Stick’s 1st Bass guitar review/demo
Check out my review of the Squire Classic Vibe 60′s P-Bass, it plays and sounds great! Amazing value for money.
Orange Terror Bass 500 & 2 x SP212 cabs – It arrived, I was excited but did it all end in disappointment?
I love a good bass tone and it’s guaranteed to be at the heart of any great tune from any genre, from metal to funk to jazz etc. it is always there locked in with the bass drum making you swing your pants (to quote Trevor and Simon).
Now I’m a rock kinda guy, I’m a huge John Paul Jones fan along with all the other big players from that era including the classic Gibson EB3 guys, but on top of that I have huge back (yes back as in spinal) issues. So, what’s that got to do with bass tone you may ask? Well, historically a big tone comes from a big rig, typically an Ampeg SVT head with an 8×10 cabinet and if you have ever tried to move one of them, or another brand equivalent, you will know exactly where the back part falls into place, I think the classic SVT head comes in around 43kg alone.
So, the Orange TB500 has an immediate attraction in this area, the amp is in keeping with the rest of the lunchbox or ‘Terror’ series and at only 5kg is certainly won’t make your back twinge, but it’s also built like a tank (bonus!) and it comes with a nice useable gig bag including a velcro amp handle cover (to protect your hand because it’s so heavy?). Standard UK and European power leads are also supplied but make sure the amp is set to the correct power location on the side before you plug it in, this should be factory set but it’s always worth checking. Tonally it’s secret is an all valve pre amp section, this is loaded with 2 12AX7 ‘unbranded’ valves with the power coming from a class D 500watt digital power amp, a very smart move and one that is indeed being implemented in many other ways in the world of music gear as class D power amps are indeed light but they are also very responsive and powerful!
The SmartPower SP212 Isobaric 2×12” bass speaker cabinets are not so light but they do not fall in to the backbreaking 8×10 vintage category either, at only 20kg each my brother would make a dumbbell with a pair. Isobaric means the two Eminence Neodymium 300w speakers are mounted directly one in front of the other so when put to work they work together, smart thinking! With some fancy cab design and some cab porting these innocent looking Orange cubes can handle up to 600watts each, that’s pretty impressive. To quote Orange ‘They may be small, but SmartPower bass cabs sound huge’ and that they sure do!
So, all fired up and running through my licks of choice all was looking/sounding good, that classic rock tone was there, my trousers were flapping and I felt like I meant business. I listen to a vast array of music and when I thought I would go in another tonal direction the frustration set in, and it set in quick! That is the trouble; there is no other direction to go in (out of the box anyway). This is a rock rig, 100% through and through, the fact you could transport your pub rock rig in the front seat of your car and still have a good volume fight with your drummer is indeed impressive but if you play anything other than rock you will be frustrated. The SP212 cabs are a cleaver bit of engineering but I can’t help but think if there were a tweeter in there it could release a caged bag of potential here and I’m no hi-fi bass fan, I like a bit of grit, my thinking being that it could make these cabs a lot more versatile.
So, the Terror Bass 500 head – Does it deliver in wattage? Yep. Tonal flexibility? Nope. Can it be tweaked? Yes and I think Orange are missing a trick here…….. ‘Terror Bass D.I.’ Bin the power section, change the tubes to ECC82’s and you have killer bass D.I. (not that I tried this of course, uhum….). In all honesty, the web in general points in this direction, this choice in valve also lowers the gain stage giving the amp a lot more clean level, with stock tubes the D.I clipped straight away.
So, all in all it’s a rock rig and a bloody good one but if (like me) you’re looking for something with a bit more flexibility look elsewhere. If it ticks your boxes you’re laughing as portability and volume rarely come in this smaller package. Make sure you crank it in the store to make sure you get a real feel for the tone and limitations but if it’s your bag crank it and enjoy….
I hope that was useful
Click here for Andertons store, Guildford who supply Stick with gear to review/demo http://bit.ly/r0E6fk
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Orange Terror Bass 500
I’d like to say an enormous thanks to Stick for his absolutely f**king stellar job with the master on our track Nurturers and Murderers – I messaged him on Sunday morning at about 3 am, and had a sample master by 11am which I was blown away by. I’ve never seen such an incredibly quick turnaround, and to be honest, never expected that that kind of speed and quality could actually be done. Really really impressed.
As far as the actual master is concerned, Meyrick and I literally sat here for about 20 minutes actually trying to find something we didn’t like about the track and the sound, but we just couldn’t. A testament to stick’s skill really.
Stuart Barker Quintet
From arriving slightly behind schedule on our first day in the studios, Paul made us feel very comfortable and emphasised there was no rush to beat away. This relaxed but motivated and comfortable atmosphere only helped the band to produce an album of work which exceeded our own musical expectations, in our own playing but even more so in the results that Paul produced from the desk from initial set up to the finished master.
Paul’s knowledge of recording a Jazz quintet exceeded that of any engineer is have worked with before and the warmth and depth of the recording ensures he will be the first port of call for our next recording. Paul was enthusiastic and patient from the start to finish and always listened to our views and produced a sound that exceeded our expectations.Continue reading »
We went to record a song for my daughter at Maplewood Studio! Paul was brilliant! Made us feel completely at ease. He was technically very able and this helped get the best out of our session. The finished article was excellent and we were incredibly pleased with the service. Excellent value for money!
I would rather use a cardboard guitar and an amp fashioned from beeswax at Maplewood studios than a shred-laden death rig at any other studio… apart from Abbey Road… and even that is close.
I recorded with Stick and was constantly amazed at his professionalism, coffee making skills, patience and overall enthusiasm. His positive and encouraging approach is matched only by his skill as a producer/engineer.
Maplewood studio is Tonbridge’s best-kept secret.