Aguilar Tone Hammer Bass Preamp DI Pedal

91 out of 100. Incorporating 300+ ratings and reviews.

The Tone Hammer is a versatile amp-in-a-box pedal that is especially designed for bassists by Aguilar, a music equipment manufacturer known for their bass-centric products.

It follows the same formula as the bass amp head version, although smaller and without the ability to drive speaker cabinets.

It features OBP-3 preamp circuit and Aguilar’s proprietary overdrive called “Adaptive Gain Shaping” or AGS, which lets you tweak your tone from subtle enhancements to overdrive crunch.

It also houses built-in EQ and DI out capability.

The Mid Freq and Mid Level knobs let you sweep through the midrange frequencies, allowing for a wide variety of voicings, from laid back to up front.


  • Preamp: AGS OBP-3 Preamp Circuit with Overdrive
  • Controls: Gain, Master, AGS (Adaptive Gain Shaping) Footswitch, Ground Lift
  • EQ: Treble, Bass, Mid Freq, Mid Level
  • DI Function: Pre/Post DI Switchable
  • Input: 1 x 1/4″
  • Output: 1 x 1/4″, 1 x XLR (Balanced)
  • Power: Optional Power Supply, 2 x 9V Batteries, Phantom Power
  • Dimensions: 2.6″ x 5.5″ x 4.4″
  • Weight: 2.4 lbs


A lot of bassists consider the Aguilar Tone Hammer pedal as one of their can’t-live-without pieces of gear, pointing to its sound quality as its best attribute. Many claim that it made them sound better, be it for vintage tones to modern grit, and you can go through a wide variety of tones with just a few knob tweaks. It’s rugged build and nice looking interface were also commended.


Some people rated this pedal lower because they had to pay extra for the power adapter, but they had good things to say about its overall performance. One user noted that while the design is sturdy, the extra metal sheet that protects the buttons at the top takes up more space, and can also hinder right angled jacks that are often used on pedalboards.


For a pedal that can do modern overdriven bass sounds well, the Aguilar Tone Hammer sounds just as good for subtle vintage style tones. Get this one if pedalboard space is limited and you’re looking for a versatile preamp.

NB: Although this used to be on our recommended list, there are now more highly rated options available which you can see in our guide to The Best Bass Preamps.