Our Ampeg B15 Bass Amp Overview – Is This Amp Worth Buying?
In the 60’s, there were a lot of revolutions going on, weren’t there? It seemed to culminate in Woodstock and a variety of other large, outdoor festivals. The background music to revolution was rock – as the times changed, rock and roll came into the limelight and with it, a variety of bands bringing their technology to the stage.
One of the greatest revolutions to come about during the 60’s and 70’s was that of the bass guitar. The bass guitar had rarely, if ever, been used during previous decades, but with the new sounds of rock and roll, it started to become a powerful underlying force in the industry.
One of the first bass amps out there is was the Ampeg B15. A portable bass amp with easy-to-use controls, the first and best in its league at the time, busted out of the gates and made history in the music world.
What is the Ampeg B15?
Invented by the iconic Jess Oliver over 50 years ago, the Ampeg B15 was one of the first bass amps brought to light during the bass revolution. The first B-15 was put in mass production in 1964, and was followed up by a 1966 version. This bass amp quickly became popular with producers, performers, and recordings alike, and was a frontrunner to many of our modern bass amps that we know now.
The Ampeg B15 has gone through a variety of different remakes, but all of them end up with the same result – unique, rich sound, amazing quality, and a value worth every penny you will spend on this awesome piece of equipment.
The most recent versions of the Ampeg B15 are the 2010 and 2011 Heritage builds. These designs were approved by Jess Oliver and were only produced in limited supply in order to control quality.
What features are included on the Ampeg B15?
The Ampeg B15 is a one of a kind piece, and its features make it that much more unique in the realm of bass amps. According to the Ampeg website, the B15 has the following specifications.
-RMS Power Output: 30W RMS (1966 bias) / 25W RMS (1964 bias) -LF Driver: 1 x 15˝ custom Eminence® -Preamp: Tube (3 x 12AX7) -Rectifier: Tube (1 x 5AR4) -Power Amp: Tube (2 x 6L6GC) – Channel 1: 1964 (B-15NC) – Channel 2: 1966 (B-15NF)s – Tone Controls: Baxandall Bass and Treble (per channel) – Power Tube Bias: Selectable (1964/cathode, 1966/fixed) – Speaker Outputs: 1 x 8 ohm, 2 x 4 ohm
All of these features work together to create that 1960’s, funky bass sound that many of us have grown to know and love. The flip-top and inner tubing (as opposed to more the more modern solid state “guts” that most bass amps have) make this an amazing bass amp for anyone who wants to get a little vintage with their bass sound and performance.
Is this for real?
It is! If you want a piece of the bass revolution from the 60’s, the Ampeg B15 is totally the bass amp for you to check out. Of course, I could talk until my face was blue while I was trying to convince you that yes, this is the right bass amp to flashback with. So why don’t I let some others tell you what’s up with the B15?
“I loaded up the early 70’s B15 that I keep in the studio for electric bass What I DIDN’T expect was how good it would sound – holy cow! Over the years, I’ve tried a whole bunch of different gear to try and get a sound that makes me smile – plugging the Realist pickup straight into the Ampeg gave me exactly what I wanted to hear.” – Dave M.
“They remain in studios to this day because younger producers, engineers, and bassists love the sound, whether they’re recording something old school or contemporary music. The B-15 is a timeless bass amp with a timeless tone.” – Bob B.
“I use the B-15 when I need a punchy, sweet, natural tone—which is most of the time, in fact. Sonically speaking, I just find it so consistently rewarding. The amp seems to provide the perfect spectrum, with the right amount of ‘note.’ It’s midrangy, without ever being ‘pokey’; it’s deep without being flabby.” – Justin M.
Professionals and amateurs alike love the B15 and all its remakes for the best sound and flexibility that sounds like it comes straight from the 70’s. Whether you go for an old-school model or search for the 2011 anniversary model, the B15 is totally the way to go for any bass player that needs a quality amplifier.