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Talkbass assisted gear odyssey

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by c-ba55, Dec 7, 2004.

  1. Read on, and I will discuss many many hot bass brands. This thread will show up in every search ever.

    I have been playing a GK 400RB through an Eden D210XLT for I don't know, 4 or 5 years. At one point I upgraded from a GK 400RB-II to a GK 400RB-III. And I was just a little slow responding to some guy about a GK 400RB-IV. Everything was fine. I play a 5-string Pedulla Rapture J2, a fretless Jazz, and a homemade electric upright. Only in the loudest situations was I underpowered. And then, it would be more an issue of filling the room than actual volume in front of the speaker. But I'm playing more loud shows without PA support, and the very fine and compact rig was coming to the end of it's usefulness. I was majorly tweaking EQ and playing overhard, just to be heard. My playing style was actually changing to more Stanley Clarke-ish, which was interesting, but I wasn't sure was something I wanted.
    This head and cabinet are for sale. Read on.

    Saturday, I went to basses electric acoustic in Sacramento and saw if I couldn't get a cabinet that would fill the room more. Juan is a great guy, and helped me try out Schroeder, Bergantino, Aguilar, etc... in various configurations. Some of the cabinets I tried were clearly an upgrade over the Eden (which I'd brought for comparison), but none said BUY ME! The Aguilar GS212 was the best match. The Schroeders were flat out disappointing with this head (240 watts). I retreated, to think it over and read through lots and lots of talkbass archives.

    His store is very distracting. There's like 100 amazing basses there. I just put my head down and tried cabinets (except maybe one or two basses!)

    Sunday, suddenly, there was the elusive used Thunderfunk-- right there in front of my face. I went to try it out; the guy had an Epifani 310UL hooked up. I played it for about 10 seconds, and knew I must have it. $600. Everything people are saying is true. And c'mon, it's called "Thunderfunk."

    I played at rehearsal Sunday night through the Eden. Now, technically, the TF is 400 watts and the Eden rated at 350. But I figured it'd be OK as long as I didn't abuse it. It sounded very huge. Problem basically solved. I coincidentally had also gotten some pedals I wanted to try out. The Digitech Bass Synth-Wah and Boss SYB-3. The SYB-3 generated some feedback on one setting, and I used the Digitech's octave feature a little bit, generating some really low tones. And I think THAT, rather than (or in addition to) the wattage mismatch, is what BLEW MY SPEAKER. Crap. These pedals are for sale, coincidentally. As is my Digitech Bass Squeeze, since the TF has a nice limiter (which I don't even need as much anymore, now that I've got some headroom)

    (discursion onto pedals...both synth pedals have major issues. Lots of silly special effects sounds, and only the occasional setting makes music. SYB-3 tracks terribly, although it has the cooler sounds of the two. I tried an EBS BassIQ Sunday, and will be buying one as soon as I see it at my price. On or off, your signal is the same volume and EQ and noisiness. That alone makes it awesome. But then, the pedal actually works! It makes musically usable envelope filter sounds at almost any setting. The EBS octabass is cool too. although, the Digitech Synth Wah on octave only mode seems about equivalent. I really don't know why my speaker blew up, but will definitely be taking some care with future octave excursions. hey, I have a warranty on my new cabinet now though! Read through.)

    There's an old school Ampeg 8x10 in the room, so I hook my Thunderfunk up to that. Anybody that can be bothered to drag around an 8x10, I highly highly highly recommend this amp to go with it. This is pants-flapping good. The room was filled, let's say. As was the god-damned building, with some kind of platonic ideal of bass tone.

    Now, I'm not a super-super busy player, but this particular week, I happen to have gigs T,W,Th,F. And at this point in time, the blown speaker had me sounding permanently like Jimi Hendrix.

    Monday night, I checked out a used Epifani T212, of the old side-by-side variety, that was listed at a decent price ($550). With the TF, I found it surprisingly muddy.
    There's a review on the net from none other than Jorg Schroeder, dated July 2000, proclaiming the Epifani T212 to be the best cabinet he'd ever played! This one was used, so I wouldn't draw any conclusions necessarily about it being muddy, particularly as it has since been redesigned, and the Epifani T310 was so awesome with this amp.


    So, I went AGAIN up to Sacramento (I work <1 hour away) and tried out everything, AGAIN, with the Thunderfunk. The Schroeders were as advertised, small, light, loud, full. But I found them overly aggressive for the styles I play. I tried the 1210 and the 121010. I could have had like the ultimate Talkbass hype rig, Thunderfunk and Schroeder, but it wasn't right for me. The Bergantino HT210 sounded supremely awesome. I felt I would have the same room-filling problem though. If it were a more efficent cabinet, it would be perfect for me. It was very sweet and clear, over the full range of the bass. Everything sounded 3-D and technicolor. The HT322 no doubt would be perfect. Or the discontinued(?) 310 maybe, which he didn't have. But money is not infinite. Somehow $700 cabs are OK to me right now, but $1000+ cabs are not. Otherwise, that Epifani 310 was also a very very very nice match.

