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TH350 or TH500

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by mam1862, Aug 27, 2012.


  1. mam1862

    mam1862 Supporting Member

    Nov 10, 2008
    Northfield, Ohio
    I am looking for a backup amp as well as something to use at smaller venues. I have a GB Streamliner 900 so I have plenty of headroom when needed. I have (2) MB NY 604's. At smaller clubs I use only 1 cab. I have narrowed my search to the TH. I also would like to have a solid state amp. My question is will the TH350 fill that void or am I better off with the TH500. Other considerations would be the LMIII or maybe the soon to be here Big Bang. Trying to get some opinions. Thanks.
     
  2. ChuckTrucks

    ChuckTrucks

    Jul 28, 2012
    The TH500 sounds amazing. It's warmer and more vintage sounding than Markbass LMIII. I thought the LMIII was a good amp though that's preference. To me it had a cleaner more scooped sound.

    I have a TH500 with two of the DB112 cabs and it is perfect for what I need which is the ability to play in medium/large venues and be able to set up and tear down with ease.

    I'd honestly recommend the 500, the extra power can come in handy.

    I was looking for an amp and cabs about a month or so ago and I read various forums and the amps that I was looking at which were Ashdown ABM500, Markbass Little Mark III and the Aguilar AG500. The Tonehammer 500 had better review posts on this forum, gearslutz, and a few other places from players that had switched to the TH500 from the other rigs.

    The impressive thing was when I saw a few people switch from the AG500 to the TH500 saying the TH500 sounded more like the DB750.

    After owning this amp now for a while I can say it was definitely the right purchase for me.
     
  3. KJung

    KJung Supporting Member

    As a big Streamliner fan, I think you would dig the TH500/350. Very fat, chewy sounding amp, very lightweight, and nice and loud. The only reason, IMO to buy the 350 would be if you were on a tight budget. The 500 is super lightweight and very small. A little more power into an 8ohm cab can make a big difference.

    I also am a huge fan of the Markbass LMIII.... very even, very clean but not in any way sterile or clinical sounding. Very different from the TH heads... not as 'voiced', with less inherent midrange distortion. Volume output is about the same. The LMIII would be more similar sounding to the Streamliner if you run the Streamliner totally clean.

    All good stuff. Hard to go wrong. If you like just a touch of dirt and grit in your tone, the TH500 is hard to beat. If you like it totally clean but still warm and 'non hi fi', the LMIII is awesome.
     
  4. mam1862

    mam1862 Supporting Member

    Nov 10, 2008
    Northfield, Ohio
    Thanks for the input. I was leaning more in favor of the TH. I had a LMIII and liked it very much which is why I wouldn't hesitate to go back to it. I think after the test runs I've done, I am gonna give the TH a ride.
     
  5. KJung

    KJung Supporting Member

    Another bit of info. IMO, the tone controls of the TH350/500 are a bit like the Streamliner in that they are very powerful, and VERY interactive. The drive control, the input gain control and the semi-parametric mid interact strongly (like the Streamliner's midrange and gain/vol circuit) to give you lots of different tones driven by different distortion levels, etc. (not necessarily 'distorted' in the 'distortion pedal' sense of the term, but just really complex and fat and 'rough').

    The LMIII (and I assume the Big Bang when introduced in a couple of months... the Big Bang is a class D head that replaces the F1/F500 in the product line, and supposedly has more of the warmth of the LMIII in a smaller box) has EQ and gain controls much more similar to a channel strip on a mixing board. Very little interaction and revoicing (although those two filters are pretty powerful in 'old schooling' the top end or making it a quite 'hi fi' and scooped if that is your thing). The LMII/III is always totally clean, and the EQ is designed to keep that 'flat/even' tone similar with different cabs in different rooms.

    With the TH500, you can dial in massive burp, big grind, or a reasonably clean tone with a twist of a knob or two. VERY powerful EQ. A touch of boost on the bass control, and it really fattens up, etc.

    IMO and IME.
     
  6. mam1862

    mam1862 Supporting Member

    Nov 10, 2008
    Northfield, Ohio
    Good stuff. Thanks again.
     
  7. KJung

    KJung Supporting Member

    Let us know where you end up. i'm really enjoying the TH500 with my P Bass.... super fat with a very powerful low mid response that works very nicely in a mix. This head puts you nicely underneath the band... very supportive, big, fat tone. A baby DB751 is a fair description IMO, but with better midrange control.
     
  8. Hey Ken,

    How would you classify the tonal differences between the Tone hammer 500, the TH pre, the DB680 (or what ever the rack mount pre is), and the DB751?
     
  9. KJung

    KJung Supporting Member

    I haven't spent much time with the TH pedal. I would assume there are a lot of similarities, but one of the big differences is the variable drive control feature with the TH500/350, which allows for quite a variety of subtle warmth versus full out overdrive.

    The DB680 is a completely different thing. That pre has very complex, full parametric tone controls, and can be super clean and quite unforgiving..... a bit more like a studio mic tube preamp.

