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So...who gigs with a B25B?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by will33, Oct 2, 2013.

  1. will33


    May 22, 2006
    Ran across this today....



    Yeah, it's at a pawnshop, so, the $499 price tag is just a suggestion. I probably wouldn't leave with it for anything that started with anything higher than a 3.

    So....I've always said to myself, my next amp will be tubing up my mighty Peavey Classic400. That is total overkill for what I do, but overkill is cool....but then I stumble across stuff like this now and then. Have been able to say no so far, but this is tough.

    My gigs aren't that big, and I have the materials and the knowhow to put an efficient cab under this thing. Still, what will it do in the real world? I run my own PA from stage so cranking it, micing it, is always an option with no arguements from my soundguy (also me).

    Could this thing carry small bar gigs on it's own? Talking classic rock/old country/stax/motown here.....(unfortunately) no Judas Priest, AC/DC, etc.

    Option C.....half-tubing my Classic400 to make a 200 watt, non-mastervolume tube amp, which for me, would be a really, really, really sweet spot.

    I have an attraction to non-mastervolume tube amps. This same place has an SLM era SVT, but it's plain black, overpriced, and has a master volume. When I saw that one, I just brushed it off as "meh"...no big deal. This one has my interest.

    So....B25B, Fulltube Classic 400, Halftube Classic400.....what would you do?
  2. will33


    May 22, 2006
    Also, sorry for the bad pics. I just grabbed a couple with my phone real quick. The thing is a little more rough that what you can tell in the pics. Some torn tolex here and there, some of the front labelling worn off, and some previous owner kind of traced in the labels like "bass", "treble", etc., with a ball point pen where they were too worn off to read anymore. In other words...this thing has mojo....and I'd leave it just like it is. I can grab some better pics tomorrow morning on the way to work.


  3. So many great amps, so little time or $, I feel your pain ;)

    Couple of questions, first the B25 is, what, 50-60 watts?

    Does that speaker cab come with it and if so, what's in it?

    How much to do a half-retube on your 400?

    From my own experience with a VB-2 200 watts and a couple of 15s covers pretty much anything (similar material as you) I could want.

    That said, my GK400RB and 1-15 (120 watts) handles all my indoor gigs in smaller (<100) venues. I'd bet my Showman (85 watts) could do it as well with 2-15s for those.
  4. will33


    May 22, 2006
    I think it's 60 watts.

    The cab below isn't with it, just happened to be sitting on there.

    Full tube Classic400 =$400

    Half tube Classic 400 = $200

  5. will33


    May 22, 2006
    Sticker says $499 which tells me I should get it for $400 tax included at the most....plus a little work on my part.

    But it's a real, actual, old school, non mastervolume Ampeg.
  6. with the 400 you know you could manage pretty much any situation and sound good doing it, even with a half-retubing.

    OTOH this has the potential to manage smaller gigs with a lot of Ampeg mojo. Provided you have the right speaker set up. And in a pinch mic'ing.

    Got an 810?

    Still got that 800RB for bigger gigs?
  7. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    Good question about whether it would be enough. Would likely be fine for me but I can use a B-15, or at least I used to be able to.
  8. Oren Hudson

    Oren Hudson

    Dec 25, 2007
    Gastonia, NC
    55 watts RMS. If it's "up to par," pretty amazing output and sound. I've used one "up to par" with the matching B25B cab that has the optional Altec 421A speakers. Not overwhelmed by a guitar and drums. For a power increase, I've also used a small power amp and an additional 1x15 semi folded horn cab. Doesn't color the sound at all. It's one of my favorites. :cool:
  9. Full set of power tubes for my C400 ran around $240 IIRC.
  10. Fair Warning

    Fair Warning Deliverin' the Goods! Supporting Member

    B25B's have a great Ampeg tube sound and would be great for the studio, bedroom or bar. Might not be enough to keep up with some drummers.

    Also, it will only handle 16 Ohm cabinets or you can trick it to accept a single 8 Ohm cabinet.

