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Ron, if you’re out there. This one’s for you (Ampeg B-15 content)

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Bassdokes, Dec 26, 2017.


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  1. Bassdokes

    Bassdokes

    Feb 15, 2013
    523A0DD3-519B-4FAD-BAED-E9553A931A43. 48FA7311-9B50-4492-998D-2B68B98BA853. 6C9E924D-DB10-45F0-A3B3-3377AFAFFCCC. E6062643-11EC-4CC0-9A12-3759CADD5692. Way back in the 60’s, my Dad was in a band in Tacoma Washington. He happened to see another band playing a show, and noticed the bass was played through a pair of Ampeg B-15s. He was working at a fish market at the time, and convinced his boss to co-sign a loan so he could purchase a second B-15. This allowed him to properly hold down the bottom end for many years. He eventually found himself playing back up for some sort of ROTC Air Force choir on tour, when one of the amps let out its magic smoke. And because nothing ever works after letting its magic smoke out, he let one of the TV studio technicians try to fix it. Well, it worked for a while. Then it would frequently blow fuses.
    Fast forward 15 or so years (late 70s/early 80s) my brother and I are in our basement. We figured out how to hook up our deluxe stereo cassette player to the Ampegs. We would sneak down there and play ‘Coming to America’ blasting through those amps.
    Next thing I remember, those amps were non functioning and stored in my bedroom as nightstands. Many moons pass.
    When I got to college, I needed an amp, so we had them repaired. I played them for a short while until they blew fuses and couldn’t afford fixing them.
    Many years later I have a career and I track down an electronics engineer. He easily fix’s one of the amps. But struggles with the other. The repaired amp I restored. New tolex and Hardware, chrome, handles etc. I gave that one back to my Dad for Christmas about 10 years ago.
    I move to a new town. Find an amp repairman who also can’t figure out how to fix this amp. I couldn’t find an experienced amp tech willing to work on it. And I was too hesitant to drive several hours away into a big city and leave it for many weeks and then pay many hours of bench time.

    Well, I finally did it. I got this amp back a few days ago. The repair guy told me that literally there were just a few wires that were crossed, and some weird stuff, like the volume output was going to the tone control, and there was one resistor that was wired to 1000 instead of 100. And a few other little things And Boom. 85 bucks later this bad boy is resurrected.

    I reassembled it and it plays very nice. Excellent for a 50 plus year old piece of equipment. Funny how it sounds like some of my tech 21 pedals. (I’m kidding).

    Ron, if you are out there, (see original Ampeg nameplate/original owner before my dad) I just wanted to let you know this B-15 is back to life. Thumping. Holding down that bottom end.
     
  2. High Camp

    High Camp

    Oct 3, 2013
    Netherlands
    What a wonderful Christmas story!
    (This must be made into a movie, as far as I'm concerned).
     
    dbase likes this.
  3. dbase

    dbase Gold Supporting Member

    Jan 3, 2008
    South Jersey, USA..
    Wow .. look at the wear and tear over time .. If only the amp could speak ;)
     
  4. DavidBassista

    DavidBassista

    May 21, 2014
    NYC
    Glad you got both your dad's amps back up and running and are enjoying them. I love my B-15.
     
  5. As do I BUT OP, take that silly man’s name off your amplifier. It’s yours now and if Ron was daft enough to let it go in the first place he doesn’t deserve to have his name on it now! :D

    IIRC Antique Electronics have replacements.
     
    Last edited: Dec 26, 2017
  6. High Camp

    High Camp

    Oct 3, 2013
    Netherlands
    No way! Better to change your given name.
     
  7. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    Paul, I'm sorry, old pal, but I have to agree with Alex. Bassdokes, your name is now Ron. Enjoy the amp, Ron!
     
    BassmanPaul and High Camp like this.
  8. Bet she sounds awesome now Ron!
     
  9. Ron it is then!! LOL
     
  10. Bassdokes

    Bassdokes

    Feb 15, 2013
    I can go by Ron. Until I set aside money to buy replacement logo, hardware etc.
    I haven’t looked it up recently. But 10 years ago that stuff was pricey. Is replacement Blue Tolex available anymore?
     
    JimmyM likes this.
  11. coreyfyfe

    coreyfyfe Supporting Member

    Nov 19, 2007
    boston, ma

    Fliptops has some in stock again, but at $35/yard it’s not exactly cheap. Not a deal breaker, but more expensive than standard stuff for sure.

    Ampeg Blue Diamond Checkerboard Tolex Vinyl - Product Details

    They’ve also got the plexi logos

    Logo Ampeg Plexiglass, Small - Product Details
     
    beans-on-toast likes this.
  12. beans-on-toast

    beans-on-toast Supporting Member

    Aug 7, 2008

    Yes: Vintage-Blue Products

    I’ve carefully examined both the vintage-blue and fliptops blue check vinyl. The vintage-blue quality is not only better but the price is more attractive.

    To do a B-15N cabinet you would need two yards, three if you are also covering a dolly. Details are in the TB Portaflex Wiki, cabinet technical section:

    Technical - Speaker Cabinet | TalkBass.com
     
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2017
    coreyfyfe likes this.
  13. coreyfyfe

    coreyfyfe Supporting Member

    Nov 19, 2007
    boston, ma
    I had forgotten Mark was offering tolex as well. I can't recall where I got the blue check I used to recover my B15, may have been from AES back before it went out of stock. I had the tolex around for a while before I got around to having someone recover the amp, and it was at least 5-6 years ago at this point that it was done. I believe what is being offered now is closer to the original than what I used back then, the stuff I used has more of a gloss/shine to it.
     
    beans-on-toast likes this.
  14. chadds

    chadds

    Mar 18, 2000
    RON = Rack Of Noise, Right ON, Really Old Notes......who knows...:)
     
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2017
  15. You dropped your 20$ Ron.
     
  16. Bassdokes

    Bassdokes

    Feb 15, 2013
    Thank you. Very helpful.
     
    beans-on-toast likes this.
  17. Randy Old Nutter?? ;)
     
  18. Bassdokes

    Bassdokes

    Feb 15, 2013
    Randy!
     

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