I posted this in the PF350/PF500 thread, but I know a lot of you don't read it, so I'm starting a new thread about it, too. I went and took my 1964 B-15N and my 2011 solid state Portaflex rig and did a direct comparison, and recorded the results. Please do me a favor, though...download the clips and don't play them through your web browser. I have a limit on my download bytes, and sometimes opening them up more than once results in downloading them again.
Here's what I used:
1964 Ampeg B-15N set with tone controls at noon, moderate volume
2011 Ampeg PF350 set to emulate a sound close to the B-15N at noon, moderate volume
2008 Vintage Blue double baffle B-15 cab with Eminence Delta 15a (tried to use my original cab with the 1966 Ampeg CTS, but it rattled too much...they sound the same anyway)
2011 PF115he cab
1976 Fender Precision with 62 Reissue P and Dimarzio Ultrajazz J, and lightly dead roundwounds
Signal path was always bass > amp > Heil PR40 mic > Art Tube MP pre > M-Audio 2496 soundcard
The first two clips are the B-15N with each cab, P pickup only, tweeter off: http://www.fileden.com/files/2008/4/...15-B15-76P.mp3 http://www.fileden.com/files/2008/4/...-PF115-76P.mp3
The next two are the PF350 with each cab, P pickup only, tweeter off: http://www.fileden.com/files/2008/4/...50-B15-76P.mp3 http://www.fileden.com/files/2008/4/...-PF115-76P.mp3
The last clip is to demonstrate the compression driver in the PF115he. I did a short slap riff using both pickups 4 times, first with the B-15 cab, then the PF115he with tweeter off, then the tweeter at -6db, then full on. Head was the PF350. http://www.fileden.com/files/2008/4/...-full-76PJ.mp3
And many of you wonder why I only mic and never DI if I can help it! Seriously, now...get real!
Quite honestly, the results scared me! I knew the PF rig was good, but I never knew it sounded THIS good and THIS close to the real thing. I'll leave it to you guys to nitpick the details, but as far as I'm concerned, it doesn't get any closer to the 60's B-15 sound without having tubes and a double baffle cab.
Now bear in mind that I don't have the highest quality signal path, so when you hear and play through these rigs, it will become more apparent to you as to why I'm still keeping the B-15N. Tubes add a dimension to the sound that just can't be duplicated 100% with solid state, and some might pick up on that with these recordings, though some does get lost in translation. But solid state tube emulation is quantum leaps from what it was 10 years ago, or even 5, and it's certainly of a very high quality. So I'll be rocking the PF rig onstage quite often.
Take a listen and leave comments if you wish.