    Anyway, I purchased an Aguilar GS212 to match the Thunderfunk. Big sound. In between the Berg and the Schroeder. I'm quite pleased.

    I have jazz gigs tonight and tomorrow. I imagine the rig will not have much impact on my EUB sound, since the volume is so low anyway. Thursday, I have my first real test of the rig with my "progressive funk" band.


    Oh yeah, I listened to Morphine on the way home from the bass shop at the end of the story. He beautifully communicated complex emotions with a couple hundred bucks worth of gear.
  2. James Hart

    James Hart

    Feb 1, 2002
    Endorsing Artist: see profile
    great post! thanks for the review / experience!
  3. James Hart

    James Hart

    Feb 1, 2002
    Endorsing Artist: see profile

    :smug: Yeah, but it feels soooo much better with kickin gear :bassist:

    I won't give up my basses and rig for anything.... but I know I could get the job done on and through anything playable
  4. uglybassplayer


    Aug 24, 2001
    New Jersey
    No need to feel bad about the Schroeder not doing it for you. If all of us sounded the same, there'd be some awful boring music out there. I'm glad you found the combination that works for YOU.


  5. So last night, playing the EUB, there was actually a percebtible difference with the new gear. The sound was rounder, more free and easy. There was a relaxed omnipresence to it. As if the bass sound were walking up to everyone and whispering comforting thoughts right in their ears.
  6. metron

    metron Supporting Member

    Sep 12, 2003
    Thanks for the review of the gear you tried! Any other comments on the Thunderfunk with the HT 210? Ive been thinking about pairing these two...

  7. Of all the cabinets I tried with the TF, the Bergantino HT210 was absolutely the most lovely sound. If you are not playing loud gigs, you could definitely use it as a stand alone, as it was equally beautiful on the low B as anywhere else. It's shockingly small for the sound spectrum it generates. I had a hard time not buying it. I loved it, but it just wasn't for me at this point in time, given my practical constraints of money and transportation. (I would have had to pair it with something, or get a bigger Bergantino)
  8. B String

    B String Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2002
    Los Angeles
    Not to rain on any parades but.... The Thunderfunk is
    rated 400 watts at 4 ohms. If you are using one 8 ohm box,
    we are looking at about 250 watts. The 400 rb III is 185 watts
    at 8 ohms. If you are only going to use one box, you could
    have more headroom and lowend articulation with a 4 ohm
    speaker box. You may have bolwn your speaker from not
    having enough power. Why didn't you recone your blown eden
    speaker for about $90? (approx) The important thing is, you
    found a sound you like. Thats a good thing.
  9. metron

    metron Supporting Member

    Sep 12, 2003
    Thanks! The 210 works for me about 90% of the time and if I need more volume I have an HT 115 too. I might have to check out this thunderfunk amp. :D

  10. The Eden cabinet is 4 ohms.

    I got a new cabinet because I needed one immediately for scheduled gigs. I could have borrowed one, but would have needed to buy one eventually. If I played for years with no problems, and then the very first time I used the TF, the speaker blew, it seemed likely I'd have an unstable situation if I fixed the Eden and continued to use it. Also, I don't know what's wrong with it. Could be cone, coil, magnet, who knows.
  11. B String

    B String Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2002
    Los Angeles
    oops!! Sorry. I thought you blew up an 8 ohm eden box
    with a 180 watt amp. See, thats what happens when you
    don't drink your milk, or finish grade school. my bad
  12. Second jazz gig last night, I got to use the EQ for the first time! We played really quietly, in a very high-ceilinged room full of talking people. I was in the corner on a hard floor up against the window-wall. My sound was very boomy. A great deal of EQ solved the problem somewhat. It was just a tough room. The sound didn't matter much. We were furniture. "Oh look Todd, Cameron was clever enough to hire real JAZZ musicians for our corporate party. We are the most sophisticated people, ever!"
    Tonight, the full sound is finally unleashed.
  13. Played the rig loudish yesterday in a crowded bar with my power trio. All is well with the world. Full-sounding bass was everywhere, effortlessly. Big thumbs up from the band. I'm able to use a much lighter touch as well. A little playing time with this amp, and I'll actually be a better bassist, from that. I may just get a little combo for the EUB. I feel a bit silly hauling in the big rig, and event organizers look at me with fear! Hence, two separate single 8 ohm speaker cabs might have been a way to go. Well, look me up in 5 years. That'll be the first conceivable time anything changes.