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Ampeg SVT 350 VS. PF-500

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Coreymcd22, Apr 1, 2013.

  1. Coreymcd22


    Apr 1, 2013
    Upstate, SC
    Hey, I'm new to this forum but haven't seen this particular topic covered yet, I'm wondering how many have first hand experience in comparing Ampeg's SVT 350 with the new Portaflex 500s.

    The main thing I'm trying to figure out is the volume difference, I'm looking for a new head on a pretty strict budget (500$ or less) and I recently tried the PF-500 through an Ampeg 6x10 in a store. It sounded great but it was hard to tell if the volume was going to be enough for my band without me really having to crank it. One of the big pros was that even reaching 6 on both volume and gain the clip light wasn't coming on even when I was digging in hard.

    Then I had a chance to try an SVT 350 through an 8x10, I was just as pleased with the tone versatility but it seemed to me that it was a good deal louder. Would this mostly be because I was playing it out of an 8x10? It doesn't make sense to me that 350 watts solid state would be louder than 500, but that's why I'm asking, to see if anyone has really been able to compare them both at gigs and rehearsals. My guitarists both use a lot of reverb and I'm looking for something that will cut through, it doesn't need to be deafening but something that will at least fill up a mid-sized venue.

    I've also been told that a Sunn Coliseum 300 would handle my volume problem for cheap, but they are becoming harder and harder for me to come by, and I'm not sure how versatile of a head it is as far as tone goes.

  2. RickenBoogie


    Jul 22, 2007
    Dallas, TX
    When it comes to volume, more speakers always trumps more wattage.
  3. Yep! The OP's experience just proved it first hand.:D
  4. Coreymcd22


    Apr 1, 2013
    Upstate, SC
    I thought that might have been what made such a big difference. I guess I should have specified what kind of cab I use, it's an Ampeg 808, which I understand was a really limited run they did as sort of an answer to SWR's 8x8 Henry cabs. I got it for really cheap. I wish it were possible to test them both out on my cab.
  5. username1


    Dec 28, 2005
    alberta canada
    I wouldnt go by the knob settings on the pf500. The input needs to be cranked almost to the 2 oclock position with most basses until the input gain is flashing and sould be run that way. It has nothing to do with the potential volume how far the knobs are turned before running out of headroom. I bet the pf500 would blow the 350 away if knob settings were ignored and each was run to its full potential before running out of headroom.
  6. JimmyM


    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    Don't know about "blow away," but it should be able to go a tad louder. One thing is for sure, though...it sounds way better, at least to me. That series of amps like the 350 up to the 450h/B2RE were made to attract people to the Ampeg fold who traditionally don't like Ampeg rigs. They sell well and some folks like them, but I prefer more traditionally Ampeg amps, such as everything else they make ;) including the PF500.
  7. stiles72


    Mar 20, 2009
    Albany IL
    Go with whichever one sounds better through the cab you'll be using. And you can't go by the wattage to determine loudness or volume. I've been giging the past few months with a 100 watt V4BH, and have had more soundmen ask me to turn down then I ever did running my 450 watt 3-Pros.
  8. Had the PF500 for a few days now, and it is a real pleaser. Very happy with the performance of it! Glad i went with the bigger wattage, has the onboard compressor as a bonus too.
  9. Korladis

    Korladis Banned Supporting Member

    I liked my 350H, but I'd have to say the PF500 would be a better thing to go with. More powerful, and more "Ampeg-y" sounding.
  10. sedan_dad

    sedan_dad Supporting Member

    Feb 5, 2006
    The 350h is ok. I've used one for years as a alternative to lugging around a SVT. I recently picked up a PF350 and couldn't be happier. If you're looking for pure volume go with the 350h. Used you won't payoff than 250 for it. If you want tone go with the PF.
  11. Coreymcd22


    Apr 1, 2013
    Upstate, SC
    Thanks for all the useful info guys. I was leaning towards the PF-500, but had been looking for a Sunn Coliseum 300 on Craigslist for months, when I finally found one for only $300 I just went with it and am pleased with my choice. Surprisingly good tone (the seven band EQ helps) and lots of volume for such an affordable solid state head, just hard to find.

    Maybe one day when I have money I'll step up to a real SVT.

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