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ThunderFunk and Eden

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by widefat, May 26, 2004.


  1. widefat

    widefat

    May 2, 2004
    Tralfamadore
    Those outstanding fellas at Bass Central are about to fix me up with either a Thunderfunk or an Eden WT550. Problem:
    It's "mail order", and I have not seen or heard a Thunderfunk before.

    How does it compare tone wise to an Eden or an SWR 550x?
    I've heard both the Eden and the SWR, so this comparison will give me an idea.

    How about the Thunderfunk reliability?
     
  2. narud

    narud Supporting Member

    Mar 15, 2001
    santa maria,california
    i havent played a thunderfunk but i used to own an amp bh420 which the tf is based on. i also own an eden 800 and 400. the eden and tf should sound very different . the eden has some of the high mids scooped out when set flat where they are much more present in the bh420 sound. the eq is also more limited on the bh420 and cant get a boost in the 10-12k high end range that you can on the eden. the eden also has a fatter low end when flat that some people call muddy or colored where the thunderfunk should be more of a flat response head.
     
  3. widefat

    widefat

    May 2, 2004
    Tralfamadore
    It sounds like the Eden may be more versatile?
     
  4. narud

    narud Supporting Member

    Mar 15, 2001
    santa maria,california
    imo, the eq section is more versatile, but many people find it useless. ive been using my eden 800 for the last 7 years so im very comfortable with how the eq works and how the knobs interact with each other. the beef i usually here is that a small knob turn is too drastic and that for all that range, they cant do anything with it. also that its too colored of a sound. i dont have that problem and i dont feel that way. however, i also preferred the eden to swr sm400,demeter pre,and amp bh 420 i owned. the only other amp ive owned that i like as much as the eden was the ebs hd 350 which has a preamp section that sounds very similar to the eden.

    that amp preamp sound to me is great if you just want to set it and forget it. most people that dig it just plug in and play with the eq set flat.

    what amp are you using now and what kind of sound are you looking for? these amps sound very different and its difficult to recommend anything without knowing where someone is coming from.
     
  5. Mel Monihan

    Mel Monihan

    Mar 30, 2004
    I have a Thunderfunk, and I had an SWR750.I have played in concert on the Eden.They are all outstanding in their own way.The Eden was great on the low end and had a sweet sound through an ampeg 810 cabinet.The Swr has a sweet sound to it, but the eq cannot be bypassed (using a 31 band etc.)through the effects loop.I find the Thunderfunk (I have an AMP BH260 ,and I had a 420)to be extremely versatile and very light and powerful.I will say that I liked the initial sound of the SWR better (it was a little sweeter),but the Thunderfunk was much more adaptable to eq changes, and I could actually get more bottom out of it because of the 4 band parametric plus bass knob.I also like the fact that the enhance (tube sound) is a dial on the Thunderfunk and not a push on or off.It is very tough on a mail order though because all these impressions you are getting are not with your ears.I think Beaver will work with you though if you are unhappy with your choice.Good luck.
     
  6. 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 have played both, and would agree that it's actually the other way around. The ThunderFunk head is very versatile, and I was able to get a wider range of usable tones out of it, as compared to the Eden (which is no slouch in this regard). The Eden, on the other hand, can drive a 2 ohm load, which you may find important if you sometimes like to bring 3 or 4 smaller cabs (or more than one 4 ohm cab). The Eden has an advantage in the overall wattage department as well, though the ThunderFunk is pretty loud for 400 watts (at 4 ohm).

    On the whole, I'd give a slight nod to the ThunderFunk, though in truth, you probably would be happy with either (or with an iAMP, or with an M-Pulse).

    Tom.
     
  7. Woodboy

    Woodboy

    Jun 9, 2003
    St. Louis, MO
    I considered the Thunderfunk before I bought my Eden 550. There was no place to audition the Thunderfunk in my area. By contrast, I had the chance to audition a few different Eden amps and cabs. Believe me, this audition process was essential, because I got to hear the gear first hand. What I heard was at odds with what some of the mail order guys had said about the various Eden products. As I gather, Thunderfunk is a one man outfit (correct me if I'm wrong) who is building an updated version of an approximately 20-year old amp design. Eden is a much larger company that is part of an even larger company and has been in business for almost 30 years. The 550 is an up-to-date head that fits bassists' needs today, like the ability to drive a 2 ohm load. I feel pretty certain US Music (and thus Eden) has a presence in the U.K., with techs, parts, etc. So I guess it comes down to how are you going to audition the Thunderfunk and what are you going to to if it breaks? The Thunderfunk may be a kick-ass amp, but these two issues were enough to sway me to the Eden. Plus, I am totally satisfied with my Eden gear.
     
