NAD: Orange AD200B MkIII

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by MrSidecar, Jun 9, 2021.


  1. MrSidecar

    MrSidecar Supporting Member

    Apr 9, 2008
    Copenhagen, Denmark
    DF33281C-AAF8-469D-938A-2D4501DBB7FD.jpeg

    There it is, on top of my barefaced super twin.

    I’ll say this: I’ve never been a tube snob. Have played the Terror Bass in both incarnations, fender bassman tv combo, and other hybrid and solid state amps before. So, if my verdict is

    This is the most amazing amp I have ever played for electric bass! (and yes I do think so!)

    then I still think (IMHO) it's not about it being an all-tube head, but rather, about its position in the Orange catalogue. You're having all those other Orange bass amp options that cater to their respective audiences (the bi-amping crowd, those who want light, those who want more flexible eq, and those who like a tube pre with a class D power amp) and every single option is only about a third of the price of their top of the line model. So, for this virtually featureless heavyweight to be marketable, it has to be REALLY great.

    Which it is.

    Now, the internet (and Orange, via their flock of endorsers) suggests this amp is all about distorted or at least overdriven sounds with lots of heft and bottom. Pick, rounds, and more or less grind and growl in the sound, and yes, that's easily possible.
    What's less known maybe (at least to me it was), the amp CAN be really clean and still super powerful and with a really hefty punch. I'm all about flats on P basses fingerstyle, oftentimes Motown-ish sounding, and the AD200B does that gloriously. It reacts to the attack in a very sensitive way, so that you'll get this tiny bit of crunch at the start of a note (just like on the old Jamerson tracks), if you want that. I have truly never felt so good playing what I do, there's just this "authority" to the sound and that's fantastic.

    I tried it with the OBC410, and that was killer as well, with the barefaced there is more possible midrange (meaning there's not much midrange in the OBC410), and the Orange cab right away has this fist-in-the-gut feeling that's lovely in its own right. I might want to add, I can get that with the barefaced as well....

    The amp is also really heavy.

    Which is the only thing keeping me from using this amp for upright amplification as well (I have actually seen one video where somebody does that briefly).

    I'm loving it. Probably the last amp purchase in a very long time.

    Best
    Sidecar
     
    anderbass, kobass, Wasnex and 10 others like this.
  2. The reason this amp sounds the way it does (and so good) is because of its tube output section. I have many amps, but only one all tube amp, and it has a quality of sound none of the solid state or hybrid amps can match.
     
  3. Congratulations! I am a happy owner as well.
    My take on it is that it sounds the way it does because of its simplicity. I get the sound of my basses when I play this amp. And yes it’s heavy, but it’s still about 35 lbs less than an SVT.

    Enjoy.
     
    Rich67 likes this.
  4. Yep.... agree with all that.
    Superb, simple amp. Sounds fantastic with my Fender Bassman neo 115.

    Congrats
     
  5. MrSidecar

    MrSidecar Supporting Member

    Apr 9, 2008
    Copenhagen, Denmark
    A band rehearsal revealed another great aspect. The sound sits in the mix of our band in a way that makes the bass more prominent without being louder. It felt truly amazing and very detailed.

    With the Terror Bass, details weren’t really the strong shoe- the sound of the terror (even though the two allegedly share an almost identical preamp section) seemed almost a little band-passed (lacking both the sheer possibility of a clear top end and a deep low end). The virtually always-on overdrive didn’t always help either- the later Terror has a clean switch but I never liked the sound with clean engaged. That part is way better to control with the AD200B.

    About tubes/solid state- IMO a really valid comparison would be with an absolute top-of-the-line solid state amplifier as opposed to the rather mid-grade-offerings I’ve owned before. I totally expect this amp from the $2000-ballpark to be superior of gear in the $500-600 range. I can’t make the comparison with high-end solid state amps because I have never played one. So I can’t know if “it’s the tubes”, or just the fact that the design of the AD200B has received a little more care, or whatever.

