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Ampeg PF500 Questions

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by SalmonCubes, Mar 12, 2013.


  1. For those of you who have played using the Ampeg Portaflex series cabs and heads, I have a couple of questions about them. If everything goes right, it seems to be the go-to amp for my needs, assuming I buy the PF500 stack that Ampeg sells.

    1. How loud does it get without being muddy/distorted?
    Alot of the amps I've played before get gunked up sound quality at suprisingly low volumes, particuarly on the B string.

    2. Overall sound quality? My local GC doesn't have one, so I am wondering exactly how great it sounds in person. I've seen some videos, and listened to testimonies, and it seems spot-on.

    3. Adding extra cabs? I see from the specs that the amp is 4 ohms and the cab is 8 ohms. Perhaps I should consider getting an extra cab of similar quality and size? I like playing loud, and this seems wonderful on a medium-small budget. If I get another 1x15 or 2x10 cab to go with this, how much would I be benefiting.

    4. The 2x10 or 1x15? Ampeg offers the 2x10 or 1x15 cab for the PF500 stack. Which one should I get? I know there are countless threads for this, but really what is the difference between the two?
     
  2. JimmyM

    JimmyM

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    1. Pretty dang loud, although a lot depends on the cab it goes into. Naturally, it'll be a lot louder going into an 810 than a 210.

    2. It will not make you sell your all-tube SVT (assuming you have one ;) ), but it darn sure sounds like an Ampeg amp. Very easy to get good sounds quickly, breaks up nicely when you crank the gain, stays clean when you don't crank the gain, etc.

    3. An extra cab never hurts when you're trying to get loud. Between bumping the wattage up from 300 to 500w and the extra speaker area, you can get almost twice as loud.

    4. The PF210he is a little higher tuned on the lows than the PF115he and has slightly more prominent mids. But they both sound great and very B-15-like to me, except for the added lows, which should serve you well with a low B.
     
  3. I bought the 500 stack with the 210 and love it. I haven't gigged the rig , but it was plenty of power for rehearsal. I also played a jazz gig and it was quite adequate ( I had tons of compliments).

    You'll want the second matching cab if you can afford it. I don't have one yet but I think about the second on a daily basis :bag:. If you're playing lots of B string or trying to keep up with an overly loud guitarist you'll need the second cab just for headroom.
     
  4. PF500 with two PF115HEs here, and love it. Been rocking this rig for almost two years now, and it gets nothing but compliments. The amp definitely likes to have it's knobs turned, I've found the EQ to be pretty usable for my needs between 9:00-3:00 and I've been more than happy with the variety of sounds I've been able to dial up. It starts getting pretty loud around 12:00 on the master and you're really cooking with gas by 2:00, especially with two cabs. Generally, one cab is enough for rehearsals with my 11-piece funk band though (two vocalists, 5 horns, guitar, keys, bass, drums) and have volume around noon.

    Now, just so it doesn't seem like I'm a fanboy... This setup definitely has more color than other amps, like my Shuttle 6.0/Avatar rig for example, which is more clean and modern. The 500 seems to have a good share of "Ampeg flavor," so that's something to be aware of. May or may not be your thing, I personally really dig the sound. Also, this is my first rig with 15's, and it took me a while to get used to the healthy low end that can easily become overpowering. The PF115's aren't quite as punchy as my Avatar B210 even despite being sealed, but that's the nature of the cabs of course, not the amp.

    Hope that helps... I love my PF rig! :bassist:

    5sg.
     
  5. +1 pretty much to all of this. My tonal goals are a little different from Jimmy's, and my preference would be for the Ampeg PF-115LF. The HE is a sealed cab with a tweeter, the LF is a ported cab with out a tweeter. Both are definitely Ampeg, just different flavors.

    That said I find my PF-500 a wonderful pair with other cabs as well.
     
    WorkingBassHero likes this.
  6. Steve Dallman

    Steve Dallman Supporting Member

    I've been gigging with a PF-500 since last Nov. I used a GK1001RB for years prior, an amp I never bonded with. I used a Behringer Sansamp knockoff to take the edge off the dry tone of the GK, especially in the low end.

