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Thunderfunk TFB 550: initial impressions

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by cptnhook, Oct 21, 2005.

  1. I received a TFB550 last week and have now had a few days to check out it's capabilities in low/mid volume settings. I have not yet gigged with it but plan to take it in the near future, so bear that it mind. It was played through an Epi 210UL.

    Out of the box, I was surprised by how light the amp felt, especially in light of its power rating. I appreciated the extra holes on the rack ears that allow you to mount the amp in a recessed position to protect the knobs - especially nice if you use a rack bag.

    The overall build quality is excellent and comparable to other amps I have tried in this price range. The chassis feels sturdy. The knobs are adequately smooth, and the center detents are nice. There was a little play in the fan switch; Dave ensured that this would not be a functional problem. The graphics are well applied and clear.

    Tonally, the TFB is a fairly clean-sounding amp in a good way. My 55-94 sounded nice and round, but with definition. With a Jazz Deluxe 5, I was able to dial in a nice fingerstyle growl and a smooth, articulate slap tone without harshness in the high-mids and highs. To my ears, the TFB imparts a little "kick" in the attack of each note, which I really like. At first I thought it was the compressor but realized I had it disengaged.

    The tone shaping features are impressive. I'm in agreeement with others here about the timbre control; it seems really useful and powerful. Turn left for a rounder tone (lows and low mids boost), turn right for more articulation and high-mid emphasis. The enhance control is similar to the that found in SWR and Eden amps, but the degree of the mid scoop is, to my ears, a little more subtle. About the para EQ, I was able to dial out a midrange "rubbery" characteristic of the tone of the J-bass without totally killing the growl.

    After AB'ing the "switch", to my ears, any difference in tone between the two positions is subtle.

    About working with Dave, he was great about answering all of my questions and keeping me updated on the status of my order. The entire transaction went smoothly.

    We as bass players have so many great choices in equipment, and I've really enjoyed the amps that I've used in the past from the "big" companies. But there's something I find gratifying about working with and supporting a smaller company like Thunderfunk.

    I'll provide a gig report after a few weeks of use, but so far I am excited about this amp.
  2. FunkSlap89


    Apr 26, 2005
    Albany, NY
    LUCKY! I want one of these more than any other piece of gear right now. The number of great reviews for this amp make it worth buying alone. I wish i had a job and could start saving... :scowl:
  3. I purchased it sight unseen, and mostly based on the reviews here as well. If you have an amp you're wanting to replace, you might want to look into Dave's trade-in policy. From my experience, he's fair with his assessment of trade-in value.
  4. popinfresh


    Dec 23, 2004
    Melbourne, Aus
    Nice choice.
    I'm wanting either a TF or Ashdown for my 'clean' amp.
  5. westland


    Oct 8, 2004
    Hong Kong

    I received my TFB550 about a month ago, and agree with CaptHook's assessment, including the controls. And Dave Funk is outstanding in responding to queries, plus I have the feeling that he is a fanatic about quality. He wants to make the best amp, seems pretty much to know how to do it, and seems to be doing a great job of design and production. And all that in a light package for under $1000.
  6. Does anyone know how this amp rates in terms of power with an Eden WT-550? Also, is it 2 ohm stable?
  7. Low Class

    Low Class Supporting Member

    Jul 4, 2005
    Orange Park, Florida
    The TF is NOT 2 ohm stable. As far as power, although they are comparable in ratings the TF seems a lot more powerful.
  8. The TFB's owner manual says that the warranty is void if the amp is used below 4 ohms.

    Incidentally, the Eden WT-550 was another amp on my short list. Not sure how the TFB compares to the Eden power-wise, but many folks here seem to think that the TFB is conservatively rated, and I would tend to agree.
  9. Frank Martin

    Frank Martin Bitten by the luthiery bug...

    Oct 8, 2001
    Budapest, Hungary, EU
    I'd like one someday, too, but for the time, I'm happy with it's predecessor, too :D

    when I play it, it makes me wonder why these didn't catch on.....
  10. Kael


    Dec 26, 2004
    Oklahoma City

    +1 on Dave's trade in policy giving a fair price. Just traded for a 550, and I can't imagine being able to get more than what he gave me in trade (even if I held out for better offers for months). This has got to be one of the best marketing tools I've seen from an amp manufacturer.

    I'm very pleased thus far with my thunderfunk. Only piddly little gripe would be that a couple of the center detents aren't quite at noon (slightly off to one side or the other). Honestly though, that's just me being anal retentive, it's nothing that I'd bother trying to correct.

    PS: No opinion about it, the thunderfunk's 500 watt rating is very conservative.