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Ampeg Portabass 800--what's the word on it?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by SoComSurfing, Nov 26, 2002.

  1. SoComSurfing

    SoComSurfing Mercedes Benz Superdome. S 127. R 22. S 12-13.

    Feb 15, 2002
    Mobile, Al
    I did a quick search on it, and it seems that it was originally supposed to be out in the spring. Then someone said that Ampeg told them August. Then someone else said that Ampeg told them October. When is this thing gonna arrive? It's on the pricelist on the website, but price is TBA. There aren't any pics up, but there are pics and a few specs on the Portabass 212 cab, which isn't on the pricelist. Any word on the release of the head and the price on the cab?
  2. HeavyDuty

    HeavyDuty Supporting Curmudgeon Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Jun 26, 2000
    Suburban Chicago, IL
    From an email exchange with Ampeg 10-21-02:

    My email -
    Their reply -
  3. SoComSurfing

    SoComSurfing Mercedes Benz Superdome. S 127. R 22. S 12-13.

    Feb 15, 2002
    Mobile, Al
    Thank you much, HD. Any news on the 212?
  4. HeavyDuty

    HeavyDuty Supporting Curmudgeon Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Jun 26, 2000
    Suburban Chicago, IL
    I didn't ask. Drop them an email - they're very quick to reply!

    I'm really interested in checking out the new head...
  5. kboyd


    Jul 6, 2002
    I supposedly have a portabass 212 cab coming Friday :)
  6. DBasica


    Jan 6, 2003
    I have a Portabass PB-212H. I get to try it out for the first time tonight at practice (blues/rock).

    I too am interested in the PB-800 head. Perhaps we'll hear more at NAMM.
  7. arizonabass


    Feb 6, 2002
    Tucson, AZ
    Let us know how you like the PB-212H after your practice, ok? Also let us know what head you're using with it. Thanks.
  8. DBasica


    Jan 6, 2003
    I used my PB-212H for the first time last night at practice with a new band (blues/rock). Just me, guitar and drums. The cab did just great. In fact the low B string was so good I had to focus on not overusing it.

    The drummer and guitarist need to learn a bit about dynamics, but even at too loud a volume for a trio the cab had no problem cutting through.

    For an amp, I'm currently awaiting delivery of an AI Clarus 2R, so I used a QSC PLX 2402 power amp with (believe it or not) a Joe Meek MQ3 preamp. The QSC is a great power amp with plenty of headroom. I just used one side, which is 700 watts at 4 ohms. With the preamp at 11:00 it was loud, punchy, clear and articulate. At 2:00 is was really loud and still not breaking up (louder than I'd usually play). I ran the Meek flat with no compressor.

    The cabinet is very nicely voiced. I used it with a Lakland Skyline 55-02, and got all the distinct tones from the various pickup combinations that I'm used to. It was very responsive to tonal changes based on right hand placement. I also used a Lakland Skyline JO-5 fretless, and really liked the way this cabinet handled the fretless - clear midrange without sounding "honky".

    This cabinet fits my needs of being portable and loud enough for most situations. For larger venues I feel strongly that PA support is essential (not that I'll likely be playing any of those larger venues anyway!).

    I'll be very interested to know how this cabinet does with fewer watts (the AI Clarus I have on order puts out 200 watts at 4 ohms).

    Anyone else use this cabinet yet with a smaller amp?

  9. I've been mulling over an amp/cab/combo and this might be an option. Thanks for the review.

    Added: I looked up the PB-800 options and am surprised to see the two different 800 models. Too bad the 9-band EQ doesn't appear on the smaller non-rack head (the obvious match to the PB 212 cab). I've tried some other Ampeg heads out briefly in a local GC, but didn't figure out how useful the 9-band EQ would actually be for me in the long run. Since you already have the other EQ/shelving settings maybe it's overkill--what's typical use on an Ampeg head with the 9-band EQ?
  10. barroso


    Aug 16, 2000
    this amplifiers has been a commercial "flop".
    hos is it possible that legendary name as Ampeg was not able to have success with his light & small amplifiers while other even new company are doing great with these amps?
  11. Jerrold Tiers

    Jerrold Tiers

    Nov 14, 2003
    St Louis
    This thread is certainly "back from the dead"!

    Very simple answer.........

    The marketing of the amps was bad, AND the first speakers sold with them were inefficient. The entire line got a bad reputation due to the bad speakers, and also the long delay in bringing out the 800.

    The PB250 came out early, but the speakers totally ruined it because at 250W, it needed more efficiency.

    The marketing folks thought the amps would be used by upright players, and didn't really take seriously the use by everybody. So they "brushed off" all complaints about the speakers, considering that unimportant.

    Finally, the sales people just said "stop making those amps", and that was done.

    All of us who had spent time designing the two amplifiers were very angry indeed. When used with decent speakers they were nice.....
  12. barroso


    Aug 16, 2000
    thank you for clarification.

    I just asked since I tried a PB800 and was happy with tone and performance. It was paired with a really good sounding GK Neo 112 small cabinet.

    I appreciated the honest tone of the amp. I like also the simplicity of controls. To me it could be enough with a single channel only...

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