1. Please take 30 seconds to register your free account to remove most ads, post topics, make friends, earn reward points at our store, and more!  
    TalkBass.com has been uniting the low end since 1998.  Join us! :)

Ampeg PF800 or Sansamp RBI/RPM?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by mattsdad, Nov 14, 2013.

  1. mattsdad


    Oct 5, 2009
    Hi There,

    I'm trying to make a decision on getting the Ampeg PF800 or the Sansamp RBI/RPM combination. I own a Hartke LH1000 but not thrilled with the tone. Would the Sansamp preamp combo be able to cop the same tone as the Ampeg? I used to have a defective PF500. When it worked the tone was awesome. But I feel like if I got the PF800 I might be missing out on some good Sansamp tones. What do you guys think?
  2. On paper, the PF800 is similar to the RPM.
    Bass is at 40 Hz, Sansamp at 80 Hz.
    Mids at 220,450,800,1.6, 3 KHz, Sansamp (RPM) variable from 170~3KHz
    Highs at 4 KHz, Sansamp at 3 KHz

    If you are really looking for emulating the Ampeg tone, also consider the Sansamp VT Rackmount.
    I use the RPM+VTRM with a solid state power amp.

    PF800 is a head, and not a drop-in for a conventional rack.
    Sansamps are intended for rack mounting, and will use a rack mountable power amp.
    PF800 at 11.8 pounds weighs a lot less than two Sansamps, a power amp, and rack case.

    PF800 is 400w into an 8 ohm load. Is this enough juice?
    My Sansamps drive a PLX-3002 or ProLite2, both which are 3KW amps.

    Q: is this a live performance rig, or heavy use in recording?

    The Sansamps offer a lot more variety in tones, which will be lost in live performance.
    Unless you are knob twiddler, you will probably use one Mix and one Solo tone for use in a live band.

    A pair of Sansamps can be switched between units with a floor switch.
    My RPM is set up for fat and punchy, and the VTRM set for a solo heavy grind.
  3. Reptileroundabo

    Reptileroundabo Polka till you puke..

    Jul 15, 2009
    Chardon, OH
    I used the sansamp RBI touring this past season and it can get "close" to the ampeg sound, if you know what you are doing with it and that is what you are looking for. It is a very flexible preamp, but everything is emulated (pretty well though). Personally, i really don't like the new ampeg solid state amps (i have owned both tube and solid state ampegs), and have seen terrible reviews with new PF line. i think you would be happier with an RBI or RPM with a power amp vs the ampeg. my 2 cents.
  4. mattsdad


    Oct 5, 2009
    Thanks for the replies. My band will doing some heavy gigging next year and I'm a little skeptical of the PF800 even though there isn't any casualties yet that I know of. I just love the tone of those amps. But I didn't think of the VT rack. Sounds cool. A VT rack and an RPM minus the RBI. I did read about the BBE Bmax but I don't think it will cut it.
  5. JimmyM


    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    I like Tech 21 stuff, but mainly as dirt pedals. For a nice Ampeggy foundation to build on, though, PF800.
  6. mattsdad


    Oct 5, 2009
    Reptileroundabo I think you're right. I play the PF in GC today and was not impressed at all. I thought the Acoustic amps sounded way better!! So it's RBI/RPM for me!!:)
  7. OP, don't overlook the VTRM in your research.
    I discourage buying new, but I had to pony up the $329 from Sweetwater, as VTRM is a new product and not on the used market yet.
  8. Mike in Chicago

    Mike in Chicago Supporting Member

    Apr 3, 2011