AD30 Overdrive / Speaker Question

Orange Amps Technical Q&A's

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tolm
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AD30 Overdrive / Speaker Question

Post by tolm » Wed Feb 14, 2018 11:02 pm

Hi - new Orange owner and first time poster ... hoping for some expert input!

I recently picked up a second hand AD30HTC head and a brand new PPC212OB cab to go with it. First impressions are good but with a little hesitation ...

- Clean sound is great, especially Ch1
- Overdrive sound is good but a little “ragged” / fuzzy, especially in the bass frequencies

Now, I’m not expecting a tight gain monster - and nor do I want one! - but I’m wondering if the drive would smooth out a little with some different speakers? I have to say the amps drive sounded better and better the more I turned the master up (and I was limited by playing at home!) - so I’m kinda reserving judgement until I’ve been able to run at gig volumes - but I have found V30s a little harsh in the past.

My “go to” speakers would historically have been a pair of Greenbacks based on liking the Marshall Bluesbreaker and Vintage Modern and Vox AC15/30s I’ve had with them fitted. I also fitted a Creamback so my old Jackson Ampworks Newcastle 30 and Supro Dual Tone and felt that improved the drive tone of both of those. So I think that ballpark of traditional “British” speaker is definitely my preferred tonality.

However, I don’t have any to hand since I switched my main amp to a 15” Supro so this is my first foray back to 12s for a while ...

Equally, I’ve heard that a Blue / G12H30 is a good combo for the AD30 or these new Neo Creambacks seem to be getting a good rep and would shelve about 6kg off the cab weight to boot ...

Or do I just need to give the V30s time to break in?

Would welcome your thoughts!
2004 ORANGE AD30HTC Head + PPC212OB Cab | 2017 SUPRO S6420+ Thunderbolt Plus
2005 GIBSON Memphis ES-335 Dot Reissue w/Bigsby | 2017 PRS S2 Mira | 2017 EPIPHONE Joe Bonamassa Firebird I
2017 FENDER Mustang Bass

Jondog
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Location: Ontario, Canada

Re: AD30 Overdrive / Speaker Question

Post by Jondog » Thu Feb 15, 2018 12:47 am

V30’s definitely get smoother as they break in and once they do they’re great. I give them some time before replacing them seeing that they’re brand new. V30’s areca great match for Orange.
And congrats, great amp!
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tolm
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Re: AD30 Overdrive / Speaker Question

Post by tolm » Thu Feb 15, 2018 9:06 am

Right - that’s worth knowing! Thinking back, I had a second hand Cornford Hurricane (Dual EL84s) with a V30 that I really liked and that speaker would have been broken in since it was a few years old before I had it. The amps I’ve had since then with V30s (such as the Newcastle - also EL84s) were brand new ... switching to the Creamback smoothed that out but maybe some more hours on the V30 would have done it too.

Is there a “rule of thumb” for how long is long enough to break in a pair of V30s? I’m assuming loud playing is best to I’d be looking to band rehearsals to do the job. :)

The other thing I’m wondering ... the amp gets warmer/less-scratchy as the master goes up - same deal with many amps I’ve had, it’s not till the power stage hits its sweet spot that it opens up and sounds best. Greenbacks are what, 93dB sensitive? Whereas V30s are 100db ... that ought let me get the master up higher for the same volume ... at the expense of maximum volume but I don’t see that being an issue ... this thing is loud like and AC30 ...
2004 ORANGE AD30HTC Head + PPC212OB Cab | 2017 SUPRO S6420+ Thunderbolt Plus
2005 GIBSON Memphis ES-335 Dot Reissue w/Bigsby | 2017 PRS S2 Mira | 2017 EPIPHONE Joe Bonamassa Firebird I
2017 FENDER Mustang Bass

Les Paul Lover
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Location: Derby, England

Re: AD30 Overdrive / Speaker Question

Post by Les Paul Lover » Thu Feb 15, 2018 1:29 pm

The V30s take ages to break in. Probably 80h + of solid loud playing.

From my experience with my PPC212, it mellowed for a long time.

Both the G12H30 and greenbacks have a lot of fans. You may be more comfortable with those.

