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Epifani 310UL...Wow!!!

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by vision, Jan 3, 2006.


  1. vision

    vision It's all about the groove! Supporting Member

    Feb 25, 2005
    Ann Arbor, MI
    I was able to pull the trigger on one of these a couple weeks ago, (thanks KJung!) but I wanted to wait until played with it a bit before posting a review. I've played through it on a few band rehearsals, and last weekend was my first actual gig with it. For reference purposes, I usually go for a punch/sizzle, Marcus type tone. Most of the gigs I do are in the R&B, funk, or jazz styles. I've been using an LDS 4x8 cab for the last 6 months or so, and I was playing through Eden cabs for years. I'm using it with an SWR SM400 right now, although I hope to get something else soon. I play a 5 string Peavey Cirrus.

    First off...this cab is LIGHT. I know you're thinking "I know its light" but trust me, its even lighter than you think. Lighter than the 47lbs specs sound. I loaded this thing in with one hand like it was nothing. After the show, I had the durmmer literally toss it down from the stage for me to catch. Its really that light. Last night at the house, I was able to lift it up while wrapping both pinky fingers around the handles. My cat could probably push this thing around on the floor while its on the castors. Its REALLY light.

    Secondly, it is very loud. I played through it at one of the loudest venues I usually play, with one of the loudest drummers in the area. And I had no problems at all hearing myself on stage and cutting through the mix. I used it with my SM400 (bridging it into 5.3 ohms should be a little over 400 watts.) Usually if I play a louder gig like this, I have to push the heck out of the SWR, and its hot enough to cook an egg on it by the end of the night. But this night I never had to push the master volume past 10:00, and I had plenty of headroom to spare.

    The low end was very full and punchy, all the way down to my .135 low B string. One thing I noticed with the 4x8 is that the low end was full when I was at home, but on gigs it seemed to go away. This wasn't the case at all with the 310UL. The top end is very smooth on the Epi - all of the sizzle I love is there but it doesn't have too much of a harsh sound at all. The top end on my SWR can get really brittle and harsh, and I usually have to cut some of the high mids to compensate. In the past that has been at the sacrifice of some of the clarity that I love, but through the Epifani it wasn't a problem at all - pure butter!

    So know my only decision is what head to replace the SWR with. I'm considering the Thunderfunk, the Eden WT550, and the Markbass LMII...

    I'll post a rig pic tonight when I get home from the office.
     
  2. How would you describe the tone with your EQ flat? Pretty balanced?
     
  3. vision

    vision It's all about the groove! Supporting Member

    Feb 25, 2005
    Ann Arbor, MI
    I would say that it is well balanced, but I wouldn't describe the tone "flat" by the consensus Talkbass definition...the high end is more open than alot of the cabs that people here call flat (Accugroove, EA, etc.), and there is definitely more sizzle. It doesn't really have a built-in scoop to it like SWR cabs, and it doesn't have the low midrange bump like the Edens and to an extent the Schroeders.
     
  4. vision

    vision It's all about the groove! Supporting Member

    Feb 25, 2005
    Ann Arbor, MI
    One other thing I noticed...usually on a long, loud gig by the end of the night my onboard eq has been moved all over the place as well as the eq on the amp. Basically because I wasn't hearing things the way I wanted them. But with the Epi I had my bass completly flat the entire night, and the SWR was set flat besides a bit of cut at around 800-900 hz. Which means that while I was playing all I was thinking about was the music, not my tone! :bassist:
     
  5. jokerjkny

    jokerjkny

    Jan 19, 2002
    NY / NJ / PA
    here's my response to your question, vision...

    but try this thread
    for more helpful feedback from other guys comparing the WT550 and the TFB550.


    i wrote up my thoughts to your inquiry in a post towards the end.
     
  6. +1 Joker! Interestingly enough, the only other amp I know that has a control similar to the TF's timbre control is the WW... with the 'balance control'... and it's the other amp I use regularly.... so I must be a 'timbre type guy' :bassist: . It's not quite as powerful as the TF's but works in a similar way... changing the voicing of the amp from the bass side to the treble side.
     
  7. jokerjkny

    jokerjkny

    Jan 19, 2002
    NY / NJ / PA
    yea, dave really hit a homerun in developing his timbre knob for the TF. no doubt, once more people get hip to it, i wouldnt be surprised by seeing more "copycat" design topologies leaching ideas from it.
     
  8. Vision, what is your idea of loud? How big was the venue, how old was the audience and what kind of music were you playing? I have often thought about one of these cabs, but then when I read Ken's comments that it wasn't quite enough for his loud gigs and the fact that Joker sold his, I started to wonder. Plus the 5.3 ohm part meant I couldn't add another cab if I wanted to.

    I currently play through a 115 combo, but I have higher aspirations as my financial situation improves. In the past I played 215's or a 115 and 210 setup. The UL310 is probably just fine for what I do since I usually play for an over 50 audience in venues under 250 seats: country, 50s-60s rock, jazz, early r&b, etc. (but no metal, punk, etc). I like the small, one cab, lightweight portability of this cab, so you have piqued my interest once again.
     
  9. vision

    vision It's all about the groove! Supporting Member

    Feb 25, 2005
    Ann Arbor, MI
    Nice...I LOVE Maurice's tone!
     
