Clipping Sound on my Micro Dark, is it defective?

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Yukon
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Clipping Sound on my Micro Dark, is it defective?

Post by Yukon » Tue Feb 26, 2019 8:38 pm

Hey there everybody!

Just got my second orange amp, the micro dark. I came a long way with amps, now owning a Marshall DSL50, origin 20, Fender Bassbreaker 007.
Last year I bought a micro terror and fell in love with this sound so I thought I'd have to add the micro dark.

It arrived today and the first tryout left me thinking, if my example is defective.

It felt a lot quieter than the micro terror, but then I remembered that I changed the tube on the terror to an older Marshall 12ax7. So I swapped the JJ on the micro dark too for one of those old Marshall's and suddenly it came to live. Much louder and clearer. Which leads to my first question :
1. Are the JJ ECC83S really that low in terms of output?

And my second and biggest problem with the amp is its ability to sound clean:

2. No matter which tube I use, with the gain set to about 9 o'clock it always sounds a bit like it's clipping/distorting when I strum some chords. BTW I'm using a new Gibson Les Paul studio tribute 2019. The stock pickups are on the higher output side.

Has anyone experienced the same thing?

It sounds clean, but only when I gently pick the strings. As soon as I start strumming it starts to distort (or clip, however you want to call it).

I hope this behavior is normal for the micro dark and that nothing is wrong with my amp. I'd hate to send it back.

Hope you can help me out!
Thanks :)

caldurham
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Re: Clipping Sound on my Micro Dark, is it defective?

Post by caldurham » Wed Feb 27, 2019 2:26 am

i can't check at the moment. but if no one answers before tomorrow, when i can, i will run mine with the same gain settings and see. i don't recall specifically if i ever tried dialing in a clean tone on my micro dark. i am running a genalex gold lion for the tube but also have the stock jj to try out as well. i can also try it with a a few different guitars/pickups and volume settings.

i've seen some videos where people are getting good clean tones out of a micro dark. but like i said i've never tried it myself that i can remember. lol
toby seems to get a good clean tone with the gain setting at 9 as well. but i also dunno what pickups he is using or where his volume knob on his guitar is set.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PXQLI56CF-A&t=95s
and laura cox here as well. same gain setting it looks like.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_0RWKMSZzn4

regardless, if you haven't already, try rolling back the volume knob on your guitar and cranking the volume on the micro dark. it looks like both toby and laura have the volume on the amp cranked. toby has it pegged. so i would assume they are using the volume knob on the guitar to get a nice clean tone and have it rolled back a bit.

Yukon
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Re: Clipping Sound on my Micro Dark, is it defective?

Post by Yukon » Wed Feb 27, 2019 6:33 am

Thanks for your answer!

I already tried to roll back the git-volume which works fine.

Its just with full guitar volume and the amp gain set to 9'o clock. The volume itself doesn't seem to have any impact on the way the amp distorts.

I've seen a video from Rob Chapman in which he mentions the same, that you can't get the amp's preamp very clean.

All the recorded clean tones, that don't distort (Laura's video etc) seem to be played with light picking. Maybe I'm just strumming too hard and expecting to much from a dedicated dirty amp :)

Yukon
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Re: Clipping Sound on my Micro Dark, is it defective?

Post by Yukon » Wed Feb 27, 2019 10:52 am

I tried it again now and it seems to behave as it should.

I finally found it to sound best with a TAD 7025 WA Highgrade instead of the jj ecc83s.

My only concern is, that the TAD tube (and the old marshall 12ax7's) are significantly louder than the JJ tubes. Could there anything get damaged, if I use these higher gain(not gain in terms of distortion, just volume) tubes? It sounds so much better with the Highgrade tube from TAD.

caldurham
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Re: Clipping Sound on my Micro Dark, is it defective?

Post by caldurham » Thu Feb 28, 2019 1:58 am

well i tried it myself a few ways and it seems i get the same experience as you do.

and i'd say the TAD tube should be fine. my gold lion is louder than the jj and i've run it for well over a year with no problem. when i ordered it i ordered a high gain tested gold lion. even tubes in the same type will vary some.

glad you got you sound where you like it.

Yukon
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Joined: Tue Feb 26, 2019 8:25 pm

Re: Clipping Sound on my Micro Dark, is it defective?

Post by Yukon » Thu Feb 28, 2019 6:42 am

Ok that makes me feel better!

The micro dark sounds so much better with the 7025 and in the micro terror I decided for one of those older (already used) Marshall tubes. But i think the age of the tube doesn't really matter in the micro series. I've read somewhere, that they're only driving the tube at around 9 Volts... So one tube should last almost forever.

Interesting what big difference this one tube in this little solid state amp makes.
I also tried two of the JJ ECC83MG and they made the amp almost useless. You could turn everything to Max without usable volume...

Great amps to play around!

adkguy07
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Location: Upstate New York

Re: Clipping Sound on my Micro Dark, is it defective?

Post by adkguy07 » Thu Feb 28, 2019 11:01 am

My first experience with Orange was the Micro Dark. I still have it, but only use it occasionally. I could get a very good clean which surprisingly suited some Jazz chords and 50's type R&B. This with a Les Paul with lower wind pickups (Seth Lovers). The higher gain pickups mentioned above might not get me that smoother tone though.

I turned up the volume and lowered the gain knob to around 9 o'clock or less, then back'd off the guitar volume accordingly. Really surprisingly good clean to me; because the amp seems geared towards the higher gain folks. It could be due to its hybrid design. As I remember, the preamp tube is a stock JJ12ax7.

Just a tip for all. I learned it pays to play simple chords, double stops, and intervals when using the Micro Dark as well as the higher gain Orange amps. Strumming 6 string chords will tend to start the clipping and gain factor. That effect might get covered up in a band environment, but solo playing will not produce a satisfying result IMHO.


adkguy07

Yukon
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Re: Clipping Sound on my Micro Dark, is it defective?

Post by Yukon » Fri Mar 01, 2019 3:11 pm

It's interesting how the amp reacts to humbuckers. Even if I keep the gain below 9 o'clock, with a full turned up guitar volume and hard strummed chords the amp tends to distort/clip.

Only if you turn the guitar volume down this behavior seems to disappear. The amp does this at all volume levels.

Can anyone with a Les Paul or something like that can confirm this?

megalithic
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Re: Clipping Sound on my Micro Dark, is it defective?

Post by megalithic » Sat Mar 02, 2019 10:12 am

I don't have a Micro Dark anymore, but I think it's completely normal if I remember how it worked.

If you have the guitar's volume controls all the way up, only the first notch on the gain dial will give a clean sound, past it you get distortion. The OR15 is the same way.

On the Micro Terror you can go to at least 10 o'clock and still get a clean sound.
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