Ampeg PF 410 or double up on the SVT 115's?

Discussion in 'Amps [BG]' started by mbernard110, Nov 29, 2013.


  1. mbernard110

    mbernard110

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    I am looking into buying a Portaflex 410 to match my PF 500 head. The head is great, but I'm feeling the desire for some more punch and response in the cab. I'm not very well attuned to cabinet knowledge, but I assume the smaller drivers are more responsive and crisper (not sure if that's the right word to describe it). I currently run my PF 500 into an SVT 115HEN and it's decent, but I want some more headroom (the cab is rated at 200 watts, It does handle the 300 watts of the PF 500 fairly well, partially because I know I can't crank the volume/gain). Is the 1x15"/200 watt RMS holding back the PF 500? For half the price of the PF410, I can get another SVT 115HEN and double up the 15's, but will they still seem pushed hard by the 500 watt load into the 400 watts of cabinetry? If I get the PF410, I wouldn't be able to run a 4 ohm load, as I wouldn't want to deal with phasing issues using the svt with the PF. Does anyone have experience with both cabs (or at least the Portaflex 410) who can give me their thoughts on the two?
  2. JellinWellen

    JellinWellen

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    Another 15, I had 2 ampeg 15s at one point and they were amazing.
  3. jeff7bass

    jeff7bass

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    Apr 9, 2009
    I'd go with the SVT210AV cabs, a pair of them. Great sound with plenty of clarity and punch. Plus you can stack them vertical. Crazy light too.
  4. decentbassbreh

    decentbassbreh

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    Aug 15, 2013
    yeah go with the 210s!!
  5. mbernard110

    mbernard110

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    I'm not sure if the 210's would be very solid for gigging. I have no experience with them though, so I'm not sure. I understand they handle 200 watts RMS like the 115HE, so if I bought two (which would cost the same as the 800 watt RMS PF410), they would still pose the issue of being overpowered by the 500 watts. I honestly wouldn't mind adding another 115, but those guys are HEAVY, and two of those would probably be overkill for the band I am currently in. I noticed that the PF410 weighs about as much as the svt115, so I'm leaning towards that, but I wouldn't mind being convinced that I should spend half the price of the pf410 to get another 115 ;)
  6. mbernard110

    mbernard110

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    If I knew there would be no phasing issues between my SVT115 and the SVT210, I would be all over the 210AV (or preferably the elusive SVT210HE since it is the same line as the 115 I have and would pose the lowest threat of phasing problems)
  7. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

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    Yes, that is the conventional mythology. But it's wrong. The truth is that the only thing you can tell by speaker size alone is the size of the speakers. If you could tell how a cab sounds by the size of the speakers, then all cabs with a given size speaker would sound identical, and just taking a look at the Ampeg Classic line of cabs with 10"s in them proves they don't. The SVT 810e and 410he do sound similar, but the SVT 610hlf goes lower than them, and the SVT 410hlf goes even lower. The 410hlf is one of the lowest reaching cabs on the planet, and it's got 10"s. So there goes that theory ;)

    Depends on your definition. If you add another 115he, you will be able to get right around 6db more out of your rig, which is pretty significant. Not quite doubling the amount of loudness you can get, but it will get way louder than just one 115e. For many that may be enough. For others, maybe not.

    I have no experience with the PF410hlf, but it's also a very low tuned cab similar to the SVT 410hlf but doesn't go quite as low. If you were to take two SVT 115e's and compare them to one SVT 410he, the output levels would be similar. The tradeoff with very low tuned cabs, however, is you lose some sensitivity, and with the same settings on your amp, I believe the PF410hlf will clock in as a little bit quieter than two SVT 115e's. Probably won't be super noticeable, but you do give a little bit up with low tuned cabs. It's just physics, as it takes more wattage to push lows than mids or highs.

    Since you already have the 115e, and assuming that you're unconcerned about extra size and weight, I'd probably recommend getting a second in your shoes. But if you're looking for more punch and crispness, I'd probably be taking a look at the 410he. As always, though, the best thing to do is plug into some different cabs and see what you think.
  8. jeff7bass

    jeff7bass

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    It's all about the sound, not the wattage. You'll never run the amp at the full 500w RMS with two of these SVT210AV's, especially if you stack them vertical when things get loud. I tried just one with the SVT micro head and the old school clarity of it will cut through mix well, I'm sure of it. Our resident Ampeg expert here plays with two of them and TomB of Bass Gear wrote about them. Besides the classic 810 + 610 cabs, it's the only Ampeg cab I ever really got a kick out of. Just try them at a store if you can.
  9. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

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    I do like the 210av's, no doubt about it. But with the caveat that they are medium duty cabs at best.
  10. mbernard110

    mbernard110

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    Yeah, I'm really looking more for medium to heavy duty cabs. Thanks a ton for the info, Jimmy. Just a few Q's... Does adding a second 115 increase, or have an effect at all, on sensitivity?

