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My ThunderFunk

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Brad Johnson, May 9, 2004.

  1. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Supporting Member

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    Finally got one of these, the TFB420. Bought it used at Atomic Music. As a longtime Amplified Music Products BH-420 user (make that fanatic;)) I've been curious about them since they were first talked about.

    Bottom line, this is the real deal. As hard as I found it to be to imagine something that actually improved on my AMPs, I hear the improvements. They're subtle but they're there. I would've been impressed if it just sounded as good as my BH-420s.

    I haven't taken it on a gig yet but so far in the store and at home this amp sounds great. Ran it through a coax Bag End 15 at the store, sounded very nice. At home through my newer 1-12 Nahas tiltback it's ridiculous. Huge sound, big yet tight, very articulate and open sounding. Playing my Brubaker K5B Xtreme with both the Bartolini NTMB and Aguilar OBP-3 preamp modules was way too much fun, especially the Aggie.

    It weighs practically nothing. My AMPs aree in the low 20 lb. range so they weren't exactly boat anchors;). This is noticeably less.

    Like my AMPs, I ran the EQ and tone controls flat. Just turn it up and play. The variable Enhance control is much nicer than pushbutton on the older amp, which I found to be useless. The rear panel mods are nice and useful. The biamp crossover is gone and good riddance as far as I'm concerned. With full range sound like this who needs to biamp?

    I was always amazed that my older AMP amps had no external fins or fans and were practically silent when I wasn't actually playing. The case would warm up, especially if pushed really hard (with ineffiecient cabs for example). The TFB with the switchable fan (nice touch) damn near runs cold. I would imagine that would only help to prolong the lifespan of the components. OTOH I've been gigging for more than 10 years with my original AMP with no issues other than a power switch that stuck on (it even failed in a good way... how cool is that?:D) years ago.

    My friend Preach calls my AMP "the Ogre"... it's a tone beast. He just found and bought his own AMP BH-420 yesterday and he's in tone heaven. We put that through it's paces, again at Atomic Music, through a 2-12 Nahas cab rated at 800w at 8 ohms. With both gains well below 50% it was ridiculously loud.

    I'm keeping my AMPs, still love them. The TFB will go on my next gig and I fully expect to be floored. I think I have a new main amp, like the old one;)

    Highly recommeded.
  2. lo-freq

    lo-freq aka UFO

    Jan 19, 2003
    DFW, Texas
    Brad, congratulations!

    I was wondering how long it would take for you to check one of these out.

    Glad you like it.

    I'd like to have a TF preamp (if he ever built one) or a more powerful head.

    After you give it a good live wringing out, please post more impressions.
  3. how much did you pay if i may ask?

  4. Bard2dbone


    Aug 4, 2002
    Arlington TX
    Dude! Don't EVER ask Brad how much he payed for an amazing piece of gear! That is dangerous to your mental health.

    My bet is whatever the best deal you could find on one is...he payed about two thirds of that.

    He does it all the time and it drives me nuts. :bawl: :crying:

  5. I'd be curious to know what kind of efficiency ratings these cabs have. I'm pondering a TF amp myself but an concerned that it wouldn't be quite enough power to drive an Epifani 210 and 115 effectively. (the cabs like power) What other cabs has anyone used who's tried the TF with good volume results? Every review thus far has complemented the apparent volume of the head.

    Also, where can one get more info on the Nahas cabs? (no luck with searches)
  6. James Hart

    James Hart

    Feb 1, 2002
    Endorsing Artist: see profile

    :bassist: thanks Brad! I've been pining over selling my AMP BH-260 lately. I've been hoping that the Thunderfunk *IS* the new improved AMP! Thanks, and I'm waiting for the first gig report!
  7. I don't understand what you mean(he always gets the best deals?) but Too late.
    Regardless, i want one now