The AD30 has quite a lot of low end on tap - if you feel it starts to feel too loose, turn it down. The EQ controls (passive) have a lot of impact on that amp.
Ant

Orange Gear: RV50 MKI, R30, AD15, PPC212
Past Orange: Orange AD30TC Combo, AD15, Tiny Terror, AD5

Guitars: Gibson Les Paul Standard Faded, Vigier Expert Retro 54, Gibson SG 70s Tribute, Aria Pro II RS X80, G&L ASAT Special Tribute

tolm
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Re: AD30 Overdrive / Speaker Question

Post by tolm » Thu Feb 15, 2018 2:17 pm

Thanks - 80h might take a while ... we’re not rehearsing/gigging much at the moment due to the singer’s wife’s baby being due any day now!

The bass thing is interesting ... I’m not hearing a lot of bass when it’s overdriven: it seems to be mainly a raspy midrange. That makes it sound worse than it is but I was actually trying to turn the bass UP to fatten the tone which just turned the low end to Fuzz.

The clean tone is lovely rich and warm, though.

Now, all of this is under 3 on the Master Volume with the Gain anywhere between 5 - 10 depending on how much I was trying to push it.

I’ve emailed the shop I ordered it from to find out when the valves were last changed and if they tested them before selling it on ...
2004 ORANGE AD30HTC Head + PPC212OB Cab | 2017 SUPRO S6420+ Thunderbolt Plus
2005 GIBSON Memphis ES-335 Dot Reissue w/Bigsby | 2017 PRS S2 Mira | 2017 EPIPHONE Joe Bonamassa Firebird I
2017 FENDER Mustang Bass

Les Paul Lover
Duke of Orange
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Joined: Tue Aug 18, 2009 9:08 am
Location: Derby, England

Re: AD30 Overdrive / Speaker Question

Post by Les Paul Lover » Thu Feb 15, 2018 2:56 pm

tolm wrote:
Thu Feb 15, 2018 2:17 pm
Thanks - 80h might take a while ... we’re not rehearsing/gigging much at the moment due to the singer’s wife’s baby being due any day now!

The bass thing is interesting ... I’m not hearing a lot of bass when it’s overdriven: it seems to be mainly a raspy midrange. That makes it sound worse than it is but I was actually trying to turn the bass UP to fatten the tone which just turned the low end to Fuzz.

The clean tone is lovely rich and warm, though.

Now, all of this is under 3 on the Master Volume with the Gain anywhere between 5 - 10 depending on how much I was trying to push it.

I’ve emailed the shop I ordered it from to find out when the valves were last changed and if they tested them before selling it on ...

I love that fuzz thing...... :mrgreen:
The amp is a very old school modern take, and it does fuzz out.

Raspy midrange.... my bet is for the new V30. They will get better.
They really do become quite mellow as you break them in, though will still snarl if needed - depending on how you play.
Ant

Orange Gear: RV50 MKI, R30, AD15, PPC212
Past Orange: Orange AD30TC Combo, AD15, Tiny Terror, AD5

Guitars: Gibson Les Paul Standard Faded, Vigier Expert Retro 54, Gibson SG 70s Tribute, Aria Pro II RS X80, G&L ASAT Special Tribute

tolm
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Re: AD30 Overdrive / Speaker Question

Post by tolm » Thu Feb 15, 2018 5:52 pm

Cheers - yeh, I was expecting a certain “raw” element to the tone ... the shop reckon I just need to turn it up more ...

Need to get some time in a rehearsal space and I reckon I have a few things to try before looking at valves or speakers:

1. Crank the master up!
2. Cut the mids rather than try to boost bass
3. Run it through the 15” speaker in my Supro
4. Run it through some alternative 2x12

We shall see ... :)
2004 ORANGE AD30HTC Head + PPC212OB Cab | 2017 SUPRO S6420+ Thunderbolt Plus
2005 GIBSON Memphis ES-335 Dot Reissue w/Bigsby | 2017 PRS S2 Mira | 2017 EPIPHONE Joe Bonamassa Firebird I
2017 FENDER Mustang Bass

tolm
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Re: AD30 Overdrive / Speaker Question

Post by tolm » Thu Feb 15, 2018 9:29 pm

Okay ... think I have this fixed!!

