Discussion in 'Amps [BG]' started by sedan_dad, Oct 27, 2013.
Are the 350's inherently more stable than the 500's ? That's the impression I'm getting.
I have had my pf350 for almost a year now, used it on many gigs and rehearsals and never had an issue. Maybe I am one of the lucky ones!!!
My PF-350 is totally stable, but I can make it to cut out.
It has NEVER happened unless I REALLY intended to do it - when I want it to crap out I can do it with almost every note I pluck - just need to set gain, vol and eq properly (or rather IMproperly). I played it outdoors, indoors, loud and quiet. No problems at all, no fault light, no cutting out.
My most extreme settings - gain and vol at 2-2:30 o'clock. Lows at 1 o'clock, mids 2 o'clock, highs 9-10 o'clock.
My last gig was with FOUR guitar players, one of them - who was standing next to me - was using Marshall JCM 900 through 1960 cab (4x12) with master volume cranked to the maximum. We played without PA support and my 350 through PF-115HE did a great job.
I'm pretty sure I'd be as happy with PF-500, but I went with 350 because it's lighter and I think that I'd feel not totally satisfied with PF-500s preamp. Front layout is almost the same as on my old 3pro but I think that without the tubes the sound would not be there.
1: The PF-350 has had much fewer reported issues.
2: TB'ers have reported several issues with the early model PF-500. There have probably been 6-7 various revisions of the PF500 and my assumption would be current issues being reported are the result of "old stock" that was sitting in the warehouse.
3: If they had the PF-800 available when I purchased my PF500 a couple years ago (it's still problem free) I would have probably opted for more power. So rather than decide between the PF350/PF500 I would make a decision regarding the PF350/PF800.
I believe you are fine with either if the revision level of the PF-500 is high enough. Check the big PF350/PF500 thread; there's a discussion there. Rev C/D and lower seem to be the ones to avoid.
I've never had a cutting out problem with any of them, and I've tried to make it happen.
No issues with my PF350. I really like the simple effective EQ on the 350 pre although I would think that many people would find it not as flexible as the 500's EQ setup.
Recently I was at a Ampeg repair center with my burnt-out PF-500.
The service tech said they we're already up to "Rev. J" at that time.
With that many revisions still going on, my guess is the bugs haven't been totally worked out yet...
The SVT has undergone tons of revisions over the years and it still gets revised from time to time.
I use my PF350 with an Eden 410 cabinet for my DB and BG. For the DB, gain is at 1:00, EQ mostly flat, and the volume pegged, and the thing sounds great. I would've/should've gotten the PF500, but the reliability issues prevented me from making the leap.
The thing to know about the PF series heads is that, if you have a failure under it's warranty your golden, Ampeg has been great about replacing the failed heads with a brand new one.
Have a failure outside of the warranty and you have three options.
#1...Take it to a authorized Ampeg service center and the Ampeg service techs will tell you it'll cost almost as much to repair as it will for you to purchase a new one. (They actually recommended me to just toss mine!)
#2...Order a Main Board from Ampeg and try the repairs yourself. (There is no warranty on parts installed by the user.)
#3...Sell it to someone who likes to tinker with electronics for pennies on the dollar. (This is what I did with my 500, lost my butt on the deal but atleast I got something out of it.)
Seems to me that the number of failures reported has slacked off some. To arrive at this conclusion I of course used the highly scientific method of reading TB posts. So the answer is clear - if you like the sound, get one. I put my money where my mouth is, and I bought a PF800.
I have had my 350 go into protection. The solution was to go about 2 o'clock or lower on the volume and drive the pre. Bingo. Running the Pf115he it Absolutely slayed the fender 350 combo the other guy at a jam party had. Perfect for our rehearsals too. Hook up both 115s and it's huge. But if you have the dough and the need get the 800.
I've had similar results with my 350. The thing doesn't come alive until about 1 o'clock on the gain and volume knobs, and starts to limit out at around 2:30. Keep it there and it's solid. Plenty loud into a single 8ohm fEARful. Have not used the amp into a 4ohm load, yet.
Don't let the few naysayers sway your opinion, the PF500 went through some serious 'growing pains' but the changes were almost 2 years ago and some people are carrying a grudge.
I bought my PF500 in June (rev. G) and use it nearly every day, not a single problem just that Ampeg tone. I've said this before, if you buy one just make sure it isn't an old unit that was sitting around for over a year, unless they give you a great deal and a solid extended warranty (good advice for any modern product).
I went with the 500 instead of the 800 because the 800 costs more per watt than the 500 and I don't need the extra headroom. I skipped the 350 because I wanted a bit more headroom and liked the improved preamp section
Dumb question. Where on the amp does it state what the revision is, and what is the chance of buying an earlier rev if you buy from one of the internet vendors? I couldn't imagine having a sales rep go and check the carton for me to tell me what revision it is, heck, I don't think they're even in the same state as the warehouse most of the time!
It doesn't but they would know when it was shipped from LOUD, and the newer the more likely it will be the latest. The high volume retailers cycle their stock fast enough that there should be little chance of getting a rev. F today from one.
It's etched on the circuit boards.
My PF-350 has been going strong for over a year, no problems.
My PF-350 has been perfect. Unlike the Chinese B200R that preceded it that was a piece of crap.
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