    Tonally, much closer to the DB751 and the single rack space pre that Aguilar had in their line-up for a while.... can't remember the name/number of that one (359 or something like that).... GREAT preamp for bass guitar backline. I can see why some describe the TH500 as a 'baby DB750/751. It has that very fat low end and very supportive sort of voicing profile. It is always a bit 'chewy' for lack of a better term. Unique 'Aguilar' take on 'tubelike' tone, just like the DB750/751.

    Like GK, with that super goosed sort of low end/top end baked in tonal profile, the fat, chewy, harmonically complex baked in voicing of the TH500/350 (and most other Aguilar amps/pres) seems to be a love it/hate it sort of thing. Strong voice that is 'always there' that will either work for you or not. I am one who really can't deal with the GK thing. A friend of mine describes the tonal profile of those amps a 'vulgar', which makes sense to me... kind of 'a lot of everything'. Of course, my GK loving buddies find the TH500 'dark, bloomy, and 'dirty' sounding!
     
  10. Pickebass

    Pickebass Supporting Member

    Jul 12, 2004
    San Antonio, TX
    Awhile ago when I was undecided I did a comparison of most of the aguilar line. I eventually sold my TH500 a use the pre/di most alot.

    Here is a link for comparision

    http://www.talkbass.com/forum/f15/aguilar-comparison-db359-db750-db680-th500-783412/
     
  11. KJung

    KJung Supporting Member

    I remember that thread. Nice clips, etc.

    It is amazing with the TH500 how just a smidge of bass boost (I'm talking a fraction of a fraction of a turn) can totally fatten the low end of that head. Massively powerful EQ, but the head is not particularly fat with the EQ in neutral. It sounds like a 'better DB750' to me, in that it is much more mid articulate, but still has that big, wide, creamy, low end. I'm sure it can't keep up with the DB750/51 when totally cranking, but again, I luckily never have to play louder than an unmic'd drummer on stage, and don't deal with Marshall type guitarists, so I never even reach close to running out of headroom.

    Amazingly powerful EQ on this thing, and it will get FAT if you work with the highly interactive EQ with respect to gain and drive settings.
     
  12. mam1862

    mam1862 Supporting Member

    Nov 10, 2008
    Northfield, Ohio
    Just ordered a TH500. Should be here early next week. Can't wait.
     
  13. This thread is *not* helping my GASsing for a TH500 at all...
     
  14. Munjibunga

    Munjibunga Total Hyper-Elite Member Gold Supporting Member

    May 6, 2000
    San Diego (when not at Groom Lake)
    Independent Contractor to Bass San Diego
    Great call, tiny Elvis.
     
  15. KJung

    KJung Supporting Member

    Hey Munj! How did your gig go with the AE212 and TH500? I need to try that again. I was in a couple boomy rooms with the AE212 and TH500 and had a bit of trouble with controlling the low end. At home, it sounds magnificent.

    I'm LOVING it with the Thunderchild TC115... fat and punchy and growly!
     
  16. Munjibunga

    Munjibunga Total Hyper-Elite Member Gold Supporting Member

    May 6, 2000
    San Diego (when not at Groom Lake)
    Independent Contractor to Bass San Diego
    Uhhh, welllll ... that was the plan. But we were on a raised hardwood stage in a large auditorium with flat walls and high ceiling. I was using my AE210 with the TH500 at rehearsals, and it was booming quite a bit and the TH500 was coming across somewhat muddy. EQ helped a bit, and I put a Gramma pad under it which helped even more.

    BUT. I gave up. Volume was not an issue, but mush and boom were. I was afraid the AE212 would compound the sins of the TH500, so the rig ended up being the AE210 sitting under ... you guessed it ... my new favorite amp, the MB800. I was able to set the amp close to "flat" and get my Beatles tone from the EQ on the bass. That AE210 could be my favorite cab of all time - right up there with the HT322 and Quattro. It just delivers everything I need.
     
  17. KJung

    KJung Supporting Member

    Yeah, the TH500 needs a bit of a differently voiced cab to work really well. I had the same trouble with it with the AE212. It is marvelous with the DB112's. I also dig mine with my AE210 (+1... GREAT small box), but agree with you if you want tight and punchy and articulate, the TH500 is probaboy not the best thing (it is more 'big and chewy' sounding). I use my F500 with the AE210 and AE212 in those situations. Not quite as 'big and zingy as the M800, but very controlled and GREAT EQ, so somewhat similar thing for me.
     
  18. Munjibunga

    Munjibunga Total Hyper-Elite Member Gold Supporting Member

    May 6, 2000
    San Diego (when not at Groom Lake)
    Independent Contractor to Bass San Diego
    I really like my AE212 with the MB800 and have gigged that rig many times, even outdoors (with PA support). I think it would've worked for the Mormon band gig, but I just didn't need the horsepower.
     
  19. mam1862

    mam1862 Supporting Member

    Nov 10, 2008
    Northfield, Ohio
    Thx Munj.
     
  20. Munjibunga

    Munjibunga Total Hyper-Elite Member Gold Supporting Member

    May 6, 2000
    San Diego (when not at Groom Lake)
    Independent Contractor to Bass San Diego
    Here's where that's from.
     

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