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Ampeg B15N - Appraisal?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by J Moe, Jan 20, 2012.


  1. J Moe

    J Moe The Pursuit of Life Lived in The Pocket

    Jan 20, 2012
    La Crosse, WI
    Through a lengthy turn of events, I acquired this beautiful B15N recently. From what I understand, the serial number puts it at 1966. From my tech's insight, he said the only things that aren't original are a couple tubes, and the Fliptops Power Transformer, which he just installed. The slip cover is even supposed to be original!

    I got it home last night, and before I fall in love and get attached, I would love some insight into what an accurate appraisal would look like for this. When I received it, it also came with 2 other Output Transformers - which are untested. I'm not sure if that matters for the appraisal, I might sell those separately in an 'as is' auction. I also still have the original shot Power Transformer.

    You can take a look at a few photos below, or skim through all 60some here: Ampeg B15N pictures by gearforsale - Photobucket

    Any input is very much appreciated!
     
  2. J Moe

    J Moe The Pursuit of Life Lived in The Pocket

    Jan 20, 2012
    La Crosse, WI
    DSC_0555.

    DSC_0572.

    DSC_0589.

    DSC_0614.
     
  3. JMac- Wiskerface Designs

    JMac- Wiskerface Designs Terror headcase dude

    Jul 8, 2009
    Atlanta, GA
    Very nice score! Looks really clean.

    I have no idea on a good "dollar value", but one of the B-15 experts should be along shortly.
     
  4. hifibass

    hifibass

    Feb 4, 2008
    Albany, NY
    If you paid under $1K, take it to a good, qualified tech and let them tell you what it would cost to get it in A+ working order. The notes on the transformers would concern me and spray foam wasn't used in 1966 (as far as I know and I was there). I'm no B-15N expert but that's what I would do. Good luck! Ken
     
  5. J Moe

    J Moe The Pursuit of Life Lived in The Pocket

    Jan 20, 2012
    La Crosse, WI
    Sorry for any miscommunication, I did just take it to a certified tech. Between the new transformer, couple new tubes and tech fees, I just put a little over $350 into this to get it in 100% A+ working condition. The tone is beyond words...
     
  6. J Moe

    J Moe The Pursuit of Life Lived in The Pocket

    Jan 20, 2012
    La Crosse, WI
    AND the transformers with the notes in the photos are 3 extra transformers - 2 extras that came with it, and the 3rd is the original that was replaced. Those aren't the actual transformers that are on the head.
     
  7. seamonkey

    seamonkey

    Aug 6, 2004
    For a collector, working order doesn't always mean it's worth more.
    If it was all original, and you had history, and anybody famous, or it was used in any famous studio - it'd be worth a lot more just from a paper or some photos.

    Just like a car or piece of furniture, or antique radio, working on it can really hurt the value. It rarely helps.
     
  8. Ric Vice

    Ric Vice Supporting Member

    Jul 2, 2005
    Olivette, Missouri
    Respectfully, while you are certainly correct, if say it happened to belong to James Jamerson and you could prove it. Amplifiers are a little different, I think. Two B-15N's have recently turned up on ebay, one supposedly belonged to Stevie Ray Vaughn and one was in mint condition. The mint condition amp brought $3,599.00 while the SRV B-15 didn't even sell, mostly because the owner didn't have any proof that it belonged to him, but it was also in crappy shape. That said, IMHO even collectors don't really want a non functioning amplifier, so restoring it would only make it worth more IME. Just my opinion though.

    Ric
     
  9. JimmyM

    JimmyM

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    66 B-15NF, CTS speaker. If you cleaned it up some, I'd estimate you could get somewhere around a grand for it. Looks nice...does have some dings and non-original transformers and cover, but would clean up nicely. OTOH, its current market value isn't nearly as important as that sound!
     
  10. If its still got the original caps...go to another tech and have them replaced.

    I would not turn that amp on for one more minute with 46 year old electrolytic caps in it.
     
  11. J Moe

    J Moe The Pursuit of Life Lived in The Pocket

    Jan 20, 2012
    La Crosse, WI
    Thanks for all your help guys! If it's current condition is only worth around $1,000 then I'll definitely keep it.

    Ric, when you say 'mint' do you mean original flawless condition, or professionally restored condition? Just curious if paying for a restoration would increase the value.
     
  12. JimmyM

    JimmyM

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    I'm always happy to get a second opinion on the value of it, but most of that era I've seen go for around a grand. A restoration would definitely not improve its value unless it's seriously beat, and that one's just got a few dings and needs some elbow grease.
     
  13. coreyfyfe

    coreyfyfe Supporting Member

    Nov 19, 2007
    boston, ma
    I would say he probably meant original flawless condition. Professionally restored or not, at that point it's not original and a collector isn't going to be interested. That said, someone looking for a working condition usable B-15 having one that's been reconditioned would be worth more, but not that much more. The $1000 estimate is probably about on the money in that case.

    Also, not a major thing, but I don't think those speaker wires are original. Ampeg used black and green in those days and it was strung along the bottom of the cab with little clips.

    Hifi were you referring to the foam lining the back of the cab? It looks original in the pics to me. Here are my 65 and 67 cabs for comparison:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     

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