Ampeg Pf-500- Underwhelming volume/power.

Discussion in 'Amps [BG]' started by obimark, Mar 6, 2014.


  1. obimark

    obimark

    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2011
    I finally got to try out the AMpeg Pf-500 and A/B it with some other heads.
    My initial reaction. This thing is not very loud/powerful and does not compare against other 500 watt heads in it's class!
    I was expecting a lot more thump and volume and it doesn't have it.
    I could see this having a very hard time keeping up with even a moderate loud band. On the other hand the Hartke HA2500 that I ab/ed it with, Holy ****!
    The 250 watt Hartke had literally double the volume of the Ampeg PF-500 .
    Guess it goes to prove, watts mean next to nothing.
    And before it's asked, yes I had the -15db button off. ;-)
  2. rodl2005

    rodl2005

    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2005
    Location:
    Tasmania, Australia
    What cabs?
  3. 4-string

    4-string Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2006
    Location:
    Norway
    It has the most reliable fault light in the business though. ;)

    Sounds like you need more cabs? Up the gain? Lots of complaints on reliability with these amps, but most people seems to be happy with the tone and power.
  4. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2005
    Location:
    Apopka, FL
    Disclosures:
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    I disagree. Usually the complaints I hear about their heads are related to not using enough gain. But while I don't own one, I have played them many times, and their output is about the same as any other 500w micro I've used. You have to get the gain up pretty high to get it, though. I always turn it up till I hear distortion, then I back off it slightly till it cleans up. Usually the gain light is flickering a tiny bit on my loudest notes.
  5. Register to disable this ad
  6. bjabass

    bjabass

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2011
    Location:
    Mountain South
    I LOLED!

    I used mine on the same Hartke 410 cab as my 400 want Eden Nemesis and the Nemesis blows it away. Careful suggesting more cabs....seems as if it is a little fragile in low impedance situations.
  7. obimark

    obimark

    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2011
    Had the gain at about 2' o clock , volume at 1 o clock, and that little clip light was going off like a MOTHER already.

    The HARTKE thru the same (hartke 410 xl ) cab was KILLING it. I about blew the store out at volume at 12 o clock.
  8. christw

    christw Get low!

    Joined:
    May 11, 2008
    Location:
    Dayton OH
    Disclosures:
    Endorsing: J Worrell Bass
    Are you using the comp? Did you actually hear distortion? I normally had gain and comp between 12 and 3 oclock and would run my master 11-3 o'clock. I tripped the limiter once and it gave my SVT-CL a run for volume.
  9. CL400Peavey

    CL400Peavey Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2011
    Media:
    11
    Albums:
    1
    Location:
    Grand Rapids Michigan
    +1

    Set the compressor at noon or higher, and roll the gain up till that red light flashes on your hard hits.
  10. AlexanderB

    AlexanderB

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2007
    Location:
    Sweden
    The OP does not say that he used compression in his Hartke.
    It would be ridiculous to be forced to use compression in the "500W" Ampeg to keep up with a 250W Hartke with no compression, right?
    Same goes for "pushing" the gain in the Ampeg. Will that head not deliver re-hearsal volume without overdriving the input gain stage?

    Funnily, this seems to be a general concern with SS Ampegs, while I have not noticed this from people using Hartke, GK, Trace Elliot, EBS etc...
  11. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2005
    Location:
    Apopka, FL
    Disclosures:
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    I've never had this so-called "underpowering" problem with Ampeg SS amps. Ever.
  12. CL400Peavey

    CL400Peavey Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2011
    Media:
    11
    Albums:
    1
    Location:
    Grand Rapids Michigan
    Not every amp is voiced the same, and some have low end roll off baked into the amp regardless of the compression used. In the case of the Ampeg, setting the amp properly makes a big difference. "Settings at 1 o'clock" mead nothing. Not ever amp uses the same knob taper. Not ever amp has the same gain structure.
  13. TXLawDawg

    TXLawDawg Put some stank on it... Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2007
    Location:
    Austin, Texas
    Exactly. Wouldn't call my PF500 light in the pants by any means, it'll thump. No difference volume-wise between it and the Tone Hammer 500 I had when compared.
  14. awilkie84

    awilkie84 Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2011
    Location:
    Nanaimo, BC, Canada
    I use a PF-500 and a PF-410HLF. My gain is at 11:00 and my master volume is at 2:00. Compression at 0. Plenty of power, no distortion & no fault/clip lights.

    I don't consider that high, either. I've had other heads where the gain's needed to be around the 3:00 mark.

    That said, I've also had a cab where I needed to have the master volume at 4:00 to be heard.

    It's all in the pairing. Get a good 8Ohm 4x10 cab with a 600W or higher rating & pair it with the PF-500. Good combination. :)
  15. AlexanderB

    AlexanderB

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2007
    Location:
    Sweden
    I of course know the "knob position means nothing" thing, but the OP states he suddenly has trouble keeping up with the band. I would guess one tries turning the knobs a bit further before posting on TB?
    In the same line I also assume he has gome for a least a similar sound through his rig. There seems to be no indication the SOUND was much different, just the SPL.
  16. AlexanderB

    AlexanderB

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2007
    Location:
    Sweden
    But since these small Ampegs have a rock solid reputation for reliability, it makes it easier to accept the weak-ish output?

    //sarcasm
  17. CL400Peavey

    CL400Peavey Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2011
    Media:
    11
    Albums:
    1
    Location:
    Grand Rapids Michigan
    I have a PF-500. And it is loud. If that is not yours or the OP's experience then.... I blame user error.
  18. AlexanderB

    AlexanderB

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2007
    Location:
    Sweden
    Given the slightly shaky reputation paired with Ampeg's tendency to design even SS amps that require periodic "bench time" for MosFet biasing, re-soldering of cold joints etc, I think it is highly plausible the OP owns a specimen that does not meet its stipulated performance.
  19. Bitterdale

    Bitterdale Natural Born Lurker Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2010
    Location:
    Ocala, FL

    Read that again.

    OP:
    I finally got to try out the AMpeg Pf-500 and A/B it with some other heads.
    My initial reaction. This thing is not very loud/powerful and does not compare against other 500 watt heads in it's class!
    I was expecting a lot more thump and volume and it doesn't have it.
    I could see this having a very hard time keeping up with even a moderate loud band. On the other hand the Hartke HA2500 that I ab/ed it with, Holy ****!
    The 250 watt Hartke had literally double the volume of the Ampeg PF-500 .
    Guess it goes to prove, watts mean next to nothing.
    And before it's asked, yes I had the -15db button off. ;-)
  20. 2milehighspike

    2milehighspike Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2011
    Location:
    10,560 feet above sea level
    At least it is still working, dump it and get a GK
  21. awilkie84

    awilkie84 Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2011
    Location:
    Nanaimo, BC, Canada
    The issue was with the first couple runs of the PF-500. I've heard very few stories of the more recent runs having issues.
    Also, the issues were never related to weak output.

Share This Page