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AccuGroove at NAMM

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Thunderfunk, Jul 31, 2004.


  1. Thunderfunk

    Thunderfunk

    Mar 27, 2004
    McHenry, IL
    I just returned from exhibiting at the Summer NAMM show in Nashville and had my new AccuGroove Tri 210L delivered directly to my booth to use in demonstrating my Thunderfunk TFB420 amps and also used with my co-exhibitor, U.S. Masters Guitars. I thought you guys might like to hear my impressions of the AccuGroove cabinet.

    First off it doesn't compare to anything else on the market. I've read some other threads giving impressions of the AccuGrooves relative to other cabs and it just can't be done. The AccuGrooves are basically transparent and invisible. You hear the bass, the amp, and the air. When someone says cabinet "A" is "brighter" that means it's not flat. It's not that the AccuGroove isn't bright, it's just flat.

    I noticed the attenuators came from AccuGroove set full up. We started to play the cab and I never lowered them. The next day I was thinking about this and realized that if the attenuators were turned down, they'd be using up power JUST TO EQ THE CABINET. AccuGroove realized that also and designed the speakers and attenuators to run full up so as to not waste your amp power. Attention to detail.

    Then I started to think about the whizzer cones on the 10's. If AccuGroove is putting whizzers on the tens, there's a reason. then I started to think about all the cabs out there that don't use whizzers, and realized again that MOST cabs are designed from stock or "custom" designed drivers; tested and listened to a little bit and accepted for production. If the "book" says the tens cross over to the horns at such and such a frequency and it's pretty flat, that's good enough. AccuGroove just isn't happy until it's perfect. I realized ALOT of thought went into the design of this cab.

    Then I started to look at how big this cab is. it's deeper than other cabs I've owned. Adding depth increases the air volume rapidly, and strengthens the cab. But I started to think about how heavy this cab must be, especially with the individual boxes inside. All that "extra" wood. So the first time I picked it up I had another guy help. It felt like a feather. When I got home I looked up the weight and it's 57 pounds. There's something about weight you might have noticed. A friend gave me a quart glass jar filled with newspaper and it weighed a ton. Then he opened it up revealing a small test tube filled with mercury. It weighed two tons. Our perception of weight is tempered by physical size. A 57 pound glass jar seems a lot heavier than a large wood box. These AccuGrooves really do feel like empty briefcases. When I went to put it into my Ford Escape it fit easily. It isn't as big as it looks.

    I had been curious about the speaker being full range and still being called a "bass cabinet." So, I asked a guitar player to try out the TFB420 "Bass Amp" through the AccuGroove. He went nuts. He had worked with Tom Petty and said the combination had the Vox AC-30 at the edge of breakup tone session players are always looking for. This really surprised me. I had never played guitar through it myself, and of course had never had an AccuGroove cab before. To double check this, I had Darin Favorite try out the amp/speaker combination when he showed up. Darin's one of my endorsers and has been using a Thunderfunk tube guitar amp for over ten years playing with Shania Twain, Patty Loveless, and is now Pam Tillis' band leader. He used a U.S. Masters "Tele" style guitar that he immediately fell in love with and he freaked out over the amp and cab. We arranged for me to stay after the show for two extra days so he could use the amp and speaker combination for a session he was producing at "The Money Pit" studio. If you find this hard to believe I've attached a photo. (In the photo he's playing his Darin Favorite Signature model San Dimas guitar). He cut all his clean guitar tracks with this combination. His tracks lifted themselves out of the mix. I wrote to Mark Wright about this and he told me that he has recording artists using the cabs for acoustic guitar, jazz guitar (George Benson style) and keyboards. We did back off the attenuators for this session.

    So in closing I have to say that I was blown away by this cab and find it incomparable to anything else. If there's a thing called perfection, this is as close as you can get to it. If you're in Nashville you can check this out for yourself by contacting Steve Cochran at Meyer Sound located inside SoundCheck.

    Dave Funk

    (DISCLAIMER: I have no financial interest or business connection with AccuGroove or U.S. Masters Guitars outside of sharing equipment at NAMM shows, and an admiration for their products.)
     
  2. tombowlus

    tombowlus If it sounds good, it is good Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 3, 2003
    North central Ohio
    Editor-in-Chief, Bass Gear Magazine
    Nice review, Dave! I, too, recently acquired a Tri 210L, and it is truly a phenomenal cab. I use mine with and without my Whappo, Jr., and it shines in either regard. The wizzer cones really do seem to help in upper mid articulation, IMHO.
     
  3. jokerjkny

    jokerjkny

    Jan 19, 2002
    NY / NJ / PA
    nice review, Dave,

    hopefully, it arrived in much better shape than poor sixontimber's Tri112. :meh:
     
  4. Mike Money

    Mike Money Banned

    Mar 18, 2003
    Bakersfield California
    Avatar Speakers Endorsing Hooligan
    wait wait wait

    Your friend has a test tube that has 2 tons of mercury?


