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Thunderfunk & Aguilar

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by pedroferreira, Mar 20, 2006.


  1. pedroferreira

    pedroferreira

    Feb 10, 2003
    Portugal
    Hi.

    Yesterday a friend of mine borrow me an Aguilar AG 500 so I could try in a concert I played.
    I loved it. I play with it through an EA CXL-112L and with 250W@8ohm it was plenty loud with a band consisting of: Drums, percussion, bass, guitar, piano, keyboards, 2 violins, viola, cello, sax, trumpet, trombone, flute and 10 singers!!! :eek:
    So I loved it but I think the cab and the amp aren’t a great combination. The CXL at high volumes is very punchy (too much I’m afraid) and I would like to cut it a little, but I couldn’t. :meh:
    So this brings me to this question:

    What you guys think of the Thunderfunk?

    Can I get that warm sound of the Aguilar but with the versatility of the parametric EQ?

    I have a friend who is a dealer of Aguilar, but if I buy an Aguilar AG500, in case of needing repair, I have to send it to USA (I’m from Portugal, Europe) because of the Class D design; the Thunderfunk is an all analog amp, so if I need repair I can take it to a good electronic technician here in Portugal.

    Another question: Does the Thunderfunk sounds like an SWR???

    I’ve been a huge fan of SWR, but nowadays I can’t play through one. Sorry SWR users. It’s just a personal and subjective thing. I don’t like the sound of it. And I know the “relationship” between AMP and SWR.

    I play funk, disco, pop, rock, jazz, salsa and I’m doing a lot of musicals here in Portugal, so I need something versatile. I have a Fender Jazz Bass (1978) and I’m waiting for my first Sadowsky (a RV5 Olympic White).

    What do you guys think?

    Thanks in advance,:bassist: :bassist: :bassist:

    Pedro.
     
  2. TF's sound nothing like an SWR... closer to the Eden sound with a little less 'tube bloom' in the low end. Wonderful heads....

    We recently A/B'd my TF with an Ag500 at Vic's little hang (and very, very quickly at Tom's)... the Ag500 was much 'warmer' and more 'rock' sounding than the very quick and clean TF. The AG500 seemed to excel in more grindy rock tones, and the distortion channel, while not my personal thing, sounded very good.

    The TF with the EA NL210's sounded WONDERFUL IMO.
     
  3. pedroferreira

    pedroferreira

    Feb 10, 2003
    Portugal

    Hey Kjung,
    I was waiting for your reply ;)

    But do you think I can get that kind of lows I get with the AG500?

    Pedro
     
  4. IMO... yes! Both great heads. You should also check out the EdenWT550... another great, small lightweight head.... to me, kind of in-between the TF and the Ag... a little 'warmer' than the TF (due to the tube in the pre IMO), but a little more modern and 'clean' vs. the Ag500 IMO. All of them are great, and in the same ballpark IMO.

    PS Vic has some experience with the AG/TF comparison.. if he doesn't show up on your thread, PM him for his take.
     
  5. I have an ag500, and while I haven't had a chance to check out the thunderfunk I do have an eden as well. I agree with kjung's statement about the aguilar sounding very 'rock', that's part of the reason I like it, but the eden is quicker sounding which I prefer for funk. Of course, the aguilar is lighter then my WT800 so I tend to take it if I'm feeling lazy and I've made it work for all kinds of situations when I've had to :)
     
  6. Quadzilla

    Quadzilla Supporting Member

    I have the AG500 also. I have not played though a Thunderfunk but have owned a couple AMP BH-420's which is what the T-Funk was modeled after. I have also owned an Eden. I agree with the comments above. The BH-420 was AWESOME clean and very quick, where as the Eden was warm and very natuaral sounding without being bland and harsh like a SWR (sorry, just my opinion of the SWR's I've owned). The Aggie AG500 on the other hand is perfect for rock. It just has that edgy rock tone with a hint of growl on the clean channel. The distortion channel is well voiced (much more so than the Boss overdrive and some other pedals I've owned) and projects well even in the lows unlike some others I've used. You can also cut the distortion all the way and use the contour control for a channel dedicated to slapping. The AG500 really is a versatile head!
     
