Orange TB500 Volume Question

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Frankenwill
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Orange TB500 Volume Question

Post by Frankenwill » Fri Feb 10, 2012 1:47 am

I currently have a Terror Bass 500 head and an SP410 cabinet. I run a rickenbacker 4003 to the amp. I have noticed at rehearsal that as I turn up, the amp begins to get "farty" for lack of a better term. After asking around, people have suggested I boost mids and cut bass and treble a bit. They also suggested I crank the volume to about 8 out of ten and then ease up the gain until I reach a level I like. Even in doing this, I have found myself at small gigs pushing the amp until it gets this nasty "farty" sound. When it does this, it seems like the first note I play is really nasty and then consecutive notes sound slightly better. Then as I stop and begin to play again the sound is bad again. Am I simply expecting too much volume out of this set up? Am I pushing the tubes too hard? Am I pushing the cab too much? Also, I have noticed that when I am close to max level (whatever level I can get without it sounding nasty) and I engage my phat phuk b pedal (a boost/preamp pedal) it also gets horrible sounding. Maybe I am expecting more than this combo can do, I am just curious.

a.hun
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Re: Orange TB500 Volume Question

Post by a.hun » Fri Feb 10, 2012 2:50 am

Hi Frankenwill. Welcome to the forum.

Not quite sure what the problem is, but here are some pointers for you. If you are having problems getting enough clean volume even at small gigs you may just have a duff valve in there. Worth trying swapping each preamp valve out (one at a time!) with a known good spare. If that helps - great. If not you might well be needing a rig rethink...


Two reasons for that really.
1. Orange amps, for bass or guitar have always basically been 'dirty' amps. Lots of clean headroom isn't really their thing. To get the most possible I'd substitute 10 for 8 on the master volume. Maxing that and controlling your volume carefully with the gain knob should get you as much clean power as the amp can push out. But you then need to be sure that you don't get the power section distorting as with solid state amps (and the output section in the TB is solid state!) that can cause speaker problems. Basically a distorting s.s. output section can blow speakers of well above the amps power rating, so listen carefully for the speakers farting out and if you hear it back things off straight away.

2. These (isobaric) type cabs, while they can handle a lot of power and have very good bass output for their size, are not the most efficient types available. Meaning many others will be louder for the same amp wattage. And that again means that your clean headroom would be greater with some other types. Does surprise me though that you should be having this problem at small gigs. Maybe (if it isn't a preamp valve problem) you need to cut a lot more bass than you have been. Loud low frequencies are what really uses up an amps wattage fast. And yeah if you boost an amp which is already on the edge of distorting it'll only get dirtier, so watch what you are doing with that PPB pedal.

Hope that helps some anyway.



Andy.
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Frankenwill
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Re: Orange TB500 Volume Question

Post by Frankenwill » Fri Feb 10, 2012 3:47 am

Thanks for the awesome post Andy. One quick question. You mentioned a bad tube in the pre amp section. What would be happening if that were the case? Would switching this out just to see what happens be worth it in your opinion?

Frankenwill
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Re: Orange TB500 Volume Question

Post by Frankenwill » Fri Feb 10, 2012 3:48 am

Scratch that. Was referring to the preamp valve problem comment. What would that cause?

a.hun
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Re: Orange TB500 Volume Question

Post by a.hun » Fri Feb 10, 2012 10:35 am

Yep, like I say it would be worth replacing each valve in turn to see if any of them was causing problems. If replacing one makes no difference put it back and try another. Try them all.

A bad valve can cause all sorts of symptoms, from a bit extra noise or microphonic rattles or feedback right through to weak tone or even no sound at all. And valves can go bad at any time so it is well worth keeping the odd spare around.

If you are lucky that might just be the problem, but no guarantees...


Andy.
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doomed
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Re: Orange TB500 Volume Question

Post by doomed » Fri Feb 10, 2012 5:40 pm

I think it wouldn't have been a bad idea if Orange had built a limiter into the TB as most other manufacturers do these days, at least if you see that little led flashing you know to turn down, it would probably save a lot of speakers.... (don't ask how i know... :x )

a.hun
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Re: Orange TB500 Volume Question

Post by a.hun » Sun Feb 12, 2012 10:00 am

doomed wrote:I think it wouldn't have been a bad idea if Orange had built a limiter into the TB as most other manufacturers do these days, at least if you see that little led flashing you know to turn down, it would probably save a lot of speakers.... (don't ask how i know... :x )
Just speculating but they may well have. Doesn't have to be a led for there to be some form of automatic limiting circuitry in the amp.

I'm pretty sure my Ampeg combo (B-100R) has some such, though it is well enough engineered to not be very audible. What the Ampeg does have are two input level LEDs, green and red. If you keep things green when setting up your gain and EQ you can then basically crank the master volume control as high as you want without danger of output section distortion - neat!


Andy.
aNDyH. :wink:

Ever tried to outstare a mirror?

In the bathtub of history the truth is harder to hold than the soap, and much more difficult to find!

bassdrop
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Re: Orange TB500 Volume Question

Post by bassdrop » Mon Feb 13, 2012 3:03 am

Along those lines Andy, I was going to suggest that similar to the AD200, for the OP to run the gain fairly low, say 2 or 3, set the master to gig volume, then test out the boost pedal. You may also want to run into the active input if you leave the boost pedal on most of the time, if you aren't already. On the AD200 there is a lot of usable volume on the second half of the master volume knob, whether this is true with the TB500 can only be found out by testing it out, but if you leave the gain low and listen carefully you should be able to tell pretty quickly if the output is clipping.

Also if you're running an active bass, check the batteries. Low batteries can cause distortion right from the bass. Same goes for the boost pedal.
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