Why was the Orange Terror Bass discontinued?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by shlinder, Jun 3, 2017.

  1. shlinder


    Jun 3, 2017
    While doing research to buy a new bass head, I found the Terror Bass, which seems totally exciting and I was ready to grab (just bought two Dark Terrors). But it has been discontinued! Why?

    Now I am just left with the OTB1-500 for a comparative amp at Orange. Will Orange make a new line and go back to the lunchbox/micro scale for bass amps? I love the portable stuff.

    And... if there were problems that caused their demise, would it be worth it for me to look for and buy a used Terror Bass?
    StrangerBasses likes this.
  2. Snaxster


    Nov 29, 2008
    Hello and welcome to TalkBass. Why not ask Orange?

    Alternatively, there are countless Orange-related threads here. Many discuss the discontinuation of the Orange Terror specifically:

    Search Results for Query: orange terror | TalkBass.com
    SirMjac28 likes this.
  3. anderbass


    Dec 20, 2005
    Phoenix. Az.
    Some of the early-production Terror Bass amps got off to a rough start with a run of defective Capacitors and excessively high DI output levels. Orange corrected those issues on the later-production models, and offered warranty repairs on the earlier models, but these Issues damaged the reputation of this model.

    I bought a later-production TB-500 serveral years ago, I've used mine a lot and It's still working fine. The only Issues I've noticed with mine is It's fairly limited tone shaping (EQ) ability compared to some of my other amps. Although I've totally overcome this minor annoyance with the use of a Sansamp VT pedal patched between my bass and amp that I just leave switched on all the time to add more low-mids.

    I'm guessing the main reason Orange shelved the Terror Bass models was simply poor sales. They were in heavy competition against serveral other manufacturers jumping on the class-D, mini amp band wagon and simply decided to try a totally different approach with their OTB1-500 model...
    Mystic Michael and SirMjac28 like this.
  4. SirMjac28

    SirMjac28 Patiently Waiting For The Next British Invasion

    Aug 25, 2010
    The Great Midwest
    Welcome to Talk Bass. The OTB1-500 is a far superior amp in my opinion the blend circuit is ridiculously good my only knock is the price. The good thing is used Terrors can be easily had at a decent price. I would give the OTB1 series a real look and if you decide to get one get a foot switch it is so cool to throw in some extra crunch when you need it.
    anderbass likes this.
  5. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Yamaha, Ampeg, Line 6, EMG
    Yep, and considering that Orange amps are always more expensive in the US, it's not a surprise that they probably didn't sell well enough to sustain the line.
    Buster Brown and anderbass like this.
  6. markjazzbassist

    markjazzbassist Supporting Member

    Apr 19, 2005
    Shaker Heights, OH
    orange is run by a guy who puts out products regardless of "will this work". they had an integrated computer rig for DJ's for example (in near recent history). CLiff Cooper is a highly creative type and not risk averse.

    i think they put it out, and moved on to the next thing (like they do with most products). they have discontinued other well heralded products many times and will do it in the future. just kinda how they do things.

    i was wishing they could have made a tiny terror all tube for bass. similar to the dual terror which goes to 30w, but with bigger transformers and a tone stack for bass. i would have bought a few of those. oh well. maybe another time.
    Quilbert likes this.
  7. Reverend179

    Reverend179 Supporting Member

    Jan 20, 2003
    Seattle, WA
    Good selling products don't get discontinued unless a) they stop selling well, b) there's some level of corporate mismanagement, or c) the item becomes cost prohibitive to manufacture. My guess is A. The TB 500 was made before the class D revolution and now has TONS of competition in it's price space.
    morgan138 likes this.
  8. shlinder


    Jun 3, 2017
    Is there some sort of designation or indicator on the box that notes if it is a later-production model TB-500? I might look for it used.
  9. anderbass


    Dec 20, 2005
    Phoenix. Az.
    I don't know of any visual differences besides the serial numbers, I've sent you a pm with info about that.
    StrangerBasses likes this.
  10. shlinder


    Jun 3, 2017
    Does anyone think the Dual Terror or Terror Bass could be an adequate stand-in/replacement for the Terror Bass? I'm toying with lots of ideas right now, and the thought of running bass through a guitar head (and then an Ampeg bass cabinet) came up after seeing this video, which is with a Dark Terror. The Dual Terror, which goes up to 30w, would be, I imagine, a better solution than the Dark Terror in this scenario.

