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Thunderfunk 550 gets hot... advice please!

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Groove Doctor, Jan 28, 2013.

  1. Hi guys,

    Firstly, YES THE FAN IS ON..., no it's not in a road case, and no it's not the stage lights.....

    I'm just wanting to know from EXPERIENCED TFB550 owners about how hot your amp gets. Mine seems to get too hot to touch more on the bottom than the top, and more on the end furthest from the fan. Propping it up 2 inches for more air flow helps a bit but still get hot enough to make me concerned. I leave it on during breaks for fan to cool it down which only takes about 5 minutes.

    In the TF Owners Manual it states TFB550 "can handle as much heat as it generates as long as the load is kept to a 4-Ohm minimum". Running 240V (Australia), Gold chip upgrade, Mute switch installed by TF Authorised Repairer.

    I'm currently gigging with TC Electronic RS212 and RS210 vertical stack, supposedly 8ohms each = 4 ohm total load. I'm told these aren't fully 8ohms and suspect this might be the root cause, though it still gets hot running only one cab..... !?!

    Gigs are quite loud and use Hearos earplugs. Preamp volume on 5 (very little clipping) and master volume also around 5. Playing Tobias (mostly in active) and P-Bass at gigs.

    I've thought about placing it on top of an aluminium heat sink, upgrading the internal fan or adding an external fan to cool it but wanting advice on best options.
  2. spiritbass

    spiritbass Supporting Member

    Jun 9, 2004
    Ashland, MO
    I don't know how hot "too hot to touch" is - you could be a wimp for all I know. :D

    All kidding aside, the aluminum chassis is designed to be the heat sink. If you're working it hard, it's going to get hot. I don't think you have a problem.
  3. Bassist30

    Bassist30 Supporting Member

    Mar 19, 2004
    Did you call or email Dave. He is the most knowledgeable person when it comes to electronics. He built the 550 and knows everything about it. I know he improves his designs all the time. Tell him what you are experiencing and the speakers you are using. He updated my 550 and may do yours also. I know at times the amp can get hot but never had a problem with that. But again please email him as he is very good with answering problems.
  4. Yes the 550 series will get quite warm on the bottom if you are really pushing it at 4ohms. Not an issue, that is part of its design, using the chassis as a heat sink.

    The 750 series will get REALLY hot run at 2ohms.
  5. Thanks guys, good to know... esp after 3 gigs in 2 days. It works hard but still runs flawlessly. When I play my P bass with flats and pick, the guitarist calls it "the freight train". :D

    I got the idea to sit it on top of an EXTRA external heat sink to dissipate the heat more effectively. I got the idea to use one of those fancy meat defrosting plate/trays that work just like the high end audio heat sinks.
  6. jastacey


    Feb 8, 2009
    When I had my 550-b updated, one of the items that got changed was the heatsinking
  7. gregbackstrom

    gregbackstrom Supporting Member

    Feb 3, 2005
    Tacoma, Washington
    Interesting ... I've had two 750's and am currently playing an 800. I've used all of them most-frequently with two 4 ohm Bergantino AE 212's at pretty high volume and haven't noticed the amp getting really hot. I leave my fan on full time, rather than "auto." I wonder if that's the difference.
  8. I assume the later 750a's have some of the upgrades in heat management that were included in the 800 revision.

    From my experience with my 420EU to 550a to 550b, Dave is constantly modifying, improving these amps (which is a good thing).

    The early 750's got blazing hot when pushed at 2ohms.

    Edit: I bet that is a wicked good sounding rig!
  9. gregbackstrom

    gregbackstrom Supporting Member

    Feb 3, 2005
    Tacoma, Washington
    It's pretty amazing - lots of punch and snap. I just picked a ShuttleMAX 12.2. I'm pretty excited about comparing the two.

    OP - sorry for the derail!
  10. rok51


    Sep 2, 2002
    Crawfordville, FL
    I had a 550A model that I ran into 4 ohms all the time. It got way hotter than any other amp I had used. That said, it never, ever skipped a beat or let me down. Great amp!

  11. ^ Good to know - thanks Kim. :)
  12. Bassist30

    Bassist30 Supporting Member

    Mar 19, 2004
    Mine didn't get hot that you thought it might be serious.
  13. emart

    emart Supporting Member

    Sep 2, 2009
    SF Bay Area
    When I first got my 550B about a year ago I noticed it got pretty hot and emailed Dave Funk about it. The first line of his response was:

    "The amp can get so hot you can't touch it and still be alright. But the equipment above or below may not like it."

    Ever since then I haven't worried about the heat. I run the fan all the time and keep the case well ventilated.
  14. Bassist30

    Bassist30 Supporting Member

    Mar 19, 2004
    If Dave said it then its OK. He does use the best parts so if it does get Hot don't worry. I never thought it was a problem. I have played amps that went hotter. The 750A at 2 ohms got hot but I never thought it was critical.
    I know a friend of mine had the 550b for a short while and did play it at 2 ohms... Dave said to him he didn't recommend it but wasn't seriously concerned.
    He did it and nothing bad happened. He sold it cause he wanted an amp with more power. But he still felt it was one of the very best amps he ever played.
  15. Kael


    Dec 26, 2004
    Oklahoma City
    Don't know if it was on here or in an email, but I seem to recall Dave stating that the chassis on this amp would get hot enough to boil water and not suffer any damage. Stays cooler inside than out.