    Not needed with the PF500. It has a definite Ampeg voice that is not subtle. It took me a couple gigs to get used to it. I use it with a pair of 12's in ported cabs with 6.5" midranges but have used other cabinets.

    I love the grind I can get out of this amp. Not distortion but a great slight breakup when I dig in. But it can be quite clean if set up to be clean. The compressor is very nice. My cabinets aren't all that efficient, but I can get plenty of volume. The GK sounded good with some of my cabinets, but not so good with others. The PF500 sounds great with everything I've plugged it into.

    I play 5 strings and this amp handles the low B fine. There is a lot of authority in the low end and more often than not, I end up trimming the low end lower than I would expect to have to. This amp has been great fun. I don't think I've turned the master up past 1-2 O'clock. It gets loud pretty quickly past that point.
     
  7. I pair my PF500 with an Avatar B210 Neo and it sounds great
     
  8. 1. How loud does it get without being muddy/distorted?
    Alot of the amps I've played before get gunked up sound quality at suprisingly low volumes, particuarly on the B string.

    I don't play a fiver but I've never heard anything even close to what I would call "muddy" out of either my 210HE or 115HE. As far as distortion, my 210 started to distort a bit before I bought a second cab, but I think I may have been pushing the single cab too hard; (trying to keep up with two guitarists playing through 100 watt Marshalls and 4X12 half-stacks!) Since I added the second cab I've had no problems. You've gotta crank the volume and the gain, but these little stacks get LOUD !

    2. Overall sound quality? My local GC doesn't have one, so I am wondering exactly how great it sounds in person. I've seen some videos, and listened to testimonies, and it seems spot-on.

    Sounds amazing to my ears. Like 5SG said, it's colored for sure. Definitley sounds like an Ampeg.

    3. Adding extra cabs? I see from the specs that the amp is 4 ohms and the cab is 8 ohms. Perhaps I should consider getting an extra cab of similar quality and size? I like playing loud, and this seems wonderful on a medium-small budget. If I get another 1x15 or 2x10 cab to go with this, how much would I be benefiting.

    This is where you'll see noticeable volume gains. Definitely buy two cabs if you think volume may be a concern, and general consensus around here is: get two of the same type.

    4. The 2x10 or 1x15? Ampeg offers the 2x10 or 1x15 cab for the PF500 stack. Which one should I get? I know there are countless threads for this, but really what is the difference between the two?

    210s if you like a real strong mid-present tone, 115s if you prefer a lower, deeper voiced sound. The 115LFs might suit you better than the 115HEs though, no way to know without trying them out. Maybe check Craigslist and see if anyone in your area might be trying to sell theirs, try 'em before you buy 'em.
     
  9. As far as the head staying clean on the low B at volume. Thats not the amp, thats the cab.

    As you gain volume, if things are getting muddy regardless of EQ, look to the cab dont blame the head.
     
  10. Haven't had any problems with mud, and I play 5'ers and 6's. I auditioned for a classic rock/funk 5-piece band a while back, fairly early on in my time with my PF setup. I brought my 500 with just one cab... Only to find out it was in the drummers garage and we opened both large doors so it was essentially an "outdoor" deal. I pushed the amp pretty hard, but it kept up quite well and no mud. Even I was impressed.

    I've had quite a few gigs with it since, both full stack and single cab, and haven't run into anything it can't handle. I even had one gig where my stack was putting out kore low end than the bar's PA system. ;)

    PF500 Pro Tip, handed down from a tech at Ampeg:
    1) set the gain knob with the compressor and volume fully off
    2) dial in compressor
    3) THEN adjust master volume as needed

    5sg.
     
  11. P Town

    P Town

    Dec 7, 2011
    I've got a PF500, and I love it.

    You might want to look at the bigger non-fliptop PF cabs if you play loud.

    If you want to play really loud, get the new PF800, and two of the bigger PF cabs!

    Wear ear plugs.

    (I'm looking for a good twenty Watt amp.)
     

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