Vintage Guitars
I'm happy with this
This website uses cookies to personalise content and adverts, to provide social media features, and to analyse traffic. When you buy through links on our site we may earn an affiliate commission. See terms and conditions
AMPEG | AMPLIFIER | B-15

Ampeg B-15N Portaflex

15" valve bass guitar amplifier

Ampeg B-15 video clips

1968 Hagstrom H8 / Ampeg B15 - 5th Riff (extract #1, 1m 31s)

Find out more about these instruments here: 1968 Hagstrom H8, 1964 Ampeg B-15N

The H8 is traditionally tuned in octaves, but you can also get some very interesting effects using alternate tunings of the treble strings. For more examples of this, check out the long version of this video in the vintageguitarandbass supporting members area.

Recorded here with a Shure SM57 (left channel) and a Heil PR-40 (right channel), through a Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 interface - highly recommended gear!

1968 Hagstrom H8 / Ampeg B15 - Upstrokes, Downstrokes (extract #2, 1m 53s)

Find out more about these instruments here: 1968 Hagstrom H8, 1964 Ampeg B-15N

The H8 strings are in pairs - you need to play downstrokes to hit each pair with any degree of uniformity, but you can select just the 'bass' string with careful upstrokes. Check out the long version of this video in the vintageguitarandbass supporting members area.

Recorded here with a Shure SM57 (left channel) and a Heil PR-40 (right channel), through a Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 interface - highly recommended gear!

1968 Hagstrom H8 / Ampeg B15 - Chime Time (extract #3, 1m 35s)

Find out more about these instruments here: 1968 Hagstrom H8, 1964 Ampeg B-15N

We can get some really bright chiming tones from this bass / amp by selecting just the bridge pickup and picking down by the bridge. Check out the long version of this video in the vintageguitarandbass supporting members area.

Recorded here with a Shure SM57 (left channel) and a Heil PR-40 (right channel), through a Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 interface - highly recommended gear!

1963 Vox Bassmaster / 1964 Ampeg B15 (7m 44s)

Find out more about these instruments here: 1963 Vox Bassmaster, 1964 Ampeg B-15N

For snarly distortion, I love my WEM amplifiers, but for cleaner tones, nothing beats an Ampeg B15. Unlike the previous videos (above), the bass is now strung with flatwound strings (shortscale, Rotosound Jazz Bass RS77S, 40-90, so still fairly light). These are not actually ideal, as the ball-end silk windings actually extend over the saddle - not great for accurate intonation, but it's the set I bought! (Labella Deep Talkin' strings don't have winding at this end, but I didn't have any spare on the day I was making the video). It's a nice sounding bass, although with somewhat limited controls: despite the dual pickups, it only has a master volume and master tone - no option to select the pickups individually. The neck is narrow, but not too shallow, and topped with a nice radiused rosewood fretboard. Some other early Vox instruments had a flat sycamore board - notably the Clubman bass. Actually rather good for playing some of those faster runs not so easy on some necks. The Vox V1 pickups are (as always) pretty nice - plenty of midrange and a lot of character. This bass is very light (just a shade over 3kg), and a lot of fun to play, but probably too primative to be anyone's main bass.

Recorded here with a Heil PR-40 (left channel) and a Shure SM57 (right channel), through a Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 interface - highly recommended gear!

1966 Vox Symphonic / 1964 Ampeg B15 (3m 41s)

Find out more about these instruments here: 1966 Vox Symphonic, 1964 Ampeg B-15N

This clip shows this 1966 Vox Symphonic bass played through a 1964 Ampeg B15. This is a really nice playing bass, not dissimilar from the early 1960s Precision on which it was based. It's got a good tone, and is a far more substantial bass than many made by Vox. Strung here with Fender 9050L flatwound strings

Recorded here with an Electrovoice RE-20 (left channel) and a Shure SM57 (right channel), through a Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 interface - highly recommended gear!

1973 Fender Musicmaster bass / 1964 Ampeg B15 - vintage guitar demo (8m 57s)

Find out more about these instruments here: 1973 Fender Musicmaster bass, 1964 Ampeg B-15N

The Ampeg B15 is an absolute classic amplifier, famous for its clean midrange output: there's little snarl, and certainly no fuzz, but the clean tones are magnificent! Contrast the sounds of this amp with those from the WEM Dominator also featured on this site

Strung with Fender flats

Recorded here with a Shure SM57 (left channel) and a Heil PR-40 (right channel), through a Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 interface - highly recommended gear!

