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Ampeg Micro VR vs PF500 for low volume play

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by suddenlysane, Dec 7, 2011.

  1. suddenlysane

    suddenlysane Supporting Member

    Sep 29, 2010
    I can't decide between the Ampeg PF500 and the Ampeg Micro VR stack. I have this:


    For just low to moderate jamming in the house, which would make more sense? I'm assuming I could use either head on the Hartke HyDrives just for a change of pace.

    Option 1: ($399.00) Ampeg PF500 - probably match well with the HyDrive 2x10/1x15 and sit right on top of the cab and be easily connected. PLUS 500 watts and more tonal options than the LH500 head.

    Option 2: ($299.00) Ampeg Micro VR (head only) - I could use it with the 2x10 or 1x15 HyDrive and easily switch it out with the LH500 head. Or use the LH500 with the 1x15 AND the Micro VR with the 2x10 cab at the same time:)bassist:).

    Option 3: ($599.00) Ampeg Micro VR stack - I could use it as in Option 2 but have the cab for use if I'm practicing in my office. Easily portable and still plenty loud enough for home use.

    What's the best bang for the buck for someone that probably isn't going to push the equipment very hard? Will I kick myself for not going for the PF500 or regret the "overkill" and lack of an extra cab?? Will the PF500 sound great regardless of volume?

    Help meh!
  2. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    They all sound good regardless of volume. I don't know...I think all your ideas are viable. I love that little Micro VR rig. I might also throw in the PF350 to confuse the issue, too ;) Same preamp as the Micro VR but with 350w and costs the same as the Micro VR.
  3. Heck, I have a 7 Pro and play it low all the time.
    I always look for tone and features. Power is way
    down on the list for a hobby jammer, like myself.
    If you're into that 500, I think you'll enjoy the compressor
    and 5-way mid switch. That's a bang for buck amp, if there ever was one.
    Good luck.

  4. suddenlysane

    suddenlysane Supporting Member

    Sep 29, 2010
    I don't think I can go wrong but I've made so many bad choices after not thinking things through that I decided I would attempt to make a reasonable well thought out decision.

    Thanks to you guys I've now narrowed it down to:

    Micro VR head
    Micro VR stack
    7 Pro

    ....and I thought the list was supposed to get shorter?

    Might as well throw an SVT-CL into the mix. :help:
  5. suddenlysane

    suddenlysane Supporting Member

    Sep 29, 2010
    Seriously, though, is the tonal difference between the 7 Pro/Micro VR/PFseries pretty broad or do they all represent the Ampeg tone well?

    What would YOU choose if priority was in order:

    1. Tone
    2. Features
    3. Value
  6. Duke21


    Nov 14, 2010
    Narvik, Norway
    PF350, cost the same as the VR micro, is closer to the PF500 and SVT CL in power terms, but is the smallest Ampeg head around, it almost like a sansamp VT bass deluxe but with a 350w power section as well, what can be better?
  7. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    With tone and features at the top of the list, SVT-VR if tubes are an option, with SVT-CL placing a respectable second. But if weight is an issue, 7 Pro. The PF/Micro VR heads are excellent and I rock a Micro VR and PF350 all the time, but the 7 Pro ramps it up another notch or two for sure. But throw value into the equation and it's impossible to beat the PF500 IMHO. 500w, all the features of the 7 Pro, and almost as good sound as the 7 Pro for half the money.
  8. suddenlysane

    suddenlysane Supporting Member

    Sep 29, 2010
    I appreciate the input. I'd love to pull the trigger on a tube amp but that's just not gonna happen any time soon. I dig the Micro VR but I think I'd feel like I left something on the table if I chose it. The PF350 is very interesting in cost/performance but I'm leaning toward the PF500 and 7 Pro. I had scratched the 7 Pro as a possibility but I think I'm gonna give it some consideration again.

    Now to decide if I can justify the leap from the PF500 to a 7 Pro. Is it worth the cost doubling? I dunno. But my gut tells me YES! My gut tells me all kinds of things, though....like that burrito won't give me heartburn....momma's meatloaf will be good this time around....etc.

