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Aguilar Amps: Understanding Bass DNA

Known by many as the “players’ choice” in amplification (and sporting a family of artists that’s easily a who’s who of sidemen and studio legends), Aguilar Amplification approaches the creation of their amps as an extension of the sound of the electric bass. “We’ve always approached the electric bass as an incomplete instrument, without a soundbox,” explains Dave Boonshoft, President, “so we design and create our amps to help complete that sound, which requires a lot of knowledge of what the electric bass DNA is.”

President, Dave Boonshoft, at the Aguilar Amplification Booth at the London Bass Show, 2014

That DNA, Boonshoft explains, is the tonal characteristic that defines what an electric bass is; fretted or fretless. Everything plays a part in that sound – body and neck woods, pickups, strings, preamps – so knowing how to work with these various ingredients is vital. It is by zeroing in on that specific character than has helped Aguilar create what they call the “Aguilar Sound,” but more importantly has given them the status and credibility in the circle of bass players and musicians.

Their signature amp, the Tone Hammer 500, is a powerhouse in a small package. Sporting 500 continuous watts, the amp is a svelt 4lbs and easily fits in the exterior pocket of your gigbag. It’s no wonder that the TH500 is used on stages all over the world. The flexibility of this amp allows you to put any number of different cabinet configurations under it to handle any gig in any venue, no problem. For those that want to shake the walls, Aguilar also offers the DB 751, a high-powered hybrid amp (tube pre with transitor power section) that can deliver up to 975 watts!

Remember though that the amp head is still only part of the equation. Boonshoft recommends having enough speakers to adequately handle your particular gigging situation. “The Tone Hammer gives you 500 watts, but if you’re running it through one 12″ speaker, it’s not nearly as powerful as a 4×10.” Sporting a number of different cabinets in enough configurations to suit ANY gig, Boonshoft explains that each series is just a little bit different to help the player define what their particulars wants and needs are. The SL Series sports neodymnium drivers with custom crossovers that have a very clean and even tone. Those wanting a little more “punch” would be good to move over to the DB series, that sport a clear, focused midrange and extended lows and highs; perfect for punching through a loud band while retaining your musical signature. And then there is the GS series, which is the original “Aguilar sound,” that has a deep low end with clear highs.

Adam Clayton of U2, one of the many artists that Aguilar is proud to have in their family of artists.

Adam Clayton of U2, one of the many artists that Aguilar is proud to have in their family of artists.

Whether you have a small club gig or are headlining a stadium tour, Aguilar Amplification has the equipment and options to cover any situation you may find yourself in (and we haven’t even talked about their effect pedals or pickups). As the extension of your instrument, the “Aguilar Sound” will complete your tonal vision and inspire you to new heights. For more information, please check out, or connect on various social media platforms.

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