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Any experience with the Ampeg PF-20T all tube bass head?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Michal_Toth, Sep 14, 2018 at 10:48 AM.


  1. Michal_Toth

    Michal_Toth

    Dec 12, 2016
    Slovakia
    Hey guys,

    Has any of you had any experience with the Ampeg PF-20T head?

    I'd like to buy an all tube bass head and this one is the only one I could find in my price range.

    Would you recommend it?

    Thanks.
     
  2. two fingers

    two fingers Opinionated blowhard. But not mad about it. Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2005
    Eastern NC USA
    Are you trying to buy only new?

    @JimmyM has one, I think. He is one of our resident Ampeg guru types as well.
     
  3. Michal_Toth

    Michal_Toth

    Dec 12, 2016
    Slovakia
    Preferably. I've heard that tube amps are vulnerable and need proper maintenance, so I'd hate to stumble on an amp which hasn't been properly cared for.
     
    two fingers likes this.
  4. Mushroo

    Mushroo Supporting Member

    Apr 2, 2007
    Massachusetts, USA
    Hi Michal, there is a huge mega-thread about these amps: HOT AMPEG NEWS! PF20T, PF50T, PF112HLF

    I love my PF-20T! Happy to answer any specific questions. Would I recommend it? Depends on your needs. What kind of cabinet(s) do you use, what size gigs are you playing, what style of music, do you already have an amp that covers your needs, etc.? :)
     
    Michal_Toth likes this.
  5. JimmyM

    JimmyM

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    I don't have a 20t, sorry. But the "vulnerability" of tube amps is vastly overstated. Tubes aren't light bulbs and can often last years unless you crank them really hard or drop them a lot.
     
    mattbass6945 likes this.
  6. Michal_Toth

    Michal_Toth

    Dec 12, 2016
    Slovakia
    Well I'd like a relatively versatile amp, since my band plays prog rock-ish stuff and I play bass solos and lots of bass melodies, but I sit on the groove on the choruses most of the time, and my guitarists play with distortion as well sometimes, so I need to be heard.

    I don't have a cab of my own yet (nor any amp, buying my first rig) use a combo I borrowed from a friend just for rehearsal. I was thinking of the Ampeg one that goes with this in a Bundle, a PF112HLF.

    Mainly small venues, think bars and stuff, 300 people capacity tops, some miked some not.
     
  7. JimmyM

    JimmyM

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    If you don't put it through the PA, you may end up struggling with volume in that kind of band. Wonderful amp but made more for studio and low volume or ampless gigs.
     
  8. Jeff Bonny

    Jeff Bonny Supporting Member

    Nov 20, 2000
    Vancouver, BC
    Having had the 50T and having checked out the 20T thoroughly in the store several times though different cabs I would highly recommend it BUT echoing Jimmy with the caveat that you need to be sure it will be loud enough. For anything louder than a drummer-less restaurant gig it probably won't be. I would LOVE to have one for my daily use home amp but for gigs the 50T is probably what you want.
     
    Michal_Toth and Aqualung60 like this.
  9. Mushroo

    Mushroo Supporting Member

    Apr 2, 2007
    Massachusetts, USA
    Hi Michal, what combo are you borrowing, and is it loud enough for your multi-guitar prog-rock band? Is it a 20 watt, 1x12 combo, or something different?

    I use my PF-20T into a 4x10 cabinet, for blues jamming with a drummer and a guitarist who uses a 5 watt, 1x8 combo.

    For anything louder than that (like rock music for example) I have an 800 watt Quilter BB800 head, which is the same price as the PF-20T.
     
    Michal_Toth, Wisebass and Jeff Bonny like this.
  10. Jeff Bonny

    Jeff Bonny Supporting Member

    Nov 20, 2000
    Vancouver, BC
    How the slight compression in that Quilter BB800 works to give you the touch sensitivity of a smaller tube amp is a piece of genius.....
    Sorry I know this isn't answering the OP's question but it's worth knowing anyway.
     
    Michal_Toth likes this.
  11. High Camp

    High Camp

    Oct 3, 2013
    Netherlands
    @johnpbass has a PF20T, and he loves it. He can tell you more.
    I have some experience with the PF20T and loved it too.
    (I loved the PF50T even more and got that one, though)
     
  12. Michal_Toth

    Michal_Toth

    Dec 12, 2016
    Slovakia
    I'm wondering... One of my guitarists has a 20 watt tube amp (he and our drummer tried to convince me into buying a tube) and they are heard without problems, even when the drummer goes nuts and they can crank it up pretty loud. Is there a difference between 20w tube guitar amp and a 20w tube bass amp in terms of volume, since everyone here seems worried I won't be loud enough...
     
  13. High Camp

    High Camp

    Oct 3, 2013
    Netherlands
    Low bass volume sucks up power.
    That's why a guitar goes way louder with the same power.
    guitar player 20 Watts >> bass player needs 50 watts or more
     
    Michal_Toth and Mark_70 like this.
  14. Jazz Ad

    Jazz Ad Mi la ré sol Supporting Member

    It's a wonderful little amp. Not cut at all for gigging, unless we're talking quiet music in a bar.
     
    Mark_70 likes this.
  15. johnpbass

    johnpbass

    Feb 18, 2008
    Glen Mills, PA
    I love the PF20T. I use it primarily for the studio. I run the tranny DI out directly into the DAW patch panel and it sounds fantastic! My guitar player bud, who is all about bass tone remarked at one of our studio sessions "that's what bass should sound like!". The 20T puts out a surprising amount of volume with the right cabs. I've run it through a pair of 210AVs or a pair of 112AVs on a small lounge type gig and it worked nicely.

    That being said, it may not have enough power for your type of gigs.
    You might consider the PF50T. I think more folks here use that for live gigging.
     
    armybass and AstroSonic like this.
  16. two fingers

    two fingers Opinionated blowhard. But not mad about it. Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2005
    Eastern NC USA
    It takes more power to amplify bass than it does guitar.

    That being said, if you pair that head with enough speaker, it will get loud. One 12" speaker won't even get close.


    I have an Ampeg LB30 (all-tube 30 watt bass head). Through my Ampeg 6-10 or Epifani UL410 it gets STUPID loud.

    You will get a much great increase in volume from more speaker than from more watts.
     
    armybass likes this.
  17. Mushroo

    Mushroo Supporting Member

    Apr 2, 2007
    Massachusetts, USA
    Bass needs more power than guitar, because of the lower frequencies.

    The cabinet is just as important (maybe more so) than the head. 20 watts into an efficient large cabinet will be much louder than 20 watts into an inefficient small cabinet.

    The most popular rock bass rig of all time is the Ampeg SVT, which delivers 300 tube watts into an 8x10 cabinet. I'm not saying that an SVT is necessarily the best amp for YOU; just giving you a reality check.

    My advice is to go see some live music. Find out what other prog rock bassists in your local "scene" are using for the type of gigs you want to play.
     
    Michal_Toth likes this.
  18. Michal_Toth

    Michal_Toth

    Dec 12, 2016
    Slovakia
    Well, buying 4 cabs is probably a tad more expensive than buying the 50T over the 20watt version
     
    johnpbass likes this.
  19. Michal_Toth

    Michal_Toth

    Dec 12, 2016
    Slovakia
    Good advice, thank you :)
     
  20. Michal_Toth

    Michal_Toth

    Dec 12, 2016
    Slovakia
    Right, so even the 50 watt with a 115/210 won't be loud enough?
     

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