  8. I sure wish I could audition the TF before writing a reply, but I haven't so I'll keep my mouth shut on the subject. However, I must speak from experience about Eden products...after going back and forth with lots of amp manufacturers thoughout the years...the Eden 550 model is one of the most versitile and powerful (considering its diminuative size) amplifiers on the market. I think everyone would benefit by having one as a '2nd' amp. (I say '2nd' only for lack of overall headroom compared to a larger unit...<1000watts.) The preamp section is easy to dial up in just about any venue a 'workable' tone shape to get you through the gig. Cause there's times when I've shown up to a room where there's an SM900 or some other Ampeg or other waiting for me and couldn't for the life of me find a usable setting!
     
  9. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Commercial User

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    Boom Bass Cabinets, DR strings
    The EQ centers are different on the TF vs. the AMP. For me it's a moot point, I haven't seen the need to use the EQs on either yet (been gigging with the AMP for well over a decade);)

    That scooped sound is what's always annoyed me about the Edens I've used and/or owned. They don't let my basses sound like they sound.

    Set flat, running my Fender FMT V through it, I had to chuckle at some of the stories I've heard about the lackluster Fender B string. Punched like a great kickdrum last night.
     
  10. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Commercial User

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    Boom Bass Cabinets, DR strings
    It all depends on what your priorities are. Yes, the TF is based on an old design... one that still works extremely well. That design has stood up well as one of the toughest amps I've experienced. It is a very small company from what I gather. A large company is neither a guarantee of longevity nor good service.

    I know that in the event an Amplified Music Products amp needed work parts were readily available and according to repair folks it's very simple to work on.

    I'd give the reliability edge to AMP over Eden, easily. Unless David Funk has done something strange and cheap I'd expect the TF to hold up well.

    Then there's tone. For me, no contest. I've a/b'd my AMP against much higher powered gear (like a Navigator pre and WT-1000 amp combo) and it easily hung with them, IMO beating them tonally (this rig's owner agreed). The TF works in that same vein, just pumping out great unimpeded sound.
     
  11. Thunderfunk

    Thunderfunk

    Mar 27, 2004
    McHenry, IL
    Hey. I've been in Boston, but am back now, (although busy). True, the Thunderfunk is based on a 15 year old design, but it's also the basis of the Eden, SWR, and the new Bassman 400 and 800 designs. You'll find the new Fenders to be very similar. More features yes. Heavier and cheaper, yes. And the larger companies have made changes to "fix" the design, and (IMHO) have spoiled the tone. I could point them out, but that wouldn't be fair.

    The most common comment I get is, "I run the Thunderfunk flat." That's why I say, "Plug and Play." Tweaking is not necessary.

    I would also not compare a seven year old Eden to a new one.

    As for being a one man shop, we are a privately owned company doing $5 million in business founded in 1961. Amps is one small part of it.

    As for service, the amp can be repaired with parts anyone can order from Mouser. Full service info can also be provided if needed. You can deal with a large corporation, or a small company that wants you to be happy with your purchase. Matt, at Boston Guitar, bought one for himself and said it was the best piece of equipment he ever bought.

    It's too bad enough people haven't been able to audition the Thunderfunk yet, but if Beaver's recommending it, that's good enough for me. Chaka Khan, Dick Dale, Billy Ray Cyrus. Is there a common thread here? No. Just great bass tone.

    I have two customers in Sweden who had T-Shirts made that say, "I have a Thunderfunk, and you don't." The word is spreading.

    As always I recommend you buy what you want to buy. I don't mind if you buy an Eden.

    I've done some experiments with driving a 2 ohm load, and in normal playing situations the amp should be fine. It's just not a good idea for many reasons, and I don't recommend it. As I've said before, the amp produces only a small amount of additional power with a 2 ohm load. Why anyone would think that you get free power at 2 ohms, I don't know. Why not run 1 ohm then? Or 1/2 ohm? Or 1/4 ohm? At full CONTINUOUS power at 2 ohms, it will draw more than 6 amps (5 is normal). It's a 600VA power transformer and that's the limiting factor. 6 amps at 120 volts = 720VA. You might think you're getting more power, but it's just compressed. You'll also possibly overheat the transformer and transistors and shorten the amp's life.

    LESSON: Most people think that transistors overheat and then "burn up." That's not exactly correct. The thing that damages transistors is thermal cycling. Heat them up and they stretch. Cool them and they shrink. They do this as the signal passes through them. Run them at 2 ohms and they stretch and shrink more. There's also something called "Beta Droop" and it becomes a problem with 2 ohm loads.

    SECOND LESSON: If your speaker wire has a resistance of 1 ohm, and you're driving a 2 ohm load, 1/3 of your power is being consumed as heat in the wire. With a 4 ohm load, 1/5 is being consumed by the wire. At 8 ohms, it's 1/9th.

    Dave Funk
     
  12. Rod Torfulson

    Rod Torfulson

    Mar 10, 2004
    Toronto
    Interesting. In what way do you feel that older Edens differ from new ones?
     