Took the back panel ... oh, the years of crud!! Valves were all brown and dusty and a couple of mil of dust, gunk and spiders webs over everything!! And there was me thinking a second hand amp from a reputable UK shop would have had some kind of once over - maybe even a service? New set of tubes? No chance!! 16 years of cr@p in the back of this baby ...

Took the chassis out and cleaned the whole thing up and then put in different tubes across the board since it appeared to have the original pre-amp tubes from 2002!! No idea when the power tubes were from but they looked OLD. So - all I had to hand ...

- Couple of Marshall ECC83s (an ‘09 and a ‘14) for the gain stages
- Couple of PM ECC83s (no idea on year) for the phase inverters
- A matched set of Gold Lion EL84s that I ran ragged in my old Newcastle but figured I’d try ‘em.

Back together, switched on and at low volume (1 - 2 on the master ... as it’s evening here) ... BOOM! There’s my low end! There’s my chug when I need it! Result!!

And then ... BANG! HUMMMMM!! ... tiny scratchy noises ... oh no ...

Ooops ... guess those power tubes really were shot ... back the originals go ...

BINGO!! Low end tighter - can even crank the bass a bit ... Taper of the treble to offset the harshness of the new V30s ... there’s my Malcom Young crunch! This is more like it!

Tried it through the 15” speaker on my Supro ... yuck! ... back to the 2x12 ... mmmm ... chunky, crunchy, gainy goodness!!

So ... I reckon the 16 year old pre-amp tubes were past their best (!) ... seems okay running with the random stuff I had lying around but any suggestions on good replacements across the board if I were to feel like splashing out?!
2004 ORANGE AD30HTC Head + PPC212OB Cab | 2017 SUPRO S6420+ Thunderbolt Plus
2005 GIBSON Memphis ES-335 Dot Reissue w/Bigsby | 2017 PRS S2 Mira | 2017 EPIPHONE Joe Bonamassa Firebird I
2017 FENDER Mustang Bass

Les Paul Lover
Duke of Orange
Posts: 5982
Joined: Tue Aug 18, 2009 9:08 am
Location: Derby, England

Re: AD30 Overdrive / Speaker Question

Post by Les Paul Lover » Fri Feb 16, 2018 12:40 am

JJ and EHX are the prime suspect really.

Are you in the UK or US?

I've got all JJ in my AD15 and pretty happy with it. I had Harma valves before they were less gainy and slightly looser feeling.

Both are very good.
Ant

Orange Gear: RV50 MKI, R30, AD15, PPC212
Past Orange: Orange AD30TC Combo, AD15, Tiny Terror, AD5

Guitars: Gibson Les Paul Standard Faded, Vigier Expert Retro 54, Gibson SG 70s Tribute, Aria Pro II RS X80, G&L ASAT Special Tribute

tolm
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Re: AD30 Overdrive / Speaker Question

Post by tolm » Fri Feb 16, 2018 6:33 pm

Thought I’d replied earlier but must have not hit Submit! I’m in the UK.

So the store have agreed to refund me 50 quid which allows me to get some new valves without too much additional outlay so that’s cool.

I was liking the idea of the Harma Classic Retro “Mullard” set as an “all in one” option (including rectifier) but they do seem more expensive than the JJ valves and I’m not sure Less Gainy and Looser is a direction I want to go in.

So, thinking probably JJs from somewhere like HotRox? Do JJ EL84s fit okay in the older valve retainers? Whatever is in there fits fine but the Gold Lions I tried we’re a very tight squeeze and I’m not sure they got seated properly, although they all lit up okay.

