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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 ...Click To Read More About This Product

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See All Ampeg Solid State Bass Amplifier Heads
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
 
3.9

(based on 72 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (38)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (14)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (3)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (6)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (11)

75%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Portable (41)
  • Excellent sound (38)
  • Easy to use (33)
  • Good power output (30)
  • Warm / comfy (30)

Cons

  • Weak (5)

Best Uses

  • Performances (39)
  • Outdoor events / games (23)
  • Amateur recording (22)
  • Home studio (22)
  • Professional recording (14)
    • Reviewer Profile:
    • Experienced (38), Professional musician (16)

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 72 customers

Displaying reviews 1-10

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(11 of 13 customers found this review helpful)

 
1.0

Unreliable piece of junk

By les lawson

from USA

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

I am sending it back and I will never own another.
Have sent 2 head back so far. the head goes into a a fault state and will not come back out of it. I you plug it in and play and try to put it above 6 it will start faulting. The manual says to turn the volume down when it starts faulting. by the end of the nioght you will be luck to be on 2 or worse in a locked fault state. This amp has failed on me twice on 2 seperate gigs. DEAD!
Good value but what does the value really mean when you are constantly sending the head back. Make sure you get the insurance if you buy this head.

(10 of 11 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

Great tone at a great price !

By A Mac

from Undisclosed

See all my reviews

Ask me a question

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

What a great little head, it has that great Ampeg tone and more than enough power for most gigs. I'm running it through a 4x10 HLF Classic and it has that awesome growl. Not a SVT 4 PRO by any means but it blows away any head in the price range for sure.

(9 of 9 customers found this review helpful)

 
1.0

Very disappointed not the AMPEG of old.

By Vernon Fields

from Florida

See all my reviews

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

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.

(6 of 6 customers found this review helpful)

 
2.0

Failed on the first show

By Joel Bence

from Lansing, MI

About Me Professional Musician

See all my reviews

Pros

  • Easy To Use
  • Good Warmth
  • Portable
  • Powerful

Cons

  • Weak

Best Uses

  • Amateur Recording

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

I purchased this amplifier and took it to a show. It failed on the second set of the night at a reasonable volume. After reading online that this is a common problem I will be returning the amplifier. I did not use Ultra Low or Ultra High, I rolled off the bass to 9 o'clock and everything else was flat, compressor off. Gain was 2:30 and main volume was only 11:30. I mean it sounded good, although bass heavy; but I don't feel that the reliablilty is up to par for me. If an amp cannot survive the first gig, it is useless to me.

(6 of 16 customers found this review helpful)

 
3.0

I've had better

By bryan lytle

from Undisclosed

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

This is a very queit amp. I have a eden nemesis bass amp head rated at 320 watts thats louder then the Ampeg PF-500. Since I'm an active gigging musician this is a big deal for me. Aside from how weak it is, it does have that nice ampeg tone. The mids are very rich on this head and it doesn't take much effort to dial in a nice tone. If your looking for a 500 watt head thats a great price then I suggest going with the Carvin bx500. This is what I went to after I returned the PF500, and I couldn't be happier with that decision.

(5 of 5 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

Solid Amp

By Jason Schneider

from Boston, MA

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

I play bass in a Boston-based pop/rock band. So, what's most important to me is a full, consistent sound. I don't need a lot of bells and whistles, but I like to have a lot of on-board control (so I don't need to get tone pedals or anything).

This is the best amp I've played in this pricepoint, period. I'm coming from a Hartke 3500,which lasted a while but finally kicked the bucket late last year. And the difference in sound is night and day. I'm not sure what the guy who said it lacks volume is talking about. I play in a lot of small-mid sized clubs in th area and it works more than well enough (although unless you're running your own PA setup, most clubs will DI you anyway).

In general the compression is great, the EQ controls (while more limited than the graphic option on my old Hartke) are great and I like the idea of the effects loop if I want to introduce a fuzz pedal or something into my setup. Of coruse, you can't forget about that great ampeg sound. Excellent amptotally worth every penny.

For reference:

Bass: Fender American Jazz (typically with Ernie Ball standard strings)
Cab: 4x10 Ashdown

(4 of 4 customers found this review helpful)

 
3.0

Good product, BUT.....

