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FDP Forum / Fender Bass Guitars and Bass Amps / Ampeg PF-50T report

edmonstg

Newberg, Oregon

Fender...never say never.
Jun 20th, 2017 09:40 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

We've all been there before, the gear or guitar that gets in your system and won't go away.

For me, the latest has centered around the recently released (within the past year?) Ampeg PF-50T all-tube bass amp.

I'm not talking about tubes in the pre-amp and solid state everywhere else. It's 100 percent glass: (2) 6L6 power tubes, (2) 12ax7s, and (1) 12au7.

So, last week I went to Guitar Center and took advantage of a sale they had going on (add to this a sweet rebate from the manufacturer) and bought one of these amps. It arrived yesterday. You can only imagine what I have been doing the past 24 hours.

Gear used for tryout: Fender 1957 Journeyman Custom Shop; 58 P-bass; Fender parts P-bass; Fender Rumble 1x15 cabinet. I have an Ampeg PF 1x15 cab arriving tomorrow.

I like this amp. It gives me back the sound I have in my head for how I like to sound.

The dials have plenty of tonal options and the volume is perfect for home noodling, recording or small venues. I do a lot of wine tasting room gigs so this amp is going to be perfect for these spaces.

It delivers that Ampeg thing in quantity (for 50W) and quality. If this is your thing, this is your amp.

How loud? I probably wouldn't take it to a gig with a drummer that bangs at high volume.

Keep in mind it's also "classic Ampeg" in the sense that it has that one-trick-pony personality which you can't get away from no matter what you do with the knobs. I grew up with this sound, have always loved it, meaning I have no needs beyond what it does.

The amp weights 20 pounds and given its chassis will probably be a bit awkward to haul around. Might be easier if I can find a carrying case of a fashion.

If your needs are similar to mine, this may be an amp you'll want to check out.

Disclaimer: I'm an old man, retired and do not work for Ampeg or Guitar Center or anybody else.

George

(This message was last edited by edmonstg at 08:44 PM, Jun 20th, 2017)

themaestro
Contributing Member
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Wichita, Kansas

Drums = pulse, Bass = heartbeat
Jun 20th, 2017 01:11 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

It's not tube, but I have been pleasantly surprised at the Ampeg PF (solid state) line. I have a PF350 and a PF500. Actually, I like the sound of the PF350 best, even though it doesn't have the bells and whistles of the PF500. Only gain, volume and a 3-band eq that has its frequency centers in just the right places. It doesn't need the compressor, low/hi boost buttons or multiple mid-freq eq positions.

JackL
Contributing Member
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Chico CA

If you rest, you rust.
Jun 20th, 2017 03:58 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Dang George, it appears you've been going thru a serious GAS attack lately...lucky you!

edmonstg

Newberg, Oregon

Fender...never say never.
Jun 20th, 2017 04:09 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

I keep forgetting GAS attacks cost money!!!

George

rockdoc11

USA

Bass is the place . . .
Jun 20th, 2017 05:23 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

George, you're amazing.

As I get older I keep getting gear that is smaller and lighter (G K mini-heads, super lightweight cabs).

And you're moving towards tube amplification!

;)

digiboy

New York City

Jun 20th, 2017 05:58 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

"Actually, I like the sound of the PF350 best, even though it doesn't have the bells and whistles of the PF500."

Interesting you say that. I had a chance to play through a 350 and really liked it. I found it to be very umm..."Ampeggy". I've been curious about the 500. I'd like to have the 500's extra power but I'm concerned that the more sophisticated tone control may not deliver tonally the way the simpler 350 design does. Your comment makes me think I'm correct to be concerned. I wish they'd make a 350-plus or some such thing with more power but the simpler control.

Not familiar with the PF 50T but being all tube and reading George's description I'm not surprised it nails that Ampeg sound too.

I don't know what determines "Ampeginess" to my ear, I just know it when I hear it. I think it's something do with a very natural and open sounding EQ. It strikes a very pleasing balance on most any note on most any string.

I'm using a Markbass top now for louder gigs. It was one of the first of the new generation small lightweight tops that pack a wallop. The Ampegs weren't out yet. It does fine but I may well try to flip it for an Ampeg down the road.

edmonstg

Newberg, Oregon

Fender...never say never.
Jun 20th, 2017 06:51 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

I have a very hard time describing sound as well.

To me, Ampeg has the "round sound," fundamentally fat and full. But this could describe any number of amps.

