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Thunderfunk head + ACME cabs for double bass????

Discussion in 'Amps, Mics & Pickups [DB]' started by james condino, Jan 14, 2014.

  1. james condino

    james condino Spruce dork Supporting Member

    Sep 30, 2007
    asheville, nc
    I've been demo'ing a lot of amps and cabs over the last few months, thanks to many helpful friends and customers, trying to find the right new setup for my needs. Most of the usual suspects have left me a bit disappointed. One caught me completely off guard, unexpectedly positive.

    Last month a good friend helped me out on a short notice when I was playing a local club notorius for a horrible sounding room for the bass player. About an hour before the gig I was expressing my anxiety for the upcoming expected poor performance with the combo I was using; he hooked me up and lent me a Thunderfunk 750 amp and two ACME Low B1 cabs. I play in a pretty rowdy gypsy swing band, but still no electric guitars or drum kit. We generally combine a mixture of whatever the house PA is supplemented with our own amplification for two acoustic guitars- the classic gypsy rhythmn section, along with horn player, double bass, and singer ( actually three folks sharing the singing duties). Lots of Django, lots of 30s-40s swing, fast, fast, fast and fun- usually standing room only and packed with dancers.

    'Gotta say that the results were nothing short of incrededible. From my place, the rest of the band, and the whole crowd - everyone loved the bass sound and said it was HUGE. I also had plenty of extra left over rather than trying to push things to their limit and getting too warm by the end of the night. I know it's not a traditional setup for a plugged in double bass, but it also left me wondering why nobody ever mentions this combination around this side. Not cheap, and definitely not new school or lightweight, but if I had the extra $$$, I'd order that setup brand new from Dave and Andy. The Thunderfunk head had almost unlimited tone shaping abilities. I used it pretty clean and tradional, but messing around a bit I was also able to get a sound that was nothing short of a rave or early soundtribe sector 9 vibe; not my usual calling, but nice to be able to access when needed.

    Does anybody else use this combination for double bass gigs? How about Thunderfunk + Thunderchild!

  2. Ric Vice

    Ric Vice Supporting Member

    Jul 2, 2005
    Olivette, Missouri
    Over the years the Acme Low B1 has really proved itself as a great cabinet for Double Bass. You can actually pair them with a variety of different heads and get the same great sound, as long as the amp has plenty of headroom, because the Low B's need an amp that has enough power to produce the extended low end that the Low B's are capable of.

    While the Thunderfunk certainly wouldn't be my first choice for a DB only amplifier, it's a fine hand built amplifier. I have a Thunderchild TC112 and frankly you wouldn't need the TF 800 as the TF 600 would be more than adequate as the TC 112 doesn't have the extended low end that the B1's do. They both have a 31 pound weight.

    Acme Low B1's +/-3 dB 41Hz to 22 kHz -6 dB at 31 Hz

    TC 112 56 Hz - 18 kHz, -6db at 48Hz, no upper bass bump. Top end extension switchable to a gentle rolloff at 3.5 kHz
  3. Greg Clinkingbeard

    Greg Clinkingbeard

    Apr 4, 2005
    Kansas City area
    Setup and repair/KRUTZ Strings
    Loving the B1 with my Clarus and just bought another B1. Anxious to see how the Clarus handles the 2 ohm load and to see how two B1's sound. Although Andy's design is going on twenty years old, I have no desire to consider anything else. The B1 is a very warm, smooth and natural sounding box which helps generate a lot of compliments regarding my sound. Why switch? That's also why I like the Clarus. James, you have the Focus so just quit looking over the fence. The grass isn't really as green as it looks.
  4. james condino

    james condino Spruce dork Supporting Member

    Sep 30, 2007
    asheville, nc
    You're right; the Focus is a great amp. It takes up the space of two sets of strings and it packs 900 watts. Even so, I was really impressed with the Thunderfunk. As soon as the first note hit, I could tell I was in the presence of greatness and that felling stayed the entire night. I was surprised I'd never heard them mentioned over on this side. The two amps are completely different- minimalist vs a lot of choices and options. I've got some ACME's headed my way, so hopefully I'll feel the same way when they pair up with the Focus.
  5. Ric Vice

    Ric Vice Supporting Member

    Jul 2, 2005
    Olivette, Missouri
    I think if I were going with a pair of Low B 1's, I'd certainly try to go with the Focus, it's a great head. If that isn't the sound you're looking for then there's lots of choices. AI has redesigned the EQ section on their new heads to add separate low and high midrange controls. That's what I believe to be the difference maker, between the older AI's with the presence control and the new heads. The heart of a DB sound is the lower midrange.

