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B-18N
Old 15th March 2014
  #1
B-18N

Hey FFTT - you wanted to see my B-18? Here 'tis.
Attached Thumbnails
B-18N-my-b-18.jpg  
Old 15th March 2014
  #2
Gear Guru
 
FFTT's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
I see you've got one of those Ampeg, dragged behind a VW Mini Bus Road Worn Series.

B-18 is cool and IMHO a better bass head than the B-15, but I think the
B-18 may sound better to most through an EV or JBL or Fane full range 15"

Today with 5 string Basses and BEAD 4 strings, an 18 cab would be nice to work with, but the quality of the speaker would be kinda critical.

It would be great to hear how in sounds, just for reference.
Old 15th March 2014 | Show parent
  #3
Quote:
Originally Posted by FFTT ➑️
I see you've got one of those Ampeg, dragged behind a VW Mini Bus Road Worn Series.

B-18 is cool and IMHO a better bass head than the B-15, but I think the
B-18 may sound better to most through an EV or JBL or Fane full range 15"

Today with 5 string Basses and BEAD 4 strings, an 18 cab would be nice to work with, but the quality of the speaker would be kinda critical.

It would be great to hear how in sounds, just for reference.
It has a Gauss 18 in it but when I get a chance I want to swap it out for a more responsive driver like a JBL K151 or a Peavey BW18. I'm not sure if an EV 18 would fit, even if I could find one.

I actually prefer a light coned 18 to a 15 - much deeper, warmer tone.
Old 15th March 2014
  #4
Gear Guru
 
FFTT's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Low notes played on the low B string already tend to be kinda farty, so you
gotta have a driver with a tight low end to hold it together.

The 18" Cab to have is the EV/Mesa Road Ready 18" cab.

I have no clue about the newer light weight neo speakers.

Always had big 15" bass drivers with big magnets and cast frames.
Old 15th March 2014
  #5
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by John Eppstein ➑️
Hey FFTT - you wanted to see my B-18? Here 'tis.
Sweet amp!!!


How is the high end response with an 18 (not that I like a ton of high end.. I am a pbass with flats guy) ?

If you needed to get a "slap'ish" tone, would you track it and a di together, or would the amp be good on it's own?
Old 16th March 2014 | Show parent
  #6
Quote:
Originally Posted by vintagelove ➑️
Sweet amp!!!


How is the high end response with an 18 (not that I like a ton of high end.. I am a pbass with flats guy) ?

If you needed to get a "slap'ish" tone, would you track it and a di together, or would the amp be good on it's own?
Well, I don't usually do much slappy stuff these days, but a lot of the answer depends on the speaker. And 18 with a lighter cone and suspension has better transient response than something stiffer and heavier. I often track with a DI but the DI doesn't get used much most of the time.

Ampeg tube flip-tops have traditionally been favorites among rockabilly players, they can get a bit slappy at times... Where you might need to use a compressor to get a decent sound for that with a modern amp you don't with one of these. One thing to bear in mind was that Ampeg used to sell the Baby Bass electric bass viol, aimed at that market.
Old 16th March 2014
  #7
Gear Guru
 
FFTT's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
It would be great to hear it.

Old track, new track what ever you've got.
Old 16th March 2014
  #8
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
Agreed..bust a move and lets hear some sounds from that Flipper.

Dying to hear what that 18 sounds like..do some tonal moves on the amps EQ setup when you do it..can we expect this later in the evening?

Kthnxbye.
Old 16th March 2014
  #9
I'll try to post something when I have time and we don't have anything else going in the studio. You need to understand - we record ANALOG, to 2" tape, and need to do the recording and then bounce it to the computer before doing an MP3 (which is only an approximate representation, anyway.) It's not like you guys with your digital rigs - we have to physically repatch things with actual cables and if we're set up for an actual session it's a royal PITA to do, just to satisfy your curiosity/egos. I'll try to bounce something off a recent track - only problem is that we're currently set up for mixdown on a song with a totally different track layout, tracked by a different engineer who didn't (was too lazy to) use the amp (which is why I can't just give you that bass track.)

