aesthetic with its black, textured-vinyl covering and black-and-white grille cloth. A nice
highlight of the SL 112 is the custom crossover, which minimizes the 1 kHz “honk”
associated with neodymium speakers.
The combined weight of the 4-pound
Tone Hammer 500 and two, 25-pound
SL 112s is equivalent to the average 1x15
cabinet with a ceramic magnet. With that
in mind, it’s safe to say this rig combination has “one-trip” portability along with its
cool, classic looks.
But How Does It Sound?
I put the Tone Hammer 500 and two SL
112s through their paces using a 1964
Fender Jazz bass, a Nash P-style bass (with
flatwound strings), and a carved German
upright equipped with a Fishman BP- 100
pickup. The Aguilar products were also
combined with Glockenklang amps and
cabs to assess the compatibility of the
Aguilars with other brands.
It was clear from the first three notes
that the test rig had that Aguilar sound.
Set flat, the
TH500 and SL
112s created a
tone with warm
a solid, but not
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Set flat, the TH500 and SL 112s created a tone with warm midrange and
a solid, but not overbearing, low-end
punch. With the tweeters turned down,
it was easy to hear the crossover at work.
The highs were present, yet smooth,
with no harshness or edginess. The rig
could bark, particularly when soloing
the bridge pickup on the ’ 64 J bass and
boosting the mids. What was most surprising was the way in which the warm,
vintage-like tone of the Aguilar rig
could be modernized with a twist of the
tweeter controls on the SL 112. Setting
the level to 12 o’clock on the tweeter’s
Volume control gave the rig some zing,
great for slapping on the Jazz bass.
The sound of the upright came
through fairly well and the accuracy
of the lightweight rig brought out the
“string sound” of the Fishman BP- 100
pickup. If you are pleased with your current bass and pickup, there is a very good
chance that the Tone Hammer 500 will
complement your sound nicely.
Of all three instruments, the Nash
was the winner when paired with the
Aguilar rig. The growl and heft of each
note was delivered with authority. Slides
and vibrato techniques came through so
well, it gave the Nash an articulate, Barry
White-style timbre. Oh baby.
Combining the Aguilar amp and cabinets with other brands garnered some
interesting results. The warmth of the
Tone Hammer 500 sounded great with
the Glockenklang Space Deluxe 112 cabinet, establishing a tonally balanced rig.
The aggressive midrange of the SL 112s
added some life to a Glockenklang Soul
head, evoking a responsive and articulate combination. This brief experiment