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Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by JPMcGuire, Dec 26, 2012.
Anyone have experience comparing these three? I'm using a bergantino HS410 cab
I've had a Thunderfunk 750A - I loved everything about it other than the low end was a bit too tight for my liking. Some say the highs are attenuated as well, but I actually had plenty for my taste. If you like lots of "slice" on the top end, it may not suit. Overall, it was a nice, warm, middy tone.
I now play a Mesa Walkabout - more of that 3D bloomy character like a tube amp. Much more full range than the TF. Some find it underpowered, but I play it through a 412 and it roars. Even in pretty loud settings I keep it at around 10 o'clock and it's awesome. Some find the fan noisy, but I personally haven't (but keep it in the Mesa head case). Best amp I've ever had.
I only tried the Aggie in a store and that was years ago. Would kinda like to try it again with my NV412.
I have a TF750a coming tomorrow. I am going to have a shoot out comparing all three and decide which two to keep.
Nice - would love to hear your thoughts after doing that!
Not much experience with the walkabout but was impressed trying one as a combo in a store. The HS 410 is a very nice cabinet and probably or arguably one of the best 410's available. I would think the TF or DB750 would be a nice match with that cabinet. The DB having the most power if that is what you are looking for. The top end of the DB and TF are similar as the shelving is around 4K. Alexander mentioned he thought the TF750A bass was too tight. Alexnder you would hate the TF550. One of the characters of the TF is the tight bottom. This does not mean it does not have bottom but the limiter ads even more to it. Many like me like that and is one of the positives to those who love that amp. When pushed the bottom is very audible. The mids can tune to your likeing. But again it may not have extended highs yet there are some great slapper like Bill Dickens who used it and I may be wrong but I think he may be using Aguilar. The aguilar sounds Massive and around here many who sell go and buy another soon after. In some ways they are similar to the TF. Not in all but in some. It does have a more open bottom but the mids are very clear . Its highs are similar to the TF. What i have heard the mesa has more extended highs and Alexander would know more about that amp. Chef a moderator here also has much experience with that amp and can give you insight on it. Good Luck but all in all i don't think you will make a bad choice with any of these amps. Mitch good luck with your decision as a TF is arriving soon.
I had a TFB420 as well and yes, it was even more compressed than the 750A, especially when pushed. I used a nice, wide sounding UL410 with it, which balanced things out. I thought it was a great sounding head otherwise - really warm and musical sounding. I can absolutely see why they get all the acclaim they do. Had several good conversations with Dave - great service, even though neither of my TFunks gave even a hint of a problem...
Wow you got the old ones. Amazing how similar they still are. yes its hard to get rid of because I bought the 550B from him. Then updated it (gold chip and new powerboard), and when I bought the 750A I had intentions to sell the 550B but couldn't. Weird I started going back to the 550B because of what we agree on, the compressed lows. I really like that. So many times the lows can get away into the mix, air and sound to open. Live that compressed lows singles it out and makes the lows its own without mixing with other frequencies. Strange discription right? I can't explain it properly so it sounds weird. But I guess you have to have one to know it.
+1 As one who gigged a 550b for quite some time, the tight, rather compressed low end was actually a signature tone from that head, and it worked very well for many contexts. Kind of vibed a fridge cab down low, regardless of the cab you were playing.
The 750 is a more wide open down low, and could probably 'almost' keep up with the DB750, but with more midrange punch and definition, and much smaller size and weight. The Walkabout really isn't in the league (volume-wise)of these other two heads (at least run at 4ohms).
I agree with you on the low-low thing getting in the way of a good mix. Mixing that TF with a wide cabinet was a good balance for me. With the WA, I actually run it through a big sealed cab, which has much of the same effect - tightens up the low end a bit. Just comes at it from a bit of a different angle. The tone between the two rigs is very similar to me - I was going for a "modern vintage" voice. The TF was warmer and cleaner - the tweeter brought out a bit more "ping" in the high end as well. The Mesa\NV rig is a tad bigger\fuller sounding and gives a bit more grit\grind. Both rigs have "magic knobs" - the timbre control on the TF can tighten things up nicely whereas the mid control on the Mesa is about the only control I adjust during a set - dialing it up a bit on songs where I need a bit more cut. Similar effect.
