Portaflex PF800/PF410HLF advice

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by ronvanwon, May 4, 2019.

  1. Hi guys,

    This is my first post on this forum. I've pulled lots of info from here so i want to thank you all in advance for that. However this time i'm looking for some info/advice that i haven't found here or anywhere else and i really hope you guys can help me out.

    I play in a post-metal band and we play quite loud during practice. I currently own a Ampeg PF410HLF and i use a borrowed Ampeg PF800 head. I'm at the stage that i'm going to buy my own amp and i'm at kind of a crossroads. The current PF800/PF410HLF combo comes a bit short on the loudness during practice and i also feel that i'm missing out on the lower frequencies when playing on louder volumes. As far as i can tell from the forums, the PF410HLF is well known for it's lows, and i feel like i'm missing that currently with the currently paired/borrowed PF800.

    After lots of reading i have come to multiple options on how to solve this and i would be incredibly grateful if you guys could give me some suggestions.

    As far as i see it,
    1. I can buy my own PF800 and extend my PF410HLF cab with an additional PF115LF (i've read posts for and against this solution. Mostly against as the PF115LF has a different power rating which could cause problems, or that it would not add much to the 410 as it's supposed to be a stand-alone cab. I'd love some confirmation on this.)
    2. Buy a PF500 instead of a PF800 as i've read topics that imply that the PF500 would be a more suitable amp for a single PF410HLF and would improve the sound and tone of the one i already own. I have read on the TB forums somewhere that with the PF800, the PF410 can fart out on higher volumes. Again, i would love some confirmation on this.
    3. Sell my PF410HLF, buy the PF800 and add a PF210HE and a PF115LF. But with that, i would sacrifice the portability of the PF500 or 800/PF410HLF combo. This would be a downside as i am in a (sometimes) touring band, so portability is quite a big plus.
    I'm at a total loss as what the most logical way to go would be, so i really hope that someone can help me out with this.

    Thanks so much in advance!
    Last edited: May 5, 2019
    elkkid2 likes this.
  2. mmbongo

    mmbongo I have too many basses. Supporting Member

    #1 doesn't really make sense, as the 410 would be limited by the 115 and may not be any louder.

    #2 doesn't really make sense at all.

    #3 doesn't really make sense at it wouldn't be louder than your 410.

    If the PF800 with the 410 works but needs to be louder, the solution is to add another 410.
    elkkid2, TinyE, Fluid Power and 2 others like this.
  3. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Yamaha, Ampeg, Line 6, EMG
    Yep, two 410hlfs. Your cab isn't going to take trying to force more than a PF800 will give it. Surprised you haven't blown it up yet.
    Aqualung60 and bobyoung53 like this.
  4. Hope you're wearing hearing protection!
  5. HI Jimmy,

    Thanks for taking the time to reply. Judging from your answer, would you recommend that if i were to keep using just one 410, that i should get a PF500 instead of on 800 in order not to blow up the cab?

    And thanks for the answers from all of you.
  6. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Yamaha, Ampeg, Line 6, EMG
    Not unless you have an itchy volume finger.
  7. mmbongo

    mmbongo I have too many basses. Supporting Member

    @ronvanwon is your cab 4 or 8 ohms?

    If it's 4, then you can't add another cab with Ampeg Portaflex amps as they are not 2 ohm stable.

    Also if it's 4, then yes you'd be safer with a PF500.

    But in the end, I'd look at a 2 ohm stable amp so you can run more cabinets.
    bobyoung53 likes this.
  8. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Yamaha, Ampeg, Line 6, EMG
    Doh! Totally forgot that the 410hlf is 4 ohms. Second 410hlf can't run with a Pf800. Has a 4 ohm limit.
    ronvanwon likes this.
  9. mmbongo

    mmbongo I have too many basses. Supporting Member

    Well @ronvanwon that changes everything.

    If you want to run another cabinet then it will need to be 4 ohms as well (or two 8 ohm cabinets). So you'll need to look at 2 ohm amps....Mesa Subway, Darkglass, the latest Fender Rumbles, upcoming GK Legacy amps.
  10. @JimmyM I have both the gain and volume at around 2 o clock. If i go any louder then that when playing aggressively, the peak light starts lighting up so i keep it there. -6db button is on because use an active bass (5 string.), bass is at about 2, mids at 3, treble at centre. Ultra hi and low are both off.

    Thanks for your time @mmbongo

    As far as i can tell from the Ampeg website, is that all the Portaflex stuff is rated at 8 ohms. It's just that the PF410 is 800W and the PF115 at 400. That is what i assume will cause problems. Too much power for the 115?
  11. Thundar

    Thundar Supporting Member

    Buy the PF800, and get a 610 HLF would be my solution....dont worry with 115LF, its a great cab ( I had two of them) but one 115LF isn't going to put out as much low end as a 410.
    TinyE and BJMtz like this.
  12. mmbongo

    mmbongo I have too many basses. Supporting Member

    Okay, my bad. I thought you had a 410LF. The 410HLF is indeed 8 ohms, so yes you can add another 410HLF with a PF800. I would not add a 115 as it cannot keep up with a 410.

    I also wouldn't bother with a PF500 as it would only give you about 250 watts going into that cab. A PF800 will put 400 watts into it, or 400 watts EACH if you get two of them.
    BasturdBlaster and ronvanwon like this.

  13. @mmbongo Thanks for the info. I really appreciate it. If i were to keep a single 410HLF, would you recommend getting the PF500 instead of the 800? As i said in my original post, i've read somewhere on the site that a PF800 makes the 410HLF low ends fart out when played loud. And do you think it would also be safer? All the Portaflex cabs seem to be rated @ 8 ohms, but the PF800 amp is rated @ 4ohms. That stuff always messes me up. 410HLF is 800W @ 8 ohms, but the PF800 is 800W @ 4 ohms. So confusing...
    Last edited: May 5, 2019
  14. @JimmyM Is it? On the website it says that the 410HFL is rated at 800W @ 8 ohms. Am i missing something?
  15. Thundar

    Thundar Supporting Member

    No, you are correct...its everyone else that is throwing you off cause they thought you were talking about the regular SVT-410HLF...LOL
    ronvanwon likes this.
  16. BJMtz

    BJMtz Supporting Member

    Oct 18, 2010
    Columbus, OH
    I had a PF410HLF and like you needed more volume. I got rid of it and and got an SVT610HLF. The 410 was nice, but the build quality didn’t seem that great. It would buzz at medium volume and it couldn’t handle that much power and farted out at what I though was pretty mediocre levels. The 610 is so much better. Yes it’s heavier but it has wheels so it’s easier to move around. It just feels and looks more solidly constructed. And the volume is amazing. Yea it can go really low but you just have to dial out the bass and boost some mids and it gets clean, clear, and loud.
    Madhouse27, Thundar and ronvanwon like this.
  17. Thundar

    Thundar Supporting Member

    Exactly why I recommended the 610HLF as well ;)
    Madhouse27 and BJMtz like this.
  18. Thanks for the reply. What kind of amp did you run your 410 with at the time?
  19. BJMtz

    BJMtz Supporting Member

    Oct 18, 2010
    Columbus, OH
    Thundar likes this.
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