  10. jokerjkny

    jokerjkny

    Jan 19, 2002
    NY / NJ / PA
    thx to the crazies on TB, i finally got into him, too. ;)

    bottom line, if you like the open airy sound of the SWR, the TF or the Epifani are your choices. the Eden may even sound somewhat muddy to you.

    but, if you want something totally different that's fatter, warmer, thicker, yet at the cost of a slightly more relaxed feel. the Eden.
     
  11. vision

    vision It's all about the groove! Supporting Member

    Feb 25, 2005
    Ann Arbor, MI
    It was REALLY loud gig...it was a loud club packed with 500-600 rowdy 18-25 year olds, and it was funk style music with the band playing really loud. The big difference between Ken and I is that most of my gig's have PA support and most of his don't, so I can see why on his loudest gigs the 410UL will give him a bit more of what he needs.

    With the venue sizes you're playing and with those styles of music, I'm sure that the 310UL will be more than enough for you. Ken would most likely agree, the 310UL was enough for everything but his loudest gigs...
     
  12. +1 in a big way... closer to a 410 than to a 210 in volume, bottom and projection.
     
  13. jokerjkny

    jokerjkny

    Jan 19, 2002
    NY / NJ / PA
    admittedly, i did sell my first UL310 cab oh soooo long ago, when they first came out.

    but that was only cause i had NO idea what i had, and earlier this year (feb will be its first anniversary), i picked up another! funny, but in the meantime, the UL310 shed about 8 lbs. used to be 56 lbs. if memory serves me right, and they now weigh an even more svelt 47 lbs.

    again, botton line, this is my goto cab for all things funk rock trio, large ensembles, and that few and far btwn outdoor gig.

    no doubt, takes up one seat in the back of my 2000 accord, and fits easily into the trunk of a nyc taxi.
     
  14. burk48237

    burk48237 Supporting Member

    Nov 22, 2004
    Oak Park, MI
    Ken Jung and I did a serious A/B test between the WT550 and the Thunderfunk thru the 310 UL that LDS had. They are very close and the differences are more subtile then pronounced. The Eden IS warmer, and the TFunk is punchier. You will not be disappointed with either amp. My decision was based on the package almost as much as the sound. I already owned the Eden bag and the idea of throwing it over my shoulder with either of my LDS Neo cabs was more tempting then another rack case. Dave at Tfunk is a great guy, witness his contributions to the thread that Joker linked too. We PM'd each other several times while I was making my decision. I met David N from Eden at LDS (can't remember if you were there) and he is also first class. Two of the finest individuals in this business, and the timbre control works unlike one other famous switch in this industry. :D
     
  15. vision

    vision It's all about the groove! Supporting Member

    Feb 25, 2005
    Ann Arbor, MI
    here's a pic of my current rig...(please forgive my poor camera skills) :)

    [​IMG]
     
  16. vision

    vision It's all about the groove! Supporting Member

    Feb 25, 2005
    Ann Arbor, MI
    I wish I could have been there for that one...I've only checked out the Thunderfunk one time, and it sounded ALOT like the Eden. I'd like to hear them back to back sometime to see how I like the subtle differences.

    I guess its all just icing on the cake at this point...all of the amps we're talking about sound great! :)
     
  17. jokerjkny

    jokerjkny

    Jan 19, 2002
    NY / NJ / PA
    yup, i read thru Ivanmike's excellent treatise on the AMP to TF timeline.

    i will say that, gibson amp nonwithstanding, most other amps i've tried that does employ some sort of global "enhance" type of knob have never made me this excited like the TF's "timbre" knob does.

    from what i gather, the TF amp has probably improved what was started in the SWR amp and developed in the gibson amp. and whether it be the SWR or Eden amp, i never use those "aural enhancer" or "enhance" knobs for fear of crap-itizing my tone. :meh:

    but the TF's "timbre" knob is literally a whole other ballgame, that again, is "copycat" worthy. ;)

    and speaking of previous designs, the TF amp isnt a mere copycat. rather, i like to think of it as an *evolution* of what came before it. Dave recognized a great design, added, subtracted, and nurtured something that has now become a newly improved reissued classic.

    and for that, many of us, i'm sure are grateful. :)
     
  18. vision

    vision It's all about the groove! Supporting Member

    Feb 25, 2005
    Ann Arbor, MI
    Thats a good point. But I think of my SWR as a "get the job done" type amp. It doesn't blow me away at all like some other gear I've used...There is really like one good tone that I like on it. When I find that tone, I'm good for the night, but it would be nice to have more options. Also, I really like the sound of new roundwound stainless steel strings, so alot of the time my strings will start to sound more dead than I like during a gig. On other amps that I've owned, like my Demeter rack setup or the GK I used to play through, I could compensate for the strings by turning on a bright switch or boosting the treble a bit. But with the SWR if I boost the treble or transparency it sounds really artificial - the top end will be brittle sounding and thin. It also will have a nasal type tone...its like I'm boosting high mids at the same tame as the high end.

    I guess this is nitpicking, and since I was happy with the SWR last weekend its worth playing it with the Epi on a few more gigs before making a final decision.
     
  19. The other thing I remember with my old SWR400 was that it had a lot of very low bass extension.... I believe the term is sub-harmonics for something. In other words, that particular head really got the woofers moving. That sort of low end extension really eats up the power.... I found that other heads of similar wattage seemed to put out a lot more usable volume than this particular head. I 'fixed' the problem by using a variable shelving roll-off control on a Rane parametric to severly roll-off everything under 30 hz.

    So, I believe you will get significantly more usable volume with some other head eventually.