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Fender Rumble 500 Combo (v3) vs Ampeg PF-50T w 12" cab

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Sands, Aug 8, 2017.

  1. Sands

    Sands Supporting Member

    Dec 11, 2016
    Fender Rumble 500 Combo (v3) vs PF-50T w 12" cab. I have been trying the PF-50T as a possible replacement. The 500 sounds great, but it's more than I need. I don't even know how to evaluate these two. I've tried various styles of play, flattened out the settings, scooped the mids... the 500 sounds very good comparatively. Add the settings (e.g. Buttons for Compression, vintage, OD), and ease of playing in the living room or anywhere and I have to say I'm thinking I may stick with the 500. Am I nuts? What am I missing? Is it the 12? I seem to get more articulation (?) with the 500 (2x10) than I do with the 12.
    el jeffe bass likes this.
  2. Well that seems pretty much to be an apples to rutabagas comparison.
    It's no wonder you have trouble doing a side by side, especially if you're trying to make them sound the same.

    If you like the Rumble 500 sound and it is just too big for your needs, perhaps you should take a look at the Rumble 100.
    It's pretty much laid out the same as the 500, it has 100 watts and a 12 in speaker. The only operational difference that I know of is that the 100 does not allow for a second cab. But it doesn't sound like you need one. Or if you are dead set on a 10, that would be the Rumble 40. If, however you are looking to move away from the Fender sound, there are some other nice 10" or 12" single speaker combos. G&K is one that comes to mind.

    Articulation is not necessarily a function of speaker size. There is a lot more involved than just diameter. It starts with a voicing design philosophy.
    That pretty much permeates every other decision that is made about the amp. Fender and Ampeg are miles apart on how they voice their amps and cabs.
    AstroSonic likes this.
  3. Ampslut


    May 15, 2017
    No, I don't think you are nuts, I think you are being honest in evaluating your wants and needs. I would imagine that you expected the T50 to just blow the Rumble away. But, now that you haven't been able to extract whatever that "magic Ampeg tube" sound is, you are feeling somehow inadequate. The tube sound is there but, it just doesn't do all that much for you. That doesn't make you nuts or inadequate, it makes you honest and not willing to waste your money. I'd keep the Rumble 500 and enjoy it. It may seem like too much at this point in time but, you may need that extra power and volume some time in the future. It is always better to have too much and not need it than to have too little and need more.
    Old Garage-Bander likes this.
  4. Yahboy


    May 21, 2008
    Third option.

    Plenty of power, 12.6kg, 12in driver, small in size, good tone ~ Hartke KB12
    bassman74 likes this.
  5. justbass57

    justbass57 Supporting Member

    What kind of music do you play?
    I have the 50T and old school it does well for classic blues rock etc.

    I haven't play through the Fender.
  6. AstroSonic

    AstroSonic Supporting Member

    Dec 10, 2009
    rural New Mexico
    The cab has a huge impact on the tone. There are a lot of 12" cabs that could be used with the Ampeg. Which one are you talking about? Would you consider other pairings?
  7. Sands

    Sands Supporting Member

    Dec 11, 2016
    Using the Ampeg 12 cab without the flip top. But it's in the portaflex line. I am pondering a 2x10 cab or like AmpSlut suggested, just stick with the Rumble.
  8. AstroSonic

    AstroSonic Supporting Member

    Dec 10, 2009
    rural New Mexico
    The Rumble is a fine, compact rig. However, it will never produce an Ampeg tone, or tube tone. The fact is you can probably come very close to the Rumble in maximum volume, plus have the tube/Ampeg tone using two efficient 115's. You could start with one cab and add a second later. If you are going for compact and loud, you'll need to go high power class D (like the Rumble). Compact cabs can have great tone, but for a given bass depth (F3/F10) the compact cabs will require substantially more power to reach the same volume. I suspect that the Rumble takes a 'middle' approach. Fairly high power and mid-sized cab. Quite well designed and sensible. Tubes can have great articulation with the right cabs - sealed seem best at this, but some ported cabs also do this well, but less commonly. If an immediate decision is not required, consider just living with the Rumble for a while, get a better feel for its capabilities, and become more aware of your tone preferences.
  9. Sands

    Sands Supporting Member

    Dec 11, 2016
    The efficient 15 is interesting.
  10. grrg63


    Dec 14, 2005
    This is exactly what I did, and it works. We use 2 subs with our PA so the 100 works fine and I can turn the gain & master above 9 o'clock (which I usually couldnt do with my 500). I use the 500 for outdoor and bigger venues.

    I disagree as far as tube tone goes. I usually use the vintage setting but the overdrive is also very effective and versatile,
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2017
  11. jaco944

    jaco944 Supporting Member

    Apr 13, 2005
    Keep the Rumble.
    Turn it down....or up...as needed.
    Bodeanly likes this.
  12. bdowd

    bdowd Supporting Member

    Oct 27, 2005
    New Hampton, NH
    I have the Rumble 200, just sold my 50t, but volume wise the rumble can go louder and cleaner. The Rumble are impressive, I keep going back to it. For a tube like tone I throw a comp and light od pedal in front. When I want big tube tone I grab my v4b head with 2 Rumble 115 cabs...
    Sands likes this.
  13. Bodeanly


    Mar 20, 2015
    This. And if you want that Ampeg-ish type tubey tone, get a VT or SCR DI pedal.
  14. Sands

    Sands Supporting Member

    Dec 11, 2016
    Thank you all for your insight and feedback.

