The Tone Hammer and AG Identities

The Tone Hammer and AG Identities

One of the most frequent questions we get asked is what the differences between the Tone Hammer and AG amplifiers are. To answer this question, it is best to briefly look at the history of both amps. When Class D bass heads first came on the scene many players felt like they were too sterile sounding and too far of a departure from the tone of the traditional bass heads that came before them. So, we set out to design our own Class D head that had all the benefits of being lightweight but still could deliver warm and expressive tones.

And the Tone Hammer was born!

The Tone Hammer features unique analog circuitry that adds a wooly dimension and “pillowy-ness” that players find attractive and inspirational. It emulates the character that we have come to love from classic tube amp designs, with its warm, fuzzy goodness and rich character. Combine that with the Drive circuit and its 3-band EQ section (with sweepable mid control) and players have the tools to dial in their own personal tones.

A few years after the Tone Hammer 500 and its younger sibling the Tone Hammer 350 were introduced, players started asking us if we would make an amp like the Tone Hammer, but with an ultra-clean tone.  A considerable number of bassists had started using loopers and play-along tracks, or just desired a more high-fidelity sound, so they were searching for an exceptionally clean amp tone.  

With this in mind, we designed the AG.

Well, to be clear, we redesigned the AG. You see, Aguilar’s first ever all-solid-state amp was the original AG 500 head. This iconic amp featured a very clean sound and the 4-band EQ with deep and bright switches that you are now familiar with, but utilized a MOSFET power amp. This was the DNA we cloned to make the Class D AG heads.

The AG delivers an extremely clean tone with lots of headroom.  What this means for bassists is that they have a transparent bass amp that accurately amplifies their bass's sound and the nuances of their technique. Players who use effects pedals also love the AG because of its clarity. After all, painters use pure white canvases whenever they want the truest representation of the colors they create with.  For the tone-shaping section the AG features a 4-band EQ section with both deep and bright broadband boosts, making it very powerful yet also extremely easy to use.

When comparing the sounds of the Tone Hammer and AG bass amps you can simply think of it like this: the Tone Hammer has a classic amp sound and the AG has a high-fidelity amp sound. This gives players the ability to pick the amp that will best enhance their musicality.

But these are just words.

The absolute best way to learn the personality of both amps is to grab your favorite bass and go to your local music store that carries Aguilar. With the help of a store employee set the tone controls on both amps to the 12 o’clock position and the Gain knobs so your bass sounds full but is not clipping. Now just play – both on your bass and with the tone controls on the bass heads. This will give you the best opportunity to understand the character of both amps and how they will fit into your own musical voice and goals.

-Dale Titus


The Tone Hammer and AG series are available in 500 watt or 700 watt versions. See them here 

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