NAD! Orange Terror TB500h / Compared to Aguilar TH500

Discussion in 'Amps [BG]' started by GRoberts, Nov 28, 2012.


  1. GRoberts

    GRoberts Supporting Member

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    Location:
    Tucson, AZ USA
    NAD! Orange Terror TB500H

    I waited a few weeks before posting so I could get a few gigs under my belt. The Orange Terror TB500 delivers 500W into 4ohms OR 8ohms with its impedance switch.

    It has two preamp tubes and a class D amp section. The amp delivers a wonderful "kick-you-in-the-chest" low-end punch that is tubey, percussive yet articulate and well defined. The Midrange is very complex, harmonicially rich and has a sweet presence that I typically associate with tube amps. There is a baked-in mid-range grind and mild distortion that makes the amp old school and vintage, although I can get a great clean tone as well. The highs are slightly subdued compared to Solid state amps, yet all frequencies are well balanced and the amp sounds amazing in the band mix! I can still do some slap/funk and this amp delivers more 'meat' in that style. Treble is fatter and has stronger bones than other sizzly high end oriented amps.

    I've used the Orange Terror TB500H so far with a pair of Markbass NY121 1x12 cabs amd they make a really nice portable rig that is quite worthy. But it freaking KILLS with my Bergantino AE410. Growl, punch, grind, cut, sweetness. You name it.

    The Orange has enough volume, punch, growl, grind and power to hang with my Mesa M6 Carbine whose sound I am out growing. The Mesa M6 is always rather clear, clean and somewhat modern. I'm getting into more old school vintage punch.

    I had a chance to compare the Orange TB500H to an Aguilar Tonehammer TH500. The Aguilar was more midrangey and perhaps more versatile with it's drive/gain/variable mids. But overall, for instant ''dial-it-in-sound", the Orange Terror TB500h just flat out made me smile a lot more. It's punchier inherently and there is an instantly pleasing blend of low-end punch with the very complex and awesome midrange. and the highs are just right.

    I used the DI on two gigs and it worked great. There is not however any DI level control. But neither soundman had a complaint and it sounded great.

    The ManCave:

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  2. SirMjac28

    SirMjac28 Patiently Waiting For The Next British Invasion Gold Supporting Member

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  3. godofthunder59

    godofthunder59 Supporting Member

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    Disclosures:
    Endorsing Cataldo Basses, Whirlwind products, Thunderbucker pickups
    I bought a Terror bass for small gigs with no FOH support. I run it with two 1x15 cabs. The thing kicks major ass! I have said this in other posts I like it better than my '75 Hiwatt DR201!
  4. CL400Peavey

    CL400Peavey Supporting Member

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    If orange released their TB500/1000 in a rack mount version I would be all over them.
  5. GRoberts

    GRoberts Supporting Member

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    Interesting because I am tired of rack mount sized amps. The lunchbox sized format is one of the huge appeals for me. So easy to haul!
  6. CL400Peavey

    CL400Peavey Supporting Member

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    See I haul around a 100 pound tube amp, so everything else is easy. :rolleyes:

    I just dont like anything not in a protective case, and I have my doubts about the case for the Orange.

    If they made a pre amp in either pedal or rack format that copped the same tone as the Bass terror, I would be all over that as well.

    I dont need another amp, but if Aguilar came out with a ToneHammer 1000/1200/1500 or Orange came out with a rack mount Terror 1000 I would be taking a very hard look at them.
  7. Lazarus.Bird

    Lazarus.Bird Mr. Personality Supporting Member

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    Love my TB1000. Seeing a lot of threads popping up about how much people are digging these. Glad people are catching on! These amps rock.
  8. GRoberts

    GRoberts Supporting Member

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    I started the NAD Post because I too am quite surprised the Terror TB500h and/or TB1000 are not getting more constant overwhelming praise. Granted, not every player wants the same sound, but the Orange has baked in Mojo, Soul, Grind, Punch, Tone, Sweetness, Power, headroom, it's easy to carry, comes in a cool carry case with pocket for power cable and Neutrik speakon cable ....It easily keeps pace in terms of power and volume with my Mesa M6 Carbine ....which has headroom like the Hammer of Thor!

    While the flavor of the season (deserving) seems to be the Aguilar Tonehammer TH500, when I compared the Orange to the Aguilar side-by-side, the voice and performance of the Orange outshined the TH500 (to me and another TB player friend). He liked the Orange so much, he now wants one and will likely get rid of his Tonehammer TH500. Nothing wrong with the Tonehammer TH500. I quite liked it too. But if I could only have one, ...I pick the Orange in a New York minute!

    Now I am in search of the ultimate pair of 1x12 cabs or other small, lightweight cabinets to mate with my Orange to make a more portable, modular bass rig that is easier to carry, but packs maximum tone and punch when I need it.
  9. Session1969

    Session1969 Gold Supporting Member

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    I tried a Terror 1000 into their 4-10 a couple days ago and I liked them a lot as well. I was impressed with the cab just as much !
  10. GRoberts

    GRoberts Supporting Member

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    Was it the SP410? The smaller one? or a regular 4x10 cube? Thanks!
  11. NYCbassist

    NYCbassist Supporting Member

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    I was wondering where are they made? I definitely would love to try one.
  12. GRoberts

    GRoberts Supporting Member

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    Not really sure where they are made. Good question. Where does it sound great? ...so far, everywhere. :p
  13. Lazarus.Bird

    Lazarus.Bird Mr. Personality Supporting Member

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    Believe they are made in Korea. But, that's why you can get a kick ass amp that weighs less than 15 lbs at less than a dollar per watt.
  14. Eublet

    Eublet Supporting Member

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    Hey, Gary. Good thread. I read Bass Gear Magazine's report on the TB500 and took a look at their scope of the head when set flat. Boosted lows, modest highs, and scooped mids. Nothing drastic, but a nice contour that I think would make a lot of people happy right out of the gate as you suggested. I'm a "scope junkie" as I live to test the frequency response of things.

