Jess Oliver

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Jess Oliver
Born(1926-01-20)January 20, 1926
DiedJune 20, 2011(2011-06-20) (aged 85)
Occupationamplifier designer
Known forAmpeg B-15

Jess Oliver (January 20, 1926 - June 30, 2011) was the Vice-President of Ampeg, an Inventor, Amplifier Repairman and patent holder for many of Ampeg's most successful products, most notably the B-15, which is widely considered one of the finest sounding and most influential bass amplifiers ever produced according to wide variety of prominent professional electric bass guitar players.[1] The B-15 is considered a big part of the melodic bass parts which are widely considered essential to The Motown Sound in addition to the Fender Precision Bass, and the various musicians who wrote and performed the bass lines in the studio on many hit records as well as during live shows.

Along with the Fender Precision Bass, the B-15 was the primary amplifier used by James Jamerson, who, as a member of The Funk Brothers, "played on more number-one hits than The Beatles, Elvis Presley, The Rolling Stones, and The Beach Boys combined."[2] in addition to many other highly notable bass players at various points during their careers including Chuck Rainey, Bob Babbitt, Justin Meldal-Johnsen and many others.

After leaving Ampeg, Oliver went on to form Oliver Sound Company, where he continued to design and market amplifiers. After a time, he decided to scale down the operation and instead operate Oliver Sound as an amplifier repair shop out of his basement in Massapequa, New York, which he operated until his death in 2011.


  1. ^ Jisi, Chris. "Bass Player Magazine". The Ampeg B-15 : From Inception To Resurrection. New Bay Media. Retrieved 8 May 2012.
  2. ^ Justman, Paul. Standing in the Shadows of Motown.


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