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Ampeg PF-350 vs SVT Micro VR

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


  1. Rich67

    Rich67 Gold Supporting Member

    Sep 24, 2019
    North of Austin, TX
    and hey, we're not enabling, we're empowering. :laugh:
     
  2. Rich67

    Rich67 Gold Supporting Member

    Sep 24, 2019
    North of Austin, TX
    welp right before I texted Ampeg, I figured I'd hit the Google... 6L6/6V6 tube question regarding the Ampeg/PF-50T
    More discussion about how the notable difference between wattage less than you'd think.
    I will say having a gain and master volume does help get some grit at lower output.
     
  3. Nope; you'd have to remove both pcb assemblies from the chassis to get to the fan and that's way too much hassle.
     
    Gary Bratton likes this.
  4. Gary Bratton

    Gary Bratton

    Jan 4, 2021
    Thanks again y’all.

    Question: would it be selfish and ridiculous to order another Micro VR head to see if the fan noise is any different?

    Mine was an open box, maybe it’s defective. Probably not. But maybe some are better than others.

    I’m playing through it right now at low volume and I just love it. I don’t think I really want anything else. But I sure wish I could get rid of, or even diminish, that fan noise.

    One last quick aside: @iagtrplyr - I saw you mention in another thread that you had a Fender Rumble. How would you compare the sound to the Micro VR?

    Thanks!

    Gary
     
    Rich67 likes this.
  5. Jim C

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

    Nov 29, 2008
    Bethesda, MD
    The VR fan issue has been around a long time and while others say there's is not bad, it's too subjective to be valuable. Does it get quieter of you run it out of the case?
    A 20 watt amp limits what you can do with that amp in the future. Even 50 is iffy if you should ever want to use your "good" head for a 1 cabinet solution. OTOH, maybe you like the power tube break up at low volumes and you will never play loud and clean.
    IMO the safe bet is the VR due to low cost and easy resale at close to cost; based on my limited Reverb search.
    Curious as to the final solution!
     
    Gary Bratton and DaveDeVille like this.
  6. Rich67

    Rich67 Gold Supporting Member

    Sep 24, 2019
    North of Austin, TX
    I would order another just to have two... Because two Micro SVT's equals like, 1 big SVT. In Rich-Rationalization-World. And you would be able to have the answer to the fan question...
     
  7. Gary Bratton

    Gary Bratton

    Jan 4, 2021
    My mind is pretty much made up (ask me again in 5 minutes). There is a small chance I may order a Rumble 100 just to know, but it’s unlikely. There is a decent chance I’ll order another Micro VR head just to check the fan noise. But I’m almost certainly sticking with the Micro VR.

    ...and now I kinda have gas for a PF-20T. So when I get B-15 GAS and have the funds I know where I’m headed...

    Thanks,

    Gary
     
    Rich67 and onestone like this.
  8. onestone

    onestone

    Jan 18, 2013
    Not to say that one Micro VR fan couldn't be more silent than another, but i've had two of them and IMO (judging by ear) they had similar fan noise.

    Keep the Micro VR stack and get the PF-20T (and another 210AV cab to stack vertically :D). Best of both worlds ;)
     
    Ed Byrnes and Rich67 like this.
  9. el jeffe bass

    el jeffe bass

    Nov 22, 2013
    New Mexico
    I was in a similar position not that long ago. I was chasing tone, money was not that big of an object. I have a Rumble 100 that I use as a grab and go amp for playing at friends houses and the senior center. It’s a great amp for those purposes but sadly lacking in inspirational tone. I ended up getting a PF20T/PF112HLF setup and haven’t looked back. I went with the PF20T over the PF50T because it was going to be used mostly as my music room/recording amp and I wanted to be able to get a nice tube distortion at lower volumes. The PF112HLF is the lightest cabinet in the PF series and I didn’t need the flip top feature, it also was designed to match the tube heads. If you are trying to get a low volume SVT the PF50T should get you close, I love the old Portaflex amp tones, the PF20T gets me close at a fairly reasonable price. In the end it comes down to the compromises that you are willing to make.
    Edited to say: IMHO, all of these options have merit except the Rumble. If you want a light weight, reasonably loud combo amp and tone is not your primary concern the Rumble isn’t a bad choice. If you want an Ampeg tone you will be greatly disappointed.
     
    Last edited: Jan 28, 2021
  10. Gary Bratton

    Gary Bratton

    Jan 4, 2021
    So, I just ordered another Micro VR head.

    I figured it was worth it to me to lose the discount I got to see if another one has the same level of fan noise. The box for the one I’m returning had already been opened anyway, and I had also already started the RMA process in one of my many back-and-forths. No harm, no foul.

    @el jeffe bass - Just saw your edited comment. Thanks so much! Really puts my mind at ease on the Rumble. Exactly what I needed to hear.

    Thanks again, everyone!

    Gary
     
    el jeffe bass, Rich67 and JimmyM like this.
  11. Gary Bratton

    Gary Bratton

    Jan 4, 2021
    Well, new Micro VR is here. All I’ve done is plugged it in and turned it on.

    It’s definitely not louder. It may be a tiny bit quieter, but any difference is negligible.

