Psst... Ready to join TalkBass and start posting, make new friends, sell your gear, and more?  Register your free account in 30 seconds.

Epifani 410UL & TL Audio 5051 reviews

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by el_Kabong, Sep 2, 2005.


  1. el_Kabong

    el_Kabong

    Jul 11, 2005
    I got my new epifani 410 about a week ago, thought I'd post a few thinks. Here tiz. :hyper:


    [​IMG]


    I upgraded from an ampeg svt410hlf which is a pretty decent 410 but for me at least, the epifani is in a different class all together. If I had to use one word to describe it, it would be definition. Even the lowest notes are superbly defined and pitches are so clear. From what I've read it's not the most 'uncoloured' of cabs (like perhaps accugroove or EA but I've not heard/played them) but it is transparent in as much as it highlights any changes in equipment or playing. Perhaps the word is revealing? In fact the first thing I noticed when I plugged in was that I was substantially overdriving the input of my classic and I'd never realised that before. I had to swap to the -15db input to clean things up. The bottom end is fabulously tight and punchy. The mids growl like crazy with my 5594 and the top end is extended and clear with no hiss from the tweeter. Purely by way of comparison the hlf sounds loose and mushy with scratchy highs. I never thought I'd describe that cab as mushy!

    It's true what everyone says about the epifani responding well to eq. Just a couple of db makes a big difference in the tone. It puts your playing, and the tone of all your other equipment right in your face (in a good way). My ebs octabass and IQ pedals have come alive, they never sounded like this before (on the other side tho my pigtronix doesn't sound as good). I also found that because I can hear changes so easily I was able to set up my boss comp/limiter properly for the first time. I was firmly of the opinion that it was a very ordinary compressor but now I've got it dialed in I actually prefer it to my multicomp, very surprising!

    I'd like to send a big public thankyou to Ken Jung for his advice and observations about replacing my hlf. Ken you were right on the money. Ken and few other folks were a litte wary about how the epifani would sit with an svt classic. Well in a word, it's magic. I don't run the svt hard enough for it to really break up and it gives such a clear, fat and growling tone I'm in heaven. That said, when the svt is really pushed, the epifani makes it very obvious that the tube power section is letting go, much more so than the hlf.

    Anyway my final thought about it is that if I were buying gear from scratch again I'd start with a cab of this quality. I'd never played anything this good prior to buying it. It's so revealing it's allowing me to evaluate my other gear properly for the first time. I think I could have saved a lot of money (and time) by starting with this cab and using it to evaluate other gear I was thinking of purchasing. I'm not saying everyone sould buy an epifani, I'm saying that if you're in it for the long run I think it may be worth getting something of this quality sooner rather than later and before you invest heavily in amps etc.



    In a fit of plugging everything into my new cab I thought I'd pinch my 5051 from my studio and give it a spin.


    [​IMG]

    I've never seen any talk about these on TB and I must say I wonder why not. Maybe people just don't know much about them? This is a good sounding rig. The 5051 is a very smooth and clean sounding box. The highs are very clear but not at all harsh. With the crest there's a certain 'wirey-ness' to the sound, particularly on the low strings that I think a lot of people would like. It has a good feature set as a bass preamp with compressor, gate, four band semi-parametric eq. It uses a tube gain stage in the input, the compressor and each of the four eq bands. The high and low eq's are shelving with selectable turnover points, high and low mids are peaking with four available centre frequencies each. The eq is powerful and musical. The compressor and eq can be independently switched completely out of circuit and the eq can be placed pre compressor. The compressor is not based on vca technology so it doesn't get that characteristic dull top end when it's pushed hard. It's also semi automatic. Although the attack and release times are manually adjustable it will adjust the time constants based on the signal it's processing. Bottom line is it sounds good and is very easy to adjust. The 5051 is not as expensive as some of the well regarded high end preamps I've seen on TB. But they are better designed than you might think. When neve went bust in the UK, TL audio hired a bunch of their engineers. Anyway just thought some of you might dig it if you knew about it! And by the way I'm recovering nicely thank you from the concussion sustained from 2000 watts into the epi....
     
  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
    Wow, it sounds like you have two nice rigs there? How does the low end with the SVT compare to that of the 5051/CA9? I am familiar with TL Audio gear, but I have never tried the 5051. It looks like just my kind of preamp! :D

    I really love the airy/woody high end of Epifani cabs, and one of these days, I really do need to hear the T-410UL! If what Kens says is right regarding how it compares to the T-310UL (which I was quite impressed with), I'm sure it's a monster (just in a very lightweight package!).

    This is so beautiful, I need to see it again:

    [​IMG]


    ;)

    Enjoy!

    Tom.
     
  3. Glad it worked out! Beautiful rig(s)!

    Ken

    PS I just had the Barts in my 55-94 swapped out for Seymours and like them a lot. It looks like you are playing the same Seymour Lakland combo.
     
  4. really nice rigs and a very informative review. Epi gear is great isn't it!

    Thanks for sharing with us.

    Regards

    Matthew
     
  5. el_Kabong

    el_Kabong

    Jul 11, 2005
    They're both very good but my preference is the svt. Comparatively I'd describe the 5051/CA9 as tighter and drier, the svt I hear as fatter, more complex and 'musical'. That wiry/stringy sound is more present with the 5051/CA9, it's nice and adds life to a slap sound. With everything flat the svt has more bottom/low mids. Even if I cut the svt mids or boost the ca9 there's a certain 'size' to the svt tone that I like. The 5051/CA9 has more grunt than you can poke a wombat at. It's tight as can be low on the B string, at volumes well past where the ampeg has dropped it's bundle. Both of them have great punch under your thumb at any reasonable (for me) volume. One thing about the TL stuff, the earlier versions did have problems with heat. I think it's wise to make sure their gear has plenty of ventilation. That's seems to be true for a lot of english gear. I'm in australia and I've had temperature problems with my allen&heath desk, a couple of english bass amps, even my pommie hifi.
     
  6. el_Kabong

    el_Kabong

    Jul 11, 2005
    Yeah I saw your posts on that Ken. Funny how that bass boomeranged back to you so you could put the SD's in. Those pu's are much more to my liking than the barts too. I'm glad they don't sell those dang celinders where I live though. ;)
     
  7. tombowlus

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

    Apr 3, 2003
    North central Ohio
    Editor-in-Chief, Bass Gear Magazine
    Didn't HHB Radial take over that line? If so, any thoughts on which is the better product, the TL version or the HHB version?

    Tom.
     
  8. el_Kabong

    el_Kabong

    Jul 11, 2005
    According to a presentation I went to they're exactly the same except for the colour. The HHB thing was a marketing exercise. I think don't think TLA supplies HHB anymore tho I could be mistaken.
     
  9. jokerjkny

    jokerjkny

    Jan 19, 2002
    NY / NJ / PA
    oh my freakin'...

    El K, that is an awesome rig... :cool: