Aguilar AG500SC -
Aguilar AG500SC

From Manhattan, New York, we add these great amps to our amp stock in the shop.

A little bit of history:

Alex Aguilar, co-founder of this brand along with bassist Dave Boonshoft, is the man behind the legendary Sadowsky onboard preamp. In 1991 Aguilar opened his own amp repair shop (next door to Sadowsky); Dave Boonshoft needed a studio quality tube preamp and asked Alex to build one for him, and the mythical DB680 was born ("DB" for Dave Boonshoft). BAsed on the success of that unit, they created Aguilar Amplification in 1994. Later would come the DB359 and DB728 heads, the OBP-1 internal preamp, and later the brand's flagship, the DB750 hybrid head, as well as the GS and DB series of bass enclosures, the world famous DB924 external preamp and the OBP-3 internal preamp (used by dozens of luthiers) and the new AG500 amps. From 2003 the company is run by Dave Boonshoft and Dave Avenius.


This is the most affordable and straight forward Aguilar head, but also quite impressive. Read on!

The AG series marked a new direction for Aguilar, as the first units with no tubes inside. The power section is Class T, a variation of Class D, only more efficient, developed by Tripath Corporation. Just take a look inside and you'll see a nice Toroidal Transformer; this ensures plenty of power for all the electronic components. 4 huge capacitors act as a power reservoir if needed.

Louder Watts:
The power section offers 500W RMS at 4 Ohms, and you get the feeling that there's always more power available thanks to the impressive headroom. Many brands measure power at peak over a specific frequency (typically 400 Hz), especially tube amps, but if you measure it at 80Hz you'll see you get much less power. Aguilar do it "the right way", measuring at the whole sonic spectrum. That's why Aguilar Watts seem to be louder Watts.

Instead of featuring complex EQ and tone shaping filters, Aguilar have chosen to keep things simple, yet you get all the essential tools to help you get a great tone. This amp is so good, you'll probably be more than happy with all the EQ set flat, but of course it is always nice to get some options in order to change your sound when needed. The "Deep" (+6dB <100Hz) and "Bright" (+5dB >4kHz) switches give instant power and crispness to your sound, and the 4 band EQ is well designed and musical.

The concept behind the Aguilar Sound is based on a high quality power amp section that is flat and transparent sounding, letting the preamp do the sound tweaking part of the job. This is inherited from Aguilar's flagship amp, the DB750.

Some nice features, at a glance:

-Perfect Effects Loop: pull "Send" for -20dB operation, pull "Return" to switch from Paralell to Series. Neat!

- Professional Balanced DI with Pre/Post EQ and ground lift switches

- Input pad (-15 dB) for active or hot basses; the "Peak" indicator lets you set up the correct input gain easily in order to get the best performance and signal to noise ratio. By the way, this amp is dead quiet.

- Tuner Output, and footswtich controlled"Mute"

- All this in a very light amp (8Kg/17 lbs) that comes with a side handle and ear racks.

We are seeing more American brands move their headquarters and/or manufacturing facilities to Asia in order to reduce costs. Nothing wrong with that, but the truth is most of the times you get a lesser amp that doesn't sound half as good as the original, nor do they compare in terms of construction, components or quality control . We are happy to see that Aguilar are still making their amps and cabinets in the US, and are making them with painstakingly attention to detail and quality control.

Aguilar AG500SC

Aguilar AG500SC

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