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Ampeg PF 500 questions

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Warmuth, Aug 11, 2012.

  1. Warmuth


    Aug 6, 2012
    I'm new to bass guitar and played my first full room last night. I've got a PF500 running through a GK410 neo. I'm using an SR1400 Ibanez bass, no effects, just bass into the wireless receiver. At the practice studio, which is small, I'm doing ok volume wise but last night I seemed to lack headroom. My stage volume wasn't great and I would start to distort when I tried to get good "punch". I use my amp as a monitor, the other guys have in ear monitors so we don't have anything pointing back at the stage.

    I've got two different options right now, one is add an extension at 8ohms which would take me to a 4 ohm load. That ups the PF500's output correct? I've seen some people having cutout issues running 4 ohm loads with this amp but I've had this thing cranked at practice and never had the red light flash on me.

    My other option would be something rack mounted. My guitar player gave me his X2 wireless and a tuner which are rack mounted and there's space for an amp in the case. That would enable me to just have a rack and a cab to haul around. If I did go rack mount what would be a good option for a head with plenty of headroom and reasonable, $5-700 range?

    Any advice I can get from the pros out there?
  2. craig.p


    Sep 28, 2008
    New Hampshire
    What are the tone settings you're using on the amp?

    What are the tone settings you're using on the bass?


    May 3, 2010
    Genz Benz Streamliner 900 :)
  4. I'm not a pro but I do have a lot of amps and gig on weekends. My suggestion would be to try to EQ differently. Do you have the ultra low on? Take it off. If you need more volume or "Punch" it usually equates to mids being down too far. You can try to boost the mid frequency and set the selector in the lower region at settings 1 or 2. Alternatively you can roll the Bass knob back a bit and bring your master up.

    I've found over the years a 410 and 300 Watts RMS (PF500 @ 8 ohms) is just enough to drive a loud rock band in a bar as long as the cab is fairly efficient. Many others who run a more bassy sound might disagree with me and say 300W will not due it.

    I don't know much about that particular cab but the PF500 is thunderous through a 4 ohm 410.
  5. smogg


    Mar 27, 2007
    NPR, Florida
    I'm not crazy, I'm just a little unwell
    Well I'm no amp engineer but IME if you are looking for super clean Ampeg is not the answer. To me that subtle breakup is part of the design when the amp is pushed. If you don't like the tone then yes look for another amp. If you need more volume then add an identical second cab and let the amp run at a 4ohm load.

    Maybe JimmyM will chime in.....;)
  6. f.c.geil


    May 12, 2011
    If your red light isn't flashing, then you don't have the gain high enough, which is a huge part of your volume. That red light should be flickering on nearly every note with that head. You will get a ton of volume from that head with a second cab, but even with one, it should be more than enough for any reasonable gig. I had one, and was never able to turn it up past about 3 o'clock through an 8ohm 410, even doing an outdoor gig with no PA support. The volume difference between 350 watts and 500 watts is negligible, but a second cab in addition to the additional power will make a substantial difference in volume.

    Biggest thing is to drive the power amp hard enough, and you do that through using more gain.
  7. rhino333

    rhino333 Supporting Member

    Jan 31, 2005
    Western NY State

    I've used my PF-500 with my Classic 4x10HS and with the PF1x10HE and never, ever had a "lack of volume" issue. When using the 4x10 HE, they didn't even mic or DI the bass.
  8. Warmuth


    Aug 6, 2012
    Thanks for the feedback. I'm running everything at roughly 12 oclock on the amp with the mid selector in the first position,the bass switch was in, I'll take it off as advised.Compressor was at about 9 oclock. My bass settings vary from song to song, mid boost on ,pickups evenly blended, bass and mids at about 3/4, treble at 1/2 for rock stuff, down to neck pickup with mids and treble rolled back for mellower stuff.

    For sure I'm in learning mode with bass gear and how to shape tone. I also play with a pick, I'm still learning finger technique, so I do roll back on the controls quite a bit for, say, a song like Come Together. In that case the tone and volume is great, its more in the high energy songs when the guitar and drums got excited I was struggling.

    I'll try getting some more prominent mids and see how it does. No doubt the issues lie with my inexperience as I'm sure a lot of you can get plenty of volume and good tone out of the rig I'm using so I'll heed the setting advice before trying an extension or new head.
  9. JimmyM


    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    Ampeg solid state amps like the gain to be pushed a bit. Also, the bass switch will divert power from the frequencies that are used to give your sound some volume to lows, which require a lot more watts to be pushed. It's fine to use it but know that the tradeoff for using it is overall reduced volume. And I really hope you're not using the -15db active bass cut, which should only be used in dire emergencies when you have a bass that absolutely will not work without distorting any other way.

    I also recommend tilting your 410 up toward your ears, as the mids and highs will blow right past your knees, and your knees don't have ears.
  10. Dan55


    Apr 26, 2006
    2-3 o'clock on the gain will make a big difference. And, as suggested, leave the ultra low out.

  11. Warmuth


    Aug 6, 2012
    I don't use the -15db cut, it does neuter the amp pretty well. The bass has a passive/active switch so I can always use that if I ever needed too. Lots of good advice, much appreciated.

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