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Thunderfunk 550 question

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by 5bassman, Sep 5, 2005.


  1. 5bassman

    5bassman Supporting Member

    May 4, 2005
    Kennesaw,GA
    I'm thinking about getting the T- Funk 550. I'm wondering is I should order it with the "Switch". I understand it gives it a HI-FI sound, such as the iAmp500, which I have now. I don't play slap, only fingerstyle. Would I benefit from the switch?

    Also, what are the measurements of the 550? Haven't found them.
     
  2. xb100

    xb100

    Mar 24, 2004
    NH, In
    You can find all the specs for the TF TFB550 here


    Hope that helps!


    -Rob
     
  3. 5bassman

    5bassman Supporting Member

    May 4, 2005
    Kennesaw,GA
    I can't get the Manual to download. Just need the measurements. Thanks!
     
  4. the dude

    the dude Supporting Member

    Sep 19, 2004
    Indy
    Well, the manual loaded fine here...but I didn't find reference to "the switch"...
     
  5. David Wilson

    David Wilson Administrator Staff Member Administrator Supporting Member

    Oct 14, 2002
    Lower Westchester, NY
    I personally really couldn't tell much of a difference with the switch. I mean, if it gives you that tiny little bit that gives you YOUR sound then it's worth it to me. But I personally couldn't tell enough difference to justify it to me.
     
  6. michele

    michele Supporting Member

    Apr 2, 2004
    Italy
    IMO for $75 is better to have it. I'm a fingerstyle guy too and I dig the "regular" TF sound but over the years I've learned that what is useless today could easily turn into indispensable tomorrow.
     
  7. 5bassman

    5bassman Supporting Member

    May 4, 2005
    Kennesaw,GA
    Does anyone know the width x length x heighth. I would like to compare size to my iAmp500.
     
  8. David Wilson

    David Wilson Administrator Staff Member Administrator Supporting Member

    Oct 14, 2002
    Lower Westchester, NY
    with rack ears on, height and width will be the same - standard one rack space sizing. without rack ears, the iamp500 will be an inch or two narrower than the thunderfunk imo.
    Depth is circa one foot, mine is mounted in case right now so hard to get 100% accurate reading
     
  9. the dude

    the dude Supporting Member

    Sep 19, 2004
    Indy
    17" wide (19" w/rack ears) x 3 1/2" high x 10 1/2" deep
     
  10. bigtexashonk

    bigtexashonk Supporting Member

    I don't have the switch, but I'm about vintage tones, not more modern, slap and pop. I've heard it said that most folks won't hear the difference unless the technique is super tight.
     
  11. Chef

    Chef Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    May 23, 2004
    Columbia MO
    Staff Reviewer; Bass Gear Magazine
    The TFB is a pretty dang clean amp to start with. I don't have "the switch" on mine, and I use ot for double bass a lot.
     
  12. rhett

    rhett

    Dec 23, 2004
    Austin TX
    i've found the tone diff of the switch on vs. off to be much more subtle than i expected; i would likely have been disappointed had i bought mine new and paid the extra 75 for it. seems that for that $ a person could just tweak a knob or two or use a stomp for their preferred change.
    don't get me wrong, i LOVE my TFB550 passionately!
    you could always try one at the bass gallery in atlanta...
     
  13. Thunderfunk

    Thunderfunk

    Mar 27, 2004
    McHenry, IL
    Here's what Ken Jung recently said about "The Switch."

    “Another interesting note: the TF also has the "Switch" option. On the first gig I used it with the Switch in one position, today I used it in the other. The difference in the live context was amazing. I could tell a slight difference when I first received the amp and tried it out on the two Switch settings, but in the mix one was obviously cleaner and more "hi-fi," whereas the other was very tube-like, and thicker. And the Switch adds a whole new element to this amp!”

    Ken Jung and tommixx just bought second amps and both of them re-ordered them with "The Switch."

    For a while I called it a “Tube Emulator Switch,“ but that got confusing as it’s really a “Tube Emulator OFF Switch,” but then that got confusing. I've recently went back and just started calling it “The Switch” again. The default tone is "tube."

