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Ampeg PF-500 Portaflex 500W Bass Amp Head   

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Ampeg's Portaflex PF-500 bass head delivers a staggering 500W of power in an ultra-compact design providing pure Ampeg tone in an extremely portable ...Read More

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OVERVIEW

Heavyweight history in a lightweight design.

Ampeg's Portaflex PF-500 bass head delivers a staggering 500W of power in an ultra-compact design providing pure Ampeg tone in an extremely portable package. Precise tone controls and gig-friendly input/output options provide ultimate flexibility. Pair it with Ampeg's PF Series flip-top cabinets for the vintage styling and portability of the iconic Portaflex originals.

The tone stack on the PF-500 provides an extensive array of tone controls for shaping your sound. Bass, mid, and treble controls come standard with a 5-position mid switch for finding the perfect midrange level for your sound. Ultra Hi/Lo boosts add even more on-the-fly options, and an onboard compressor keeps your levels in check and your tone punchy and tight.

At the gig or in the studio, the PF-500 is ready for action with a balanced direct out with pre/post-EQ selector, -40dB pad, and ground lift. An effects loop with dedicated mix control is footswitchable with the optional Ampeg AFP2 2-button switch.

FEATURES
  • 500W RMS output @ 4 ohms
  • MOSFET preamp
  • Class D power amp
  • Bass, mid, treble tone controls with 5-position mid frequency control
  • Ultra Hi/Lo boosts
  • Onboard compressor
  • Balanced direct out with pre/post-EQ option, -40dB pad, and ground lift
  • FX loop with dedicated mix control (footswitchable with optional AFP2 switch)
  • Power amp in/ preamp out
  • 1/8" headphone out/line in
  • -15dB input pad
  • Mute (footswitchable with optional AFP2 switch)
  • Power supply: switching

Travel light without sacrificing tone or power. Order your PF-500 today!

SPECIFICATIONS

PF-500 Portaflex 500W Bass Amp Head

  • 14"W x 3"H x 11"D
    11lb.
Reviews
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Review Snapshot

by PowerReviews
AmpegPF-500 Portaflex 500W Bass Amp Head
 
3.8

(based on 71 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (37)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (14)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (3)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (6)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (11)

74%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Portable (40)
  • Excellent sound (37)
  • Easy to use (32)
  • Good power output (29)
  • Warm / comfy (29)

Cons

  • Weak (5)

Best Uses

  • Performances (38)
  • Outdoor events / games (22)
  • Amateur recording (21)
  • Home studio (21)
  • Professional recording (13)
    • Reviewer Profile:
    • Experienced (38), Professional musician (15)

Most Liked Positive Review

 

Good value

I have had this head for about a year and still cannot decide if I love it or just like it. The features are very well thought out and are well documented. When playing...Read complete review

I have had this head for about a year and still cannot decide if I love it or just like it. The features are very well thought out and are well documented. When playing at controlled volumes and running out to the FOH system it is really really good. The issue I have is when I have a couple cabinets hooked up it just does not have that high current punch of a conventional amp. I play a BSX Allegro upright electric, a Fender Precision A/E fretless, or an old p-bass and all work well with it. I use it with a wide assortment of cabs, mainly when as a stand alone with a single Mark Bass 2 10. The Mark Bass is efficient enough that the little Ampeg never breathes hard, sounds fantastic , and never breaks a sweat. When I hook up a second 2 10 it's weird. If both are connected to the amp it will start cutting out at even moderate volume. If the cabs
are daisey chained it will not cut out but just kind of loses low end punch. I also
have an old Ampeg PR1528HE that is a beast and the Ampeg falls flat trying to
power it at high volume, especially when I use one of the 2 10 s on top. I have
gone back to using the Ampeg as a preamplifier and running a 900 watt stereo
amp to the cabs. That combo kills but it kind of defeats the purpose of the light
weight having to haul around another 4 space rack and with the weird size of the
Ampeg it just makes for kind of a messy set up. I actually have been playing around with just velcroing it to the power amp so it can sit in the small rack for portability and just using it as a pre amp, it really does sound good.I would definately still buy another one as it is a really cool little amp. It just has limitations. I also have a Phil Jones Suitcase with a 4b cabinet and for jazz or small gigs it kills the Ampeg on all counts. Granted it is close to $2000 so it should. It kind of leaves the Ampeg in the middle, not as good for smaller gigs and unable to do it alone on big ones.

VS

Most Liked Negative Review

 

Very disappointed not the AMPEG of old.