Worst comes to it I guess I can remove the retainers altogether - it’s a head so the valves aren’t upside down like they would be in combo!!
2004 ORANGE AD30HTC Head + PPC212OB Cab | 2017 SUPRO S6420+ Thunderbolt Plus
2005 GIBSON Memphis ES-335 Dot Reissue w/Bigsby | 2017 PRS S2 Mira | 2017 EPIPHONE Joe Bonamassa Firebird I
2017 FENDER Mustang Bass

Les Paul Lover
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Posts: 5982
Joined: Tue Aug 18, 2009 9:08 am
Location: Derby, England

Re: AD30 Overdrive / Speaker Question

Post by Les Paul Lover » Sat Feb 17, 2018 9:54 am

When I said less gain and a bit looser, it's very subtle.

I got my current JJ set from hotrox. They're good to deal with, and they were very well packaged too.

As for the Valve retainers.... If the new EL84 don't fit, remove them and source some new one that can accept all EL84.
Ant

Orange Gear: RV50 MKI, R30, AD15, PPC212
Past Orange: Orange AD30TC Combo, AD15, Tiny Terror, AD5

Guitars: Gibson Les Paul Standard Faded, Vigier Expert Retro 54, Gibson SG 70s Tribute, Aria Pro II RS X80, G&L ASAT Special Tribute

tolm
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Re: AD30 Overdrive / Speaker Question

Post by tolm » Mon Feb 19, 2018 11:33 pm

Ordered a full set of JJ valves from HotRox today ... should be here tomorrow or the day after ... will report back when they’re installed!
2004 ORANGE AD30HTC Head + PPC212OB Cab | 2017 SUPRO S6420+ Thunderbolt Plus
2005 GIBSON Memphis ES-335 Dot Reissue w/Bigsby | 2017 PRS S2 Mira | 2017 EPIPHONE Joe Bonamassa Firebird I
2017 FENDER Mustang Bass

tolm
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Re: AD30 Overdrive / Speaker Question

Post by tolm » Tue Feb 20, 2018 3:34 pm

Valves arrived from HotRox today with a friendly little "No Problem! :)" note on my request for next day delivery despite just missing the 2pm deadline: fantastic! I also ordered a set of new retainers which are just that little bit bigger so the EL84s sit in them more securely.

So ... we've gone from this:
Image

to this:
Image

Sound was much better with the random valves I had lying around / pulled from other amps but with the brand new JJ set? It's superb ... sounds absolutely glorious with big fat cleans, huge chunky crunch and everything in between. EQ works much better - bass doesn't get flabby, treble doesn't get harsh. It's now performing as I was expecting an Orange to and has most definitely restored my joy in getting one! I'm usually a Gibson guy (main guitar is a 335) but running my PRS Mira through it today I was able to go from sweet clean Strat tones to all out filth just by splitting coils and switching channels. Pedals? *pah* What are they!

Many thanks for all the replies and advice: turned out (more than) alright in the end! :)
2004 ORANGE AD30HTC Head + PPC212OB Cab | 2017 SUPRO S6420+ Thunderbolt Plus
2005 GIBSON Memphis ES-335 Dot Reissue w/Bigsby | 2017 PRS S2 Mira | 2017 EPIPHONE Joe Bonamassa Firebird I
2017 FENDER Mustang Bass

Les Paul Lover
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Posts: 5982
Joined: Tue Aug 18, 2009 9:08 am
Location: Derby, England

Re: AD30 Overdrive / Speaker Question

Post by Les Paul Lover » Tue Feb 20, 2018 10:03 pm

Yeap, that was pretty filthy!!!!

I'm really glad that valves were the issue and you got your amp up, running and kicking arses!!!!

I love my AD15, and the AD30tc I owned briefly was even better...... but not that much better to sacrifice the convenience of the little AD15 combo.

Enjoy and rock out!!!!
Ant

Orange Gear: RV50 MKI, R30, AD15, PPC212
Past Orange: Orange AD30TC Combo, AD15, Tiny Terror, AD5

Guitars: Gibson Les Paul Standard Faded, Vigier Expert Retro 54, Gibson SG 70s Tribute, Aria Pro II RS X80, G&L ASAT Special Tribute

bclaire
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Re: AD30 Overdrive / Speaker Question

Post by bclaire » Tue Feb 20, 2018 10:07 pm

I looked at the first picture and thought 'how did an amp this new get THAT dirty...?' when I realised it's 14 years old already...

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