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orange ad200 vs fender super bassman

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by devin_bass, Nov 1, 2012.

  1. devin_bass

    devin_bass Supporting Member

    Nov 1, 2012
    Hello everyone, this is my first post but I read here all the time. Anyways I'm trying to decide between the newer 300 watt fender super baseman or the orange ad200 tube head. I just bought a new fender select jazz and want to get a nice tube amp to go with it. I tried the select jazz through a 59 baseman reissue and it sounded wonderful, so I'm assuming the super baseman would be better. How ever, I already own a 410 orange cabinet so that's why I am also considering the orange head. If you have played both please tell me your experience.
  2. TorontoAlex


    Nov 28, 2011
    Tim1 has both the Orange and and the 100t (Same preamp as the 300). I believe he also has a 300SB on the way. Read through the 100t thread and you'll get lots of good comparisons between the two from him!
  3. Tim1


    Sep 9, 2005
    New Zealand
    Right, here goes....the 100T into the neo 610 is flat out the best 100 watt all tube head I have ever played, bar none, and should be plenty of power for most gigs. Read the comments in the 100T thread as Alex suggests to save me repeating what countless others have said.
    Now it gets murky. The Orange AD200 into my Bergantino NV215 has a certain magic that goes beyond special, it goes deeper than the 100T yet still retains plenty of punch. It has its own character which you either love or hate but does not have nearly as much tonal versatility or the bells and whistles of the 100T. The Orange is more powerful, which may account for some of this. I am still waiting for my SB300 to arrive, and I am expecting that the extra 200 watts will really make a difference. Both the 100T and the AD200 are great heads, and I could happily live with either. That said, if I already had the Orange cab as you do I would probably stick with Orange - if only for the cool and compatibility factor.
  4. tombowlus

    tombowlus If it sounds good, it is good Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 3, 2003
    Fremont, Ohio
    Editor-in-Chief, Bass Gear Magazine
    I own an AD200 and I have a Super Bassman 300 in for review (and my guess is that I'm not going to want to send it back :smug:). They are both excellent, highly competent heads. I agree that the Fender is going to be more versatile, tonally, but the Orange has a great vibe/feel.

    IME/IMHO, this is really a subjective preferences call. Some players will prefer one, others will prefer the other. And some - like myself and it appears Tim as well - like them both, depending upon our mood.

    Two great choices, but if it's at all possible for you to hear them first, please do before you commit.

  5. bigsnaketex


    Dec 29, 2011
    Down South
    I have played both on stage within the last 2 weeks and much prefer the Fender sound for bass. With that said, I would buy the Fender Bassman 100T......best amp I have ever owned, hands down and will cover any non-stadium live situation!
  6. devin_bass

    devin_bass Supporting Member

    Nov 1, 2012
    Thanks for the replys guys. I have read that thread for about two hours before I even posted this. I was just trying to concentrate the info for my self. I would go the all orange route, but I want to try both heads before I purchase incase I regret it later on.
    So heres what I gathered: the 810 Fender cab weighs as much as my 410 orange obc cab. (Both are around 95-100 pounds I think)
    The Fender head is probably more versatile and has more features, but the tone is different than the Orange Ad200. (Im assuming both sound equally good, just different.
    Both also have a old school kind of look and feel to them.... I guess I better try them both out at a guitar center or something. But the guitar center only has the orange as of right now.
    I play in a metal band.... can the Orange distort as much the Fender head. I seen videos of the super bassman being demoed and it has a nice sounding distortion.
  7. Chef

    Chef Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    May 23, 2004
    Columbia MO
    Staff Reviewer; Bass Gear Magazine
    I've played neither, so take my opinion with a Giant Grain of Salt:
    but I'd wager those two heads sound different enough that many people will like one or the other...

    I, personally, would likely prefer the Fender, but I'd love to be able to try both sometime.
    Music stores around here carry neither.
  8. JFOC


    Oct 23, 2010
    new hampShire
    I saw the Mars Volta some years back & they were rocking Orange.
  9. zachreh


    Mar 7, 2008
    south florida
    or put a sansamp before it and see how the orange reacts
  10. Wise words from a wise man!
  11. Bassmec


    May 9, 2008
    Ipswich UK
    Proprietor Springvale Studios
    One is a good deal more headroom than the other, it's not really a fair like for like comparison.
    You will just have to hear them both and make a choice.
    I think they will both get loud enough clean enough for most sensible people, with the right cabs.:bassist:
  12. Stumbo

    Stumbo Wherever you go, there you are. Commercial User

    Feb 11, 2008
    Intergalactic Mind Space
    Song Surgeon sofware rep.
    You might want to check out TBr JohnK_10's megathread on comparing, testing, modding and discussing distortion pedals. Or shoot him a PM.