    Just asking.

    scf4003 likes this.
  11. markjazzbassist

    markjazzbassist Supporting Member

    Apr 19, 2005
    Shaker Heights, OH
    i thought/tried the same but their transformers and tone stacks have little to no low end even with the bass cranked. they simply won't work for bass. i too had hopes for the dual terror but it would need a new OT and i doubt you could find one that fits.

    shame really.
  12. 40Hz

    40Hz Supporting Member

    May 24, 2006
    I like Orange amps for the most part. Very iconic sound, and looks to die for.

    But the Terror is kinda yesterday's amp at tomorrow's prices if you're buying one here. And with all the other fine bass heads out there, why pine for a discontinued model?
  13. No you're not getting away with just 30 watts. That is too low by at least one order of magnitude.

    You seem focused on orange amps in this and other threads you have posted. What has you centered on them? Looks, sound, something else?
  14. morgan138


    Dec 10, 2007
    Yup. And those amps were all cheaper, more flexible tone-wise, and easier to carry around than that clunky lunchbox with its weird uncomfortable handle.

    That said, my girlfriend's TB500 is the only micro head I've ever liked much. :thumbsup:
  15. shlinder


    Jun 3, 2017
    What is an "OT"?

    I'll get to the other questions later today. Need to be thoughtful.
  16. LeftyD


    Feb 22, 2017
    Las Vegas
    OT= output transformer
  17. Lammchop93

    Lammchop93 Supporting Member

    Feb 4, 2007
    Louisville, KY
    I heard the OB1 series have the tiny terror preamps, but with the overdrive blend added.
  18. shlinder


    Jun 3, 2017
    Okay. So why do I seem to be stuck on Orange? Because of reviews. They're excellent. And everyone seems to have a sheepishly guilty love of Orange (and Terrors). Even if they are slamming something about Orange, they always end with a qualifier that it is still somehow one of their favorite amps... or that they still love it for some other reason. The emotions are obvious. Also because of its sound (all that gain in the DT), its looks (totally cool), and strangely... its history: it was the original lunchbox! When I started this big search a week ago and got hooked on the idea of a small & portable amp, I naturally gravitated towards that line. History is not enough reason to stick with it, of course, and people said the Terror bass might have been discontinued because of poor sales (see above) and, as we have discussed above, some early technical problems (that were fixed), but I guess I'm stuck on Orange at this moment in time mostly because of more or less unanimous reviews (those people who hate Orange will certainly come out of the woodwork now in response to these comments).

    Also, my two new Dark Terrors and PPC212s just arrived today and I and my students are loving them! What a blast.

    And to show you that I am not ALL Orange, I backed out of buying the OB1-500 I had on hold yesterday and am leaning towards an Ampeg or soon-to-be-on-sale Mesa head. After all, I only really heard a strong distinction in that Mesa 800 when I was trying everything under the sun yesterday. (My school doesn't want me to buy used, so a secondhand Terror Bass is out of the question). But until I pull that final trigger, and choose an amp to propose to my school, I will continue to have fun asking really stupid questions about doing things like dedicating a Dark Terror or Dual Terror (maybe better) to a bass (with a new OT?), which I now know other people have wanted to do and tried. Cool.

    I even tested that idea myself today. I plugged my new Dark Terror into a bass combo amp just to see what would happen, and though there was a hiss in the background, which I guess means I shouldn't be plugging into a powered combo bass amp, it was really quite loud! I stopped immediately of course. The hiss was worrisome. I will try again when I get a bass cabinet. I won't plug it into a bass combo again. Obviously stupid. Promise.

    So there. My explanation for why I'm going to continue to ask about Terrors as a bass amp.

    The salesperson at one of the stores I visited (the Orange distributor here in Hong Kong) is going to experiment with this tomorrow and let me know what he finds. He is an excellent bass player, quite knowledgeable and strongly opinionated. I'm very curious about what he will find. He said he'll try various cabs, going through an EQ pedal, etc., to see if there is anything to this idea -- if he can get any good sounds out of it. If he thinks it's a total bomb, well, I'll be done with it and, at the least, buy an Ampeg (though I have started to see negative reviews about that today too) or bargain Mesa.
    Last edited: Jun 7, 2017
  19. Quite common with expensive equipment. Everyone wants to justify their spending. :woot:

    Depending on how you did that, you could be going down a dangerous road. Like ruing your equipment bad. Dont plug amps in to other amps, and dont run tube amps with out speakers.

    Sales people like to make sales. Take his feedback with a grain of salt.
    Mvilmany likes this.
  20. shlinder


    Jun 3, 2017
    But he talked me out of buying the OB1-500. Strongly recommended Markbass. Not an Orange fan when it comes to bass amps, but he loves the Dark Terror and another Orange guitar head (can't remember which one).
    Last edited: Jun 7, 2017