Low level Orange thing....

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by mkaythen, Jan 8, 2006.

  1. mkaythen


    May 25, 2003
    Hi Guys and Girls. My first post here, but not my first post by any means, so here goes.

    I have an Orange AD200 bass rig (see signature) and it sounds amazing. Everything you've ever heard about the tone from these amps is true, and maybe a little more. Yes, it sounds different (I won't say better, although I could....) to an SVT. Currently, I have NOS Rca tubes in the pre-amp (2x ECC83, 1x ECC81), and Svetlana 'S' tubes (KT88's) up the back. None of these tubes are original. The pre-amp tubes i fitted myself, but the KT88's were fitted by a tech, who claimed that the old bias was 'ok' (he checked). The original tubes were EH 6550's.

    Now to my issue.

    As you can probably also see in my signature, I also have a S/S amp. Although capable of driving 4 (yes 4!) 8 ohm cabs for a total of 1200W RMS, with one cab it's only putting out 300W. More than enough for most gigs i thought. That's why i bought it years ago. Oh, for anyone that thinks that S/S amps are light compared to Valves, think again. This amp weighs at least as much if not more than the Orange head. It would make a great boat anchor I'm sure.....

    So....what's my point?

    The Orange is reeeeeeally quiet compared to the Trace.

    So quiet that even in rehearsals I have issues hearing myself over our drummer who admittedly is fairly enthusiastic, and two guitars with a Vox AC50 (an old bass head!) and an old Fender twin.

    Am I having a whinge? I just thought that the Orange would be enough. I was considering purchasing the matching 15" cabinet as well, but I'm not so sure now. For reference, I've hooked both heads to both cabinets and the Orange box is definitely more efficient than the Trace box. I've called the guys at Orange HQ, and they think I'm nuts for thinking that 200W might not be enough. The Orange forum guys think I'm a sook, and to be honest I'm thinking that I might be!

    My current level of observation is this:

    There's probably something not quite right with my amp (duh)

    I bought the amp from the USA online (the same tech re-tapped the transformer for 240V, maybe this is the cause...)

    The Orange power light on the front does weird things. It flickers, goes from full on to completely off for no reason. Doesn't affect the sound, but maybe it's an indicator of something else?

    There's maybe someone out there who has had something similar occur to them?

    I know there's stacks of people playing with 200W valve amps (coldplay, the hives, the dude from weezer uses an old Orange OR120 which is 120W) so I find it hard to believe that 200W isn't enough. I'm a soundy as well, so I know that a 300W amp should be barely any louder! Especially when you factor in the less efficeient cabinet of the Trace.

    Theories anyone? Welcoming your attentiveness for reading this far
  2. Maybe you need more efficient cabs, maybe your amp is bias'd really cold (i think), so it is putting out less

    However, i may be being ignorant here, but it could be your EQ, alot of bass eating up the watts and taking from the overall volume?
  3. That all just doesn't sound right......

    Maybe just get in there and check for dry solder joints?
    Could be that the power tubes are going?
    I'd suggest maybe taking it to a different techy and seeing what the end result is - OR - finding someone from the Orange forum and asking them if you could compare amps volume wise, or in a music shop.
    They do say that converting to 240v does change the way an amp sounds in the tone sense (50Hz to 60Hz.) but I'm not sure about volume.
    Good Luck.
  4. mkaythen


    May 25, 2003
    Usually I run the tone controls pretty close to 'flat' but even with the bass backed off a heap it's still not loud enough.

    I'd love to compare amps, but I'm in Australia and the only other guy on the forum I've found is about 2000km away!

    The cold bias thing could definitely be worth a look.........
  5. mkaythen


    May 25, 2003
    Oh, and one other thing. I've plugged the amp into an Ampeg 8x10 and it was still the same......
  6. Take it to another tech, doesnt sound right to me

    One thing tho, this may seem stupid, do you have an active bass (Im sure your stringray will be . . . ) ? it could be the batterys need changed, that happened to me when i got my SVT back from being revalved, i was crapping myself! it was sooo quiet, then i hit it on standby, plugged in another bass, turned it on again and about blew myself across the room

    Just an idea here
  7. mkaythen


    May 25, 2003
    If i hadn't done it already, that would be great advice! It's always the silly little things you overlook!
  8. Yeah i know, im bad for that!

    Well, i really cant think of anything else it could be, but that doesnt mean much, best advice i can give is to take it to a tech
  9. mkaythen


    May 25, 2003
    As soon as I've got a bit of spare cash, she's there.

    In the meantime, thanks for the help.
  10. macahan


    Mar 22, 2005
    Karlstad, Sweden
    i play my mk1 ad200 though an ampeg 8x10 and it's nothing close to quiet.. i run it at roughly half capacity.. how high do you guys really play? you say you run kt88's which probably would give you more volume than the 6550's i run..

    seems like something is wrong with the power to the head somehow..
  11. KT-88's will give a few watts more of power, but not much, they will stay cleaner into higher volumes i think, but overall there isnt much in the way of a noticable volume increase, if at all

    Something is bugging me about the power converstion to 240 v, im not sure why tho, i spose that could be the problem . . . i dont know why im thinking that tho