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Ampeg portabass vs B4R rig

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by sleeplessknight, Jul 8, 2004.

  1. sleeplessknight

    sleeplessknight Supporting Member

    Mar 8, 2002
    So I've been doing a little bit of looking around, trying to lighten my rig without sacrificing too much tone. I currently own an Ampeg rig, B4R head with 410HE and 115EN cabs, and I *LOVE* how it sounds. Unfortunately, I *HATE* the schlep-factor involved. I've got my eye on some o' these dinky (in size, not in sound) solid-state heads with neodymium magneted cabs. I looked into Walter Woods' line of amps, but if I sold every piece of bass amplification I had (the above rig plus a Roland DB-500), I still would BARELY be able to afford the head, much less cabs to go with it. So, it looks like I have to set my sights a little lower. Have any of you ever used the Ampeg Portabass series of amps? Specifically, I'm interested in the PB-800 amp with two PB-212H cabs. I'm positive that the PB-800 with a single 212 would be more than sufficient for my jazz gigs but I also occasionally sub in a rock cover band, which gets pretty loud due to the half-deaf guitarist and his 200W amp and two 4x10 cabs. Also, what kind of tonal differences can I expect going from the B4R to the Portabass? How do they sound with an upright plugged into them? Also, how do they compare with an Eden head like the WT-400?
  2. GeeBass

    GeeBass Supporting Member

    Jul 14, 2004
    North/Central NJ
    I'd like to hear feedback on the PB212 cabinet too.
    A 2x12 at 38lbs, 400watts RMS, variable tweeter....
    what is this cabinet capable of ?

    Curious about PB800 head too.
  3. PB+J


    Mar 9, 2000
    arlington va
    I use a Portabass 2x12 all the time, in a loud bar band that plays various venues, inside and out. I'm very happy with it. I run it with a QSC LX 1202 (300 watts per channel, 1000 or so bridged) and a sansamp rbi preamp. I've run it both bridged and in stereo--it takes the 1000 watts with no problem

    Light weight,
    deep, warm, fat round tone--not a "hi fi", full range type cab, very "ampegish" and old school
    Not ported, so it's less likely to cause feedback (good for upright gigs) and less sensitive to placement

    Not a hi fi type cab--if that's what you want
    Not the loudest cab in the world--I often run it with the QSC driving the portabass cab in channel one and an SWR 2x10 in channel 2. The SWR is noticeably louder, but does not sound as good to me

    I'm very happy with it, but i suspect if you play in a metal band or a puk band pounding out nonstop 16th notes, you mght not like it as well--I've read that neo magnets can "fatigue" when they get a constant signal. sometimes i think i hear that in the cab as distortion, but I'm not sure.

    Any reservations I mght have vanish when i lift it easily over my head to haul it past the other guys' gear at 2 am.
  4. matthewbrown

    matthewbrown Supporting Member

    Jan 7, 2003
    Harwich, MA, USA
    I've got a portabass 12" cab, and I like it, but not by itself. It makes an excellent extension cab with my SWR 2X10. You might check out Mesa Boogie's Scout, which also uses neodymium speakers. BTW, hello to my fellow Worcesterites!
  5. Badmuthaplucka

    Badmuthaplucka Supporting Member

    Apr 19, 2004
    Tucson, Az.
    I just got a clarus amp and will be using it with my 2 ampeg 1x12 protabass cabs. I have to buy/make a pair of spakon cables after work.

    I could give you all a review of the combo if you wish. :)
  6. Scott D

    Scott D

    Apr 21, 2003
    Minneapolis, MN
    I heard that the new Portabass cabs have way better drivers and sound much better.