Dismiss Notice

Psst... Ready to join TalkBass and start posting, make new friends, sell your gear, and more?  Register your free account in 30 seconds.

Ampeg B15(vintage)How can I "date" these things?!

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by MrGump, Dec 3, 2001.


  1. MrGump

    MrGump

    Apr 20, 2000
    I was a voracious Ampeg collector for sometime.Ive had many.many over the years.Although I havent made any acquisitions in about 5 years.I have three EARLY B-15 heads,that have been sitting around gathering dust for a long time.I always had all my stuff serviced by Jesse Oliver.(You know who he is right?)
    Id like to sell these heads,but cant for the life of me remember how to translate serial numbers into production dates.
    I remember something like "first digit is decade,second is year,third digit is month,and remaining ones are the unit number produced that month"
    Can anyone help me?
    Oh yeah,mine are #065691,#039674,#001664.
    Thanks for any help.
     
  2. neptune

    neptune

    Feb 2, 2001
    Maryland
  3. MrGump

    MrGump

    Apr 20, 2000
    Thanks for the link.Is it related to the book?Ive discussed that book with several Ampeg afficianados and authors.We were all contacted to contribute info and pictures etc.before it was published,and we all came to the same conclusion;it would have many inaccuracies.It is however a place to start.
    I am kind of hoping someone who has owned some of these can help me make a better assessment by dating the features i.e.My unit #001664 seems to have taller transformers than the others.
     
  4. neptune

    neptune

    Feb 2, 2001
    Maryland
    Where are the serial numbers located? I've got an old one (head only, lost the cab years ago). It has an old yellowed ampeg schematic taped to the inside mounting plate that's dated 1961. I believe it has the short transformers. It also has a "Leslie" type multi-pin speaker connection jack. Always thought that might have been a studio/recording mod since I bought it out in LA. Or did the old ones come that way?
     
  5. Jerry J

    Jerry J Supporting Member

    Mar 27, 2000
    P-town, OR
    You should be able to get a relatively close date from the speaker if it is original. You could also look at the date codes on the pots. That's how I dated my B15.

    I can't seem to put anything together from the serial numbers. I'd think that Mr. Oliver should be able to give you a good idea. Also, Gregg Hopkins, in St. Louis was one of the writers of the Ampeg book should know.

    Oh, and Neptune that plug was original. It has a shorting unit in it so you won't fry the output transformer is you forget to plug the amp into the speaker cab. Kinda cool if you ask me. :)
     
  6. esoxhntr

    esoxhntr Supporting Member

    Jun 21, 2007
    Markham, Ontario
    Any one hear of a B15N having only a 5 digit serial number? I'm trying to date this one for a friend, he says the serial number is 00143. I've played the amp, and it is a real B15N for sure (I did see that part), but I never checked the serial number. Any thoughts?
     
  7. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    1967, 1966, and 1965, in that order.

    The dating method you're thinking of is for Ampegs made before 65. It goes first digit is year, next two are month, and next three are a counter for how many were made that month.

    Esoxhntr, yours is more complex. My 77 B-15N has a 5 digit serial number, but Magnavox had crappy numbering methods and it's impossible to tell what year it was made without knowing when it was bought new or checking other components such as pots and speaker.
     
  8. BassmanPaul

    BassmanPaul Gold Supporting Member

    Aug 25, 2007
    Toronto Ontario Canada
    I don't seem to be able to find a seial number on mine. The plate just says made in Linden NJ.

    Paul
     
  9. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    For Lindens, the two places to look are inside the chassis tray and inside the cab. Both are missing?
     
  10. esoxhntr

    esoxhntr Supporting Member

    Jun 21, 2007
    Markham, Ontario
    Paul,

    You must have one of those POS "Linden pre-serial #" issues!;) I hear they are real bad news man!:D You should sell it to me before it electrocutes you! :bag:

    Oh the depths I am sinking to from gas...:help:
     
  11. esoxhntr

    esoxhntr Supporting Member

    Jun 21, 2007
    Markham, Ontario
    Jimmy,

    This one looks nothing like a 70's model - it's 60's all the way. I wonder if it's from very early in the 65 model year with the new numbering system and they didn't bother with the first "0"? I suppose if my friend would open it up and look for a label inside (or slot ports) that would give an idea. Is the serial number hiding anywhere else on these amps?
     
  12. Buy it a nice dinner, take it to a movie.

    Should work wonders :)
     
  13. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    The only two places I've ever seen the serials are on the inside of the chassis tray and inside the cabinet in plain view on the right-side wall. You should be able to take the chassis tray off easily with the two large screws on either side of the head. I think it's possible that you are right about losing the trailing zero, but I don't know enough about them to know. Is the cab a double baffle or single (if you don't know which, open it up and if there are 8 oval shaped holes surrounding the speaker hole, it's double, and would have to be 65 or before).

    Again, though, unless the pots have been replaced (not usually since they were great pots), you can use their codes to tell the year of manufacture at the very least.
     
  14. BassmanPaul

    BassmanPaul Gold Supporting Member

    Aug 25, 2007
    Toronto Ontario Canada
    I'm not sure. I have to pull it because it just died on me so I'll look for it then.

    Thanks...

    Paul