1968 Hagstrom H8 / 1964 Ampeg B15 (long version, 8m 04s)

Find out more about these instruments here: 1968 Hagstrom H8, 1964 Ampeg B-15N

The Hagstrom Eight String bass (H8, or F800) is a pretty quirky instrument with some pretty unique sounds. And there are a LOT of sound possibilities, both from the instruments controls, and the use of unconventional tunings. Strings are in pairs, traditionally tuned in octaves, just like a 12-string guitar. The treble string is positioned directly above, and quite close to, the bass string, and like the 12-string, notes are played together on both strings. It's not impossible to play fingerstyle, but is more effective when played with a pick. Unlike a guitar, chords are not really the name of the game, and as single notes are the focus of most basslines, downward picks give the most tonal consistency. But you can play just the 'bass' strings if you carefully pick upwards. A typical hard plastic bass pick works ok, but I find you get a better result with a more flexible pick. Thin plastic is ok for playing multiple strings, but I quite like a 'Leather Tones' leather guitar pick. These are firm enough to get a decent sound when playing one string, but flexible enough when playing several. They do produce a darker jazzier sound though. Hear the difference in the video.

You can also get some very interesting effects using alternate tunings of the treble strings; typically uptuning these by a 3rd or a 5th. Again, hear some of these sounds towards the end of the video.

Recorded here with a Shure SM57 (left channel) and a Heil PR-40 (right channel), through a Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 interface - highly recommended gear!

1968 Gretsch 6071 bass / 1964 Ampeg B15 (long version, 13m 39s)

Find out more about these instruments here: , 1964 Ampeg B-15N

This is a fantastic bass. Quality has to be felt, and like the 1960s instruments of Gibson, Epiphone and Guild, Gretsch guitars exude it. Despite having just one pickup, the tone circuitry gives this bass a good tonal range, admittedly in the realm of 60s thump rather than 70s clank, but a great playing and utterly sweet sounding bass for sure!

This video demonstrates the natural bass tone in a number of playing styles, as well as with tone chokes engaged (0.03µF and 0.1µF) - and five different amp settings, from deep and mellow, to jagged snarl. This bass sounds great through the B15 (although, to be fair, everything sounds great through a B15!)

Recorded here with a Heil PR-40 (left channel) and a Shure SM57 (right channel), through a Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 interface - highly recommended gear!

1971 Epiphone 1820 bass (ET-280) / Ampeg B15 (short version, 4m 04s)

Find out more about these instruments here: 1971 Epiphone 1820 bass, 1964 Ampeg B-15N

The Ampeg B15 is an incredible amp, with some absolutely gorgeous sounds. The Epiphone 1820 is a good solid bass; nice sounding, with no tonal extremes. But like any other bass, it sounds awesome through a B15. Strung here with Rotosound RS77S short scale flatwound strings. Check it out!

Recorded here with a Heil PR-40 (left channel) and a Shure SM57 (right channel), through a Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 interface - highly recommended gear!

1971 Epiphone 1820 bass (ET-280) / Ampeg B15 (long version, 13m 41s)

Find out more about these instruments here: 1971 Epiphone 1820 bass, 1964 Ampeg B-15N

The Epiphone 1820 has the simplest controls possible for a two pickup bass, with just a master volume and tone, and pickup selector switch, there is no shortage of useable tones, from nice and smooth, through deep and rich, to a dirty angry snarl. The pickup heights are not adjustable and the pickup volumes can be a touch imbalanced. Furthermore the pickups have a tendency to be somewhat microphonic, picking up string and pick noise. Not great for more refined performances, but not an issue for basslines with a bit of punky attitude!

Recorded here with a Shure SM57 (left channel) and a Heil PR-40 (right channel), through a Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 interface - highly recommended gear!

Early 1970s Shaftesbury 3263 bass / 1964 Ampeg B15 (9m 55s)

Find out more about these instruments here: 197X Shaftesbury 3263, 1964 Ampeg B-15N

This is a pretty cool looking bass, and one that plays pretty nicely too. Made by Eko for Rose Morris (UK Rickenbacker distributor) from the very late 1960s. Short scale, and (thanks to the Eko build and components) quite similar to the late 60s Italian Vox guitars. I normally use flatwound strings, but it's demo'd here with some gnarly old roundwounds. They needed changing, but I wanted to document the sound. Played through my faithful old Ampeg B15 - great for cleaner tones. Check out the companion video through an early 1970s WEM Dominator to hear it get gainy.

Recorded here with a Heil PR-40 (left channel) and a Shure SM57 (right channel), through a Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 interface - highly recommended gear!

1972 Fender Precision bass / 1964 Ampeg B15 (4m 36s)

Find out more about these instruments here: 1972 Fender Precision, 1964 Ampeg B-15N

Two absolute icons of bass guitar history: a 1972 Fender Precision (strung with roundwounds) played through a 1964 Ampeg B15. Great bass. Great amp. Great combination. Check out the other videos of this bass through a WEM Dominator, Marshall 20w Lead & Bass and Fender Bassman 100.