  9. PF350 vs PF500 boils down to the features, imo. The extra features on the PF500 are worth the price difference in the long run and gigs.

    Ditto the PF500 vs 7-PRO. Both have same features but the tonal difference and double power is worth it. The 7-PRO is warmer, IIRC. And who knows? If you find out liking the Ampeg tone, all you need then is a pair of Ampeg cabs since you already have a powerful Ampeg head :D
  10. suddenlysane

    suddenlysane Supporting Member

    Sep 29, 2010
    ...and this is how a $300 feeler purchase turns into an $1,800.00 bonanza.....:meh:

    Or I could look at it as PLANNING AHEAD. "No, honey, I didn't NEED the 7 Pro. I was just PLANNING AHEAD."

    "Yes, honey, the cabs were a NECESSITY. The amp won't sound right without them...they are part of the PLAN."

    "Yes, dear, the garage floor IS cold but I'll be ok...thank you for asking."

    It's all about SACRIFICE!
  11. suddenlysane

    suddenlysane Supporting Member

    Sep 29, 2010
    Well, I did the unthinkable. After talking myself into a 7 Pro and convincing myself it was justified, I got up this morning and ordered a Micro VR Stack.

    In my situation it makes the most sense for now. I spend a lot of time in my home office and if I play here it's on a small Hartke B300 amp. I'd like to put the B300 in the garage for when I'm tinkering out there with pawn shop basses I'm refinishing for fun.

    The Micro VR will fit in the office nicely and I can still get a taste of the Ampeg tone. I almost upsold myself to a PF500 and 115 cab or even the PF350 head but I stood my ground against myself. I need to bask in the glory of the Micro VR. And so it is......:bassist:
  12. PaperbackRyder

    PaperbackRyder Supporting Member

    Apr 21, 2007
    Maynard, MA
    That's what I though also...but I tried both the PF350 and PF500 into a PF210 at GC, and loved the sweet B15-ish tone of the 350, but could no seem to dial in the same tone with the 500.
    I know they have different pre-amp designs, so maybe that explains it.
    Did I miss something? Not enough knob twisting? Or is the different preamp simply a different flavor?
  13. dls59

    dls59 Supporting Member

    You're seriously going to love the tones in the Micro-VR. :eek:
  14. suddenlysane

    suddenlysane Supporting Member

    Sep 29, 2010

    I think someone mentioned it in this thread but my understanding is that the PF500 tone more closely resembles the 7 Pro tone and the PF350 has the same preamp as the Micro VR and therefore resembles its tone more.

    @dls59 - I've been second guessing myself since I ordered it but reading that gave me a warm and fuzzy feeling. I can't wait!
  15. Hope you enjoy it. They sound cool. I almost bought one, but decided, wisely,I've enough amps for now.
  16. f.c.geil


    May 12, 2011
    Exactly right. Except that the 7 Pro has that tube in it, so it emulates the classic SVT tone better than the PF500.
  17. You'll love the Micro VR. I have one and I was worried about volume at first but like you, I am using it for low volume acoustic type gigs and it's fantastic for that. An easy carry and buttery tone. And our very own JimmyM, the Archduke of Ampeg, loves it too...;)
  18. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    Nice! It's a sweet little amp. Wouldn't play metal with it unless there's PA ;) but I've used it on decent sized stage volume gigs before playing oldies from the 50's 60's and 70's, like 300-400 people.
  19. Duke21


    Nov 14, 2010
    Narvik, Norway
    Yes, Jimmy is our R&D agent of the Ampeg products, if he approve an Ampeg product, then it is officially approved ;)
    I wish they sold the micro VR in Norway, strange, for being one of the richest country's in term of buying power, we have rather lousy selection of products.
    They sell micro VR in Sweden, but only in the south, thus 1000km away.
  20. suddenlysane

    suddenlysane Supporting Member

    Sep 29, 2010
    I'd like to ask a favor. I know that all of you, including JimmyM, probably have a lot going on for the next two and a half days but I would like to propose that we skip that time and go STRAIGHT TO WEDNESDAY! Come on, people! Who's with me here?! WEDNESDAY!!!! :hyper::bassist::hyper:

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