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Ampeg Portaflex

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by joetiii, Jan 25, 2003.

  1. joetiii


    Oct 27, 2002
    Wondering what the difference between the old 60's style B15-n portaflex, and the 70's portaflex other than cosmetics?
  2. Boogie Boy

    Boogie Boy

    Jan 26, 2003
    The 60's models (original style) were 30 watts and later models into the 70's were rated at 60 watts. I just sold a 1971 Portaflex and still own 1964 Portaflex. IMO, the 60's portaflex has a much sweeter tone.
  3. joetiii


    Oct 27, 2002
    Did they all have dual channels?

    I see some with a reverb channels. Is that common?

    I miss the warm tube sound of the V4 I used to have. My stage rig now is an Eden Combo and would love to get a B15 for home.

    I'm not sure if the cab and old 15 speaker adds that much too the sound and am not willing to drop $800 for a used fliptop and cab. what Are the amps worth alone?

    or is the only way to do a portaflex the cab and head together. I'm not a collector or purist. Just after THE sound
  4. Boogie Boy

    Boogie Boy

    Jan 26, 2003
    I think all the models were 2 channel. For instance, on my current B-15N, channel one has 2 inputs (one labeled "guitar" and the other labeled "bass"). The other channel has only one input jack and it is simply labeled "instrument." No reverb on the bass models, at least I've never seen any. My guitar player has an old portaflex guitar amp w/ reverb. Perhaps that's similiar to the model you saw with reverb. It is possible to catch the heads only on ebay. Around Christmas there were two for sale. IMO, a person is better off buying the amp and cabinet together. The cabinet serves to protect the amp when in storage/transport and it looks good. I've seen these combos go for as little as $450 and as much as &1,650. It's hit and miss. When I surf ebay for these rigs I search w/ AMPEG B-15N. There's usually at least one for sale at any given time. I find that my B-15N and my Mesa-Boogie 400+ can handle any gig that a ss amp could handle. It comes down to the sound you want. Cheers!
  5. jasonbraatz


    Oct 18, 2000
    Oakland, CA
    i bought my 74 b15n for $400 and traded it in for $250. that was VERY dumb. :(
  6. Mattski


    Jan 6, 2003
    Cleveland, OH
    Anither diff between the 60s vs 70s flip-tops were the cabinets. I'm not sure what the old ones had, but the 70s version had a thiele (sp) design cabinet.

    Theoretically it was an improvement, but your ears are the final judge.
  7. Boogie Boy

    Boogie Boy

    Jan 26, 2003
    Mattski,you're absolutely right. The 70's combo I just unloaded did have a Thiele cab. To my ears my '64 B-15 has a much better sound. I should add that the '64 is all original and the 70's cab did not have the original speaker.
    Another important piece that should come with the combo (if the amp has been taken care of) is the "Dolly." Basically, a set of 4 wheels attached to a tolex covered piece of plywood that attaches to the bottom of the cab with a screw-knob. Mine is a backsaver.
  8. The tube compliment was different as well.
  9. joetiii


    Oct 27, 2002
    It would seem the way to go would be a complete amp & cab. having said that, I know there was blue tolex used on some... what are the others made from and what years. Any difference in the cab design in the 60's vintage?
  10. monkfill


    Jan 1, 2003
    Kansas City
    How do either of these vintage models compare with the newer ones that put out 100 watts (and cost $1700 new)?
  11. Boogie Boy

    Boogie Boy

    Jan 26, 2003
    I've only played through the new B-15R a few times. It offers features which the original did not include i.e. high/low boost switches, option to run 60/100 watts at the flip of a switch, etc...I personally did not think this amp sounded as warm as my 60's B-15N. Definately louder, but for the price of this amp you could buy an excellent combo (and extension speaker) from countless other manufacturers. Ampeg's customer relations is infamous for poor quality as well. It boils down to the sound you want and how the amp is to be used. Mine is primarily a practice and small gig amp. My boogie and 4x10 come out of the closet when I need to generate huge sound levels.
    The blue tolex was used on the original design. When the portaflex changed to the thiele cab and to 60 watts (very late 60's thru 70's) the black tolex was the standard. Alot of players like the thiele cabs. I personally didn't. Maybe , there was something wrong with my amp. I would never get rid of my '64 though.
  12. joetiii


    Oct 27, 2002
    Are there any "known" problems to watch out for in these vintage amps?

    How is the Thiele cab different?

    What was the NOS speaker used?

  13. The only problem I've seen on Fliptops is blown power transformers and filter caps that have gone bad.

    The Thiele cab has a larger rectangular port at the bottom of the baffle. It gives deeper bass.

    The standard speaker was a CTS square-magnet 15". Upgrade speaker was an Altec 421A 15" speaker.


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