Aguilar Pre-Amp FET outboard Reviews 4

$80, new at closeout price from Mars Music. I have a home-brewed hybrid accoustic with a passive magnetic PU and a *very* active accoustic PU that hugely overwhelms the single passive neck PU. To combine both to one amp, I needed something to boost the signal from the passive neck PU, so I tried the Aguilar and it proved useful for other uses as well as solving the balance problem.

It's 18v, in a sturdy case, simple to use. To match output from the two PUs on the bass in question I used to turn the passive up full while turning the active PU so low it was only barely "cracked open" on the bass. This left me no way to alter the balance while playing. The Aguilar boosts the passive PU enough that the active PU can be brought up [from barely open] to about 1/2 way on the on-ax controls. IOW, the amout of boost being applied by the pre-amp to the passive PU is roughly equal to the gain at the midway point of volume control for the active PU.

The Aguilar has no input for an AC adapter, no belt clip, and is a boxy piece of metal, meant only to sit on the floor or on your other gear. Also, don't imagine you can discard the outer case and instal this inside your ax because you need 18v, and the circuit is encased in plastic and solidly glued [epoxy?] into the outer metal case. Removing it would surely damage it. You must remove four small screws to change the batteries, although if you go through a lot of them you could just leave out the screws all the time and tape the case shut.

The pre-amp has three knobs: volume, bass and treble. Even with the bass and treble knobs flat, I find there's a pleasant EQ effect compared to not using the pre-amp, and the additional "two channel EQ" from the knobs is still available. The spring leaves of the jacks are easily accessed by opening the case, should they ever need to be tightened. The whole thing seems built for the long haul.

Ovrerall, it's a fine pre-amp, sturdy and simple, at a reasonable price, for external use only. It adds no noise that I 'm able to detect [unlike the noisy gain from small outboard EQ boxes!].

Golem rated this unit 4 on 2003-02-12.

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