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Ampeg pf 500 or pf 350

Discussion in 'Amps [BG]' started by Mainahman, Jan 11, 2014.


  1. Mainahman

    Mainahman

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2014
    I'm trying to decide if I want to go full tube, or go with a micro and keep the SWR as a backup head. I read there are some issues with the pf 500. Have those been solved in the new runs? Or am I better off going with the pf 350. Paired with a set of GK MBE ( 1st series). I play active basses, a Washburn xb105 with active EMGs and a squier vintage modern jaguar HB. Looking for a warmer tone that the SWR isn't giving me. Cabs are a 2x10 and a 1 15 400 watts a piece 8 ohms. This would save me some money in my pocket if the heads r worth it.
     
  2. Srirachaglo

    Srirachaglo Gold Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2012
    Location:
    New York City
    Neither. Between my rig and the music school I manage, I've seen 4 PF-500s fail. IMHO—Aguilar Tone Hammer (either TH 350 or 500) all the way. I have the TH350 and it the best sounding, most reliable amp head I have ever owned.
     
  3. Mainahman

    Mainahman

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2014
    How is the warmth? Round vintage classic rock sound is what I'm looking for. We play a lot of Von Morrison and eagles and bad company etc.
     
  4. lokikallas

    lokikallas Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2010
    Location:
    los angeles
    I would get a 350 used right here. Save up for a new or used 7 pro or v4.

    My experience has been the the 350 will push a lot of air if you give it speakers that can keep up. It sounds like you would have a pretty killer setup with the 210/115 cabs at 350 watts.
     
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  6. Mainahman

    Mainahman

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2014
    I have 400 watts plus the sub wave feature from the SWR and never move volume past like maybe 3. I always have PA support, and use it so its more of a tone thing for me. For full tube I was looking at a pegs v4b or peaveys vb2. Sounds like a pf 350 would do the job? Are there any problems with the 350? The closest to what I am looking for was a 8x10 and a svt4pro. Not looking to spend that type of money.
     
  7. Mainahman

    Mainahman

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2014
    Any sort of rack mount kit for the pf heads?
     
  8. lokikallas

    lokikallas Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2010
    Location:
    los angeles
    The 350 will get you the classic rock tone for days. The 500 has the voicing options for the classic ultra low and high (slap). I don't miss those buttons as the 7 pro doesn't have them either.
     
  9. gjbassist

    gjbassist Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2005
    Location:
    Kansas City, MO
    I had a PF350 for a while and really liked it. I found it simpler to get the tone I wanted than the PF500 I also tried. the 350 is smaller and lighter too. It gets warm without sounding too gritty.

    Another option might be to get a tube OD pedal to use with your existing amp to try to fatten it up. I like the Digitech Bad Monkey. It can give you a nice warm tube sound without being too heavy. It's also dirt cheap and well made.
     
  10. TXLawDawg

    TXLawDawg Put some stank on it...

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2007
    Location:
    Austin, Texas
    I have a PF500 and just sold the TH500. The TH500 is a great sounding amp - very warm and round like you are looking for with not near as much in the treble department as the SWR stuff. With the mid frequency dial, there are a ton of great sounds you can dial in. Some decent sounding grit can be dialed in as well for a SS amp. From a reliability standpoint, the TH500 seems absolutely bulletproof.

    While I liked the TH500, I found I like the Ampeg sound better. The TH500 will get close in sound to the Ampeg sound in my head but the Ampeg gets "fatter" and I could never quite get the TH500 where I wanted after playing a PF500 - even with a VT pedal. I will say that if you don't intend to use the ultra low switch on the PF500, both amps will sound very close to each other. With the ultra low engaged, I couldn't get the TH500 to sound like the Ampeg enough for me.

    As far as PF350 vs PF500, realize that the preamp sections in each are different so they will probably sound a bit different from each other (I haven't played a PF350 so I can't comment as to the differences but have read that it shares the same preamp as the Micro VR which a lot of people seem to like). The PF500 has been struck with some reliability issues but, if you're like me, I prefer the headroom of the PF500 and didn't consider the PF350. Though I bought mine used on TB, it might be worthwhile to get the PF500 new so as to have the manufacturer's warranty should you need it.
     
