Is it safe to buy a Ampeg PF500 now days ????

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Davyo, Apr 12, 2014.

  1. Davyo

    Davyo Davyo Supporting Member

    Nov 26, 2008
    Las Vegas, Nv
    Been doing lots of researching on the PF500 and have seen a bit more than average about fails on the PF500,,,, but have also read that Ampeg might have gotten the bugs fixed and that the newer PF500's are safe to buy now,,,, is this correct ???

    If it is correct is there a build date I should be looking for to make sure I'm getting a newer non-fail PF500 ???

    I'm a regular gigging player and will have my back-up GK MB200 with me at all times but I still freak out at the thought of my main gigging amp dying on me during a gig.

    Thanks in advance.

  2. gregbackstrom

    gregbackstrom Supporting Member

    Feb 3, 2005
    Tacoma, Washington
    Just curious ... With the track record that this amp has, why would you take the chance? There's lots of stuff out there that's been reliable since "day-one."
  3. Davyo

    Davyo Davyo Supporting Member

    Nov 26, 2008
    Las Vegas, Nv
    Well, that the whole reason for me starting this thread,,, to find out if I would be taking a chance or not,,,, or, how big of a chance.

    I'm interested in the PF500 for the sound/tone and features it has.

    Every amp is subject to fail no matter what brand, even my super realiable GK MB500 had to make a visit to the GK hospital one time and the MB500 has a great rep for being quite dependable.

    The feedback on this thread is to help me (and others) in deciding to purchase or not purchase the PF500.

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  5. Davyo

    Davyo Davyo Supporting Member

    Nov 26, 2008
    Las Vegas, Nv
    Well that was a helpful posting.

    hover likes this.
  6. nutdog

    nutdog Supporting Member

    Feb 19, 2009
    In the dog house.
    It a good sounding amp. Buy it new, plug into 4ohms and crank it. If it doesn't screw up then you're probably ok. If it does, send it back.

    I wouldn't buy a used one, which might factor into your experience if you decide to sell it later down the road.


    Apr 17, 2007
    Danielson, CT
    I would say go for it.

    Everything isn't fail safe.

    I purchased one last month as I too missed the Ampeg sound and wanted a back-up amp to my MarkBass LMIII.

    Though I am very happy with my LMIII since 09', I wanted a back-up set up to have as I am in two bands.

    I played back to back gigs two weeks ago with the PF500/115HE set up and was very pleased.

    I even was able to hear two other Bass Players use my amp through a big sound system as we were the main act, and it sounded good. I also received many compliments from other band members that said that new Ampeg sounds just fine...and it did.
  8. BIG97BEN

    BIG97BEN Supporting Member

    Sep 12, 2011
    Richmond VA
    Your best bet would be not to buy used. That would probably greatly enhance your chances of getting one that was abused or doesn't work. Plus if you but new, you get the warranty. For what it's worth, I got one when they first came out and it has been working well for years now at both 8&4 ohm and handles input spikes from pedals well. You really just have to be smart while setting the gain and master volume. If you crank both, the amp will protect itself (surprise).
    hover likes this.
  9. Jim C

    Jim C Spector#496:More curves than Sophia + better sound Supporting Member

    Nov 29, 2008
    I don't own one but do have a 7-Pro that also has a dodgy history.
    Here's what is going to happen:
    * You will get no factual response regarding revision dates or any concrete info from the manufacturer; for that matter they will not publicly apologize for any inconvenience; it's like it never happened
    * Those that have them and had not had a problem will say they are great
    * Anybody that gets a free t-shirt from Ampeg will say they are great
    * Those that have had problems will say they are junk
    * You will not be able to derive any meaningful data from polls as there is no credible evidence as to how many have been produced or the failure rate; this will be true to any other amp you are looking at
    * I know this because I did the same research before I bought the 7-Pro (which has worked flawlessly), and have a repair tech at a huge repair shop in town that is factory authorized for nearly any brand
    * With the 7-Pro, TB owners and my shop (Pro Tech) were able to report consistent issues with anything before Rev C00; oddly enough I'm told that there are schematics for higher Revisions (possibly Rev F) although I don't believe that the factory has confirmed this
    * You might be able to determine from your repair shop if they have seen consistent problems based on either a serial number series, main board date, etc.
    My advice is if you like the sound that much you either buy new to get the warranty or buy used cheap and consider it disposable

    The real issue is that I have owned a Jet, VT40, V4B, V6B, B-15, B-15T, SVP-CL, SVP 1500, SVT-CL and now a 7-Pro and all ave been unbelievably reliable.
    I replaced a tube or two in the Jet (owned it since 1976 and sold it last year) and a couple caps and some tubes in the VT40 which was a beat up touring amp; Never replaced a tube in the V4B which I owned for over 30 years and so far (knock wood) the SVT that I've owned since the 80's.

    Back in the day, these guys built some of the most robust and reliable amps in the business and having a very delicate gain structure that would force a fault was never a design flaw. I have no information to support that claim but have read it here.
    AlexanderB likes this.
  10. hdracer

    hdracer Supporting Member

    Feb 15, 2009
    Elk River, MN.

    Why take the chance?
  11. f.c.geil

    f.c.geil Supporting Member

    May 12, 2011
    You should be okay, but I'm not sure I would take that chance. I would (and did) get the PF800 instead, as that is as reliable as anything else. They have the same preamp, sound very similar, but the 800 has more authority and headroom. The odds are very much in your favor with a current 500, and are great with an 800.
  12. mrb327

    mrb327 Supporting Member

    Mar 6, 2013
    If your GK was reliable and their service is excellent, I would look very indepth at GK before switching brands
  13. I had one and loved it till it got stolen at a show if it wasn't for that I would still have it. Right now I have a 7 pro and love it
  14. nutdog

    nutdog Supporting Member

    Feb 19, 2009
    In the dog house.
    I would add:

    If you buy it, have a problem and post about it, it will be because you don't know how to set the knobs.

    AlexanderB likes this.
  15. Zoa


    Dec 28, 2009
    Just step up and get the PF800. Same sound, more mustard, and rock-solid reliable. You should be fine with a new 500 though.
  16. SuperK


    Sep 12, 2012
    San Jose, CA
    I bought mine used and it works flawlessly. I love it and don't think I'll ever sell it. It may become a backup one day but it's a keeper.

    That being said I rolled the dice when I bought used. You always roll the dice when you buy anything used. Not just music gear. If you want reassurance, buy new. You will love this amp.
  17. ics1974


    Apr 13, 2012
    I have had mine for a couple of years now without any issues. I must have a good one
  18. jimdonovan


    Mar 9, 2014
    Hey, I know this is kind of late, but I bought a pf500 less than two years ago, and have had nothing but problems with it. I gig regularly as well and have had to use my back up more often than not. I've taken it to an ampeg certified repair shop and they keep telling me they fixed the problem, but it never is. The last time, I played one note and it quit on me. I'll never buy another ampeg amp again.
    AlexanderB likes this.
  19. Ponsonby Britt

    Ponsonby Britt Supporting Member

    Oct 8, 2013
    A PF800 for a couple hundred dollars more. Hearsay is that they fail at a far less rate than the PF500s do
  20. seamonkey


    Aug 6, 2004
    It's the same warranty, 2 years, so if LOUD wanted people to believe they are more reliable you'd think they'd bump this up.

    Peavey and Fender are doing 5 year warranties. Fender's is even transferable.
    And both sound great.