Portaflex PF-50T/PF-115HE or B15?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Mo Boogs, Sep 2, 2019.

  1. Mo Boogs

    Mo Boogs

    Mar 26, 2014
    Paging @JimmyM for this one for sure. I’ve decided to go tube for my small/medium gig rig. I realized I just can’t live without that Peg tube tone at any of my gigs and SS amps will just not suffice. Right now I’ve got my sights set on the PF-50T with the PF-115HE cab. I’ve heard these on stage and they just sound damn good. That being said while browsing Craig’s And eBay I’ve also seen some B-15/B-15N/B-18N’s. Is it worth going for one over the other? Are those old B-15s easy to keep running and re-tube when needed?
    JimmyM likes this.
  2. beans-on-toast


    Aug 7, 2008
    Stick with the PF-50T. More power and comes with a warranty. You could have years of maintenance free service.

    Don't get me wrong. A healthy B-15 is a very nice amp. But who knows how much tech time would be required to bring a fifty year old amp up to spec.
    keyofnight and BasturdBlaster like this.
  3. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Yamaha, Ampeg, Line 6, EMG
    They are very easy to maintain and keep running. And I would never argue with anyone who wants an old Portaflex. But for gigging, I think you'll appreciate the extra wattage and the lighter weight. It's not a huge difference but it means the difference between having enough clean juice for most of my gigs vs not. Tonewise, with knobs at noon, the PF-50T is flat response and sounds a LOT like the V4B, while the B-15 has slightly more low end and slightly less treble. But I can get all my favorite sounds out of either so it's all good.
    keyofnight and BassmanPaul like this.
  4. mvbrando


    Mar 10, 2018
    Hi, Bass player since 1967. Over the years I've owned four of the 60s and 70s B15 amps, also a B15R.
    I bought a PF-50T about a year-and-a-half ago and have been using it as my main gigging and recording amp. I'm extremely pleased with it. Even though the PF-50T and the B15 are very different amps, I've been struck by how similar they sound. Personally I think the PF-50T sounds even a bit better. It's been reliable and I feel more confident hauling it around for everyday use rather than a 50 year old amp which is probably more likely to fail during a performance. It sounded great right out of the box, but since then I've tried various preamp tubes in it. Presently I have an old Tung-Sol 12AY7 in the V1 position and an old Mullard 12AX7 in V2, and it sounds even better than it did with the stock Ruby 12AX7s that came in it.
    Last edited: Mar 16, 2020
    keyofnight and JimmyM like this.