Some of us have priorities. I'll try to accommodate you.
Old 16th March 2014
  #10
I'll try to post something when I have time and we don't have anything else going in the studio. You need to understand - we record ANALOG, to 2" tape, and need to do the recording and then bounce it to the computer before doing an MP3 (which is only an approximate representation, anyway.) It's not like you guys with your digital rigs - we have to physically repatch things with actual cables and if we're set up for an actual session it's a royal PITA to do, just to satisfy your curiosity/egos. I'll try to bounce something off a recent track - only problem is that we're currently set up for mixdown on a song with a totally different track layout, tracked by a different engineer who didn't (was too lazy to) use the amp (which is why I can't just give you that bass track.)

Some of us have priorities. I'll try to accommodate you.

Understand - I'm not going to post an entire song. We're going to be shopping the album to labels and they take a very dim view of stuff that's already available on the internet.
Old 16th March 2014 | Show parent
  #11
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pchicago ➑️
Agreed..bust a move and lets hear some sounds from that Flipper.

Dying to hear what that 18 sounds like..do some tonal moves on the amps EQ setup when you do it..can we expect this later in the evening?

Kthnxbye.
No. You can't. Sorry. I don't record to computers or (shudder) smartphones, of which I do not own one.

Incidentally, the 18 in the amp is a Gauss, which would not have been my first choice as it a bit on the stiff and slow side. I'll be replacing it with a JBL K151 or a Peavey BW18, which are both lighter coned, more responsive speakers, when I get a chance. The Gauss isn't too bad compared to a lot of 18s though.
Old 16th March 2014
  #12
Lives for gear
 
Hot Vibrato's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
My wife (who is a badass bassist) borrowed a B-15 from a friend a few years back. It sounded real good, except it rattled like hell. Is that an issue with your B-18?
Old 16th March 2014
  #13
Gear Guru
 
FFTT's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
I've posted demos recorded on my camera in movie mode countless times.

20-256 watts RMS not a big deal just mic from like 30 feet.

Most people can hear past the camera self noise & chatter just fine.

Enough to get a good idea anyway.

It helps to lower the camera or iPhone input volume down to minimum to reduce
background noise and to avoid clipping.

It's not a freekin audition, just a tone demo for reference. Relax!

Anything you have saved in .wav can be converted easily to MP3 in iTunes.
Actually you can just upload .wav files to Soundcloud to retain some fidelity.
Old 16th March 2014
  #14
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
Yes, John..some of us do have priorities.

Right now one of my priorities is whipping the slave girl who's peeling my morning grapes. She likes it best when I use a huge bunch of cilantro on the back of her thighs. Have you ever had this problemo?

Yeah, post a snip from a session. It would be cool..Im shopping for a used Bass amp right now and those things keep popping up on Craigs. A kid had one of those down in my Son's studio a while back, he was playing guitar through it..never got a chance to plug in a Bass and check it out.

: )
Old 16th March 2014
  #15
Gear Guru
 
FFTT's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
A B-18 head, fully refurbished over any good 15" cab would make a nice rig.

I'd want detailed photos of the control panel, chassis, cab details, back plate, tube list, speaker info on any used amp.

Condition is a huge factor, the cleaner and the closer to original, the better.

Control panels are notoriously scratched, pitted, rusted, depending on where
they were stored.

Under the hood, try to get clear chassis details.

Transformer should be original.

Original preamp tubes are worth a bunch, so are good NOS power tubes.

The speaker really does matter the most after that.

Fliptops.net offers reproduction, solid top and flip top B-15 and B-18 cabinets.
If the cab you're looking at it trashed.
Old 16th March 2014 | Show parent
  #16
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hot Vibrato ➑️
My wife (who is a badass bassist) borrowed a B-15 from a friend a few years back. It sounded real good, except it rattled like hell. Is that an issue with your B-18?
No.

