Orange O Bass - NAMM 2016

Orange Amplification introduces the O Bass, a 4-string electric bass guitar designed with retro style and sound in mind.

Orange O Bass

This is a sign that the company is expanding to the bass guitar market, or at least testing the waters, and depending on how well this bass is received, we may expect more from them in the future.

The O Bass is not necessarily new, because it actually made its debut at the 2014 Winter NAMM show as a demonstrator piece - but it was not shown up front, rather it was only used backstage where no one could see it. Whether staged or not, videos of the instrument were leaked to the internet and have caught the attention of many musicians. Fast forward to the 2016 NAMM Show, the brainchild instrument of Orange Amps Technical Director and Lead Designer Ade Emsley, finally gets a formal release

Much like their amps, there's nothing really unconventional about this bass, rather it follows tradition by subtly modifying familiar shapes and keeps everything else straightforward and simple. The O Bass is essentially a mixture of the elegant appeal of the LP and the tone of the venerable Precision Bass and is marketed as having a retro tone.

Unlike vintage basses that are bulky and heavy, the O Bass has a compact single cutaway body crafted from lightweight Okoumé. This makes the bass easier to carry around and play standing up, and is also mentioned as being a resonant type of wood. To give the body a more familiar appearance, the top features basswood veneer while retro style bindings are applied on the edges to give the guitar a retro appearance.

It has a 34" scale length maple neck, topped by a rosewood fingerboard with 1.69" nut width, an interesting configuration that contrasts the usual maple fingerboards used on vintage basses. It has a total of 19 medium jumbo frets and has a "medium vintage" profile, which would mean that it has an old school feel.

Giving this bass guitar its voice is a straightforward split-coil humbucker, which is then wired to a volume and tone knob. This pickup is described by Orange as being custom wound to produce a "well-balanced bass response with a warm strident mid-rang". The press release says, "Players with a softer touch will immediately love the abundant ‘Motown-esque’ earthy overtones. Dig in a little more aggressively and the O Bass will respond with infectious harmonic raunchiness, ‘growling like a policeman’s dog’ as Ade put it!"

The Orange O Bass is currently available in three finishes: Off-black, Teardrop Sunburst and Orange. Other features include top loading 4-saddle bridge, 2-a-side open gear tuners with knurled knobs and it even comes with a second 3-ply pickguard so you can customize the master and tone controls. For more information and other details, visit Orange Amps

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