amp.

In fact now I mention it, I'll do a search on here see if anyone has tried one...[/quote]

Have you considered one of the mesa power tube amps? they are reasonably easy to find

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[quote name='tayste_2000' post='134857' date='Feb 6 2008, 09:46 AM']Have you considered one of the mesa power tube amps? they are reasonably easy to find[/quote]
I've always avoided Mesa stuff because although they sound great they have a really bad rep for breakdowns (True/false?)

But for the sake of giving it a try...

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i also own a DB680 and i totally agree,its amazing!!!! i had an eden navigator before the aggie,but i have to say there aint no comparison.to be fair there is a price difference here but its a price worth paying! i bought it to compliment my bergantino ip310
and the two together are stunning!!

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This is kind of the point of my original posting... Guys... PLEASE if you're reading this, go out of your way to try one of these pre's. (Yeah I'm almost evangelical about this. But for *your* benefit, not mine)
It's like a secret that's been hiding in plain view for years! I can't believe how much better than the rest these are. There are others I've not tried admittedly, but of the *many* pre's I've tried, this is the one which stands HEAD AND SHOULDERS above it's nearest rival. This is why, if you check the "for sale" thread you'll see I'm getting rid of an Alembic F-1X a Trace GP12, and a H&K Fortress Pre. I might as well as these have been rendered completely redundant by the Aggie. ...I mean the Alembic is a "tone classic". But it seems like a toy compared to the 680.


Don't take my word for it.

As has been said before, moving to an Aggie doesn't come cheap, but if you *have* to buy ANY piece of expensive gear, make it a DB680.

If you don't love it I'll eat my sh!t (hmmmm, I'll add again that it doesn't do *filthy overdrive* without help, just to save me from a [email protected] sesh)

Edited by GremlinAndy

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I used a DB728 & 680 with a pair of GS410's as my main Rig for about 4 months...... See Avatar)

for sure the best bass tone on the planet !

But the Weight !?! That 728 made an Ampeg SVT seem like a lightweight solution !!

Mine Went to a Guy in Italy for a stupidly low price, wished I'd hung on to it

Mark

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[quote name='Marcus' post='143628' date='Feb 20 2008, 12:40 PM']I used a DB728 & 680 with a pair of GS410's as my main Rig for about 4 months...... See Avatar)

for sure the best bass tone on the planet !

But the Weight !?! That 728 made an Ampeg SVT seem like a lightweight solution !!

Mine Went to a Guy in Italy for a stupidly low price, wished I'd hung on to it

Mark[/quote]

I wish I had brought it, but couldnt justify two identical rigs then! But now.....hummmm :)

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I too haven't heard a bad word said about these preamps though I haven't had the pleasure of trying one. Unfortunately Aguilar can't have sold many because it was discontinued a while back - too big, too heavy and too expensive for the mass market.

I'd be interested to hear how it compares to my Avalon U5 - although short on tweakery the Avalon is full of tonal goodness.

Alex

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[quote name='alexclaber' post='144360' date='Feb 21 2008, 01:33 PM']I too haven't heard a bad word said about these preamps though I haven't had the pleasure of trying one. Unfortunately Aguilar can't have sold many because it was discontinued a while back - too big, too heavy and too expensive for the mass market.

I'd be interested to hear how it compares to my Avalon U5 - although short on tweakery the Avalon is full of tonal goodness.

Alex[/quote]


I'd looked into the Avalon and it was one of the items in my "must try" list. Well, I guess it still is, but it's less pressing now I found something I like.
I just never found an oportunity to try out the Avalon so far. When you get to the higher end stuff, there's just nowhere to go outside London for that kind of gear. Most of the music shops around Sheffield probably havent even heard of the gear I'm looking at... they need low end stuff for the masses to make profits. Bad for me, great for the masses.
It makes it an expensive "buy then try" method to gear aquisition...
I think the only fault with the Aggie is that it doesn't really do a great deal of sounds, but the sound it does do, it does *really* well. And it seems that most people who try it like it.

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[quote name='GremlinAndy' post='145375' date='Feb 22 2008, 11:22 PM']I think the only fault with the Aggie is that it doesn't really do a great deal of sounds, but the sound it does do, it does *really* well. And it seems that most people who try it like it.[/quote]

I agree that you'll never get an Ampeg overdriven sound out of it but I do think the EQ is extremely powerful and flexible on it. I have a rather extreme mid-range bump in it that sounds immense. The fully parametric EQ is something special - I don't think I've seen it on anything else. I think there are something like 10 valve stages in the preamp too, which could help to explain why it sounds so full and thick.

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Hah !!

We have another convert to the best kept, but accidental secret in bass history.
I have been chatting with a long time fellow basschat member (name-withheld as it's up to him if he wants others to know) who has had the chance to try out a 680.
He described what is special about the sound, in a manner which struck so many familiar chords with my experience. It's almost funny.

Needless to say he is impressed enough that he intends to make it part of his arsenal.


I'm not going to bang on further about this piece of gear like a rabid evangelist. Really just go on a search, like the Knights of the round table, and you may just find your Grail.

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[quote name='The Funk' post='174971' date='Apr 12 2008, 03:10 AM']I agree that you'll never get an Ampeg overdriven sound out of it but I do think the EQ is extremely powerful and flexible on it. I have a rather extreme mid-range bump in it that sounds immense. The fully parametric EQ is something special - I don't think I've seen it on anything else. I think there are something like 10 valve stages in the preamp too, which could help to explain why it sounds so full and thick.[/quote]


Ah I see I may have given the wrong impression with that statement. I absolutely agree that the EQ is powerful, but I meant it's got a sound that's never going to be an Ampeg, nor is it going to be a pod pro with a million average/budget tones with effects till next Xmas!


BTW those of you who know me will know that I bought an Aguilar Agro to play with. I'm not looking to improve on the sound I have with the 680, I couldn't. But I was interested to see if the Agro could open my eyes to *another* new world. It didn't. I'm not a distortion kinda guy so I may be the wrong person to judge...
HOWEVER, this last weekend, I rehearsed (we rehearse silently through a desk with cans and a TD20 kit) ...with the through-output of the 680 plugged into the input of the agro.
I had the 680 DI into one channel on the desk as usual, but I set up another channel on the desk for the output of the agro.
The mixed sound was very interesting. I had a very small amount of the Agro to augment the 680, and when the whole band struck up it almost vanished, but not quite. It will still take some experimentation to get the balance right but I'm convinced there's a place for it in my sound. Somewhere.
I imagine I'll have more to say on this subject in a few weeks.

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[quote name='GremlinAndy' post='285454' date='Sep 16 2008, 10:42 PM']Hah !!

We have another convert to the best kept, but accidental secret in bass history.
I have been chatting with a long time fellow basschat member (name-withheld as it's up to him if he wants others to know) who has had the chance to try out a 680.
He described what is special about the sound, in a manner which struck so many familiar chords with my experience. It's almost funny.

Needless to say he is impressed enough that he intends to make it part of his arsenal.


I'm not going to bang on further about this piece of gear like a rabid evangelist. Really just go on a search, like the Knights of the round table, and you may just find your Grail.[/quote] :)

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