Ampeg b15 N Dating and restoration?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Bluesman89, Feb 23, 2010.


  1. Bluesman89

    Bluesman89

    Nov 24, 2008
    I just recently purchased a vintage ampeg B15 N and i would love to restore it to its former glory whoever had it before me put Ugly Carpet on it different handles and moved and replaced the speaker jack towards the bottom of the back of the cab i am trying to figure out what year it is that way i can Restore it properly i know what tolexe to get and handles and corners but i am not sure if it originally had the 4 pin speaker conector what the grill cloth was and dollly connectors can anyone shed light on my situation?
     
  2. pmcd

    pmcd

    Feb 22, 2006
    Denver,CO
    Got any pics?

    As far as parts and whatnot, www.fliptops.net are the guys....
     
  3. Bluesman89

    Bluesman89

    Nov 24, 2008
    Yea i know that they have all the parts i need its just a matter of exactly what model of what parts i dont know the date of my amp so i cant restore it quite yet i dont want to put the wrong grill cloth on or speaker connector
     
  4. johnk_10

    johnk_10 vintage bass nut Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 16, 2008
    Washington, Utah
    John K Custom Basses
    juyst take a look at the date codes on the pots. that should tell you what year it is.
    a picture of it wouldn't hurt either..........:eyebrow:
     
  5. Bluesman89

    Bluesman89

    Nov 24, 2008
    alright how do i check the POTs?
     

    Attached Files:

  6. Bluesman89

    Bluesman89

    Nov 24, 2008
    some more pics
     

    Attached Files:

  7. johnk_10

    johnk_10 vintage bass nut Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 16, 2008
    Washington, Utah
    John K Custom Basses
    the pots will have numbers on them. they should be made by CTS so their number will be something like 137-XXXX. the X's represent the year abd week of manufacture.

    the capacitors should have date codes on them too.

    right now, your's looks like a 71-73 to me.
     
  8. lpdeluxe

    lpdeluxe Still rockin'

    Nov 22, 2004
    Deep E Texas
    Ampeg B15Ns can get pricey to maintain when they get old, which is why I now have a Mesa/Boogie. They used unusual ( i e, hard to find and expensive) preamp tubes and proprietary transformers that cost the earth to replace if they fail (and they will, and you will then have to find replacements that still have some life in them!). Mine finally turned into an expensive studio space heater, and it would have cost so much to get it back in shape that I got rid of it. Forty watts and a hundred pounds? :eek:No thanks.

    Classic sound, but I felt like I -- and my wallet -- was nothing more than a life support system for it.:D
     
  9. johnk_10

    johnk_10 vintage bass nut Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 16, 2008
    Washington, Utah
    John K Custom Basses
    what a wuss. ;)

    mine's a '64 and she's still going strong with zero maintenance.



























    (just kidding!).
     
  10. uaudio

    uaudio

    Apr 11, 2008
    Arizona
    Rat fur on a B15? wag of the finger.

    Glad you're restoring it. Post pics when its done.
     
  11. JimmyM

    JimmyM

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Yamaha, Ampeg, Line 6, EMG
    i'm with john...wuss :D

    6sl7's are neither expensive nor hard to find unless the only place you buy tubes is guitar center. and unless they're abused, the transformers don't fail very often. if they do, they're not exactly cheap, but they aren't THAT expensive.
     
  12. Bluesman89

    Bluesman89

    Nov 24, 2008
    Well its an early 1970 model and i agree with john I will never go back to my markbass stuff not with this i jump the channels and it sounds phenomenal I love it not to price its a good Project. As for the Carpet Yea that was not my doing some other guy did that as well as some other Dumb A* modifications i now have to fix but at least i know what to get now which is helpful I love it and someday will get me an extension cab oh Momma!
     
  13. lpdeluxe

    lpdeluxe Still rockin'

    Nov 22, 2004
    Deep E Texas
    Beg to differ. Transformers fail. The transformer on mine did, and there was NO source for a replacement, other than jury-rigging one with equivalent specs and hiding it in the cabinet.

    If you've never had one fail, good for you. But it's not because you have some superior character trait, it's dumb luck.:D

    A friend has a really clean 1970 B15N that looks and sounds great. I mean, it does now. It sat broken for three years one time until he could locate some essential gubbins. I'll continue to use my Mesa/Boogie, thank you.
     
  14. johnk_10

    johnk_10 vintage bass nut Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 16, 2008
    Washington, Utah
    John K Custom Basses
    so i guess the ones that mesa uses never fail either?
    no offense, but your mesa isn't anywhere near the same type of sounding amp.
     
  15. lpdeluxe

    lpdeluxe Still rockin'

    Nov 22, 2004
    Deep E Texas
    I'm going to leave this discussion: I'm not a fan. and you guys are, and I can't add any you'll value to the debate. For what it's worth, my '63 got very light use, and I loved the sound, but it couldn't be depended upon.

    You are coming from a different direction, and I respect that. I personally would never buy another B15N, but then, I'm not into gear as much as I'm into music. If you have a dinosaur (no offense, you know I'm a prior owner) and you're confident you can keep it fed and alive and out of the papers for the wrong reasons, then go for it.

    I just felt like sounding a note of realism in the ongoing debate -- but I don't tinker with stuff, I use it to play music through, and to me, a failure of equipment is not an opportunity, but unwanted downtime.

    Let the games resume. with actual useful advice!
     
  16. JimmyM

    JimmyM

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Yamaha, Ampeg, Line 6, EMG
    i trust my ampegs as much as any other amp i've ever owned.
     
  17. Kindness

    Kindness

    Oct 1, 2003
    Chicago
    My 40 year old B-15N needs a single coupling cap replaced (which I will do tomorrow). It will be the first work it's ever needed aside from replacing the power tubes years ago. Darn this fragile dinosaur amp!


    Disclaimer, since I'm opening her up for surgery, I'll add a three-prong power cord and replace the caps and carbon comp. resistor in the power supply.
     
  18. lpdeluxe

    lpdeluxe Still rockin'

    Nov 22, 2004
    Deep E Texas
    You all must be so superior to me....:rollno:
     
  19. johnk_10

    johnk_10 vintage bass nut Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 16, 2008
    Washington, Utah
    John K Custom Basses
    superiority has nothing to do with it., but your posts about your mesa boogie in a vintage B15 thread are like you walked into a classic vintage car show, and while everyone is drooling over a '64 Cobra, its like someone saying, " well, i really like my Lexus".
     
  20. JimmyM

    JimmyM

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Yamaha, Ampeg, Line 6, EMG
    most fans of other amps would have gotten all pissy with you. i thought we held back.
     
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