While it seems like vintage gear, trendy tablet interfaces and more fringe stuff are dominating the news out of NAMM this year, a number of traditional music makers are also introducing the ‘boring’ stuff – great sounding gear with awesome features. One of those is Orange, who has announced the Orange OB1 series of rack-mountable bass amplifiers.
The two amplifiers in the series are the OB1-300 and OB1-500. The main difference is the power difference 300 and 500 watts respectively.
But the two amps are based on the practice of ‘bi-amping’, which became popular in the 1980s as a way to get great sounding low and high frequencies from your bass. This has typically involved dual amplifiers linked with a crossover, but the OB1 series puts it all in one package!
The OB1 splits the input instrument signal into two separate, totally analog paths. One side amplifies the clean signal, with all the clarity and responsiveness you would expect from Orange. The other adds two stages of gain and increased harmonic content to the upper frequencies, controllable via the amp’s Gain knob. These two elements are combined using the amplifier’s footswitchable Blend control which adjusts the mix between clean and dirty. The overall sound can then fine-tuned using the active three-band EQ.
The results are tight and thunderous lows and edgy highs, with a gain signal path that maintains clarity and definitions with even the most extreme settings.
The OB1 is available in both 300 Watt and 500 Watt versions (both 19” 2U), each featuring balanced DI and line level outputs and Orange’s classic ‘Pics Only’ styling.
• Footswitchable ‘bi-amp’-inspired design
• 100% Analog signal path
• Class A/B operation
• Active EQ
• 2U rack mountable
• Expected availability April 2015