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Euphonic Audio 800 vs. Thunderfunk 550

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by savinggrace, Jun 11, 2005.


  1. OK, so here I go one last time.

    I have now pitted the Euphonic Audio against the Ashdown 500 and the Aguilar 500 and the EA has come out soundwise on top (for me at least).

    Now I am comparing it to one last amp, the Thunderfunk 550.

    Here is the situation:
    I have an original i-Amp that Ashdown made for EA. I actually like the sound but I need more headroom and wished it was fuller in sound. (Which I have heard that the newer EA's have)

    My Set-Up:

    -Read Custom passive 4 string bass w/ Lane Poor p/u's and Mahogany body (I love this bass- my one and only- I have had it for 4.5 years now)
    -Epifani 2x12 (an older version put out in 2000)

    My sound:
    I like the openness of the i-Amp that I have. I play chords quite a bit and like a very clear and articulate bottom end. I like my sound to be slightly warm but not too much. I want to be able to cut through the mix well, but would never want to have a "growly sound". I like the highs to sound "piano-ish" as they do with my current i-Amp.

    Please help me to end this long, maddening search for the ideal amp! Thanks!
     
  2. jokerjkny

    jokerjkny

    Jan 19, 2002
    NY / NJ / PA
    nothin' touches an iAMP for sheer clarity.

    besides, why mess with a good thing?

    and www.basstasters.com is your friend.
     
  3. David Wilson

    David Wilson Administrator Staff Member Administrator Supporting Member

    Oct 14, 2002
    Lower Westchester, NY
    yeah, if you're digging it and getting the sound you want, why not just stop there?

    And I'm saying that as a very happy Thunderfunk owner :)

    The TF can do the articulate hi-fi sound, it can also be warmed up for more old school sounds using the timbre control. Personally, I spent a LOT of time with the iamp800 and it just never made me love it. No knock against it, it's a great amp, just wasn't for me in the end.
     
  4. Well the one thing that my current i-Amp (the original i-Amp) does not do is cut through on the low end as much as I would like it to. I do not know if the newer i-amps like the 500 or the 800 cut better than what I have. And I also want a more fuller sound which I think the Thunderfunk would give.

    But I am not sure so I need other peoples recommendations as far as these qualities go...
     
  5. I have to agree with davidmwilson....I really had a BAD case of GAS for an iAmp800 at one point but I have a friend who has one (he LOVES it!!) and spent a lot of time (about 12 hours or so tweaking through different cabs with different basses) and I just could not fall in love with it.....I don't know if it was because of the Digital thing or what but I just thought it was "OK"....not dissing the amp at all, it just did not move me like some amps do...

    I was floored by the T-Funk from the moment I hit the first note through my El Whappo......It was damn near perfect right out of the box...tweaked the Enhance and Timbre controls just a tad nad I was there.....I would suggest that you try them side by side if you can and choose the one that is right for you....

    IME the Thunderfunk could definitely get you what it sounds like you want...

    Peace,

    T
     
  6. Basstasters is actually the reason I am considering the Thunderfunk!

    I have to say that the i-Amp has such sweet highs that ring out with a bell tone quality. I love that and doubt any other amp could achive such. With the chordal stuff I do it is simply amazing. But it is not, initself, enough justification to buy the 800 if I can not cut through the low end better than my currrent i-Amp.

    I am sure the main reason for this is due to using Lane Poors in a mahogany body on a passive bass. Which is a sound that I do like. With the i-Amp added to this, I am duplicating the natural sound of the bass unplugged as purely as one could hope for. However, the low end does not stand out as much as I would like it to in the overall mix. Maybe the newer i-Amps will be punchier on the low end than what I have?

    I unfortunately can not do a side to side comparison, unless I get a Thunderfunk and than compare it with my i-Amp- which might be a bit unfair to Euphonic Audio's newer amps...
     
  7. Indeed, you would, Mike!

    And actually I got an email back from Gary from EA saying that my amp is two generations back and said that my i-Amp would sound dead in comparison. Whoah....

    Its now just that whole low end cutting through 'thang. Mike- how would you compare the 800 to Thunderfunk in this area?

    Also Gary said I might be happy with a 500 as even the 350 has more volume and fullness than the original i-Amp that I have that is rated at 435 watts. (Due to improvements made in the power supply).

    Also Mike or whoever-
    With myself playing only playing through a Epifani 2x1,2 do you think I need the power & headroom of the 800, or do you think the 500 will do? Will the lows be as articulate with the 800 compared to the 500 or about the same?

    Thanks!!!

    Dean
     
  8. I've had an early iAmp800 and now own a TF550. The iAmp sounded great, was PLENTY loud, and had wonderful tone control. However, I find the TF to punch through in a gigging situation (playing pop music) somewhat better than the iAmp. They are both great amps, but the TF just seems effortless in getting a very good, usable punchy sound. The iAmp can really put out some wapping low end, but the TF low end seems to be right where it should be to punch through a busy mix. I'm very comfortable with the semi parametric low and treble tone controls (and parametric mid controls) on the iAmp, but the character of the low end was not my cup of tea, no matter how I set it. I also never found any of the presets useful at all... the low enhance was too huge and floppy sounding, the two mid presets too scooped, and the high boost just so extreme as to be unusable. However, you can just ignore them, and I guess if you have a relatively unresponsive cab or a bass that has some weakness in certain frequencies, they might be more useful... no big deal.

