A 500-watt bass powerhouse that delivers clean to nasty with its “split-signal” design.
Like 1960s British fashion, Orange amplification has always stood out from the crowd. And the lively looks of their cabinets and heads are a physical manifestation of the Orange sound. Orange’s new OB1 Series was inspired by bassists who use two amps to get their clean and dirty tones, and to achieve this dual-prong approach, the streamlined amps integrate class-AB technology with a flexible overdrive section. There is a 300-watt model in the series, but our attention was directed at the more powerful OB1-500.
Dig if You Will, the Pictures
One of the ways some bassists produce thick, distorted tones is by splitting their signal and running into two amps—one clean head and an overdriven guitar amp. The OB1-500 is inspired by this philosophy, yet packs everything into a single 2U rackmount chassis that also stands alone on burly rubber feet.
When you plug into the 500-watt OB1-500, it splits your bass signal into two separate paths: One amplifies the clean sound, the other seasons it with upper-harmonic distortion. Gain and blend controls balance the intensity and level of the distortion before the combined signal is sent through a simple but robust EQ.
Visually, the OB1-500 reflects Orange’s familiar styling. The amp is suited in white powder coat, painted in the company’s colors, and crested with their iconic logo. The front panel is labeled with clever and easily discernable images like the footprint indicating the footswitch jack and a speaker symbol representing the volume. Creativity points go to Orange for the blend and gain knobs, respectively signified by a kitchen blender and a snake and arrow.
In my home studio, I paired the OB1-500 with an Epifani UL3 112 cabinet and three different basses—a Sadowsky Will Lee 4-string, a Fender Precision, and a Ritter R8 5-string. The OB1-500 was designed to deliver beastly bass tones, but one of the first things that actually caught my ears was the pleasing sound produced by the clean section. It didn’t matter what bass I used: The amp conveyed a warm, defined voice that was responsive to my touch.
The EQ is an excellent problem-solver and small adjustments produced noticeable results. Bassists who rely on bridge-pickup sounds will appreciate the level of thickness and punch the bass control can add, as well as the mid attenuator’s ability to dial in different dimensions of snarl. P-style players will appreciate how the OB1-500’s treble dial works in conjunction with their instrument’s tone control to transform the timbre from edgy to brooding.
Active instruments aren’t exempt from the benefits of the OB1-500’s EQ. The Ritter responded nicely to tonal tweaks from the amp, but what was equally impressive was how the OB1-500 could be left flat and not color the sounds shaped by the Ritter’s sophisticated onboard preamp.
It’s easy to plug in and play with the OB1-500, but I recommend spending some quality time experimenting with the gain and blend knobs prior to performance. Doing so will allow you to find the right mix of harmonic saturation and original signal to create tones from gutsy roars to synth-like sizzles—qualities I enjoyed on soloed neck pickups and the Precision.
On top of that, I was able to sculpt a grinding clang with the active Sadowsky that’ll make your older brother pull out his Rush records. There is overdrive aplenty available with this amp—from sublime to downright nasty—and the manner in which it interacts with the EQ offers multiple tonal personalities.
All the aforementioned characteristics shined onstage when I ran the amp at much louder volumes. Impressively, the OB1-500 stays ultra clean at high levels. Orange was wise to install an active/passive pad switch that was a major factor in keeping things from getting too hairy. This was evident when I paired the amp with a Bergantino HD212 and plugged in the Ritter R8. The rig combined warmth and presence while moving major air. I was able to lay a solid foundation with a horn band, and the amp transmitted Prestia-like 16th-notes with impressive immediacy.
I further explored the OB1-500 at a local jam night by pairing it with an ’80s Peavey 4x10 and working the Sadowsky over rock tunes both sublime and absurd. The band smiled in unison when I dialed in a sound that came close to nailing Geddy’s aggressive tone on Permanent Waves, though this quickly sparked several other attempts at Rush classics. I found that the OB1-500 was more than adept at handling a wide spectrum of musical styles.
