1. Please take 30 seconds to register your free account to remove most ads, post topics, make friends, earn reward points at our store, and more!  
     
    TalkBass.com has been uniting the low end since 1998.  Join us! :)

First Post! Speaker Upgrade for Ampeg A15 Portaflex

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by CthonicEwes, Aug 4, 2012.


  1. CthonicEwes

    CthonicEwes

    Aug 1, 2012
    Got your attention, didn't I? Yep, I've got an ancient A15 portaflex, and although I don't play accordion, it sure sounds good for bass!

    The amp originally came with a tired Jensen, and a few years ago I stuck a Carvin-branded eminence in it. It sounds OK, but I'd like to get a deeper sound out of it, especially for recording even though I usually split to a di for the really low end. I'd like a bit of tighter low end, too. It can a bit flabby, but perhaps that's just the nature of the beast...

    Any recommendations? What about maybe just using an extension cab of some sort that I might be able to score on Craigslist? Should I pursue reconing the original Jensen? A lot of posters here seem to favor the CTS. Would a CTS be considered the gold standard? I don't care about volume, just tone. Especially recorded tone.

    Many thanks in advance! Very happy to connect with the cool people here...

    Cheers,
    Bob
     
  2. JimmyM

    JimmyM

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    Dude, you absolutely have to post detailed pics of it in the Portaflex Club thread! PLEASE!!!

    http://www.talkbass.com/forum/f15/j...g-portaflex-club-part-8-a-882114/index36.html

    So speakers...the best modern speakers for a B or A-15 (I know you know this, but for the record they're exactly the same) is the Eminence Beta or Delta 15a. I have Deltas and they sound identical to the CTS speakers they used starting in 65 but they handle a lot more power. Betas would be just as good, though, and they're cheaper.

    If you really want to get serious, find an old JBL D140. They came with D130's but D140'swill work just as well and handle more power, whereas you could blow the D130's with too much power from a B-15, believe it or not. Likely yours came with a Jensen C or P15 (I always forget which), and those who have them say they love the sound, but they're quite easy to blow with a B-15.
     
  3. Dig it, that's a great find. Definitely post pics when you can. I have an old JBL 130A in my B15. Not a K or D series, just a 130 A. It sounds great and according to JBL's spec sheet, it's rated for 25w. If you are seriously considering an extension cab, then you want the same speaker in each, so tha's something to consider when looking for a replacement.
     
  4. JimmyM

    JimmyM

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    Oh yeah, +1 for the ext cab idea...bigtime!
     
  5. CthonicEwes

    CthonicEwes

    Aug 1, 2012
    Thanks for your comments. Actually, JimmyM, I didn't know about the Beta or the Delta. I really am not much of an expert on these thing--hence my question!

    I'll get some pics up tomorrow, and I'll throw them in the Portaflex thread, too.

    Why do the speakers have to be the same? I tried a thiele cab with an EV12L (guitar cab) as an extension just to test things out and the EV was definitely louder than the Carvin in the Ampeg cab.

    I've read mixed things here about the tone of JBL's. Certainly they're louder, but that's not really my goal here.
     
  6. JimmyM

    JimmyM

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    That little test you did is a good part of why the speakers should be the same. Also, while mixed speakers can sound good, it's a real crapshoot whether they'll play nice together or not, whereas matched cabs always sound good.
     
  7. jnewmark

    jnewmark Just wanna play the groove. Supporting Member

    Aug 31, 2006
    Stax 1966
    Third St. Cigar Records staff musician.
    I tried a JBL K140 in my B15N while the original CTS was being reconed. Slight more top end with the JBL, but overall, I really like the JBL over the CTS. K140's can be found on Ebay almost daily.
     
  8. CthonicEwes

    CthonicEwes

    Aug 1, 2012
    See old pics below. Sorry, not the best quality...
     

    Attached Files:

  9. christw

    christw Get low!

    May 11, 2008
    Dayton OH
    I want to be Tesla (tinkerer at Dayton Amp Co)
    I have the stock CTS in my '67 single baffle B-15N and '66 BT15 Thiele extension cab and really like them for what they do. I snagged my extension off eBay for $125 + shipping. I see B-15 extension cabs or orphan cabs for $200-$300 on CL around here. TB's price range is pretty similar.
     
  10. JimmyM

    JimmyM

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    That is a super hot amp in great condition. That's one of those "name your price" amps. That would rule all by itself, but it would also rule with an extension cab. The only thing is you have navy random flair tolex, and that's a little harder to come by, though not impossible. But if you're willing to settle for blue checker, you can find orphaned B-15 cabs fairly regularly on Ebay.
     
  11. t77mackie

    t77mackie

    Jun 13, 2012
    Wormtown, MA
    RCF's - hand made in Italy with, like, 85 pound magnets. Hmmmm... might be overkill...

    Good luck!
     
  12. You also need to make sure the speaker fits physically, i.e. that the magnet structure is not too big that it will not fit inbetween the transformers in "transit" mode.
     
  13. JimmyM

    JimmyM

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    This is a good point. The magnet on the Delta will hit into the transformers. I've taken to carrying a piece of foam to put between them to prevent it.
     
  14. CthonicEwes

    CthonicEwes

    Aug 1, 2012
    I'm sorry, am I missing something? None of the rcf's seem to go above 2k. Can you suggest a model number to look for?
     
  15. CthonicEwes

    CthonicEwes

    Aug 1, 2012
    Actually, for my purposes, this is not necessarily an issue. I only plan on using the amp for recording. I do not really need to use transit mode. Thanks for the heads up, though.
     
  16. CthonicEwes

    CthonicEwes

    Aug 1, 2012
    Any thoughts on just reconing the original Jensen?
     
  17. christw

    christw Get low!

    May 11, 2008
    Dayton OH
    I want to be Tesla (tinkerer at Dayton Amp Co)
    It's a C15N, right? I don't think a recone will get you any deeper on the lows. I put four Beta 12A's in my B-12XTC (factory loaded with C12N's, had three crappy Rola's when I bought it) and it's a whole new beast complete with some deep low end. It's probably my favorite upright bass amp I have now. I'd seriously look at a Beta 15A as a cost effective option for you.
     
  18. JimmyM

    JimmyM

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    A recone might sound quite good but I agree with Chris. Also, no matter what your speaker, don't expect big deep lows. The double baffle cab is more of a "just enough lows to kick" type of cab, similar to the 810e or 410he for low end IMHO. You could probably do better with lows with a different speaker than the Carvin, though...just don't expect it to sound like subwoofer lows ;)
     
  19. CthonicEwes

    CthonicEwes

    Aug 1, 2012
    I'll have to dig it out of the closet. From memory I seem to think it was a P15N, but I'd have to look to confirm. It's probably whatever was standard in the original B15. I take it that was a C15N, right?
     
  20. CthonicEwes

    CthonicEwes

    Aug 1, 2012
    Not worried about the deep lows, since I can get those from a DI (Avalon U5, for instance).

    I might want something with a lot of efficiency, so I can get a decent clean volume without turning up too much and hitting the headroom limit.
     

Share This Page