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Ampeg portabass head

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by billystagg, Jan 4, 2004.

  1. billystagg


    Sep 21, 2003
    Does anyone have anyone have any experience with or own the Ampeg portabass 250 watt head? I've thrown down $100 towards the thing (which is retrievable), and I'm planning to sell my SWR Workingmans 12 towards the purchase, once it is repaired.

    I've played through it a couple times, sounds alrite at the gc. The thing that intrests me is the small size, cous I'm usually hauling bass stuff between two houses. I think it would sound good with the right 210 or 410, but, I often doubt myself when I make big purchases and I was just wondering what you guys thought.

  2. jokerjkny


    Jan 19, 2002
    NY / NJ / PHL
    hey willy,

    dont wanna rain on your parade, but i'm not down with the Portabass heads. EQ is kinda so-so, and not as powerful as i'd like. also, the treble's are a bit harsh, while the low end, has no power.

    IMHO, a Mesa Walkabout is a much better deal. more powerfully versatile EQ, and the tube based preamp sounds much nicer. its also about as light, and portable, too, hence the name.

    if you can, and you should, i'd put your dough towards the Walkabout.
  3. billystagg


    Sep 21, 2003
    Hey thanks for the quick reply jokerjkny

    The Mesa Boogie walkabout sounds like a pretty tight amp, but i'm having trouble finding any stores that have a good stock of Mesa Boogie products. Should I get gc to do an order or are there any websites I should visit? And if you can recall, what was the price on the walkabout when you got it?

  4. andrewd


    Sep 5, 2003
    the walkabout scout (combo with removable walkabout head inside) goes for $999, so i'd imagine that the head alone would be a bit less.
  5. jokerjkny


    Jan 19, 2002
    NY / NJ / PHL
    hey billy,

    well i've seen it for $745, but i think you can haggle down to $650 in some places.

    but i wouldnt order it, unless you've tried it and heard it. i'm surprised GC didnt have one in stock. that's where i've played them.

    look on www.mesaboogie.com and their dealer list. i'm sure there's another dealer in your area who's got one for you to try.
  6. billystagg


    Sep 21, 2003

    I'm still a little curious if anyone here has used this thing. I can purchase it for 400 dollars now ($800 list). Not a bad deal :D

    The Portabass head sits quietly on lay away, awaiting my arrival with $300 cash.....
  7. NeedMoreBass

    NeedMoreBass unregistered

    Feb 14, 2003
    I'd stay away from Walkabout. The Walkabout sounds real good but there have been some reliability problems. For about the same money also check out the GK 400RB-IV. 280 watts, 15 lbs, and designed for reliabilty. A lot of people like the sound of the Portabass so it may be for you.
  8. jokerjkny


    Jan 19, 2002
    NY / NJ / PHL
    funny you say that, cause the knobs do seem a little flimsy. but from my guitar playing experience, their customer service cant be beat for the larger companies.
  9. NeedMoreBass

    NeedMoreBass unregistered

    Feb 14, 2003
    The reviews from Harmony Central is partly what I based that on along with people I know that have owned them.

  10. Jerrold Tiers

    Jerrold Tiers

    Nov 14, 2003
    St Louis
    One thing about the PortaBass is that you can and should play into the limiter. If you try to stay out of the limiter you will (with any smaller unit, actually) be too quiet and you will think there isn't any power.

    The limiter is really more of a compressor. If you play into it you will get the low end and the power. It's one thing I don't think has been made clear enough about those units.

    OK, some folks just don't like compressors, but when you have a limited amount of power it makes sense.

    BTW, there is a higher power PortaBass out now, the PB800, 550/4 and 800/2. New at NAMM. We took orders.
  11. natrab


    Dec 9, 2003
    Bay Area, CA
    I also find the mesa mucho better than the ampeg in both regular and portable amps.
  12. bassmonkeee

    bassmonkeee Supporting Member

    Sep 13, 2000
    Decatur, GA
    I've owned both the Walkabout and the Portabass.

    I bought the Portabass while the Walkabout was in the shop getting repaired.

    I sold the Portabass when I got the Mesa back since there wasn't a comparison in tone (IMHO).

    Of course, now that the Walkabout has to go back in for repairs, I'm using my Fishman Pro Platinum II into a poweramp. :meh:

    The Walkabout sounds amazing when it works.

    The Portabass sounds great, but not as good as the Walkabout. It was a reliable little bugger when I had it, though.
  13. billystagg


    Sep 21, 2003
    Today was possibly one of the coolest days of my life. :D

    Not only did the lunch ladies at my school find my wallet which has been missing for over a week now, but I purchased the portabass 250 for $150 dollars clearance at Guitar Center, in addition to getting the portabass 210 for 160. Sounds great! doesn't lack anything I was looking for as of now.


    and so did the lunch ladies
  14. mgmadian


    Feb 4, 2002
    Austin, TX
    Ampeg Insider,

    Any more info available on this? Mainly:

    1. Can it also work with an 8-ohm cab (I assume so, but the NAMM release didn't say anything about this).

    2. Does it have any carrying handles? Photo on the press release doesn't show any?

    3. Can you use a footswitch to switch between both Inputs? How about between both Channels (e.g. if I have one bass plugged into one Input but wanna switch EQs between fingerstyle and thumbstyle)? Even cooler would be if you could choose whether a footswtich swtiches between the Inputs or the Channels...

    4. No fan, right?

    5. Any chance of making the power section available as a standalone poweramp? Or of making one of these with a tube preamp?

  15. Jerrold Tiers

    Jerrold Tiers

    Nov 14, 2003
    St Louis
    Sure, it works fine at 8, but it is less power than at 2 or 4.

    Handle is on the end, so you carry it hanging long-ways.

    The channels are set up as two separate, for two instruments, and are identical. Footswitch not available at present, worth thinking about, but wasn't on many folks wish list, we asked......

    Small variable-speed fan, you probably won't ever hear it.

    Poweramp? Could happen.....

    Tube preamp? Could happen.......
  16. Wolfehollow


    Jan 21, 2003
    Pensacola, FL
    My PB head and 2x12s kicks in every situation I have needed. I can also set up in one trip... :)

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