Recommend me an Orange amp for Bass VI

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Zork
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Recommend me an Orange amp for Bass VI

Post by Zork » Sun Nov 15, 2020 6:33 am

Hey, since I was a kid with long hair and excellent taste in music (of course!) I wanted an Orange amp. Last week, I finally pulled the trigger and bought a Rocker 30 head. I had read in several online forums, that the Rocker 30 offers plenty of volume and is in fact delivering 50 watts. I had used my 50 watt Laney with my Bass VI, so I thought it would be alright. But during practice, it turned out pretty quickly that the Rocker is too weak. It's not only not loud enough, but also lacks bass and oomph. The problem is: the amp sounds absolutely incredible and feels fantastic.

So I switched back to my Peavey Mark IV and with my Boss BD-2 I managed to get a sound very similar to the Orange, but much louder and with more bass. But while it's close, it just doesn't have this perfect definition in sound and the amazing directness in feel of the Orange. Also, the Orange really cut through the bandsound like butter, even at its low volumes. So, of course, I want an Orange tube head for my Bass VI.

There are several options. Of course, the Rockerverbs. The Mark I Rockerverb 100 can be had around 800 or 900 Euros. A bit cheaper would be a Rockerverb 50, but now I'm afraid it wouldn't be loud enough again. What do you think?
Both would fit my price range below 1000€, but I would prefer a simpler amp.

The AD200B would be an option, but will cost at least 1000€ and at 200 watts, it's maybe too much. I want that 70s Rolling Stones sound, just a very light breakup but the sound of a hard working amp. I don't know if the AD200B can deliver this at reasonable levels.

The TH100 is not really interesting for me, as it's more designed for real high gain stuff and I it doesn't have a proper EQ.

A vintage OR120 or OR80 is way beyond my price range. The newer OR100 looks interesting, but seems to be very rare and I have no idea what it would be worth on the used market. OR50 seems to be right up my alley, but is it loud enough? I've read that the OR50 and Rocker 30 are very similar in volume.

I'm also thinking of going a completely different direction and just get a cool british sounding single channel tube amp with master volume. The Laney AOR Pro-Tube heads would be an option or the Laney GH100L. But to be honest: both are very ugly amps and I really would like something with more charme in the looks departement. What comes to your mind?

It also doesn't help that my Peavey actually sounds very, very good. It's just the last little bits in definition and directness both in sound and feel that I'm missing.

So... with all that said, what would you do? Oh, musical setting is a power trio somewhere between stoner rock and heavy blues rock. I'm the bassist, but play a lot of rhythm guitar parts and sometimes solos, hence the Bass VI.

Any help or opinion is highly appreciated.

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Re: Recommend me an Orange amp for Bass VI

Post by HarlowTheFish » Sun Nov 15, 2020 4:20 pm

I'd say one of the OR amps or something like a Bass Terror that gives you plenty of wattage and has a more general voicing (rather than specifically guitar/bass-focused) that will play nice with a VI. The ORs sound great but they're ridiculously loud if you want any real breakup or grind to them, and the Bass Terror is a bit more bass-distortion than guitar-distortion, though it is a lot lighter and more compact.

I'd also say consider your cabinet choices - if you're a guitar guy originally you might be using 12s, but on bass 10s will give you a ton of punch and 15s will give you a ton of low end, whereas a mix of both will get you a lot of volume (especially if you can get a crossover of some kind).

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Re: Recommend me an Orange amp for Bass VI

Post by Zork » Mon Nov 16, 2020 7:51 am

With my cabs I'm very happy. I've got a 2x12" open back guitar cab and a closed 6x10" bass cab running together. They give me this in-between sound of guitar and bass of the VI very well.

As for the amps: the Terrors ain't for me, really. And the more I think about it, the clearer it becomes to me that I really want a very straight forward single channel amp. No reverb, no clean channel, just gain, EQ and master volume.

So, options from Orange are:

Rocker 30 - not loud enough

OR120 Overdrive - most likely much too loud

OR 80 Overdrive - could be the one, but hard to find and most likely too expensive. Also I don't want to baby a vintage amp that possibly needs a lot of care and service.