  7. Vic

    Vic There's more music in the nuance than the notes. Gold Supporting Member

    Oct 14, 2002
    Central Illinois
    Staff, Bass Gear Magazine
    Generally +1 on all the comments, here's my "spin" on it...

    NOTE: IMHO disclaimer! :)

    First, the TFB, UNlike the Aggie, was not particular about what it sounded good thru. Ironically, I really disliked the Aggie head thru the Aggie 112's (What the heck????), tho it sounded very nice thru the Schroeder 1212 (both 4ohm 212 configs). In fact, I passed on Aggie heads a long time ago based on what I heard at a NAMM show with it plugged into their 112's, 212's, and 112 combos. Just too darn "thick" for me. The TFB, on the other hand, sounded great no matter what. A big "locking in" factor for me getting mine.

    Next, the TFB does not sound like an SWR to me, which IMHO is a good thing. I've tried to like SWR's in the past, and I know it's great quality stuff well liked by many pros, but just no workie for me at all. I can't put my finger on it, but with the SWR's, the first thing I do is reach for the EQ, and pretty much can't stop. A very bad sign.

    I'd also say that, with the combination of the 4 band parametric EQ plus bass and treble, "enhance" (scooper), and the unbelievably powerful timbre control, you'd be very hard pressed to find a sound you couldn't love with the TFB. However, all that said, to my ears, it sounds great flat, which is a huge pass/fail test for me.
     
  8. pedroferreira

    pedroferreira

    Feb 10, 2003
    Portugal
    Thanks for the responses. Keep them coming...:bassist:

    Pedro
     
  9. Vic

    Vic There's more music in the nuance than the notes. Gold Supporting Member

    Oct 14, 2002
    Central Illinois
    Staff, Bass Gear Magazine
    In particular, the Aggie head DID sound real nice thru the Schroeder 1212 at my house as well. I still preferred the TFB to it, but the "competition" was definitely a lot closer on that cab.

    Thing is, that only led me further away from the Aggie. I love the flexibility of just not having to worry about what was connected. I know you said you've tried other stuff as well, but at least in my case, it made a pretty noticeable diff, and in some cases, not good.

    Ken, do you remember how the Aggie 500 did thru the Berg?
     
  10. Hey Vic! I agree with your comments... the Ag sounded great through some cabs (although it still did not have the totally clean sound of the TF when set flat to my ear... still had a little mid growl and warmth), but just so-so through others. We did not connect the Ag to the Berg (or at least I don't remember doing that).
     
  11. Kael

    Kael Supporting Member

    Dec 26, 2004
    Oklahoma City
    The combination of cxl-112 + just about anything is going to be punchy. I use a TFB through a cxl-112 (or nl-210). They pair very nicely, but then again both those peices of equipment seem to pair well with most everything I've tried them with. Between the cxl-112's ability to respond well to EQ and the TF's versatile EQ options that is a pretty flexable small setup.
     
  12. westland

    westland

    Oct 8, 2004
    Hong Kong
    +1 on the assessment of TF. I plugged my tube-based Aguilar DB659 into the first FX loop on the TFB550 for awhile to ad warmth, but went back to the 'native' TFB sound. I actually like the fast, shapable response of the TFB more, so now I just use the TFB by itself. It's a great head for the money, and Dave Funk stands behind the product 1000% (I had a chance to find out when one of the rear jacks failed ... I sent the amp back to
    Dave, and he returned it with all new jacks, some upgrades in power supply and a few other additions).
     
  13. wyleeboxer

    wyleeboxer Supporting Member

    Apr 28, 2005
    Orange County, CA
    Although I’ve never played through a TF, I must say that some of the tone assessments Im hearing here sound a bit comparable to my early 90's SWR Basic350 head like for ex. quick, clean and fast, sounds good set flat, and has a modern sound. I know my Basic350 cant get the distortion like a TF, but is there maybe some other common ground like overall tone, quality, style and influence between these two heads?

