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1965 Ampeg Portaflex B-18-X

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by DogHouse29, Apr 15, 2018.


  1. DogHouse29

    DogHouse29

    Jul 31, 2011
    I came a crossed a portaflex and the serial number is in the range for 1965. I need to find out why the name plate that has Ampeg etched on it also has the name Walter etched on it. The etching looks to be factory. There is no one named Walter in the family history. I need to know if this is significant in any way. I am looking to purchase this and restore it to its original glory and want to make sure of it's value to make a fair offer . Any old-timers/historians here know the answer?
     
  2. JimmyM

    JimmyM

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Yamaha, Ampeg, Line 6, EMG
    Back then, you could send your logo plate to Ampeg with 50c and they would etch your name on it. So the story is that at one time it was owned by a guy named Walter, who ponied up the quarters.
     
    johnpbass and two fingers like this.
  3. DogHouse29

    DogHouse29

    Jul 31, 2011
    Thanks for the info, JimmyM. I'll move forward with accessing the possibility of owning and restoring Walter's amp.
     
    JimmyM likes this.
  4. JimmyM

    JimmyM

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Yamaha, Ampeg, Line 6, EMG
    You can always tell people you named your amp Walter. It's a good name for an amp.

    :D
     
    Bleecker, johnpbass, 10cc and 6 others like this.
  5. Haroldo

    Haroldo Supporting Member

    Aug 31, 2005
    North Shore, MA
    Mine was named 'Jim.'
     
    JimmyM likes this.
  6. beans-on-toast

    beans-on-toast Supporting Member

    Aug 7, 2008
    JimmyM likes this.
  7. beans-on-toast

    beans-on-toast Supporting Member

    Aug 7, 2008
    Just in case you aren’t aware of this, the B-18X is a general purpose 50W amp intended for guitar, bass, and even keyboard.

    It is not the same as the B-18N or B15N which are bass amps. Nor are the B-18X cabinets the same.

    I’m not in any way saying that the B-18X is a bad amp, it’s just not what you might think it is. Some people see Portaflex and think that they are all the same.
     
  8. DogHouse29

    DogHouse29

    Jul 31, 2011
    I am aware that the B-18-X is a multichannel instrument amp and I also play guitar, drums and keys with bass and vocals as my go to. I was never in the market for a flip top because I have my SVT Classic however this piece of history is sitting in my studio. I also own and play accordian and it has that right on the the amp thanks to Everette Hull. I am not sure I even want to own this
     
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2018
    beans-on-toast likes this.
  9. DogHouse29

    DogHouse29

    Jul 31, 2011
    I am also finding tons of parts and tech info on the B-15-N but very little about the X as if it were more rare
     
  10. JimmyM

    JimmyM

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Yamaha, Ampeg, Line 6, EMG
    It totally was more rare, even back then.
     
  11. beans-on-toast

    beans-on-toast Supporting Member

    Aug 7, 2008
    When Ampeg said that the amp could be used with keyboard, I think that they meant accordion. :laugh:
     
    johnpbass likes this.
  12. dbase

    dbase Gold Supporting Member

    Jan 3, 2008
    South Jersey, USA..
    I once used an Ampeg that was named "Oliver". It was a loaner from the music store that looked exactly like an Ampeg but the head would rise out of the cab via a sewing machine motor. I 'm thinking Oliver used to be one of the Ampeg founders who went out on his own?
     
  13. beans-on-toast

    beans-on-toast Supporting Member

    Aug 7, 2008
    Check out the TalkBass Portaflex Wiki. There is a schematic for the B-18X. In general, service information that applies to B-15N applies to the B-18X. Fliptops.net is a source of some parts.

    Otherwise ask questions in the Portaflex Club:

    Official Ampeg Portaflex Club

    Wiki:

    Ampeg Portaflex Wiki | TalkBass.com


    User Manuals | TalkBass.com
     
  14. JimmyM

    JimmyM

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Yamaha, Ampeg, Line 6, EMG
    He wasn't a founder, but Jess Oliver did work for Ampeg and invented the portaflex series among others.
     
    dbase likes this.
  15. two fingers

    two fingers Opinionated blowhard. But not mad about it. Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2005
    Eastern NC USA
    Walter is a great name for a 53 year old fliptop.

    Please post a NAD (New Amp Day) thread if you get it!
     
  16. beans-on-toast

    beans-on-toast Supporting Member

    Aug 7, 2008
    Jess Oliver left Ampeg and started his own company. I saw a B-15 with the name Andre engraved on the plate. It didn’t look at all like the owner.


    988D97FD-CCAD-43FA-8813-D771685C92B9.jpeg
     
    DaveDeVille, coreyfyfe and dbase like this.
  17. DogHouse29

    DogHouse29

    Jul 31, 2011
    The B-18-X was not paired with the matching 18" cabinet but rather a slightly newer B15S. After inspecting the tubes and general condition I decided to plug it an, warm it up and see if it works. The punch and tone reminded me of a lot of recordings I've listened to over the years and nothing like what I hear from modern amps. Clear tone with no hum just a slight vibration from low E but I was running volume at about 10 o'clock. The owner is out of town for a month so I'm gonna spend some time with it and try different instruments. Thanks again for the info and I'll post a pic if I can work a deal..
     
    JimmyM and beans-on-toast like this.
  18. DogHouse29

    DogHouse29

    Jul 31, 2011
    I used my P bass but can't wait to hear my Stingray4 with it however the Music man sounds good in any amp
     
  19. beans-on-toast

    beans-on-toast Supporting Member

    Aug 7, 2008
    Here are a couple of files related to your "combo" amp.
     

    Attached Files:

  20. wagdog

    wagdog

    Mar 20, 2000
    Der Waffle Haus
    Try it with an accordion and post a vid.
     
    DogHouse29 likes this.
  21. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

     
    Apr 17, 2021

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