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Artie Langston
PF-50T_FrontSlant.jpg

Ampeg PF-50T Portaflex

5/5, 5 from 4 reviews
50W All-tube Bass Head
PF-50T_FrontSlant.jpg

Recent Reviews

  1. Jefenator
    The World's Most Practical Tube Bass Head
    5/5, 5 out of 5, reviewed Nov 28, 2017
    Sound:
    5/5,
    Build Quality:
    5/5,
    Features:
    5/5,
    Value:
    5/5,
    Pros
    • + Classic, intuitive Ampeg tone controls. Uniquely practical for a tube bass head of this wattage. Handy features like user biasing, built-in DIs and an automatic dummy load so you can use the head without a speaker plugged in.
    Cons
    • - Not as simple to use or portable as most solid-state micro-heads.
    I've used a few other tube bass heads recently and while they all sound sublime, there is a certain practicality that is lacking. My vintage Ampeg V-4B weighs a frigging ton. My Sunn 200S is better but still very bulky. It's great to use on rock gigs with the larger speaker cab but just plain awkward with 1x12 or 1x10 cabs like I'd use for smaller rooms and Jazz gigs. An old Traynor Bass Mate is getting down to a manageable size and weight but the wattage is too low.
    This PF-50T is smaller and lighter than any of the above mentioned amps and the 50 watts is adequate for most gigs I do. That to me is the real beauty of this head - I now get to enjoy the organic response of an all-tube amp in lots of settings where it had previously not quite been practical.
    It does take up at least one hand for loading (I use a tote bag for the QSC K8 powered speaker, may soon try a Gator GP66 bag). I can't sling it over one shoulder like I do with my trusty old Markbass LMII. But I don't enjoy using that amp anymore now that I'm used to having all-tube all the time. (Don't get me wrong. The LMII sounds fine - always has - but the feel just isn't the same.)
    The PF-50T can be fussy. It does seem to like to be driven a certain amount - not too little, not too much. More than once I've found myself swapping out speaker cabs in between sets to get things more in the right zone. I find gain staging has a huge effect on the response - I usually prefer leaving the master volume all the way up, which makes it emulate the way my older amps work.
    On account of its being brand new, I tend to trust the PF-50T more than I have my older amps. The user-adjustable biasing with handy guide lights means I might go years without having to take this thing to my tech! I haven't gotten to know the built-in DIs as much as I'd like - the one time I used the "pre" one, it did sound great. (Can't wait to try the post-transformer DI in a recording studio.)
    I'd like to see other makers explore this concept so we have a few more choices in this size and wattage range. But for now, the PF-50T is the only game in town and for me it has been a real game-changer!
    Price Paid:
    $600 used
  2. DionClassic
    Does it all (nearly)
    5/5, 5 out of 5, reviewed Feb 21, 2017
    Sound:
    5/5,
    Build Quality:
    5/5,
    Features:
    5/5,
    Value:
    5/5,
    Pros
    • + Lots of features, great tone, love the tube bias, transformer out is fantastic
    Cons
    • - a bit awkward to carry, as stated before... can't do stadiums without PA
    I've had this amp for a year now. Switched from a Mesa Big Block 750 with hopes of finding something light that I can use for more applications than just large gigs.

    I've used it for church with the transformer out and it delivers awesome tone! compared to the sansamp it is just so much more impressive and responsive. And the drive you can generate makes it that much more enticing.

    havent used it for recording but I'm pretty sure that's what these are made to do very well, so if the opportunity arises I plan on using it for that too.

    I've also used it for practices when i didn't want to bring my cab and just ran it through our PA. sounded great without the weight or hassle.

    I've swapped the tubes out due to personal preferences and the biasing feature makes it so easy!

    Honestly with this amp as a gigging unit it 100% depends on your drummer. For me, the 50 watts have been more than enough through a good 115. The head, cab and backpack gigbag give me an amazing tone with one trip from the car.

    If you're looking for an amp that can do it all, surprisingly the PF-50t is as good as it gets. i know the pf500 can dish out way more volume, but the PF-50t has THE tone (IMHO). It's not the cheapest amp out there but with all the things it can do very well, it really pays for itself and I actually haven't had GAS since getting it.

    I've never had any component or part issues, it seems very well built.

    note- I've been using a '79 and 50's road worn precision bass
    Price Paid:
    $1,079.99
    Jefenator likes this.
  3. ariwax
    The ideal tube head.
    5/5, 5 out of 5, reviewed Mar 17, 2016
    Sound:
    5/5,
    Build Quality:
    5/5,
    Features:
    5/5,
    Value:
    5/5,
    Pros
    • + Small, lightweight, all-tube, no BS, looks like Darth Vader designed a tube head.
    Cons
    • - Can't play stadiums with it.
    Surprisingly loud through a PF-115HE, and can flip into the cab for transport too. Depending on your cab, maybe 50W isn't loud enough for you to be heard in the back of the club, but they probably have a PA, so run a single XLR from the post-OT direct out and straight to the FOH, and it will sound like the voice of God. If you play metal in a band with three guitarists and four drummers then you aren't looking at this anyway. Otherwise, this rig is unstoppable - all-tube, no fakery, makes your bass sound like a warm, breathing, living thing. Loves pedals and enjoys being pushed a bit. Looks cool. Has the same gain and EQ structure as a V4B. What's not to like? It's made in China, but then so is your iPhone, and everything else these days.
    Price Paid:
    $899

Head Details

  1. Power:
    50 watts @ 8 or 4 ohms
    Inputs:
    1 straight, 1 -15db
    Outputs:
    1 speaker, 2 XLR outputs pre and post EQ.
    EQ / Controls:
    Bass, mid-range, treble, and selectable frequency response. Gain and output volume.
    Price:
    $1259.99
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