    I dont like the other SWR stuff either but I use my Basic350 mainly for a funk side project over my 2000rb for all the reasons above, hence maybe the Thunderfunk in it. And maybe I’ve been using an early TF all this time and didn’t even know it! :)
     
  14. Vic

    Vic There's more music in the nuance than the notes. Gold Supporting Member

    Oct 14, 2002
    Central Illinois
    Staff, Bass Gear Magazine
    Actually, the TF is not designed to distort at all. The limiter steps in the way... even when "disabled" (which it never really is).

    Well, the older SWR stuff and the AMP heads all have the same roots as the TF, so I'm sure it's possible in a way. I just know the current SWR stuff doesn't sound nearly as good to me.
     
  15. tombowlus

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

    Apr 3, 2003
    North central Ohio
    Editor-in-Chief, Bass Gear Magazine
    Both are great heads. I call it a toss-up, and believe that only personal preference (or possibly a strong desire for an on-board overdriven channel) can decide this for you.

    Tom.
     
  16. pedroferreira

    pedroferreira

    Feb 10, 2003
    Portugal
    I don’t care for the dual channel. I don’t use distortion.
    With the AG and the CXL there are frequencies I would like to cut (like 1 KHz) and I can’t.
    The thunderfunk has the parametric EQ, but can I get that warm “Aguilar sound” with the thunderfunk?


    Pedro
     
  17. If that sort of warm slightly overdriven mid sound (i.e., warm) is very important to you, and you don't use distortion, I would recommend either the single channel version of the AG500 (you will save some cash and get the same power output and the same 'clean channel' pre), or the EdenWT550, which is IMO in-between the Ag and the TF.... it has a little more warmth than the TF due to the preamp tube, but has the semi-parametric EQ you are looking for.

    While the TF sounds plenty 'warm' to me, it is meant to be a very clean sounding amp, and in my A/B's with the Ag500, the Ag did have a faint 'tube-like' sound (a little less quick, and little more give, and a little less 'clean' in the mids). The TF is very close to the Eden WT550, with again the Eden being a little bigger in the low end and a little 'sweeter' in the upper mids and treble.

    I find that the Eden and TF can be made to sound very similar, while the AG500 seems to be a somewhat differently voiced.+

    It sounds to me like the single channel AG500 might be the ticket for the sound you are looking for, and you should be able to get that head for significantly less than either the TF or WT550.
     
  18. pedroferreira

    pedroferreira

    Feb 10, 2003
    Portugal

    Hi.

    No overdrive for me :D I like warm but clean warm.
    My amp now consists of a Raven Labs PHA-1 preamp and QSC USA 850 power amp (an older heavy model).
    So basically I get a clean sound, almost “sterile” with the CXL. I like it, but after played with the aguilar I’ve got that warm lows that I was missing with my setup.
    But because it was not a perfect combination I started thinking about Thunderfunk.
    With Aguilar I can get a good price ( I’m friend of a dealer ;) ) but I want to know if there’s anything better suited for me.
    If the Thunderfunk can make that sound and be more versatile... cool.:hyper:

    Maybe I got to buy an Aguilar (SC of course). And then maybe a pair of GS112 (my wife will kill me- she gave me the Cxl) because they were made for each other.

    Thanks,

    Pedro
     
  19. Vic

    Vic There's more music in the nuance than the notes. Gold Supporting Member

    Oct 14, 2002
    Central Illinois
    Staff, Bass Gear Magazine
    You may want to listen to a few cab options before you buy. IMHO, the Aggie head sounded the worst thru the GS112's. This surprised me, but is the way it sounded to me. It sounded the best thru the Schroeder and 210 cabs.
     
  20. tombowlus

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

    Apr 3, 2003
    North central Ohio
    Editor-in-Chief, Bass Gear Magazine
    I was going to respond, but I knew that you would hit it. :)

    I would add that I thought that Josh's AG500 also sounded pretty killer through Ken's UL-410.