Recorded here with an Electrovoice RE-20 (left channel) and a Shure SM57 (right channel), through a Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 interface - highly recommended gear!

1964 Hagstrom Coronado / 1964 Ampeg B15 (3m 04s)

Find out more about these instruments here: 1964 Hagstrom Coronado, 1964 Ampeg B-15N

A wonderful early Hagstrom Coronado played through a Ampeg flip-top B15. These are great basses and really great amps! The bass is strung with flatwounds (long scale La Bella Deep Talkin' 760FL 43-104 - they fit, but only just! ) - and has a pretty dark tone - the BiSonic pickups are very well regarded, but I'd prefer more standard controls! It's a quirky looking bass - easy to play with a 32" scale - and with some really great sounds.

Recorded here with an Electrovoice RE-20 (left channel) and a Shure SM57 (right channel), through a Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 interface - highly recommended gear!

Ampeg B-15 sound clips

1967 Kalamazoo KB bass

Kalamazoo KB bass / Ampeg B-15

1967 Kalamazoo KB played through a 1964 Ampeg B-15N, mic'd with a Shure SM57, into a M-audio mobile pre USB interface.

Neutral amp settings: volume 3, treble 5, bass 5

1967 Kalamazoo KB bass: volume 10, tone 10. Played fingerstyle at the neck.
1967 Kalamazoo KB bass: volume 10, tone 10. Played fingerstyle at the bridge.
1967 Kalamazoo KB bass: volume 10, tone 0. Played fingerstyle - the EB humbucker is so fat sounding anyway, that turning down the tone control doesn't change the sound as significantly as on some other basses.
1967 Kalamazoo KB bass: volume 10, tone 10. Even at low volume, you can get a nice crunch to the tone when you dig in with a pick.

1967 Kalamazoo KB bass

Fender Mustang bass / Ampeg B-15

1969 Fender Competition Mustang bass played through a 1964 Ampeg B-15N. B15 channel 1, volume 5 bass 5 treble 5, mic'd with a Shure SM57, into a M-audio mobile pre USB interface.

Played fingerstyle

Guitar: volume 10, tone 10. Even played fingerstyle with flatwound strings, the Mustang has plenty of midrange snarl.
Guitar: volume 10, tone 0. Turn the tone down and you still get a very useable tone, but about as fat as this bass can go.

And with a pick

Guitar: volume 10, tone 10. With a pick the Mustang grunts and snarls... probably what most players want from it!
Guitar: volume 10, tone 0.

1965 Vox Bassmaster

Vox Bassmaster / Ampeg B-15

Recorded through a 1964 Ampeg B15N (volume 5/10, treble 5/10, bass 5/10) mic'd with a Shure SM57, into a M-audio mobile pre USB interface

Vox Bassmaster. Both pickups, volume 10/10, tone 5/10. Fingerstyle.
Vox Bassmaster. Both pickups, volume 10/10, tone 5/10. With pick.
Vox Bassmaster. Both pickups, volume 10/10, tone 0/10. Fingerstyle.
Vox Bassmaster. Both pickups, volume 10/10, tone 0/10. Pick.

1965 Vox Clubman bass

Vox Clubman Bass / Ampeg B-15

The Clubman is a great sounding bass, and despite simple controls (two volumes, and a master tone) it can get a variety of nice tones.

Recorded through a 1964 Ampeg B15N (volume 5/10, treble 5/10, bass 5/10) mic'd with a Shure SM57, into a M-audio mobile pre USB interface.

Both pickups, all controls 10/10. Fingerstyle.
Both pickups, all controls 10/10. Played with a pick
Both pickups, volume 10/10, tone 5, played with a pick
Neck pickup only, tone 0/10. Fingerstyle
Bridge pickup, volume 10/10 and tone 3/10. Fingerstyle

Hagstrom Coronado IV bass

Hagstrom Coronado IV bass / Ampeg B-15

Recorded with the following settings: volume 3, treble 5, bass 5 - mic'd with a Shure SM57, into a M-audio mobile pre USB interface

Neck pickup

Neck pickup (switch 1) with the tone selector on 'H' (switch 4). Fingerstyle.
Neck pickup (switch 1) with the tone selector on 'H' (switch 4). Played with a pick.
Neck pickup (switch 1) with the tone selector on 'L' (switch 3). Fingerstyle.

Bridge pickup

Bridge pickup (switch 2) with the tone selector on 'H' (switch 4). Fingerstyle.
Bridge pickup (switch 2) with the tone selector on 'L' (switch 3). Fingerstyle.
Bridge pickup (switch 2) with the tone selector on 'L' (switch 3). Played with a pick.

Both pickups

Both pickups (switches 1 & 2) with the tone selector on 'H' (switch 4). Fingerstyle.
Both pickups (switches 1 & 2) with the tone selector on 'L' (switch 3). Fingerstyle.
1967 Hagstrom Concord

1967 Hagstrom Concord / Ampeg B-15

Recorded with a Shure SM57 microphone, into an M-audio mobile pre USB interface. Clean amp settings: volume 5, treble 5, bass 5.

Neck pickup

Neck pickup only, volume 10/10, tone 10/10, fingerstyle.
Neck pickup only, volume 10/10, tone turned down, 0/10. Played fingerstyle.

Bridge pickup

Bridge pickup only, volume 10/10, tone 10/10, played with a pick.

Both pickups

Both pickups, all volume and tone controls 10/10. Played fingerstyle.
Both pickups, all volume and tone controls 10/10. Played with a pick.
Bridge pickup (volume 10/10 tone 10/10) with just a bit of neck dialed in (volume 3/10 tone 0/10). Played with a pick.
Got an opinion on the contents of this page? Disagree with something written above? Please comment

2024 Vintage Guitar price guide 2024 Vintage Guitar price guide

Need the value of your guitar? The Official Vintage Guitar Magazine Price Guide 2024 is out now: Amazon


Latest Forum Posts
create a new post

Vintage guitar parts for sale
Classic Bikes for Sale Classic Motorcycles For Sale
Classic Cars for Sale Classic Cars For Sale

Ampeg B15 for sale

Vintageguitarandbass.com is funded by its visitors. When you buy through links on our site we may earn an affiliate commission. For more info see terms and conditions.
1967 Ampeg B-15NF Requires a CAP JOB.  PROJECT LOCAL PICK UP ONLY

1967 Ampeg B-15NF Requires a CAP JOB. PROJECT LOCAL PICK UP ONLY

Hartsville, South Carolina, 295**, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

$1795

This 1967 Ampeg B-15NF guitar amplifier, made in the United States, is a perfect project for those who love to tinker with vintage gear. It has a single speaker and two channels, making it suitable for bass guitar. The amplifier type is a combo, with vacuum tube technology. While it requires a cap job, it is still a highly collectible and sought-after model for enthusiasts. This item is available for local pick up only.... more
eBay logo
1971 Ampeg B-15 S Flip-Top Bass Amp Tube  / STOCK / ALTEC 421A / COVER

1971 Ampeg B-15 S Flip-Top Bass Amp Tube / STOCK / ALTEC 421A / COVER

Bakersfield, California, 933**, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

$2150

1971 Ampeg B-15 S Flip-Top Bass Guitar Amplifier Tube / ALTEC 421A- 65 WATTS-FROM WHAT I KNOW THE EARLY AMPEG B15S were not labeled with the speaker chosen at the factory. My Uncle bought this with the Altec langsing 421 A installed in the cabinet. I am the second owner but it has remained in my family ALL STOCK WITH CABINET DOLLY See Photos. THE BASS AMP / THE 1# BASS GUITAR SOUND / COMES WITH CABINET COVER
... more
eBay logo

Find more Ampeg B15 for sale at vintageguitarsforsale.co

There are 1 comments on this article so far. Add your comment

Comment on this article

Name
Email address
Anti-spam question - to catch web robots
How many legs does a spider have?
Buzzsaw Comment left 3rd September 2012 19:07:11 reply
Great clips man... used a lot of B15s in the studio.. always first choice. Fender Precision, gnarly flats and a B15... can't get better than that.

Contact
info@vintageguitarandbass.com

mailing list

Follow

Facebook  Instagram  YouTube

Other Great Sites

Recent posts on vintage guitar and bass

1971 Selmer guitar catalogue

1971 Selmer guitar catalogueScan of 1971 Selmer guitar catalogue showing the range of electric and acoustic guitars distributed by the company: guitars by Gibson, Yamaha, Selmer, Hofner and Suzuki. 1960s Selmer had always placed Hofner at the front end of their catalogues, no doubt these were the better sellers - but into the 1970s Hofner were slipping somewhat and only appear at the tail end of this publication, pride of place going to Gibson, and to a lesser extent Yamaha. In fact this is the last Selmer catalogue to include the many Hofner hollow bodies (Committee, President, Senator etc) that had defined the companies output for so many years - to be replaced in the 1972 catalogue by generic solid body 'copies' of Gibson and Fender models. A number of new Gibson models are included for the first time: the SG-100 and SG-200 six string guitars and the SB-300 and SB-400 basses.

1968 Selmer guitar catalogue

1968 Selmer guitar catalogueScan of 1968/1969 Selmer guitar catalogue (printed July 1968), showing the entire range of electric and acoustic guitars distributed by the company: guitars by Hofner, Gibson, Selmer and Giannini. Selmer were the exclusive United Kingdom distributors of Hofner and Gibson at the time, and this catalogue contains a total of 18 electric guitars, 7 bass guitars, 37 acoustics, and 2 Hawaiian guitars - all produced outside the UK and imported by Selmer, with UK prices included in guineas. This catalogue saw the (re-)introduction of the late sixties Gibson Les Paul Custom and Les Paul Standard (see page 69) and the short-lived Hofner Club 70. Other electric models include: HOFNER ELECTRICS: Committee, Verithin 66, Ambassador, President, Senator, Galaxie, HOFNER BASSES: Violin bass, Verithin bass, Senator bass, Professional bass GIBSON ELECTRICS: Barney Kessel, ES-330TD, ES-335TD, ES-345TD, ES-175D, ES-125CD, SG Standard, SG Junior, SG Special GIBSON BASSES: EB-0, EB-2, EB-3 - plus a LOT of acoustics branded Gibson, Hofner, Selmer and Giannini

1961 Hofner Colorama I

1961 Hofner Colorama IHofner Colorama was the name UK distributor Selmer gave to a series of solid and semi-solid guitars built by Hofner for distribution in the UK. The construction and specifications of the guitars varied over the period of production, but by 1961 it was a totally solid, double cutaway instrument, with a set neck, translucent cherry finish, six-in-a-row headstock, and Hofner Diamond logo pickups. Available as a single or dual pickup guitar, this sngle pickup version would have been sold in mainland Europe as the Hofner 161.

1971 Commodore N25 (Matsumoku)

1971 Commodore N25 (Matsumoku)Commodore was a brand applied to a series of guitars produced in Japan at the well-respected Matsumoku plant from the late 1960s to the mid 1970s - and sold primarily (perhaps exclusively?) in the United Kingdom. The models bearing the Commodore name were all guitars available from different distributors with different branding. Although there may have been some minor changes in appointments (specifically headstock branding) most had the same basic bodies, hardware and construction. Equivalent models to the Commodore N25 (and this is by no means an exhaustive list) include the Aria 5102T, Conrad 5102T(?), Electra 2221, Lyle 5102T, Ventura V-1001, Univox Coily - and most famously the Epiphone 5102T / Epiphone EA-250.

1960 Hofner Colorama II

1960 Hofner Colorama IIThe Hofner Colorama was the name given by Selmer to a series of solid (and semi-solid) body Hofner guitars distributed in the United Kingdom between 1958 and 1965. The Colorama name actually applied to some quite different guitars over the period, but in 1960 it was a very light, semi-solid, set necked guitar with one (Colorama I) or two (Colorama II, as seen here) Toaster pickups. Although an entry-level guitar, it was very well-built, and a fine playing guitar; certainly a step up (at least in terms of craftsmanship) from many of the Colorama guitars that would follow, and a good deal of the guitars available in Britain circa 1960.

1971 Epiphone 1820 bass (ET-280)

1971 Epiphone 1820 (ET-280) bassBy the end of the 1960s, a decision had been made to move Epiphone guitar production from the USA (at the Kalamazoo plant where Gibson guitars were made), to Matsumoto in Japan, creating a line of guitars and basses significantly less expensive than the USA-built models (actually less than half the price). The Matsumoku factory had been producing guitars for export for some time, but the 1820 bass (alongside a number of guitar models and the 5120 electric acoustic bass) were the first Epiphone models to be made there. These new Epiphones were based on existing Matsumoku guitars, sharing body shapes, and hardware, but the Epiphone line was somewhat upgraded, with inlaid logos and a 2x2 peghead configuration. Over the course of the 70s, the Japanese output improved dramatically, and in many ways these early 70s models are a low point for the brand. Having said this, there are a lot worse guitars out there, and as well as being historically important, the 1820 bass can certainly provide the goods when required.

1981 Gibson Marauder

1981 Gibson MarauderProduction of Bill Lawrence's Gibson Marauder began in 1974, with production peaking in 1978. But by 1980 the model was officially discontinued, though very small numbers slipped out as late as spring 1981. Over 7000 examples shipped between 1974 and 1979, and although no totals are available for 1980 and 1981, it is unlikely production reached three figures in either of these years. These final Marauders were all assembled at the Gibson Nashville plant, and had some nice features not available through the later years of production, such as a rosewood fretboard, and in this case, an opaque 'Devil Red' finish. It's a great looking and fine playing guitar!

1971 'Pick Epiphone' Catalog

1971 Pick Epiphone catalogWhen Epiphone production moved from Kalamazoo to the Matsumoku plant in Japan, a whole new range of electric, flattop and classic acoustic guitars was launched. Between late 1970 and 1972 the new models were launched and refined. This 'folder' catalog contains various inserts released over these years detailing four electric six-strings (ET-270, ET-275, ET-278, and thinline EA-250), three bass guitars (ET-280, ET-285, and thinline EA-260), three folk/steel acoustics, four jumbo flattop acoustics, two 12-string jumbos, four classic acoustics, and a banjo.

1981 'Gibson Specials' Pre-Owners Manual

1981 Gibson Specials Pre-Owners Manual'Gibson Specials' was part of the June 1981 pre-owners manual series, but unlike the other folders contained a mish-mash of different guitars: limited editions, test marketing and close outs. "You will find the unusual, the brand-new, and the bargain within this folder". End of line 70s guitars like the Marauder, S-1, and L-6S Custom mixed in with brand new models the The V, The Explorer and the Flying V Bass.
It was the largest folder in the series, with 24 inserts, (19 guitars and 5 basses): Guitars: 335-S Standard, Melody Maker Double, Marauder, L-6S Custom, S-1, RD Artist, Firebird, Firebird II, Flying V, Flying V-II, The V, Explorer, Explorer II, The Explorer, The "SG" Standard, Les Paul Artist, Les Paul Artisan, ES-335 Heritage, ES-175/CC Basses: Grabber, G-3, L-9S, RD Artist Bass, Flying V Bass

1970s Shaftesbury 3263 bass

1970s Shaftesbury 3263 bassRose-Morris were selling Shaftesbury-branded Rickenbacker copy instruments from the late 1960s right through the 1970s. The 3263 bass was one of the first models, (alongside the 3261 six string and 3262 twelve string) available from late 1968 until about 1974. The earliest incarnation was a set neck bass, produced very briefly in Japan. But production quickly moved to Italy. This bolt-on neck example was built by Eko, in Recanati, using the same hardware and pickups as fitted to Eko, and Vox basses built around the same time. It's certainly a fine looking bass, and not a bad player either.

1961 Hohner Zambesi

1961 Hohner ZambesiThis very early, and pretty rare British-built guitar is branded Hohner London. Hohner were, of course, a German company, better known for their harmonicas and accordions, but they were keenly expanding into guitars at the birth of the 1960s. This model, along with the Hohner Amazon and (particularly) the Hohner Holborn, bear some similarity with Vox guitars of the same period; furniture manufacturer Stuart Darkins constructed bodies and necks for both brands, with Fenton Weill assembling them using their hardware and pickups. These guitars do have some hardware peculiarities, and they are not the most adjustable of instruments, but they actually play very nicely, being solidly built out of some very nice woods. Check out the video on this page.

1963 Vox Super Ace

1963 Vox Super AceThe Vox Super Ace was a mid-priced British solid body electric guitar, produced by JMI at their factory in Dartford, Kent. It was broadly modelled on the Fender Stratocaster, and a sibling model to the dual-pickup Vox Ace. Both the Ace, and Super Ace (along with several other models), were redesigned in 1963 with a new body shape, headstock style, and pickup layout - only increasing the resemblance to the aforementioned Fender. The Super Ace had a 1963 price tag of 47 5S. It's a pretty nice playing guitar with some lovely sounds - check out the videos on this page, and in the Vintage Guitar and Bass supporting members area

1966 Vox New Escort

1966 Vox New EscortThe Vox New Escort was Vox's version of the Fender Telecaster, at a time when American guitars were out of reach for most British musicians. It was made by JMI in England, for the British market, and unlike the majority of other models, didn't have an Italian-made equivalent. But the New Escort wasn't a slavish Fender copy, adding Vox's stylish teardrop headstock to the tele-style body, with a stop tailpiece and two Vox V2 single coil pickups. And it's a pretty substantial, and nice playing guitar, with a very comfortable neck. Check out the images, specifications, and watch a video of it in action. There is also extra content in the vintageguitarandbass supporting members area.

1969 Fender catalog, Fender Lovin' Care

1969 Fender catalog, Fender Lovin CareCatalog scan. The 1969 Fender Lovin' Care catalog consisted of 48 pages of electric guitars, basses, amplifiers, steel guitars, acoustic guitars, banjos and keyboards. Like the previous catalog, this featured the company's guitars in a variety of interesting settings around California, from the Whiskey-A-Go-Go, to the Hollywood Bowl. Several instruments were making their first appearance amongst it's pages: the Telecaster bass, Montego and LTD jazz guitars, and the Redondo acoustic. It was the final catalog appearance, however, of the Electric XII, Bass V, Duo-Sonic, Coronado I and Coronado Bass I.

1973 Eko Ranger Folk

1973 Eko Ranger FolkThe Eko Ranger series of guitars was incredibly popular in the second half of the 1960s and through the 1970s, selling in very large numbers. The Ranger Folk was 1 1/4" smaller, and 1" shallower than the Ranger VI and XII - and with a narrower waist. Not a bad guitar; a little quiet, but pretty playable. These were great value in 1973, and because they sold so many, they are easy to find and excellent value today.

1966 Vox Symphonic bass guitar

1966 Vox Symphonic bass guitarThe Symphonic bass was built in the UK, by Vox parent company JMI. It was the Vox equivalent to the Fender Precision bass, and was one of the most expensive Vox guitars produced. It was actually a great playing bass, rather similar to the Precision in feel and sound, but was probably just too expensive compared to an actual Fender and consequently sold poorly. When Vox hit financial problems in 1968, unsold guitars and basses were passed on to Dallas Arbiter, who briefly sold the excess Symphonic bass stock as model 4537. This bass, although with a neck date of February 1966, was most likely one of the unsold Vox guitars sold on by Dallas Arbiter. Check out the bass, and the two video demos through 1960s Ampeg and WEM amplifiers.

1968 Shaftesbury 'Electric Guitars' catalog

1968 Shaftesbury catalogThe 1968 Shaftesbury 'Electric Guitars' catalog was just four pages long, and contained four guitar models: the six string Barney Kessel-style 3264; and three Rickenbacker-styled semi-acoustic models: the six-string 3261, the twelve string 3262 and the 3263 bass. Shaftesbury was the house-brand of major UK distributor Rose-Morris, and seems to have been launched as a response to the company's loss of it's distribution deal with Rickenbacker. The guitars were mid-priced, and built in (initially) Japan, and later Italy, by Eko

1970 Rose-Morris 'Exciting Electrics Wonderful Westerns Celebrated Classics' catalog

1970 Rose_Morris catalog1970 Rose-Morris catalog, dated April 1970. It featured 6 electric guitars, 32 acoustic guitars, 3 basses and 1 steel guitar. It contains the following instruments, over 20 pages: Electric guitars: Shaftesbury 3261, 3262, 3264, 3265, 3400; Top Twenty 1970; Bass: Shaftesbury 3263, 3266; Top Twenty 1971; Acoustic guitars: Eko Rio Bravo, Rio Bravo 12, Ranchero, Ranchero 12, Colorado, Ranger, Ranger Folk, Ranger 12; Aria 1674, 1675, 1676, 1679, 1680, 1695, 'John Pearse' Jumbo, 'John Pearse' Folk; Rose-Morris 15-11, Kansas, Georgian, Florida; Suzuki 1663, 1664, 1665, 3054, 3055, 3060; Tatay 1713, 1714, 1715; Peerless 3052; Steel guitar: Aria 3425

1971 Rose-Morris 'Exciting Electrics Wonderful Westerns' catalog

1971 Rose_Morris catalogThe sixteen-page 1971 Rose-Morris catalog featured electric guitars by Rose-Morris' own brand, Shaftesbury, and budget brand Top Twenty; aswell as acoustics by Eko, Aria, and for the first time Ovation. The catalog contains the following instruments: Electric guitars: Shaftesbury 3261, 3264, 3265, 3400, 3402; Top Twenty 1970; Bass: Shaftesbury 3263, 3266; Top Twenty 1971; Acoustic guitars: Ovation: Balladeer, 12 String, Glen Campbell, Glen Campbell 12 string; Eko Rio Bravo, Rio Bravo 12, Ranger, Ranger Folk, Ranger 12, Colorado, Ranchero, Ranchero 12, Studio 'L'; Rose-Morris Florida; Aria 'John Pearse' Jumbo, 'John Pearse' Folk

1972 Fender Precision bass

1972 Fender PrecisionA detailed look at an early 1970s Fender Precision bass guitar in custom black finish, with rosewood fretboard. 1972 list price, $307.50. The Fender Precision had been shipping since at least very early 1952 - with just one re-design circa 1957. This example, then, shows a model already two decades old, but barely changed since the '57 revamp. Fender got it right first time around, and although there are numerous minor cosmetic differences, the essence of this bass is effectively the same as it was in '52: a simple, single pickup instrument with a GREAT sound. Check out the demo video through an old Ampeg B15. It's no wonder this is the bass that everybody wants!

1967 Vox Stroller

1967 Vox StrollerThe Vox Stroller was the brand's entry level electric solid body guitar, fitted with just one pickup and a fixed tailpiece. Although aimed at student guitarists, it wasn't a terrible instrument, but did lack somewhat in adjustability, having no accessible truss rod and only a floating rosewood bridge. But this example is actually quite an improvement on earlier versions, with a standard 1/4" jack and a solid mahogany body. 1967 price £18 2s. JMI ceased UK guitar production in late '67, and combined with decreasing demand for the Stroller, this surely must be one of the last examples shipped.