After using for about 15 minutes it sounded great and then it died, they replaced it right away. I didn't gig with it for a while and when I did, it died again....Read complete review

After using for about 15 minutes it sounded great and then it died, they replaced it right away. I didn't gig with it for a while and when I did, it died again. This time they had me take it to Ampeg repair shop and 6 weeks later still no sigh of it ( still wating for Parts ).
Has nice features just like my SVT. Lots of the same control setting and nice and lite the cab and amp weight less than my SVT head. To bad it failed two times right in the middle of gigs.
Looks great the cab rattles when turned up. This is not the Ampeg I know and Love.
Fair price should have spend more money for something better.

Reviewed by 71 customers

Displaying reviews 1-10

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1.0

I would never buy again

By Pete

from NC

About Me Experienced

Pros

  • Easy To Use
  • Excellent Sound
  • Good Warmth
  • Portable
  • Powerful

Cons

  • Weak

Best Uses

    Comments about Ampeg PF-500 Portaflex 500W Bass Amp Head:

    I loved it at first, even wrote a good review, three weeks later, sitting in my studio it cut out, no sound, turned it off, then back on, played a little more, and cut out again, I only had it on the lowest volume each time, turned it up a little more, did it again, was very disappointed, I thought ampeg was good, it might be in other models, but not the porteflex 500, returned it for a fender rumble 500, and I'm very happy with the sound, and power, it seems to have more power and volume then the ampeg, I just turned the volume up about a 1/8 inch, and its loud. The ampeg, I had to turn the volume 1 inch, to get the volume that I get out of the fender.

     
    4.0

    Solid, after a fix

    By Caroline

    from Denver, Colorado

    About Me Experienced

    Pros

    • Easy To Use
    • Excellent Sound
    • Good Warmth
    • Portable
    • Powerful

    Cons

    • One fault

    Best Uses

    • Performances

    Comments about Ampeg PF-500 Portaflex 500W Bass Amp Head:

    I've had this head for a few years, running through an old Ampeg BSE410H cab. It failed on me once the first time I used it consistently for gigs one summer, fault light came on in the middle of a show and never made a sound after that. But it was fixed under warranty for free, I did have to drive it a couple hours away to a location. After that it's been perfect. Not quite suitable for any remotely professional recording running the amp directly in, due to a hiss in the treble that can't really be stifled unless you completely squish the tone that you probably wanted. However just playing through any cab it's inaudible, I didn't notice it for years until I tried to record with it. Overall it's fantastic for the price, size, and features.

     
    5.0

    Great sounding bass amp head

    By Pete

    from NC

    About Me Experienced

    Verified Buyer

    Pros

    • Easy To Use
    • Excellent Sound
    • Good Warmth
    • Portable
    • Powerful

    Cons

      Best Uses

      • Amateur Recording
      • Home Studio
      • Performances

      Comments about Ampeg PF-500 Portaflex 500W Bass Amp Head:

      This amp is excellent I have no complaints, hopefully I never do. Good heavy deep bass sound

      (1 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

       
      2.0

      This Ampeg PF500 is simply not reliable

      By Steb

      from KC

      About Me Experienced

      Pros

      • Easy To Use
      • Excellent Sound
      • Portable

      Cons

      • I must be crazy becuase I still buy this stuff

      Best Uses

      • Performances

      Comments about Ampeg PF-500 Portaflex 500W Bass Amp Head:

      Years ago I bought a PF350, it failed and I had it repaired. The repaired unit faled and was replaced. That was sold to get a PF500 to drive 2 cabinates. The -500 failed during a gig I wound up playing through the sound board for the last set. I want to get off of this AMPEG merry go round! The PF series is simply not reliable, if you want the advantages of portability and great sound buy 2, eventually you WILL need the backup.

      (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

       
      5.0

      Great Sound at a great price

      By Guitar Sam

      from Peoria, IL

      About Me Experienced

      Verified Reviewer

      Pros

      • Easy To Use
      • Excellent Sound
      • Good Warmth
      • Portable
      • Powerful

      Cons

        Best Uses

        • Amateur Recording
        • Events
        • Home Studio
        • Performances
        • Professional Recording

        Comments about Ampeg PF-500 Portaflex 500W Bass Amp Head:

        I decided to update my setup for the local rock band I play with. I was using a Peavey Combo TnT and just felt like I needed more power and a cleaner sound. I feel this amp has done that. I didn't have the cash for the Ampeg cabinet too, so I got a Peavey Headliner 115. I think the whole setup sounds great. My band immediately noticed my sound was a lot cleaner. The compression knob helps with keeping the sound tight and clean at higher volumes.

        This amp has all the outputs you need. Every once in a while I play a show with professional sound, and the sound guys always like having the direct outs. There is a pre- and post- eq button so the sound man can either use my eq setup or apply his own on the soundboard. There is a line out for recording, and a tuner out for people who have a rack mounted tuner, as well as in and out for external effects.

