TF-550 vs iAmp800 / Accugroove vs EA-CXL

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Rocky55, Sep 14, 2005.

  1. Hey guys,

    I have been reading up on Thunderfunk and Accugroove for the last couple of weeks. My current rig consists of
    - iAmp800
    - 2 CXL112

    Has anyone compared the iAmp800 to the TF-550? Do they have comparable volume at 4ohms? What are the major differences tonewise?

    Secondly, the Accugroove line has gotten me really curious. If I was to only change one, would I gain more benefit keeping the iAmp and buying Accugroove, or getting the Thunderfunk and keeping EA cabs? I would only do one for now.

    I'm not sure which AC cabs I would get yet. The Jr sound about right to me though... then again, a TRI112 and 210 could also do the trick... decisions, decisions!!!!!

  2. Steve Clark

    Steve Clark Supporting Member

    Jan 9, 2004
    London ON
    I guess the first question will be what do you want to hear in your tone that you don't now? I have no experience with TF or AG but I'm sure Tom Bowlus and others, who have experienced both, will chime in.
  3. I own the TF550 and used an iAmp800 for about a year prior to selling it. Both wonderful heads. The bottom end coming out of the iAmp800 at 4ohms is really amazing, and is wider and fuller than the TF (this is not necessarily a good thing, IMO... depends what you are looking for). I found the tone controls on both amps very good, and both amps have lots of sound options. I found that I had to tweek the iAmp to get my sound more than the TF (but that's based on personal tone preference).

    As far as your specific question.... I actually found the 'perceived volume' of the TF to be the same or even more than the iAmp (even given the wattage difference), which was a little 'wider' sounding and didn't quite punch through a busy pop/funk mix as well as the TF. Again, this could be very dependent on the tone I go for (round wound funk) and the type of gigs I do (pop/funk mostly).

    You cannot go wrong with either of these.
  4. David Wilson

    David Wilson Administrator Staff Member Administrator Supporting Member

    Oct 14, 2002
    Lower Westchester, NY
    Doing two comparisons in one thread is usually a recipe for disaster ;)

    I've A/B'ed both amps with 4 ohm cabs. It's an unfair comparison to ask which is louder. You do realize the iamp800 and TF have different power ratings, right? The TF does 500W @ 4ohms, the iamp does 800W @ 4ohms. Having said that, I felt the TF seemed louder at similar vol settings than the iamp. But that's purely anecdotal and not scientific in the slightest.

    With EQ flat, the iamp800 is more transparent than the TF but it's pretty close. While you can eq the iamp very nicely, I really really appreciate the 'timbre' knob on the TF which warms up the sound very nicely. I personally don't use the 'enhance control' at all, and basically do about all of my eq'ing with the timbre knob and the occassional midrange bump with the parameteric.

    Also, as Steve said, what are you looking to change in your sound? Or is this just GAS / Terminal Gear Curiosity? Don't get me wrong, I've bought / sold plenty of stuff for flimsier reasons :)
  5. LOL! What did I expect you to say that??? To answer your question.... not much! That is why part of me hates this place. I used to have an Alembic F-1X but kept hearing about the iAmp. I got to try one, the I had to have it. I really like the CXL112 that I bought about 4 years ago. I just added a second one last spring. Everyone loves the tone of my rig and almost everyone around here asks me what EA is.

    Now, Accugroove have got me really curious. How can cabinets sound so big, yet punchy and smooth all at once. Then reading up on AC, I stumbled on Thunderfunk and everyone seems to be nothing short of amazed by these little amps... even comparing them to Aguilar 750!!! Must be something there.

    So in short, I really like my EA rig, but maybe I won't know exactly what I'm searching for until I hear it. Who knows, this GAS might go away next week and I'll decide to get a custom paint job for my motorcycle instead. It's great to have choices. OK, that wasn't short, but you get the gist.

    P.s. Thanks for posting Steve. I appreciate your honesty with everyone here, whether it has to do with EA or not.

    Rocky :help:
  6. PS I found that the iAmp sounded the best with an EA cab (in my case at the time, a CXL210... I think that's the model... it was the 2 way 210 just prior to the current NL model). I would think that rig you have sounds pretty smoking... as others have asked... are you looking for a change in sound, or do you just have 'the bug' :)
  7. Steve Clark

    Steve Clark Supporting Member

    Jan 9, 2004
    London ON
  8. Thanks Dave,

    Yes I realise the iAmp has 300w more than the TD. However, I learned a long time ago to not base judgement on those specs. And you proved that again by saying the TD seemed louder.

