Ampeg B-15R (Any Tweaks?)

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by main_sale, Apr 27, 2004.

  1. main_sale


    Apr 26, 2004
    Cape Cod
    I have a stock B-15R with B-15E extension cabinet. In comparison to my '67 B-15-N, the B-15R just dows not sound that good. Does anyone know of any tweaks I can do to the B-15R to improve its tone? Mind you, I think the B-15R is an excellent amp, but it is not as good tonewise as my B-15-N. :crying:
  2. MrBonex


    Jan 2, 2004
    New Hampshire
    I think it would be helpful if you could describe what's wrong with the tone and where you'd like to go with it.

    That said, my experience is that new Ampegs ship with pretty bad tubes. So I'd start there! JJ, ElectroHarmonix, and SED are among the best "new" tubes (at least that's what my amp tech tells me!). NOS is always appropriate if you want to come closer to that good old sound -- but keep in mind, the new Ampeg uses different tubes than the old one.

    Secondly, I usually dislike the stock speakers which can contribute a HUGE amount to your tonal package. I would consider upgrading to EVM, a nice old JBL (reconed, of course), even a premium Celestion cast-frame if you like a more Brit tone.
  3. main_sale


    Apr 26, 2004
    Cape Cod
    The B-15-N is lush, full and buttery smooth sounding. The B-15R is thinner, dryer and harsher. Played side-by-side, you can really hear the difference. The B-15-N came with Groove Tubes and I'm looking into different tubes for it. Actually the new USA made Groove Tube GT6L6GE and 12AX7M (Mullard) get good reviews and I might give those a try. I hadn't thought of a speaker change, but I am now.
  4. The two amps sound different because they are completely different designs. The B15N is 30 watt design with a tube rectifier and preamp/drive system using a VERY old tube. The B15R is a combo version of the V4BH, SLM's version of the original V4B. It's 100 watts, has a solid state rectifier with a more modern preamp. They aren't going to sound the same.

    BTW, Groove Tubes' new "US made" tubes are actually made in China.
  5. main_sale


    Apr 26, 2004
    Cape Cod
    Yes, I know they are different. I was just looking for some advice as to how I can make my B-15R sound better.
  6. Biggest change in sound would come from a speaker change. I recommend an old Altec 421A or JBL E-140.


    AMJBASS Supporting Member

    Jan 8, 2002
    Ontario, Canada
    You could use NOS 6L6's and bias them to run a little hotter. It would warm up the tone. It would also break up a little quicker and you'll go through tubes faster. It is however worth it IMO.