Orange CR120H possible fault?

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RegularJohn95
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Joined: Fri Jan 26, 2018 1:20 pm
Location: Kent, United Kingdom

Orange CR120H possible fault?

Post by RegularJohn95 » Tue Aug 20, 2019 2:09 pm

So I bought a second-hand CR120H last month, overall I'm very happy with it except for one characteristic which I'm not sure if it's a fault or just the nature of the beast.

TLDR: Is this normal for the CR120H? (sound clip below↓↓↓↓)

On the gain channel, there's this high-frequency artefact that can be heard underneath a note when it rings out, I'd describe it as a fizzle or a zap and it seems to bubble out as the note decays. I've tried a different head into the 2x12 cab I'm using and this noise wasn't present so its definitely not the cab.

I understand that a signature characteristic of Orange amps is the fizzle/fuzzy character of the distortion, however this sounds different, I would describe that classic Orange fizz as a pleasant sound that's organic, whereas this high freq noise sounds unpleasant and sterile to my ears; it sounds separate from the core tone as if it sits above it or alongside the decay instead of melding out organically like the distortion does (what I'm saying is it doesn't sound like it's part of the distortion).

This is my first solid-state amp so I am not sure if this high freq artefact is a natural characteristic of an op-amp based amp or not. The thing that makes me wonder if its a fault is that I owned a Timmy pedal a few years ago which is an op-amp type overdrive, this pedal had a faulty op-amp in it and the sound it made was very similar to what I'm hearing in my CR120H, an unpleasant high freq artefact in the note decay. Once I replaced the Op-amp chip in the Timmy this artefact disappeared, so I'm considering de-soldering the 4 Op-amps in the CR120H preamp, replacing them with sockets and swapping in a batch of new Op amps to see if that fixes it. I am confident enough with soldering to attempt this so it's not an issue, but I just wanted to check for opinions on this forum before I go to all that trouble.

To those of you on here who own or are familiar with the CR120, could you please tell me if this is a normal characteristic of the amp or not? Is this artefact just the nature of the beast or could it possibly be a bad chip? It's not something I've heard on any of the demos of the amp on YouTube, though I understand it might be too subtle to be heard through YouTube compression.

I've tried my best to record this potential fault which is most prominent when playing around the 12th fret, I'll include the recording below ↓↓↓↓

https://soundcloud.com/mitch-farris-467 ... ips-cr120h

I have the gain around 11 o'clock, vol around 3 and master volume at 9

Thanks in advance for your help!
Sincerly, A Bedroom Playing Millennial

OrangeBoy
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Re: Orange CR120H possible fault?

Post by OrangeBoy » Wed Aug 21, 2019 10:22 am

I have a CR60 and it does a similar thing when the gain channel is engaged but at low gain settings. I have some OD pedals that the clipping diodes can be switched out leaving only OP AMP distortion. At certain settings they make a similar sound. I believe it is OP AMP distortion which is covered when clipping is engaged. Not a particularly pleasant sound but bearable. At low gain settings with the CR60 this is what I think causes the underlying fizzy tone. As gain is increased and clipping distortion takes over the fizziness can no longer be heard.

I put my theory out there a number of times on different forums but no real responses as to whether its possible or not so hopefully someone will chime in here. Anyway to me it's a normal characteristic of Pro Crush amps.

As a side note, when new I played it for a full day to break in the speaker because it sounded a lot worse. So initially I think the amp produced a combination sound of stiff, new speaker and the OP AMP distortion thing. Now it only has the underlying fizziness at low gain settings which I barely notice.

RegularJohn95
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Joined: Fri Jan 26, 2018 1:20 pm
Location: Kent, United Kingdom

Re: Orange CR120H possible fault?

Post by RegularJohn95 » Thu Aug 22, 2019 10:26 am

So it sounds like what I'm hearing is likely a characteristic of the op-amps at low gain, I had noticed that it isn't as pronounced at higher gain levels.

It's by no means a deal-breaker as I'd agree it's not that audible all things considered, I just find it odd that if this is indeed the sound op-amps make at lower gain applications, why not use clipping diodes just for the first gain stage, or maybe a different transistor such as a FET of something.

Ah well, maybe I'll learn to live with it.
It's just a shame because for me this amp would be perfect if it wasn't for this unpleasant characteristic.

Thanks for the reply!
Sincerly, A Bedroom Playing Millennial

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