    Well here's what I've found. The 50T offers a different response to the D and G strings than it does for the E and A. The D and G (rounded pop / bang / twang - I'm not sure how to describe but it's not a simple rise up the scale, whereas the response of the E and A is as I expected.

    Obviously there can be some musical benefits to this contrast, for alternating booming lows with pointed higher notes.

    On the Rumble, the transition up the strings seems more simple and congruent. This adds the option of some harmonic richness when you bring the strings together with chord voicings.

    I'm not sure if this makes sense.

    The hard part of this is twofold 1) little time to compare / return 2) using new axes, having flipped to G&L from playing Fenders. Should add that I don't have a band to play with, and I'm new (1 year) to bass.

    Jammed last night with Stevie N/Tom P, Hank Jr, and Don H, with the 50T, thanks to Bose, YouTube and Apple Music. They didn't mind that I missed several notes, was off key a few times, and my timing was not always spot on. (Oh yeah, Sorry about that neighbors!)

    Regardless. The 50T sits very nicely in the music. Maybe nicer than the Fender? Frankly, that was fun and amazing.

    However, as a stand alone instrument, practicing, the Fender may have an edge right now - just due to my preference for the more simple tonal progression up the strings, which seems to offer sweeter harmonies among the strings.

    In addition, with the Rumble alone the notes on D/G seem to be able to sing whereas on the 50T they have more of a well rounded percussive effectiveness. What is that? What is that called? Do you know what I mean? Does that even make sense? Or is it this new bass? I'm playing a new to me L2000 coming from Ps and Js, and I can't get anything like what I'd heard out of those with the Fender, which seems odd.

    So assuming I've identified a difference here between the two amps, while harmonic structures (chords, singing notes) may be great for solo play, does it matter at all when driving the bass in a band setting? A well rounded bass guitar percussive effect may offer more overall to the music than (another) singing note. I don't know. What do you think?

    Are there good examples to contrast the two styles of play in one genre of music (rock, hard rock or something close to it)?

    Today I'm going to side by side them, follow comments, make a decision - and get to work.

    Thank you all for your insight and feedback.
  15. I don't use a Rumble....but yes, what you are describing makes sense. I run into it all the time:- The E and A strings have a nice low tone to them while the D and G strings sound more pointy and twangy or they have less volume than the E and A. Not only that but there's tonal disparity on the E and A strings when played around the 10th to 12th fret on those strings.

    Chasing "evenness" of tone across and up and down the neck drives me just about nuts.

    I was told that this was an effect of owning shortscales. But I have a longscale that does exactly the same thing.

    So yes...the amp/speaker could make a difference as you described.

    You are coming to this conclusion from playing at home right?

    Ah yes...the elusive "bedroom" tone. A science in itself. Most bedrooms suck for playing bass in.

    But anyway....it's probably more to do with cab placement /height, type of strings used,
    EQ choices on amp and bass than it is the amp itself..

    On one of my basses that has Chromes, I can get thunderous low end or no low end at all simply by different placement and height of the cab.
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2017
  16. Sands

    Sands Supporting Member

    Dec 11, 2016
  17. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    I never have that problem with the PF-50T and PF112hlf, and that is one of my big pet peeves. Don't know why you're getting it, but what kinds of settings are you using? Tweeter on or off?
  18. Sands

    Sands Supporting Member

    Dec 11, 2016
    In response to questions above. Yes this is at home. Living room. Small, tile floor on slab, furniture. I'm running my first and a new to me L2000 with Chromes. I checked the bass' set up specs and make some adjustments as needed, string height was off, pickup height was off, fixed, reset relief, poles had been untouched, adjusted those for sound levl consistency. Ran through it again. That 50T is sick. 50w is close to not enough, but the sound and tone is great. They both sound pretty freaking good. I'm guessing now it's the bass.

    I expected to be able to get the L2000 to sound like a P or a J and it's close but that D and G string just don't soar quite like the Ps or Js I've had. Maybe it's the strings. That's another topic.

    So this goes on to another chapter. I'm considering returning the 50T for a GK 700RBII and a 2/10 or 2/12. I just don't know if you can play it low.

    Another topic.

    Thank you for your input and such.
  19. pfschim

    pfschim Just a Skeleton with a Jazz bass

    Apr 26, 2006
    SF Bay Area
    OP, as you are pretty new to playing bass, just keep in mind that this amp/cab shuffle thing is part of the process of finding your tone sweet spot. It has happened to most players as they move ahead with their playing and finding a tone that works best for them.

    TB is a wealth of experience and knowledge, but ultimately you will have to get to "your tone" on your own. Fender has a very loyal following, as do the Ampeg/Loud products .. along with a 100 others that are fiercely represented here on TB :laugh: ... so listen closely with YOUR ears and not someone elses.

    So, I'd say you are doing the right thing by keeping an open mind and tuning up your ears in the process of discovering what works best for you. IMO/IME, the best thing about this process today is that there are tons of options for you to check out and work out your options.
    AstroSonic and Sands like this.
  20. Funkmabassup


    Jul 16, 2013
    Sounds like you simply like the fender sound better, nothing wrong or weird about that :) Personally the rumbles is quite the opposite of defined too me but each mans taste :)

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