Orange OR 120 Graphic Series + Cab

Maybe someone can help you date your Orange Amplifier?

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Giagkou
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Joined: Tue Jan 27, 2009 1:31 pm
Location: Greece

Post by Giagkou » Tue Jan 27, 2009 2:05 pm

Hi there,
I need some help to identify the year of an OR 120 Graphic Series Head. The serial number is 015210 but is has also a metallic black plate at the back panel with another serial number, 63483.

Also it comes with a cab of which the Serial number will be known to me tomorrow, which has 4x12 25W Pre Rolla Celestion speakers.

I am about to buy the pair but i have some second thoughts since i am not sure if its vintage and if they are actaully for bass since the owner claims that he was using it for bass and that they are around 1969 to 1974 models.


My rig is an aluminium Kramer Imperial Stage Master (tuned in B) and
a Fender Jazz Deluxe (Drop D) and i play LOUD...

Any ideas about the pair and if it will match especially my demanding Kramer?
Thanks!

a.hun
Duke of Orange
Posts: 9764
Joined: Sat Jun 15, 2002 1:05 am
Location: Amsterdam, Hollandland.nl

Post by a.hun » Tue Jan 27, 2009 6:55 pm

Hi Giagkou.

Amp is very probably from 1978.
http://www.geocities.com/diytech_ct//timeline.html

Cabs aren't possible to date from serial numbers AFAIK.

The amp can be used for Bass. (I've used my own '78 OR120 for bass since 1980.)

Those <i>speakers</i> <u>aren't</u> however up to either handling the amps full 120w output or to loud bass use. Great vintage sounding guitar speakers but I'd advise selling the cab and getting an efficient bass cab if bass is what you play.

Please <u>don't</u> blow those beautiful old speakers by using it with that amp loud (for either guitar or bass) or by using them at all for bass...


aNDyH. :)
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!

Giagkou
New Member
Posts: 3
Joined: Tue Jan 27, 2009 1:31 pm
Location: Greece

Post by Giagkou » Wed Jan 28, 2009 2:40 pm

Thank you Andy for your reply.

That was my fear with the cab since with both of my bands am playing really loud and the Kramer's transient is enormous. I am working though in a recording studio so i am sure i will use it in various projects.

The thing is that the owner is selling both (head and cab) for 1800 euros and want to ask if thats a reasonably price. He changed the tubes on August (2x sovtek 12AX7LDS & 4x5ED EL34).

Also, any suggestions what kind of cab(s) i can run this beautiful head without worrying about blowing anything?

a.hun
Duke of Orange
Posts: 9764
Joined: Sat Jun 15, 2002 1:05 am
Location: Amsterdam, Hollandland.nl

Post by a.hun » Wed Jan 28, 2009 7:19 pm

Hmmmm... I keep hearing you say 'LOUD'. The OR120 is a <u>great</u> amp and devastatingly loud for guitar. But for bass, well there are louder 100 / 120 watters for bass. Hiwatt 100s for example stay cleaner louder than they do and are almost perfect as bass amps. Sound City 120s are also great for bass, and can be even louder. (They have 6 x EL34 power valves and great transformers.)

Yes I use my Orange for bass, but that is more because of the fantastic tone than the sheer volume. They tend to dirty up pretty suddenly and if you want loud + very clean I'm a bit worried you are going to be disappointed. What you <i>can</i> do is swap one of the preamp valves (the one nearest the input socket) for a lower gain 12AT7 type instead of the 12AX7. That will get you a little more clean headroom, top and bottom end, and clarity. But ultimately having a little edge of overdrive is something you are going to have to live with if you really want to push these amps for volume. Suits me fine, but not everyone...

Cab wise, look for one specifically made for bass. You'll want something pretty efficient (=loud for the amount of amp power.) Best all round bet for a single cab is probably a 4x10. (With or without an adjustable horn tweeter. If you have one it is best to be able to control it though IMO.) But cabs loaded with 12 and 15 inch bass drivers can work well too of course.

4x10 cabs can have much more bottom end than you might expect and will punch through with the mids and highs too. I ran an old Peavey 410TX for years and it was actually much better to my ears than the Trace Elliot and Ampeg cabs I compared it with. I could play quite big halls with just the OR and that cab and it punched through fine. It had two acoustic bass ports on the rear of the cab, but the newer models have front porting. Don't know how well the newer ones compare to be honest.

Also good (I believe) are the various bass cabs from Avatar, though shipping them to Greece isn't going to be cheap. Ampeg cabs are very solid and toneful, but tend to be less efficient than some. With 'only' a 120 watt amp for bass you DO need an efficient cab to go loud, so not my first choice for the amp!!!

Orange of course do a 4x10 and a 1x15 bass cab. ;)

Another possibility (which I know others would disagree with, but anyway) would be to keep the Orange 4x12 cab, sell the speakers, and fit more suitable ones. My own first choice would actually probably be something like the ultra efficient Celestion (NON 'Vintage'!) Century driver.
http://professional.celestion.com/guita ... l.asp?ID=1
That is designed for guitar but is a very tough very clean sounding fairly full range driver which should work very well for bass. And though not a bass cab the Orange 4x12 has about as much bottom end as any guitar cab out there - they are very solidly built indeed. I couldn't swear hand on heart that this option would work brilliantly, but I think it actually would. Certainly you'd have a <u>very</u> efficient cab, somewhere around 106dB for one watt input power - that is extremely loud! Those drivers aren't cheap though, so it would be an expensive experiment...

Ultimately I think you'd probably be better buying a dedicated bass cab. Preferably an 8 ohm one so that you could later add a second 8 ohm cab (maybe a 1x15) and run both with the amp set to 4 ohms. (Most bass cabs are either 4 or 8 ohms. If you might want to run two at any point do choose 8 ohm cabs!!!)

If you are going to buy a big valve amp for bass you really need to make sure you have a good valve amp tech available. That isn't n optional extra, that is just a fact of life. You'll be running the amp <u>hard</u> and will need one. For starters with each new set of power valves the amps biasing will need checked - not really a DIY job because of the dangerous high voltages in valve amps.

Also with an OR120 you are going to have to be prepared to shell out for the best power valves you can afford as these amps are very hard on cheapos which may only last a few hours before fizzing out on you. These amps run the valves at higher voltages than most and many modern valves just can't handle that. The SED Svetlanas are fine though and last well if correctly biased up. JJEL34s are another good modern option, or look for decent NOS ones.

Alternatively get the amp modded to run 6L6 valves instead of EL34s (easy mod for a tech). According to Ade Emsley (Oranges current amp designer) they are also great for Bass with OR120s:
http://forum.orangeamps.com/viewtopic.php?t=7296

Lot to think about there, but I'm not meaning to put you off. Just trying to give you a good idea of what you should expect. Fire away with any more questions you have. Will help if I / we can!


aNDyH. :)
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!

Giagkou
New Member
Posts: 3
Joined: Tue Jan 27, 2009 1:31 pm
Location: Greece

Post by Giagkou » Thu Feb 05, 2009 12:39 pm

Wow!
Andy thank you very, very much for all your info! Your last post gave me more options to think about and with some research i did i am definitely going to buy the pair. Fortunately enough i have a good amp tech so i am going to buy it and do the modifications you mention.

Thank you very much!
Monday i am getting the OR and the cab so pics will be posted ASAP.

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