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Ampeg PF-350 vs SVT Micro VR

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


  1. High Camp

    High Camp

    Oct 3, 2013
    Netherlands
    You won't be disappointed! :)
     
  2. Gary Bratton

    Gary Bratton

    Jan 4, 2021
    Well, the pf-350 is here, and I am a little disappointed. But just a little...I’m pretty sure it’s staying. :)

    I just prefer everything about the Micro VR, except for the fan noise. The pf-350 is not completely silent, but it’s quiet and easy to ignore. Also, it sounds fantastic on its own, when I’m not going back and forth between the two. The VR just seems to have a little more girth to the sound. I guess it’s the power section.

    They both sound like an Ampeg, and with a p-bass both deliver that perfect rock and roll growl. So, I’m pretty happy with it. I’ll compare them a little longer, but the VR is definitely going back.

    Thanks,

    Gary
     
  3. Jim C

    Jim C I believe in the trilogy; Fender, Stingray, + G&L Supporting Member

    Nov 29, 2008
    Bethesda, MD
    Thanks for these reviews. I had the micro CL which sounded good but I didn't realize it wasn't as powerful as the VR when I bought it plus I didn't care for the cabinet.
    I never see the PF500 and 800 compared to the micro VR presumably because of the pre amp design being different. Sounds like class D sounds exactly like MOSFET in this case.

    So here's a loaded question. I never thought that the 3 or 7 Pro sounded all that much like my SVT-CL.
    Does the PF350 or Micro VR get closer?
     
  4. Gary Bratton

    Gary Bratton

    Jan 4, 2021
    I definitely wouldn’t say that. Apparently the preamp of the pf-350 and the micro VR are the same, so it must be the power amp that I prefer in the micro VR. It has more grit, and definitely sounds much more pleasing overdriven IMHO. I’ve seen it mentioned elsewhere that MOSFET does very effective tube emulation (but is also apparently the reason the micro VR needs such a powerful fan, so it’s a blessing and a curse...)

    I’m not qualified to address the other questions, but when it comes to the mini SVT’s, the VR seems to almost always get better reviews than the CL.

    My experience is limited, but I would say if you’re able to play loud enough that the fan doesn’t get in the way (or it just doesn’t bother you) but the power is sufficient, I would highly recommend the micro VR. And apparently it gets even better with two cabs.

    Gary
     
    jeff7bass and Jim C like this.
  5. Jim C

    Jim C I believe in the trilogy; Fender, Stingray, + G&L Supporting Member

    Nov 29, 2008
    Bethesda, MD
    Just a shot in the dark but anyone have any experience comparing the VR to a GB Streamliner?
     
    DaveDeVille likes this.
  6. Gary Bratton

    Gary Bratton

    Jan 4, 2021
    One last thing from me, here:

    Has anyone successfully replaced the fan in the micro VR with something significantly quieter? That’s my last ditch effort to try to keep the amp I want instead of compromising, even if the compromise is just fine.

    Anyway, I’m in the middle of combing through all the threads here about it. I’ve seen people mention it in passing, but not yet found any success stories. So I thought I’d throw this out there, just in case...

    Thanks,

    Gary
     
    DaveDeVille likes this.
  7. The fan on the VR is bolted directly to the upper rear panel. If you can put rubber washers on the four fan mounting screws either side of the rear panel it might reduce the noise caused by the fan vibrations. Basically see if you can add a damper between the fan and whatever it is mounted to; it might reduce the fan noise and is a simple cheap thing to try.
     
  8. Gary Bratton

    Gary Bratton

    Jan 4, 2021
    So I have decided to just do the obvious thing and send the Micro VR back and keep the pf-350. I’m a little bummed, but I’ll get over it.

    The differences seemed less significant last time I compared them. Who knows how much of this is psychological? :) Using the DI they were almost identical...I guess that’s just the preamp.

    I did, by the way, find one specific mention of switching out the fan for something quieter:

    Ampeg svt-vr---fan too loud???! - Music Electronics Forum

    Looks promising. I was pretty tempted to try it , but I wasn’t able to quickly and easily track down the fan mentioned and don’t really know enough to try to track down something comparable.

