A 4x10 with the portability of a 2x10
“Pride of the UK, those Geezers are.” That’s
what my friend from Manchester, England,
tells me about Orange Amplification. More
than 40 years of superior quality and innovation
have earned Orange quite a name in
the industry. When the company got started
they dabbled in a bit of everything—drums,
microphones, PA gear, and DJ gear, as well
as Orange Publishing, Orange Agency,
Orange Records, Orange Music, and Orange
Recording Studios. These days, Orange
focuses its energy on some sick guitar
and bass gear—including their new SP410
Isobaric 4x10 bass cabinet. Good thing for
us. Let’s take a closer look at this baby.
My initial inspection of the SP410 left me thinking, “I got the 4x10 cabinet, right? I mean, seriously. I only see two speakers.” I was surprised by the ultra-compact size, as well. Orange’s standard 4x10 cabinet is quite stout at 95 lbs. and 24.5" x 25" x 18". That’s how big most 4x10 bass cabs are. But the SP410 weighs in at just 68 lbs and measures 24.5" x 16" x 15". That’s right, the SP410 is a good 25 lbs. lighter and almost half the size of a traditional 4x10 despite being made of heavy-duty Baltic birch plywood. And with a 1200-watt power-handling capacity, it still brings all the bottom end you could wish for. Cosmetically, it sports the classic orange covering, black grill cloth, and killer Orange logo. It also has metal corner covers, two heavy-duty handles on top, two Speakon and two ¼” speaker jacks, two wooden bottom rails, four lightweight neodymium Eminence speakers, and a port that runs across the bottom of the front panel. Feature-wise, the only way I could see this cab being improved was if it had a tweeter, a handle configuration that made it easier to position an amp head on top, and perhaps even some wheels.
I’ll admit I wasn’t familiar with this technology prior to receiving the SP410. Most bass cabinets I have played through are of the traditional ilk. You know—big, heavy, monster sort of things that have a wide footprint onstage. Not this little citrus buddy. Two of the 10" speakers are visible from the front panel, while the other two are situated directly behind them. Orange says the SP410’s design avoids the need for a large enclosure because the front speakers’ movement is in phase with the back drivers, which creates an isobaric chamber (that is, a chamber of constant pressure) that functions as an infinite baffle for the rear driver. The rear driver therefore maintains its minimum phase and is free of linear distortion, all while having an effective doubling of mass that lowers its resonant frequency compared to the driver alone.
If you barely followed any of that tech talk, trust me—these guys know what they are talking about. The SP410 leaves you wondering “Is all of that really coming from this little cabinet?” Indeed it does, my rhythmic friend. In fact, it sounds every bit as big as a traditional bass cabinet. And then some. Every time I had the SP410 onstage, a bass player came up during the set break to ask if it’s really a 2x10 cabinet—because that’s what it looks like.
I took the SP410 for a ride using a five-string Fender Jazz bass and a five-string Ibanez SR485 into an Ampeg SVT-4PRO, and let me tell you that playing through this tasty biscuit is a joy! Rich, full, mega-thick tones just pour out of it, and it moves substantial air. I mentioned earlier that the SP410 has no tweeter, just the 10" speakers for that vintage wallop. That might bother bassists who play styles I don’t, but it’s not a big deal to me. I prefer bass sounds from late ’60s and early ’70s, and the Orange SP410 definitely delivers a blast of that low tone from the past. Even at low volumes, it is as thick as an Iowa Pork Chop! (Yes. When asked nicely, sometimes bass players play at low volumes.) At moderate to high volumes, I felt like I was in front of a huge cabinet. Every George Porter bass line that I dropped on the SP410 sounded like the bass rigs of old. Again, small package—huge sound.
The Final Mojo
Isobaric technology may be a bit involved as a discipline, but it sure makes for some thick bass tone! The power-per-square-inch ratio in the Orange SP410 is through the roof—and yet you can transport it in the front seat of your car. So you get vintage sound and killer portability that’s suitable for stages of any size—and at a street price of $1249! This creamy, round sound is intoxicating and I highly recommend plugging into it.
you need a huge bass sound in a small package.
you have a small gear budget or need a tweeter.
Street $1249 - Orange Amplification - orangeamps.com