+1 Mix and match! If you dig the Mesa mid control, you might dig the Aguilar TH500 quite a bit. That semi-parametric mid has a HUGE impact on the tone, and interacts wonderfully with the 'drive' control, that is another kind of revoicing knob that tightens the low end and top end to move toward a more 'sealed one way box' tone. Very nice front end of the TH500.
The only thing is the Walkabout is so much different than the other two in power. If he included the walkabout with the TF750 and DB750 I am thinking maybe power isn't the issue because The DB750 is massive (Sounds louder than 750). The TF750 does not have the power but does have volume when needed (Still Loud). It sounds to me that the TF750 at 2 ohms matches the DB750 at 4 OHMS. The Thunderfunk has many tonal options yet both sound amazing in a live content. While trying many small and light amp options for certain gigs the TH 500 may work for you. Its small and has the aguilar tone signature. Not like the DB750 but the same regardless. The GK Fusion could be an option also. A little more modern sounding with a very good EQ section. The thing with these amps, the ones described originally the walkabout may be the most modern sounding out of all. The DB and TF have that 4 K shelving that is similar to some of the great vintage amps which isn't a bad thing. Yet they have a great mid and low end capabilities. As well as the Walkabout but its all in taste. Like I said I tried the walkabout combo and played it for a long time, being it sounded so good. They are all great amps and guess no one can help you when it all boils down to taste.
I did do an A/b comparing the Th500 to the walkabout and the DB750 with a telefunken upgrade. The TH500 got muddy quickly. When trying to boost the mids and highs it just sounded sterile compared to the walkabout and the DB which were so much more alive and organic.
Over the last 6 years I have had everything from Ampeg vintage SvT, v4, markbass, genz and the three final contenders for are the walkabout, DB, and potentially the TF750a which arrives in the mail today!
I am still so impressed with that little walkabout through the right cab. The first true hybrid tube amp tone that's in my head.
My test this break is really between the DB and the TF750. The walkabout will stay for the smaller gigs.
The TH500's input section is quite different from most amps. To keep it clean, the gain needs to be set quite a bit lower than typical. It is a hammer, and will outperform the TF750a into 4ohms IMO and IME (i.e., more open low end, same max volume). Of course, the DB750 is a HAMMER, but tonally, quite similar to the TH500 to my ears. I do understand that tube swap makes quite a difference, and have not heard a DB with that telefunken in there.
The TF750 is a fine amp though. It puts out about the same power as the TH500 into 4ohms, and is a bit cleaner overall, with a similar emphasis on the midrange, and a very organic top end.
I had a Walkabout for a while... very special head. Tonewise, amazing, volume-wise, not so much IMO and IME.
Well you will be getting the Thunderfunk soon and then you will know for sure. You know what the DB and the TH sound like and what they can do. The TF750 and DB750 are close in volume given the edge to the DB. But there was a tb'r here who gave a eq setting that was very close to the DB750 but on the Thunderfunk. Boost a little the 40, 250, 400, 4k to your likeing while the bass and treble flat. Also the one click to the left is flat on the timbre knob. Have Fun Tomorrow. In a few tell us what you think.
+1 All this stuff is great and it is just a matter of finding one that matches up to your tone goals and volume needs. It is rare that someone (like the OP) can try all the stuff and 'be sure'.
Just picked it up late afternoon the tf750. Took it over to a friends house to compare with his t550b. Sounded very similar, even volume wise. Tonight I'm going to compare with the DB and walkabout. One thing is the unit looks super well built. I dig the neon light in the fan. Conquering the mighty DB and walkabout is going to be tough competion! This amp for sure has 100 percent better form factor and easy to carry vs the DB which is a huge selling point! The DB feels heavier than the 50 or so lbs in the case to me!
The TF750a is not that much more powerful at 4ohms than the 550b, but has (from posts by Dave Funk) a larger, more robust power supply. When you get it on the gig, you will most likely notice a more deep, extended low end versus the 550b, but pretty much the same performance.
