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ThunderFunk vs GK 1001RB-II

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Reefer, Jan 24, 2004.

  1. Reefer

    Reefer Guest

    Mar 9, 2003
    If anyone has played both of these amps and can give me a comparison I'd appreciate it. I've heard good things about the tone of the ThunderFunk, but the GK 1001RB-II has nearly twice the power and it's a couple of hundred dollars cheaper.
  2. Woodboy


    Jun 9, 2003
    St. Louis, MO
    I haven't played the Thunderfunk, but I have tried the new 1001, and was mighty impressed. Musician's Friend and GC have the 30 day trial period and I believe Thunderfunk has some type of trial period also. Just arrange it so both amps are "in house" at the same time and check them both out. Somebody else's opinion of the two amps might be slightly helpful to you, but the only way you are going to know how they really sound with your bass, head, fingers, etc, is to try them both at the same time.
  3. B String

    B String Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2002
    Los Angeles
    If this is the same design as the AMP head
    that was out in the early eighties, i'm not
    sure what all the hub bub is about. As i
    recall, the AMP head was only somewhat popular
    and got so hot, you could fry an egg on it.
    Why is this amp so expensive now? Have there
    been major improvements and more power added?
    I'm not slamming the amp, i'm just wondering.
  4. Brian Barrett

    Brian Barrett

    Nov 25, 2001
    Murfreesboro, TN (Nashville)
    Dealer LowEndBassShop.com, Builder LowEndBasses.com
    I like the GK head for what they are. Haven't really tried the thunderfunk out, but did see a few at NAMM. Theres a number of people that played through them at different booths that should give you some info on the funk.
  5. Reefer

    Reefer Guest

    Mar 9, 2003
    I've owned a couple of AMP's and thought they were OK, but nothing to get excited about. Dave Funk has made some upgrades to the design that supposedly make it sound better. I'm still concerned about only 240 watts @ 8 ohms. That won't cut it for me most of the time as I usually only carry one cab if I can get away with it.

  6. tombowlus

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

    Apr 3, 2003
    Fremont, Ohio
    Editor-in-Chief, Bass Gear Magazine
    I did get a chance to borrow a ThunderFunk TFB420 and put it through its paces, but it's been a while since I heard a GK, so I won't attempt any direct comparisons. However, I will tell you that you would be remiss to consider the TFB420 to be "just an AMP head with a few tweaks." I have played a couple of older AMP heads, and while I did like them, the TFB420 is more versatile and is tonally superior. Just set flat, it has great tonal balance, with great balance and articulation in the mids. To me, this is where a lot of amps have difficulty. This can also be a more challenging tonal aspect to have to "fix" than low-end or high-end deficiencies. So, to start out with such killer mids is a very good thing, in my book.

    Here is what I posted on another thread regarding the TFB420:

    "I recently had an opportunity to borrow a ThunderFunk TFB420, and can share the following with y'all. I was able to make some limited comparisons to both my rack rig (Eden Navigator & PLX 3002) and my iAMP 800. Unforuntately, I did not have my Walkabout at home to compare it to. The Walkabout is having a speakon output and an unbalanced line/tuner out installed.

    First off, I was very impressed with the quality feel of the unit. It is very solid. The feature set is also quite nice. In addition to all of the EQ options (including "Enhance" and "Timbre" - both of which are very useful), it has no less than four signal outputs (not counting effects loops), made up of the balanced, post-EQ, recording DI; the unbalanced pre-EQ direct instrument out; the headphone out; and the tuner out (aka "instrument input #2). I really like having all of those options, especially if you want to slave a power amp off of this head. Being able to turn the fan off is a big plus for recording, too.

    Compared to the iAMP 800 (with both EQ's set flat), the TFB420 has more well-defined mids (and great control over them). The EQ is very versatile and easy to use. The "Enhance" control, lets you go from near tubey warmth to a very "hi-fi" (though not sterile) clean, controlled tone. I preferred it most of the way up. The iAMP 800, though, lets you know right off that it has twice the power of the ThunderFunk. But once I compensated for this, at similar volume levels, the iAMP definitely has more low end girth (even without the "Deep" switch on) and has brighter highs, though I found the TFB420 to have smoother highs. With reagard to the EQ options on both amps, they both are very versatile, and my suspicion would be that just about everyone could dial in a tone that they liked on either amp. However, I found the ThunderFunk to be easier to use and more intuitive. But then, it's EQ section was much closer to what I am used to, given the layout of both the Navigator and Walkabout. Interestingly, the iAMP 800 didn't seem to respond as drastically when I added a second cab (going from an 8 ohm load to a 4 ohm load), so for whatever reasons, the power difference between these two heads seemed more apparent at 8 ohm than it did at 4 ohm - although I was not cranking them, so the additional power of the EA may have shown itself a bit better if I had. Ultimately, the ThunderFunk had better natural mids, to my ears, and a smoother high end, which I preferred. The iAMP 800, though, simply cannot be beat in the category of deep, thick (though articulate) lows. However, it did take more tweaking with the iAMP to get the kind of balanced and articulate mids/highs that I prefer. Obvioulsy, the rest of your gear and your personal preferences are going to play a huge role, but I could see some folks preferring the greater power and low end thump of the iAMP, while others prefer the balanced, controlled mids and smooth, articulate tone of the ThunderFunk.

    I was able to gig with the TFB420, and I brought along my rack rig to compare. I played the first set with the TFB420, and pushing two cabs at 4 ohm (total), it has enough volume to cover a medium sized stage (and compete with two half stacks and a drummer - all of which were fairly controlled on volume, though). The tone was very nice and full, and the EQ allowed me to easily compensate for room/stage anomalies. However, when I switched to my rack rig, even with the overall volume set the same, the additional headroom from my PLX 3002 (only one side at 4 ohm, so 900w - I think) resulted in deeper, tighter, more full low end, and a bit more snap and punch to the mids. Still, given the huge difference in power (and price!), I was fairly impressed with the TFB420. Tonally, it was very similar to my rack rig. The difference was much more subtle than when compared to the iAMP 800.

    The TFB420 is a fantastic amp. I really wish that I would have been able to A/B it to my Walkabout, because it seemd to share many of the characteristics that I love about the Walkabout - great tone set flat; strong, articulate mids; easy & flexible EQ - at a similar power rating (400w into 4 ohm for the ThunderFunk; 300w into 4 ohm for the Walkabout). It is both plug and play friendly and very tweakable, tone-wise. It offers a great set of features in a compact package. Mark was pretty much right on track with my findings when he said that it is the best 400w amp that he has played. I would tend to agree (although as I mentioned, there is this certain 300w amp that I really like...). The only reservations that I would have are that I'd like to see more power (400w is enough for many situations, but 800w can cover just about anything), and I would like to be able to drive a 2 ohm load (which the TFB420 may be able to do, but I don't see any information posted about output to a 2 ohm load, so I am inclined to think that it is not).

    Hope this was helpful, Tom."

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