It’s relatively new, but Orange’s OB1-500 should already be considered one of the company’s standout offerings. It has an abundance of both clean and crass bass tones on tap, and while it might not completely placate the tube obsessed, the amp’s all-analog signal path is a welcome alternative to today’s class-D frenzy. Some might balk at the steep price, but the OB1-500’s tonal rewards outstrip many of its contemporary counterparts. If you’re seeking a responsive, powerful amp that gives a finger (or two, if you’re in the U.K.) to modern amp design, the OB1-500 is certainly worth a spin.
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Sporting custom artwork etched onto the covers, the Railhammer Billy Corgan Z-One Humcutters are designed to offer a fat midrange and a smooth top end.
Billy Corgan was looking for something for heavier Smashing Pumpkins songs, so Joe Naylor designed the Railhammer Billy Corgan Z-One pickup. Sporting custom artwork etched onto the covers, the Railhammer Billy Corgan Z-One Humcutters have a fat midrange and a smooth top end. This pickup combines the drive and sustain of a humbucker with the percussive attack and string clarity of a P90. Get beefy P90 tone plus amp-pummeling output with the Railhammer Billy Corgan Z-One.
Patented Railhammer Pickups take passive guitar pickups to a new level with rails under the wound strings lead to tighter lows, and poles under the plain strings offer fatter heights. With increased clarity, the passive pickup’s tone is never sterile.
Railhammer Billy Corgan Signature Z-One Pickup Demo
For more information, please visit railhammer.com.
Designed for utmost comfort and performance, the Vertigo Ultra Bass is Mono’s answer to those who seek the ultimate gigging experience.
Complete with a range of game-changing design features, such as the patent-pending attachable FREERIDE Wheel System, premium water-resistant and reflective materials, shockproof shell structure and improved ergonomic features, the Vertigo Ultra Bass takes gear protection to the next level.
The Vertigo Ultra Bass features:
- Patent-pending FREERIDE Wheel System that allows for wheels to be attached on the case in no time, giving you the option to travel with it seamlessly
- Upgraded materials, including a water-resistant 1680D Ballistic Nylon outer shell, plush inner lining and new reflective trim for maximum backstage and night visibility
- Enhanced protection with a shockproof shell structure and heavy-duty water-resistant YKK zippers for protection from the elements
- Improved ergonomics and functionality including added back support and load-lifting detachable shoulder straps with side release buckles
- Flexible storage options with added space for touring essentials
The Generation Collection of acoustic guitars features the exclusive Gibson Player Port designed to offer a unique and immersive sonic experience.
The G-Bird, the newest addition to the Generation Collection--represents the glorious legacy of the Gibson Hummingbird colliding with modern sonic enhancement through the Gibson Player Port to add a new dimension to the G-Bird sound. The Gibson Player Port allows players to hear more of themselves as the audience hears it. With a tone that is crisp and resonant, all of the Gibson Generation Collection acoustics are designed to be comfortable to hold and play for long periods of time. All Generation Collection guitars feature the Gibson Player Port, slim, lightweight bodies, a flatter fingerboard radius, Walnut back and sides, Sitka spruce tops, and a stunning Natural finish. Additionally, the new G-Bird, and the G-200 and G-Writer are equipped with LR Baggs™ Element Bronze pickup systems which amplify deep bass and crystal-clear highs.
The G-Bird represents the glorious legacy of the Gibson Hummingbird with modern sonic enhancement through the Gibson Player Port adding a new dimension to the G-Bird’s sound. The G-Bird features a stunning solid Sitka spruce top and solid walnut back and sides for the ultimate in crisp, resonant tone. This square-shoulder dreadnought delivers all the rich low end and well-balanced mids and highs the original Hummingbird is famous for. The TUSQ nut and saddle, along with chrome Grover Mini Rotomatic tuners, deliver solid tuning stability so you can spend more time playing instead of tuning. The utile neck, with its easy-playing Advanced Response neck profile, is so comfortable you won’t want to put it down. The G-Bird also comes equipped with an LR Baggs Element Bronze pickup system, so it will always sound as good to your audience as it does to you. The G-Bird also comes equipped with an LR Baggs™ Element Bronze pickup system, so it will always sound as good to your audience as it does to you. The G-Bird is available in Natural finish. A gig bag is included.
