Ampeg PF-115HE Questions

Discussion in 'Amps [BG]' started by mikebiddle, Mar 10, 2014.


  1. mikebiddle

    mikebiddle

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    Mar 10, 2014
    First off, looking at the inside, I notice two sets of terminals on the motherboard of the cabinet. Woofer A and Woofer B. The wires are connected to Woofer A. What is the difference?

    Second question. Does anyone else have any issues with the horn being super noisy? I turned mine off because it was so bad.

    Third. I am very disappointed in the fact that the PF500 head leads you to believe that you can run the head at 500 W, until you realize that the only way to do this is buy a 4 ohm cab, or buy the second extension cab for the PF500 head that allows you to run at 4 ohm and 500 W. Why not just call it what is is and call it a PF350? Because that's real all you're getting out of it. I would like to disconnect the horn all together and make this a 4 ohm cab. Would this be an easy process, or would I need to purchase a whole new speaker to run the cab at 500 W?
  2. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

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    1. They use the same board for the PF115he and PF210he, and the 210he has two speakers. Nothing to worry about it.

    2. I no longer have them, but I thought the horn was one of the better horns I've ever heard and dead quiet. If you crank your treble with the tweet on, though, you will hear more noise, as turning up a given frequency range's knob also increases that frequency range's noise floor.

    3. Whole new speaker. And it says very clearly in their advertising what wattage you get with different impedances, and it also says it on the back of the head by the speaker jacks. They attempted to tell you what wattages you get with different impedances...you just didn't read it. Not their fault.

    Oh, and I experimented with disconnecting the tweeter, and turning it off accomplishes the same thing and saves you a lot of work.
  3. SteveHeissner

    SteveHeissner

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    I hear what you're saying. Yet the difference in volume between a single PF-115 at 4 ohms and 8 ohms would be minimal. Better off building it as an 8 ohm cabinet for those who wish to expand the amount of air they can push. I play through a friend's PF-115 HE and PF500 so I'm only running at 350 watts and can't help but wonder how great that rig would sound with a second PF-115 8 ohm cabinet.
  4. High Camp

    High Camp

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    I suspect Ampeg uses the same motherboard for the PF115HE (one driver) and the PF210HE (two drivers), but I'm not sure.
    I own both the PF115HE and the PF210HE and the horns from neither cabs are noisy.
    >> maybe a flook bad apple?

    Well they call it the PF500, for the maximum power is 500 Watts.
    To be fair IMHO I think that's reasonable.

    My advise to you would be to- if there's a warranty - to change your default cab for a good working one.
    Either add another PF115HE for the full 500 Watts or swap the PF115HE with extra cash for a SVT 212AV (a IME very good sounding 4 ohm cab).
    That at least, would be my choice.
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  6. Fat Steve

    Fat Steve The poodle bites, the poodle chews it.

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    It says it very clearly on the website, as well on most distributors sites about the 500 watt RMS power handling at 4 ohms.

    [​IMG]
  7. High Camp

    High Camp

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    Oh JimmyM and I were typing at the same time lol!
  8. CL400Peavey

    CL400Peavey Supporting Member

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    More to the point, "getting more watts" isnt going to gain you any more useable volume. The types of speakers that are going to work well in that cab, are going to be mechanically limited to around 300 watts anyways. So what ampeg has instead done, is limit the power you can send to a driver that couldnt handle more anyways. Then they had the nerve to give you the option to add a second cab, and gain more volume from the increased sensitivity of a second cab, and that increase in power from the lower impedance.

    If you are finding the PF-500 and the PF-115he not loud enough, add a second cab.
  9. SteveHeissner

    SteveHeissner

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    The great thing about the way Ampeg has built that Portaflex rig is that you only need to take a single 115-HE to medium sized gigs. It's light and easy to move. And if you find yourself playing on bigger stages then you can increase the size and output of your rig by getting a second 115-HE later. It makes your rig modular and flexible.
  10. mikebiddle

    mikebiddle

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    3. Whole new speaker. And it says very clearly in their advertising what wattage you get with different impedances, and it also says it on the back of the head by the speaker jacks. They attempted to tell you what wattages you get with different impedances...you just didn't read it. Not their fault.

