I am officially an Ampeg artist and anytime I play a gig/show/date, you will see a pile of Ampeg amps behind me! I started with the Ampeg SVT in 1988 when big amps were still the rage. I had a 1981 Magnavox era, and a 1971 Blue Line original. Run some original 8x10 cabinets and you could be entertained while going deaf within the first few notes. I embraced Trace Elliot in 1992 and stayed on those amps for a number of years, still carrying a large supply of heads and cabs to gigs.
With the advent of the idea that "smaller is better" in bass amps, I started to try out the Class D amps to see what would work for me in certain situations. There are a number of the smaller packaged amps that pack a large volume punch so I figured I would see what the hype was about and try the "flavor of the week". I won't mention names, but I can tell you that I blew up one or two of them and was not happy with the tones I heard from three or four others.
One of my good friends recommended I come back to Ampeg and try the new PortaFlex series of Class D heads. I spoke with the artist rep, Dino, at summer NAMM and decided that what I had been missing was right under my nose after all.
I started my Ampeg journey with the PortaFlex 800 (PF800 for short). I have used this amp on a variety of performances already and found that classic sound I had been struggling to find. It is a versatile amp that I can use in most situations mated with a strong cabinet. I have taken it on some larger gigs and it has not failed me on the performance side. Part of me misses the large rigs that I used to play through so.....
My next step on the gig with Ampeg is to rebuild the large rig that I once had and even MAKE IT BIGGER (insert evil laugh here)...
I am all about using live cabinets, not empties that 'look' live. I was all about the old school '75 Ampeg rig that Gene Simmons used with KISS on the Alive record so I think it needs to happen in that order for my large rig. Ironically, I filmed a spot for a TV show last year and used the very rig I am building now.
Think I can get away with this on tour?
Anyway, I will simply say that Ampeg does for me what NO other amp can do and I am all about it!
If you have questions about the functionality etc of the Ampeg SVT or the PF800, comment below and I will be glad to answer them quickly!
Until next time!!