Ampeg PF-20T Bass Head. Any Experience?

JezWyndJezWynd Frets: 2174
Currently considering a bass amp for home use and perhaps some recording. Anyone have any experience with this amp or it's 50w big brother? I rarely use distortion except for some micro synth fuzz, preferring a clean platform for modulation type pedals - phase, chorus and POG2, also envelope filters and auto wah. Initially I'd be using it with a 15" Excelsior cab with a view to getting a 1x15 or 2x10 Flip Top cab later. Keen to hear from any users. Thanks.


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  • JezWyndJezWynd Frets: 2174
    No-one using this head?
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  • BridgehouseBridgehouse Frets: 13586
    edited July 2017
    I don't have one, but I have played through one in a studio. Nice amp, and a solid ampeg style tone. 

    I think the reason you might find many don't have them here is that they are quiet (relatively speaking) and an equivalent costing solid state will put out a huge amount more volume in a smaller and much lighter package and thus better for gigging purposes.

    Reminded me of a B15 when I tried it..
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  • JezWyndJezWynd Frets: 2174
    I don't have one, but I have played through one in a studio. Nice amp, and a solid amped style tone. 

    I think the reason you might find many don't have them here is that they are quiet (relatively speaking) and an equivalent costing solid state will put out a huge amount more volume in a smaller and much lighter package and thus better for gigging purposes.

    Reminded me of a B15 when I tried it..
    Yes, that's the sound I've heard in the couple of youTube's I've listened to. With the treble rolled off it sounds remarkably like the old Motown records.

    I'm a bit worried about build quality, a CL I had recently was poor and noisy too. I've always thought that solid state was the way to go for bass but having used my little Laney Cub as a head I'm liking the softness that valves seem to give and I'm very taken with the flip top design.
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  • BridgehouseBridgehouse Frets: 13586
    The flip top design is neat - I would love a vintage b15, but so many monies!!

    I personally think that bass amp manufacturers are doing a lot better with solid state than their guitar equivalents - some give a very clean and pure sound, but some do that valve warmth you're after very well.

    I have the Ampeg SCR-DI pedal - it's a bit of a one trick pony, but it's trick is a warm Ampeg SVT sound - and it does that trick very well indeed. 

    There are plenty of small 500watt-ish SS head for around your budget that will do a good warm sound and I'd go down that route.
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  • BridgehouseBridgehouse Frets: 13586
    Something like the Tech21 VTB500 would do what you are after and will be light, compact and very reliable 
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  • JezWyndJezWynd Frets: 2174
    Thanks for the info @Bridgehouse. I take your point re ss bass amp designs but a 500 w head is probably overkill for a home player and occasional recorder. Also, most of the high output ss designs seem to require a cooling fan, which can be annoying when playing at low volume. I might see if I can find a store that stocks the Ampeg, it looks ideal but I'm just a bit wary when the last Ampeg I had was so poor.
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  • BridgehouseBridgehouse Frets: 13586
    edited July 2017
    JezWynd said:
    Thanks for the info @Bridgehouse. I take your point re ss bass amp designs but a 500 w head is probably overkill for a home player and occasional recorder. Also, most of the high output ss designs seem to require a cooling fan, which can be annoying when playing at low volume. I might see if I can find a store that stocks the Ampeg, it looks ideal but I'm just a bit wary when the last Ampeg I had was so poor.
    I've got a Markbass LMIII and you honestly can't hear the fan at all at home when playing at bedroom levels. Actually I can't hear the fan on the 1000w EICH head either.. 

    500w isn't overkill - it's about headroom and as SS they perform as well on 1 as they do on 10. I'd try some - you will be amazed by the quality. And, to be honest you'll get far more reliability for your money. 

    Remember the 500w rating will be at 4 ohms normally, and at 8 ohms will be more like 350w. Into an 8 ohm 1x12 bass cab you'll be playing at about 30% vol for bedroom levels. Which means you've got a bit of headroom for jamming.