    First off Jimmy, I didn't change anything, and I did read all the information. I understand the law of ohms very well. So don't accuse me of not reading anything. I would never just make a big change like that and not be knowledgable about the danger of doing that. I am a big fan of this rig but I know it has much more potential than what they offer. It's probably just a marketing ploy to get the public to buy more products. Isn't it ironic that they offer both outputs, but yet only offer the portaflex cabinet at the lower rated ohms? I think not. I will consider making a change to either a different cabinet or getting a new speaker for this cabinet. As far as the horn goes, I have my treble knob below 12 o clock and it just hisses. Even at the -6 position on the back. Maybe send this one back?
  11. johnpbass

    johnpbass

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    Adding a second 15 would make a huge difference, IMO.
  12. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

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    I don't know without being there to hear it. And no, it's not a marketing ploy. It's answering the needs of the marketplace. A 115 is considered a small cab, so good luck getting more than 300w into that cab without it farting out. And most folks who buy rigs with small cabs often want to expand and run two cabs because it sounds better, fuller, and louder. The marketplace demands a level of expandability in these heads, and that is the only way to get it.
  13. SteveHeissner

    SteveHeissner

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    +1 And it's a lot cheaper to simply add a second PF-115 later than to sell the entire rig and upsize to an Ampeg 610 or 810. I played through my friend's portaflex yesterday and just loved the tone of that thing. I think you made a good choice, but maybe the horn is defective.
  14. CL400Peavey

    CL400Peavey Supporting Member

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    Does it his with out anything plugged in?

    Also, I am sorry. You either didnt read, or didnt understand. Solid state amps will provide different levels of power depending on the impedance load of the cabs they are hooked up to. It is clear that the Ampeg PF-500 is rated at 500 watts at 4 Ohms, and 350 at 8 Ohms. It is also clear that the PF-115he is an 8 Ohm cab. So nothing to complain about there. What it does do is offer you the option to use two PF-115he's at once. (further more the additional power wont make any more sound through the average 15" speaker"
  15. AstroSonic

    AstroSonic Supporting Member

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    It's common to attribute the cause of noise to the horn because that is where the noise is coming from. For the most part, horns do not make noise - that is, they are not the cause/source of the noise. As JimmyM said, they just reproduce the noise that's in the signal from the amp and instrument. Amplifiers all have noise, and many manufacturers provide a noise specification. Commonly the instruments are a major noise source, as many are poorly shielded. Nearby light dimmers, fluorescent lighting ballasts and electric motors are common sources of noise picked up by the instrument (and cable), amplified by the amplifier and reproduced by the horn. A poor quality peaky horn can accentuate noise, but not produce it.

    To check if your instrument is picking up noise, plug it in, with the tone controls and tweeter level control (if present) set to your playing settings. With the amp on, turn the volume and tone all the way up on the instrument. If either (or both) of them cause a change in noise level, the noise is coming from the instrument (it may ultimately be coming from another noise source like neon lights, etc.).

    To check if the amp is the source With the gain turned down, if noise increases when turning up the master, the noise source is between the master and the input. If the noise is unaffected by the master, the noise is in the power amp. If the master adjusts the noise, set the master where you normally would, and bring up the gain. If the noise does not substantially increase, the source is in the preamp, between the gain and master controls. If the gain substantially increases the noise, then most (?) of the noise is between the input and gain control.

    Let us know what you find out.
  16. mikebiddle

    mikebiddle

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    CL400Peavey, You are misunderstanding me. I know about ohms. I thought I stated that already. I know the ohms of the cabinet and the different outputs on the head. What I am disappointed in is the fact that if they were going to make this amp put out 500 W then the cab they want you to pair it with should be rated at 4 ohm so you can use the 4 ohm output and run at 500 W.
  17. SteveHeissner

    SteveHeissner

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    I didn't think about the instrument as a source of noise, but yes, that is where to start the troubleshooting. Now that I think about it, my single coil jazz basses pick up all kinds of annoying background noise from lights and other nearby electrical devices.
  18. CL400Peavey

    CL400Peavey Supporting Member

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    The point is to use two of the cabs. That cab will be damaged with more than the 350 watts the PF-500 already puts out.

    You are getting indignant because the manufacturer lets you have appropriate power levels for the cabs they have provided. And even more so because they let you expand and add a second cab. :scowl:

    If you want a 4 Ohm cab, there are lots of other ones out there.
  19. mikebiddle

    mikebiddle

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    The hissing is there all the time and has nothing to do with my bass. The master makes it louder, and so does the gain.
  20. CL400Peavey

    CL400Peavey Supporting Member

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    Where is the master and the gain set?
  21. mikebiddle

    mikebiddle

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    The master is set at 12 and the gain at 12. I have an active bass and the -15 db switch is activated. The mute button also does not affect the hissing noise.

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