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B15N (talk me out or into it)

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Fxpmusic, Jan 18, 2018.

  1. Fxpmusic


    Jul 5, 2013
    There’s a 1966 B15N at a Local store I’ve been drooling over. It has seen some s##t for sure (there’s a beer sticker on it) but it sounds just like B15 should. Price is really good right at $1k. I do a lot of recordings through UA’s B15 plugin so I know getting the amp will add the added challenge of having to mic it but it’s kind of my dream tone. The thing is, using funds for this means, not buying a cabinet for my live rig.

    Is 1k that good of a deal to not let it pass? (Great layaway options too may be helpful).

    What questions should I be asking or what should I be looking for on a 50 year old amp?
  2. beans-on-toast

    beans-on-toast Supporting Member

    Aug 7, 2008
    It’s only money.
    It’s a dream tone.
    The amp could inspire you to write a song that will set you up for life.
    It’s only rock’n’roll.

    The price isn’t bad but it really depends on how well it will clean up. Rust and rough decrease the value.

    Follow the links at the top of the page to the Portaflex Wiki. Check out the models section, the literature section.

    Ask if the amp has had a cap job.

    Ask if the tubes were tested.

    Ask if any modifications have been performed.

    Note if it has the original stove type knobs (see pics in the wiki). Changed out knobs is a negative, people part them out.

    Both transformers should be in potted cans.

    There should be a cage over the tubes.

    Does it have the dolly.

    Take a look inside the cabinet and see if the speaker is original. If it is a square magnet CTS you will see a code such as 1376645, the 45th week of 1966. An optional Altec might be nice. An old radio shack speaker not so good.

    You should hear the tone change when you dial the treble and bass controls.

    Does changing any controls sound scratchy.

    Does the amp hum. It should be about the quietest amp you’ve ever heard. One reason why studios like the amp.

    Turn the amp up and listen for cabinet rattles.

    Consider the asking price a suggestion for where negotiations should begin. Use anything negative as a means to get a better deal.

    Don’t look too eager.
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2018
    Fxpmusic likes this.
  3. JimmyM


    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Yamaha, Ampeg, Line 6, EMG
    Try to shave a little off the price over condition.
    Fxpmusic likes this.
  4. Hurricane Jimmie

    Hurricane Jimmie Supporting Member

    I owned two B-15's at the same time and paid @ 1K for each of them. They were really cool and sounded great, but they were impractical for gigging.... Weight, not tone or volume. If I had a studio or did recording sessions I would have looked at it differently.
    I kept them in my music room for a couple of years till I realized they needed to be out in the world. One went to a guy who had a 50's P bass and the other to a local music studio.
    I was also a little worried about repair & upkeep and failure on a gig. After I got rid of them, I realized that they'd probably been through a lot more that all the other amps I had combined.
    If you do a lot of recording projects, I'd say go for it... and maybe you can the music store to combine the deal with another bottom for gigs. The studio that got one of mine said they've seen more traffic because they had one available.
    Good Luck to you!
    Fxpmusic likes this.
  5. Fxpmusic


    Jul 5, 2013
    I’m set for a live rig. Just wanting an extra cab for larger gigs. This would be for recording.

    Thanks to all for the feedback. It turns out the amp is on consignment and the owner has been reached by the store to answer some of the questions.
  6. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

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