    :confused:
     
  5. jeflepard

    jeflepard

    Nov 11, 2003
    USA Atlanta, Ga
    I just bought my Thunderfunk amp 6 weeks ago and I was running it thru a Bergantino HT 322 and this amp really pushed this cab- it really was too much bottom. I bought an Accugroove El Whappo Jr and it is a big difference. It is rich,full and I can hear my bass. I can control my tone with the bass instead of the amp. It is a great combination. I love my rig. The Accugroove and the Thunderfunk is easily the best rig I have owned.
     
  6. Thunderfunk

    Thunderfunk

    Mar 27, 2004
    McHenry, IL
    Mark Wright wrote me this:

    Like I said, they really thought this thing out.

    Dave Funk
     
  7. Whappo Grande

    Whappo Grande

    Feb 9, 2002
    Santa Clara, CA.
    Manager: AccuGroove Speakers
    Glad you're enjoying your new AccuGroove cabs Dave, jeflepard & Tom.

    Norm Stockton dropped by our show room last week & almost fell over when he cranked up his gorgeous MTD through the Tri 210L. Someday you'll need to hear two of them together; it's kind of scary…

    Mark
    AccuGroove.com
     
  8. tombowlus

    tombowlus If it sounds good, it is good Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 3, 2003
    North central Ohio
    Editor-in-Chief, Bass Gear Magazine
    Trust me, I am enjoying my cabs! However, I would be curious to hear how you think the sound of a Whappo, Jr./Tri 210L combo compares to two Tri 210L's.

    Later, Tom.
     
  9. Thunderfunk

    Thunderfunk

    Mar 27, 2004
    McHenry, IL
    I left my Tri 210L with Steve Cochran at Meyer Sound located inside Sound Check in Nashville. I talked to him last night and he said they recorded a Taylor acoustic guitar with the TFB420 and the AccuGroove and he said it was beautiful. He then said he wants two.

    Dave Funk

    TFB420
     
  10. knuckle_head

    knuckle_head Commercial User

    Jul 30, 2002
    Seattle
    Owner; Knuckle Guitar Works & Circle K Strings
    Still have them actually, and Mark you'll be getting them back very soon.

    AccuGroove shipped a Whappo Jr/Whappo Grande pair for use with my breadth of beasts. 85 dB never sounded so big. To preface, the rig used during the show was an Aguilar DB 659 pre into a Crest LT1500 which we were never capable of running higher than -25 sadly.

    The instruments I brought are a challenge to sonically reproduce in the first place as the majority of the basses were tuned below low B. Two of the basses were subcontra being tuned to F# and octave down E.

    The Jr offered up a wide breadth of full range sound and were it not for the extreme tunings this cabinet alone would have made my instruments shine. We spent the weekend with the aggie set nearly flat and the high frequency attenuated down just a smidge on the Jr - none of the basses on hand took advantage fully of the frequencies they support.

    What got most of the attention (and our personal appreciation) was how the subcontra frequencies were present and lush all the way down to 20.5Hz. We stood the cabs in the back corner of the booth and sat a stool about 6 feet off the face of the cabinets. The F# and E was extremely impressive even at such a short distance.

    The two in combination were most conspicuous from a distance. I did get occasion to leave our immediate area to meet other vendors and mist philosophic on eventually being in the big room, and upon returning got a tremndous appreciation for the throw on the pair as I re-entered our display area. I knew in a heartbeat what I was hearing and feeling and recognized it as coming from my booth even when I was more than 150 feet away.

    I thank you Mark for your kind support and an astounding accomplishment that is the stack I had use of in Nashville. And I just happened to be accross the aisle from where the Thunderfunk resided - truly an amazing combination. I got the opportunity to take my bass over and play for mere moments. So much really good sound out of such compact gear - I was amazed.
     
  11. Whappo Grande

    Whappo Grande

    Feb 9, 2002
    Santa Clara, CA.
    Manager: AccuGroove Speakers
    Skip,

    It's a blast to call you & Dave friends & to help in a small way the fantastic work you both are doing. (Just wish I could have been at the show) Each of us is trying to solve problems & stretch the limits of what others say can't be done.

    Make sure you crank the cabs before you ship them back...;)

    Mark
    AccuGroove.com
     
  12. Tom, how is the cab with just your Walkabout for power? Is your's equipped with the Accu Switch? I can see that as a great help to working bassists. Why tote the big rack (for a small gig) when you can switch to 4 ohm and run this thing with one of the mini amps?
     
  13. tombowlus

    tombowlus If it sounds good, it is good Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 3, 2003
    North central Ohio
    Editor-in-Chief, Bass Gear Magazine
    I hadn't tried that yet, but I will try to do so soon. Yes, my Tri 210L has the Accuswitch. Brilliant idea! I may send my Jr. back to Mark to have the Accuswitch installed.
     
