Aguilar Tone Hammer 500 and SL112 Cabinet

25 March 2012 | 12:38 pm | Karl Willebrant

Weight ...not in regard to how heavy, but how light, comes into consideration here with the brand new Aguilar Tone Hammer 500 along with its portable and flexible counterpart, the SL 112 bass speaker cabinet straight from their New York factory.

Aguilar Amplification has created a 500 watt bass head that is loud and punchy, versatile and musical that weighs in at a jaw-dropping 1.8 kilos with a sound the size of a giant, but still managing to comfortably fit into most gig bags. The “sound” is produced by the Tone Hammer`s preamp. This is the same preamp that is used in the Tone Hammer DI/preamp pedal, which Aguilar released a while back and  has proved very popular with players all over the globe.

Features across the front of the Tone Hammer 500 include input jack with a -10db input pad, gain, bass, treble and  fully sweepable mid level and mid frequency range controls. Send and return effects loop inputs intended for use with professional rack gear with a nominal input level of 4db, master volume, balanced XLR out with post/pre and ground/lift input pads, iridescent bright blue clip, operate and status lights, an operate/mute input pad and finally the most prominent feature here is the Drive control.  The Drive control utilizes Aguilar's proprietary AGS (Adaptive Gain Shaping) circuit, adding subtle to heavy distortion and EQ to create a variety of sounds. I found that by experimenting with the sweepable midrange controls you can dial into certain frequencies of EQ. By pushing the mid level up, you dial in to the more higher end of mids giving you more bite and nasal tone. By pulling it back, you go into the lower more bass end of the mids, giving you a much warmer, richer texture. Now the fun part is to dial in the Drive, bringing in the distortion. You can help this along by pushing the gain up past 1 o`clock, the more you push the gain the more distortion you create. Experimenting with the drive and mid level controls in this fashion, you can create an array of tones from a prominent top end gnarly distortion to a wet sub sonic growl, or if you just require that little bit of push with a touch of dirt, it's there at your fingertips.


At the back of the amp you have two speakon outputs for bi amping combinations as long as the load does not go below 4 ohms, tuner output which the signal will still reach the tuner when the amp is muted, an input voltage selector allowing you to change the operating voltage for the world traveling player, fan with grill, the on/off switch and kettle cord plug socket.


The classic vibe looking SL 112 bass cabinet from Aguilar is part of the ever-growing SL series cabinets. SL standing for Super Light. This particular cab weighs in at just below 12 kilos. No need to bend the knees on this one, this is a one handed job! This 46cm deep cabinet represents a new direction to the world class “Aguilar Sound”, featuring one 12” cast frame woofer, neodymium drivers and phenolic tweeter with an integral phase plug employing a custom crossover to punch out a bass sound that is deep, dynamic and balanced across the entire frequency range of the cab.

Marry the two together and its a match made in heaven, well of course they were made to be with each other. As is, the two will handle most if not all gig situations, raising a smile with its big punchy tones to pure warmth to grinding distortion in the clubs, venues and studio sessions.  Add another SL 112 or SL 410 cab to the mix and you have your stack for the bigger stage gigs, or a choice of the two depending on the requirements of the gig.

The Aguilar Tone Hammer 500 with the SL 112 is very appealing to the player who is on the go from gig to gig and has proved to be incredibly  popular since its release back in March this year. It was even difficult to obtain this product for review, I obviously got one but only for 3 days as the popularity here in Australia for the Aguilar range is starting to outstrip supply. It has attracted players of various scenes and genres including U2`s Adam Clayton, Australia`s own Byron Luiters from John Butler Trio and bass legends such as Freddie Washington and George Porter Jr. They are all proud endorsers of the Aguilar sound. This amp is a great choice for the working bassist.

Karl appears on the latest live album releases “Live In the Moment” by Jimi Hocking and Shannon Bourne`s “62:49” . Available now!

Don't miss a beat with our FREE daily newsletter


Aquilar Tone Hammer 500

Power Output: 500 watts into 4 ohms,
250 watts into 8 ohms

Preamp Section: Solid State

Transformer: Switching mode power supply (SMPS)

Drive Control: Fully adjustable, featuring Aguilar's proprietary AGS (adaptive gain shaping)
circuit Effects Loop

Two Speakon speaker outputs

Balanced Output: XLR balanced output with
pre/post EQ and ground lift switch

Cooling: Two high quality whisper fans
with thermal speed control

Warranty: Three year limited

Price - $1099.99


Aquilar SL 112 Cabinet

Neodymium Magnet

Phenolic Tweeter with integral phase plug

Power Handling: 250 watts RMS Impedance: 8 ohms

Frequency Response: 37Hz to 16Hz

Weight: 11.34 Kg

Warranty: Three year limited

Price - $1199.99