  8. Mel Monihan

    Mel Monihan

    Mar 30, 2004
    I have an AMP260, I had an AMP BH420, and I now have a Thunderfunk.I have played it through a Dr. BASS CABS RD115, I have played it through 1 or two ampeg 4x8 cabinets (loaded with emminence alpha 8's)I have played it through an EDEN 118, a Gallien Krueger 410 (the slant model, I can't recall the number), and assorted single 15 EV cabinets,and even an old Kustom 2-12 cabinet.The head is plenty powerful for all of those combinations.I must admit that I am not one of those guys who needs miles of headroom, and I mostly play on inexpensive instruments (1000. or less, except the B quad 4), but I haven't run into a situation the Thunderfunk couldn't handle easily.It is lightweight at 15 lbs, and it can knock pictures off my walls if I let it.I have played 1000 seat auditoriums with it also.Like I said, I am not a techie, or an engineer, but I do know a good amp when I hear one.
  9. I hadn't heard of these until after I'd already bought a crappy expensive amp. It's on the list now. Especially since Sam Bolle is an endorsee.
  10. James Hart

    James Hart

    Feb 1, 2002
    Endorsing Artist: see profile
    The BH260 into a pair of BagEnd cubes never left me wanting for more....

    The Thunderfunk has officially been added to my GAS list :help:
  11. Fuzzbass

    Fuzzbass P5 with overdrive Gold Supporting Member

    Gee thanks, Brad: I've indulged preamp GAS twice recently and now you've given me GAS pains again! :( But if you tell me the TFB is not 2-space rack-mountable then I'll forgive you.

    AMJBASS Supporting Member

    Jan 8, 2002
    Ontario, Canada
    That is awesome. I think that a Thunderfunk is going to be my next purchase. I like the SWR Redhead that I have, but it is a beast to carry. If the Thunderfunk gets anywhere near the clarity(which I am sure it is great at) then I am sold. Congrats Brad!
  13. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Supporting Member

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    How about clarity with no noise?

    One of the things I enjoyed doing with my AMPs was letting my friends with Edens and SWRs check them out:

    "Is it on?

    "Yeah, the lights on. The gains are up."

    "I don't hear anything."




    *plucks string*



    The ThunderFunk carries on that tradition. No loud hissing, if you do run the fan it's not very loud, if you don't you'll wonder whether it's on or not, too.

    I don't want to be too effusive about this, I'll wait until after the next gig.
  14. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Supporting Member

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    Guess I'm in the doghouse, Ken... it's two spaces and I think 16 lb.

    Mine even came with the optional rack mounts:D
  15. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Supporting Member

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    At some point I'll test it with my EA VL-110s... they're hungry little rascals. They worked with the AMPs but I had to push the amp harder than I like to.

    I don't think the Nahas' cabs are super-efficient, this head just packs a lot of ooomph*. The AMPs are the same way.

    On the Nahas cabs, I haven't spoken to Joey in about a month. He doesn't have a website, here's his email address: joeynahas839@hotmail.com

    *I know, not a very technical term... I didn't want to say balls... oops!
  16. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Supporting Member

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md

    I got a good deal on it IMO, not a crazy one this time. Picked it up for $500 + tax. Like new condition, with rack mounts.
  17. MJ5150

    MJ5150 Terrific Twister

    Apr 12, 2001
    Olympia, WA
    Hey now!!

    My Eden Metro is silent when it is on, and I am not playing. Sometimes I forget it is on, and unplug my bass and get the lovely **POP**.

  18. BillyB_from_LZ

    BillyB_from_LZ Supporting Member

    Sep 7, 2000
    Lo-freq...I guess the closest thing to a TF preamp would be an AMP SL-1. Having a variable Enhance would be nice...
  19. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Supporting Member

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    My Metro and several others that I've checked out hissed whenever they were powered on... even with the gains down and nothing plugged in.

    Wasn't that noticeable in the store but when I got it into a quiet place it was annoying as heck.
  20. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Supporting Member

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    Got back from the gig a little while ago. The amp performed flawlessly. I used it with the newer Nahas 1-12 and my Elrick NJS 4 string. I was told it filled the room well, no (PA support) and sounded great out front. I actually played louder than I normally do and it did it efffortlessly. Definitely a keeper.

    This rig is so small I drove my Miata to the gig:). Two basses and stands in the trunk, cab on the passenger seat, amp in a 3 space rackbag and my gig bag on the passenger side floor. Sweet... got only one joke about my monster stereo system.