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Timbre control on Thunderfunk : What Does It Do Exactly ?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by jnewmark, Nov 10, 2010.

  1. jnewmark

    jnewmark Just wanna play the groove. Supporting Member

    Aug 31, 2006
    Stax 1966
    Third St. Cigar Records staff musician.
    I have heard that the term " timbre " in music described as anything from the " color " of music, to anything that cannot be qualified as pitch or loudness. So what exactly does the " timbre " control do on a Thunderfunk, and how does it differ from the " enhance " control ? Any thoughts, opinions welcome.
  2. Kindness


    Oct 1, 2003
    Enhance is like a "loudness" button on a home stereo - a mid scoop (or bass and treble boost) variable by the amount you turn the dial.

    Timbre is an effect that "tilts" the frequency response of the amp. Think of the amp having a particular frequency response graph when "flat." Then, when using the Timbre knob, you stick a pin in the frequency response graph at 1kHz and spin the frequency response graph around that 1 kHz pivot to favor one side or other.
  3. RickenBoogie


    Jul 22, 2007
    Dallas, TX
    Most amps with ambiguous sounding controls are nothing more than some sort of eq. Whether they "shift" the center point of a certain frequency, or "contour" certain frequencies out, or "enhance" a certain frequency range, or in this case, my guess, wiggle around the overall eq "timbre". Mostly marketing- but if it sounds good, it is.
  4. will33


    May 22, 2006


    Can add "transparency" and "presence" to that list.....loosely defined as "high treble".
  5. Fuzzbass

    Fuzzbass P5 with overdrive Gold Supporting Member

    I believe the Thunderfunk Timbre control is based on the A.M.P. Timbre control. As Kindness said, if you turn to the left it makes your tone deeper, turn to the right it makes your tone brighter. I don't know exactly how it works, but my guess is that the deep side boosts lows and cuts highs, with the reverse being true for the bright side.

    I liked that control when I used A.M.P. gear. Instead of fussing with the semi-para mid controls, it was sometimes easier and more effective to move the Timbre control one way or the other to compensate for a boomy or tinny stage. Usually a little tweak would do.
  6. jnewmark

    jnewmark Just wanna play the groove. Supporting Member

    Aug 31, 2006
    Stax 1966
    Third St. Cigar Records staff musician.
    I used to have a Yorkville Mono Block bass head that had a " Sustain " control. It just seemed to make the amp louder. It also had a " Prescence " control that just seemed like another treble control. I guess Timbre is somewhere in that category.
  7. will33


    May 22, 2006
    The "presence" knob on most guitar amps is another treble set to a higher frequency than the knob labelled "treble". Kinda like an adjustable bright switch.
  8. watspan


    Nov 25, 2002
    madison, wi
    the timbre is a great control to quiclky fit your rig to a room with a single knob--a little goes a long way
  9. edwinhurwitz

    edwinhurwitz Supporting Member

    May 13, 2003
    Boulder, CO
    Endorsing Artist: DR Strings, SMS
    Actually, the presence control on many guitar amps is a variable negative feedback control. Many tube amps (probably most tube guitar amps) use feedback to lower distortion and create a more linear sound. By lowering that amount of feedback, you get a rawer and somewhat brighter tone. So, it can seem like another treble control, but how it does that and the result are very different. The circuit can be tuned to add more treble, but to my ear it affects the whole spectrum. I added this kind of circuit to a Fender Bandmaster and it's pretty cool.
  10. duff2

    duff2 Guest

    Dec 16, 2007
    In terms of its impact on frequency response, here's what the Thunderfunk timbre control accomplishes:


  11. Kindness


    Oct 1, 2003
    Oops, I got my pivot frequency wrong. It had been a few years since I scoped it.
  12. NoHomework81


    Jul 27, 2007
    Atlanta, GA
    Thanks for that! I've been curious what exactly was going on with the Timbre control.
  13. 5StringPocket

    5StringPocket Supporting Member

    Jan 11, 2006
    That timbre graph is interesting and makes me wonder how the TFB750A would match up with a pair of fEarful 15/6/1 cabs. Even with a -3dB pad on the 18Sound 6.5" mid, they can be a bit mid forward and benefit from the 40-500Hz region being boosted. The TFB750A is reported to have nice stout (and tight) lows and be a bit smoother in the mids. This voicing is supposed to work well with the Berg AE410, beefing up the lows and taming the upper mids. Would this yin/yang work well with the 15/6 cabs as well? Anyone tried this?
  14. It is an overall revoicing control (similar to the Walter Woods 'balance' control and the TecAmp 'taste' control). It is not an enhance control, which boosts bass and treble and cuts mids. The Timbre control literally moves the entire spectrum of the amp up or down the frequency range. It's kind of like moving the entire voicing of the amp up and down.

    Extreme settings to the bass side will eliminate all treble, and extreme settings to the treble side will eliminate all bass (going from pure dub, to pure Ric grind).

    I never found that control very useful (too extreme for me), but many found it useful on the TF. The Walter Woods version is much more subtle. I never use the TecAmp version either, although it is useful to tame the huge low end of some piezo pickups.

    (Edit: Just saw the plot above.. that pretty much sums it up!)
  15. That's an interesting control. Lots of the really vaguely labeled controls on amps are really just mid scoops, but this one's not that at all. This 'tilting' of the frequency range intrigues me. I imagine that what the rest of the EQ does gets to be quite a bit different depending on what the control is set to. Cool.
  16. kraigo


    Jun 21, 2007
    Minneapolis, MN
    All I can say is that when you're playing and you want a brighter or deeper tone quickly, the "timbre" control is the most useful knob on the AMP BH-420.

  17. dannster


    Aug 20, 2000
    I found myself wanting a disable button on mine. It had a very wide range of "tones" though. From La Brea Tar Pit on the left to Bull running around in a china shop on the other. Somewhere in the middle was a supposed sweet spot. I never found it. My memory may be exaggerating for effect but thats what if felt like.
  18. NoHomework81


    Jul 27, 2007
    Atlanta, GA
    ^^^ the TFB750 Timbre control has a center detent at 0 (with the control going -15 to 0 to +15). I have to assume that 0 is relatively close to "center","neutral", and "disable." I little goes a LONG way, and were it not for the center detent at 0 (satisfying the 'yes it's a zero' feeling), I could see that control bothering the more OCD of us out there.
  19. dannster


    Aug 20, 2000
    Ha, yeah it was kind of a once you hear it you can't "un-hear" it kind of thing.;)
  20. wcriley


    Apr 5, 2010
    Western PA
    Anyone know where I can get a schematic for this?
    Sounds like an interesting experiment.

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