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Ampeg PF-350 vs SVT Micro VR

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Gatlin, Feb 23, 2018.


  1. Gatlin

    Gatlin

    Sep 22, 2016
    Ellisville, MS
    So I'm looking to get the SVT-210AV cabinet and I see that the SVT Micro VR head is available as a package deal with the cabinet, but looking at the PF-350 head it appears to be the same price with more wattage.

    My question is, what is the difference (other than watts and form factor) with the two heads? Does one have different sound than the other? I've never owned an Ampeg product so I can't really compare it to anything I have.

    It would seem to me that the additional wattage in the PF-350 would be beneficial if I add another 210 cabinet in the future.
     
  2. Gatlin

    Gatlin

    Sep 22, 2016
    Ellisville, MS
    Guess I should have tagged @JimmyM since from what I've seen he's the Ampeg expert.
     
    Slaphound likes this.
  3. JimmyM

    JimmyM

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Yamaha, Ampeg, Line 6, EMG
    LOL!

    Well I have both, and maybe the PF-350 is a shade tighter than the Micro VR, but honestly, they sound so much alike that I can use them interchangeably.
     
    AstroSonic likes this.
  4. Gatlin

    Gatlin

    Sep 22, 2016
    Ellisville, MS
    Which one would you recommend in my scenario? If they sound pretty similar and cost the same it would seem that the PF-350 would be the way to go. Thoughts?
     
  5. JimmyM

    JimmyM

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Yamaha, Ampeg, Line 6, EMG
    Depends if you put looks over wattage and ease of toting. I can make a case for either as there's nothing wrong with buying for looks. But if I had to keep only one, it would be the 350.
     
    DrMole and bobicidal like this.
  6. 12BitSlab

    12BitSlab Gold Supporting Member

    Nov 28, 2016
    Liberty Township
    I went with Micro-VR. I love it with 2 of the svt210av cabs. It has exactly the sound I want, but it won't fill a big room.

    @JimmyM I seem to remember that the 350 and the Micro-VR have the same preamp. Is that correct?
     
    jeff7bass and JimmyM like this.
  7. JimmyM

    JimmyM

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Yamaha, Ampeg, Line 6, EMG
    Yes sir. The only difference is the Micro AB has a class AB power amp that does 200w @ 4 ohms and the PF-350 has a class D power amp that does 350w @ 4 ohms. Well, that and the Micro VR looks like a mini SVT-VR while the PF-350 looks like a mini SVT 4 Pro :D
     
    Heavy Blue, AstroSonic and jeff7bass like this.
  8. Gatlin

    Gatlin

    Sep 22, 2016
    Ellisville, MS
    I'm gonna go with the PF-350. I think it's the better buy for me as I'm personally not crazy about the old school svt look. The pre and power amp info you guys mentioned made the decision easy. Thanks!
     
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2018
    DrMole, 12BitSlab and JimmyM like this.
  9. Bass Gear Magazine did a lab test of the Micro VR head which showed it output 259 watts at 4 ohms so pretty close to the PF350.
     
  10. Gatlin

    Gatlin

    Sep 22, 2016
    Ellisville, MS
    Thanks for that info. It's nice to see an amp that actually puts out more than the rating indicates for a change.
     
  11. JimmyM

    JimmyM

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Yamaha, Ampeg, Line 6, EMG
    As someone who owns both, I find the difference in available volume fairly noticeable. It's not earthshakingly different, no, but it's noticeable to me.
     
    DrMole, Heavy Blue, High Camp and 2 others like this.
  12. I'm sure that is true, but for me the Micro has enough power to drive either one or two SVT210AV cabs as loud as I would want to push them. With heavier duty cabs you may use more, but when I use it with an SVT810AV loud I still dont reach the Micro's limit.

    I know I'm going to be shot down but several lab tests of class D show they may have outputs under their published ratings whilst AB test above. That has been my real world experience with my amplifiers too.
     
  13. Fun Size Nick

    Fun Size Nick

    Feb 21, 2006
    Hong Kong
    It's really the other way around - a cab with more speakers will generally be more efficient than fewer, so you don't need as much max power in order to get the same volume. 350W (or even 100W!) into an 810AV is gonna be LOUD.
     
  14. Agreed. The point I was making is that the Micro VR has enough power to drive either one or two of the medium duty SVT210AV cabs beyond their comfortable limit.
     
  15. JimmyM

    JimmyM

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Yamaha, Ampeg, Line 6, EMG
    Several class D heads also test at or above their published ratings, too. It really doesn't mean anything that some didn't except as it relates to those particular heads. Now it's true that the Micro VR does a great job...I have no complaints about mine, that's for sure. But I figure for the same money, get 100-150 extra watts and an easier-to-tote form factor.
     
