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Review

Aguilar AG 700 and SL112

Issue #51

Once again bass giants, Aguilar are back with another great new piece of kit for Dan Veall to test drive. What’s the verdict this time? Let’s find out.
Dan Veall

Pros

Stylish
Great tone
Dependable
Shaving off the lbs. to be heard without a trip to the chiropractor

Cons

We’re up in boutique prices in the UK

Aguilar AG 700 and SL112

Once again bass giants, Aguilar are back with another great new piece of kit for Dan Veall to test drive. What’s the verdict this time? Let’s find out.


If you’ve been with us for a while, you may remember we looked at Aguilar's TH 500 in GI Magazine Issue 27. That was a superb amplifier to review for so many good reasons (too many to list!) so with that still in mind; it’s very exciting to have the AG700 here to compare.

First off, It's is a little bit different. 700 Watts at four ohms or 350 Watts at eight ohms, this very lightweight head weighs in at just 2.2 kg and is going to be easy to carry around but at the same time plenty loud enough for all of your backline needs, jazz to rock.

The front panel controls are straightforward and familiar but no less effective for it:  Treble, High Mid, Low Mid and Bass active EQ providing cut and boost at four tailored frequencies. There are also switches for ‘bright’ to add top end sparkle and ‘deep’ for low-end bass boost and punch.

In my video, you’ll see these in operation and I dialled in some really useful sounds without lots of effort. My Bass, a personally customised Japanese Fender Power Jazz Bass Special from the late 80’s, which is active does also have a high output and I used the attenuating input pad to bring my signal under control and to stop it from distorting the preamplifier. Though this could be something that you might favour actually.  To the right-hand side of the tone and input gain controls, we have an effect loop for feeding your line level outboard effect devices and to the right of that a master volume. Incidentally, you can see we have the volume set low for the review, but don’t think that it is quiet! On the front panel is an XLR ‘balanced output’ socket with associated function switches. Finally,  to the right of that we also have a blue power on light and also an indicator to tell you when the amplifier is operational as there is a ‘mute’ switch underneath.

We can enable the mute function to allow for silence tuning or changing instruments without any pops or bangs from your speakers. Round the back then, a pair of Speakon outputs for hitching up speaker cabinets are of the locking type. There is a standard power input connector and the AG700 has a universal power supply meaning it will auto-sense to the mains voltage wherever you are in the world. Keeping things cool under the bonnet, there are two high-quality fans on board, and you'll hear them kick in when the amplifier needs to cool down should you be in a quiet environment but not something you’ll notice on stage. On these small form factor high power D-Class amplifiers, similarly powerful fans are needed to react quickly to temperature changes. For that reason, I have no problem with hearing them spin up every now and then.

 

Moving on then, below the AG700 is the super light-weight almost helium filled SL112 cabinet. It features a 12-inch cast frame woofer with a 7-ounce neodymium magnet. Paired with and extending the top end a phenolic tweeter with integral phase plug delivers a sparkling top end to new strings. Inside, a custom crossover with variable tweeter control on the back of the cabinet should you wish to tame or add extra top end "zing".

The cabinet is made from 12 mm light ply and is an astonishing 11 kg! With a quality handle built in, It’s an easy one hand carry too.

The SL 112 imparts a punchy tone with lots of midrange bloom. The low end is there but this cabinet I feel is more about getting through the mix rather than slamming it with low-end subs. if you are used to a cabinet with a more scooped sound than this one you are going to find your notes pinging out of the speakers.

The cabinet is rated at 8 ohms, so a pair of these as a stack will get you a 4 ohm load on the amplifier. The good news though is that the AG700 can handle down to 2.6 ohms meaning you could attach three of these cabinets to give you some serious air moving capacity! (or for example one 4 ohm and one 8 ohm cabinet without going below minimum load specifications).

Each SL112 cabinet is rated at 250 Watts RMS. Should you wish to ‘go large’, well, Aguilar has a massive range of bass cabinets with different voice characteristics. The GS series, for example, having a more scooped and classic Aguilar sound; I would love to hear the GS212 with the AG700. I bet that will be a total win! Please don't forget, if lightweight is necessary but you like the sound of 10-inch speakers, Aguilar also offer the SL410x. Weighing in at a mere 22Kg you can’t help wondering if they are using witchcraft or simply forgot to put hardware inside to keep the mass this low.

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Issue #53

Black Country Communion

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