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To B15 or not to B15

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by kitfinger, Jan 28, 2015.


  1. kitfinger

    kitfinger

    Jan 28, 2015
    Last edited: Jan 28, 2015
  2. Bass 45

    Bass 45

    Jun 23, 2011
    Tempe, Arizona
    This was on EBay for the past week. I wanted it even though I already have a '61.

    I have had many B15N's over the years and my '61 remains my favorite for tone and looks.

    It is a little beat up - but if it sounds good, it is well worth it. I've sold one like it for much more.
     
  3. Bass 45

    Bass 45

    Jun 23, 2011
    Tempe, Arizona
    Also - it is not all original as the seller claims. The dolly is missing (and it sounds like there may have been holes drilled into the bottom for casters), the Ampeg plexi logo plate is missing and the knobs are replacements.
     
  4. beans-on-toast

    beans-on-toast Supporting Member

    Aug 7, 2008
    It's a very good price and will clean up well. The Jensen speaker can be reconed or for $100, the Eminence Delta 15A is a very good option. Correct style replacement stove knobs are available from fliptops.net.

    In all these years, some maintenance should have been done under the chassis. If not, expect to have to replace the power supply caps. Maybe the tubes. Install a three-conductor power cord for safety reasons. All these are reversible changes.
     
  5. kitfinger

    kitfinger

    Jan 28, 2015
    Awesome info, was curious about the year! I deduced that the dolly was missing and plexi missing as well. I'm Curious as to if holes were drilled- your opinion, big deal or just a cosmetic annoyance ?
     
  6. kitfinger

    kitfinger

    Jan 28, 2015
    Already have a delta 15A from another project, but i will most likely recone the jensen. I already located all other parts via fliptops.net prior to the purchase of this amp as i know never to take "all original" at face val. Really appreciate your advice and i will most certainly post an update once ive gotten it in my hands and can take it apart, very curious and hopefully this is a great investment and life long tool. Excited to plug my 69' armstrong, P or 75' Jazz in!
     
  7. Bass 45

    Bass 45

    Jun 23, 2011
    Tempe, Arizona
    In the big picture - cosmetic annoyance.

    The matching dolly with it's Navy Random Flair tolex is irreplaceable. You could easily fabricate a 19 x 11 dolly and paint it blue or black or something and it would look fine under there. Hopefully nobody had installed the removable type casters with the inserts - that would mean there was a lot of drilling in the bottom - but the holes could be filled.

    The Plexiglas logo could be purchased at fliptops.net. Btw it looks like the tube cage has been put on backwards as I cannot see the slot that accommodates the logo plate - but that is nothing to turn around. I wonder if the light bulb is needlessly burning under the tube cage's rubber gasket...

    I received an email today from Ebay stating that the amp was re-listed - when I looked, it was already deleted/unavailable. Did you purchase it?
     
  8. kitfinger

    kitfinger

    Jan 28, 2015
    Interesting, so heres the deal, got him to take it offline and agree to my terms of purchase and shipment/pickup, so yes i have "purchased", i figured for the price, it was worth atleast getting for head and body.. I have an old friend who also was apart of ampeg back in jersey, legend has it hes got a garage full of spare parts(maybe even a dolly!)... My main concern is the drilling.... Alittle nervious to say the least, especially when a seller goes "bought a couple of days ago"
     
  9. Bass 45

    Bass 45

    Jun 23, 2011
    Tempe, Arizona
    Congrats!

    I would make sure that the seller does not turn the amp on without it being plugged into a working speaker as this will cause problems. B15's usually have a built in circuit to prevent this - but it appears to have been disabled on the unit (the hardwired speaker cable has been removed).

    @beans-on-toast - would it cause an issue if this amp (or any other older tube amp) was running from the 16 ohm tap into an 8 ohm speaker load?
     
  10. kitfinger

    kitfinger

    Jan 28, 2015
    Yes! I noticed this as well! Verrey curious!
     
