|Body And Neck:|
The British amplifier king Orange is an icon when it comes to amps and cabinets. Just look at any on-stage shots of legends like Led Zeppelin, Iron Maiden, Oasis and ZZ Top – all standing in front of a stack of Orange amps. The brand isn’t particularly famous for its bass guitars… although the O-Bass may just change that. This sub-$500 bass oozes retro appeal and promises big tone. Can it deliver like an Orange amp can? One way to find out…
The Orange brand is rooted in the late sixties and the O-Bass takes huge inspiration from this era. It sports a Les Paul-esque single-cutaway body with a scale length of 34”, made from solid okoume (a lightweight African wood) and a basswood veneer on the top. This is finished in either a striking orange, a vintage sunburst or a glossy off-black – the latter two with protective and definition-enhancing ABS binding. It’s a simple but bold design, topped off with a unique three-ply pickguard and the iconic Orange logo on the painted white headstock.
Of course, there’s a neck to discuss! This is made of maple with a two-way truss rod, an ebony fretboard and 19 medium jumbo frets. It’s a lovely bass to hold thanks to the lightweight construction, while playing the neck is a pleasure. It comes with a good setup from the box and an all-round quality feel that makes $500 seem pretty cheap.
The O-Bass features just one pickup in the middle position – a custom-wound split-coil humbucker, which is a very solid pickup for the price. With one pickup usually comes simple controls and this is evident on the O-Bass, which offers just master volume and master tone rotary knobs.
The white headstock shows off a set of retro oversized open-gear tuners in a 2+2 configuration, while the bottom of the bass features a simple top-loading four-saddle nickel bridge for solid tuning stability and good sustain. Note that this bass also comes with a padded Orange-branded gig bag, which – if you love the retro Orange style as much as we do – you’ll find looks really cool and is a great addition at this price.
Wow – it’s big and it’s bold. The humbucker delivers a real growl with great power, which is particularly strong in the mid-range. Even though there’s just one pickup and limited controls, it actually proves itself to be pretty versatile, although its right at home with classic rock and gritty blues. It’s begging to be played through an Orange stack!
There’s more on the O-Bass with some sound samples in the video below:
For under $500 this is a real steal. The idiosyncratic retro stylings and mid-range heavy tone won’t be for everyone, but for those who love the bold sound and style Orange traditionally delivers, it’s going to be first on your list.