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Osiris

Aguilar Tone Hammer 350 & 500 big price difference, why?

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I'm in the market for a new amp and had the chance to try out the Tone Hammer 500 at the weekend and it sounded great, exactly the tone I'm looking for.

But sniffing around online, the best price I can find for the TH 500 is £768 from Gear4music, everywhere else has it at £829 upwards - Whereas Andertons and PMT are doing the TH 350 for £420.

Why is the 500 almost double the price of the 350? As far as I can tell all you're getting is an extra 150 watts plus an effects loop. Is there a reason for this? Am I missing something?

Edited by Osiris

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350

[b]Power Output:[/b] 350 watts @ 4 ohms, 175 watts @ 8 ohms
[b]Preamp Section:[/b] Solid State
[b]Power Section:[/b] Class D
[b]Transformer:[/b] Switching mode power supply (SMPS)
[b]EQ Section:[/b]
[b]Bass:[/b] +/- 17 dB @ 40 Hz
[b]Mid Level:[/b] +/- 16 dB
[b]Mid Frequency:[/b] 180 Hz – 1 kHz
[b]Treble:[/b] +/- 14 dB @ 4 kHz
[b]Drive Control:[/b] Fully adjustable, featuring Aguilar’s proprietary AGS(adaptive gain shaping) circuit.
[left]
[b]Inputs:[/b] One 1/4" input jack, compatible with all active and passive basses
-10dB input pad
[b]Speaker Output:[/b] Neutrik Speakon
[b]Balanced Output:[/b] XLR balanced output with pre/post EQ and ground lift switch
Tuner output
[b]Cooling:[/b] High quality whisper fan with thermal speed control
[b]Dimensions:[/b] 8.25" W x 7.5" D x 3" H
[b]Weight:[/b] 3 lbs
[b]Warranty:[/b] Three year limited


500

[b]Power Output:[/b] 500 watts @ 4 ohms, 250 watts @ 8 ohms
[b]Preamp Section:[/b] Solid State
[b]Power Section:[/b] Class D
[b]Transformer:[/b] Switching mode power supply (SMPS)
[b]EQ Section:[/b]
[b]Bass:[/b] +/- 17 dB @ 40 Hz
[b]Mid Level:[/b] +/- 16 dB
[b]Mid Frequency:[/b] 180 Hz – 1 kHz
[b]Treble:[/b] +/- 14 dB @ 4 kHz
[b]Drive Control:[/b] Fully adjustable, featuring Aguilar’s proprietary AGS(adaptive gain shaping) circuit.
[left]
[b]Effects Loop:[/b] Series operation. Adds 6 dB of additional gain, making it useful for a broad range of effects units.
[b]Inputs:[/b] One 1/4" input jack, compatible with all active and passive basses
[b]Speaker Outputs:[/b] Two Neutrik Speakon speaker outputs
[b]Balanced Output:[/b] XLR balanced output with pre/post EQ and ground lift switch
Tuner output
[b]Cooling:[/b] Two high quality whisper fans with thermal speed control
[b]Dimensions:[/b] 10.75”W X 8.5”D X 3”H
[b]Warranty:[/b] Three year limited[/left]


what did he miss?[/left]

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[size=4][quote name='chris_b' timestamp='1489531697' post='3257770'][/size]
Yes you are. Check the specs again.
[/quote]

[size=4]Looking at the specs above, it looks there's also a bigger amp case, an extra fan plus an extra speaker output in addition to the additional 150 watts and the effects loop. And while I'd expect to pay more for the extra power etc. I still don't see why there is such a huge difference in price between the 2 models. [/size]

[size=4]So what is it that I'm missing here? [/size]

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I think this is pretty common, for example markbass sell the blackline 250 which is basically the same as a little mark 3 but the latter is twice the price for a different power amp and a yellow box.

I'm not sure it's really justified by production costs, but entry level gear has to be cheap or it won't sell, and the more powerful models are generally what you need if you gig regularly so what do you do?

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Having had both, unless playing huge stages and really having to push the amp, I can`t see the 350 not being enough, unless also needing a quite clean sound, combined with a heavy handed drummer.

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The differences. . . . the TH350 has no send or return circuitry, 1 speaker out, no voltage changer on the back and what ever it is missing to make 350 watts up to 500.

The TH500 is aimed at a higher level of gigging than the TH350 so price and spec differences reflect this.

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[quote name='chris_b' timestamp='1489570733' post='3257942']

The TH500 is aimed at a higher level of gigging than the TH350 .
[/quote]

What exactly is a "higher level of gigging"? :huh:

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I have the 350. I can't see any reason for the 500 unless you really need an effects loop. But it depends of course what cabs you are using. I use it with 1x12 and 2x12. In both cases I think it can get loud enough with all the bottom end you need.

