Vintage ORANGE amps... What's good? Or Matamp

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Vintage ORANGE amps... What's good? Or Matamp

Post by OffYourFace » Sat Mar 07, 2015 10:08 pm

I don't know much at all about Orange and Matamp amplifiers. What's the best period? Thanks!

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Re: Vintage ORANGE amps... What's good? Or Matamp

Post by MT » Sun Mar 08, 2015 12:26 am

This is a conversation you should have with Tim. He owns and loves both vintage Orange and Matamp.

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Re: Vintage ORANGE amps... What's good? Or Matamp

Post by OffYourFace » Sun Mar 08, 2015 1:32 am

I know. I'll send him an email. 8)

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Re: Vintage ORANGE amps... What's good? Or Matamp

Post by UlricvonCatalyst » Sun Mar 08, 2015 1:42 am

I guess the '70s is the golden era for Orange, but I think they're a bit like Rickenbacker in that there was never a significant drop in quality until Matamp sold the Orange name (assuming that explains the newer ones). As far as I've been able to glean from a UK-based enthusiast who uses them exclusively, Matamp, Orange, White and Green are all worth nabbing if you can find them at a fair price.

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Re: Vintage ORANGE amps... What's good? Or Matamp

Post by i love sharin foo » Sun Mar 08, 2015 3:33 pm

I guess a good place to start with, is are you going for a master or nonmaster Mike? The Master volume models didn't come until a bit later. If you are going for non master, and an Orange, an early metal faced pix and text OR120 or OR80 is probably going to be your best bet, balancing price, availability and sound.

I have two Oranges that I have had for a long time.. a '76 Overdrive 120 and a '72 Pix Only OR80. Also a mid '90s Green Matamp Classic 120. They are all very different from each other. Early, 80 or 120 watt non master volume models are incredibly crisp and LOUD. The attack is instantaneous.. and super clear and articulate. And loud. The presence controls are a little weak until they are cranked up full bore nearly. FAC controls as usual are worth their weight in gold. In general, these amps run hot too. Many will either be missing back panels or have the inside scorched. These amps have so much headroom that it can be pretty tough to go from a clean tone to stepping on a dirt box without the volume quadrupling. I would hostly feel pretty limited if I only had the OR. Unless you are going for serious volume at all times (and still without crazy breakup), you would pretty much have to use either an attenuator or pedals for dirt.

The master models are a bit hazier and darker to my ears. Cranking the master and using the gain as your volume will get you into the ballpark as the non masters, but not 100%. But because they are so loud, I prefer the OD model and reign in the master just a little.

My Matamp on paper should be pretty similar to the Overdrive 120, but it has a fair bit more gain and is a little mushier sounding all around. By no means is it "metal" though.. more old school, fuzzy dirt. The master on this one seems to have 80% of the volume in the last 10% of the pot's rotation.

I have almost always used the Overdrive and the Green in tandem with the Green dirtier and the Overdrive (relatively) cleaner.
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Re: Vintage ORANGE amps... What's good? Or Matamp

Post by OffYourFace » Sun Mar 08, 2015 4:23 pm

Thanks Justin! I think the OR80 is what I'm leaning towards. I can deal with 100w Marshalls but my Sound City L100 is stupid loud. I just don't know if I want to invest in one. I can find 70s Marshalls all the time for $800 or less but Orange amps are hard to come by.

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Re: Vintage ORANGE amps... What's good? Or Matamp

Post by Bleakstreak » Mon Mar 09, 2015 3:59 am

i love sharin foo wrote:I guess a good place to start with, is are you going for a master or nonmaster Mike? The Master volume models didn't come until a bit later. If you are going for non master, and an Orange, an early metal faced pix and text OR120 or OR80 is probably going to be your best bet, balancing price, availability and sound.

I have two Oranges that I have had for a long time.. a '76 Overdrive 120 and a '72 Pix Only OR80. Also a mid '90s Green Matamp Classic 120. They are all very different from each other. Early, 80 or 120 watt non master volume models are incredibly crisp and LOUD. The attack is instantaneous.. and super clear and articulate. And loud. The presence controls are a little weak until they are cranked up full bore nearly. FAC controls as usual are worth their weight in gold. In general, these amps run hot too. Many will either be missing back panels or have the inside scorched. These amps have so much headroom that it can be pretty tough to go from a clean tone to stepping on a dirt box without the volume quadrupling. I would hostly feel pretty limited if I only had the OR. Unless you are going for serious volume at all times (and still without crazy breakup), you would pretty much have to use either an attenuator or pedals for dirt.

The master models are a bit hazier and darker to my ears. Cranking the master and using the gain as your volume will get you into the ballpark as the non masters, but not 100%. But because they are so loud, I prefer the OD model and reign in the master just a little.

My Matamp on paper should be pretty similar to the Overdrive 120, but it has a fair bit more gain and is a little mushier sounding all around. By no means is it "metal" though.. more old school, fuzzy dirt. The master on this one seems to have 80% of the volume in the last 10% of the pot's rotation.

