Any amp builders able to make an Orange OR-80 Overdrive clone?

Discussion in 'Amps/Cabs Tech Corner: Amplifier, Cab & Speakers' started by Janus Alfador, Nov 26, 2017.

  1. Janus Alfador

    Janus Alfador Member

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    If there was an amp kit of one available, I'd buy it and build it, myself.

    What do you think it would cost to have an exact and quality clone built? The real things are going for a bit too high a price right now, IMO.

    Here's a picture of the insides of one. Looks very simple, as far as amps typically go.

    One concern I have about getting one built is that I haven't found an authentic schematic for one of these amps, though there are perhaps closely-resembling schematics on this page: http://www.orangefieldguide.com/overdrive_page.htm

    And there's some more potentially helpful information here: https://forum.orangeamps.com/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=55823

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    Last edited: Nov 26, 2017
  2. Blue Strat

    Blue Strat Member

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    The problem with one offs is that there's a LOT of up front time required for chassis work, layout, cabinet work, etc. There's also the extra cost of buying single transformers, figuring out where the real schematic is hiding or doing reverse engineering on an existing amp (from where?). I doubt a PRO amp builder would be able to do it for less than $2K unless he considered it a charity case and didn't charge for his time. If someone were building 10 at a time it would be a different story.

    I see one listed for about $1900. I don't think you'd be able to beat this price by much, if at all, unless you were doing all the work yourself. Just sayin'.
     
  3. xtian

    xtian Member

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    Agree. If I DID have a correct schematic, I’d charge about $2200.
     
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  4. gldtp99

    gldtp99 Member

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    Many years ago I built one head that was heavily influenced by my 1974 Orange OR80 (not the Overdrive model---- but supposedly the same circuit but without a Master Volume).
    This was not meant to be an exact clone but a project to see if this type of circuit could be built with readily available transformers and chassis/head cab set.
    Hilbish Design used to offer Vintage Orange type chassis but all they have now are repro knobs.
    I built mine on a Hiwatt type chassis/head cab because I had several on hand----- I used a Fender Twin Reverb type PT and an Edcor 100 watt OT with a 4.2k primary and 4/8/16 ohm secondary---- I used a generic turret board to build the circuit. I used the Fender type PT (@450V B+ pushing the EL34 x 2) because I wanted to see how the amp would sound at a reasonable voltage, instead of the higher B+ that the original OR80s run.
    I built it, tweaked it out, and it sounded much like my orig Orange OR80.
    Around here, at the time, most players that I came into contact with were playing Death Metal and this head was ignored------finally one player came and played it and had to have it----- I made him a deal and it sounded like this (the black head sitting on top of the Mesa 4x12 on the left hand side):



    It would be cheaper to buy a real one instead of trying to build a one-off accurate clone---- almost everything would have to be custom built:

    1) chassis
    2) faceplace/chrome bars
    3) head cab
    4) PCB circuit board
    5) wooden runners on bottom (instead of rubber feet)

    The transformers would be expensive------ Mercury offers them.

    All this could be done by someone----- but a real one would be cheaper/easier----- and it would retain resale value where the clone would not.
     
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  5. Janus Alfador

    Janus Alfador Member

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    Your custom amp nailed the sound!
     
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  6. gldtp99

    gldtp99 Member

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    I forgot about Electric Amps----- I've never dealt with them but they used to build vintage Orange/Matamp types of amps and speaker cabs. I don't know if they're still in business.
    Maybe they could be a source of parts for an OR80 Overdrive clone or maybe they could build build the amp themselves.
    I believe they used to be called Matamp USA and had some connection to Matamp in UK.
    Here's a page from their website where they have new head cabs and speaker cabs:

    http://www.electricamp.com/guitar&bass-amp-shop/empty-speaker-cabinets.html


    PS---- Here is Electric Amps FB page----- it looks like they are still building amps:

    https://www.facebook.com/electricamp
     
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2017
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  7. paulg

    paulg Supporting Member

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    Weber makes a kit. No idea how it compares to the real deal.
     
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  8. Janus Alfador

    Janus Alfador Member

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    So, I've just bought a 1978 OR-80 Overdrive. And I can't wait to play it - though I have to wait for it to be shipped from the other side of Canada.

    Here are pictures of the OR-80 that I've bought.


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    I paid $2600 CAD for it, shipped, which is around $2030 USD.

    I've read that the master volume on the originals isn't that great, and that the MV on the 90's reissue is better. I might want to modify the MV to have better functionality. I think that would bet a non-intrusive modification that preserves the amp's true identity.

    The seller tells me that the filter caps are the originals, and so I'd want to replace those when convenient.

    I have a couple questions for the Tech Corner: Is it perfectly healthy for the amp to be constantly run at its 115v mains setting in North America, where wall voltages can vary up to 125v? How much do you think that the sound will be affected, compared to 120v?

    Source: https://forum.allaboutcircuits.com/...-voltage-110-115-120-220-240.3320/#post-31474

    That's cool. This looks to be it: https://www.tedweber.com/6o100-c-kt

    It's apparently a clone of the OR-120? It doesn't say that on the store page, but a YouTube video suggests that.
     
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  9. pdf64

    pdf64 Member

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    As with any item of secondhand electrical equipment, especially vintage, a technical evaluation should be made when you get it.
    I suggest to include noting primary and secondary voltages on the PT at idle and reporting back.
    It may be that it's prudent to monitor the mains level and use a browner to take it down a notch when it's running high.
    As the HT is intentionally rather high, the power tubes could become overstressed if the mains becomes much higher than intended.
     
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  10. paulg

    paulg Supporting Member

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    Very clean for a 78'. Congrats!
     
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  11. gldtp99

    gldtp99 Member

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    Nice Amp !!! It's in much better condition than my '74 OR80 (when I first got mine it was in poor shape)----- It looks like most everything is original except for the JJ output tubes.
     
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