  13. Thunderfunk

    Thunderfunk

    Mar 27, 2004
    McHenry, IL
    Nothing specific. But I will say that a customer bought an amp from me and commented that he sold his SWR amp right away because it was a "pre-Fender" SWR, just as pre-CBS Fenders are popular. At NAMM the Eden stuff was sitting in a corner of the U.S. Music booth and no one (from U.S. Music) was paying much attention to it. Just my impression.

    I've been designing electronics for 30 years and have worked for companies like GE, Motorola, TRW, Northrop, and even Gibson and Washburn (U.S. Music). I know how these things go. Nothing stands still. If you can make it cheaper, you can sell more of them and make more profit (margin) at the same time. Last year I was working on a military project and saw a presentation that talked about Return On Investment (ROI). Return On Investment in a military project? Yes. And did you know that the military is also "outsourcing?" (Read-India. Why India? They speak English!) I worked for Zenith when they moved production to Mexico. Articles were posted about other companies that went to Mexico, like Lionel, who came back after realizing their reputation was for quality. Zenith said something like they could throw away 75% of the production (defects) and still save money. (This was almost 20 years ago.) A friend just bought an Ashdown and said it was made in China. Fenders are made in Mexico. Big business is Big business. I'm a small company. My sheet metal guy said I'm his target customer because I'm too small to go overseas. If I sold enough amps to outsource, I'd make a ton of money. So you have to ask yourself, how can I hand build an amp in the U.S. and still sell it for what you're use to paying for imported stuff? The apparent answer is, the big companies are making a ton of money. Have you noticed corporate profits are up? This is all based on reputations built over the years with American made goods.

    I recently bought some washers at a home improvement store. They were very poor quality. They were made in China. They were still sold for the same price as I was use to paying for American made washers. I can't even find a screw company in Chicago anymore to make my screws. I have to buy them in boxes of 100, and send them out for plating. My choices are limited to what McMaster-Carr stocks. I think you get the point.
     
  14. narud

    narud Supporting Member

    Mar 15, 2001
    santa maria,california
    well great, thats a big help. :rolleyes: from all accounts, none of the eden products have suffered according to buyers posting here. im sure your amp is great but one of your customers selling a pre fender buyout swr tells me nothing other than he likes your product.
     
  15. widefat

    widefat

    May 2, 2004
    Tralfamadore
    Thanks for everyone's input. It's a terrible thing having so much quality gear to choose from these days.
     
  16. tombowlus

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

    Apr 3, 2003
    North central Ohio
    Editor-in-Chief, Bass Gear Magazine
    Thanks, Dave. That was really quite informative and useful. As one of the guys harping for a 2 ohm (and 800 watt! ;) ) Thunderfunk head, your comments are especially interesting for me. In truth, I spend more of my time driving a 2.67 ohm load than a full 2 ohm load. I have been experimenting with combining various smaller cabs (1x12's, 1x10's, 2x8's, etc.) to get the tight, balanced, articulate tone that I am after, and often times, I find that three cabs are a marked improvement over two. For instance, three VL-208's seem to have twice the low end of two VL-208's. And while I really love the sound of my Epifani T-112 with a T-110UL, sometimes, these two cabs don't move enough air to compete with two half-stacks, so adding a second T-112 is a big help. Perhaps it's just my infatuation with smaller cabs (and the fact that I have to lug them up and down my basement steps - without destroying any walls/door jams - by myself), but I do like to use three or sometimes four small cabs in a number of situations.

    Here's a question, Dave. Have you ever thought about making a power amp only unit? If you did, guys like me could bring just the Thunderfunk head when 400w and 4 ohms will do the trick, and bring the extra power amp section when more watts or more cabs are required. Just a thought.

    Later, Tom.
     
  17. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Commercial User

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    Boom Bass Cabinets, DR strings
    You already have the ability to run the TF as a preamp. Add a poweramp of your choosing and you're off.
     
  18. 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 had thought of that, but I also garnered from some of Dave's earlier posts that one of the reasons that he is resisting the urge to go with a more powerful amp section is that he has spent a lot of time getting his power section down right. With that in mind, it'd be nice to have another identical power section. But you are right in that a TF with a PLX 3002 might be a very good thing, indeed!
     
  19. MacRonin

    MacRonin

    Feb 5, 2005
    BIG FAT BUMP!

    I would LOVE to see this as a product...

    Seems a waste to use a full-on Thunderfunk for a slave amp, when just the power section is utilized... And the clean look of the slave amp would be nice in the rack...

    And while this bump is going, wonder if Mark from AccuGroove could consider doing a single 15" cabinet to go under a Tri210L...?!? You know, just the 15" bottom section from an El Whappo cabinet?

    Same dimensions as the 210L, and (of course) please include the Accu Switch!

    Just think of it, 1000watts of Thunderfunk goodness bi-amping an AccuGroove dual cab monster rig!

    Mmmm...
     
  20. IvanMike

    IvanMike Player Characters fear me... Staff Member Supporting Member

    Nov 10, 2002
    Middletown CT, USA
    Warning............. Danger Will Robinson..........six month old ressurected thread.......danger...................danger.........