    If you're going to depend on turning up 200 or 300 watt tube amps for distortion, seems to me you might be blowing speakers and ear drums before you get the distortion you want.
  13. subbasshz


    Aug 11, 2012
    phoenix az
    Im addicted to punishing volume.
    or you could go all in and get a reeves 400 watter for your distortion needs :bassist::bassist:
  14. One Drop

    One Drop

    Oct 10, 2004
    Swiss Alps
    I've played the 100T and the Orange, and I was blown away by the features and the tone of the Fender, but the Orange (in spite of lots of criticism I've heard about its quality) has one of the best tones of any amp I've played, and some of the sweetest OD. I've no doubt the Fender is more versatile and has more tonal options than the Orange.

    You really have to play them both, they have equally good voices that are different from each other as they both are from an SVT.

    I think the 100T is the best thought out and implemented new tube amp on the market, though the Super Bassman looks like a very sweet amp as well.
  15. bigsnaketex


    Dec 29, 2011
    Down South
    Another Point, (and before anyone wants to flame me, this is simply my experience):

    Every Orange I've ever had dealings with was a constant struggle with repair. It could be bad luck or my own bad karma.........but I have to consider that it could actually be bad design or quality control. I will agree that the Orange stuff sounds good when it works.

    Although it does sound very "British" to my ear as well. And admitedly, I like the old schoool Fender tone stack in the "James Jamerson School of Tone". I do try very hard to seperate my own "opinion" of things out when making comparisons which I find does tend to lead to a more open-minded approach to things - but again, for my money I'll spend it on the Fender stuff everytime over the Orange. (Plus, OMG are their cabinets heavy!!)
  16. astack

    astack Supporting Member

    Nov 12, 2011
    St. Louis, MO
    Hmm, I know it's a "you just gotta hear them" thing, but if KJung can do it for micros, someone's got to be able to do it for tubes... So both the Orange and Fender (classic channel) use the Fender tone stack AFAIK. Should (big should) be pretty similar in tone, yeah? And if not, what makes the difference? EQ points may be part of it. I suspect gain structure? Different power supply?

    I have a sense that the Fender is "smooth peanut butter" and the Orange is "crunchy peanut butter," but that doesn't really translate to a sound :eyebrow: (I don't know why I always think in terms of food analogies...)
  17. tombowlus

    tombowlus If it sounds good, it is good Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 3, 2003
    Fremont, Ohio
    Editor-in-Chief, Bass Gear Magazine
    We did something like that a while back. No Fender heads, though.
  18. astack

    astack Supporting Member

    Nov 12, 2011
    St. Louis, MO
    Nice! Ha, I thought you'd have something like that. Thanks for doing that, Tom.
  19. Tim1


    Sep 9, 2005
    New Zealand
    My Super Bassman arrived a couple of days ago, so this is just a very brief comment as I have yet to gig it or compare it directly to my Orange AD200. First impressions are that the SB300 has way more clean headroom then the Orange (as I expected), with huge punch to it. The Orange though has that full warm low vibe that somehow still remains tight. I could not get the Orange tone/vibe on the Fender's vintage channel, but suspect I might get close to it using the other channel with its active EQ. The Orange sits beautifully in a mix, I suspect the Fender says "I am here!". As stated earlied, the Fender is way more versatile but the Orange has a certain unique vibe that is difficult to find elsewhere. I was certainly surprised that it was so easy to get a tone very similar to my old SVT VR on the Fender, so it may have more natural midrange emphasis than the Orange which has a lower bass emphasis to my ears.I am thinking of sticking with my Fender 100T and Super Bassman and selling my Orange, but still have a niggling doubt that I might miss it too much. More to follow after next weekend's gig...
  20. Bass Mayhem

    Bass Mayhem

    Dec 27, 2007
    I don't have a Super Bassman, but a '78 Fender Studio Bass, that is the most marvellous amp there is, also seriously underrated and underappreciated. Comparing orange to Fender is like putting up an overgrown guitar amp (like Orange) against a real bass amp. When I have played the Orange I lack every nuance of bass tone. I only find some low mid rumble. I'd go for Fender in any situation.