    Just not worth it when the pf-350 sounds close enough. :)

    Thanks y’all,

    Gary
     
    DrMole, Jim C and DaveDeVille like this.
  9. jeff7bass

    jeff7bass

    Apr 9, 2009
    So even though you prefer almost everything about the VR, you sent it back and kept the 350? I really didn't notice the fan much when I played it. The 350 didn't have the same attack, like the compressor was always working even when disengaged. The VR had more magic.
     
    DaveDeVille likes this.
  10. Gary Bratton

    Gary Bratton

    Jan 4, 2021
    No compressor on the 350, but I totally agree that the VR has the magic. I love the way that little thing sounds, but the fan drove me crazy. I have a small semi-soundproofed “studio” in my basement, and it’s very quiet. I would eventually get used to it, but then whenever I turned it off, it was like “ahhhhhhh...” I just couldn’t deal with it. Sadly...
     
    jeff7bass likes this.
  11. jeff7bass

    jeff7bass

    Apr 9, 2009
    I has a limiter. That's what I meant. I see what you mean about the studio. I used my 350 for a couple of rehearsals but it just couldn't keep up without the limiter squashing the signal. When I tried the VR at GC I cranked it up good and there was no squashing. Since I was at GC and there was other noise, I didn't notice the fan.
     
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2021
    DaveDeVille likes this.
  12. Gary Bratton

    Gary Bratton

    Jan 4, 2021
    Well dammit, thanks for making me question my decision! :) I do still have it, it’s not too late...
     
    Jim C and DaveDeVille like this.
  13. jeff7bass

    jeff7bass

    Apr 9, 2009
    it’s not too late to WHIP IT! :p
     
    DaveDeVille likes this.
  14. DaveDeVille

    DaveDeVille ... you talkin' to me ?? Supporting Member

    ... i had the PF-350 , sold it and bought the Micro VR .
    the fan is a little noisy in a quiet room , but with the band ,
    it make no difference , IMO .

    i also use my Tech21 VT Bass pedal , just to juice it up a bit .
    for me , it's the better amp , no question ... IMG_2695.JPG
     
  15. JeezyMcNuggles

    JeezyMcNuggles

    Feb 23, 2018
    Santa Maria, CA
    I suck, but nobody really notices
    The difference is power and tone. I far prefer the micro. It's pretty real. The pf us a good low power solid amp though. But, it sounds more sterile. It will get louder though. And the micro doesn't like 4ohm loads, where the pf doesn't care. Either or is a good choice.
     
    jeff7bass likes this.
  16. DaveDeVille

    DaveDeVille ... you talkin' to me ?? Supporting Member

    really ??
    my Micro runs great under a 4 ohm load ...
    :help:
     
    12BitSlab and Bamboo633 like this.
  17. Gary Bratton

    Gary Bratton

    Jan 4, 2021
    I hate all you people! :banghead:

    :)

    Gary
     
  18. JimmyM

    JimmyM

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Yamaha, Ampeg, Line 6, EMG
    Gun to my head, I really can't tell a difference in sound between the Micro VR and PF350.
     
  19. JeezyMcNuggles

    JeezyMcNuggles

    Feb 23, 2018
    Santa Maria, CA
    I suck, but nobody really notices
    Well, you got very lucky then. They peak out, and run hot. I've had two of them. My old one did it, my new one does it. But, you can crank it to any volume with zero problems at all with an 8ohm load.
     
  20. Gary Bratton

    Gary Bratton

    Jan 4, 2021
    Boy, you guys have really got me questioning my decision again...

    It seems silly to keep the PF when I prefer the VR.

    It seems silly to keep the VR when the fan drives me crazy.

    It seems silly to be so indecisive.

    I know if I get rid of the VR I will always miss it and the PF will seem like a second choice that doesn’t quite fit. Maybe I can deal with the fan. Maybe I can find a replacement that is quieter. Then again...maybe not. Sigh.

    (Yes, I drive myself crazy...)
     
  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.

     
    May 17, 2021

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