Orange AD200...? Or maybe something else?
I'm Jordan, and I'm actually a guitarist. I'm here because my bassist is looking for a new amp and since he only uses the internet for porn, I thought I'd do a little research for him.
A bit of background - my band plays... I guess the best way to describe it is a mix of QotSA with some Sleep, Zeppelin, and jam music thrown in. Spacey stoner metal.
Anyway, I run a 68 Bassman into the matching 2x12 (Eminence C. Rex and Texas Heat) I usually run that somewhere between 4 and 6, depending on how clean I'm feeling that day. I get my distortion from a Basic Audio Tri/Ram muff. I play most of our songs tuned down to C# Standard, although I do have a guitar that I use for a few songs in E Standard.
My bassist just got a 70's Ampeg 8x10 and he's looking for a nice tube amp to go with it. He wants an Ampeg SVT Classic, but for $1800 we can do better than a Vietnamese amp that weighs 80 ****ing pounds. Enter the AD200B - seems like a much better amp.
Let me just insert this here - my bassist is looking for a single channel, simple all tube bass amp. A bit more on the modern sounding side, but not totally modern. A good loud clean tone that can get a bit broken up would be ideal, but it should be able to take a fuzz or two really nicely to mesh with the music we play. Whatever he buys also must be new, as he's going to finance it. Durability and reliability are very important to both of us.
So, the AD200B looks like it pushes all of the right buttons. Simple amp with a full tonestack, all tube, passive/active inputs, slave out (always nice) and ruggedly built (UK instead of Vietnam) without being heavy as hell (under 60lbs) and Oranges just look awesome.
So, any opinions on the Orange? Any recommendations for something better?
I've heard that the AD200 is best used with a cab with high efficiency speakers. Would the 8x10 we have be enough for the orange to keep up with my guitar rig?
Oh and he's currently using a GK Backline 250.
The SVT and the Traynor YBA-300 are my current and all-time favourites for high powered tube amps. I was under the impression the AD200B isn't made in England anymore. All three have relatively simple EQs, but I feel the SVT and Traynor have more versatile EQ sections, and are very interactive. The SVT has that unmistakable tone, and it's very easy to dial in a good tone, in fact, it's very hard to get a bad tone out of it. They're out of Vietnam now, I think either Korea or China, and are fairly reliable. The Traynor's almost as nice, and a great amp in its own right, it's very well-designed and it would make a great cheaper and lighter alternative, and it's made in Canada.
if he's going to use a pedal anyway why does it have to be all tube? lots of good stuff out there with a tube pre. you'd be hard pressed to do worse than a backline (had a 250 for a while, have a 600 now that was free, so i took it and still refuse to use it), just an opinion, though. tube amps are great, don't get me wrong, i use one every day. just don't see the need, if there's gonna be a pedal in the chain.
Ya, Ampeg was only in Vietnam between 2007 and 2008. The heads are still awesome, though. I rent them on road gigs all the time and they all sound like SVT's to me. Have not played the AD200 yet so I can't compare it to the SVT, but the SVT heads are still way solid and sound like SVT's.
I've heard from a few bassist friends of mine that modern 'pegs, or at least the ones we're looking at, are a bit unreliable, and (although this may be a totally seperate issue) are in general rather hard on the tubes. Are either of these true?
Also, any love for the new Super Bassman? I'm partial to it as a Fender lover, although I'm not sure if my bassist would be as thrilled... I haven't been on the amp hunt in a while. I never thought I'd need to look for another tube amp since I found my bassman.
EDIT: Jimmy, any experience specifically with this version of the Classic? This is the one my bassist wants. Could you give a brief description if you don't mind?
There was a time when Ampeg was sending out some unreliable SVT's on a regular basis, but that was the Vietnam factory that they moved out of in 2008. Since then, I don't hear many stories about bad SVT's coming out of Ampeg. And the design is no harder on tubes now than it's ever been. Tubes made nowadays aren't always as high quality as they were when they were being made in the States and Europe, but they're getting better, and that's not really a design issue with the amps themselves or exclusive to any one brand since all manufacturers use them.
Hmm, that's good to know. My bassist doesn't want to futz with NOS tubes (and I don't blame him, getting enough NOS tubes for this bitch could get up to near $1K) so whatever we get is getting current production tubes.
