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Thunderfunk & Gibson GB440

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Daffy Funk, Jan 12, 2006.

  1. Daffy Funk

    Daffy Funk

    Nov 10, 2005
    I read the AMP,Eden,SWR,and Thunderfunk history thread and
    I've been interested in a Thunderfunk,and I didnt know that
    it was based off of the Gibson GB440(AMP420).There is a shop
    that has a Gibson GB440 with a matching 2x15cab for 500$;
    and wanted to know how close is the sound to a Thunderfunk,
    beacause the Thunderfunk is not avalible in Japan.
    If anyone has A/Bed them I'd like to know the difference in
    sound,or just your thoughts on them.
  2. unity bass

    unity bass

    Dec 15, 2003
    Modesto, Ca.
    Sounds like a sweet rig. $500 seems like a good price. Have you played through it? what kind of condition does it look like it's in? And "matching" huh? If I could manage the transportation of a 2x15, I'd love to own one that was designed specifically for my TF.

    500 bucks? If I were looking to buy and that was my price range, I'd jump on it!

    Please play through it and let us know what you think.

  3. jokerjkny


    Jan 19, 2002
    NY / NJ / PHL
    i'm sure the gibson sounds great, but truth be told, Dave upgraded alot of parts, i.e. higher power supply resistors, higher power supply filtering, silver mica & polyester film caps, etc. which he says greatly improve low end clarity.

    so while the Gibson i'm sure is a great amp, the TF is that much more robust.
  4. Loel

    Loel Blazin' Acadian

    Oct 31, 2004

    I have a Gibson gb440 amp it's a great amp,i haven't
    played trough a thunderfunk,but i know they are quite simular
    i use it w/dr.bass 1260 and Lakland bob glaub,
    for 500. with a 2-15 i can't see how you can go wrong,
    if you can, check the back of the amp for daves serial no
    engraving,mine says TFB-39:cool:
  5. Daffy Funk

    Daffy Funk

    Nov 10, 2005
    Thanks for the replys.The shop is not close to where I live
    so I have not tried it yet,but I plan on going soon to check
    amps in the Tokyo area so I'll post a review then.
  6. jokerjkny


    Jan 19, 2002
    NY / NJ / PHL
    well, given that dave worked at gibson, i'm sure he saw alot of shortcomings in the GB-440, all of which culminate in a more improved TF, thus his striving to make it more robust in terms of better parts, etc.

    here's an email sxchange i had w/ mr. Funk:

    How is your current product similar / different from previous AMP and subsequent Gibson products?

    The amp is very similar to Eden and SWR amps, yet it sounds different. I started the redesign with a new preamp board and we immediately changed all the signal path caps from electrolytic and ceramic to polyester film and silver-mica. We also made a new double-sided preamp board to eliminate the flying jumper wires that were making noise. We changed the 5-watt power supply resistors to 10-watts so they wouldn’t unsolder themselves anymore. Then we increased the amount of power supply filtering from 15,600uF to 23,400, and currently it’s up to 27,200, with an option to go to 40,800, two and a half times what we started with. These caps lower the amp’s low frequency distortion and provide the solid, clear low end the amp has.

    All of these changes could have been made without listening to the amp. Ceramic caps always sound harsh, but only cost a nickel. Silver-mica caps cost around a dollar. So an amp design can be easily improved, but it adds a couple hundred dollars to the street price. We’re small enough that the added expense doesn’t add up to the kind of money that attracts an accountant’s attention, and our sales are small enough that the slightly higher street price of the amp isn‘t critical. It’s like getting a boutique amp at a mass produced price. I quite often get thanked for even building this amp. I think many players are willing to pay a little more for an amp, but can’t afford to spend twice as much, and the large companies that can bring the price down with mass production, aren‘t in this market. The amps that I’m most in competition with are the Walter Woods Ultra 1200, and the iAMP 800, both digital, and more powerful.

    The Eden, SWR, and Thunderfunk power amps are all the same basic 1980’s HiFi design, when transistor power amps were perfected. There hasn’t been much improvement made since then. The preamp’s basic design is the same although the limiter is different and I get many comments on it working great, but the other difference is in the sound of the parts. I personally think that small surface mounted parts don’t sound as good as larger leaded parts. I think there’s some who will say that tubes sound better because the parts are bigger. The use of leaded parts also means that any local tech can repair the amp with easily found parts.