1. Please take 30 seconds to register your free account to remove most ads, post topics, make friends, earn reward points at our store, and more!  
     
    TalkBass.com has been uniting the low end since 1998.  Join us! :)

PS112s w/Thunderfunk, ehhh... w/AI? Wow!

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by ric426, Dec 9, 2006.


  1. ric426

    ric426 In my defense, I was left unsupervised. Supporting Member

    Mar 27, 2002
    Southeast Michigan
    Well, here's one I didn't expect. I've got a Thunderfunk 550 that I've really liked and have used with an Epi UL-310 and a UL-112 and both sounded great. Through a series of G.A.S. induced bad moves I sold both cabs and regretted it, so I thought that since I've been pleased with Epifani stuff so far, I'd try a pair of PS-112's. I got the PS-112's recently and was immediately underwhelmed. I missed the clarity I'd had with the other cabs and the low end seemed to be more boomy than the fullness that had been described. Just for kicks I borrowed a friend's Clarus series II. I brought it home and plugged in and was immediately and unexpectedly impressed. I had the clarity I'd been missing, the low end was full but more controlled and it was LOUD! The Clarus was only pushing 200 watts at 4 ohms, but was tighter, smoother and warmer sounding at a high in-the-house volume. I think the Thunderfunk would win out in a loud band situation and certainly has a more flexible preamp, but for what I'm doing I'm thinking an AI amp may be the better choice. It may be time to change to a Series III Clarus or maybe even a Focus. I may see if I can find some kind of Thunderfunk/Acoustic Image trade +/- cash deal.
     
  2. KJung

    KJung Supporting Member


    As one who has owned a Clarus, a Focus and a Thunderfunk, I would make sure to get the AI out on some gigs before I made that deal:smug: Remember, the TF's Timbre control is very useful for voicing that head to different sounding cabs.

    Also, if you found the Clarus to be louder than the TF into 4ohms, something VERY strange is going on:confused:

    On the other had, there are certain combinations of heads and cabs that seem to be magic... maybe the AI/PS combination is actually 'all that' ! I know the AI stuff sounds quite nice with the older EpiNYC cabs, and from what I understand, the PS's are voiced closer to those than the UL's.
     
  3. jmain

    jmain Oo, Uhn't uh, Yes! Supporting Member

    Apr 23, 2005
    Alexandria, VA
    I find that my Focus 2 works really nicely with my PS112; granted the eq is not as flexible as some and it helps to have an onboard pre. But I find myself usually running the head flat and barely using my onboard pre to boost a little.

    I also found that the stronger mid-voicing of the Focus works really well with the PS112. I get full lows but it is still articulate. I found the Focus / UL112 combination (again, with only an onboard pre) a little too mid-focused for my tastes. I don't think I've warmed up to neo's yet (probably just the Focus). For BG purposes, I think the Focus pairs better with non-neo, or might need a separate pre. Basically what Ken was saying.:cool:
     
  4. ric426

    ric426 In my defense, I was left unsupervised. Supporting Member

    Mar 27, 2002
    Southeast Michigan
    Keep in mind that these are initial impressions were based on my at home experiments. Certainly a live setting is the real test of any amp/speaker combination.
    Don't read too much into my statement about it seeming "louder". Since perceived loudness is at least as much psycho-acoustic as technical, and since it really takes a 10 fold increase in power to get a 3db increase in volume (all other things remaining the same), the power specs won't mean much in this setting. The difference in clarity, and articulation alone could account for it seeming louder. What struck me is that, with the EQ and level controls centered on both amps (hardly a scientific test), the Clarus seemed both punchier and clearer. That was totally unexpected. Either amp is too powerful to really push to clipping at home without causing household damage and again , in a club setting at live volumes, there'd probably be a huge difference in headroom at the very least. With an AI Focus that difference would go away, but the Thunderfunk still has the more versatile preamp.
    My overall point was the surprise at the Clarus sounding better in this setting, with these speakers. I've been totally pleased with the Thunderfunk with both the UL310 and UL112, and both were those special combinations of amp and speaker. But I was a dumbass and let my curiosity get the better of me and tried to fix what wasn't broken and realized my mistakes too late. For what I'm doing and with the PS-112s I have to say that I was a little disappointed with the sound with the Thunderfunk and pleased with the sound with the Clarus, enough to make me consider changing at some point. I certainly don't use the Thunderfunk to it's capablilities and in that respect the simpler AI preamp wouldn't be a limitation *for me*. As with most things YMMV...
     