    So, I spent some time trying to make my TH500 scope like the Orange. Here are the settings I came up with:

    Drive: 1:30
    Bass: 2 o'clock
    Highs: 12:45 or 1
    Mids: 9:45 or so
    Mid Freq: 2 o'clock

    At those settings, the frequency curve was virtually identical to the Orange. I'm sure there are other things that would set these two heads apart, such as the overdrive, warmth, feel, and responsiveness of the two heads. But as you said, the beautiful thing with the Aggie is the EQ that let's you do almost anything with your tone without an overly complex EQ section.

    I'd love to try that Orange though!
  15. GRoberts

    GRoberts Supporting Member

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    hey Jason, Those settings make sense. Yes, the Orange Head when settings are set to flat (12 o'clock) ...sounds great!

    I did bump the Bass to 2 O'clock on the TH500 as well when I compared. So I agree with this. Gets it much closer. Not sure about the Drive, the Mids and highs. But you may be onto something there. Wish I had a TH500 on tap that I could spend more time with and see if I can make one sound like the other. BUT >>... and this is a Big "But!" ... the two preamp tubes in the Orange Terror TB500 bring a presence and character to the tonal spectrum the TH500 will probably never have. There is a 'feel' and harmonic sweetness that the Orange had and the Tonehammer TH500 didn't have ..when I compared them side by side. But I didn't have enough time to play around with the Mid Freq and Mid Level, pair with the Drive on the TH500 to be sure.

    Still, the Orange is just SOOOO easy to get a GREAT sound from, and very Plug N Play. If the Mids are scooped, I'll be damned, because the mid knob at noon, the midrange is complex, present and doesn't sound scooped to me at all. Yet the Scopes don't lie. But how it translated in the real world and in the band mix at two different gigs last weekend, ...it was not scooped at all. Very powerful and punchy in the mids, low mids and band mix. Just sayin'
  16. Eublet

    Eublet Supporting Member

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    Totally agree again! One thing about tube amps that have some grit and a lot of mid oriented harmonic character is that you almost have to scoop the mids a little to even it back out. At least that's my experience. So the scope will show that things are scooped, but your ears don't as quicly indicate that, which is a cool thing.
  17. NYCbassist

    NYCbassist Supporting Member

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    Just found out. It's China. Looks Beautiful and I hear that The Class D stuff is top notch. Now I'm GASing big time for one.:)
  18. Jim C

    Jim C Supporting Member

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    Nov 29, 2008
    How would you compare the Orange vs. the M6 into the 4x10?
    Have never played one but was under the impression that the Orange has an aggressive mid rangey tone and did not get the smoother Ampeg tone no matter what the settings.
    This is based on a review from ages ago read here.
  19. GRoberts

    GRoberts Supporting Member

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    Great question. The Mesa M6 Carbine is Uber clean and clear, pretty much ALL the time. Thew M6 Carbine has tons of headroom and an play very loud. The lows are very deep and sound more extended on the low-end than most amps. The Mesa M6 Carbine has a rather 'wide presentation of the extreme low and high frequency ranges.' This is not to say it is not very musical. But mating the amp with the right cab is important. My Bergantino AE410 is a rather tight/focused 4x10, so it balances out the wide frequency range of the Mesa. The highs are also prominent, yet sweet and the mids are very very clear. The Midrange on the Mesa M6 Carbine is not as complex as the Orange Terror in my experience. I love the Growl and grind of the Orange. It sits just right in the band mix.

    The Mesa does have a DI Output level knob which is nice, but so far, the two gigs I did using the Orange DI out, worked perfectly and neither soundmen had any complaints at all.

    The Orange Terror TB500 has some grit and grind (mild distortion) baked into the Low mids and midrange, but just the right amount. The Midrange on the Orange seems to have more growl and grind in ways that I consider more tubey than the Mesa. While the Orange has that grit, grind and growl in the mids, it remains very articulate and punchy. Just a perfect blend of lows, mids and highs. It's like all the tweaks I would make to the EQ settings on other amps .... is already DONE 'flat' on the Orange. Very Plug N Play for me. Set the Volume and GO! I like that a lot!

    Then ....the Orange is easy to one hand and carry and the Mesa comes in a rack or big heavy head case. I've loved my Mesa M6 Carbine since I got it. But I am overhauling my 'big' gear to make it easier to move around. Color me ....Orange!
  20. Jim C

    Jim C Supporting Member

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    Nov 29, 2008
    Thanks; great comparison.
    Sounds like the Orange will not do the studio monitor clean bass thing but excels if a bit of grind is the goal and the opposite is true of the M6. Congrats on having one of each.

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