    I play at relatively high volumes and have never run out of headroom with the TF (I usually run it into a 4ohm Epifani410UL). Your would be happy with either head, but if you are a 'plug and play' guy, and especially if you play pop or funk music, the TF is the way to go (IMO)
     
  9. Mike Dimin

    Mike Dimin

    Dec 11, 1999
    Clinician: EA, Zon, Boomerang, TI. Author "The Art of Solo Bass"
    I've owned both the 800 and the 500. For most of my gigging situations the 500 is wonderful, but the headroom that the 800 provides is REALLY useful, especially if you re playing with a wide dynamic range

    Mike
     
  10. I mentioned the chiclet switches never failed (but they do feel cheap to me!)... I did mentioned that I like the plug and play nature of the TF, and I put my comments in the context of more traditional pop music playing. It sounds like the iAmp500 or 800 would be an excellent choice for Dean, given his pleasure with the older iAmp and his playing style (I again said he would be happy with both amps). However, since he said he liked the sound of the TF on Basstasters, I thought I'd throw in my experience with both amps on many gigs (since that was the purpose of his starting the thread), within the context of my playing style and sound requirements.

    PS I did not AT ALL mean to imply that you have a good impression of the amp because you represent the company... my comment basically suggested, as you pointed out, that you really like the EA stuff, so much that you represent the company. The guys at EA are about the most honest and helpful people I've ever dealt with over the years. Sorry if you intepreted that the other way... if I had meant that it would be very cheezy and not in the spirit of the site. I really enjoy getting and giving opinions on this site, and try to be as honest as I can, providing my playing context, sound that I am trying to achieve, other gear used, etc.
     
  11. Mike Dimin

    Mike Dimin

    Dec 11, 1999
    Clinician: EA, Zon, Boomerang, TI. Author "The Art of Solo Bass"
    cool, i think we have an understanding
     
  12. Ditto... please see my edit also :)
     
  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
    First off, I think that the iAMP 800 would be much more powerful, tight, and full in the low end department compared to your older iAMP. I have not found a SS head that does tight, full lows better than the iAMP 800.

    Second, on the whole, I find the iAMP 800 to be more full sounding than the Thunderfunk (I have only tried the 400 watt version). To my ears, the TFunk, set flat, has a bit more high mid to treble energy and excitement than the iAMP 800, set flat. The Thunderfunk has a great deal of clarity, as does the iAMP, but they seem to accomplish this clarity in different ways, with the Thunderfunk having a very slightly hyped high end, by comparison. It also has a fairly full tone, overall, but IME the iAMP 800 has a slightly thicker, and more taught low end.

    They are two very good amps. I slightly prefer the iAMP 800, though I can certainly see how others would prefer the Thunderfunk.

    Tom.
     
  14. +1 per Tom's comments.... it's a good problem to have... which of two great heads do I want!
     
  15. Wow... lots of good information.

    For the record, although the Thunderbass caught my attention due to Basstasters, I am also painfully aware of such limitations that this sort of medium has. The i-Amps chordal sound is definitely better sounding on the site and when I play chords through mine, my heart simply melts. The Thunderfunk lower end sounded a bit more clear and punchy. However, the type of bass and pickups and wood play quite a drastic difference with the i-Amp and also the knobs are all set flat on the Basstasters site. So there are severe limitations when comparing in such in such manner. (What happens when ya tweak this knob here...)

    I am leaning towards the i-Amp. And probably a 500 will due since I was told that the 350 has more power and headroom than my original i-Amp (rated at 435)

    Thank you everyone!

    Mike- I am anxiously waiting the time when I can hear you on the road!

    Dean
     
  16. Cool on your choice. It sounds like for your playing style, that 500 should work great! I'm with you 100% on the basstasters thing. It's a good basic way to get a feel for an amp, but can be very misleading. I'm not a big fan of comparing amps set 'flat' since just a small tweak on the tone controls can drastically change an amps sound (for better or worse sometime!).

    PS FYI....I had a nice Mooridian bag for my 800 a while back. The 800 was a little large and heavy for a bag, but the 500 in a bag would be perfect. Mooridian custom makes carry bags that are very high quality with a large pocket included for cords, etc.
     
  17. Hrothgar

    Hrothgar Guest

    Sep 22, 2003
    Seattle
    I hear a lot about these two amps. Since I don't have any experience with either, i was wondering with your guys' experience which might be right for me considering:

    a) I'm powering a Berg HT/EX stack with a Mike Lull V4

    b) I hate turning knobs...

    c) I play a heck of a variety of musical styles, from dirty funk to classical to rock and speed metal, for example.

    Thanks in advance!
     
  18. tombowlus

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

    Apr 3, 2003
    North central Ohio
    Editor-in-Chief, Bass Gear Magazine
    Either would work quite well, but with the Berg HT/EX112 stack, in my experience, nothing beats the Walter Woods Ultra.

    Tom.
     
  19. Hrothgar

    Hrothgar Guest

    Sep 22, 2003
    Seattle
    Speaking of WWU, I just found one in an ad posted in my area (Seattle) for 1800. Sound like a good deal to you? Not sure exactly what the going rate is on these, seems to be difficult to find much info.
     
  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
    Dude, that's a stellar price, if it is an Ultra High Power and it is in good condition! One just sold on ebay for $2,600!

    Jump on it!