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Is owning a TFB550 and LMII at the same time redundant??

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by g4string, Apr 14, 2009.

  1. g4string

    g4string Supporting Member

    Sep 19, 2002
    Melissa, TX
    I have read quite a few posts about how the LMII can be eq'd to mimic the TFB550 and vise-versa. I just got a 550B and played with a little bit. During the brief time I spent with it today, it made me appreciate the LMII simple eq......you know - set it flat and adjust the vle/vlf to taste. I can see how some people like having the 550B's extensive eq. However, I have never noticed myself missing the semi-para eq on the HBP-1 preamp I used to own. My VTBP-201 suites me just fine. So I am wondering if I would really use or need the semi-para on the 550B. I am sure the DI on the 550 is nicer than the LMII. However, for your average run-of-the-mill DI application the LMII is acceptable. If I need a quality DI signal, I always have my VTBP-201 to fall back on. Also, the LMII is super light so I dont really need two amps, one as a dedicated practice rig and the other the as my gig amp. I would leave a cab at a practice spot and leave my gig cab at home and just xport the LMII between practice and gigs. Basically all I would need for a practice is my bass and my LMII - for a gig, just add a cab. What do you guys think.......do I really need the 550B??

    PS. I already own a back-up rig......CA9/Demeter
  2. CapnSev


    Aug 19, 2006
    Coeur d'Alene
    I owned both, and I'd say you don't need the 550B. I loved that amp, but it's twice as much weight, too much eq, and not as transparent. I think the only thing the 550 has on the LMII is the DI. The DI tone on the TF was unbeatable IMO. I always had an unbelievable FOH sound because of that DI.
  3. g4string

    g4string Supporting Member

    Sep 19, 2002
    Melissa, TX
    The DI on the LMII is medial at best. As I mentioned in my post, for MOST live DI apps......it is acceptable. I dont think a crowd would be able to tell the diff. If a guy was picky, I guess one could always get a nice DI box or mic the cab?
  4. KJung

    KJung Supporting Member

    I had both for a while. To clarify, the LMII can be made to sound very similar to the TF550, but IMO and IME you can't get the deep lows and especially sizzly treble (if you want it) out of the TF550b. At 4ohms, I also found that the LMII slightly outperformed the TF550b (i.e., less compression when pushed, wider more even, full tone, and more absolute volume prior to limiting). At 8ohms, the performance was about the same to my ear.

    The TF does have a lot more bells and whistles though, and it does what it does VERY well (i.e., warm, tight, mid punchy). However, if bells and whistles are important to you, I'd sell both and get the SA450, which is basically an LMII in a slightly bigger box with more features (semi-parametric mids and a more fully featured DI). That head kills!.

    IMO and IME.

    Of course, the new LMTube seems to be another 'category game changer' to me!
  5. g4string

    g4string Supporting Member

    Sep 19, 2002
    Melissa, TX
    Maybe I will bring the TFB tonight along with the LMII...........well see who does it better. I am suspecting I will like the LMII better, but I have to give the TFB550 a shot. Every time I think about the LMII I am just amazed at how much this amp really changed the industry in terms of value, quality, and power. It was, and continues to be, a revolutionary piece of gear. Getting back OT, I am having serious buyers remorse for getting the 550. It was an amp that I didn't really need, but got anyway. I thought it would be cool to have. NTM, I think in these amps will some day be a "collectors" piece. However, I cant help but wonder if the $$ I spent on the TFunk would have been better spent on a B1500.
  6. RickenBoogie


    Jul 22, 2007
    Dallas, TX
    I have neither amp, and therefore this response will reflect that. But, my opinion, you can NEVER have too many amps. Even very similar ones. At this point, I have more amps than basses, and I'm ok with that.
  7. Big String

    Big String Supporting Member

    Apr 22, 2000
    Northwest Indiana
    Hey Jason... lots of good comments here.
    Ken's is a great idea with the SA450, but you could always pickup a really nice DI too. I have a Radial JDI that I use when my LMII's DI didn't cut it for FOH (which only happened once to me). The Radial is a great passive DI and is very good for recording and is versatile too. You can find others that are not as pricey that would work fine too.
  8. g4string

    g4string Supporting Member

    Sep 19, 2002
    Melissa, TX
    Dean.......the thing is, after getting rid of my HBP-1..PLX2402 rig, which was my main amp for a long time, I never have really missed the semi-para eq. The only difference between between the SA450 and LMII is the 2 band semi-para and a DI level attenuator. To get rid of the TFB only to get a SA450 is a parallel move, IMO. I am wondering if now is the time to see what the big fuss is about regarding the M6 carbine. Or maybe I should replace my CA9/Demeter rig with a B1500. If I did that, the CA9/Demeter would become home/back-up duty.

    PS....the only thing I miss about the VTBP-201S is the DI for live PA......I am defiantly thinking I need to get a "real" DI box.
  9. Bassist30

    Bassist30 Supporting Member

    Mar 19, 2004
    I say keep the Thunderfunk. Sound is subjective. And Im selling my Thunderfunk.:bag:
  10. KJung

    KJung Supporting Member

    No big deal, but I don't see it that way. The SA450 has a full featured DI (pre/post EQ switch and line out) which I believe was the one thing you didn't dig about the LMII from your previous post, and otherwise sounds virtually the same as the LMII (plus the semi-parametric mids that you aren't interested in).