        I was slightly concerned before I bought it, seemed like quite a few people had problems with the fans having to be replaced. But I've had mine for over six months, played outdoor in the extreme heat, left it overnight in my cold car (i know i know shame on me), and have played probably 30 or more gigs (4 hours each) and have not had a single problem with it

        All in all it was a nice upgrade to my bass sound and it didn't cost me that much. I'm very happy with it.

        (2 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

         
        4.0

        Loud and lightweight

        By Mo' Cowbell

        from Taos, NM

        About Me Professional Musician

        Ask me a question

        Verified Buyer

        Pros

        • Good Warmth
        • Powerful

        Cons

          Best Uses

          • Performances

          Comments about Ampeg PF-500 Portaflex 500W Bass Amp Head:

          I use this Ampeg with my SVT 1-18" cabinet, another head and an SVT 4-10" bass cabinet. I use the DI from the Portaflex 500 and this system is full and gives great tone variation. The head fits in a duffle bag and is the lightest piece of gear on stage. I chose the 500 because it received the best reviews, make sure you order the cabinet with the remove able top panel if you want the Portaflex feature. I have used the tube version of the older Ampeg series and the new transistor versions are louder plus still have that Ampeg bass tone.

          (0 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

           
          1.0

          I WILL NEVER BUY FROM AMPEG(LOUD TECHNOLOGIES) AGAIN

          By SJ

          from Southeast

          About Me Professional Musician

          Ask me a question

          Verified Reviewer

          Pros

            Cons

            • TERRIBLE RELIABILITY AND WORSE CUSTOMER SUPPORT

            Best Uses

              Comments about Ampeg PF-500 Portaflex 500W Bass Amp Head:

              I have had this amp for less than 2 years and was disappointed when it began to power on in and remain in fault mode.It died in the middle of a church service. I contacted the manufacturer and gave them my information and was instructed to send to an authorized repair shop for coverage under warranty. I sent the amp in at my expense 2 months ago, and today the repair tech told me that Loud Tech emailed him that the product was a B product and not covered under their usual warranty. I aaume that is because it was a factory restock. Do they think consumers who are looking for a good deal on a product only want it to last 90 days? Isn't a factory restock AMPEG still an AMPEG? In addition to lack of communication form the company, I have been without my main performance amp for 2 months, and I am out a 20 in shipping. I gave them all the information including the sales receipt 2 month ago. If it wasn't covered they should have told me at that point. Every other reputable company that I have dealt with before has bent over backwards to stand behind their product. i will not spend any more of my money on AMPEG/LOUD TECHNOLOGY products.

              (0 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

               
              5.0

              So far, so good.

              By GDH_East_Bay

              from San leandro, CA

              About Me Professional Musician

              Verified Buyer

              Pros

              • Easy To Use
              • Portable

              Cons

                Best Uses

                • Amateur Recording
                • Events
                • Home Studio
                • Performances
                • Professional Recording

                Comments about Ampeg PF-500 Portaflex 500W Bass Amp Head:

                Just got it. Used it once at a live show. Not bad. And, wow... this thing is light!

                (0 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

                 
                4.0

                I love the amp

                By Hobosong

                from Brooklyn

                About Me Novice

                Pros

                • Excellent Sound

                Cons

                  Best Uses

                    Comments about Ampeg PF-500 Portaflex 500W Bass Amp Head:

                    I'm using this as a practice amp at home, but I'm sure it will be plenty for any upcoming gigs. It sounds like an ampeg, and when I play it through my PF-210HE cabinet, it sounds excellent.

                    (0 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

                     
                    4.0

                    used@gig&practice=ok so far

                    By don

                    from TacomaWA

                    About Me Experienced

                    Pros

                    • Easy To Use
                    • Looks Good
                    • Portable

                    Cons

                    • Limited Functions

                    Best Uses

                    • Events
                    • Performances

                    Comments about Ampeg PF-500 Portaflex 500W Bass Amp Head:

                    This was restock. I looked 2 find best price even AFTER bought. I read & reread ALL reviews. When I got it[UPS]box was open & no papers\books\info but a single slip of paper from MF. That day I put in pair of 8 ohm[makes 4 ohms]put in bass, plug amp in wall, it lit up cuz it was already turned on rite out of th box. Played couple hours=worked fine. Turned it off, went 2 sleep, next day played another couple hours=did fine. 3rd day same thing. Played gig=did fine. next week used it @practice. Did well, week later another practice NO ISSUES, only thing is if mid tone knob is below 50% then 5 way select switch makes little change. Since I had no paper from ampeg I paid 2 year MF protection so even after that it was STILL best price=6 bux over 3hunderd. Only thing close was CarvinBX500=i had it already & it cost bit more but hard 2 make sound good. Lite weight[less than 3Lbs] but looks ugly. As restock this[Ampeg]was luck I guess\hope it lasts more than 2 year MF protection. Can't say I'd tell ya get new cuz they WAY over carvin price.

                    Displaying reviews 1-10

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