  11. headband

    headband

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2013
    Location:
    Indiana
    I had no problems with getting the classic tone from a pf500. I went this route as I have a micro Svt with two cabs pushing about 200 watts and it is only adequate in pretty small clubs. I didn't think 350 watts was enough of a jump up to make much difference. The 500 worked for most applications. I didn't have (nor does the guy I sold it to) problems but I read about them a lot. Also have read that they have been taken care of, but it is wise to be cautious.
     
  12. Mainahman

    Mainahman

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2014
    Either way I plan to keep the SWR around as my backup if needed. I like the idea of the extra headroom of the 500, and its still a simpler setup then my SWR
     
  13. 75kva

    75kva

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2011
    Location:
    Kingston, Canada
    I have had a pf-500 since they came out and have never had a problem with it ! (Active and passive basses) . Love the ultra high/ultra low and the selectable mid ,which the 350 doesn't have . It definately has the Ampeg tone .
     
  14. Mainahman

    Mainahman

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2014
    Ill keep an eye out for used ones on here then. If i can score one for cheap ill keep my SWR, and use it if something were to happen to my PF. Anyone know if there is any form of a rack mount kit for them? Id really like to keep it safe in a rack if possible.
     
  15. 75kva

    75kva

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2011
    Location:
    Kingston, Canada
    None that I know of but you could find out how it attaches to the pf cabs and try that in a rack . Don't use too long screws !
     
  16. Mainahman

    Mainahman

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2014
    I think I have a extra rack shelf somewhere. That might work too. Ill keep my eyes open for used ones. Maybe after thrill find me a good tube head.
     
  17. faulknersj

    faulknersj Gold Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2008
    Location:
    Scottsdale Az
    I know that some players experienced issues with this head when it first came out, so I purchased mine from a local TBer with cautious optimism. Mine is a 2nd generation PF 500 from what I understand and had been sent to the guy as a replacement for an earlier one he had issues with. I have had this head for about 6 months now and wanted to really put it thru it's paces before posting a review. I have gigged this head 4 or 5 nights a week during this time and have had zero technical issues. My band employs a couple of different sound men for different types of venues, and they both for whatever reason immediately preferred this head to my main 'go to', a Genz Benz Shuttlemax 6. The DI output is really hot and they both prefer that I use the -40db pad, but they love the DI on this head. This head has a meatier tone stack than the flat transparency of my GB Shuttlemax. It feels a bit low boosted and mid scooped, but as a player who likes my mids to sit 'just so', I can still get the articulation i need to be heard in the mix. I have a buddy that has sat in with the band, and I really like what I have heard from out in the audience. This head has also worked very well with all of my basses; a 73' Jazz w/ flats, a Fender 'Custom Classic' Custom Shop Jazz with a J-Retro pre and rounds, a P Bass, and my Musicman Sterling (which is in the video below). It has also paired well with my Genz Benz Neo X 212T, and my buddies Bergantino 4x10. At 500 watts, it actually has plenty of power for my needs. I play funk, soul, jazz, Top 40, disco, and some Latin. I cannot attest to its ability to hold up when competing with huge guitar stacks for metal etc. The interface on this head is super easy to use: Gain+Master Volume. Compression Knob (which I don't use), Bass, Mid (5 point mid frequency selector), treble, FX Blend (which I also don't use). I usually set it pretty close to flat. With my active bass...I set it flat and use the on board J-Retro EQ. With my passive basses, I tweak as needed for the room. While I love the look of this head, and think it has a really cool design, my one nitpick is that I wish it were a little bit lighter. It's not heavy per say, just heavier than other class D heads and when gigging as much as I do, lighter is better IMO.

    Based on my experience, I wouldn't hesitate to jump on one of these if you are on the fence. When you consider the price point on these, especially used, I think these are one of the best bargains out there right now. Cheers!



    Video Of Me Playing Live Thru the PF 500 with No PA Support thru a Genz Benz NeoX 212T


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  18. faulknersj

    faulknersj Gold Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2008
    Location:
    Scottsdale Az
  19. Mainahman

    Mainahman

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2014
    The youtube link did not work.....
     
  20. faulknersj

    faulknersj Gold Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2008
    Location:
    Scottsdale Az
    Oops!! Updated with working link!
     
  21. Mainahman

    Mainahman

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2014
    Great sound and playing!! Makes me more interested!
     

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