Modeled after Gibson’s pioneering small-body parlor acoustic guitars from the 1930’s, the G-00 is a top choice for blues and fingerstyle guitar performances. Despite its more compact size, the G-00 achieves a full, balanced sound. The G-00 fills any room with rich tones-which players can hear like never before, with the exclusive Gibson Player Port. Like all models in the Gibson Generation Collection, the G-00 is handcrafted in Bozeman, Montana, by the same highly--skilled craftspeople who make all Gibson acoustic guitars. The G-00 features a beautiful solid Sitka spruce top and solid Walnut back and sides for tone that sounds crisp and resonant. The slightly thinner G-00 parlor-sized body is exceptionally comfortable to hold and play. The TUSQ nut and saddle along with the Grover Mini Rotomatic tuners, deliver solid tuning stability so you can spend more time playing instead of tuning, and the utile neck with its easy-playing neck profile is so comfortable you won’t want to put it down. The G-00 is available in Natural finish. A gig bag is included.
The G-45, a round-shouldered jumbo, adds the Gibson Player Port to its famous “Workhorse” J-45 style body, which is Gibson’s best-selling acoustic guitar of all time. On the G-45, players can now hear more clearly than ever how this beloved guitar responds to every style and technique of playing. Powerful one moment and soft the next, the G-45 delivers all sounds with incredible dynamic range in an elegant, medium body size. The G-45 is part of the Gibson Generation Collection and like all models in this collection, it is handcrafted in Bozeman, MT, by the same highly skilled craftspeople who make all Gibson acoustics. It features a solid Sitka spruce top and solid Walnut back and sides for tone that sounds crisp and resonant. The G-45 features a slightly thinner round shoulder body is exceptionally comfortable to hold and play. The TUSQ nut and saddle, along with the Grover Mini Rotomatic tuners deliver solid tuning stability, so you can spend more time playing instead of tuning, and the utile neck with its easy-playing neck profile is so comfortable you won’t want to put it down. The G-45 is available in Natural finish. A gig bag is included.
Gibson’s impressive range of square-shouldered guitars have become an expressive standard for rock, pop, folk, and country artists. The G-Writer is known for its wide range of sounds, from gutsy and loud, to soft and sweet; they are superb for all styles and shine, whether strumming chords or fingering intricate solos. The G-Writer comes ready for the stage or studio with an LR Baggs Element Bronze pickup system and the ear-opening Gibson Player Port. The G-Writer is part of the Gibson Generation Collection and like all models in this collection, it is handcrafted in Bozeman, MT, by the same highly skilled craftspeople who make all Gibson acoustics. It features a solid Sitka spruce top and solid Walnut back and sides for tone that sounds crisp and resonant. The G-Writer features a slightly thinner cutaway body, is more comfortable to play and provides effortless access to the upper frets. The TUSQ nut and saddle, along with the Grover Mini Rotomatic tuners deliver solid tuning stability, so you can spend more time playing instead of tuning, and the utile neck with its easy-playing neck profile is so comfortable you won’t want to put it down. The G-Writer is available in Natural finish. A gig bag is also included.
Gibson built its first “Super Jumbo” SJ-200 as a custom order for country and western singer and film star Ray Whitley, who desired a big, loud, and deep flat-top over which to croon. The SJ-200 quickly became a staple of cowboy singers and horseback troubadours, and then country music, 60’s folk stars, and onto every acoustic guitar genre that has followed. Ray would be proud to hear the booming sound from the Gibson Player Port on the new G-200, which comes ready for the stage or studio with a LR Baggs Element Bronze pickup system. Like all models in the Gibson Generation Collection, the G-200 is handcrafted in Bozeman, MT, by the same highly--skilled craftspeople who make all Gibson acoustics. The G-200 features a beautiful solid Sitka spruce top and solid Walnut back and sides for tone that sounds crisp and resonant. The slightly thinner G-200 cutaway jumbo body is exceptionally comfortable to hold and provides excellent access to the upper frets. The TUSQ nut and saddle, along with the Grover Mini Rotomatic tuners, deliver solid tuning stability so you can spend more time playing instead of tuning, and the utile neck with its easy-playing neck profile is so comfortable you won’t want to put it down. The G-200 is available in Natural finish. A gig bag is also included.
G-Bird | Generation Collection
For more information, please visit gibson.com.