    If you are using it at home for recording and headphones I'd actually just get a Sansamp and be done with it. It sounds more like an Ampeg than an Ampeg does...


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  • BridgehouseBridgehouse Frets: 13586
    Another thought - at your price bracket, if you went a bit higher you could get a Helix LT - I've got a Helix and the b15 and Ampeg SVT models on it are, frankly, remarkable. 

    They aren't close - they are completely spot on. The Ampeg cab models are excellent and you can create an SVT with twin 8x10s and play at bedroom levels and it still sounds utterly huge.. 
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  • JezWyndJezWynd Frets: 2174
    JezWynd said:
    Thanks for the info @Bridgehouse. I take your point re ss bass amp designs but a 500 w head is probably overkill for a home player and occasional recorder. Also, most of the high output ss designs seem to require a cooling fan, which can be annoying when playing at low volume. I might see if I can find a store that stocks the Ampeg, it looks ideal but I'm just a bit wary when the last Ampeg I had was so poor.
    I've got a Markbass LMIII and you honestly can't hear the fan at all at home when playing at bedroom levels. Actually I can't hear the fan on the 1000w EICH head either.. 

    500w isn't overkill - it's about headroom and as SS they perform as well on 1 as they do on 10. I'd try some - you will be amazed by the quality. And, to be honest you'll get far more reliability for your money. 

    Remember the 500w rating will be at 4 ohms normally, and at 8 ohms will be more like 350w. Into an 8 ohm 1x12 bass cab you'll be playing at about 30% vol for bedroom levels. Which means you've got a bit of headroom for jamming.

    If you are using it at home for recording and headphones I'd actually just get a Sansamp and be done with it. It sounds more like an Ampeg than an Ampeg does...


    The Little Mark looks good, lots more features at a similar price point and the dual mids controls look useful. I'm not taken with Helix tbh, I'm sure it sounds fantastic but I've got quite an investment in pedals and I just prefer that way of working.


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  • BridgehouseBridgehouse Frets: 13586
    JezWynd said:
    JezWynd said:
    Thanks for the info @Bridgehouse. I take your point re ss bass amp designs but a 500 w head is probably overkill for a home player and occasional recorder. Also, most of the high output ss designs seem to require a cooling fan, which can be annoying when playing at low volume. I might see if I can find a store that stocks the Ampeg, it looks ideal but I'm just a bit wary when the last Ampeg I had was so poor.
    I've got a Markbass LMIII and you honestly can't hear the fan at all at home when playing at bedroom levels. Actually I can't hear the fan on the 1000w EICH head either.. 

    500w isn't overkill - it's about headroom and as SS they perform as well on 1 as they do on 10. I'd try some - you will be amazed by the quality. And, to be honest you'll get far more reliability for your money. 

    Remember the 500w rating will be at 4 ohms normally, and at 8 ohms will be more like 350w. Into an 8 ohm 1x12 bass cab you'll be playing at about 30% vol for bedroom levels. Which means you've got a bit of headroom for jamming.

    If you are using it at home for recording and headphones I'd actually just get a Sansamp and be done with it. It sounds more like an Ampeg than an Ampeg does...


    The Little Mark looks good, lots more features at a similar price point and the dual mids controls look useful. I'm not taken with Helix tbh, I'm sure it sounds fantastic but I've got quite an investment in pedals and I just prefer that way of working.


    My LMIII was £200 second hand (off Bass Chat) and I'd highly recommend any day of the week. It's my backup amp and it's a proper stalwart.

    You can DI out and it has an FX loop for all the pedals you might want. Weights about the same as a car stereo. 


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  • fftcfftc Frets: 211
    Have you tried the Aguilar Tone Hammer 350?

    Played one recently in a shop and it sounded fantastic in that old school kind of way. Bombproof build quality as well by all accounts. Worth a look if you get the chance.
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