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What makes it a "Flip-top?"

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Landy67, Feb 4, 2013.

  1. I'm looking at an Ampeg B15-N tomorrow after work. Why do they call it a flip top?

    Is there anything I need to know before I buy? This thing had a transformer replaced 15 years ago, and it had a 3 prong power cord added recently.

    I've played with one using a vintage J bass and liked the tone. I'm going to be using it with my Stingray, and a Godin A4 fretless hollow body. The Stingray has an active Humbucker and the Godin has a pre-amp built in. Are they going to sound alright through a 50 year old amp?
  2. Google *Ampeg flip top*, read wiki entry. They explain better than I type
  3. two fingers

    two fingers Opinionated blowhard. But not mad about it. Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2005
    Eastern NC USA
    Ha! I can't believe you are going to buy such a sweet amp and don't know what it is.

    The head (the part with all the knobs and switches and junk) is mounted on a board. That board is latched to the cabinet while the amp is in use. When you get done, you undo the latches and "flip the top" over and the head stores down in the cabinet upside down. Thus "flip top".

    Good luck with the purchase. They are really nice amps if they are working properly. If the guy wants a lot of money, and you don't know what you're doing, then have someone look it over before you make a mistake and get something half fried.
  4. shows ed "flipping" the amp early in the video. different model, same premise.

  5. JimmyM


    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    Alright? Hell, they'll sound AMAZING!
  6. It's not like I don't know anything about the model, I just didn't see anything anywhere that explained that the head fits inside the amp. (cool trick)

    The amp is local, and it's selling for a little less than they go for on eBay. Not a lot less, but enough to take the drive to look at it, and it seems to be a fair price for both parties if it's in the kind of shape he says it is.

    Recently serviced, and the only thing wrong is some tattered Tolex.
  7. JimmyM


    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    Do you know what year it is? Not that there was ever a bad year for B-15's, but the design changed pretty radically over the years.
  8. All I know is it's early 60's.

    I've seen some with two, three and some with four inputs. Is it safe to assume that the fewer inputs, the older the model? I guess that I don't know for sure that it's even an "N" model.

    Is there someplace that has info on the older Ampeg's? (I.E. What's the difference between a B15-N and a B15-S?
  9. JimmyM


    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    You know, there must be some site with all that info...but I can't think of one except maybe www.unofficialampeg.com .
  10. Awesome! I am now armed and ready to talk like I know what I'm talking about when I look at this thing.
  11. Rats!!! The deal fell through. The guy just couldn't part with the amp.

    Oh, well... The search continues.
  12. boooooo!!!!!! oh well, maybe next time!
  13. majortoby


    Jul 2, 2009
    Tampa, Fl USA
    I hope you left your number with him. He came that close to selling it, maybe there will be a change of heart.
  14. Yes I did! If he decides to sell it, I'll take it. It was a great amp, and a good deal for both parties.

    I don't blame him for not selling!
  15. Well, I got my B-15-N, and now I'm trying to learn how to use it. I would also like to figure out how old this baby is. I don't see a serial number anywhere. On the top is just says B-15-N.

    I have two inputs for Channel 1 and one for channel 2. There isn't a tremendous difference between them (with my fretless acoustic) What's the difference with the three inputs? Can this be used for two instruments at the same time?

    On the back, It looks like I have a speaker out, (It doesn't have a fixed cable) an external speaker jack, and an amp out. That's all self explanatory, but it also has a control for "Hum control" I haven't played with that yet. Is it a gain control?

    I really like the sound of this thing, and it doesn't have to be turned up till everything in the room shakes to sound great. I hope to get to spend some quality time with it this afternoon.

    Thanks for any help!
  16. Woodstockz


    Sep 23, 2011
    San Diego, Ca
    Pics, man, pics!:hyper:

    Pics, so that the B15 gurus can help you out, and so that the rest of us can drool.
  17. spacebassed


    Jan 31, 2009
    Without pics, the first way to narrow down the date is by what rectifier tube it has:
    5u4 - '61-'63 (original '60 B15 also used a 5u4)
    solid state rectifier (no tube) - mid '63-early '64
    5ar4 - mid '64 on

    Channel one is a bit more "vintage" sounding and channel two is more "modern" - I prefer channel two. Channel one also has a guitar input. Yes you can use two instruments at once.

    The hum control is just that - a hum control. It is used to lessen any hum you get, but these amps are usually VERY quiet.
  18. 20130317_112130. 20130317_112116. 20130317_112144. 20130317_112244. 20130317_112206.
    Here ya go. The person I bought it from thought it was a 1965.
  19. spacebassed


    Jan 31, 2009
    Well, its got a 5ar4 but the chassis isn't labelled for one so that tells me it was made soon after the change from SS rectifier - I'd guess '64. A '65 would have a serial number below the power cord. Either way it's an "NC" - it should also have an eyelet board instead of a circuit board.

    Another thing, a trick I use to get more variation in tone between channel 1 and 2 is to use a different brand preamp tube in v1(first position) and v2(second position - v1 only affects channel 1 and v2 only affects channel 2.

    You might want to drop by the Portaflex Club, lots of good info there:

  20. JimmyM


    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    In my 64, channel 2 sounds like a guitar channel with less bass. The second channel in channel 1 is, I believe, a reduced output channel for those with hot basses similar to the passive/active option in modern amps, but it's been years since I plugged into it.