Great amp, and a bit less 'fussy' with cab pairings (IMO) than the DB750, which is kind of a 'very good one trick pony'. The knobs don't do a massive amount of revoicing with that head IMO. There is so much EQ on the Thunderfunk that you can pretty much dial it in to any cab you can imagine.
Have fun and post up.
I agree its not that much louder but you know another 200 watts never is. But it will be louder as you can up the limiter more as it won't compress as much. One thing with the thunderfunk its a limiter and not a compressor. Again have fun. its great getting new stuff. Nothing like it.
Had fun with this test tonight and the new to me tf750a
Basses used: MTD 535-24 alder maple maple and a Fender Custom shop 64 jazz relic.
Test 1. Walkabout
The walkabout still remains my all time fav for tone and dynamics. IME with the Berg Cab, hs410 in this case, it can handle 99 percent of gigs most tbers would be involved with. Loud enough with the right cab to hang with the majority of drummers.
Pros: Organic full range tone. Great parametric eq. And other adjustments. Only weighs 10lbs or so. Feels bigger tone wise with richness compared to the new micro offerings ime/IMO. For $500 used they are going for these days they are a deal. Can eq easily to any room quickly. More full range than the TF. Better midrange than the DB.
Cons: 165 watts at 8ohms, 300watts. At 4ohms. Said to be able to do 500watts at 2ohms. Feels like your 75 to 80% there in volume and girth at 4 ohms compared to the DB750 to me. The low end is not as big as the DB but I feel a little better feel than the tf750. A smoother SVT like dynamic. Hard to describe.
Test 2. Thunderfunk 750a
My initial impression is that the tone is nothing like the DB750 and he Walkabout. Through the HS410 this head had ultra quick SS Clean tone. Played with the eq and limiter/timber knobs which can greatly change the tone. The one thing I was able to achieve was a monstrous modern slap tone that is just not there with the db750 and to a less extent the walkabout. My MTD slap tone never sounded better, but Very modern. With the right twists of knobs and the tube emulator switch I could get a decent old school tone with the Fender but not nearly as convincing and harmonically smooth as the walkabout and db750.
Pros: Monsterous SS slap tone. Lots of adjustabity to dial in a variety of tones although best suited for modern hi FI type tones. Relatively easy to carry with the side handle like the walkabout has, not heavy al all. Especially when compared to the DB750. Nice little rubber feet to store on side. Cool neon glow fan light! Very high quality/well built.
Cons: does not do smooth old school tones as well as the other two. Does not have the low end and girth of the db750. Expensive (but extremely well built!).
Test 3. Aguilar DB750
With the HS410 and a telefunken upgrade this DB sounds massively organic and is a true tube SS hybrid. You can feel some tube give to to notes similar to the mesa. This rig sounds so good live but can be tricky to dial in some rooms if boomy.
Pros: the girth/power is addicting. It kills both other amps and hard to explain unless you try one. Similar in feel to a vintage SVT in terms of power and girth. Although still not a SVT. The main tone of this amp is well suited for a variety of music styles but I would say its more toward the smooth and old school tonal spectrum. . The amp is a work of art engineering and so overbuilt. Something you just don't see these days. It appears even more overbuilt than the Thunderfunk which is too very high quality.
Cons. Over 50lbs with the hard case and feels even heavier for some reason. Feels right in the middle between my old Vintage SVT and the thunderfunk 750a. Not really a con but basically this Big amp merges modern and vintage with a slight lean over to the clean SVT side. Will not do the snarly SVT, will not do the ultra clean SS. Little adjustment with the eq! Aval. Can be boomy and hard to tame in some rooms.
At this point I'm going to keep all three for a while. The thunderfunk is unique enough to have something that provides incredible SS tone which augments my collection/not redundant IMO. If I had to get rid of one, I think the DB would be first to go. Main reason is the weight and lack of eq/adjustment. But for what the DB does well, the TF and Walkabout don't compare.
Having a walkabout and a thunderfunk could end up being the solution for any gig for me and allow me not to break my back and still have virtually any tone at my reach!
I felt the same way. I never tried the db, but I play a wide variety of music and I think that with a walkabout and my EBS hd350, I can cover any style without breaking my back.