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running my bass through an Orange tube head

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by nickavellij, Aug 7, 2012.

  1. nickavellij


    Aug 7, 2012
    Hey all, i'm relatively new to playing bass, and i've decided to get a better head.

    right now, i'm playing out of a Hartke HA5500, which i really don't like, but i got for a decent price. i just can't get the tone that i want out of it. it's 500 watts.

    recently, i checked out this orange or120 Overdrive guitar head, and i LOVE the tone out of it through my cab, with my bass. but coming from a 500w bass head to a 120w guitar head kind of worries me.

    i read about the difference in tube and solid state and such, but i wanted to know what some of your opinions are on this. would that orange tube head be able to compete with a full band around me? should i just go with a new solid state head?

    help please! thanks!
  2. Baird6869

    Baird6869 RIP Gord Downey. A True Canadian Icon.

    120W all tube amp is crazy loud for guitar but only "pretty loud" for bass.

    I use a '70's 100W Hiwatt with a 4x10 cab pretty often at gigs and it cuts very well.

    Unless you have 2 very loud guitarists and a loud drummer, you should be good with most small/medium rooms without PA support.
  3. CnB77


    Jan 7, 2011
    With an efficient cab you should have no trouble. It's not the watts, it's how you use em
  4. nickavellij


    Aug 7, 2012
    yeah, right now i'm playing out of the matching Hartke 410xl, but i eventually want to upgrade that when i have money.
  5. nickavellij


    Aug 7, 2012
    regarding this, which would be the best cab to get the most out of it? 810?

    thank you both for your replies.
  6. jbrew73


    Dec 24, 2006
    I think its all about the cab efficiency. I used my Eden 4x10xlt with a 100 watt SS amp quite often with a heavy hitting drummer and two half stack guitarist.
  7. chaosMK


    May 26, 2005
    Albuquerque, NM
    Hi-fi into an old tube amp
    I have run bass preamps through a few tube guitar amp power sections into my 8x10. Basically everything sounds huge through a good/efficient 8x10.

    It depends on the amp but I've gotten *very* nice tones (plug your preamp into the FX loop Return, or run an outboard pre strongly blended in the FX loop of the amp if the guitar tone controls are too strong and not well suited for bass) from guitar power sections.

    What I like about the slightly lower wattage of 100-120 guitar amps is that you can get a dash of power tube breakup at volume and nothing else sounds/acts quite like it.
  8. Mr. Foxen

    Mr. Foxen Commercial User

    Jul 24, 2009
    Bristol, UK
    Amp tinkerer at Ampstack
    140w through a good 2x15 is enough for what I do, and I do loud drone doom, so that will generally be enough.
  9. levis76

    levis76 Seconds from getting ba...

    Apr 14, 2007
    Metro Detroit
    There really isn't anything quite like real power tube breakup. No emulator or amp modeler can truly reproduce it.

    Quite a lot of bassists I know actually use guitar heads and cabs to record with and I've seen many who gig with such setups. Guitar cabs break up very nicely and bass frequencies push the power section into overdrive at lower volume levels. For more boom you can run a bass head and cab eq'd for sub freq if you really need it.
  10. it is impossible to say without knowing what kind of band you are in.
    What amps do you have to keep up with?
  11. nickavellij


    Aug 7, 2012
    i'm in i guess an indie/punk/rock band i guess?


    right now i'm playing with a guitarist who plays out of a spidervalve half stack, and another guitarist who plays out of fender deville, 60w.
  12. Mr. Foxen

    Mr. Foxen Commercial User

    Jul 24, 2009
    Bristol, UK
    Amp tinkerer at Ampstack
    Orange and a good cab will bury them, strong in the mids, unless you get one of the new Oranges with the Fender style tone stack.
  13. nickavellij


    Aug 7, 2012
    it's an OR120 overdrive from the 90's i believe.
  14. christw

    christw Get low!

    May 11, 2008
    Dayton OH
    I want to be Tesla (tinkerer at Dayton Amp Co)
    I like Marshall/Orange style tube overdrive from an Ampeg 810 a lot personally. Through one of those, you can get A LOT of volume from one of those heads as long as you like at least a little overdrive in your sound. Genz Benz and Bag Ends (without the tweet) are some of my other favorite along with Mesa and TL606 style cabs. A pair of TL cabs with Eminence HO's would be quite loud. Most of the above are rather sensitive cabs so you can get more volume per wat of input that a lot of other cabs. That's not to say that there aren't a lot of great other options.
  15. lomo

    lomo passionate hack Supporting Member

    Apr 15, 2006
    The more cone area you push it through, the louder it'll be. 810......yeah!
  16. levis76

    levis76 Seconds from getting ba...

    Apr 14, 2007
    Metro Detroit
    Like my daddy always taught me, "there ain't no replacement for displacement". Although he was reefering (pun intended) to engines, I feel it applies to the given topic as well.

    Rock almost any amount of power thru an 810 and it's gonna move some air. 100W tube heads sound MASSIVE thru a fridge.
  17. I've gigged one of those heads at one of my shows for a loud rock band, the overdriven sound was quite nice but it lost a lot of low end and couldn't get loud enough for my liking and that was through a 412

    I think you will find it all depends on how loud you need to be...

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