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Ampeg B100R power detachable AC cord

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by lpdeluxe, Aug 15, 2007.


  1. lpdeluxe

    lpdeluxe Still rockin'

    Nov 22, 2004
    Deep E Texas
    I have been gigging with an Ampeg B100R for the last year and a half, and I love it. I set it on a stand onstage, run a cord from the line out to the PA, and I'm ready to rock and roll.

    One thing has really bugged me about it: a non-detachable power cord. What I've been doing is fold it up and wrap a Velcro strap around it, then run the strap around the handle -- inelegant, and awkward when you want to grab it by the handle.

    I first thought I wanted to install an IEC socket in the back of the amp. My second idea was to simply attach some posts -- there is a long rectangular space in the back of the amp, which looks like it was designed for this purpose) -- for wrapping the cord around. But I came up with a simpler solution that doesn't involve cutting on the amp.

    Before electric drills got to where they were all battery powered, they sported "pigtails:" short AC cords that were designed to plug into an extension, making storage in fitted cases easier. I decided to apply the principal to the amplifier.

    At the local hardware store I bought an in-line 3-conductor replacement plug, and the corresponding socket (the cashier asked me if they were both the same -- they were in boxes -- and I said, "no, it's a male and a female. I need a breeding pair").

    I cut the AC cord to a length where it and the plug I was adding would fit inside the indentation below the removable panel on the back of the amplifier.

    Be VERY CAREFUL to observe correct polarity. The convention is black wire to brass screw (inside the new plug/socket), white wire to silver screw, and green wire to green screw. Depending on the age and originality of your amp, these colors may be meaningless, and care must be taken to avoid frying its innards.

    I pulled the back panel off the Ampeg before I started cutting on the cord, and was gratified to see a green wire coming out of the cord that was screwed into the chassis, obviously the ground; and the other two were black and white, which reassured me (I once rewired a house built in the '30s, with the old peg and knob wiring: over the years, Romax had been patched into it, and you'd find a stretch of black and white wire that then had another piece spliced into it with reverse polarity. It's a wonder the old place had survived all those years).

    And don't just match up the color coding of the male and female parts, with the idea that it doesn't matter as long as both are the same: sooner or later, somebody [probably you, dummy] will grab another cord to plug the pigtail into and, bye-bye electronics.

    Then I attached the female socket to the end of the cut-off cord, making it, in effect, an 8' extension to the pigtail on the amp.

    The final touch was to stick a length of adhesive-backed Velcro --the side with the hooks -- to the back side of the indentation.

    I pull them apart when I load up, wrap the Velcro strap around both the detached cord and the pigtail (remembering to wrap it with the hooks on the inside) and slap the bundled cord against the Velcro on the amp, which holds it in place until the next gig.

    Naturally, variations will work on a wide range of amplifiers, and somebody may come up with a better solution. I went with readily available components, low cost, and ease of installation.
     
  2. anderbass

    anderbass

    Dec 20, 2005
    Phoenix. Az.
    Congrats on your mod.
    I've always just looped my power cord and stored it in a port.

    A couple (10-cent) cord-winding pegs in the recessed area would have
    been a logical thing for Ampeg to have included with these great amps.

    DSCN1415.
     
  3. lpdeluxe

    lpdeluxe Still rockin'

    Nov 22, 2004
    Deep E Texas
    Ya gotta wonder...was that what they were thinking when they designed that trench?

    I like what you did, but I could never seem to wrap it that neatly.
     
  4. main_sale

    main_sale

    Apr 26, 2004
    Cape Cod
    In spite of this inconvenience, you 'gotta admit that the B-100R is one fine bass amp for the money. Mine has been absolutely bomb proof for more than 5 years now.
     
  5. I've got the B200R and it has a built in velcro strap that wraps around the power cord in the recessed area. It works pretty well and that amp freakin thumps man!! I guess they made a small upgrade to fix that problem with the B200R, but y'all have some ingenious ways of coping with it!
     
