Need a good backup for PF-500

Discussion in 'Amps [BG]' started by gruidl, Jan 4, 2013.


  1. gruidl

    gruidl

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2013
    Location:
    Minneapolis, MN
    I've been searching through the forums, and thought I might just start a new thread on this. My PF-500 went haywire last night (After cutting out briefly during the last song of a set a few weeks back). Fault light came on, sound quit for the remainder of the night. I tried powering off for a while and powering back on. While it was powered off, the lights all started to flash. Not good, right? Good news is that it's still under warranty, so taking that thing in tomorrow.

    Now, this brings up that I don't have a backup for that head. I'm using it with the 210HE cab. Does anyone have a good recommendation of what might be a comparable power/volume for this setup in a micro head? Something I can stuff inside the cab for backup mostly. Very curious about the MicroVR (would that be too quiet?), an Ashdown MiBass, or even springing for an Orange Bass Terror, because I just love Orange anyways.

    Any opinions on what might pair well?
  2. B-string

    B-string Supporting Member

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    Nov 21, 2008
    Location:
    Lake Havasu City, Az USA
    G-K MB500, MB200 or MB800. Ampeg PF350...
  3. Mastermold

    Mastermold Supporting Member

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    May 5, 2008
    Location:
    Orange County, California
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    FireMelon
    Almost anything micro really from Ampeg, Genz Benz, Markbass, GK, they all make great stuff.
  4. RickenBoogie

    RickenBoogie

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    Jul 22, 2007
    Location:
    Dallas, TX
    A good DI box is all you need, providing there's a PA where you play.
  5. Kmonk

    Kmonk

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    South Shore, Massachusetts
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    Endorsing Artist: Fender and Spector, Ampeg, Curt Mangan Strings
    You can probably get a used 400RB or 800RB for a good price.
  6. Jim C

    Jim C Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2008
    I would get an old school amp with a known good reliability record and keep that in your trunk.
    Kinda like having finicky but wonderful Ferrari and buying another as a back up - IMO
  7. gruidl

    gruidl

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2013
    Location:
    Minneapolis, MN
    Ok...might go the MicroVR route then. Not sure why, but haven't liked playing through Markbass heads in the past.
  8. b-b-b-bass

    b-b-b-bass

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2005
    Location:
    Oregon Coast
    In all seriousness, I'd also suggest an Ampeg PF-350. It does sound a bit different than the PF-500, in a very-very-good way.

    You might find that you use the PF-500 as the backup amp!
  9. Miskatonic

    Miskatonic

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2009
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    What are your observations in the differences? I've been kind of curious about these lately.
  10. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

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    Apr 11, 2005
    Location:
    Apopka, FL
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    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    Love the Micro VR, but the PF350 sounds the same and has 150w more watts.
  11. gruidl

    gruidl

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2013
    Location:
    Minneapolis, MN
    wow...they sound the same? I played the VR out in NY and Boston because we didn't have room for my rig in the van and it was enough for the smaller clubs we played. I'm only hesitant on the PF-350 because of the PF-500 going haywire. I have never never never had an amp cut out on me in 15 years of playing.

    What about the Carvin BX 250? On sale right now for $279.
  12. arai

    arai

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2007
    You have a right to be weary of getting another pf. Check out this thread
    http://www.talkbass.com/forum/f15/portaflex-cutting-out-poll-881882/
  13. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

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    Apopka, FL
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    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    I've had a Micro VR for two years and a PF350 for a year and a half and I use both regularly, and they've always performed. And yeah, I think they sound the same. They have the same preamp and only the power amps are different. Problems with the PF500 seem to be fewer these days and I'm also hearing of a lot of folks who haven't had any problems with theirs. I know it sucks when you get one that cuts out but they've got great CS and will do their best to make you happy.
  14. gruidl

    gruidl

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2013
    Location:
    Minneapolis, MN
    good that they're getting more reliable. I've stayed away from using an SVR like all the other bassists in the Minneapolis scene because of the maintenance costs (average about $1000/year with regular use based on the straw poll I've done). But I absolutely love the sounds of them. I've got the Tech21 VT Bass pro pedal to help dial in the sound, but it's still an approximation.
  15. Mastermold

    Mastermold Supporting Member

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    FireMelon
    SVR? Did you mean SVT? (If so there is no maintenence cost)
  16. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

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    Apr 11, 2005
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    Apopka, FL
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    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    $1000 a year in maintenance fees on an SVT? Absolutely preposterous! Either these people are bashing the crap out of them or they're dopes. I guess in either scenario they're dopes ;)
  17. coreyfyfe

    coreyfyfe Supporting Member

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    Nov 19, 2007
    Location:
    boston, ma
    If someone is paying $1000 a year in maintenance for an SVT they're either getting screw or stupid. Probably both.

    I've got a PF 500 that I use as a backup. It's been solid for nearly 2 years now. As jimmy said the PF 350 uses the same preamp as the micro vr with a bigger power amp, and honestly i always found my micro vr underpowered.
  18. b-b-b-bass

    b-b-b-bass

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2005
    Location:
    Oregon Coast
    Regarding PF-350 vs. PF-350 sound differences....The preamps are different. The PF-500 is advertised to be MOSFET based, and it also has the compressor circuit and a 5-position mid-tone control in addition to the bass, mid, and treble knobs.

    The PF-350 preamp is only advertised as 'solid state' with straight bass, mid, treble controls, and limiter.

    To me, the PF-500 sounds a bit more modern, while the PF-350 sounds more old school, (whatever that all means). But I'll admit that the sound differences I've heard are perhaps due to how the amps were EQ'd.
  19. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

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    Apr 11, 2005
    Location:
    Apopka, FL
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    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    I'd say that's accurate. PF500 has more tonal options but they can both do modern or vintage. Or as I like to call them, less trebly and more trebly ;)
  20. b-b-b-bass

    b-b-b-bass

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2005
    Location:
    Oregon Coast
    Yeah, you are probably correct. I was suspecting the compressor circuit was the culprit.

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