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Ampeg PF500 combined with PF115HE and PF210HE

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by mjgasior, Jan 21, 2017.

  1. mjgasior


    Sep 3, 2016
    Krakow, Poland
    Hi! I have been recently thinking about buying myself my first head and cab. I'm going to use it in more stoner/sludge rock music, so I have been been looking at some Ampeg stuff. I have read about the impedance but I still don't understand one thing. The Ampeg PF500 is 500W @ 4 ohms and both the PF115HE and PF210HE are 450W RMS power handling @ 8 ohms. Wouldn't they be damaged if connected parallel? If my output is 500W and single cab is 450W doesn't it force me to use less volume than my head is being able to provide?

    I've been also thinking about the bigger cabs from these series, but I'm not sure if it's worth spending the money to connect to only 500W amp.

    Lastly - do you think it's a good combination to buy for start? Any better alternatives?
  2. kat888

    kat888 Guest

    Oct 13, 2015
    If the head is putting out 500W into two cabs providing a combined 4Ω load, each cab will get 250W.

    Both are full range cabs and I would be inclined to try out two 115 and then two 210 and see which you like better. That's not to say 115 and 210 won't work together, but that's where I would start.
  3. mjgasior


    Sep 3, 2016
    Krakow, Poland
    I thought about mixing the 115 for lower parts and 210 for better mids. I don't know if it makes sense. As far as I understand, if I connect 8 Ohm cab to this 500W 4 Ohm, I'd get somewhere around 450W, and that's why these speakers have less power by design? What is the equation to calculate this power loss for incompatibile impedance (or does it just differ by design)? So isn't it better to buy PF800 if I plan to use 2 cabs?

    Found a cool website with the power issue explained. :)
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2017
  4. kat888

    kat888 Guest

    Oct 13, 2015
    The PF500 is rated 300W @ 8Ω and should be safe with one or two of the PF cabs.

    The PF800 is rated 500W @ 8Ω and 800W @ 4Ω.

    It's important to use your ears. If you cabinet is sounding distressed, back the volume off a bit.

    There are numerous threads here discussing the physics of mixing cabinet types and I'm not going to rehash them here. All you need to know is speaker diameter is not the sole determinant in bass response (speaker design has come a long way since the 60s and 70s).
  5. mjgasior


    Sep 3, 2016
    Krakow, Poland
    Thanks! I'm currently sniffing around the forums and I see some people tried some mixes with those Ampegs (not exactly what I meant, but still). Sorry for the stupid questions and thank you for patience! :)
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2017
  6. kat888

    kat888 Guest

    Oct 13, 2015
    No worries mate. They're not stupid questions.

    Hey, if you're into stoner/sludge you might consider an Epiphone Thunderbird or even EB-3 bass - would sound *massive* with a PF stack. Just saying...
  7. mjgasior


    Sep 3, 2016
    Krakow, Poland
    I see they don't make 5 string Thunderbirds anymore, but they weren't so expensive. I see Epiphone doesn't make fives at all right now, only Gibsons. Werid.
  8. 96tbird

    96tbird PLEASE STAND BY

    A number of guys around here use the 210 and 115hes together and report excellent results. Your estimation of more mids from the 210 may not be accurate. Two of them should have no issues across the range, even the bottom. Similarly the 115s have no mid issues.

    There is no issue with running one or two of the cabs with the pf500. I have a pf800 (and a pf350 through a ported 215 at the rehearsal spot) and run it with a single 115he cab for small rooms and double up for big rooms. No issues. Same with the 350. Running one cab is simply quieter because less air is moving.

    As said at 8ohms the pf500 is maxing at 300 Watts. Those watts are still capable of destroying a 450 watt single cabinet if you don't watch it. The big volume difference will come from adding a second cab.

    Your genre of music seems to use notoriously scooped bass on recordings. Bad move live. I've watched many players sounded cool until the band kicked in and they were lost in the mix: cruddy sludge is exactly what it sounded like. The guitars were sludgy enough on their own and I needed to hear the bass driving the beat but it was just a blurry mess.

    Pump the mids to cut through when live. The pfs really get going if you drive the tone stack past noon, pump the mids up a bit at the selected frequency and use less gain. Leave the compressor alone until you get everything else dialed in.

    For plain rock I personally like the ultra bass and high switched on which gives a scooped sound but fattens the tone up nicely, set bass at noon then drive the mids and a touch of highs to cut through. I also dime the master and use the gain as volume. I find too much gain as unpleasant sounding so this really works well since I'm pumping the tone stack up pretty hot.
    Lovep likes this.
  9. High Camp

    High Camp

    Oct 3, 2013
    I think it is a good combination.
    My experience is with a PF800, not a PF500, but still, a golden combination.
    And it always will get very loud.
    (remember though to not scoop the mids as others have pointed out)

  10. mjgasior


    Sep 3, 2016
    Krakow, Poland
    Guys you're amazing! :D Thanks a lot. :) I think I'll start with buying the PF800 to have some buffer for the second cab, and the PF115LF. And if I get some more money later, I'll try maybe even the 410HLF. I have seen that in some online music stores they sell this set of 2 cabs + PF800 together (but not in my country... and for sure, not these prices). I don't know if it is reasonable to see it that way, but on the Ampeg official website they also show this combination together on the promo photo.
  11. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    Promo photos are designed to show off the range of products, and aren't necessarily the last word in how you should configure your own rig. That said, Ampeg put some thought into people wanting to mix the PF115he and PF210he and made them to mix better than most mixed cab rigs. And people who use them together seem pretty happy.
  12. mjgasior


    Sep 3, 2016
    Krakow, Poland
    Sooo... Probably I'll take just two 115LF's. :D
    JimmyM likes this.
  13. mjgasior


    Sep 3, 2016
    Krakow, Poland
  14. Lovep

    Lovep Supporting Member

    Mar 17, 2011
    Indianapolis, IN
    mjgasior and LeftyD like this.
  15. MLC_BassPlayer

    MLC_BassPlayer Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 15, 2010
    Apex, NC
    I have this rig. Used it Saturday night. Boosted the mids and it sounded great!
    mjgasior likes this.
  16. kpc


    Apr 6, 2011
    I have the same rig and love it. Good for small to medium gigs and it has that Ampeg sound.....enjoy.
    mjgasior likes this.
  17. walterw

    walterw Supportive Fender Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 20, 2009
    that's not how the amp power works. the 500 or the 350 or the 20T would run the two cabs just fine, it just wouldn't get as loud or be as big sounding.

    the 800 is cool because it can get bigger and louder, not because it can run more cabs than say the 500.

    anyway, get that identical second 115LF and you'll have a crushing rock rig.
    mjgasior likes this.

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