OR50 (and Custom Shop variants) - so, the non-custom shop production models of the OR50 are a very strong contender. I've got a 50 watts Laney LH50R. In the drive channel with drive around 11o'clock and level at 3o'clock it is both loud and fat, very dynamic and overall super nice. Two problems, though: my guitar player has it adopted from me and doesn't want to part and with fuzz and low notes it compresses really hard and gets very smudgy, so I guess more headroom would be cool. Also, I'd like to have more power availlable for outdoor or unmiced basement gigs. So, 50 watts is maybe too near to the limit.

AD200B - might be too loud again? Otherwise very tempting as it's as straight forward as it can get. Lots of money too, but on the other hand it could be an amp for a lifetime and will probably be a great guitar amp, too. It runs on 4 6550 output valves. Can I just pull two of them to have it running at half power like in a EL34 amp?

There are also single channel versions of the AD30 and AD140, but these are rare Custom Shop models from the early 2000's. So, probably out of reach, even though the single channel AD140 seems otherwise perfect.

Now, it seems as if Orange has a few possibilities for me, but none of them seem to tick really all the boxes for me. For example, I could get a Laney GH100L for half the price of an AD200B and two thirds of an OR50. It's a super sturdy no-bullshit multi purpose amp, similar to a JCM800, but darker, a bit fuzzier and more "black sabbath" than a Marshall - just like an Orange, but just a tad more versatile without being totally over-enginered. And at 100 watts, it should both provide enough headroom and power amp breakup for me. But you know... it's not orange. And in direct comparision, the Rocker 30 is somehow creamier and more agressive at the same time than the LH50R I have. Then again, the Laney is less one-dimensional.

I really need some advice.

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Re: Recommend me an Orange amp for Bass VI

Post by HarlowTheFish » Mon Nov 16, 2020 1:06 pm

Zork wrote:
Mon Nov 16, 2020 7:51 am
As for the amps: the Terrors ain't for me, really. And the more I think about it, the clearer it becomes to me that I really want a very straight forward single channel amp. No reverb, no clean channel, just gain, EQ and master volume.
The Terror Bass is a single-channel 500-watt bass amp with a tube front end like with OR vibes and a Class D poweramp for headroom and weight savings? Seems like exactly what you describe here.

As for the Laney stuff, keep in mind that both their amps and the Orange stuff is waaaaaay louder than the wattage would lead you to think. Oranges IIRC are rated for clean wattage but break up super early, so they get way louder than they're supposed to, and the voicing on the Laneys just cuts through a mix great.

I don't really know what to tell you because it sounds like you want something really specific feel-wise and I don't really feel super comfortable giving you a solid recommendation for something unless you can try it before buying - I've been in that position before and it sucks to get a bad recommendation, try to like something, and then just be sad when it doesn't do the thing you want it to.

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Re: Recommend me an Orange amp for Bass VI

Post by Zork » Tue Nov 17, 2020 2:14 am

I know, but thank you very much for giving your thoughts nonetheless. :)

I think I will go for the AD200B. It's possible to run it at 100 watts and it would be a lifetime amp for me pretty sure.
The Terror Bass does indeed fulfill a lot of my requirements, but I simply like big and heavy old school gear better. \m/

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Re: Recommend me an Orange amp for Bass VI

Post by sessylU » Fri Nov 20, 2020 6:11 am

The correct answer here is to phone Matamp.

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Re: Recommend me an Orange amp for Bass VI

Post by horseblanket » Fri Nov 20, 2020 10:37 am

What about one of these beautiful monsters:
https://www.scienceamps.com/earthling.html

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Re: Recommend me an Orange amp for Bass VI

Post by parry » Fri Nov 20, 2020 10:45 am

Not tube... BUT... our bass player was using an OB1 - I think, the 500w version. It was absolutely MASSIVE. The cleans were tight the distorted sound was thunderous. The mix knob was the thing that really sold me on it. He was going on about it and I didn't think much of it until I played it. It works beautifully at maintaining the thump of your clean tone and mixing in the distortion separately. Pretty sure he got his for quite cheap...
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