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Any Orange OR120 users? Thinking of taking the plunge...

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by snowblinder, Nov 17, 2012.

  1. I've lusted after an Orange amp for many years, but for whatever reason never bothered saving up for one and always went with (relatively) more affordable stuff. Now, as I have some expendable income and gear lust has taken over, I've decided to start hunting for an Orange OR120 head. I play both guitar and bass, so for guitar I'm pretty confident it'll be something I'm into. Has anyone here ever used one for bass?

    I would be running it through an Ampeg 8x10 and playing my Epiphone Elitist Thunderbird, in a loud four piece heavy rock band setting. I generally like a growly, semi-distorted kind of sound. Will this be an amp that would likely suit me well? Or should I maybe look into the AD200B instead to satisfy my Orange cravings?
  2. mpdd

    mpdd neoconceptualist

    Mar 24, 2010
    cool question, i hope somebody knows
  3. Mr. Foxen

    Mr. Foxen Commercial User

    Jul 24, 2009
    Bristol, UK
    Amp tinkerer at Ampstack
    How loud depends on your cab. The middlyness on the OR120 means it is probably going to be more audible against a band than the AD200b with its mid scooped Fender type stack, even though there is less power. but buying Orange instead of Matamp is like buying Squier instead of Fender.
  4. oinkbanana


    Oct 20, 2011
    Great for guitar
    but if you expect to play at those kinds of volume levels for bass, it'll leave you with lots to desire in the low end for bass
  5. anderbass


    Dec 20, 2005
    Phoenix. Az.
    I've got an early-90's Orange OR80, (made by Matamp). On my model, the only difference from an OR120 is the extra pair of powertubes. Mine sounds awesome for bass duty, but I can only use it at lower volume type gigs, even with my Bergantino NV610 or Ampeg 810 flatback cabs.

    My OR80 gets stupid-loud for guitar duty, (even with just a 1x12 cab) but runs out of usable-headroom very quickly for bass duty; due to its smaller sized transformers. I realise an OR120 would have an extra pair of powertubes, but I've got a feeling you'd end up with pretty much the same problem as me trying to use it for bass duty in a 'loud four piece heavy rock band setting'.

    I dig overdriven bass tones too, but my OR80 simply looses definition/heft/feel on all the lower-register notes when used with my fairly-loud rock bands.

    My 1972 Ampeg V4 head is way louder than my OR80 for bass duty, but my V4 still doesnt have enough clean headroom for many of the gigs I play w/o PA-support. But my tube powered SVT's, Mesa 400+ or Peavey Classic 400 always have enough usable-volume potential on tap.

    I've also got an early-1980's Mesa D180 that has quite a bit more usable volume potential than my Ampeg V4. If you want a fairly loud bass head that also doubles as an awesome guitar amp, I'd sugest you try to find one of these in the used market... Or see if you dig the guitar tone of an AD200 with pedals for overdrive, or even consider a Rocketverb.
  6. Mr. Foxen

    Mr. Foxen Commercial User

    Jul 24, 2009
    Bristol, UK
    Amp tinkerer at Ampstack
    If it is a fairly old amp, a bit of gutless in the lows can be down to the filter caps. Uprating them with larger capacity modern ones helps loads. There is plenty of bottom end potential in those Oranges.
  7. I'm mostly interested in getting an OR120 for guitar use, but figured it could potentially serve double duty for when I'm playing bass. Might stick with my 800RB and get an Oxford pedal for getting the Orange tone at the volume I need when playing live.

    Which leads me to: has anyone here ever recorded bass with an OR120? Any sound clips anywhere I could possibly check out? If it won't be adequate for live use on bass, I'd imagine it would be a great amp for recording.
  8. Pity you can't get over to Matamp in Yorkshire UK, you can have your amp built to your spec.
    Matamps are still hand built 100% in the factory where you can visit and see production.
    I'll dig out some shots of the best Bass rig I've ever owned which was in the 70s with an Orange Graphic 120 on top of a 2x15 HH cab.
    ohmargoodness likes this.
  9. You can get valves/tubes that are more suitable for bass than guitar, I didn't kow that way back in the 70s when Orange amps were primarily designed for guitar not bass
  10. Mr. Foxen

    Mr. Foxen Commercial User

    Jul 24, 2009
    Bristol, UK
    Amp tinkerer at Ampstack
    OR120 is absolutely enough to gig with, if you have an appropriate cab, a good 2x15 or 8x10 is enough, especially if you aren't after squeaky clean. In the 70s Orange amps were designed for guitar or bass.
  11. mpdd

    mpdd neoconceptualist

    Mar 24, 2010
    i played my d180 at maximum clean volume last night for a hardcore show with 2x115s and i was surprised how loud it was with drums, vocals, and a guitar, supposedly if you push it harder it will get really loud and overdriven
  12. The valves/tubes in 70s Orange amps were directed towards guitarists.
    Today valves/tubes are available to suit either, my Orange 120 started od to soon for bass work when driving a 2x15
  13. Which other than a few genres is the last thing a bassist wants.
    BassmanPaul likes this.
  14. Mr. Foxen

    Mr. Foxen Commercial User

    Jul 24, 2009
    Bristol, UK
    Amp tinkerer at Ampstack
    They've never made valves specific for guitar or bass. What determines the sound of an amp is the circuit. The 120w part tells you they are intended to work fine for bass, what with 30w being a lot for guitar and all.
  15. Maybe not back then or maybe thay did.
    The point I'm making is that they are available today with preamp valves designed not to break up too early and output valves to do the same.
    Maybe you should check out 'Watford Valves', if there'd been such info and valves around I'd probably have kept my Orange in the 70s that was starting to break up to early when driven at stage levels.
    You may be interested in this specimen that I recently had, note no serial, model number and no roll bars.
  16. PS here's a shot of my 1970s Orange Graphic 120, 2x15 HH cab along with my 1965 interim period Jazz Bass that I'd bought new in 66.
    Please excuse the poor photo quality I've scanned an old Kodak Instamtic photo.
    The 2x15 had been factory re-speakered with higher rated speakers due to failures across the board with the original Eminece 15s, the struggled to drive these heavier duty speakers with a clean bass sound, that is why I parted with it.

    rhythmwiz likes this.
  17. Mr. Foxen

    Mr. Foxen Commercial User

    Jul 24, 2009
    Bristol, UK
    Amp tinkerer at Ampstack
    Sound of amp depends far more on the circuit and design of the amp than the subset of any valve type put into that amp. Should one be so inclined you can get 200w from a quad of EL34, that is quite a lot more headroom. Simplest change to increase the headroom of old amps is uprate the filter caps, to stiffen up the power supply, as cap technology has moved pretty far.
  18. I was browsing the Orange forum on the Vintage Amps Bulletin Board and stumbled upon an ancient thread with a link to this band I had never heard of (called Ampersand). According to the bassist's post in the thread, the bass on these recordings is an OR120 through an Ampeg 8x10:


    I'm sold. That sounds great.
  19. Are you saying that all EL34 and ECC83 produce the same end results tone wise?
    If you are then I sugest you contact 'Watford Valves', read their sales blurb and then tell them that you're going to report them to trading standards.
  20. Actually what he said was that the amp's design plays a much bigger role in how it sounds than the type/brand of tubes. and a sales blurb is just that, a sales blurb.