Ampeg PF500 Query

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Raw N Low, Jul 14, 2017.

  1. Raw N Low

    Raw N Low If I can't hear it, hopefully I'll feel it Supporting Member

    Jul 16, 2009
    Denver, Colorado
    I have a chance to pickup a PF500 for $75. Although the unit powers on, there isn't any sound. Is it worth purchasing the unit and having a technician repair it? Or should I just look past it an invest in something else? I will have to ask the seller if this is a early model, as I remember Ampeg having some problems with these in the past. Did they ever resolve the issue with the older models?

    I have tons of amps, and this isn't a need. I was just browsing along and found someone who wanted to get rid of it. Could this end up being a good investment down the road?
  2. Ampslut

    Ampslut Supporting Member

    May 15, 2017
    Barrackville WV
    You can get them new for $299 at Bass Central. Just say'en
    Tbone76 and Raw N Low like this.
  3. Raw N Low

    Raw N Low If I can't hear it, hopefully I'll feel it Supporting Member

    Jul 16, 2009
    Denver, Colorado
    Yeah, a $135 repair bill on top of $75 is not a great deal. $100 more for brand new amp with a warranty makes more sense. Well back to pedal browsing....

    Would be a great deal for an actual repair tech with the skill. None of which I have.
    Tbone76 likes this.
  4. rymiraflores


    Jan 17, 2009
    Has anyone ever worked out what it is that makes them fail? Too much; gain, bass, middle, master, 8ohms, 4 ohms, 2 cabs, 1 cab there a common theme to the meltdowns?
  5. High Camp

    High Camp

    Oct 3, 2013
    I wouldn't do it.
    There is no real gain in buying a broken amp at these prices.
    For 250 dollars you can buy a used one that works properly.
    (and then you don't have the hassle of fixing it)
    >> on the whole, a PF500 is a great amp to have, versatile, powerful and great sound!
  6. doing R&D by customer trials. They did try to blame excess knob positions for awhile.
  7. coreyfyfe

    coreyfyfe Supporting Member

    Nov 19, 2007
    boston, ma
    Symptoms vs diagnosis. The newer power amp revisions are supposed to be stable so I would assume there was a design issue that was mitigated somewhat by not cranking the amp/eq. You can buy the power amp boards separately for $150, even then $75 for the amp, doesn't make sense if you can buy used working models for similar price.
  8. Mediocrity Man

    Mediocrity Man Master of Mediocrity

    Apr 11, 2014
    Wantage, New Jersey
    Yea, great amp and can be found pretty cheap used. I gig with mine and it's been great. Might even get a PF800 and use the 500 for practice.
    I would not bother with a broken one.
  9. okcrum

    okcrum in your chest

    Oct 5, 2009
    Verde Valley, AZ
    RIP Dark Horse strings
    What made them fail excessively was solved 4-5 years ago. It had nothing to do with the amp settings. It's on the PF-500 schematic revision list, but you have to sign an NDA/liability release with Ampeg to get schematics.

    You can still crank the bass high enough into a 4 ohm cabinet that can't reproduce that low to get the amp to protect on peaks. That's cockpit error, not an amp issue.
    Last edited: Jul 15, 2017
    rymiraflores likes this.
  10. Goatee


    Aug 28, 2006
    Mine failed after 3 years, never been used anywhere near its limits and always through PF cabs. Anyway, SVT7 on its way but you can have my broken PF500 for £50 if you want? ;)
    quickfix likes this.
  11. That's a good deal for someone with a good class A/B or class H solid state power amp. The PF 500, and PF 800 make great preamps. I now use my PF 800 "preamp out" plugged into a Peavey PV2600 power amp. No more speaker pfarting at high power any more, as the Peavey power amp has great speaker dampening attributes...which the PF series does not.
    shoot-r likes this.
  12. shoot-r


    May 26, 2007

    Says someone whose first PF-500 burned out 30 seconds into it's first power up.
    Ampeg sent me a brand new replacement PF-500, it lasted roughfully 5 hours before it too burnt out.

    Pass on this, it sounds to be a early PF-500.

    If you must have a PF series amp go with a new or used PF-800, that model seems to have MUCH greater reliability.
    Raw N Low likes this.
  13. Raw N Low

    Raw N Low If I can't hear it, hopefully I'll feel it Supporting Member

    Jul 16, 2009
    Denver, Colorado
    Thanks for the input. I decided to use the funds to pick up a Peavey TB Raxx pre-amp. I will start shopping PF800's and see if I come across one at a good price.
  14. okcrum

    okcrum in your chest

    Oct 5, 2009
    Verde Valley, AZ
    RIP Dark Horse strings
    When was this? Recently?

    I'll counter your anecdote by offering mine. I bought two rev. D PF500s shortly after they came out. One was on discount from MF because it'd been returned by a TBer for "failure". I figured out who it was, and when I PMed them they told me the mid control didn't work. Not. Both amps are still working fine. I loaned one to a friend to cover gigs a few years ago when his MB800 died.

    I sold one of the PFs to a local last year when I bought a Genz Benz Streamliner. He's still happily gigging it.
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2017
  15. shoot-r


    May 26, 2007

    Somewhere around 4 years ago.

    I'm the that posted the thread, "Another Red Flag On the PF-500", and caught all the flame for just telling the truth of what my experience was with the two PF-500's I owned and Loud/Ampeg C.S. response and the response I received from a authorized Ampeg service center on the PF-500....

    ....I used Ampeg products for almost 38 years, (even was in a touring act whose backline was furnished by Ampeg), after the ordeal with the PF-500's I no longer use "any" Ampeg products.
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2017
  16. okcrum

    okcrum in your chest

    Oct 5, 2009
    Verde Valley, AZ
    RIP Dark Horse strings
    I think you caught the end of the bad batches. Bummer.
  17. okcrum

    okcrum in your chest

    Oct 5, 2009
    Verde Valley, AZ
    RIP Dark Horse strings
    I'd pass. Rev. D and higher are the good units if you want to have them check the board, but cost to get the head working will be about what you'd pay for a working head used. It's a losing proposition if you figure in your time and hassle.
  18. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Yamaha, Ampeg, Line 6, EMG
    For a little over $150, you could replace the main PCB with the most recently updated one:

    Ampeg 2034544 01 Main PCB for PF 500 | Full Compass

    Installs with a Philips screwdriver and a handful of molex plugs. That would give you a PF-500 for right around $230. Still within a reasonable price for used. But would I buy it and chance that it's something on the main PCB? Probably not when BC has one new for $300.

    But a PF-800 is great, though. I have one and it's been solid for 3 1/2 years now. I also think the extra headroom gives it a bit of a kick in the ass that the 500 doesn't. They do sound the same, but I've AB'd them into the same cab and the 800 just seems to have just a little more junk in the trunk, pardon the technical term.
  19. Goatee


    Aug 28, 2006
    I would be nice to have some confidence that changing the main board will be a fix, though I'm struggling to source one here in the UK.
    It's odd that with all the reported problems with the PF500 I cannot find any feedback from people who fix them or have had one repaired, it would be nice to know exactly what the weakness is in the PF500. IF it is just generic unreliability due to component quality or assembly processes you'd expect the PF350 & 800 to have similar issues so there must be something specific in the PF500 design that is the root cause of its unreliability, Im sure Ampeg are aware of it but doubt they would make it public
  20. beans-on-toast


    Aug 7, 2008
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