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I imagine, from a business and cynical point of view, the TH350 stock in the UK is pre-price rise/pre £ slump.

The TH500 isn't.

That price difference is insane.

I also think £829 for an amp that has been around for a good few years is incredibly high. It is basically Mesa Boogie tier of pricing.

If I were you, I'd look at another brand. Aguilar make amazing gear but the prices shot up way before the £ slump, and the £ slump has made it even more expensive.

The TH500 used to be around £600 not that long ago.

Whilst not related to the TH500 as it wasn't around, The Bass Merchant used to order Aguilar in directly and the pricing was much fairer. Another example of a bizarre business structure of having 'middlepeople' who essentially act as dealers, storing the product....sometimes helping with problems (often, it's just easier to get hold of the company directly, e.g. like Genz Benz).

Edited by Musicman20

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Not many would require the FX Loop, almost every cab has dual sockets for daisy chaining, and 350 watts should get you by, especially with two cabs... looking like an obvious choice unless you need those features or extra volume.

If the 500 contains an extra fan, that might be a plus point for the 350 - I returned my 500 due to the fan kicking in loudly after 10 minutes with the amp sat idle when it didn't even feel warm to the touch and nor did the air being expelled from it. It wouldn't have been an issue on a gig but was obtrusive enough to make me not want to use it for practising or recording at home.

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[quote name='chris_b' timestamp='1489572281' post='3257965']
One that requires the features and spec of the TH500.
[/quote]

Sorry, but I must play a low level of gigs. I have never had any use for any of the features you list. Most cabs have two speakon connectors, so it matters not that the amp only has one output as cabs can be linked if required.
I have never used an effects loop or send/return facility, and have never needed to switch voltage.
350W would be enough output with sensible EQ settings and a cab with decent sensitivity.

Like the OP, I am struggling to see where the extra money is being spent! So is the TH350 a massive bargain or is the TH500 a huge rip-off? :yarr:

Edited by Conan

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Twice the price for twice the features but how much does a wee fan cost, a speakon connector and an fx loop

I'm sure the TH500 sounds great but it does feel pricy in comparison if the two essentially sound the same.

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[quote name='krispn' timestamp='1489575319' post='3258014']
Twice the price for twice the features [/quote]

At the risk of ruining a perfectly good witch hunt. . . . Not twice the price.

If my maths is right, the TH500 at approx £819 is slightly over 30% more expensive than the TH350 at approx £600.

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[quote name='krispn' timestamp='1489575319' post='3258014']
Twice the price for twice the features but how much does a wee fan cost, a speakon connector and an fx loop

I'm sure the TH500 sounds great but it does feel pricy in comparison if the two essentially sound the same.
[/quote]

That's exactly what I'm wondering too.

[quote name='chris_b' timestamp='1489577751' post='3258041']
At the risk of ruining a perfectly good witch hunt. . . . Not twice the price.

If my maths is right, the TH500 at approx £819 is slightly over 30% more expensive than the TH350 at approx £600.
[/quote]

My intention is not to start a witch hunt, but to try to understand why there is such a significant cost difference between the 2 amps. Obviously the higher powered amp with the additional features will cost more, I don't have an issue with that, what concerns me is that size of that difference.

A quick look on Google shows that you can pick up a new TH 350 for £420, which is almost half of £819 :P

So my question probably ought to be, is it worth paying another £400 for a few additional components that likely have a negligible cost, some additional power, which from what a number of the guys above have said that I'll almost certainly not need? I don't use any effects, and only ever gig with a single 4 ohm cab, so the loop and the extra speaker out aren't essential for me.

I think I've just answered my own question!

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[quote name='Osiris' timestamp='1489578635' post='3258053']
I think I've just answered my own question!
[/quote]

I agree! :)

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If you decide that you occasionally could benefit from more power then pick up a used Behringer power amp or something for under £200. You're still way under the TH500 budget!

I think you'd be surprised how far 350W will go though. :-)

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About £240 difference on Thomann.. I suspect the Th350's are stale UK stock because how could anyone cope with such a tiny amp? :D

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[quote name='chris_b' timestamp='1489577751' post='3258041']
At the risk of ruining a perfectly good witch hunt. . . . Not twice the price.

If my maths is right, the TH500 at approx £819 is slightly over 30% more expensive than the TH350 at approx £600.
[/quote]

No witch hunt just observation.

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[quote name='Jack' timestamp='1489599318' post='3258302']
If you decide that you occasionally could benefit from more power then pick up a used Behringer power amp or something for under £200. You're still way under the TH500 budget!

I think you'd be surprised how far 350W will go though. :-)
[/quote]

This. Sensible advice.

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