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Ampeg PF-500? Do I need 500 watts at all?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by borderwang, Dec 23, 2012.

  1. borderwang


    Dec 23, 2012
    Hello there. I am purchasing a bass rig sometime in the very near future as a christmas gift. I am in a relatively loud sludge band. I did some research, and am now considering getting an Ampeg PF-500 head, an ampeg svt18 cab, and a big muff fuzz pedal. Is that a good rig to get for the money? (~650 dollars) Any suggestions? And most importantly, do I need 500 watts? The band has two guitarists, each with a 120 watts or so half stack. (one of them is a marshall and one of them is a 6505, if it makes any difference). They don't really turn their volume all the way up, but we play loud, and we're looking to hear the bass throughout the entire set (sludge). I'm aware that bigger is better and you can't go wrong with more watts, but money doesn't come easy and if i can achieve the same sound with a PF-350 or any other lower wattage (and price) amp, I am very interested in doing that. A big thanks in advance to anyone that's willing to give some advice.
  2. Suggestion is two PF15 cabs and the PF500 or PF350. Loose the single 18" idea.
  3. CL400Peavey

    CL400Peavey Supporting Member

    Nov 7, 2011
    Grand Rapids Michigan
    I would say yes spend the extra money on the PF-500. I would steer you away from that cab though. Find a used 810, they are easy to come by.
  4. Warmuth


    Aug 6, 2012
    I don't know how much louder a 500 will get than a 350, but here is my personal experience. I own a pf500 and played it through a GK neo 410. I loved the tone of it at home. Playing with the band it lacked for me, never cut well and didn't give me much bite. I switched to a Gk 1001rb head and it sounded a whole lot better and got through the mix really well. It sounds harsh to me on its own but mixed in it's great.

    There's a lot of PF500 love here and many guys use it to good effect and will jump in soon enough to give a totally different view so although I can't recommend that head considering what else is out there it may be work for you.
  5. I'm one of those PF500 guys. :p

    I've been using a PF500 with two PF115HE's and love the stack. Nothing but compliments on tone, and great volume. I was debating a PF350, but ended up with the 500 for the extra power and features. $100 more, well spent. Great Ampeg tone, lots of dialability.

    Two guitarists with 120 half stacks? :eek: I'll echo that a 1x18 won't be enough, a couple cabs will help you keep up. I'd say a couple 8ohm 2x10's or a 4ohm 4x10 at least. I can speak from experience that two 1x15's would do the trick too. With a single cab, the 500 probably won't be too much louder than the 500, but with two cabs at 4ohms, the 500 has a definite advantage.

  6. mr.mow


    Feb 11, 2009
    Endorsing Artist: BBE/G&L Basses
    If your guitarists are vaguely loud a pf500 with 2 15s won't keep up.. I blew 2 of those pf15 cabs trying to keep up with a loud gui**** using a 160w fender combo and loud drummer..
  7. Huh... I use my stack in my gospel band: 12 vocalists, two keyboardists, a sequencer, LOUDA$$ drummer and a guitarist (with a 100 watt Marshall half stack) and the band leader has the philosophy that "if it's not LOUD, it's not a show." I also use that stack in my funk/rock cover band: 6 horns, guitarist, drummer, keys and two vocalists. No problems with either group.

  8. That's sad! Then a pair of G-K NEO115's will handle things!
  9. dbd1963


    May 18, 2010
    Northern Virginia
    I think the PF500 with the Ampeg 115hes works pretty well. I have way more volume than I need. I used to run the PF500 through some Avatar cabs and that was mongo loud -- maybe the cabs you guys have tried aren't doing the job? I do know the Ampeg rig shovels out a lot of low end. If the cab is tuned in a way that doesn't take advantage, that might cause some trouble for you.
  10. it has been my experience in sludge/doom bands in the past, that you want power and efficiency. i think sometimes ampeg is generous in their power ratings. that being said, that pf 500 does sound great. may not be the best for your situation. maybe one of the svt pro's would be a little more "authoritative".

    just a suggestion, your situation may be different from my past experience.
  11. borderwang


    Dec 23, 2012
    So I came across a GK 1001RB 750W head, Neo 210 cabinet with horn, and an extra 210 combo cabinet for cheaper than the rig described in the original post. Definitely a better deal, but I'm not too sure if I can get a good sludge sound on a GK. Anyone have any experience? Thank you very much for the suggestions and tips, I'm definitely steering away from the SVT18 cab
  12. Gearhead17

    Gearhead17 Supporting Member

    May 4, 2006
    Roselle, IL
    I am not sure what a sludge bass tone would exactly sound like. I will assume thick, heavy and probably filled with a bunch of low end. A single 210 will not do it, I don't think two of them will do too well either.

    The GK 1001RB plus and Ampeg 810e or identical 410's will get you much closer to what you want. Too many cabs is a good problem to have. Not enough will make you hate the world.
  13. a gk 1001rb is a killer amp. put a big muff in front of it and you'll be fine! i think gearhead17 is right on the money when it comes to cabs. 2 4x10's or an 8x10 would be ideal.
  14. drpepper

    drpepper Supporting Member

    Jul 20, 2009
    Columbia, Maryland
    Sounds to me like a job for the SVT-7 PRO...you should check the classifieds and see if you can find one in brand new condition for a good price :D

    There's no such thing as wasted wattage. Never worry about it; call it overhead and call it a day.
  15. If your car had 500 horses would you ask the same question?

    My amp is 1000.
  16. CL400Peavey

    CL400Peavey Supporting Member

    Nov 7, 2011
    Grand Rapids Michigan
    Its important to take a step back. The OP was asking about the volume difference between a 350 and 500 watt amp, and has gotten suggestions for even more wattage.

    Wattage is not as important as the capability of your cab. If your cabs are the limiting factor, it doesnt matter how powerful your amp is. A 210 with a 350 watt amp is going to be as lout as a 210 with a 1,000 watt amp.

    Now compare that with two 810's. A 300 watt amp into those cabs will be loud, really loud. A 1,000 watt amp amp will be louder.

    So to the OP's initial question: Do you need the more powerful amp? I would say yes, but not specifically for the additional power. The features of the PF-500 outshine the PF-350 imho. Will you make use of the additional power? That depends on the cabs you use.
  17. maybe i misunderstood the question. cl400, you raise some valid points, but it was addressed above he would need more cab. i understood it as, "will this be too much?" when in fact it may not be enough. maybe i read it wrong.
  18. maybe he needs to think about the efficiency of cabs. many more around here know about it in more detail then i, but you can almost throw out your idea of size being equivalent to a certain sound. however, i don't think that 18" would cut it. in the spirit of over doing things, maybe 8x18's?:bag:
  19. BawanaRik


    Mar 6, 2012
    New Jersey
    If you can get the 500 watts it might handy. How old are you? Hows your back? I used a large amp for a practice amp but a mini amp when I leave the house.

    Check out the PAs where you plan on playing. Talk to the sound guys. Ask about using a Pandora.

  20. lebrett


    Mar 14, 2008
    Quebec, Canada
    Surprisingly 500 watts is a minimum for what you describe. And I am not sure 1x18 cab is a good idea. If you can afford it go for 4x10.

    I play in a rock band that is loud and usually I bring my Genz Benz Shuttle 9.0 (500w) coupled to a SWR Golight 4x10 and it is cranked up to 12 o'clock. In fact I should bring the second cab to be comfortable without being almost on the verge of clipping.