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Ampeg B-15S

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by BawanaRik, Oct 19, 2013.

  1. BawanaRik


    Mar 6, 2012
    New Jersey
    I know I should walk away but I have a line on a B-15s. What I really want is a early 60s b-15 but as it's been said, you can't always get what you want.

    Allegedly it has the Altec speaker.

    How B-15 is this amp? I know it's a PC board and I'm not feeling that. But PC boards are a fact of life.

    Should I stick with my Univalve or go for the real thing?
  2. christw

    christw Get low!

    May 11, 2008
    Dayton OH
    I want to be Tesla (tinkerer at Dayton Amp Co)
    Wait for what you want. I did and it's worth it. It allows you to save more money, do more research, and make sure you make the right decision when the time comes.
  3. Well the B15S IIRC is the SS rectifier version and as far as PCB's they didn't seem to make the SVT or V4-B suffer in any way.
  4. P Town

    P Town

    Dec 7, 2011
    Go for it. You can never have enough amps.
  5. Jeff Scott

    Jeff Scott Rickenbacker guru.......... Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2006
    If it weren't for the weight of them I could have bought two at the same time, they were sitting side by side at the shop. Boy did they sound good; of course they are real B-15s more so that the B-15R IMHO.
  6. beans-on-toast

    beans-on-toast Supporting Member

    Aug 7, 2008
    Check out the Band's Last Waltz on YouTube. Rick Danko was playing a B-15S on stage for those shows. It's a nice amp. At 60W it was more power than a 25W or 30W B-15N.
  7. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    Not played one but never heard a bit of complaint from anyone. PCB's were commonplace in B-15's after 65 anyway.
  8. Giorgetto

    Giorgetto Fingers on 4 Flatwounds

    Dec 29, 2008
    Near Tinseltown
    Artist Relationship: Wilkins-Ampeg-La Bella
    One of my all time favorite amps. Mine had the Altec 421A in it and I would probably still be playing it if it were not so darn heavy to move around.
  9. bcamp


    Jul 9, 2013
    Only one way to tell for sure - take your bass, a cable and plug into the amp and play it. If you can't play it, walk away. If you can play it, you'll know whether you want within seconds. That's how it worked for me with my V4B in 1972. Still have it...still love it. Good luck!
  10. Psychobassguy

    Psychobassguy Banned

    Oct 14, 2013
    Get the B-15S, and then get a 70's B-15N and you'll be able to cover just about any studio bass tone outside of metal.
  11. B15S; I owned and used a B15S for over twenty years. Some of those years it was used every day, a few where it was just weekends. Several years were of sporadic use. It spent much of its travel time in an Anvil flight case. My amp had been returned to the store by an accordionist who thought it was too loud. I originally wanted a regular, good ol’ B15F(?). The store replaced the speaker, put in new tubes and gave me a brand new cover (the case was a later investment). While loved, it was occasionally stored in loving status in the band trailer. I signed a note and left the place with the amp and no money down, just a promise to get it in their within the next few days. This would have been around the December of 1974.

    Someone once told me the cabinet was basically ½ of the BT140 cabinet, maybe was I do not know.

    It will not sound identical to either an N or an F, can’t happen. It will get very close to the F. The sound is maybe closer to ½ of a V4B head.

    That amp was pushed with a 1974 P with tape wounds, an Ampeg Baby Bass, an Ibanez Artist(?) with tape wounds, an off brand short scale Decca with Tape wounds, and the majority of the time a Guild JSII with tape wounds.

    Dizzy Gillespie’s bassist used one, at least in the winter of 1975-1976.

    The only repair needed was it did have a resistor crack, if memory serves it was on one of the power tube sockets, so the shop replaced of with a higher wattage, and they did the same on the other power tube socket.

    Yes of course it ran out of power sometimes, but that meant the band was too loud. It never ran out of power in C&W bars, weddings, supper clubs, etc. It did at High School Auditoriums and such. It alway did fine with support.

    The speaker it came with was a CTS 15G54B. Later I used a Gollehon which made most everything sound woody and string bassish. About ½ of its life with me it was loaded with a JBL K140, that was a bad match for the cab I think. It would get barky, and lacked note definition. Of course tubes, hum buckers and tape wounds may have influenced that.

    As extension cabinets, I have used a 360 loaded with a Pyle, an EV 18” in a Homebrew cabinet, and 2x10 cab.Seldom were extension cabs used.

    That amp is way heavy by today’s standards. Back in 1974 compared to many it was average. It is an Ampeg, and they were seldom considered a light amp.

    I did not have the tilt back leg, but when placed on top of the case, it was much closer to ear level, and that worked well.

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