By disappointedinMF

from SLC

About Me Experienced

See all my reviews

Ask me a question

Pros

  • Easy To Use
  • Good Warmth
  • Powerful

Cons

    Best Uses

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

      This was a "Restock", and was a great price! UNFORTUNATELY, the shipping department for MF performed THE WORST packaging job I have EVER seen in my life!!! It arrived in a box that had been used numerous times previously, and the box had tears and holes in corners that you could litterally stick your hand through. The amp was floating aroung inside with ONE PEICE of bubble wrap partially wrapped around it, and the peice wasnt even large enough to get completly around this little amp. The box had about six inches of empty space at the ends, and the amp took a TON of abuse in shipping because of it. It was broken. I did plug it in and it worked well enough for me to gather that it is quite a nice head. I tried getting ahold of someone at MF about the packaging, as I had taken numerous pictures that I wanted to share with them so they would hopefully have better quality control, but I had no luck. No surprise I guess.

      (4 of 4 customers found this review helpful)

       
      1.0

      Head is no good and ampeg is rude

      By Brizzown

      from Dallas, TX

      About Me Experienced

      Pros

        Cons

        • Weak

        Best Uses

        • Amateur Recording
        • Events
        • Performances

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

        DO NOT BUY THIS!!! It cut out on me mid set after only owning it for a week. It did fine in the practices leading up to the show but sure enough it did exactly as the reviews said it would. On top of that, I called AMPEG to tell them about it and they were smug, non responsive, and rude. The Rep giggled under his breath and went on to tell me that "a 500 watt head isn't supposed to be used for shows" and that it wasn't used properly. . . . I have been in a band since I was about 17 years old. I'm 30 now. I think I know what I'm doing for the most part. With a line out 500 watts should be more than enough. What else would you use that many watts for? a practice amp at home? I will never buy another AMPEG product again.

        (4 of 4 customers found this review helpful)

         
        5.0

        Portaflex is Both Portable and Flexible

        By Bernie

        from Behind Door Number Two

        See all my reviews

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

        At this price it is rather hard to find an amp that weighs this little, has this many variations in sound, (love that 5 Position Mid Frequency Switch--Similar to the one on my old Roland) and sounds good for all of my basses.
        I play both Upright and Electric so I tend to need an amp that goes above and beyond the ordinary. The usual Electric Bass Guitar Amps, Fender, Peavey, etc.,tend to have a lot of phony mids voiced in so that even thje most average of bass guitars will sound good on their rig. Trouble is, Upright Basses need to have a flat signal so that they can produce the true sound of the instrument. The trouble with most amps built specifically for the upright is that they usually don't power speakers that give an electric bass with active pickups enough headroom to really sing out on anything louder than a small club jazz gig, nor do they crank enough blue juice to make an average electriic bass guitar sound very good either. Rather than carry two amps I decided to try one of these. In the end, I was impressed enough to buy it.
        Very well built, and I'd probably give her a ten, save for the fact that I wa equally impressed by a Roland Amp that got rave reviews many years ago. Said Roland amp crapped out on me at several gigs after only six months, and literally became an 80lb. paperweight on stage. I doubt this Ampeg will do that to me, but I've only been playing her for about a month now.
        If this amp is as reliable as she is good sounding--you really need to try her.

        (4 of 9 customers found this review helpful)

         
        5.0

        Just one MAJOR complaint!!....

        By Jeffrey Engle

        from Kamiah, ID.

        See all my reviews

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

        YES!, everything that I love about my SVT stack is RIGHT THERE!!!!! THIS IS GREAT!!!!EVERYTHING they say is true!!!! GET ONE!! you won't be disappointed!!!! Now that tone is at my church AND at home!!!Oh, you say, what's the MAJOR disappointment? it's simply that I had to put my sweet american Fender Jazz down to write this review!!!NO Complaints! Playing gospel is my passion! .. Jesus rocks my world!
        My name is Jeff, I've had a little problem for quite some time now you see I bought a SVT stack consisting of a SVT-450H, SVT-210HE, and an SVT-115EN that frankly has me spoiled rotten problem being that this is what I want to use whenever I play the tone!! so, if I have it at church, OH YES, but what about my living room? yes, that little BA-112 is good, but lets face it, it's just not the same.. well, I had to settle for quite a while, years as a matter of fact with this setup the sweet stuff at church OR at home.. until

        Easy on the back, Great on tone!!!!
        After day's of looking at the reviews, I ordered a Portaflex PF-115HE and a PF-500 amp from Musician's Friend.I just got them today, I opened the boxes, and, OH OH!!! the pictures don't do this guy justice!!!! I said to myself,"If this guy sounds half as good as it looks, I'm in for an awesome surprise"!!!!
        Ampeg, you've really done it this time!!

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