  5. greenboy

    greenboy

    Dec 18, 2000
    remote mountain cabin Montana
    greenboy designs: fEARful, bassic, dually, crazy88 etc
    If you are talking wattage, a 3 dB increase in SPL takes TWICE the wattage (a jump from say 300 to 600 watts). 3 dB is an appreciable difference - the same as adding an equivalent cab but using the same wattage. Actually 1 dB has been considered the minimum threshold change that a majority of people can hear, and that's why the measurement was set there.

    A TENfold increase in power is equivalent to TEN dB, which is TWICE as loud. So it takes three thousand watts to be twice as loud as three hundred. Hope the cabs can handle that ; }
     
  6. jmain

    jmain Oo, Uhn't uh, Yes! Supporting Member

    Apr 23, 2005
    Alexandria, VA
    I used to have an iAmp 800 that would shake walls. Plus the eq section was like beyond a tweaker's dream; but I almost always ran it flat. At the end of the day - for what I am doing - I don't need that kind of flexibility and power. And although it was only 20 lbs, it added up when I was trying to get it to my car. (along with bass/case and my cord bag.) I sold it to someone who could benefit from it's features and found a used Focus.

    I got a chance to A/B the two through two different stacks in a big room before letting one go. The iAmp was like a gut-punch, while the Focus was still punchy and articulate. I chose the Focus b/c I didn't find a big difference in the tone for the stage-volume needs I have. I've since played the Focus with a couple different cab combinations and I'm very pleased. A couple of these have been in decent-sized rooms (200-500 seats) without PA support.

    I think it comes down to your needs. If I was playing club dates I would probably still use the Focus. For others, it might not be their cup of tea. I have yet to try a Thunderfunk. Prolly have me GASn.
     
  7. Type-55

    Type-55 Supporting Member

    Jul 20, 2000
    Michigan
    When will the gas stop. Haven't we learned anything by now? What's next? I'm such a hypocrite.
     
  8. ric426

    ric426 In my defense, I was left unsupervised. Supporting Member

    Mar 27, 2002
    Southeast Michigan
    I stand corrected. Apparently, I was mixing my watts, sound power and perceived loudness. So getting back to my point about the perceived loudness of the Clarus vs. the Thunderfunk, the Clarus probably only *seemed* louder and more articulate because of the differences in the sounds of the amps. Am I on the right track?
     
  9. jmain

    jmain Oo, Uhn't uh, Yes! Supporting Member

    Apr 23, 2005
    Alexandria, VA
    The AI amps have a good mid presence. I would think that's what was doing it. Just speculation cuz I haven't played a T-Funk.
     
  10. chiplexic

    chiplexic

    Apr 21, 2004
    Massachusetts
    Between the AI Clarus I series3 and iAmp 500 which one has a better design for Rock / Classic Rock use. Without adding out board extras ??? Why between these two??...light, reliable, powerful,simplistic...somewhat inexpensive.

    I believe iAmp 500 - $899 street
    AI ClarusI series3 - $699 street this seem to be right ?
     
  11. KJung

    KJung Supporting Member


    IMO, from my A/Bing of the Focus and the iAmp800, the iAmp500 should blow away the Clarus... louder, punchier, and with MUCH better on-board EQ for electric bass. However, I don't really think of either of those amp lines as particularly voiced for classic rock, which to my ear would have more tube warmth and grind to it.

    You might want to try an EdenWT550 for what you are looking for. I think they are in the mid $900's street, or a touch more.
     
  12. jokerjkny

    jokerjkny

    Jan 19, 2002
    NY / NJ / PHL
    hmm...

    sounds like the low mid emphasis of the PS112 didnt quite jell w/ the more thicker possible sounds of the TF. with the PS112, i'd probably never need to turn the timbre knob left. ;)

    but if you want clarity, you really need to check out an epifani head. whether the 502, 902 of the PS600, they all have that clarity and openness that would obviously complement their own cabs. even with the PS600, the midcut knob is tailored to pull out some of those more thicker mids for a clearer slap sound, which might be just the ticket for that sound in your head.

    another great option would be an EA head. the EQ is just awesome for ginsu'ing thru most any cab, bass, room, etc. etc. etc. can only imagine the massiveness w/ an 800 into a pair of PS112's. :eek:
     
  13. jmain

    jmain Oo, Uhn't uh, Yes! Supporting Member

    Apr 23, 2005
    Alexandria, VA
    I had an iAmp 800 for a spell and hooked it up to a UL112/GS112 stack and it was truly massive.:cool:
     
  14. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    DR Strings
    I have a very clean Clarus I Series II if you're serious.
     
  15. jmain

    jmain Oo, Uhn't uh, Yes! Supporting Member

    Apr 23, 2005
    Alexandria, VA
    I'm pretty sure he already bought a Series III, but not positive.
     
  16. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    DR Strings
    Cool... just being the usual opportunist
    ;)
     

Share This Page