NAD: My Ampeg PF-350 Review

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by tonymcbony, Oct 20, 2011.


  1. tonymcbony

    tonymcbony

    Mar 21, 2006
    Yay for New Bass Amp Day!

    Thanks to my local music store, the Rockshop, and their always stellar service, a lovely wee gem of an amp arrived yesterday, the Ampeg PF-350.


    Apparently there are two versions of this update to the Portaflex line, the PF-350 and the PF-500. Both are solid state. The PF-500 has Ultra-Hi and Ultra Low switches, a mid selector, compressor, fx mix, 500watts and is relatively big. Compared to its big brother, the PF-500, the PF-350 is much more basic machine, as well as being 150w less at 4ohms, and doesn't have all those things I just listed. The PF500 is based off the SVT Pro 7, whilst the PF-350 is based off the Micro-VR. Both sound great, but do sound different from each other. The micro-vr has had rave reviews in terms of tone but the maximum of 200w tends to let it down IMO. Still, for what it does and wo it's aimed at, I think it's a great amp.

    Well that was a big load of crap that doesn't have much bearing on what I"m going to say

    As I get along in my preferences and gear choices, it's become apparent that the more crap that gets in the way of the signal, the crapper it sounds.
    Put an amp like a Trace Elliot in front of me and I'll spend hours fiddling, and with basses with active electronics I tend to just leave it alone.
    I wanted to get something small, light, and basic that had great tone, to use for practice and gigs where I couldn't be arsed dragging my SVT along.
    I wasn't happy with the Genz-Benz stuff; the lower end gear whilst compact sounded a bit anemic although the Streamliners certainly sound good.
    The Orange Bass Terror also had my attention for a bit as it has the preamp section of their AD200B but it's not particularly versatile EQ; a One trick pony (but a great trick!). Also, it was about 2x as much as I wanted to spend.

    Enter the Ampeg PF350

    Good price, small form factor, simple and with excellent tone; if you're familar with the Ampeg sound, you'll recognise it immediately. In fact, there are a couple of threads about the interwebs where they compare the tube B15 with the PF-350; they sound incredibly close, but of course the tubes give a little something magically that can't be replicated by SS. Still, very good signs.
    I was a bit worried about volume and although I would have been a bit more comfortable with the knowledge I had 500w up my sleeve, the 350w certainly makes the walls shake and crushes my head in! That was just through an Ashdown 2x10 as well, which is very positive.

    I really like just having Gain, Volume, Bass Mid and Treble. So simple, and the controls do a lot. You can get that classic Ampeg tone extremely easily; I intuitively dialed those settings up and I can't see them changing much for me. You can scoop a lot of the mids and make it sound very modern too, which is definite plus for those out there who want a bit of flexibility.
    It does have an XLR Line out if required but please note it's line out, not DI; the signal is at line level so needs to be patched through the appropriate channel on the desk, otherwise you'll have way too much gain for the desk to handle.

    It comes down to tone, price and volume. It has AWESOME tone, and if anyone loves the Ampeg sound, you'll love this. The price was sharp even before the Rockshop fixed me up, and the volume is enough for rock gigs, especially using all the watts through more speakers. My next purchase in my sights is to get the matching portaflex 2x10 cabinet, but right now the PF-350 and my ABM210 will be a great portable, light rig.

    TL;DR?

    Nails the Ampeg tone, is small, loud, and wallet friendly.
     
    Haymaker and waynobass like this.
  2. slaphappychappy

    slaphappychappy

    May 25, 2011
    I'm happy with my pf500 and ashdown 410 . Sounds great, I love the sound of the cooling fan powering up cos it makes it sound like something serious is gunna happen. First Ampeg I've owned.
    Pretty happy with my choice.
    I only wish I'd spent the extra dosh on an Ampeg cab to do the flippy thing with the head.
     
  3. I have been loving my PF-350 and PF-115he for a few months now! Just need to add a second cabinet to make it complete.
     
  4. JimmyM

    JimmyM

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Yamaha, Ampeg, Line 6, EMG
    Mine will be complete in a week or so ;) Got a second PF115he on order...something I swore I'd never do since I already have two extra B-15 replica cabs. But once I heard the PF115he, I had to get two of them!

    Good review, Tony, and about dead-on accurate to my experience as well!
     
  5. GrowlerBox

    GrowlerBox

    Feb 10, 2010
    Nude Zealand
    Tony -- is the Rockshop still carrying these?; they've taken them and the cabinets off their website.
     
  6. tonymcbony

    tonymcbony

    Mar 21, 2006
    Yep, just got mine yesterday. They may be out of stock but I know the Auckland Rockshop had stock of the 210's.

    Sounded like they'd definitely be bringing more in.
     
  7. slaphappychappy

    slaphappychappy

    May 25, 2011
    Haven't been there for years as I live in Aussie now. What do they charge for the head there? My old man loves the workshop. He plays bass too. He runs gk 700 watt head and warwrick bins which I think he got from there.
     
  8. slaphappychappy

    slaphappychappy

    May 25, 2011
    Rockshop. Stupid phone .
     
  9. jumbodbassman

    jumbodbassman Supporting Member

    Dec 28, 2009
    Stuck in traffic -NY & CT
    Born Again Tubey
    first gig for my pf 500 this weekend...
     
  10. Haymaker

    Haymaker

    Aug 15, 2020
    I played a pf 500 head the other day through a hlf 4x10 and an American precision bass. The thing sounded so good I kept turning the volume and gain up!......the guitar center girl loved it.
     
    tonymcbony likes this.
  11. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

     
    Jun 12, 2021

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