1. Please take 30 seconds to register your free account to remove most ads, post topics, make friends, earn reward points at our store, and more!  
     
    TalkBass.com has been uniting the low end since 1998.  Join us! :)

Portabass 2x12

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Robertjoel, Mar 6, 2013.


  1. I know there are a thousand different threads about this cab/series, but I'm potentially buying one in the next week and have a few questions.

    1. I'm selling my Gallien-Kruger GLX 4x10 in about half an hour to partially fund the purchase,
    will I be upgrading or downgrading in your opinion? I know I'll lose some volume, but tone-wise I'd like to assume the 2x12 will beat the GK.

    2. I'm getting it for 275(hopefully haggling down to 250), is this a good deal or should I hold off?

    3. Recommend any other comparable 2x12s? I've played with a few in-store but,
    at 18 years old I can't really justify dropping $600-800 on a cabinet.
     
  2. RickenBoogie

    RickenBoogie

    Jul 22, 2007
    Dallas, TX
    I'm not sure you're "upgrading" at all. The Portabass series cabs are small, and small equals less output. Those are not the berst choice for a 212. Look for a used GB NeoX 212 if you want something really good. Or a GK Neo 212 even.
     
  3. Yeah I'm fine with losing volume and output, but it will be used primarily for recording and small practices. It's at least loud enough to keep up with drums, yeah? I'm constantly looking used so I'm hoping something better will pop-up
     
  4. MegaSwing

    MegaSwing Your Obedient Bassist® Gold Supporting Member

    Nov 26, 2002
    Baltimore, MD USA
    The only real problem with the Portabass 2x12 is serviceability. It was only made for a pretty short time. Replacement components are likely to be scarce. Do not abuse it.
     
  5. JimmyM

    JimmyM

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    I've not played them, but the chief engineer at Ampeg while they were being made is on record here saying that they suck up a lot of watts to get decent output and they're way quieter than he wanted. I might look at the SVT 210av instead if you're interested in Ampeg. It's more of a medium duty cab but it has great tone and doesn't require a lot of wattage to get a decent head of steam behind it. $300 new but you can often find sales that'll put it lower than the price of the Portabass cab you're looking at.
     
  6. Almost any cab would be an upgrade, except maybe that one or the BL cabs.
     
  7. MegaSwing

    MegaSwing Your Obedient Bassist® Gold Supporting Member

    Nov 26, 2002
    Baltimore, MD USA
    Honestly, if you bring enough power, they are plenty loud. If I recall, the problem was two-fold: the cabs were inefficient AND the amps designed for them weren't strong enough, so as a system it was a failure. With enough power, however, they get plenty loud. I had a PB210 that totally held its own in a real band, but I didn't play ultra loud music (e.g. metal).

    The drivers in them are scarce as rockinghorse $hit because of the lack of popularity of the product line.
     
  8. JimmyM

    JimmyM

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    Fair points, Ed, but I still wouldn't pay $275 for a PB212 ;)
     
  9. A PF500 head pushes 500 watts into the pb212 at 4 ohms, which is more than the 350 it was pushing into my 8 ohm glx 410. Roughly how inefficient could it be at 500 watts?
     
  10. Pretty bad the sensitivity spec was 93 db as opposed to the 98 db of the GLX. That 5 db per watt makes a huge difference. No really, that was not a joke.
     
  11. MegaSwing

    MegaSwing Your Obedient Bassist® Gold Supporting Member

    Nov 26, 2002
    Baltimore, MD USA
    You should be fine. The inefficiency is overcome to some extent by high wattage, but it's still there and you must always remember it. Search and read some threads about the Portabass system. There is some very good input regarding it from people who worked for Ampeg.
     
  12. MegaSwing

    MegaSwing Your Obedient Bassist® Gold Supporting Member

    Nov 26, 2002
    Baltimore, MD USA
    I should add that there aren't many drivers that can deliver optimum performance in a sealed cabinet this size. Hence, the original advisory about serviceability. Additionally, there is a circuit board onboard (presumably the crossover) that is even rarer than the speakers. This cab must be used with love.
     
  13. When you have 500 watts available from the PF500 and the cab is rated for 400 watts input with a low sensitivity rating just HOW careful is the question? Add the loss of cone area over the 410, I would say PASS.
     
  14. I appreciate all the comments and advice, I'll still be going to try it monday, but I'll get up to Sam Ash before then and try out some more of the GK, Harkte, etc. cabs before deciding whether or not to buy it.
     
  15. Bass 45

    Bass 45 Supporting Member

    Jun 23, 2011
    Tempe, Arizona
    I have owned the PB250 and the PB800 and in my experience the Portabass amp heads seem to be accurately rated output-wise.

    As has been documented elsewhere in this forum, the weak link in the Portabass series was the neo drivers in their cabs. I forget the speakers brand name, but they were not normally used with musical instrument applications. The speakers had low sensitivity and they were fragile and easily blown when pushed by their amplifier counterparts.

    I have not owned the Portabass 212, but I do have the 210. It still has one original driver and one Eminence Basslite replacement. I think the cab sounds great for the purpose the OP describes - I use mine with my PB800 for my jazz rehearsals and gigs. I do plan on getting another Eminence so I can stop worrying about the original speaker failing though.

    If the PB 212 still has the original speakers in it, I would say it should work for you, but it may be overpriced. If it has higher quality replacement drivers that sound good, it may be well worth it - especially if it includes the original dolly attachment and cover.
     
  16. MegaSwing

    MegaSwing Your Obedient Bassist® Gold Supporting Member

    Nov 26, 2002
    Baltimore, MD USA
    Godspeed, John Glenn.
     
  17. MegaSwing

    MegaSwing Your Obedient Bassist® Gold Supporting Member

    Nov 26, 2002
    Baltimore, MD USA
    Aura.
     
  18. Bass 45

    Bass 45 Supporting Member

    Jun 23, 2011
    Tempe, Arizona
    Thank you:)
     
  19. I ended up getting the pb212 for $250 and I can't say I have any regrets on it yet, it sounds great to me and I can lift it with one arm. I can't say anything about its volume relative to other cabs but tone-wise it beats the crap out of the GLX cab I was using. Can't wait to play it with my drummer and see how it stands up.
     

Share This Page