TC Electronic RH450 VS Aguilar Tone Hammer 500?

Discussion in 'Bass Guitar Discussion' started by elkinz, Jul 9, 2015.

  1. elkinz

    elkinz Pun Enthusiast

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    Hey guys :hbang:

    Iv been looking at these two bass heads and wondering what the pros and cons of both are and what experience you may have had with either, and any alternatives you may have to.

    I play a lot of rock/metal, but also love to play jazz and other stuff too so im looking for a bit of versatility and flexibility in tone:agreed: Ill be running an Ibanez SRFF806 through it if that helps!

    Cheers guys!
     
  2. Grand Moff Tim

    Grand Moff Tim Some call me... Tim

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    I've got a TH500 and I absolutely love it. No complaints whatsoever. I use it to get a really clean, even tone, though, so I haven't done much experimenting with the gain knob. It does take pedals really well, though, so even if the built-in dirt isn't to your liking, you can find a pedal that will be. If you want just a nice, clean bass amp, I'd recommend it. It's also nice that it only weighs like 2kg and can fit in a messenger bag :lol:.
     
  3. elkinz

    elkinz Pun Enthusiast

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    I REALLY love how small the heads both are. Which is a huge thing for me because I don't have a lot of space as it is! Its really good to hear you get an even tone cause that's something id love in an amp. I actually carry most stuff in a messenger bag as it is :p

    I have a darkglass b7k for grit/drive so im good in that department :) What im wanting out of an amp is a punchy tone, but also have the ability to roll it back and have a nice warm, growly tone too for jazz and quieter stuff. I play lots of metal live and I am always after a metallic sort of tone for that context. But at home I LOVE jamming to bands like snarky puppy and that sorta deal!

    Versatility I guess!
     
  4. Grand Moff Tim

    Grand Moff Tim Some call me... Tim

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    I think what I've noticed about the TH500 is you're pretty much going to get out of it what you put in to it. It isn't like an amp that will always really sound like that amp no matter what you're playing through it, it's going to really depend on the bass, pickups, preamp, and effects you're using.

    I know that sounds pretty obvious, since that's what you'd hope to get from any amp, but the Tone Hammer really feels like it responds very... I don't know... appropriately(?) when I run different gear through it. I really dig that about it because when it comes to bass gear, the things I value the most are transparency and clarity. The amp is the canvas, so I want it to clearly represent what I'm painting on it with the bass. The TH isn't completely without color or its own character, presumably especially once you start leaning on the gain knob and fiddling more with the Mid Freq control, but I like that for the most part when you play through a TH, you don't sound like a TH, you sound like you.

    If you're wanting an amp that will give you a specific tone, like Geddy clank or vintage Ampeg thump, you might not be able to get it with the TH on its own. For that you'll probably have to bring some pedals into the picture. I do think the amp sounds awesome on its own and its ability to work well with pedals is one of the great things about it, but if there's some specific sound you're wanting to get out of just the amp right out of the box, you might be barking up the wrong tree.

    Incidentally, Aguilar's TLC Compressor is also super transparent, if you're ever in the market for a nice compressor pedal.
     
  5. TemjinStrife

    TemjinStrife Power Metal Cellist

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    Aguilar is punchier, warmer, and growlier than the TC. The TC excels at sounding kind of like an "old school" amp, but the Aguilar has a much more immediate attack, more clarity, and less "wool."

    I tried both extensively and settled on the Tone Hammer. I'm glad I did, too.

    Also note that the plastic knobs on the TC protrude significantly from the front of the amp, and the knob shafts are plastic also, which means they get sheared on bad bumps. Happened to a friend of mine.
     
  6. elkinz

    elkinz Pun Enthusiast

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    Tone hammer it is! Im really after what Tim described so that's perfect :) TC looks cool but not really after an old school sound only. Plus the aguilar looks bloody tough built.

    Thanks a ton for the help !
     
  7. KhzDonut

    KhzDonut Luthier, Gamer, Heretic

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    Yeah the knobs on mine almost all broke off with regular, gentle use. The pots were fine, but the teeth that hold the knob onto the pot shafts are tiny and brittle.

    And replacing them is like $10 a knob, which is just... No. :nuts:
     
  8. hairychris

    hairychris Hairy Old Bloke

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    Another option is going GK. I'm using an MB800. Very clean & punchy, the gain is pretty nice too (the 800 uses similar circuitry to the RB series), and mindbendingly loud. It's also about 2kg in weight. Only disadvantage is a noisy fan.

    I was thinking about Agulilar and Markbass as well, wasn't as turned on by the TC.
     
  9. elkinz

    elkinz Pun Enthusiast

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    After all your guys comments, im pretty put off the TC RH450. :eek:

    Ill check out the GK MB800 too. So far I cant find any local deal who stocks that model of GK :scratch:

    Thus far im really swayed towards the Aguilar, but im gonna give GK a clean shot too :wavey:
     
  10. KhzDonut

    KhzDonut Luthier, Gamer, Heretic

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    In its defense, it does the job very well. Handles a low B extremely well (or in my case, Low G ;) ), the multi band compression is excellent, and it's loud as hell. The presets are super handy, the tuner is extremely responsive, and the EQ is flexible.

    Tone wise? It's a bit "generic." There's nothing that makes you go "oh yeah I want that TC Electronic sound!" like there is with like... Ampeg or GK.

    But it's flexible, accurate, and clear. Perfect for running a B7K or something into it in order to get your signature sound.
     
  11. elkinz

    elkinz Pun Enthusiast

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    much of the time that is what ill be doing. But I also want the ability to have a nice clear jazz tone when im not playing metal or rock haha.
     
  12. iron blast

    iron blast Northern Winds

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    I'm quite impressed by the Warwick lwa 1000 amps you should look into those also very affordable and excellent dual channel amp
     

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