Putting it another way, no matter how I set things up, both on the amp and on my bass, the sound has a "thumpy thing" that reminds me of an upright.

I've also noticed on this new 50T that the response time is different, which as a consequence allows me to play slightly behind the beat better than I can with solid state.

George

(This message was last edited by edmonstg at 08:54 PM, Jun 20th, 2017)

Bubbalou

USA

THE LOW END OF UPPER TEJAS
Jun 20th, 2017 07:34 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

"Disclaimer: I'm an old man, retired and do not work for Ampeg or Guitar Center or anybody else."

All who know you, know you are straight up and not a shill so keep on making the music sir


themaestro
Contributing Member
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Wichita, Kansas

Drums = pulse, Bass = heartbeat
Jun 20th, 2017 09:32 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

I can't get my PF500 to sound as good to my ears as my PF350. I looked at the specs on both. The EQ frequency centers are a little different. Of the 5 midrange frequencies on the PF500, none exactly match the the PF350. I wonder why they did that?

I agree with Digiboy, the PF350 has seems to really have a nice Ampeg sound. Nice full low mids. It really likes my Pbasses and flats. There seems to be a slight mid scoop and it has a really nice percussive attack that I can't seem to replicate on the PF500. This is not to say the500 isn't a nice amp, but compare it with a 350 and there is a noticeable difference.

themaestro
Contributing Member
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******

Wichita, Kansas

Drums = pulse, Bass = heartbeat
Jun 20th, 2017 09:35 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

I would like to get a good listen to the PF-50T. However, I generally need a little more wattage, especially for the price.


edmonstg

Newberg, Oregon

Fender...never say never.
Jun 21st, 2017 07:32 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

maestro...I understand what you're saying. I bought mine for the purposes for which I'm guessing these amps were intended. Woodshedding, home studio, small, low-volume, guitar-bass duo type gigs in a wine room, worship band, jamming at the backyard BBQ, etc., etc.

It's also true my amp actually puts out more volume than I thought. Surprising actually.

The back panel has a line-out so that if needed, the amp can go "bigger."

George

Steve Dallman
Contributing Member
**********

Merrill, Wisconsin

Age is just a number...mine is big
Jun 21st, 2017 01:03 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

The PF-500 has standard/classic SVT type EQ. The bass and treble are James passive type in both the 350 and 500.

The difference is the midrange. The 500 has an inductor based, active midrange, with the switch selecting the frequency the midrange cuts or boosts at.

The 350 is quite diferent. There are two parallel midrange circuits...a midrange scoop and a midrange boost. The mid control simply selects one or the other, and blends either the boost or scoop in.

The 350 midrange and entire circuit is shared with the SCRDI and the new EQ preamp pedal.

The 350 is pretty standard op amp circuitry while the input of the 500 is mosfet run at 60 volts DC followed by the excellent compressor (which the 350 doesn't have.)

iammr2
Contributing Member
**

Lower Slobovia

Pass me the onions..Yeah, the green ones
Jun 22nd, 2017 03:32 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

I tried out both the PF350 and PF500. Got the same results as the maestro and digiboy. 350 had the sound but I couldn't get it out of the 500.

The PF-50T sounds like fun. I just can't justify spending that amount of money for a low volume amp. That's just me.

BrentD
Contributing Member
********

United States

By Grabthar's Hammer, what a savings.
Jun 23rd, 2017 08:42 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

George, if you like the PF cab I'm pretty sure the head will mount and flip. That'd reduce the awkwardness.

edmonstg

Newberg, Oregon

Fender...never say never.
Jun 24th, 2017 04:22 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

I do like the cab very much. I got the single 15 HE model. Good specs for frequency response, excellent performance, handles higher volumes, looks Ampeg cool.

For right now I'm not going to do a mount and flip. Things are going to stay here at the house so it's plenty portable as is.

It's a weight thing. I spent years chasing tone, now I chase weight. Less is more. HA. If I mount the 50t to the lid top, that adds 20 pounds to a 45 lb cab. 65 pounds. Too much!

George

BrentD
Contributing Member
********

United States

By Grabthar's Hammer, what a savings.
Jun 26th, 2017 09:06 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

I totally understand! My PF-350 is mounted on the 2x10 version of your cab. I don't haul it.

FDP Forum / Fender Bass Guitars and Bass Amps / Ampeg PF-50T report




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