If it did I'd fix it.

Sometimes if the nuts that hold the tube cage in place get loose they rattle, but that's easily dealt with. Otherwise, I'd go over the whole thing and make sure everything's tight. The cabinet itself shouldn't rattle - I've never had one that did and I've owned at least 3 B-15s and 2 B-18s.
Old 16th March 2014 | Show parent
  #17
Quote:
Originally Posted by FFTT ➑️
I've posted demos recorded on my camera in movie mode countless times.

20-256 watts RMS not a big deal just mic from like 30 feet.

Most people can hear past the camera self noise & chatter just fine.

Enough to get a good idea anyway.

It helps to lower the camera or iPhone input volume down to minimum to reduce
background noise and to avoid clipping.

It's not a freekin audition, just a tone demo for reference. Relax!

Anything you have saved in .wav can be converted easily to MP3 in iTunes.
Actually you can just upload .wav files to Soundcloud to retain some fidelity.
Yes, but you see, you have a camera with movie mode. I don't even have a real smartphone (it's allegedly 3G enabled, but requires a proprietary cable to transfer anything to the computer. I don't have the cable, which was like $30 extra and isn't available anymore AFAIK. It doesn't have a touchscreen and trying to use the internet on it is next to impossible.) My guitarist has a semi-smartphone, but I don't know if it even does movies. (Edit: He says it does horrible sounding 30 second clips.)

I'll try to get you an isolated bass track off one of the recent songs in a few days. Patience is a virtue.

Y'know I'm really not into all this "post clips of everything" stuff. Call me old-fashioned (HEY EPPSTEIN, YOU'RE OLD FASHIONED!), but I don't even post stuff on my Facebook timeline.

In most cases the sound quality is at best a pale representation of the real thing, anyway, unless you put some serious time into doing it.

I mean, seriously, what is a iPhone or even a Nikon camera clip going to tell you about how the amp sounds miced with an RE-20 and recorded straight to tape with a quality preamp? Not a hell of a lot.

One of the things I respect about Johann's videos is that he actually puts some decent effort into the production side of things and lets you know what his methodology is.

I don't use Soundcloud, either, except to occasionally critique other people's mixes when they ask. I don't know anybody pro who does and I'm not into giving stuff away - if you do that no company is going to pay you for it. I don't believe that those sites are a viable "new distribution model" or "new paradigm" or whatever the techhies making all the money off free music want you to believe. I have one semi-firm offer for the album when it's finished and will be shopping it to see if I can do better. If that fails I'll put it on iTunes and CDBaby.
Old 17th March 2014
  #18
Lives for gear
 
lame pseudonym's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Damn, the B-18 was my first real amplifier, back in 1968.

It came without a speaker, and I put an EV 15" in it, just because they advertised high sensitivity and they cost half what a JBL cost. I don't think it sounded particularly good (blame the EV) but I was looking for something a little more boomy in my teenage years.
Old 17th March 2014
  #19
Gear Guru
 
Musiclab's Avatar
Jess Oliver would be proud.
Old 18th March 2014
  #20
OK, here's a section of our bass player, Larry Goodwin, playing a section of the bass line to the old Johnny Horton tune "Honky Tonk Man" through the B-18. He was using his Carvin bass on this one, recorded with an RE-20 as seen in the pic, straight into the console to the Studer, no EQ or processing applied to the signal.

Personally, I think his new custom Jazz Bass or his fretless Precision might have sounded a bit better, but the Carvin is quite acceptable.

I was able to get it up a bit sooner than expected because we decided to cancel mixing on the song that was scheduled and re-record it with our new pedal steel player.

Hope y'all didn't expect some kind of pyrotechnics - we're a country band.
Attached Files

Ampeg Bass Amp.mp3 (1.19 MB, 215 views)

Old 18th March 2014
  #21
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
Sounds excellent, it's gots some balls, IMO and sounds pretty balanced.
Old 18th March 2014
  #22
Gear Guru
 
FFTT's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
As expected, a full warm tone with a wooly edge.