    But I don’t believe in magic, same as I don’t believe in “tube watts” even though the salesperson in the shop where I bought the amp tried this marketing drivel on me (“watts are relative” he said- a statement that’s very easy to debunk since watt is a unit, and a unit’s purpose is to not be relative… I almost wanted to ask him if he believes horsepower to be equally “relative” to, say, the fuel type or the metal alloy used in the motor.) All this doesn’t take away from the fact that the AD200B is the best amp I have ever played. I only do not care if it’s the tubes or not.

    Best
    Sidecar
     
  6. I totally agree that a watt is a watt is a watt and there is no "magic" inherent in any amplifier topology, solid state, tube or hybrid. What I do know is that my $500 all tube SVT clone has a certain quality (you called it authority; which is a great description) of sound that my $1k+ solid state/hybrid don't possess. The Terror Bass was advertised as having the same preamp as the AD200B, just with a solid state power amp. Therefore, having owned both, you are best placed to hear for yourself the difference tubes can make.

    The additional cost of the AD200B is mostly due to the implementation of the larger tube power amp (larger chassis, wooden full tolex enclosure, output tubes, large transfomers, capacitors, lower production quantities/region, etc).
    I've only played through a 200B once in a store but it was head and shoulders above anything else on the floor.
    If I ever invest in another all tube amplifier it'll be either a 200B or a Matamp of similar spec. (I like the idea of point to point wiring versus printed circuit boards).
     
    Last edited: Jun 11, 2021
    MrSidecar likes this.
  7. MrSidecar

    MrSidecar Supporting Member

    Apr 9, 2008
    Copenhagen, Denmark
    And THAT’s where it gets interesting. Both because of the sheer info, but also: What IS your $500 SVT clone? Sounds very intriguing to check out…

    Best
    Sidecar
     
  8. It's a Bugera BVV3000 Infinium which is as far as I know the closest copy of an SVT CL out there (with the addition of automatic output tube biasing).

    A lot of Behringer/Bugera dissenters get upset at the very mention; so keep this info just between me and you please! (-;

    Cheers,
    Mark
     
    Last edited: Jun 11, 2021
  9. MrSidecar

    MrSidecar Supporting Member

    Apr 9, 2008
    Copenhagen, Denmark
    Update after the first gig.

    setting: small club, provided backline was some Ashdown ABM-top and an Ashdown 410 (abm-Evo or something). Only mic besides the singers was in the kick drum. Two guitars with Fender DeVille combos (provided backline).

    The hardest part was seriously to not be too loud.

    Super-weighty fat tone with loads of authority, and again a perfect position in the “mix”. Worked really well together with the kick drum. And even though I normally prefer FOH support by a huge margin, it worked really well and I felt more comfy than ever on any stage.

    Next show tomorrow with the barefaced.

    best
    Sidecar
     
  10. Wasnex

    Wasnex

    Dec 25, 2011
    The Preamps of the AD200B and TB do have some similarities, but there are some differences in component values that would make the tone controls sound and behave a bit different from each other.

    Also there is a difference in the placement of the (Master) Volume controls.
    AD200 signal path:​
    Input, V1a, Gain, V1b, Tone Stack, Tone Stack, Volume,-->Output Section (Phase Inverter V2ab, Drivers V3ab, Output Tubes)

    TB signal path:​
    Input, V1a, Gain, V1b, Tone Stack, V2a, effects loop, Volume, V2b,-->Power Amp Module

    In particular the AD200B only has one tube section between the Gain and Volume controls, while the TB has two. The point I am thinking about is the AD200B only has one tube section that is driven into OD, while the TB potentially has two.
     
    Last edited: Jun 11, 2021
    MrSidecar likes this.
  11. MrSidecar

    MrSidecar Supporting Member

    Apr 9, 2008
    Copenhagen, Denmark
    First gig with the AD200B into my Barefaced super twin.
    Record Store Day- so we played in a record store. Way low volume, backline-only except singers.

