Ampeg B-15N Bass *Local Pickup Only* Tube Amplifier (1965)

Ampeg  B-15N Bass *Local Pickup Only* Tube Amplifier (1965)
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Item # 12032
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Ampeg B-15N Bass *Local Pickup Only* Model Tube Amplifier (1965), made in Linden NJ, serial # 003995, blue checked Tolex finish.

Overall this is a very nicely preserved example of the all-time classic recording bass amp, Ampeg's B-15N. Conceived by Jess Oliver in 1958, the iconic 'flip-top' design has been the preferred in-house bass amplifier for the great majority of professional studios, and was a lower-volume gig standard from its early days as a union-provided amp on the Manhattan bass club scene.

The 'flip-top' design was partly inspired by contemporary sewing machines, allowing the amp to effectively be stored inside of itself, making it highly practical for transport. Another innovation was the double-baffle cabinet design, which places the speaker between two baffles, one outer and one inner that was fixed to the cabinet, and to which the speaker would be mounted to. The inner baffle featured a number of ports, effectively allowing the rear and the front waves of the speaker to meet perfectly in-phase.

The B-15 saw a number of revisions through the first half of the 60s. This particular amp is the "NC" version, the last appearance of the double-baffle design and most easily distinguished by the smaller 5AR4 tube rectifier, offering less voltage drop/sag compared to the earlier 5U4GB tube. The amp otherwise has the same features as its predecessor; two channels, each with its own volume, treble and bass controls, guitar and bass inputs for channel one and an instrument input for channel two. The push-pull 6L6-driven power section puts out roughly 25 watts into a single 15" speaker.

From James Jamerson to John Paul Jones, to even Jimi Hendrix, who was known for plugging into a pair on occasion, these amps have arguably hosted some of the most influential musicians in modern times.
Height is 29 in. (73.7 cm.), 21 in. (53.3 cm.) width, and 13 3/4 in. (34.9 cm.) deep.

Externally, this amp is very well-preserved. The signature "Blue Check" Tolex is in great shape with only some moderate wear mostly around corners and edges. There is some light scuffing to the tops of the transformers and tube cage from decades of the amp being flipped and stowed in the cabinet. The grille cloths is equally in great shape, with no notable signs of tears or fraying. The original Ampeg logo from the upper front of the cabinet is present as well. The chassis is fairly clean overall with very minor signs of corrosion; there's a noticeable dent around the input jacks from some ancient mishap. There is also some minor wear and scratches on the front and rear panels. The handle is a correct modern repro; this part is quite often replaced by now.

Internally, this amp remains nicely original. The serial number dates the chassis to 1965. The speaker appears to be the original or at least a period replacement Jensen C15N, commonly seen on early B-15NC models before Ampeg started using CTS-made speakers. The speaker bears the code 220-617, dating it to the 17th week of 1966. It may be the chassis sat around for a while into 1966 before it was assembled, or it was replaced with the factory correct part early on. The speaker still retains its original cone and sounds great. The amp has seen our typical servicing and maintenance, including replacement of all electrolytic capacitors, adding a grounded 3-prong power cord, cleaning of all sockets, pots and jacks and biased to spec.

This is a lovely example overall; a true classic amp and perennial studio staple. Any studio doing "vintage sound" needs one of these! Very Good + Condition.