  14. Whappo Grande

    Whappo Grande

    Feb 9, 2002
    Santa Clara, CA.
    Manager: AccuGroove Speakers
    Tom, just for you I finished off 3 Tri 210L cabs & a Jr. to find out.

    First observations: The Jr. has a little more mid-range & upper mid-range & highs compared to the Tri 210L. This comes from the 4-way cabinet design & the 12" mid-woofer that the Jr. has.

    Second observations: Both the 2 Tri 210L cabs & the Jr. with the Tri 210L are just sick. However, same conclusion, a little more mid-range & upper mid-range & highs compared to 2 Tri 210L cabs. With out adjusting any EQ it’s a little cleaner & Hi-Fi sounding. The bass response is about the same on both.

    Third observation: Because I just made & drank a pot of French Roast coffee, I hooked up 3 Tri 210L cabs...ouch!! Don't know if I'll ever do that again, but I would like an excuse to.

    Test gear: Thunderfunk head, Lakland USA Joe Osborn 5 & Ritter fretless 6 string Classic.

    Hope this helps

    Mark
    AccuGroove.com
     
  15. Thunderfunk

    Thunderfunk

    Mar 27, 2004
    McHenry, IL
    And Mark, I forgot to emphasis that the Tri 210L feels like an empty box. It feels like it has no drivers in it at all; That it's full of feathers, helium, or air. The combination of a 15 pound TFB420 with a 57 pound Tri 210L makes an unbelievably light, powerful, and transparent system. I don't know how you do it. Electronics is easy, but speakers involve immutable laws of physics. (I suppose electronics does also, but mechanical systems are always more difficult and expensive).

    Dave
     
  16. Whappo Grande

    Whappo Grande

    Feb 9, 2002
    Santa Clara, CA.
    Manager: AccuGroove Speakers
    It's actually Accu-lium. This is our exclusive Patent Pending weightless substance that's part Groove & part Helium...

    During my test I switched the AccuSwitch on the Tri 210L & Jr. to 8 Ohms for a 4 Ohm load. (I love this switch) However, when you do it to the 3 Tri 210L cabs, it's still a 2.6 Ohm load.

    That Thunderfunk did not blink an eye. It pulled the load & was loud & clean. An 1,800 watt load @ 2.6 Ohms; I would not recommend it, but it sounded fantastic!

    Mark
    AccuGroove.com
     
  17. billys73

    billys73

    Apr 25, 2003

    Okay, here's my idea. Mark, you got cabinets; but you need amps.
    Dave, you got amps; but you need cabinets.
    Name of new company: Accufunk! or......Thundergroove!

    What do ya' think?
     
  18. Thunderfunk

    Thunderfunk

    Mar 27, 2004
    McHenry, IL
    The amp will drive a 2.6 ohm load or even a 2 ohm load. It just won't develop much more power. What players have to understand is when a manufacturer designs an amp they start with the voltage needed to swing a certain power level. Then they design the amount of current needed to drive the target impedance. When guys say, "My amp will develop 1,000 watts into a 2 ohm load" it isn't "free" power. It really means that the amp is designed to develop maximum power into 2 ohms. That means that when it's used to drive 4 ohms, your actually carrying around unused current capacity. Excess unused weight. And at that low impedance you need huge speaker wire. If the speaker wire has 1/2 ohm resistance, times 2 (2 wires), half the power is being consumed by the speaker leads! And at low impedance loads (high loads) the amp can become unstable. The things they don't tell you.

    That's what's so cool about the AccuSwitch. One cab, set it for 4 ohms. Two cabs, set it for 8 ohms (2x8=equals 4 ohms), and you have maximum power at all times. Want the amp to run cooler, or quieter? One cab at 8 ohms. It doubles the flexibility of the cab. Add light weight and fantastic sound and wow! Why weren't these available when I was playing?

    AccuFunkyThunderGroove
     
  19. tombowlus

    tombowlus If it sounds good, it is good Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 3, 2003
    North central Ohio
    Editor-in-Chief, Bass Gear Magazine
    Thanks, Mark! I appreciate you going through this effort. Of course, you now having me Jonesing for two more Tri 210L's! Or one more, to sit on top of my Jr.!

    IMHO, the Tri 210L and the Whappo, Jr. are very synergistic, and complement each other well. We may have a "classic cab combination" brewing (in addition to your coffee)!
     
  20. tombowlus

    tombowlus If it sounds good, it is good Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 3, 2003
    North central Ohio
    Editor-in-Chief, Bass Gear Magazine
    I was wondering about that. I seem to like a lot of three cab combinations, and of course this often presents impedance issues. That is why I like a head that can handle a 2.67 or 2 ohm load. Dave, perhaps the TF can handle 2.67?