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sealed cabinets for louder portaflex tone

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by morebass!, Jul 24, 2004.


  1. morebass!

    morebass! I'm listening

    May 31, 2002
    Madison WI
    I'm trying to get a Ampeg B-15N tone from an amp that will go louder (much louder) than the portaflex can. I've tried all the major brands over the years only to find recently that the sealed cabinet is the key. Unfortunately in the town I live in the only sealed cabinet available is the Fender 4x10. It sounds good but I'm wondering about others. I know all the Bergie NV series owners will say their's is the best but I can't justify $1000 for a cabinet. Maybe half that. I've got an Avatar B212 that I can put under it but I'm wondering which between the GK SBX 410 and the Fender sounds better for this type of tone. Opinions?
     
  2. I don't think that having a sealed cab is an absolute necessity for Portaflex tone. I prefer the sound of the later ported 70's B15N's greatly to the sealed 60's boxes. It's less midrangey and every bit as "vintage" sounding. The older ones sound like half-cocked wah pedals to me. :ninja:
     
  3. morebass!

    morebass! I'm listening

    May 31, 2002
    Madison WI
    Psycho,
    That seems a little harsh considering the B-15N is widely regarded as "the" studio tone. But you're probably in the majority, seeing as how sealed cabs are greatly outnumbered by their ported breathen. My '65 B-15N tone is very focused and ballsy. Good for just about anything. I haven't heard one from the 70's. If it's ported wouldn't it sound like a V-4B with a 15?
     
  4. morebass!

    morebass! I'm listening

    May 31, 2002
    Madison WI
    Not much interest in this so I'll give it one more chance and then close it out. So far I've found the following sealed cabs:

    Bergantino NV 6x10 and 2x15 and 4x10+15
    Fender 4x10
    GK sbx 4x10
    Hartke 8x10

    The Hartke is a recent find on the web. Haven't heard one but would like to. Enough bottom?

    Anyone who has experience with any of these please chime in.

    Thanks
     
  5. Ericman197

    Ericman197

    Feb 23, 2004
    Iowa
    There's also the venerable Ampeg 8x10.
     
  6. To me, the ported B15N's sound more like the "studio sound" that comes to mind when the B15N is mentioned than their earlier version. Jess Oliver's later versions at Oliver Sound have ported cabinets, and I think that is pretty indicative of the trend. 35 watts doesn't go very far, especially with a tube rectifier for bass, and it's the spongy response of the amp which acts as a natural compression and makes the amp sound unique. The basic tone is similar to a V4, but that's pretty much just the Ampeg preamp. When I bought my last B15N, I was able to A/B it against three older B15N's with sealed cabs and it wasn't even close; they were much more midrangey with lots less bottom.
     
  7. morebass!

    morebass! I'm listening

    May 31, 2002
    Madison WI
    Thanks Psycho, That helps me get my bearings. I guess I like a midrangy tone. I would love to check out a bunch of B-15s like you did. Any idea which kind Jamerson used? I'm guessing it was a sealed cab since he was doing the Motown stuff in the early-mid 60's. Of course he had some serious bottom in that right index finger of his.
     
  8. BlacksHole

    BlacksHole

    Mar 22, 2000
    Rockville, MD
    I have a 1x15 and 2x8 cabinet made by Polytone that is sealed (I used to have 2 of them). In fact two of these together could get quite loud, but for a stadium sized gig, you'd need a lot more.
     
  9. PB+J

    PB+J

    Mar 9, 2000
    arlington va
    If you read the Bill Moore ampeg book, it has the patent drawings reproduced--all B-15s were ported cabs. That's what the "porta" in "portaflex" referred to. With the B-15 N the porting changed--so that the porting was accomplished by a setback baffle--the speaker baffle board was mounted back from the edge of the cab, which effectively made a port. Just repeating what it says in the book. f it's worng, blame the book, not me I have a B-15-N, and the baffle board is set back from the edge of the cab box slighlty, on little washers

    I like the ampeg portabass series for a B-15 tone--they're all sealed cabs, very light, not the most durable cabs in the world, or the most efficient, but if you attentuate the tweeter the 2x12 can get very close to the B-15 tone. And I've run 1000 watts into mine with no problem.
     
  10. PB+J

    PB+J

    Mar 9, 2000
    arlington va
    Here's the quote, from Gregg Hopkins and Bill Moore, "Ampeg, the Story Behind the Sound," p. 71

    [in mid 1965] "the porting arrangement was changed to a single baffle design. The grille-cloth covered baffle board with mounted speaker was not attached flush to the front lip of the cabinet. Instead, quarter inch spacers were used to set the baffle board back and away from the front of the cab. The resulting space between the cabinet and the perimeter of the baffle board served as the port and altered the sound slightly."

    That's exactly the arrangement I've got on my portaflex, which I think is the best sounding bass amp I've ever heard, for what it's worth
     
  11. Mel Monihan

    Mel Monihan

    Mar 30, 2004
    Go to Marc Serio's site DR. BASSCABS he has small sealed cabinets that are ported. They are great sounding and light (and cheap next to what you're looking at).
     
  12. PB+J

    PB+J

    Mar 9, 2000
    arlington va
    Mel, a sealed cab can't be ported--if it's ported, it's not a sealed cab. A sealed cab has no ports--it's sealed, there is no opening in the cab, no ports.
     
  13. Mel Monihan

    Mel Monihan

    Mar 30, 2004
    LOL.Thanks for smacking me around, been wandering around the home a little too long.
     
  14. For several reasons, that book is NOT a reputable reference; however, I have the B15N patent drawings in another book and I'll check it out ASAP.
     
  15. I found the patent drawing, and while it's not really clear, it does appear that there are two vents on a recessed baffle. Now that I think about it, the B15N cab redesign was based on Theile-Small parameters, while the original was a "guesstimate."

    BTW, just recessing the baffle would NOT make the cabinet ported as the book says.
     
  16. ihixulu

    ihixulu Supporting Member

    Mar 31, 2000
    getting warmer
    Hows about the Ampeg 410HE?
     
  17. morebass!

    morebass! I'm listening

    May 31, 2002
    Madison WI
    Yes! According to the Ampeg website the 410HE is sealed. Thanks!
     
  18. MoreBass;
    Have you tried the Ampeg PortaBass Series cabinets ? Their a completely SEALED CABINET, no ports. I'm running the Ampeg PB-212H with a GK 1001RBII amp and so far I'm very pleased with this set up, and the portability is REALLY GOOD, cabinet weighs 38 lbs. & the amp is 18 lbs. Check them out..............You might like 'em.
    Coney Island Joe
     
  19. brianrost

    brianrost Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 26, 2000
    Boston, Taxachusetts
    Jamerson went direct when recording at Motown. The B15 was what he used live until he bought a Kustom.
     
  20. morebass!

    morebass! I'm listening

    May 31, 2002
    Madison WI
    ConeyislandJoe - Thanks for the lead. I'm afraid I need a bit more than that volume-wise and bit less cost-wise but I'll check out the portabass series anyway. Needless to say I like a lot of Ampeg stuff.

    Brianrost - Thanks for the Jamerson info. Never been a big fan of Kustom stuff but back then 2 15s was very big and I'm sure he did it proud.