Orange AD200b tube changing

Discussion in 'Amps [BG]' started by BlueSteelRiot, Feb 18, 2014.


  1. BlueSteelRiot

    BlueSteelRiot

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    Hy everybody :) quick introduction of my self since im new here;-) : bassist from Switzerland, played in several bands and orchestras, Im currently using an orange ad 200b mk3 with an Ampeg svt classic 610 hlf, and a Hartke 3500HA with the matching vx fullstack.
    Im reading in here for a long time, and now finally mangaged to register :)

    Recently one tube of the oranges powersection blew so it was time for a tube changing. I was looking a long time in the internet for some information about wich tubes produce wich sound in the orange, but found not too much information.
    I was happy with the sound of the stock tubes, but had several smal things that i wanted to optimize. The amp distorted really early so when i needed higher levels i allways had loads of distortion with it. It also had a little weakness in the lowmids and bass.

    I decided to switch from the stock chinese made 6550s to JJ electronics kt 88s for the issue with the lowmids and bass.
    For the preamp i changed v1 and v2 which were one JJ and a chinese one, to matched NOS Jan Phillips 12AX7 WA that i found at watfordvalves...

    The result: Better everything :) Much more different sounds, better lowmids and bass, and it has now a bit more sustain. Overall the sound is more balanced, and the EQ has more effect. The overall volume didnt change in my oppinion. The amp now stays a bit longer clean, and the distortion is smoother, warmer. The range of sound goes from perfectly clean and precise (hifi like) to hardcore distorted.

    I testet with my fender classic 50s P-bass (changed pickups to seymour duncan quarterpounders), with the tone at 3/4 open and the amps eq set on 12. It now sounds even better than before, the characteristics of the amp changed in the way that i can have so much bass and lowmids, that i feel the bass in the stomach and that my trousers are shaking while beeing right in front of the amp, at the same time the sound is slightly bouncy and punchy with the slightly metallic/percussive sound from pic and flatwounds in the background.

    I also testet with my Musicman stingray. The effects are similar, with the right eq setting, it has a realy cool funky sound, with lots of treble and bass (realy cool for slapping), and with a bit distortion while playing fingerstile it makes a tone that is close to fleas one in the stadium arcadium album.

    I hope that was helpfull
    coments and questions always welcome ;-)
    rock on :bassist:
     
  2. Tim1

    Tim1

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    I am currently on my second AD200, having foolishly sold my first one a few years ago and missed it ever since. I am not sure what you mean when you describe yours as having a weakness in the lower mids and bass, since on both of mine this has been a clear strength. It may just be a matter of taste, I suppose. Regarding your point about headroom/early distortion, this has never been an issue for me when using passive basses - it may be different if you are using an active bass. It also depends on the efficiency of the speaker cab you are using - I have found mine to be a perfect match with a Bergantino NV215. Have you read Tom Bowlus' review of the AD200 in the latest issue of Bass Gear Magazine (available free online but do subscribe to support it if you can).
    One final point, and I do apologise if I appear to be condescending, but did you have the amp re-biased after you fitted the new power tubes? If you did, was your tech aware that the recommended bias range is 18-22 ma, which is considerably colder than other tube amps apparently. I have never fitted new power tubes to my Orange but there are a few discussions on the web that make this point.
    And finally, welcome to Talkbass and congratulations on owning one of my favourite amps ever :).
     
  3. P-oddz

    P-oddz Supporting Member

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    Thanks for sharing. I was trying to find people's experience with different tubes in the AD200 when I had to swap out power tubes a few months back, but no luck. I was also curious if there was a discernible difference or something missing between the 6550's and KT88's

    At the time, I thought I'd try a set of JJ 6550's for cost savings, that unfortunately were bad right from the factory and blew out within a day or two of getting the amp back. I ended up spending more to replace those with some Winged C's.
     
  4. BlueSteelRiot

    BlueSteelRiot

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    @ Tim1 ive put quarter pound PUs in my p-bass, and i think that this could be the reason for the early distortion, because they have a higher output than standart passiv PUs... I think that the distortion came from the preampsection, because one of the tubes was sort of a crapy looking thing without any names or logos on, just a made in china sign on it, the other 2 preamp ones where both jjs... Seemed a bit strange to me...
    Well about the lowmids and basses, could be that its a matter of taste ( playing in a stoner / grunge band^^)

    About rebiasing issue, i had my bias reset by my amp tec, in my opinion he should know that, because hes specialised on tubeamps and mics and he makes his job since nearly 30 jears and he was recomended to me by my audio engineer/studio technician that i know for ages...
    ( all tubes that i changed were matched ones, for the poweramp a matched quartett, an preamp a matched duett, in the end it cost me half a fortune but it was worth it i like the sound and the amp even more than i did before :)
     
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  6. Tim1

    Tim1

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    All good, BlueSteel. It will be interesting to see what others can contribute to this discussion. The ad200 is one of my all time favorite amps.
     
  7. tombowlus

    tombowlus If it sounds good, it is good Supporting Member

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    Here's a link to the AD200 review, if you have not seen it. If you check out the charts in Tom Lees' technical review, you can see what this amp is supposed to do when everything is working properly. And FWIW, the amp we tested is my own, and those tubes have some hours on them.
     
  8. P-oddz

    P-oddz Supporting Member

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    Thanks for posting the review, Tom!
    Meat and potatoes, indeed.
     
  9. BlueSteelRiot

    BlueSteelRiot

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    meat and potatoes indeed, very nice review
     
  10. tombowlus

    tombowlus If it sounds good, it is good Supporting Member

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    Thanks, folks! Glad you liked it. :cool:
     

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