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Thunderfunk vs. Acoustic Image

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by SummerSoft, Sep 5, 2005.


  1. SummerSoft

    SummerSoft

    Jun 17, 2005
    Hi!

    I've never heared these two amps live (there are not any in my country) and I would like an amp that could work well with my Jazz bass and with the one with piezos (like SWR California Blonde I've been playing for a while sounded nice with it).
    So what do you suggest?
    I guess TF is better for electric, but which one is better for piezos? And which one is better for both functions?


    Thanks
     
  2. Plain Old Me

    Plain Old Me

    Dec 14, 2004
  3. SummerSoft

    SummerSoft

    Jun 17, 2005
    I curently have a Fender Jazz with EMGs and friend's MM StingRay with piezos
    But I'm about to get a custom made bass :hyper: that will probably have more modern sound (I'm shooting for sth like MTD sound :rolleyes: )
     
  4. Plain Old Me

    Plain Old Me

    Dec 14, 2004
    I meant what genre but that helps too :smug:
     
  5. SummerSoft

    SummerSoft

    Jun 17, 2005
    Oh...
    mostly RnB, Funk, Soul, some FamilyMon-style-Reggae...
    and some BeBop and HardBop influences :eyebrow:
     
  6. Plain Old Me

    Plain Old Me

    Dec 14, 2004
    I would suggest the TF then. The AI is very clean, and the TF is pretty clean too, but you can dial in a bit of grit and grind with it if you need. However, if you want a lot of good clean tone, get the AI.
     
  7. Tumbao

    Tumbao

    Nov 10, 2001
    FL
    Ok, From R&B to Reggae? I'd go with the Tfunk.
     
  8. tombowlus

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

    Apr 3, 2003
    North central Ohio
    Editor-in-Chief, Bass Gear Magazine
    Well, in general, for those styles, I'd be leaning towards the Thunderfunk, too. But, the only thing that concerns me are the piezo pickups. I can't find the specs for the input impedance for the Thunderfunk, but my suspicion would be that it is not ideally suited to receive such a high impedance signal (as you may get from your piezo's). I am not familiar with how the piezo's are incorporated on that particular instrument, but I do know that many piezo pickups have very high output impedances. I do know that the AI heads will let you switch between high and low impedance instruments (at least the Focus does), and this may be important if you use the piezo's only a large part of the time.

    But if this ends up not being an issue, then I would say that a Thunderfunk head would serve you well.

    Tom.
     
  9. Phil Smith

    Phil Smith Mr Sumisu 2 U

    May 30, 2000
    Peoples Republic of Brooklyn
    Creator of: iGigBook for Android/iOS
    To me, whatever advantage the Thunderfunk has sound wise, is not nearly enough to outweigh the weight advantage and portability factor that the AI Focus has over it.

    I've used an AI Clarus on over 100 EBG gigs and haven't had a single situation where I wasn't loud enough. Most of the EQ I do to dial in my sound is either from the bass or using a Sansamp BDDI so it doesn't matter to me about the EQ capability of the AI heads.
     
  10. kjones

    kjones Supporting Member

    Dec 4, 2004
    Maryland
    As I noted in another thread, I am using my AI Clarus presently for a run of Jesus Christ Superstar, and as usual, tombowlus is exactly right in that there is a specific high impedance input, which is very useful for matching with piezos. However, it is correct that unless you are using effects, there is a very clean sound from an AI. No dirt, grit, or real grunt. If you're fine with that, great, but otherwise, take a look at the Thunderfunk, or consider a tube pre of some sort (which kind of defeats the light weight of the AI).
     
  11. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Commercial User

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    Boom Bass Cabinets, DR strings
    :confused:

    The Thunderfunk is all of 15 lb. That is very portable. And it's one piece;)
     
  12. SummerSoft

    SummerSoft

    Jun 17, 2005
    thanks for all your inputs guys!

    so if we could ignore that input impendance (that would result in less volume, right?), would I be able to come closer to the sound of "acoustic amps" like California Blonde with AI or TF while using piezos only? and how much closer?

    thanks
     
  13. Chef

    Chef Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    May 23, 2004
    Columbia MO
    Staff Reviewer; Bass Gear Magazine
    I've never played an AI...but...I used to use an swr Strawberry Blonde for double bass. Now I use a Thunderfunk and a Schroeder 1210...it literally blows thw swr junk off the stage. No contest. Waaaaay more power, much better eq section-not that you'll ever use the eq section...between the "timbre and enhance" knobs, no eq is really needed.
    Dave has a 7 day free return policy when you buy direct from him, so there's really no risk to try one. I doubt you'll send it back. Several guys here like TomMixx, and KJung own several...
     
  14. tombowlus

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

    Apr 3, 2003
    North central Ohio
    Editor-in-Chief, Bass Gear Magazine
    Mismatched impedance will affect the tone of your instrument, too (generally more thin sounding). If the instrument and amp are incompatible for any reason, though, you can use a buffering preamp, like a Fishman or a Stewart UDP-1a, between the bass and amp to provide the amp with a low impedance signal.

    Tom.
     
  15. Phil Smith

    Phil Smith Mr Sumisu 2 U

    May 30, 2000
    Peoples Republic of Brooklyn
    Creator of: iGigBook for Android/iOS
    15lbs can be considered portable however a Focus weighs 4.5 lbs and fits in the front pocket of my undercover gig bag. As with anything else, portable means different things to different people.
     
  16. Thunderfunk

    Thunderfunk

    Mar 27, 2004
    McHenry, IL
    330K
     
  17. tombowlus

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

    Apr 3, 2003
    North central Ohio
    Editor-in-Chief, Bass Gear Magazine
    Wow. That's not going to be ideal for most piezo pickups...
     
  18. Wilbyman

    Wilbyman

    Sep 10, 2003
    Parkersburg, WV
    Yeah, you'd definitely need a pro platinum or Raven Labs unit for it!
     
  19. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Commercial User

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    Boom Bass Cabinets, DR strings
    That is true for you, no argument there. My comment was a general one, lest people get the impression that the TF isn't what MOST people would consider very portable. It is.

    BTW have you tried one?
     
  20. jokerjkny

    jokerjkny

    Jan 19, 2002
    NY / NJ / PA
    once i was able to shove my Focus into my gigbag's frontpocket, the clouds suddenly parted and the angels sang. :D

    but IMHO, the AI sounds terrific w/ piezo's. tried a Parker Fly bass thru my AI/Acme rig, and thought it wasnt too shabby at all.