    According to Ampeg's site, this is the sensitivity of the PF410hlf:
    Sensitivity: 101 dB SPL @ 1w/1m
    and this is the 115E:
    Sensitivity: 98dB
    Maximum SPL: 123dB
    So... Does this mean the 410 is more sensitive?

    And finally (sorry, I've tried looking stuff up about this but your responses make things much clearer)...
    The frequency response for the 115E is shown on their site as:
    Frequency Response (-3dB): 50Hz-3kHz
    Usable Low Frequency (-10dB): 33Hz
    The freq. response for the PF410HLF is shown as:
    Frequency response: 55 Hz – 17 kHz

    Here is my question based on this data... Does this mean the 115 goes SLIGHTLY lower than the 410, but loses ALOT of the highs? I don't use the -15dB pad on my pf500 so I'm kinda confused about the 115 response specs. Not even sure if the head's pad and the cab frequency specs are even related.

    Again, Jimmy, and everyone else who responded, thank y'all so much for taking time to help me understand all this.
  11. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

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    The Classic cabs were developed under SLM and LOUD still uses the SLM specs while the PF cabs were developed under LOUD. Not sure about how both companies measure sensitivity, but I wonder if it has anything to do with the fact that one is a 410 and the other a 115. Anyway, sensitivity specs are often only measured at 1khz and only reflect what's doing at 1khz, and not so much what's doing at 40 hz or 100hz or anywhere else, so you can't go strictly by the specs.

    As for freq response, the PF does go higher because it has a tweeter, of course. And with the tweeter turned off it likely goes higher as well because 3k is not especially bright for a bass woofer. But as far as going low, the frequency quoted here is the -3db frequency, not the -10db frequency. Checking the manual, the -10db frequency for the PF410hlf is 30 hz:

    http://www.ampeg.com/pdf/Portaflex_Cabinets_OM.PDF

    So it does go lower than the 115e, although the rolloff starts at a slightly higher point on the PF410hlf.

    And the pad is strictly for when you have a super hot bass that's overdriving the preamp no matter how low you have your gain. I never ever use it and don't recommend it whatsoever.
  12. mbernard110

    mbernard110

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    Ok, thanks. I'm gonna also check out the svt410HE on your recommendation. I can find those locally to try out, I just have no opportunities to try out the portaflex 410, as no shops around me carry it in their store. The only thing about the 410HE is the ~20 extra pounds on it. Weight isn't a huge issue, but if I can get a sound that is nearly as solid, I'll go for the lighter cab.
  13. Downunderwonder

    Downunderwonder

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    The hlf must have a tweeter to reach that high, past what the older guys here can even hear on a good day.

    Two cabs of 98dB are equal sensitivity to one 101dB cab. With so much power available the sensitivity is kinda moot.

    The 210av stack should be enough for anyone with PA support but some genres go to extremes. Reading between the lines, one 200w 15 is nearly doing it for you so the idea has merit. You only need to keep up with the acoustic drums.

    Stacking cabs puts drivers up where you hear it well, dispersion of a true vertical 210 stack is far and away better than 4x10 or 15's.
  14. TN WOODMAN

    TN WOODMAN

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    Smyrna, Tennessee.
    Get the 2 nd 15 .
  15. Jim C

    Jim C Supporting Member

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    Nov 29, 2008
    To the OP:
    I'd be interested to hear your conclusions after trying them out although I can never get the real picture without a band setting.
  16. mbernard110

    mbernard110

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    I went with a 210 svt he and they sound great together in my room by myself... Havent had a chance to lug both of them to practice. Soloed, the 15 sounds better to me. Thats not to say the 210 doesnt sound good, cuz it rocks as well and can hold its own in a band setting.
  17. Mastermold

    Mastermold Supporting Member

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    Works for me:

    [​IMG]
  18. walterw

    walterw Supportive Fender Gold Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    then that's what you should get, really.

    matching is better, and using cabs you prefer the sound of is also better.

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