Aguilar DB 212 Bass Cabinet
Price: about $900
Available at BassNW or other fine retailers
The Good Stuff:
It seems that we bass players are constantly discussing the difference between 10s, 12s and 15s, with no apparent end to the controversy in sight. Let me begin by saying that I personally like the beef of a 15 and the clarity and punch of 10s, but I don’t like bringing two cabinets to gigs. I also find that single 210 typically doesn’t cut the mustard for me, and that most 410s are a bit heavy to me. Also, some 115 cabinets are too muddy for my liking. The DB 212 is a great cabinet for a curmudgeon like me who wants the heft of a 115 and the clarity of 10s in a single cabinet (that is not monstrously sized).
As its name suggests, the DB 212 has two 12″ speakers and a tweeter. More specifically, the cabinet sports two beefy 56 oz cast-frame speakers, which allows it an impressive frequency range of 41 Hz to 16 kHz and 600 watt power handling. At 70 pounds, the DB 212 is a solid 28 pounds lighter than its 410 brother (the venerable DB 410) and 12 pounds lighter than 2 of Aguilar’s famous GS112 cabinets. I found the DB 212 to be easy to load in and out of vehicles, yet quite sturdy feeling when on stage. The build quality is flawless, and I would expect no less from Aguilar.
The sound is a great combination of 15s and 10s — a hybrid of tone. The low end is hefty enough for modern 5 strings, thumpy reggae or country, but there is more clarity and focus in the lows and low-mids compared to most 15″ cabinets. The high-mids and highs are smooth and warm, with a lot of punch like a 410. The tweeter is fully adjustable as well. I was quite pleased at how solid the DB 212 sounded when paired with a 410. It was different than a typical 115 + 410 setup, but very focused and warm. So, if you DO want to haul two cabs to a gig, the DB 212 would nicely replace a 115.
I have used this cabinet with my 1971 Ampeg SVT, an Aguilar DB 750, an Aguilar AG 500, and an Eden WT-400. No matter what amp was powering it, the DB 212 sounded good. Really, really good!
The Bad Stuff:
I have two minor gripes about the DB 212. First, I have said it before and I will say it again — it is annoying that Aguilar puts only one Speakon connector on the cabinet’s jack plate. This makes daisy-chaining difficult when your amp has only 1 speakon out. While Aguilar’s amps typically have two Speakon outs, many modern amps do not.
Second, the factory casters are wimpy. I concede that a cabinet should not need to have 4×4 capabilities or the ability to climb Mount Kilimanjaro. However, many of us play several shows per week and are constantly loading and unloading gear (without the assistance of road crew), rolling stuff here and there, etc. Having 3″ casters instead of the factory 2″ ones would make a lot of difference!
The Aguilar DB 212 is an amazing cabinet. With tight, beefy lows and warm, focused mids and highs, it is a good solution for folks who don’t want to haul multiple cabinets to a gig or to add some heft alongside a 410.