UPDATE: Tone Hammer is a good amp for vintage tube amp emulation; but it comes with a lot of coloration and woolliness in the mids. If you want a cleaner & more intuitive amp, I highly recommend the relatively new Aguilar AG 700.
After watching Ozan Musluoğlu use them live on our gig with Kenan Doğulu and getting a suggestion from Volkan Hürsever , I have decided to upgrade my rig to an Aguilar Tone Hammer 500 + SL 112. This is great stuff; the tone is amazingly transparent yet powerful, and the adjustable tweeter is a nice touch.
After experimenting with my new setup for a while, I had some questions for Aguilar customer support, and they answered me very quickly & throughly. I would like to share their reply with everyone; it could be useful for other players out there.
Question 1) Since the amp outputs 2x 250W @ 8Ohm and each cabinets is 250W @ 8Ohm, I think that there is no chance that I might blow the cabinets; assuming that I connect a passive Jazz Bass directly with flat amp settings (drive off)? My intuition and the manual tells me that if I connect one cabinet only, the amp sends 250W to it, so I can max out the amp level without any risk of damaging the speaker. If I connect two cabinets simultaneously, the amp sends 250W to each cabinet, so I can’t damage them that way either. Does that make sense, or am I missing something?
You are correct, when using two of the SL 112 cabinets with the Tone Hammer 500, each cabinet will get 250 watts. The SL 112 can handle 250 watts of continuous power but will handle peaks at almost double that! So you will have plenty of power handling for many situations. It is always possible to overpower cabinets – especially as you mentioned if you “max out the amp” – but your ears would certainly let you know if you are doing this as you would hear them “farting out” as you play.
Again, you will have plenty of power and should have no restrictions on performance volumes.
Question 2) This question is about the tweeter volume of SL 112. I understand what the tweeter does and how I can turn the tweeter up / down. My question is, what is the balance point of the tweeter? I mean, is the tweeter volume a cut-only control – like the tone control of a passive Jazz Bass? Or, is it at unity on 12 o’clock so I can cut / boost it? How does it work?
The tweeter in our cabinet is flat in the fully counter-clockwise position and then as you turn it clockwise, it brings more of this in. It does not actually cut from the flat position but you can use as much as you need. Many of our players set the tweeter in the middle position – set at noon.
I think at noon that you are going to have plenty of highs in your sound BUT you can set this however you like.
Question 3) This is a combination of 1+2. Is there a risk of damaging the tweeter due to excess volume from the amp if i turn the tweeter all the way up, or is the tweeter setup in such a way that it can handle whatever the rest of the cabinet can handle as well?
Very similar to what I mentioned above, if it is set to maximum and you are playing at high volumes while slapping or using a distortion pedal, it might be possible to overexert the tweeter diaphragm but that is a small easily-replaceable part.
Question 4) I know that it is a matter of taste, but I am curious about the general preference on how players usually setup the tweeter balance on two cabs.
The vast majority of our artists keep the tweeter on the bottom cabinet off and then the top cabinet at noon.