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Is it worth upgrading my ThunderFunk TFB420 to a TFB550-B?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by nad, Mar 18, 2006.

  1. nad

    nad 60 Cycle Humdinger Commercial User

    Sep 22, 2005
    Not Mars
    The Overlord of Nordstrand Pickups
    Or should I wait for the next next upgrade, like a TFB1001RB or something. Just curious. Cheers!
  2. The sound is very similar IMO, but you do get more headroom and some additional features. I would only consider the upgrade if:

    - You are pushing the 420 to its limits... i.e., you push it to distortion on your loudest gigs (I would doubt that's the case:) )

    - You want, on occasion, a somewhat more modern, hi fi sound (i.e., a little more treble sizzle than you are getting).. since the 550(a and b) have the switch. However, it's not a huge difference in sound, but is very noticable if you are a 'new round wound' slap player.

    - You really need the pre-eq DI or a mute switch.

    If the anwser to any of the above is a strong 'yes', then I'd consider selling your 420 and purchasing a new 550(b). If not.... keep, enjoy and use the money elsewhere IMO.
  3. jerry

    jerry Doesn't know BDO Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 13, 1999
    I've pondered the same question and decided to keep the 420.
    I've had mine for quite awhile now, and still totally love it. I don't think the 150 watts will make all that much difference to me. Now if Dave decides to make a 1000 watter or a preamp version, that will be another story.;)
  4. David Wilson

    David Wilson Administrator Administrator Supporting Member

    Oct 14, 2002
    Lower Westchester, NY
    yup, I'm extremely happy with my TF. I have one of the 'hybrid' in-between models, it's a 550 in a 420 housing.
    I love how it sounds, so I have no interest in upgrading to the -B model for the sake of it. As Jerry said, if an 800W+ version came out, I'd be all over it however :)
  5. jokerjkny


    Jan 19, 2002
    NY / NJ / PHL
    that's what i'm waiting for. ;)

    i used dave wilson's TFB on a pre-thxgiving loft party gig, and was more than happy with it. i only got the TFB550, cause at the time, i couldnt find a used 420, and lord knows DW wasnt gonna let me pry his fingers off of his 420.

    the only thing i wish my 550 had was the little indicator light to tell me which position the switch was in, but that's nitpicking.
  6. Lync


    Apr 13, 2004
    For me it is the "don't fix it if it ain't broken" thing. The TF-420 sounds killer and I have never run out of headroom. Why mess with a good thing?

    The greatest thing about the TF IMO is that it still goes quite loud with a single 8 ohm cab. I use it mostly with an Ampeg Classic 1x15 (8ohm) cab and it is really a great setup.

    I used it in a club a few weeks back that had a house system and was able to just use that setup for the bass. They weren't able to put me through the system since half of it was dead (gotta love the places I play), but you could still hear and feel me out front.
  7. Chef

    Chef Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    May 23, 2004
    Columbia MO
    Staff Reviewer; Bass Gear Magazine
    KJUNG and I have talked this over extensively offline.
    I have and love, and have gigged a "plain ole" TFB420 with no ''switch'' or nuttin' for about 12 months or so.
    I haven't played one with the switch, and can't really see needing it: it's plenty clean without it, even for double bass.
    I've tried *a lot* of other stuff trying to find anything I like better.
    I can't.
    150 watts of additional headroom probably is not enough that you'll hear or feel it. I very seldom run mine past 3-4 at the input, and 5 at the master...and I play some pretty big rooms.
    I vote "if it ain't broke, don't fix it."
  8. JOME77

    JOME77 Supporting Member

    Aug 18, 2002
    I went through the process of having to make the same decison. While the extra headroom would be nice, it'll cost you at least $500-600. IMO, clearly not worth it. Dave Funk resisted upgrading the 420 for over a year because he stated that you'd barely notice the extra 100-150 watts headroom. Obviously he finally gave into the numerous request for more power but 100-150 watts isn't enough to lay out $500-600 for. Now 300-500 watts additonal......that's a different story!:)
  9. jokerjkny


    Jan 19, 2002
    NY / NJ / PHL
    yea, its nice to have, but i keep mine in the default voicing for both my electrics and EUB.
  10. nad

    nad 60 Cycle Humdinger Commercial User

    Sep 22, 2005
    Not Mars
    The Overlord of Nordstrand Pickups
    Thanks for the replies!

    Yeah, I'm thinking if/when an 800-watt (or more) version comes out, then I'll upgrade. This thing is plenty loud through my Schroeder 1212 though, I have a feeling anything louder would be complete overkill. But ummm, what's wrong with that? :D
  11. bigtexashonk

    bigtexashonk Supporting Member

    My thoughts exactly. If I need to be any louder than my TFB550/Schroeder 1212 then there had better be major PA support. Extremely loud but very tasty tone from such a small little beast.
  12. Kael


    Dec 26, 2004
    Oklahoma City
    +1, that and a DI out that is phantom power friendly (too many incompetent soundtechs out there) are the only alterations I would really request at this point.
  13. jokerjkny


    Jan 19, 2002
    NY / NJ / PHL

    its not? that's news to me! crap! :eek:

    rushes down in a fury w/ MTD in hand...
  14. Kael


    Dec 26, 2004
    Oklahoma City
    I could be wrong, that happens two or three times a year :D . I could've sworn I read not to let phantom power get through to the DI out. I don't remember whether it was in either the user manual or on this message board. I've been using an external DI in all situations unless I really know the soundman isn't dodgy.

    I don't want to be spreading falsehoods though, so I will check and see if this is verifiable.
  15. Kael


    Dec 26, 2004
    Oklahoma City
    Someone just pointed out to me that I had let this stand uncorrected. I did email Dave, and posted the jist of his response in another thread, but I really should have updated this thread also.

    So, for the record, per Dave.... The DI out on the thunderfunk is ok with phantom power.

    There it is folks. One of the three times this year that I will be incorrect. I humbly apologize....
  16. jokerjkny


    Jan 19, 2002
    NY / NJ / PHL
  17. rok51


    Sep 2, 2002
    Crawfordville, FL
    Every time I start to grab for my rack setup, I go 'nah' and grab the ThunderFunk instead. It's hard for me to really fathom all of the goodness that resides in its compact, lightweight package. If Dave did ever make a 1 kw version...sure, I'd want it...but even without PA support (which I usually have), my 550 hasn't run out of steam yet-okay...I have had the volume up to '5' :smug: .


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