    In September, 2003, I spent some soundcheck time with Victor (from the LeAnn Rimes band) and brought two Thunderfunk TFB420's with me. We AB'd these two amps along with his EBS system (he's Swedish). I had made a change to my design that I wanted to test, and the result was that the amp sounded more like the EBS... more "HiFi" and to my ears more "sterile." I decided I liked my original tone better, and decided not to change my design.

    But, then I found a lot of players like a more solid state tone for slap. So I thought, "Why not just put in a switch?"

    The Switch changes the way the power supply feeds the preamp circuit and changes the tone of the amp SLIGHTLY from a tube tone to a solid state tone. It is subtle, and that's why it's an option. I hate to sound like the "Emperor's New Clothes," but if you don't have a good bass, good speakers, and a good touch, you may not notice the difference. It's not some dramatic tone shaping circuit. It's a change in response and texture. The more sensitive your touch, the more you'll hear the difference. It's NOT a two channel amp. It's not intended to be changed mid-song. It just another option for use with different instruments and styles. 90% of my sales order it. I warn customers that it is subtle. One thing I don't like is amps with switches were either one position sounds good and the other bad (what's the point?) or both sound bad (ditto). Why not just have one good sound? The Switch is not a tone shifter. In the "clean" position there's more upper mid-range clarity. I recently demonstrated it for my wife and she could hear the difference.

    Victor and I were at Star Plaza Merrillville, IN, which is a medium sized auditorium, and the difference was very apparent. The EBS amp he was using is a HiFi amp, and doesn't add character to the tone. During the concert it sounded good except for one song where he used a Hofner. The combination of the soft sounding Hofner and the flat amp tone sounded pretty flat. I doubt the audience noticed. BTW, Victor is an amazing fretless player. I think he lives with a bass in his hands, and knows the neck intimately. He played the fretless fast and in perfect tune.
     
  14. Chef

    Chef Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    May 23, 2004
    Columbia MO
    Staff Reviewer; Bass Gear Magazine
    Dave;
    Thanks for the explanation;)


    Alan, happy tfb420 user.
     
  15. the dude

    the dude Supporting Member

    Sep 19, 2004
    Indy
    ...so when the switch is "on" the "tubes" are "off"...
     
  16. Well.... Dave made it unecessary for me to comment! But I will anyway..... I use the amp in the switch 'down' position all the time now.... I like that little bit of additional sparkle and a slight change in the upper mid response (to my ear anyway!). For $75.... just get it! Both positions sound great, but they are different enough that it's a very good value for very little additional money. :)
     
  17. Thunderfunk

    Thunderfunk

    Mar 27, 2004
    McHenry, IL
    If you follow the American standard that up is On then the "tubes" are on when the switch is Up. But if you don't have The Switch, then Up is the default.

    As Ken says below, it adds some sparkle, but loses some of the guttiness. The warm is always there. I'm sure I could just build the amp one way or the other, but then why not have a choice? I think you'll find that certain playing styles or instruments work better in one position or the other. That was really my decision. Change the design? Or not? Why not offer the Player the choice?
     
  18. 5bassman

    5bassman Supporting Member

    May 4, 2005
    Kennesaw,GA
    Thanks for all the help. Now I must decide.
     
  19. JOME77

    JOME77

    Aug 18, 2002
    Georgia
    Go with the switch. Wouldn't you rather spend $75 for it and never use it than not spend the $75 and wonder what it would have sounded like? Of course for what it's worth, I bought the TFB-420 before the availability of the 550. I considered upgrading but the 420 is capable of greater volumes than I need, I love the sound of the 420 as is and decided it wasn't worth $300-450 to upgrade. No sense in fixing what isn't broken! :D
     
  20. the dude

    the dude Supporting Member

    Sep 19, 2004
    Indy
    Thanks Dave. I'm not English (though my roots are there) so I must profess ignorance.

    After reading:
    I got confused, but I've got it now.

    Either way, it's very cool. Thanks for including it (and for your very informative posts.)

    I'm *very* happy with my (with "the switch") TFB550!