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Porta Bass try-out and review...

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Greywoulf, Mar 7, 2004.


  1. Porta Bass cabs? Nah. The 250 head? Well, maybe...

    Because I like the size and weight of Ampeg's Porta Bass stuff, I've been giving it a good try at my friendly dealers. Here's what I found after several different longish sit-downs with the stuff... (IMO, anyway; yours may differ of course!

    The cabs:
    10 inch: Forget about it; my Warwick FNA 4-string completely overwhelmed it at just medium volume... Static, flutter, buzz, IMO the 10 is just not equipped for anything much beyond soft practice at home.

    12 inch. Better than the 10" with the Warwick, but still not good at louder volumes with it. And just about unable to handle my Godin A4 fretless peizio pups at all. (Flutter, static, at any decent volume...)

    2x10. Best of all Porta cabs as far as static, flutter. But not much bottom end here either. Sales guy (a friend) also said it cannot handle the low B on his Warwick 5.

    The 250 Head:
    Tried on different (also non-Porta) cabs: Not too bad, a little muddy for my hi-fi tastes tho. Plus it was a little iffy with the Godin, sometimes giving a slight crackling on the A string around F#. Worked better with the Warwick, but still too muddy for me... Not much power; had the volume turned alla way up using the 12" Porta cab and others in the shop hardly noticed! The head did work better with one of Ampeg's other regular (non Porta) 15" cabs after I got the gain and the EQ's down good, but for $400 (the current sale price; down from $800!) it was still too under-powered and too muddy for me, and nothing to get excited about IMO...

    It's too bad. I really like lightweight stuff when it's good, and I really wanted this stuff to be good because it's so compact it's actually 'cute' :rolleyes: And it's also a little more affordable than it was before, too. But even so, some shops are now discontinuing carrying the Porta Bass line (Guitar Center, for instance) and I can certainly understand why... Because if you figure the best current price is $400 for the 250 Porta Bass head and $279-$340 for the 12" or 2x10" cab, well you're still talking around $700-$750 for a set-up that is easily all-around just plain outplayed in every conceivable way by my $400 Hartke (older style) KickBack 12" combo!!!

    (And for $150-200 more than the Porta Bass set up, you could also get a Walk Around Mesa Boogie 12" combo too...)

    Rating: Porta Bass? --2. -Two thumbs down! :spit:
    (Sorry Ampeg; I think I'll keep my KickBack 12!)

    Greywoulf :ninja: