The History of Ampeg

The Amplified Peg

The History of Ampeg

Founded in 1949, Ampeg literally created the world of bass amplification. Ampeg’s history is packed with legendary designs, many of which are the gold standard to this day, including the most recorded bass amp ever, the B-15.

The Founding FatherAmpeg Everett Hull

The year was 1949, a time before the invention of the electric bass or any type of bass amplifier.  The upright bass was the only option and the volume was dictated by a few key factors. How you set up the instrument, the type of strings and how hard you played were all factors that determined the volume of the bass.  In comes Everett Hull. Everett needed to find a way to amplify his upright bass, he had a problem and shortly thereafter came up with a solution. He came up with the idea of removing his endpin, adding a microphone and re-installing it back through the f-hole.  He called his invention the amplified peg, hence the name Ampeg.

B-15 Portaflex Flip Top

Fast forward to 1960, and the B-15 Portaflex Fliptop amplifier was born.  Arguably one of the most recorded bass amplifiers in pop music history.  This amp was revolutionary in its design featuring a head that would flip over and could be stored directly in the cabinet.  This allowed much easier transportation and convenience. The Portaflex is more than likely the most popular amp used on most recordings from that era.  The Portaflex legacy lives on today in the PF50T, the PF500, the PF350, PF800, and the PF20T.









 Ampeg SVT

Moving forward, in 1969 another invention out of necessity was born, the SVT amplifier. As the music got louder, the instruments needed to be louder. Thus, bass players needed to be heard off the stage, that’s where the SVT comes in. This was the most powerful all-tube bass amp to date.  It featured 300W of all-tube power and was the industry touring standard.  The SVT is still revered as the de-facto on-stage concert performance amplifier.  Ampeg is still innovating new technology to this day all while paying homage to the amps of yesteryear.  Features of the B-15 style amps can still be found today within the portaflex line which features the flip top head that can be stored within the cabinet.  And the SVT is still in the Ampeg rotation as well in the SVTCL the SVTCLA the SVT7PRO and the SVTVR.












Wrap Up

Today, Ampeg offers a huge range of gear for bassists at any level. From the practice-friendly BA Series to the bestselling Portaflex line of heads and cabs to the all-out howl of the Heritage SVT Stacks. Ampeg always delivers ‘The Round Sound’ no matter your budget. There’s an Ampeg for everyone.


Click Here to check out the full Ampeg line-up at American Musical Supply

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