    As for what I'm looking for.... new toys. I like to have different toys then most people around here. However, now that Oddio has an ElWhappo, maybe I should consider something different. :rolleyes:

    Thanks guys,
  9. THE BUG!!!!! :help: :bawl: :oops:
  10. Steve Clark

    Steve Clark Supporting Member

    Jan 9, 2004
    London ON
    Yes. Ottawa seems to be a great place for bassists with interesting and exotic gear. TB GTG in Ottawa in 2006? I want to see and hear Oddio's Wal basses up close.
  11. There's an idea. I have a pretty big (heated) garage. If my wife hasn't kicked me out by then, I'd be willing to host it. Then again, with all of Oddio's gear, it would probably be easier to have it at his place.... from some pictures I saw, he's got more gear than the rest of us collectively. :crying:
  12. Steve Clark

    Steve Clark Supporting Member

    Jan 9, 2004
    London ON
    A Saturday afternoon in a club in Ottawa with wobbly pops and food. We can then set up our gear and do our best Spinal Tap impression with 4 or 5 or 6 bassists at once. There must be a place in Ottawa like the that would rent out a room for a reasonable fee.
  13. Boy, I know all about that...... ;)
  14. well, not exactly, but it's a great place to live. And yes, there is some very nice gear floating around.

  15. Hey lr,

    I played with Mike Wetmore last weekend for a wedding. I hadn't seen him in approx. 7 years. He is still one fine drummer and a real good guy. He had lots of nice things to say about you too.

    P.s. If you ever get that Sadowsky scratched out of your gas list before I do, please drop me a line. I would love to try it out. :cool:

    Hope to meet you some day,
  16. Hey Rocky,

    Indeed, the overwhelming temptation of Sadowsky... I'm hoping to do something about it in next couple of years. I played a beauty at Club Bass last Spring and just fell in luv.

    Mr. Wetmore is indeed a very fine player and true gentleman.

  17. Steve Clark

    Steve Clark Supporting Member

    Jan 9, 2004
    London ON
    I can bring mine.

  18. I somehow managed to hijack my own thread. :scowl: Anyone have done a comparison between these?

  19. tombowlus

    tombowlus If it sounds good, it is good Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 3, 2003
    North central Ohio
    Editor-in-Chief, Bass Gear Magazine
    Again, a thread that I somehow missed! :p

    I think that Ken and David have already hit upon the iAMP 800 versus TF-550 thing. I would only add that IMHO, these two heads stand on pretty much equal footing, and there are a variety of factors to make certain players lean one way or the other as to which they prefer. It seems like those who use the iAMP 800 and like it are happy to stick with it, and those who try it, but are somewhat put off by it (for one reason or another) tend to fall in love with the Thunderfunk. My thoughts are that they are both excellent, but since I often play using two 4 ohm cabs (Wizzy's), the 2 ohm handling of the iAMP 800 is really useful to me.

    As to the cab comparisons, in general, I consider both EA and Accugroove to fall into the "fairly accurate" category, though each has a unique sound from the other. To break it down to a generality (which is of course not always directly applicable to particular products from each company), I have found EA cabs to be more clear sounding that Accugrooves, but to sound somewhat thinner in the low mids (though perhaps even deeper on the lowest notes). Conversely, Accugroove cabs are very full and phat sounding (even higher up the neck), but do not get muddy or boomy. They are quite clear (though not perhaps as clear as EA cabs). The highs on the Accugroove cabs are a bit more "polite", and EA has a tad more sparkle. Again, these are generalities, and not always applicable for individual cabs.

    With regard to the CxL-112 in particular, it seems like it is the "Clarity King", but that it also exhibits more peaks and valleys across the midrange than most other EA cabs. They are pretty darn loud for a 1x12, too. I only own one CxL-112, so I cannot comment on how two would sound, but I will say that an NL-210 with a CxL-112 seems like a really good match, to me. The NL-210 does not go as deep, but it is more warm and full sounding on the whole, and the two really play off each other's strong points. But literally any EA rig is going to be excellent. It's just a matter of fine tuning what you are after.

    As for Accugroove cabs, there are a lot of guys who will say that the El Whappo is the only way to go, but although I really like my El Whappo, I think I slightly prefer my Whappo, Jr. I have more gig time with the Jr., though, so I may just be slightly biased by my prior use. But to me, the Jr. is a bit more punchy and coherent across the mids, whille the El Whappo undoubtedly sounds bigger. I have used the Tri 210L with both of them, and it is a great companion cab for either one (and sounds killer with a Gordo 1x18, too), as well as a highly competent standalone cab.

    If you hit my blog, and check out some of the older posts, I do a 2x10 shootout which includes the VL-210, CxL-210, Tri 210L and Low B-2. There is also a mini cab combo shootout which includes the CxL-112/CxL-210 and two Wizzy's, among others.

    Do you have any specific questions?

    Hope this helps, Tom.
  20. Darn tootin'!

    Of course, you could always go for the Whappo Jr. which many folks here prefer. Good luck on your quest.