    The SA450 would give you everything you dig about the LMII in a slightly bigger box that is still 1/3 the weight of the TF. You could sell the LMII and the TF, buy a brand new SA450 and have significant cash left over. Just an idea.

    Of course, you could get the new LMTube also, which has the improved DI and quite a few other goodies... and.... no semi-parametric mids:)
  11. rpsands


    Jul 6, 2007
    Phoenix, AZ
    It's weird to me that the SD800 doesn't get much love. That thing looks killer :)
  12. g4string

    g4string Supporting Member

    Sep 19, 2002
    Melissa, TX


    I dont dig the "sound" of the DI. The LMII is post-eq, correct??? Maybe this is why I dont dig the DI sound that much. However, for the most part, the DI is do-able. The pre/post DI and semi-para are features that I really dont use that much, so it really is a moot point to me. However, the complete lack of a DI would be a factor!! I guess what I am getting at is I have to amps that are "apples"........should I sell one apple and get an orange??
  13. ::::BASSIST::::

    ::::BASSIST:::: Progress Not Perfection.

    Sep 2, 2004
    Vancouver, BC Canada
    The DI on the LMII sounds fine. I've used it many many times. You can either choose to leave it post or pre eq and to turn up the DI level, just adjust your gain. Its not as full featured as some DIs, but the actual sound is good.

    Cant go wrong the LMII IMO/IME.
  14. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson SUSPENDED Supporting Member

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    DR Strings
    That mirrors my experience with the DI.

    I still have my TFB420, still a very nice amp but I still don't need semi-parametric EQ when I have amps that sound great flat (my Thunderfunk and LMII) so couple that with everything else the LMII has going for it and it's a simple decision for me.
  15. KJung

    KJung Supporting Member

    The LMII can be switched from post to pre DI internally (it's easy). It is set 'post' at the factory. I assume that is what you are hearing. At the 'pre' setting, it sounds like most other active DI's, and is IMO as high quality as 90% of the other on-board DI's out there.
  16. JOME77


    Aug 18, 2002
    While I rarely use the more complex EQ section of the Tfunk (like most I run it flat and primarily vary the tone with the "Timbre" control), it's nice to have should you play a venue that really requires some more advanced EQ'ing.

    IMO, what separates the Tfunk from the LMII (Beside the obvious bells and whistles) is the compressed punchy lows of the Tfunk. Some love it, some hate it. I love it. IMO it translates to one of the best gigging amps out there. None of the other amps out there can replicate that sound. I've tried to ween myself of the Tfunk several times but I always come back to it.
  17. burk48237

    burk48237 Supporting Member

    Nov 22, 2004
    Oak Park, MI
    I don't have both, but one thing I have noticed with the mini amps (Shuttle, LM and GK) is they run out of gas quick at 8 ohms. So if one of your cabs that your like for certain rooms is an 8 you might want to hang on to the T-Funk. At 4 ohms they are certainly as loud as the T-Funk. Also if you play a lot it's not a bad thing to own a back up. I'm not playing enough these days to justify it.
  18. jobu3

    jobu3 Artist formerly known as Big Joe

    Feb 17, 2002
    Mountain Top, PA
    Having owned it before you, I do have to agree that the DI is much better than the LMII's.

    I also thought that it outperformed the LMII at 8 Ohms.

    I liked the tightness and the timbre control was to die for.

    I didn't like the weight so much but it certainly wasn't a bear.

    I have a GK MB2-500 right now that is just as loud at 8 Ohms but I'm missing some of the fatness of the TF (with the timbre control and some of the EQ) and the LMII. it has to pass muster in a band setting this Sunday before I deem it a keeper or not... I haven't used the DI yet. Love the size and the price but I'm not 100% sold on the tone yet.

    Didn't like the pricetag either on the TF which was more of a determining factor.

    FWIW, I'm also tossing around the idea of the Carvin B1500. It's a lot more weight than I'd like to do but I like the calrity that comes with a SS head that will give you volume without pushing and starting to change things a bit. For the price that I can get one used, I think I can live with the weight and have everything covered if I ever have to add a cabinet.

    I'd love a higher powered MB of some sort but don't like the proce tag... Damn these compromises we have to make! :help:
  19. KJung

    KJung Supporting Member

    As you can tell by my posts, I'm excited about the new MB heads.

    Just FYI, the new LMIII is the same price (or close to the same price... not exactly sure) of the LMII it is replacing, and 'fixes' two issues that you and others have with the LMII:

    1) The DI is now fully featured, with a level control and pre/post switch. So, the same as on the larger heads. It sounds quite good to me.

    2) The power amp safety limiter was redesigned and improved (it's a two band now) so that the 8ohm performance level is improved (less compression in the upper frequencies when really pushed).

    There are additional new LM models with blendable tube pre's and/or higher power for a very reasonable cost (the top of the line LMTube800 is $799).
  20. KJung

    KJung Supporting Member

    The SD800, while being a very nice head, has a very different voicing from that of the F1 and especially the LMII. The warmth and punch that many of us love with the smaller MB heads is replaced by a much wider, deeper, more modern tone with the SD800 (it has a class D amp versus the A/B of the LMII). It's not a better or worse thing, but it really is different. Even though it looks EXACTLY like the SA450 (same box, preamp, features, look...everything) it is NOT a 'louder more powerful SA450. It has a totally different tone that some love and others not so much.

    I'm looking very forward to seeing if the new LM800 sounds like a 'louder LMII/LMIII' or a 'smaller SD800'.

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