  11. Bass 45

    Bass 45

    Jun 23, 2011
    Tempe, Arizona
    Fliptops also sells the original octal type connectors for the speaker if you are interested in replacing it. It looks like the aftermarket 1/4 jack was added on the back (just above the insert for the tilt back rod - yes, this cab is also eqiuped to be tilted back - very cool) so I would assume the original 8 pin jack is still intact on the left side (not pictured - *edit* it is pictured and present) - so you would probably just need the plug http://www.fliptops.net/catalog/p-100827/amphenol-octal-to-14-plug-conversion-cable
     
  12. kitfinger

    kitfinger

    Jan 28, 2015
    Is that to say the tilt back feature is unusual? And does the after market impact the rig, or again a matter of personal pref/ cosmetics
     
  13. Bass 45

    Bass 45

    Jun 23, 2011
    Tempe, Arizona
    I don't consider myself an expert on collector values/rules etc., but I have bought and sold a few B15's and looking at this B15N I would consider it as a player based on it's condition. The totality of it's imperfections makes it so - so I would not sweat any of them individually;)

    I am unsure if that tilt back plug is original as it looks different the normally seen model (which appears as a chrome hex nut). A glance inside of the cab would tell us if it was original - there would be two brackets for holding the tilt back bar (when it is stored). It is possible that this looks different because it is a very early model.

    I am confident that I would be able to resell that amp for about $1,200.00 - $1,500.00 after making all of the minor repairs. Again, hopefully there are no major issues that cannot be seen in the ad.
     
  14. Bass 45

    Bass 45

    Jun 23, 2011
    Tempe, Arizona
    Also - the tilt feature was only offered for a couple of years in the early '60's - so not common.
     
  15. Jeff Bonny

    Jeff Bonny

    Nov 20, 2000
    Every bass player should own a B15 at some point....just so they know.
     
    kitfinger and Bass 45 like this.
  16. kitfinger

    kitfinger

    Jan 28, 2015
    Totally agreed. I really put it off for to long- mainly to find one i could eatablish an interesting relationship with!
     
  17. beans-on-toast

    beans-on-toast Supporting Member

    Aug 7, 2008
    I just see the one image in the ad and can't see what was done in terms of modifications. If the amp's speaker output is wired as it was originally, the amp won't work if a cab is plugged into another cab via the ext spkr jack unless the speaker cable is plugged into the main speaker cab at the same time. It doesn't matter that the jensen is working or not, the cable should be connected. If they rewired it, you have to look at the circuit to see what was done.

    An 8 ohm speaker on the 16 ohm tap will work on this amp. The impedance will be mismatched. It will put a strain on an old transformer because the currents will be higher. Some old transformers are best not to strain. It depends on the condition of this one. It is one thing to connect it to test it out. To be safe, because of the amp's age, I would get things set up properly with the impedance matched before using it regularly.
     
  18. kitfinger

    kitfinger

    Jan 28, 2015
  19. kitfinger

    kitfinger

    Jan 28, 2015
    Right on my man! Really appreciated the advice and additional info! I have a good bit of research done and had good conversations with my friend. but i was kinda torn on this one and hes outta the country. Honestly, not concernd to much w/ collectors rules etc, but mainly saw it as a tried n true player. I'vr had worse luck
     
  20. Bass 45

    Bass 45

    Jun 23, 2011
    Tempe, Arizona
    Thank you David. One of the reasons I asked about the potential speaker/transformer mismatch is a friend of mine recently was advised (by another friend) that if he replaced his 4 ohm speaker in his '49 Magnatone amp with an 8 ohm - that it would be fine. I thought I should advise him otherwise, but I wasn't 100% sure why. Also - what if the old 4ohm speaker was the wrong one? Is there a code on transformers (way back then) that indicate how many ohms the speaker should be?

    Here is a link to the Ebay listing - which has a few more photos:

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/Vintage-Amp...D&orig_cvip=true&rt=nc&_trksid=p2047675.l2557

    No internal shots - but you can see the missing speaker cable.
     
  21. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

     
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