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Using a new Ampeg PF-410HLF cab with a vintage B-15

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by The Colonel, Oct 26, 2013.

  1. The Colonel

    The Colonel

    Oct 25, 2013
    Good Day,

    I am the original owner of a 1966 Ampeg B-15 (probably a B-15NF model), and I am considering the purchase of an extension cab for my beloved B-15. One suggestion given to me (by a salesperson) is that I should consider a new PF-410HLF cabinet.

    I would welcome comments based on experience or informed opinion on the idea of using a new PF-410HLF with a vintage B-15. The B-15 does have an 8 ohm jack for an extension speaker, so that should not be an issue.

    I will be playing a 1978 J-Bass and a 2011 Ibanez SR505 through it. My music genre is contemporary Christian. This setup would be used in varied venues from small rooms and churches from 20-100 person capacity up through rooms and churches with a 500-1000 person capacity. Normally the cabinet is mic’ed back to the FOH, and a direct feed from the end of my pedal chain is also taken separately back to the FOH. For the smaller rooms, I use the amp to fill the room or as a monitor if there is a suitable PA system. For larger venues, I use In-Ear Monitors (IEM’s) so I am not looking for a lot of volume from the rig – that is the job of the FOH set-up.

    Thoughts, comments and/or opinions?

    Thanks in advance,

    The Colonel
  2. ahc


    Jul 31, 2009
    No. Virginia
    You might look into a matching B-15 cab. Fliptops and Vintage Blue have them. And there's the Portaflex cabs as you know. It's usually best to use matching cabs/speakers. And in a vertical array, too.
  3. jmattbassplaya

    jmattbassplaya Looking for a gig around East Islip, NY!

    Jan 13, 2008
    It really comes down to personal taste. Have you tried one out yet?
  4. I think the PF115LF would be a better match. Try both and see what you think!
  5. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    Yep, a 66 is definitely the NF. The PF cabs are very cool, but while they do have similar tones, they go considerably lower than the original cabs. I'm a bit of a purist when it comes to the B-15 sound, and I would only want to match it up with an identical cab. You might find an orphaned cab or www.fliptops.net makes repros. Vintage Blue makes great stuff but they only make the double baffle cab, and not the single baffle like you have. Load it with an Eminence Delta 15a and it'll sound identical if you have the original CTS speaker.

    An alternate plan is to unbolt the head and bring the PF410hlf by itself. That might work out well for you if you want a cab that goes very low.
  6. The Colonel

    The Colonel

    Oct 25, 2013
    Thanks for the response. I wish that I had the foresight to buy an extension cabinet around the time I bought the B-15. (As I recall, Ampeg offered both a 15-inch extension cabinet and an 18-inch extension cabinet during the 60's.) I will look at the web sites you suggested as a part of my research on this issue.

    By matching, do you mean electrically or by size of speaker? If electrically, then the PF-410HLF's 8 ohm input matches the 8 ohm external speaker output on the B-15. If by size, then I will consider using a cabinet with a second 15 inch speaker. I do know that using a rig with a 115 cabinet and a 410 cabinet is a popular choice of many bassists. Perhaps I need to play through both set-ups to decide.

    Thanks again,

    The Colonel
  7. The Colonel

    The Colonel

    Oct 25, 2013
    It appears that the PF-410HLF is not usually stocked in the music stores. Finding one to play through is difficult even in the metropolitan Atlanta area where I live. I may have to listen to another Ampeg 410 cabinet to get a close idea of what the PF-410HLF will ultimately will sound like with the B-15 driving it.


    The Colonel
  8. The Colonel

    The Colonel

    Oct 25, 2013
    I will do as you suggest. It may take a little time (please see my response to jmattbassplaya above). I do wonder how an active 5 string SR505 with roundwound strings will sound through one or two 15-inch speaker cabinets. Some people think that the 15-inch cabinet produces too "pillowly" a sound for a modern active pickup bass even though they may think that it is fine when using a vintage P-bass or J-bass.

    Thanks for your response,

    The Colonel
  9. The Colonel

    The Colonel

    Oct 25, 2013
    The fact that the PF cabs go lower may be a benefit when playing the SR505 though it. Of course I will still have the option of using only the B-15 by itself for the few times I sit in a studio. And when playing live, I could mic either one or both cabinets and let the FOH guy shape/mix the sound as he wants (which of course he will do anyway). Finding an orphaned B-15 cab or one of the original 15-inch extension cabs may be akin to searching for the Holy Grail. I have been looking using somewhat minimal effort for years without results. But pursuing one more actively would make for an interesting search. And I don't have to limit myself to owning just one cabinet -- I just need to pick one when I play.

    Thanks for the recommendation on a speaker; I do have the original CTS speaker in my B-15.

    Thanks again,

    The Colonel

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