    It was very easy to play quietly and with a big sound nevertheless- that would have been problematic with the Terror Bass since it just doesn’t have as fat a bottom end. Very cool, and again a very comfortable feeling of authority and heft without overpowering the band.

    I’m so happy I can’t stop smiling when I play!

    Next up- festival gig, outdoors, supposedly large-ish stage. Two weeks from now. I can’t wait.

    best
    Sidecar
     
    Wasnex, Rich67 and TC.65 like this.
  12. Rich67

    Rich67 Gold Supporting Member

    Sep 24, 2019
    North of Austin, TX
    That's awesome on many levels, including support of a local record store with live music! Continue to post!
     
    MrSidecar likes this.
  13. Lammchop93

    Lammchop93 Supporting Member

    Feb 4, 2007
    Louisville, KY
    Congrats on one freaking awesome amp!! I have a barefaced supertwin as well, and always wondered what a big fat tube amp would sound like through it. Enjoy!!
     
    MrSidecar likes this.
  14. MrSidecar

    MrSidecar Supporting Member

    Apr 9, 2008
    Copenhagen, Denmark
    I will, thanks!

    As far as the record store gig is concerned, that was an event where everybody won. The store was happy about the event, as were the customers- and they were very happy for the music. Plus, all that on top of the pandemic where such happenings were sorely missed. We were happy because we actually sold quite a solid amount of our record (pro tip: Wanna sell vinyl? Play where the customers are :) ) and we had an absolute blast playing there. We received a very favourable review- and it wasn’t in our home city so we exposed some new ears to our stuff.

    And all of this with bass-sound-royale. What’s not to like?

    best
    Sidecar
     
    anderbass, Lammchop93 and Rich67 like this.
  15. FunkHead

    FunkHead Supporting Member

    Mar 10, 2007
    So Sweet!!! Congrats.
     
    MrSidecar likes this.
  16. Tim1

    Tim1

    Sep 9, 2005
    New Zealand
    I have an AD200b also. I once sold it and after three months replaced it as I couldn't find anything that got close. Other tube heads have come and gone over the years but the Orange will always remain, although the Aggie 750 and Berg HP tend to get more use these days. The Orange sounds great into my two Barefaced 12s, but imo even better into the Barefaced Four 10 - that combination is absolute tube heaven.
     
    MrSidecar likes this.
  17. MrSidecar

    MrSidecar Supporting Member

    Apr 9, 2008
    Copenhagen, Denmark
    Tim1,

    would you mind sharing some mouth-watering details on why the Four 10 is even better? I have been considering a switch, based solely on vanity- it just looks a little south of fantastic with the head hanging over the sides of the cab :)

    best
    Sidecar
     
  18. I found that adding a couple tens added to both punch and articulation. I had to use the slave out to an extra amp because the 2x12 was already at the 4 ohm minimum. It really sounds great with both, although yesterday I used just the 2x12 and enjoyed it.

    7C67419C-ED3A-42DB-A969-9454B98F6425.jpeg

    69FDEF04-CBDA-406F-9B61-2499315B97AF.jpeg
     
    kobass likes this.
  19. Tim1

    Tim1

    Sep 9, 2005
    New Zealand
    The Four 10 has a baked in character that to me is reminiscent of the classic tube stacks of the seventies. Ime it makes any amp sound good, but excels in particular with tubes. I also have a Two 10s so I can run a Six10 which I often do, but the Four 10 will easily handle the Orange 200 and really sounds great when pushed. The twelves are more versatile tonally, but that built in character of the tens is the sound I hear in my head.
     
    MrSidecar likes this.
  20. MrSidecar

    MrSidecar Supporting Member

    Apr 9, 2008
    Copenhagen, Denmark
    I think I’ll try a Four 10 soon. I talked to Alex about this and I’m intrigued.

    best
    Sidecar
     
  21. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

     
    Jun 22, 2021

Share This Page