Walkabout vs. Ampeg PF350

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by BBQV, Nov 4, 2012.

  1. BBQV


    Feb 13, 2010
    Uppsala, Sweden
    I've been searching this forum but, like Bono, I still haven't found what I'm looking for...

    I've got a Walkabout head that I play through two SVT210AV's. I'm looking for a spare amp and the PF350 fits my wallet. Is this a good idea or is the difference in sound and quality really as big as the difference in price?
  2. JimmyM


    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    I use my PF350 with one or two 210av's sometimes. I really like it. I've played a couple Walkabouts on occasion and they sound good too, no doubt. What you think of the sound quality of each is up to you, but the PF350 gets a really good quality of tone as far as I'm concerned. All I can tell you about price as related to tone is I've liked and disliked very expensive gear, and I've liked and disliked very inexpensive gear. So will you.
  3. I've played the pf500 (not the 350), comparing that to the Walkabout-
    Ampeg's a bit "rounder" -I'm bad at describing tone- not as warm, but, imo, still a cool bass tone.
    Walkabout's hand made & not class D, & has a more tubey overdrive. More "feel" too. The Ampeg'd
    Be a pretty good back up I think
  4. BBQV


    Feb 13, 2010
    Uppsala, Sweden
    Thanks guys!

    I know it's difficult to talk about sound, but would you say the general sound character of the PF350 is somewhere in the same area as the Walkabout?
  5. Not really. Pretty different tonal qualities about em both. Both nice.
    The eq of the Mesa is above & beyond & the Ampeg is very definately "Ampeg" tone. I haven't played many other Mesa amp's to say same about the WA, but it's sure got it's own vibe.
    Hard for me to describe, but I'd say quite different fer sho.
    I'd say the Aguilar TH500 is "closer" to the WA than the PF, but again, quite different.
  6. One Drop

    One Drop

    Oct 10, 2004
    Swiss Alps
    It would make a good backup, but the Mesa is worth the extra dosh IMO. My favorite sounding SS head, and one that sounds more 'tubey' than almost anything out there. If they made a more powerful version of the Walkabout they would have one of the biggest selling hybrid heads on the market, IMO. I do not understand why they won't produce an amp that bass players have been asking for for a decade now!
  7. froghat

    froghat Supporting Member

    Jun 14, 2009
    Rhinebeck, NY
    I think that's what the mPulse 600 was meant to be. And to my ears it gave me what I got from my WA with more power. Others feel it didn't quite nail the WA vibe. Finally I sold it though; too heavy.
  8. lomo

    lomo passionate hack Supporting Member

    Apr 15, 2006
    Tone is subjective, and so is the value of several hundred bucks to an individual. For me the WA is worth the extra rubles, but if money is tight maybe not so much. An older used WA goes for about 500; maybe that's the way to go. WA has far better, more versatile eq, is stable at 2 Ohms if you don't beat it with a stick, sounds tubier if you want it to, responds superbly to different gain structures, has far superior warranty and is handmade in the US. BUT it lacks speakon connectors, aux in/phones out. Your call. IMHO I'd much rather have a Shuttle head than the PF anyway. Smaller, lighter, sounds as good, more features, better warranty. In the end, whatever you buy will do the job, so buy what will make you smile most.
  9. derrico1

    derrico1 Supporting Member

    Apr 12, 2005
    Charlottesville, VA
    +1 to this. Whether the PF350 makes sense depends on what you need. If you're looking for a back-up to the WA--something you'll actually carry to gigs JIC--I wouldn't get a second WA.

    The extra-delicious tone for a back-up (which might get played one gig in a thousand) isn't worth the extra weight, and size. I actually have two Walkabouts, but my preferred WA back-up is a LittleMark II. If I were looking for a WA back-up from the current crop of offerings, I might be tempted by either the Ampeg or Aguilar micros.

    OTOH, if you were thinking of replacing the WA with the PF350, for me that's a no-contest decision for the WA.
  10. pfschim

    pfschim Just a Skeleton with a Jazz bass

    Apr 26, 2006
    SF Bay Area
    I've use a WA as my primary amp, and also have a PF500 (not 350) that I have used quite a bit over the past 6 months or so. I think they sound very different.

    Mesa has a very distinctive sound compared to the PF500. IMO/IME, most of the Mesa's distinctive tone comes from the general tube driven character (not distortion, just warm tube compression, depth and punch), and in the mids. The WA uses the active bass/treb + "passive" (pretty much cut only) mid control section EQ arrangement that it inherited from the Fender tone stack. That and the nicely thought out para EQ section really gives the user a ton of control.

    To my ears the PF500 (and I will carefully assume the 350 is similar) has a much browner sound to it in general - compared to the WA (this is IMO, and not a bad thing btw). The Ampeg mids are also quite different - 5 way fixed point mids control with an oddly low impact level control I have found that outside of the general character of the 5 way selector, the level control does very little to the tone until it passes the 2 or even 3 o'clock position. I also feel that the compressor on the Ampeg is a nice feature if you like a bit of that in your tone. I use a basic outboard comp with my WA (BBE octo) and sometime wish the WA had one built in like it's bigger MPulse brother - MPulse600.

    Oh, and I would add that I never use the PF500/15HE rig without a backup amp on hand (in my case a TC RH450), because it has flaked out on me on a few gigs. Whereas I never feel the need to bring a backup for the WA which has run like a champ on hundreds of gigs in all conditions for the past 6 years.

    My personal taste heavily favors the Mesa/WA tone, so I would say go with the Walkabout. But, I have found lots to like about the Ampeg too. Different tools and all that.

    good luck with your decision.
  11. MoeTown1986

    MoeTown1986 Supporting Member

    Sep 14, 2010
    SoMD (Mechanicsville)
    To back Jimmy's price related to tone, I'll put my $380 BA115 up against my $1,650 SWR Redhead on tone any day. Trust your ears, not your money.