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old portaflex + active 5?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by snapple, Mar 20, 2009.

  1. snapple


    Nov 25, 2003
    Victoria-Vancouver Canada
    Endorsing Artist: PCL Vintage Amps
    hey guys,

    I'm doing a session next week in which I have the option of using a '66 ampeg portaflex. I really want to use it because of all the rave reviews but I'm concerned about running my bass through it.

    I'm using a Stingray 5 for the session. I won't be playing anything lower than an Eb, so I'm not concerned about it handling a low B or anything haha. My main worry is that the active electronics will be too hot for the amp and I'll get nothing but fuzz or ugly tone.

    Would this be fine? I ran an active 5 (albeit a low end POS) into a mid 60's Vox many years ago and it sounded like garbage.

    Am I in the clear or do I need to drag the ol' SVT out?

  2. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    Bring the SVT if you want but don't sell those old Fliptops short. There's a reason a lot of studios have them available. As long as you don't crank it past the distortion point, you'll be fine. To get best results, I would run the Stingray flat, and if you need to boost anything, make it slight boosts. I wouldn't do any extreme boosting, that's for sure.
  3. demon666


    Jul 16, 2005
    Providence RI
    You could cut back on the volume on your bass if you find it driving it to much.
  4. johnk_10

    johnk_10 vintage bass nut Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 16, 2008
    Thousand Oaks, CA
    John K Custom Basses
    +1. yeah, my B15's input is pretty gainy. just back off the bass' volume and turn the amp up instead.
  5. coreyfyfe

    coreyfyfe Supporting Member

    Nov 19, 2007
    boston, ma
    You'll be in the clear. I did some recording on my B15 with a warwick streamer 5 and didn't have any trouble.
  6. I just wonder if its a good idea tone-wise though.
    IMO some basses just don't sound as good as others through the B15. My Musicman is the LEAST favorite of all the basses; The Precision rules- (P bass and B15 are like Rocky and Bullwinkle); Rick a close second; then passive Jazzes. The stingray sound has a pronounced top end sparkle which you will certainly lose through the B15 and depending on your sound- you might miss it.

    The studio will probably run a DI signal as well so you can A/B them. Let us know how you go.
  7. beans-on-toast

    beans-on-toast Supporting Member

    Aug 7, 2008
    If the input source is overpowering the amp, one possible solution is to replace the first 6SL7 with a 6SN7 tube. The amplification factor of the 6SN7 is 20, vs 70 for the 6SL7 so the volume would be reduced. The 6SN7 has a lot more headroom than the 6SL7 so less distortion.

    If you are using a passive bass but want less volume out of the amp, you could try replacing the phase inverter (third 6SL7) with the 6SN7. The amp will have less volume and less distortion.

    I haven't tried this, my amp is being restored..... It would be interesting to see how it works though.

  8. cripula


    Dec 20, 2006
    A Sadowsky 5 sounds killer through my '66 B15-N.

    Actually, darn near everything sounds great through a B15 AFAIC.
  9. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    I think a 66 would be bright enough to where a Stingray would have enough top end. Maybe one of the later ones with the Thiele cab would be a different story, but a 66 would be fairly bright.

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