  6. thejumpcat

    thejumpcat thejumpcat

    Sep 30, 2007
    I had a Thunderfunk 550B. Massive sounding. Although it has a wide variety of buttons, dials and switches, I usually ran it with the knobs straight up and it rocked. I don't think I ever had the volume past 10 o'clock -- and that was punishing.

    I also had an Acme B2, which was a very nice cabinet. Unfortunately, I was using a GK400RB head to power it, which I don't think was enough juice. The Thunderfunk, however, with the Acme would've been great -- for upright and slab.

    I had one of the first AI combos, and it was a good sound for upright, but I think the Thunderfunk is just a totally different beast. I got my 550B here for, I believe, $650. It was worth every single penny.
  7. Greg Clinkingbeard

    Greg Clinkingbeard

    Apr 4, 2005
    Kansas City area
    Setup and repair/KRUTZ Strings
    I just played a trio gig with my B1 and Series 1 Clarus. Although it's been my 'go to' for some time, the fantastic, natural tone it provides is fresh in my mind. Each of these pieces are around 15 years old but still do the job of faithfully amplifying my bass. I just picked up a second B1 for the rare occasion when needed and the two together are special. Very happy.
  8. Kael


    Dec 26, 2004
    Oklahoma City
    I've used a thunderfunk for years. It actually works quite well with double bass. It also seems to handle a piezo pickup without an external preamp quite well. I've seen the specs and thought that an external pre would be mandatory due to impedance, but that wasn't the case. I still use a fishman as I like having the DI before the amp, but if I had to play a gig without a preamp, I like knowing that it is possible.

    While there are newer, lighter weight and less expensive options, the Thunderfunk is a perfectly valid choice for double bass. I usually run mine totally flat (keep in mind all the way CCW on enhance knob is flat). It really does seem to handle transients better than most of the fly weight switch mode amps I've used.

    PS: It sounds pretty farking good with slab also. Rotate that timbre knob a click to the left and let loose.

    PPS: I've used acme's a few times, but my experience with them is far less than with the 'funk.
  9. JPMcGuire

    JPMcGuire Supporting Member

    Jul 13, 2008
    Lake Orion, Michigan
    I tried my thunderfunk 800b2 through bergantino hs210 this weekend at practice. Had a hard time getting a good tone direct into the amp. Have an upton brescian with an underwood pickup. Sound was muddy/boomy with everything flat. Turning bass down and the timber clockwise helped but sound got tiny and weak.

    Any suggestions? Was thinking about getting an AI amp to use with the berg cabs, but if if can get my thunderfunk rig sounding great that would be ideal as I love it for EB.
  10. The wattage of the 'funk might have something to do with it, too. It's always nice to play through a powerful amp with lots of headroom on DB...I've been surprised playing through some backline amps that weren't what we would consider great DB amps but were really powerful at how nice the feel and sound was, and I chalked it up to POWER.
  11. svtb15

    svtb15 Commercial User

    Mar 22, 2004
    Austin,TX - McKinney,TX - NY,NY, - Nashville,TN
    I play it all. Whatever works for the gig
    I had a thunderfunk 550 B.. Nice sounding amp.. Never used it on DB though. But i always felt that the 550 watt rating was wishful thinking...
  12. bigshiny

    bigshiny Supporting Member

    Nov 18, 2010
    St Louis metro
    Sometimes the most unlikely components produce the most amazing results!
  13. Ric Vice

    Ric Vice Supporting Member

    Jul 2, 2005
    Olivette, Missouri
    +1 you definitely have a point there. I played Ken Jung's Thunderfunk, and thought it was a great amplifier, but felt that it was physically to large and technically to complicated for my needs. It is a really good match, power wise with the Acme Low B1 cabinets though. They take a little more juice to run.
    IMHO I think that there are amps on the market like the Focus, and the new Clarus4+head with the Flex Pre Amp, that will give you a more refined EQ for Double Bass and provide the power to run the B1's

  14. pjhandlin

    pjhandlin Gold Supporting Member

    Sep 17, 2002
    Grand Rapids, MI
    Contour all the way off? I used my old 550 with acme b1's or with ht112's and had great results. Definitely sounded different than those same cabs with my clarus, but not muddy/boomy. I think I did dial down the para lows to 30 and took that down a bit for certain rooms.