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Aguilar Tone Hammer
Overall Rating
Submitted: October 17th, 2008
by Anonymous-pg0pC
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Sound Quality
OK why did I buy this? Even though I have great Aguilar rigs, I do a lot of Jam sessions and let's face it, Aguilar amps are heavy and I don't like to drag around my DB680 preamp everywhere, because they are discontinued. I own a ton of basses but when it gets down to it I'll go to one of my vintage P-basses every time, which is where the problem lies. If I end up plugging in to a dumpy amp I can't get the mids or low end I want. Because it s a passive instrument...and I am not going to rip apart a vintage instrument to put in a modern EQ. I also like a dirty sound, not a massively overdriven death metal kind, but a nice preamp-grit where the gain knob is turned up just enough to give you the ability to overdrive the sound when needed by using string pressure. Well, what can I say, this little box really does it for me. It can add in a whole lot of low end without getting mushy and the sweepable midrange is what you need...why would you want a fixed midrange??? I never understood the logic. No single midrange frequency works best for all basses. As for the drive section, I wasn't expecting much and I was wrong. For a solid state drive you can get some nice touch sensitivity and it can get very close to the touch sensitivity I was talking about earlier. When you turn it up and it "starts" to break up it can be made to sound close to the drive of a vintage blackface Bassman or a 70s SVT and that IS my sweet spot. I am not saying that it sounds like a fully cranked SVT or blackface. It sounds like them when you are in the early stages of breaking up, not full blown drive. So after going after my sweetspot I cranked up the drive and got out my 5 string Sadowsky and to my surprise got some nice brutal Tim Commrrford (Audioslave) tones. This will not make you sound just like Tim, there is much more to his tone than just an overdrive pedal. But after experimenting with several basses I got a lot of nice overdrive tones, more than just about any pedal out there. The tone/gain controls are very very very interactive. so it takes somepatience, but its worth it for the versatility. So to sum it up this is a fantastic pedal that does what I need. Why a 9 instead of a 10. Well thee main reason I got this was when I was plugging into amplifiers that weere not my own. In this situation a tube would be nice to ad more warmth. This has a warm tone, but a tube would make it warmer IMO. I hven't played anything I like better.
Reliability/Durability
I own a lot of Aguilar stuff and it has been very ruggeg...and like every other Aguilar thing I own it is built like a tank and weigs a ton :)
Price/Value
General Comments
I have been playing bass for over 25 years and If this was lost I would buy another one. I have played other DI/EQs and this really does what I need it too. For me a sweepable midrange is a must and many others don't have it. I am a tube nut all of my ampps are all tupe pre and power amp so I do wish that this had a tube in it. With that being said, I have about a million tubes in my signal chain so I probably don't need any more. Furthermore, it gets great tone, so maybe I don't need a tube in it...and if it did have a tube in itr then I couldn't operate it with batteries which is nice. I hate giving out 10 but I have to because top to bottom this produce does a great job. Another great aguilar product!!!
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