What is it?
Orange's Little Bass Thing is a solid-state bass amplifier that takes the class D power stage of the much-loved Bass Terror, partners it with a solid-state preamp, and adds a glacé cherry on top by way of an onboard optical compressor.
And true to the name, it is little. It weighs just shy of 3kg. But it is built like a tank, its white metallic casing with dual vents to its rear and metal handle protectors on the front panel. This will handle a bit of abuse. And it is designed to dish some out as well.
The front panel is easy enough to understand – once, of course, you accustom your eyes to Orange's glyphs. There is a 3-band EQ, sweepable mids, -6dB pad switch, compressor and footswitch input, while on the rear of the unit you'll find a buffered FX Loop and a studio-grade balanced DI output. The latter has a ground lift switch. And that's it!
Performance and sounds
If some amps require a night class in audio-electronics before you can get a usable tone out of them, the Little Bass Thing is the sort of layout a toddler could get to grips with. Indeed, they might even work out the controls a little quicker. But, seriously, with 15dB of cut and boost across bass, middle and treble, dialling in your tone is a breeze.
The bass tone can get a little gnarly, but that's where the -6dB pad can clean your signal up. Of course, quite possibly that is why you're interested in the amp in the first place. Orange bass amps specialise in a brand of low-end thunder that can sometimes sent the fainthearted running for cover.
But in rock 'n' roll as in action movies, fortune favours the brave. If you are a gigging rocker and need something modestly priced, easy to carry around and offering reliable tone night after night, the Little Bass Thing. We love the drive on this. There's heaps of character to it.
The bass and middle controls are expansive, the treble less so. But the compressor can be a very effective tool in tightening everything up. There's a little hiss at high volume, especially when the treble is dimed, but maybe that's to be expected. Maybe there's something wild inside – that, after all, is what this amp is speaking to inside you.
MusicRadar verdict: Modestly proportioned, modestly priced, and yet a powerful tool that takes the class D Terror power stage and runs with it to create a gig-ready amp that's ideal for rock bassists.
Thomann's Guitars & Basses
- Price: £549 / $699 / €623
- Made In: China
- Power: 500 watts @ 4 ohms
- Features: ¼” jack footswitch socket, Volume, Compression, Treble, Mid-Sweep, Middle, Bass, -6dB pad switch, ¼” jack input socket, voltage selector, 2 x Speakon output sockets, ¼” jack Send/ Return sockets, Lift/Ground switch, Balanced DI XLR output socket
- Dimensions: 86mm / 3.4” (H) x 278mm / 11” (W) x 246mm / 9.7” (D)
- Weight: 2.95 kg / 6.5 lbs
- Contact: Orange