    DrMole and Gatlin like this.
  16. Nice. I bought my MicorVR/2 x 210AV more as a rehearsal rig, so I donlt have to haul my V-4B/2 x 112AV rig, but have used it on the last gig or 2 with a loud drummer and it worked great. The band loves it at any volume. I also have a couple of Ampeg pedals in front of it and can get all those tone options as well. Last Tuesday, I tripped carrying a bunch of stuff and injured my rotator cuff pretty badly. With a few gigs over the next few months, this rig is going to get a lot more use than I had planned. I am considering adding a 3rd 210AV and using it as a 610 with the V-4B.
     
    msb and jeff7bass like this.
  17. Ed Byrnes

    Ed Byrnes Supporting Member

    Feb 13, 2015
    I bought a Micro VR as a practice rig (also added 2x 210avs) because of the aux in and headphone out. In a lazy moment, I brought it to a gig where there is an 8x10 in the back line and FOH support and it kicked butt! Awesome tone and more than enough stage volume.
    Ampeg Rigs.png
     
  18. Both heads are so tiny the form factor doesn't come into it for me. I only discovered the Micro VR rig because I was able to buy two of them secondhand for less than the price of a separate SVT210AV cab. Initially l wanted one for home quiet prctice but soon realised it was far more capable, especially with a second SVT210AV cab. I keep my eyes open for a PF350 going cheaply secondhand but to date none have popped up nearby.
     
    JimmyM likes this.
  19. alaskaleftybass

    alaskaleftybass Will Hanbury, Jr. Supporting Member

    Mar 21, 2012
    Sitka, Alaska
    @Gatlin after using your PF-350 for a while do you still like it?
     
  20. Gatlin

    Gatlin

    Sep 22, 2016
    Ellisville, MS
    Well I've used the PF350 head with one cabinet several times and I really like the sound so far. I bought two cabinets and have only had the opportunity to use both at one event. Last week I played at a worship event for the at risk youth program at a local military base. The building was probably 100 feet long and probably 30 or 40 feet wide so not real big but I was told the PA system was really small and only for vocals. So.....I take the PF350 and both cabinets excited about using the full rig for the first time. We get there and they have recently upgraded the PA system which actually is pretty nice for the building (powered EV mains, subs, and 3 or 4 wedges). We got there early for a sound check before the youth kids started arriving. I had the PF350 hooked to both cabs with the volume on about 2 (0 to 10) and after the first song the sound guy told me he took me out of the mains/subs and I was still too loud. We had acoustic drums, electric guitar, acoustic guitar and myself (with both guitar guys singing as well) so it was fairly loud anyway. I turned down to 1 (see photo below of master gain setting) with both cabs hooked up and he still said I was too loud when combined with FOH.
    2018-05-31 07.21.26.jpg
    FYI....I was running my pedal board into the effects return and using my Sansamp BDDI for the preamp so the preamp gain and eq on the PF350 weren't used. My BDDI is setup for unity gain also so it isn't feeding some really hot signal to the power amp. Since I play for bass players at other churches a good bit I keep my pedal board at unity gain so the sound guy doesn't have to do some crazy gain control when I hook up to his system.

    Ultimately I ended up unplugging the bottom cabinet in my stack and just leaving the top cabinet hooked up with the master volume at about 1.5 or so. Sound guy left me in the wedges just for stage volume and took me out of the mains/subs. Being a sound guy myself I did everything I could to work with the sound guy, but I couldn't turn down any lower than 1.5 or so and actually still hear myself. He told me afterwards the bass volume was better with only one cabinet but I was still pretty hot (which is fine with me, haha).

    Here's a pic of the room setup. There were about 25 or 30 guys and probably 15 or so girls (which you can't see in the photo because they keep them separated and the girls are behind the guy taking the photo) and probably 10 or so adults. So, probably 50 people or so in the room.

    IMG_1625.JPG

    Here's a pic of the amp (and the p-bass that I played at that event) and just one cabinet where I leave it setup in my home office.

    2018-05-31 07.15.40.jpg

    You can actually see the top of the amp over by the projector screen in this photo.....

    IMG_1628.JPG

    All that to say.....I'm very pleased with the setup so far and don't see myself needing anything more than this setup anytime in the near future. I play in worship events all over the place (played at two churches and that military event last week) with crowds up to 200 or so. The portability of the PF350 and those two 210 cabs is incredibly awesome. At the moment I think even playing outdoors this rig would be plenty with a half way decent PA system or maybe even no PA support depending on the instruments we have playing. Indoors and this setup will do everything I need without PA support. How cool is it that I can put the head, both cabinets, guitar case, guitar stand, and a cable bag of all kinds of assorted stuff (just in case) in the back seat of my F150? 10 years ago I was hauling around a 215 cabinet in the back end of my truck that weighed much more, wasn't easy to move, and didn't sound near as good as these little cabinets.
     
  21. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

     
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