From what I've seen having browsed the occasional thread or two here over the last few years, you know your Ampegs. So I'll trust your opinion. Just one question - in the 2K and less price range, is there anything else you might recommend based on personal experience? Anything you'd recommend based just on specs/looking cool? haha
The new Fender Super Bassman is a great amp too. 300 watts, cool features like automatic bias, two channels (vintage and overdrive with blend and parametric mids)... I play a Super Bassman through two Aguilar DB115, and it's pure stoner/doom bliss. Since I have it, I don't use pedals anymore !
You can check the Fender Super Bassman and Bassman 100T threads for more information.
I have an Orange AD200B.
They are still made in England.
Anyway, this amps rocks. Great sweet lows and mids. You can get it fuzzy or clean depending on the gain vol. If you need more volume than that you'd better go and check your hearing:smug:
Then only argument that i have about your choice is that it is not that modern in sounding. I would say it has more of a vintage tubey sound.
Oh and it will be more than enough to keep up with you.:cool:
Well look, I've got my preferences and they've leaned heavily toward Ampeg since 1978 and still do ;) But there are a lot of good tube amp makers these days, including a handful of independents. And if your bassist isn't married to the tube amp idea, the selection is immense out there. And cool is in the eye of the beholder. But if your guy on bass likes SVT's and wants new, I'm fully confident that he'll dig the new ones.
EDIT: 60's Ampeg sound??? LOL! They DO have knobs and switches for getting different types of tones, you know? ;) I think your boy needs to put down the Youporn and go visit some music stores and play some amps.
I cannot imagine how it would not be enough with a 8x10. For me that's not possible unless the cab is a total crap (the ampeg you have is not at all) or you have a hearing problems.
If you have the option to try before buy that's the best though.
Oh, and for the record he told me it's exclusively Youjizz
Right now, I think it's between the SVT-CL, AD200, and a Bassman 300. Fortuanely, we've got a great music store not far from San Fransicso (Gelb). We'll go down there, check out their stock, and make a day of it.
Sorry to blab on, but I do have to tell you, though, that if you all didn't already know, 70's Ampeg cabs can't take power like the newer ones. I don't know if he's planning on cranking one super hard to get power tube breakup or just needs a good solid clean sound, but a 200w or more tube amp can blow a 70's 810 if you're not careful. They sound completely awesome and tone is one area where the older cabs have an advantage (I really like the new cabs and they handle a ton of wattage but those old cabs have a sound), but the quoted power handling limit back then was 250w for the 810. I think they'll do a little bit better but not much. Still, that's pretty dang loud.
Hmm, interesting point. Makes the Orange look a wee bit more attractive. I mean, I know that tube amps regularly put out more than they're rated for, but I'd be surprised if a 200W amp put out enough wattage to blow some drivers at the volume we'd be using it at. I'm sure we'd all feel better about it, if nothing else.
I had thought about eventually replacing the drivers with some nice eminence ones, but that's close to a grand in speakers that doesn't need to be spent.
Anyway, thanks for the advice, that's definitely going to be important when it comes to making the final pick.
I'd go with an Orange Terror Bass if you are set on Orange. It will sound better than his Backline and do the one-trick-pony rock tone at a small fraction of the cost of the AD200. GK Backline to the most expensive bass amp around seems like a jump... there is a lot of middle ground that you guys should explore (expore it here on Talkbass though, not Guitar Center catalogues).
For $800-1000 you can get some of the most popular and IMO best tube heads ever made used. SVT CL if you are patient, SVT-II, Mesa/Boogie Bass 400/400+, D180. I'm just sayin'. ;)
He wants more than a one trick pony though - he and I want to explore some less metal options once our band is a bit more solid as far as gigs and whatnot. We're similar that way - I knew that my next amp was going to be the last amp I'd ever need to buy, and lo and behold I've not had a single bit of amp GAS since I got my 68 Bassman. He wants the same. I know that if he gets a hybrid, he'll still want a fully tube amp later.
You're right, I've been very happy with my hybrid Genz Benz Streamliner, but it doesn't compare with my new Fender Super Bassman. The Bassman is definitely in another league.
Add to cart to see the price. Much cheaper at Humbucker music. 1749 right now, black or orange. They accept Bill Me Later.
I don't like how the Orange cabs spec out, especially for the price they sell them for.
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