1963 Vox Clubman Bass (left handed)

1963 Vox Clubman Bass left handedA nice example of the Vox Clubman II bass, built by JMI in Dartford, Kent in 1963. This is a lightweight bass, short (30") scale and very easy to play. It is an early example, and as such has a thin black scratchplate and side mounted, coaxial output jack. JMI offered left handed examples of their solid body Vox guitars and basses at 10% premium. Production numbers are unclear, but left-handed examples rarely come up for sale

1977 Gibson ES Artist 'prototype'

1977 Gibson ES Artist prototypeNot to be confused with the Gibson ES Artist launched by Gibson in 1979; this ES Artist was an early model designed by the Gibson research and development team in Kalamazoo in 1977, the instruments themselves constructed by Gibson artist Chuck Burge. It was planned for launch as a high end semi acoustic with 335-style construction (central maple block) and innovative circuitry - but was pulled at the last minute, being deemed too expensive. Apparently, several examples were produced with varying specifications, though exactly how many actually left the Kalamazoo plant is unclear. Certainly two guitars were sold to LaVonne Music by Gibson in around 1980. Read more about the development of this guitar, with details from Chuck Burge and the story of it's sale to LaVonne music

1959 Hofner Committee

1959 Hofner CommitteeThe Hofner Committee was a truly beautiful guitar produced in Germany, primarily for the UK market. It was a large bodied (initially 17 1/2") guitar with a carved spruce top, available as an acoustic or electric guitar. By the early sixties the carved top was replaced with a laminate, and although still a very fine guitar, the earlier carved top examples, with frondose headstock (like the example shown here) are far more highly prized amongst musicians and vintage guitar collectors.

1965 Gretsch Chet Atkins Tennessean

1965 Gretsch Chet Atkins TennesseanThe Gretsch Chet Atkins Tennessean, or model 6119 was Gretsch's best selling hollow body of the 1960s. This wonderfully faded example from 1965 was originally Dark Cherry Red, but has turned a mid-orange brown. The original color, however, can be seen underneath the pickup surrounds. 1965 specs: maple body, two-piece neck, Brazilian rosewood fretboard and Hi-Lo 'Tron single coil pickups. Nickel plated Gretsch Bigsby tailpiece.

1965 Gretsch 'For the Spectacular Sound of the Times' guitar and amp catalog

1965 Gretsch catalogThe 1965 Gretsch catalog, or catalog #32, featured 10 hollow body electric guitars, including the newly launched Gretsch Viking; four solid body electrics, including the Astro Jet - making it's only catalog appearance; just one bass, the single pickup PX6070; nine acoustics and 12 tube amplifiers. Pride of place went to the Chet Atkins Country Gentleman that adorned both the front and back covers. 24 pages, six of which are in full color.

Guitar Repair: fixing fret buzz and sharp fret ends

Guitar Repair: fixing fret buzz and sharp fret endsLoose frets are especially problematic in certain old guitars, but are generally very easy to fix. You'll be amazed at the difference you can make with just a few tools, a bit of knowledge, and a little time. Fixing loose frets can eliminate fret buzz, remove sharp fret ends, and greatly improve the tone of any guitar. If your luthier bill will be greater than the value of your guitar, definitely time to have a go yourself!

1966 Hagstrom 'worlds fastest playing neck' catalog (Merson USA)

1966 Hagstrom guitar catalogHagstrom guitars were distributed in the mid-1960s United States by Merson of USA. This eight page 'worlds fastest playing neck' catalog, printed in two-colors contained six solid body electrics, three solid body basses, two electric acoustic guitars, two electric acoustic basses and five acoustics.

1965 Hofner President

1965 Hofner PresidentThe President was produced by Hofner in Bubenreuth, Germany, specifically for Selmer, who distributed the brand in the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, and other commonwealth nations. The President was a hollow body electric acoustic, available as a full body or thinline, and with blonde or brunette finish. It was a great playing guitar that sold fairly well in the second half of the 1950s, throughout the 1960s, and into the very early 1970s. The example shown here is a full-body depth guitar in blonde - and as a 1965 guitar, one of the last to feature the rounded Venetian cutaway. From late 1965 until 1972, the President sported a sharp Florentine cut. Naturally, such an electric acoustic suggests jazz and blues, but many of the original British Hofner President players were part of the rock 'n roll, skiffle and beat scenes of the late 50s and early 60s.

1963 1964 Fender catalog

Fender 1963 catalogue"The Choice of Professional and Student Musicians Everywhere" This eight page catalogue was included as an insert in the 1963 annual "school music" issue of Downbeat magazine (September 1963). As well as keyboards and pedal steels, this catalog contains seven guitars, three basses and ten amplifiers - from student guitars such as the Musicmaster and Duotone to professional models like the new Jaguar.