I have almost always used the Overdrive and the Green in tandem with the Green dirtier and the Overdrive (relatively) cleaner.
Great info! Thanks

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Re: Vintage ORANGE amps... What's good? Or Matamp

Post by Grey » Mon Mar 09, 2015 4:19 am

UlricvonCatalyst wrote:I guess the '70s is the golden era for Orange, but I think they're a bit like Rickenbacker in that there was never a significant drop in quality until Matamp sold the Orange name (assuming that explains the newer ones). As far as I've been able to glean from a UK-based enthusiast who uses them exclusively, Matamp, Orange, White and Green are all worth nabbing if you can find them at a fair price.
I believe you're referring to Cliff Cooper? Cooper designed Oranges' earliest amplifiers and had them built by Radio Craft, the company owned by Mat Mathais which would later become Matamp. This eventually evolved into a 50/50 partnership between Cooper and Mathais which lasted until the late 70's, when production dropped and saw only a marginal amount of amplifiers produced in the 1980's. In the 90's, the brand was sold and then licensed by Gibson which some people consider to be the "dark years". It didn't last very long and in the late 90's the brand was transferred back to Cliff Cooper, and it has remained that way since then. Post-2000's Orange amplifiers are great, I have an AD30 which I adore.

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Re: Vintage ORANGE amps... What's good? Or Matamp

Post by Drill » Mon Mar 09, 2015 6:47 am

I have a matamp sl 120 that was once an OR80 (it's sthe same circuit and it has the spots on the pcb and glue on them, but it was probably modded while in the factory). It's from the 70's, and what i can tell you (and i've tried my preamp with some powera amps) i don't know how he can be so ballsy, with lots of low end and so clear at the same time.
If you want a clean base to add pedals the or's would be my choice. I would like to try an OD and see if that thing rocks as i think it does.

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Re: Vintage ORANGE amps... What's good? Or Matamp

Post by Mr T. » Mon Mar 09, 2015 2:07 pm

I used to have an early '70s OR120. Big orange graphics, not sure if that says anything about the inside, might just be a cosmethic thing, you'd have to ask the experts to be sure.

Anyway, it was beyond 'good'. But it was also beyond loud, which is the only reason I coudn't justify hanging on to it. I just never got to turn the volume up to a level where the amp really loves to be.

Shouldn't have sold it though, I wish I'd kept it so I could use my attenuator with it. Back in the day I was kinda anti-attenuator. Didn't think it made sense to blow $300 on an attenuator that would kill my precious tone, and wear out my tubes in no time.

Still partially true I guess, but it would've totally been worth it if that meant having that vintage 0R120 around :(
I now have an attenuator that actually doesn't sound half bad, and I learned that it's damn near impossible to find anything new that that well build and awesome sounding. I bought mine for a fraction of the current going rate though. They're way pricey these days I suppose. Even if I could, I don't want to spend that money on another guitar amp. But if you do: I can vouch for the OR120 :)

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Re: Vintage ORANGE amps... What's good? Or Matamp

Post by daCod » Mon Mar 09, 2015 7:32 pm

Orange OR 80 OR80 Reissue on Reverb: https://reverb.com/item/500232-orange-o ... eissue-90s" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

Dude I play with rocks one of these and it is superior. It's what inspired the NOiR build I had done for me. Does cleans. Does stoner sludge. Takes pedals marvelously. If this was available at the time I was deciding which way to go (buy or have built) I would have jumped on this immediately. Price is right bee-yotch!!!
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Re: Vintage ORANGE amps... What's good? Or Matamp

Post by OffYourFace » Mon Mar 09, 2015 7:42 pm

I haven't quite pinpointed which era I should look for. I'm thinking '70-'72 for an OR80, right? I've seen some gut-shots/PCBs of '75-'79 models and they look pretty decent. They don't look much different quality-wise than a PCB Marshall from '76-'81 so it's hard to justify the price difference ($800-$1k for a Marshall, $1500-$2000+ for an Orange). I'm funny that way ;) Plus, you can never find what you want when you're actually looking!

I guess it's the phase inverter design that gives the Orange amps their 'girthy' tone... but the ckt seems to be pretty different from a Marshall altogether. I guess if you convert the Master Volume ckt on the OD models to a proper PPIMV, they sound much better.

Also, do you guys notice that Power Tubes don't last as long in old Orange amps compared to Fender & Marshalls?

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Re: Vintage ORANGE amps... What's good? Or Matamp

Post by OffYourFace » Mon Mar 09, 2015 7:43 pm

daCod wrote:Orange OR 80 OR80 Reissue on Reverb: https://reverb.com/item/500232-orange-o" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false; ... eissue-90s

Dude I play with rocks one of these and it is superior. It's what inspired the NOiR build I had done for me. Does cleans. Does stoner sludge. Takes pedals marvelously. If this was available at the time I was deciding which way to go (buy or have built) I would have jumped on this immediately. Price is right bee-yotch!!!

thanks! What's a NOiR?

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Re: Vintage ORANGE amps... What's good? Or Matamp

Post by daCod » Tue Mar 10, 2015 4:48 am

dr. tony (balls) built the NOiR for me.

http://ballseffects.com/orange-you-glad/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

i supplied the gutted chassis, cabinet, faceplate (front & rear) design and name. he supplied the orange circuitry goodness. to my knowledge he's built two other variants - a non master volume in a 2x12 combo for himself and a brown tolex head for a buddy of his that's in the Sword. upon arrival we side-by-side tested it with my mates OR80 Overdrive (same as the reverb amp) and it was identical if not BETTER sounding than his. when i say better i mean less foggy when the gain was cranked.

good shit is good.

http://youtu.be/DyHs7ZNETuc" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

http://youtu.be/50q6ySoSE1A" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
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Re: Vintage ORANGE amps... What's good? Or Matamp

Post by Hiwatt Bob » Fri Mar 13, 2015 7:58 pm

I'm not an Orange/Matamp expert, but I do own a '69 OrMat ORST. 50 watts. Very loud.

Image
Image
Image

Here's a demo vid I made:

http://youtu.be/F4ae_BsNHx0

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