    Oh well, at least I know for sure now. I guess that’s worth the €30 price difference. I’m disappointed, but not surprised. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

    Or do I order 10 and keep the one I think is quietest? I keed, I keed...although I will probably try to replace the fan with something quieter at some point. I’m a sucker for a fool’s errand.

    Thanks,

    Gary
     
    Qlanq, johnnynitro and Rich67 like this.
  12. Jim C

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

    Nov 29, 2008
    Bethesda, MD
    Gary,
    I think you are dreaming about finding a quieter fan considering both are new. And changing the stock fan is not going to be easy unless you are highly skilled.
    Move the amp or find something new IMO.
     
  13. Gary Bratton

    Gary Bratton

    Jan 4, 2021
    Here we go again! :) I’m pretty set on the Micro VR. The fan is the only thing I don’t like, so I’ll just learn to live with it.

    There is one last idea I’ve had on my mind that I would appreciate people’s opinions on:

    PF-20T + SVT-ish preamp + SVT210AV vs. Micro VR through the same cabinet...thoughts?

    This is an idea I could potentially get behind! No fan, I get my toobz, and potentially more versatile...but will it do the SVT thing as well? Is it too complicated? I already have a Sansamp VT (and PBDDI), I’ve also been curious about the Ampeg SCR-DI, classic analog preamp, and scrambler.

    There is a used, supposedly mint PF-20T going for not too much more than a new Micro VR. But If I was going to do this, I need to move soon. And I need to be pretty sure about it, because I wouldn’t be able to send this one back!

    Thanks,

    Gary

    Quick side question: I just saw that the Ampeg pedals have purple LEDs. Are they blinding??? It looked pretty bad on one demo I saw. I don’t have any other purple LEDs, but I despise super bright blue LEDs.

    Also, I caved and ordered an EHX/Sovtek big muff deluxe so I can bring the rawk! Finally found one that had everything on my wish list...
     
  14. High Camp

    High Camp

    Oct 3, 2013
    Netherlands
    You can use the PF20T as a preamp and the MicroVR as power amp if you wish
    (you don't need an additional SVT wish preamp IMHO)
    The tubes of the PF20T and PF50T are very very splendid indeed
    I would go for the kill
     
    johnpbass likes this.
  15. Gary Bratton

    Gary Bratton

    Jan 4, 2021
    @High Camp - that was an either/or question, not both! :)
     
    High Camp likes this.
  16. onestone

    onestone

    Jan 18, 2013
    C'mon, we all know you'll end up with both anyway :roflmao::roflmao::roflmao:
     
  17. It's a pity the Micro VR cooling fan isn't temperature controlled. I'd bet at playing volumes where the fan can be heard the heatsinks are probably sufficient without forced air flow. The heatsinks are specified so that the amp can keep cool enough to work at full output for as long as you are playing; that is way more cooling than it sounds like you'll ever need Gary.
     
    Gary Bratton and DaveDeVille like this.
  18. This set up still leaves Gary with the Micro VR fan humming away in the background. If money wasn't a consideration I'd go for the PF50T and suffer the slight width overhang on top of the SVT210AV. (The amp is 1 inch wider than the cab).
     
    High Camp likes this.
  19. High Camp

    High Camp

    Oct 3, 2013
    Netherlands
    If you want to go the full Monty you'd be thinking about the more than marvelous PF50T / PF115HE combination
    However a PF50T with an SVT210AV is also tremendous!
     
  20. Gary Bratton

    Gary Bratton

    Jan 4, 2021
    Okay, so we apparently need to talk about the PF-50T (please), if only for due diligence as part of my final decision making process.

    First, I have to say that I'm mostly a guitar player who loves playing bass. This is already a splurge. A big one. I love the Micro VR, and with one very notable exception, I'm pretty happy with it. I feel like the Micro VR is already more than I need...and the PF-50T is 50% more expensive and probably even more overkill.

    On the other hand, I am a tube snob, the fan does drive me crazy, this is already a splurge and it's kindof a one-time thing. I might be able to juuuuuuuuuuust about stretch to a used PF-50T if it's really all that.

    So, just what kind of volume are we talking about here? I know it has a master volume (I usually have to keep the master on the VR at about 9:00), I know a lot of it depends on speaker sensitivity, and I know that solid state watts and tube watts are not (necessarily) the same thing. And I know guitar amp wattage and bass amp wattage are also not the same, but this would be my most powerful tube amp...by a lot. I really worry that it would be too much.

    So, is the PF-50T likely to be louder or quieter than the Micro VR, especially at the lower end of the dial (and is it a waste to run such a powerful amp so low)?

    @Sparky Mark - you said the Micro VR was louder than a 100 watt V4B??? Speaking of the V4B: one of my alt-heroes, Peter Hook, gushes over them. I think I've seen the PF-50T compared very favorably to a V4B...

    My next dilemma, if I were to do this: which cab? I am perfectly happy with the SVT210AV but couldn't deal with that overhang. I would probably lean toward either the PF-112, which I think is the least loud of the lot, or maybe the PF-210HE. The SVT210AV does what I want so I would want to go with the option that is closest to that...that the head fits on.

    Dangerous territory...opinions appreciated.

    Thanks,

    Gary
     
  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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