Orange Terror Bass 500 Exploded!

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by AndrewHemans, Sep 16, 2012.

  1. AndrewHemans


    Sep 16, 2012
    Hi everybody, I'm new user here, looking for some advice. I recently purchased a Terror Bass 500. It sounded amazing, and I played a few practices with it and a show. Then at practice about 10 days after I got the new amp, I heard a small bang inside the amp and a puff of smoke when I first turned the amp on to standby mode. So I returned the amp and got the replacement. I fired it up for the first time today, and sure enough I put it into standby mode the orange light comes on then bang! and a puff of smoke. is this common with these bass terrors? Can any one shed any light on why I've had two amps in a row do this to me?

    I've attached a picture of the transformer that blew up inside.

    Attached Files:

  2. That's a capacitor I think. It might be a bad run surfacing. It's been awhile since Orange hit the headlines.
  3. Other thought is your cable could be shorted.
  4. majortoby


    Jul 2, 2009
    Tampa, Fl USA
    First I've heard of a Terror Bass failing. And yeah, it looks like a capacitor just plain exploded.
  5. Johnny Crab

    Johnny Crab ACME,QSC,Fame/Hondo/Greco user & BOSE Abuser Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 11, 2004
    South Texas
    I wonder if there is another case of "stolen wrong capacitor formula" going around.
    A similar thing happened on smaller caps in computers a while back when one company stole a formula that was faulty and went into production with it....making capacitors for PC motherboards. References:

    The only other option is a fluke bad one, bad batch, OR possibly Orange is running that capacitor TOO close to actual voltage and it got "punched through". I've seen this in industrial controllers where a major manufacturer had a 15 VDC capacitor installed in a power circuit that was running very close to that voltage leaving no margin for spikes or surges or any safety margin. It made a $50000 machine worthless when the capacitor failed. I found the bad part because we had a startup coming and the vendor said "2 weeks and $1400 for a new power supply module" time for that. I put a Radio Shack capacitor in it that was rated for 3 times the working voltage. No problems after that.
  6. Definitely an electrolytic cap. Seen failures similar with Panasonic. Stopped buying them as replacements.
  7. AndrewHemans


    Sep 16, 2012
    well since this is amp #2 should I even try a number 3?

    downunderwonder, would you think a shorted power cable? if thats the case wouldn't the safety fuse or power strip pop first?
  8. majortoby


    Jul 2, 2009
    Tampa, Fl USA
    It's my belief that you spent the money, so they owe you a good one. Although, I can see why you may be soured on them by now.
  9. AndrewHemans


    Sep 16, 2012
    yeah, I loved the sound I was getting, I just don't know if I trust them anymore.
  10. You would think that. I don't know enough about electronics to analyse the nitty gritty but overloading the amp with a short could be momentarily blowing these caps before the fuse or protection gets going. It could still be that the cap is deficient and not the design.

    This is consistent with the lack of reported fuss about that amp. The cap could be getting by ok when not stressed. Stranger things have happened. Worth checking out.
  11. If the same cap went both times you could surmise a design or improper rated cap. Unless some boards got through with the cap stuffed backwards. Quite a few are out there running trouble free. Could have been a bad run of caps from the supplier.
    IMO give them another shot, but involve the manufacturer this time!
  12. Primakurtz

    Primakurtz Registered Nihilist Supporting Member

    Nov 23, 2011
    Denver, Colorado
    I fixed one of these for a buddy. The caps were not glued down, and stuck up off the board enough to be vulnerable to shocks. One cap had broken right off. Silicone caulk should prevent a repeat.
    I decided not to invest in a Terror Bass, even though it sounded great, especially after substituting a good 12AT7 for the lousy 12AX7 in V1.
  13. Tvrtko


    Dec 27, 2002
    South of the USA
    Caps quality is very low these years in every single piece of electronics. They make them in some jungle "God knows where" with "acceptable" failure rate. Manufactures have no choice that to buy what is in offer. Manufacturing caps is abandoned process in any western country because of ENVIRONMENT impact. We got to save snails!
  14. chadds


    Mar 18, 2000
    It's abandoned for economic reasons which include but aren't limited to environmental impact.

    Cheaper labor because we won't pay more. Also you wouldn't work in toxic conditions.

    Without a derail.

    As the snails go so do we.
    Our innovative selves can't figure out how to make stuff with a limited impact on the environment?

    I'm a small business owner and there is a balancing act. Educating consumers is paramount.

    Further on let's PM.
    Yep I buy NOS tubes because "they don't make them like they used to".
  15. GRoberts

    GRoberts Supporting Member

    Jan 7, 2003
    Tucson, AZ USA
    They call that infant mortality. If something is going to fail, it usually does so in a very short period of time. I would give them a chance at fixing it and carry a spare for a little while.

    A close friend has a Terror TB500 and it has been wonderful. And sounds AMAZING too!
  16. Mr. Foxen

    Mr. Foxen Commercial User

    Jul 24, 2009
    Bristol, UK
    Amp tinkerer at Ampstack
    Caps now are in general better than they were in the 70s, but manufacturers cheap out more than ever before and run stuff right on the tolerances.
  17. BbbyBld


    Oct 13, 2005
    Meridian, MS
    There are 6 things I can think of that will make a capacitor fail like that:

    1. It's installed backwards. This would usually cause an instant failure.

    2. Ripple current too high (more capacitance needed or better quality cap needed). This usually happens over time.

    3. Shorted rectifier, so the cap was exposed to AC. This would be caused by an overload condition. If the cap is in a tube power supply circuit, could be a bad tube with a heater to cathode/plate short for example.

    4. Extreme over voltage. I'm not familiar with the design, but could also because of a shorted tube if that cap is for the heater supply.

    5. Loss of transformer center tap connection in the case of a split winding. Again, I'm not familiar with the design, but this can also happen if the circuit board depends on a chassis ground and a screw wasn't tight enough, or there was paint on the chassis where there shouldn't have been.

    6. Internal transformer short. This can develop if a high voltage winding is left unloaded, specifically in the case of a plate standby and/or there is insufficient insulation between transformer windings.

    Anyway, I've seen that type of failure in all of those cases on various electronic devices.
  18. I just recently (early August) bought a TB500 and it sounds effin' amazing. I've used it at rehearsals and at home, and on one gig so far, with another coming up and I have full confidence in the amp. That said, two blow-ups in a row would make me squeamish about the brand for sure. I'm of the same opinion as majortoby, you paid the money, they owe you an amp that lives up to their rep, so get the manufacturer involved . Who knows...if you mention how you've told all your bass buddies you don't trust their amps anymore, they might just throw some "goodwill" your way in the shape of free stuff. Hey, it's worth a shot right? :)
  19. I have been using a TB500 for a year now, without any problems...What is your speaker impedance load?could rhat have anything to do with it?
  20. AndrewHemans


    Sep 16, 2012
    hey guys, thanks for all your input! I talked to the dealer and they're sending me a new one, let's hope 3rd times a charm ;)