Aguilar Agro Bass Overdrive review

Back with a brand-new look, the Agro aims to cram Aguilar’s AG 500 overdrive channel into something you can stomp on

Aguilar Agro Bass Overdrive
(Image: © Bass Player)

Guitar World Verdict

A smart-looking, great-sounding overdrive with some neat design features.

Pros

  • +

    Loads of great overdrive on offer.

  • +

    User-friendly controls.

  • +

    Solid construction.

Cons

  • -

    Only that its price may keep it out of reach for some.

You can trust Guitar World Our expert reviewers spend hours testing and comparing guitar products so you can choose the best for you. Find out more about how we test.

Bassists who enjoy a chunk of crunch in their tone will be delighted to hear that amp manufacturers Aguilar have given a sleek new look to their pedal range, which includes the Agro Bass Overdrive.

The brief, Aguilar tells us, is to replicate the Saturation channel of their AG 500 head in a pedal: quite a challenge by anybody’s standards. Can they pull it off?

Features

The Agro has clearly been designed with efficiency in mind rather than a pointlessly high number of features.

Apart from the engage switch (which illuminates a very cool blue LED), and the usual in/out and DC power sockets, the pedal has four controls – Level, Saturation, Presence and Contour.

The matte black chassis, with its bevelled edges, new-look Agro logo and premium machined knobs, creates a great first impression. The whole thing feels sturdy and well-engineered.

Aguilar Agro Bass Overdrive

(Image credit: Bass Player)

Sounds

The overdrive effect itself is versatile and sounds great. In its upper range, the Saturation control turns you into Lemmy on Ace of Spades, or Chris Wolstenholme on Hysteria – although with more low-end in both cases.

We’ve all played through drive pedals that remove your bottom-end at the flick of a switch, causing your bandmates to assume you’ve fallen off the stage. Not so with the Agro. When you step on it, you still sound like you, only a beefier, more powerful version.

The Contour control drastically scoops the midrange EQ when applied counterclockwise and leaves it flat at the other extreme. The Level pot offers a cone-shredding volume spike if you inadvertently switch it to max.

Overall, we really like the tone and vibe of the Agro. The controls are sensibly set up to provide plenty of usable sounds through their entire range – not always the case with bass overdrive.

Conclusion

If you’re after a great-sounding, flexible and dynamic overdrive, you really need to check this pedal out. The sounds on offer are rich and saturated yet articulate and defined, with a gratifying amount of your bass guitar’s own tonal character allowed to shine through.

However, before we lose all sense of objectivity, there’s a downside to point out: it’s not cheap. The retail price is $334.99, and even though all of that money seems to have gone where you want it to to go – making the Agro sound great – that’s quite a lot of cash. Having said that, while you might find flashier-looking pedals for this kind of money, you’ll have to look a lot harder to get one that sounds much better.

Aguilar Agro Bass Overdrive

(Image credit: Aguilar Amps)

Specs

  • PRICE: $334.99 / £255
  • ORIGIN: USA
  • TYPE: Overdrive pedal
  • CONTROLS: Level, Saturation, Presence, Contour
  • FEATURES: Contour control: broad spectrum mid scoop centered around 900Hz, presence control: + 6dB/-20dB >4kHz, Gig-saver bypass 
  • POWER: 9V DC power supply 
  • CONTACT: Aguilar Amplification

Thank you for reading 5 articles this month**

Join now for unlimited access

US pricing $3.99 per month or $39.00 per year

UK pricing £2.99 per month or £29.00 per year 

Europe pricing €3.49 per month or €34.00 per year

*Read 5 free articles per month without a subscription

Join now for unlimited access

Prices from £2.99/$3.99/€3.49

Nick Wells
Writer

Nick Wells was the Editor of Bass Guitar magazine from 2009 to 2011, before making strides into the world of Artist Relations with Sheldon Dingwall and Dingwall Guitars. He's also the producer of bass-centric documentaries, Walking the Changes and Beneath the Bassline, as well as Production Manager and Artist Liaison for ScottsBassLessons. In his free time, you'll find him jumping around his bedroom to Kool & The Gang while hammering the life out of his P-Bass.