    Considering, you can find V4B's (100 watt) in the $500 range, I would not pay more than $300 for a B25B.
  11. SactoBass

    SactoBass A retired civil engineer who likes all-tube amps! Supporting Member

    I have a 1973 B25B (shown in the pic on your right as you are viewing the pic). It sits atop an LDS cab that I had Don make for me specifically for this amp. It's like having half of a fridge cab, except the internal divider is vertical instead of horizontal. The cab is a sealed design, and has four 32-ohm Eminence B-810 drivers. Each vertical pair has its own input jack in the back of the cab, providing a 16 ohm load for each vertical pair. So I can connect just one vertical pair to the amp, or both, depending on what volume I want.

    With only 55 tube watts (I say "only" because I also have a V4B and an SVT), I can get that nice delicious power tube saturation at reasonable volumes. It's fun to crank it and play "Stay With Me" by Faces and get that power tube grit that Ronnie Lane gets with his early 70's B-15N in this vid:


    Granted, I don't play a Zemaitis bass like Ronnie did, but I can cop the sound with my B25B, which I affectionately refer to as the "baby ampeg."
  12. I just got rid of one of my two B25's. Much like a B15 live, it will do clean at lower volumes, but it runs out of clean real quick. That's not to say it doesn't sound great when it runs out of clean, just not appropriate for all styles of music.
  13. SactoBass

    SactoBass A retired civil engineer who likes all-tube amps! Supporting Member


    That is exactly why I picked up the B25B, so I could get the power tube grit at less-than-face-melting volume levels. And you are right, at reduced volumes, it has a nice clean Ampeg tube tone!
  14. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    I freakin' LOVE that BBC vid...that's the best I ever heard Rod Stewart sing live. "I'm Losin' You" is also a killer from that show.
  15. lexington125


    Sep 11, 2013
    hollywood, baby......
    someday I will find 4 or 5 other guys who want to play the blues the way it was played before it became all about guitar heroics

    OT, but that is one of my favorite 'live performance' videos of all time. Its also one of my favorite bass lines to play, on those rare occasions when i find myself with just the right drummer, guitarist and singer. Great song, great bass performance and just a perfect old school rock sound.
  16. kevmoga

    kevmoga Supporting Member

    Jan 25, 2010
    Last weekend a buddy and I transferred some cassettes of our 35 year old band to digital. I was using a b25 and the standard 2x15 cab. Holy cow, did that sound good. Played medium clubs, no bass in FOH and everything was a whole lot louder than I would be willing to put up with now. Plenty of fat clean bass for my taste. So....... just in case you decide to pass this up, where was that pawn shop?;)
  17. will33


    May 22, 2006
    Well....I didn't manage to get up early enough to go down there before work (I'm about as far away from a "morning person" as you'll get). Which is fine. I can go by after work and spend more time with it, plug in, turn on, see what happens.

    My real concern here is having to play it dirty all the time. I'd like to be able to back off and run clean too. I like tube amps for big, fat, warm but clean tone too, not just dirt....although I like the dirt too.

    My C400 can do that fat, loud clean as loud as I'd ever need, and it has clean and OD channels you can run either/or or blend them. Half tubing it would let me run it into power tube dirt as well.

    So....we'll see.
  18. will33


    May 22, 2006
    I noticed prices come down a bit since last I check, but I'm also including new big caps for the power supply as well. The amp is only 11-12 years old but it's been sitting for the last 7 never even plugged in. Although I could try letting it sit on a variac for a couple days first and see how it goes.
  19. For what you are going to pay for that amp, you can just about retube the Classic 400. You also already own the 400. It also has a non master "ampeg-esque" channel. It also should carry you through any gig.

    I say man up, do a full retube on the amp you already have, and know that you are covered.
  20. will33


    May 22, 2006
    This could be another option. I have everything I need to run <100hz to my sub and let this thing sing where all the tone is. Could run a 212 cab with it then instead of needing a 215 or 810.

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