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Aguilar DB925 Bass Preamp review

A new tone-shaping pedal from Aguilar in a small, but perfectly formed, package

Aguilar DB925 Bass Preamp review
(Image: © Future)

Our Verdict

An impressive new release from Aguilar, the DB925 can transform your passive bass performance, or act as an always-on tone sweetener.

For

  • Excellent tone-shaping.
  • Particularly effective with passive basses.
  • Small footprint.

Against

  • Pricey compared to similar pedals.

The recent range of Silver Anniversary pedals, celebrating Aguilar’s 25th anniversary, includes the DB925, an all-FET broadband preamp pedal allowing tonal sculpting of your bass tone. 

Housed in a micro pedal format, the limited footprint on your pedalboard is a positive aspect while the potential improvement to your regular bass tone is significant. 

At first glance, the casing and sturdy build quality are what we’ve come to expect from Aguilar – and although the two controls are small and vertical, the potential for damage is limited. 

Offering 18dB of broadband boost from the bass (40Hz) and treble (4kHz) controls, the frequencies around these two points are also boosted, which sweetens the overall tonal response. This means that increasing or decreasing the bass control will also affect the low mids, while operating the treble control will affect the upper-mid frequencies.

In operation, the unit’s sonic performance is impressive, adding more presence and power to the bottom end, tightening up the mids with detail and definition and – when pushed – offering a glassy, sparkly top end even when using strings that have long since been played in.

The improved tonal depth propels passive instrument performance, while active instruments may only need a slight tweak here and there as they already have an active EQ on board. The pedal is still usable in the latter case, as it gives the player the opportunity to create a different tone which can be switched in or out as and when required.

In operation, the unit’s sonic performance is impressive, adding more presence and power to the bottom end, tightening up the mids with detail and definition

Thankfully, all of the tonal possibilities are musical, and neither control sounds harsh, extreme or unusable when pushed to its respective limits. As a result, I can see many players gravitating towards this pedal for the tonal possibilities it has to offer.

This pedal performs a particular function, of course. If you prefer to control your mid-frequencies with a separate control, consider Aguilar’s ever-popular Tone Hammer DI pedal. The asking price is not insignificant, and some players may question this unit’s flexibility compared to other preamp pedals on the market.

Still, as with all the best preamps, when I turned the DB925 off and returned to my non-effected tone, I found myself wondering why I’d put up with my bass sounding like that for so long – and that counts for a lot.

Specs

  • Price: $149 
  • Made In: USA 
  • Features: Broadband Bass (+18dB @ 40Hz), broadband Treble (+18dB @ 4kHz), ¼” in, ¼” out  
  • Dimensions: 95mm (3.74”) x 42.5mm (1.67”) x 50mm (1.96”) 
  • Power: 9 volt DC power supply
  • Contact: Aguilar Amplification