  6. Freddels

    Freddels Musical Anarchist

    Apr 7, 2005
    Sutton, MA
    No pics, no mod. :)
     
  7. lpdeluxe

    lpdeluxe Still rockin'

    Nov 22, 2004
    Deep E Texas
    Absolutely. the B100R replaced a 1963 B15N that I bought from the original owner in 1982 (makes you wonder why I was worried over a little issue like the power cord!). As I explained to a friend, the B15N was "40 watts and 100 lb, and the B100R is 100 watts and 65 lb." :p

    No fragile, rare (the story is that when the RCA rep visited Ampeg, he'd do the hard sell on all the tubes he couldn't get any one else to buy, and Everett Hull would snap 'em up) and expensive tubes, shaky 44-year-old construction (the guy I bought it from was in the Air Force, and the Ampeg literally travelled around the world...and looked it), or non-existent ergonomics; the B100R is small, relatively light, robust, good looking, and it sounds very good. :smug:

    Note that I don't play slammin' bass. But I throw it in the back of my Toyota Matrix, carry it to the gig, set it up on an amp stand, plug it into a channel on the PA, plug in my bass, and I'm ready to go.

    If I were just now buying a combo, I'd go for the B200R, from all I've heard, but I'm happy with this one. I use a Music Man HD130 head and a Hartke 410XL for practice, and they are pretty close in sound (yeah, I'm a retro guy) but the Ampeg doesn't weigh 150 lb.:D
     
  8. lpdeluxe

    lpdeluxe Still rockin'

    Nov 22, 2004
    Deep E Texas
    here ya go
     

    Attached Files:

  9. anderbass

    anderbass

    Dec 20, 2005
    Phoenix. Az.
    It kinda looks like your left port tube has fallen off its mounting flange. (mine did the same thing)
    You can simply reach in, put your hand through the tube and work it firmly back onto its mount.
     
  10. lpdeluxe

    lpdeluxe Still rockin'

    Nov 22, 2004
    Deep E Texas
    Yeah, I do that from time to time.:D
     
  11. jacobmyers

    jacobmyers

    Aug 28, 2007
    Jackson, MI
    The 'pigtail' is a good idea. I think that the IEC connector would be the way I'd do it. They come in various lengths, so one could pack situation-specific power cables (and who doesn't have five six-foot IEC cables laying around?) It'd probably void the warranty but so would the other stuff I'd have to do to a B200R to 'make it mine'.

    The cheap-looking speaker cable would be replaced by 'real' speaker cable and Switchcraft 90-degree plug. I'm sure that there'd be no difference in signal quality but I'd feel better knowing that it was 'done right'. I'd probably go through the cabling inside the speaker cab and replace it (soldering as I go).

    My main 'bummer' is that the B200R doesn't seem to have any 110VAC NEMA outlets on the chassis. Both of my older amps do. I rarely use effects but when I do, I use 110VAC effects exclusively. I've had 9VDC stompboxes but never actually end up using them because their older (110VAC) cousins usually sound better to me. So I've been 'spoiled' by the fact that I can plug a power strip into my amp. It cuts one more thing out of the pre/post-gig 'did I remember that?' equation. I like it. Gonna have to make that B200R conform to my world view...

    When (and if) I get one of these, I'll make a page or two showing before and after pictures and show the mod process in detail. I'll also open the amp and show its innards to the world, since it appears that no one has done that yet.

    There's a good (honest and reliable) 'amp guy' in the area and I'm plenty capable myself, so the warranty (in the long term) really isn't a concern of mine. I put new equipment through a torture test in the first day or so and never push it 'quite that hard' again. My rationale for this is that I'll know the what the amp is capable of and if it doesn't blow up in the first day, it should be smooth sailing after that.

    Anyway; I like the 'pigtail' mod. I'm looking forward to getting my hands (and Dremel and soldering iron) on one of these amps in the near future. Stay tuned.
     
  12. jacobmyers

    jacobmyers

    Aug 28, 2007
    Jackson, MI
    The IEC mod and the extra outlets would both void the Ampeg warranty. Boo-hoo.
     

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