Thanks for posting this.

It was short and to the point and perfectly fine.

Clips like this help the listener to establish a solid tonal reference.

To hear the bass solo'd even better.

I agree a P-Bass or J-Bass would be great to hear, but with the 18" driver,
it would also be great to hear how the speaker handles the low B of a 5 String.
Old 18th March 2014
  #23
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
Very nice
Old 18th March 2014
  #24
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
Sounds great John - thanks for posting.
Old 18th March 2014 | Show parent
  #25
Quote:
Originally Posted by FFTT ➑️
As expected, a full warm tone with a wooly edge.

Thanks for posting this. Good reference.
You're very welcome. If I AM going to post a reference I'll do my best to do one that is well recorded with proper equipment, not something done on a smartphone or video camera.

I suspect that the amp will sound even better after I swap the speaker out for a JBL or Peavey BW - the Gauss that's in it now is rather stiff as speakers go, with its double spider design and relatively low compliance surround, despite many years of break-in. Whoever matched that speaker with this amp wasn't thinking very clearly, as Gauss achieved their very high power ratings (for the time) at the expense of efficiency and transient response.

Funny thing was that a Gauss at full power rating wasn't any louder than a JBL at it's full power rating, despite having twice the power pumping through it...
Old 18th March 2014 | Show parent
  #26
Gear Guru
 
FFTT's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by John Eppstein ➑️
You're very welcome. If I AM going to post a reference I'll do my best to do one that is well recorded with proper equipment, not something done on a smartphone or video camera.

I suspect that the amp will sound even better after I swap the speaker out for a JBL or Peavey BW - the Gauss that's in it now is rather stiff as speakers go, with its double spider design and relatively low compliance surround, despite many years of break-in. Whoever matched that speaker with this amp wasn't thinking very clearly, as Gauss achieved their very high power ratings (for the time) at the expense of efficiency and transient response.

Funny thing was that a Gauss at full power rating wasn't any louder than a JBL at it's full power rating, despite having twice the power pumping through it...
If you have time to mess with it one day, try micing the same part through
all three speakers and see what the playback reveals.

I would probably keep the speaker that handled low B string tones the best.
Old 18th March 2014 | Show parent
  #27
Quote:
Originally Posted by FFTT ➑️
If you have time to mess with it one day, try micing the same part through
all three speakers and see what the playback reveals.

I would probably keep the speaker that handled low B string tones the best.
Well, the music we do doesn't have any of that, but I imagine that any one of those speakers would handle it. I've used lots of JBL K and E 151s and Peavey BW 18s in PA work.
Old 18th March 2014
  #28
Gear Guru
 
FFTT's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
I'm just glad you posted the clip.

The only way to tell how a different speaker will sound is to try it.

What works as a sub for PA, may or may not be the most ideal for your amp.
Old 18th March 2014 | Show parent
  #29
Quote:
Originally Posted by FFTT ➑️
I'm just glad you posted the clip.

The only way to tell how a different speaker will sound is to try it.

What works as a sub for PA, may or may not be the most ideal for your amp.
Well, aside from the fact that I have several decades of experience and can extrapolate pretty well, based on that.

Bass amps are rather different than guitar amps in how they interact with speakers at least in conventional situations. (Lemmy is a bit different.)
Old 18th March 2014
  #30
Lives for gear
 
2 Reviews written
🎧 15 years
John Eppstein,

I can recommend a Bag End 18 inch driver... I own 4 of those and a 15 inch.... All of those are epic...
Separate drivers aren't easy to find. But they are out there... Here is a new cab:

Bag End S18D RESTOCK ITEM 18" Subwoofer with Red Carpet Cover Finish, S18D-RST-01 | Full Compass

EDIT.... thought I found a 18 inch Bag end driver ... but it wasn't genuine...
πŸ“ Reply

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