A series of questions... (orange terror/ampeg pf content)

Discussion in 'Amps [BG]' started by FBS1996, Mar 9, 2014.


  1. FBS1996

    FBS1996

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2011
    Location:
    Leeds, England
    Hey there everyone

    I'll try keep this as brief as possible. Since September, I've been working to get a really decent gig-able set up going. I wanted a 4x10 and a head that would sound perfect for grunge, punk, hardcore punk, generally heavier styles of rock.

    I purchased an Orange Bass Terror Head (500 watts) which worked perfectly for about a month, then it started giving off this really horrible, distorted farty sound (https://soundcloud.com/shagdoll/cuntyorange-wav). My initial thought was to replace the two preamp tubes and I did, with electro-harmonix 12AX7's, but the problem is still there. I emailed one technician who said that solid state power section's are often not even worth fixing, as the price to repair would be similar to that of the amp. I've emailed a few other guys, but I'm really starting to lose my patience, as I have a lovely sounding marshall 4x10 sitting in my room with only a troubled farty head to play through it.

    I'm thinking about when (or if) I get the amp repaired, I'll sell it and use the money to buy an Ampeg PF500. The orange is a great sounding amp, but this has just totally ruined it for me, and I don't feel I could comfortably hang on to it, knowing that I could get £300 for it, and I wouldn't feel confident that it wouldn't break again. I also chose the ampeg because I remember it sounding amazing when I played it once before. Saying that, it was about 2 years ago, and I was playing a different style of music back then (indie rock). Plus it was plugged into the matching pf cabinet.

    So, the questions are:
    1) can anyone diagnose what is wrong with my orange? I know there's not a lot of information available to you, but you can find a little bit more in the other thread here ( http://www.talkbass.com/forum/f15/h...g-my-orange-bass-terror-1058342/#post15574673)
    2) Is the Ampeg Pf500 a reliable amplifier?
    3) Does anyone know of anywhere in/near Leeds, England where I can take my amp to have it examined?
    4) Am I making the right call, or should I give the orange a chance?

    Thank you for reading and any help would be largely appreciated :)
  2. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2005
    Location:
    Apopka, FL
    Disclosures:
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    1. Maybe, but not without looking at it. At best, you can get some educated guesses.

    2. They have made some changes to the innards in the PF500 that have made it more reliable, and over the last year or so, reliability complaints seem to be limited to the earliest ones.

    3. Can't do it since I've never been to Leeds.

    4. I've played both and preferred the Ampeg, plus Orange is pretty expensive in the US. However, if I were you, I'd get in contact with Orange's own tech support dept and see what they have to say.
  3. beans-on-toast

    beans-on-toast

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2008
    ask here: http://basschat.co.uk/

    Someone will be able to point you in the right direction.
  4. RickenBoogie

    RickenBoogie

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2007
    Location:
    Dallas, TX
    Are we sure the amp is the problem? Has this amp been tested with another spkr cab?
    From the description, it sounds like the 410 is the problem.
  5. Register to disable this ad
  6. karl_em_all

    karl_em_all

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2013
    Location:
    St. John's, Newfoundland CAN
    Is the impedance switch on the amp set to match the impedance of the cab?
  7. FBS1996

    FBS1996

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2011
    Location:
    Leeds, England
    Sorry guys, forgot to mention. Yeah, I ran the head at 8 ohms into an 8 ohm cab. I'm also pretty certain it's the head, as I've ran it through my cab and two different cabs at the studios I rehearse at.

    Cheers
  8. beans-on-toast

    beans-on-toast

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2008
    There are a number of things to consider.

    It could be that the Orange amp runs out of gas at your settings. The pots are often what is called log taper, they are non linear. The amp could be at full power at 11 o'clock. If you can, try another head, same make and model. Otherwise, a tech can measure the power output at the onset of distortion and gauge how your amp is performing.

    It could be that there is a bad contact inside the amp. A jack or tube socket that needs cleaning, a bad solder joint, a connector that isn't seated properly.

    The power supply might have an issue. If the caps are not functioning up to spec you should suffer from a lack of headroom and distortion.

    Your power amp output transistors might need to have the bias adjusted. It is true that fixing these power amps is sometimes more costly than replacing them. At the same time, sometimes there are simple issues that can be fixed.

    I suggest that you find a good tech to look at it. If there isn't one in Leeds, find one with a good reputation and take a road trip.
  9. P-oddz

    P-oddz Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2009
    Location:
    Milwaukee, WI
    I recommend you guys listen to the clip the OP provided. There's definitely an issue with the amp as opposed to the cab or him running out of "clean headroom". It's plain old broken sounding.

    OP - I don't know how much your preamp tubes will affect whats going on - but a quick thing you could try on your own is a new pair of preamp tubes to completely rule out any fault from those. After that (and even if you don't want to attempt the tube swap yourself) you need to try to find a repair shop - I would assume you would have better luck over there as opposed to finding good Orange repair guys in the States here. I would call at all the guitar shops and see if they can point you in the direction of one.

    Additionally - if you are considering the PF500, just bear in mind that the 2 amps are quite different. If you like the bite that the Orange provides, you will not get that out of the Ampeg without running some pedals as well. The Ampeg is a decent cheaper amp, (and as mentioned might be past it's early issue failures), but it doesn't do what your Orange will do. For reference, I own an Orange AD200B and and Ampeg PF800 so I'm familiar enough with the brands.

    They are both decent - but different. Food for thought.

    EDIT: I just reread and saw you tried tube replacement already. I think Jimmy's advice on contacting Orange is solid, they should be able to help out more.
  10. beans-on-toast

    beans-on-toast

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2008
    For some strange reason, I couldn't hear the clip on my machine. Reaching out to a technical person at Orange is a good idea.
  11. FBS1996

    FBS1996

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2011
    Location:
    Leeds, England
    Right everyone, got in contact with a guy just outside of Leeds who seems like a decent enough chap, looks like he really knows what he's doing. Seeing him on Friday and hopefully he'll have got it diagnosed and have it fixed for me over the next couple of weeks. Now I've just got prices to worry about, as he can't give me any kind of price bracket until he's had a look at it. I have slightly more hope than before though haha
  12. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2005
    Location:
    Apopka, FL
    Disclosures:
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    I'd still call Orange.
  13. FBS1996

    FBS1996

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2011
    Location:
    Leeds, England
    The orange is now fixed! One of the capacitors was broken. According to the tech the capacitor had not been glued in and one of the legs had snapped, meaning that it was free to move about, hence why the sound would cut in and out. Now works totally fine after a good half hour of playing. Still think I'm going to sell it though, as I'm still questioning it's build quality, and the idea of having a warrantied amp seems right up my street. Cheers!
  14. P-oddz

    P-oddz Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2009
    Location:
    Milwaukee, WI
    Good to hear about the fix.
    I've got an update if you're still looking into the PF territory that I figured I'd share (for anyone that cares at all). I've recently discovered that I love the way the PF sounds with a Catalinbread SFT in front it.

    Funny that I had to buy an Ampeg emulator to make my Ampeg sound like an Ampeg that I'd like to play....

    At least I got there.

Share This Page