The future is Orange
We’re big fans of Orange Amps here at Dawsons. From the portable Terror series, which spawned a thousand copycat lunchbox heads, through to the monstrous Thunderverb range; Orange Amps hold a very special place in our hearts and in our backline.
So, as you can imagine, there are three words which excite us greatly. New Orange Amps. Admittedly it’s not a deluge but nonetheless, the chance to shine the spotlight on a great British brand and show off the new gear they’re releasing isn’t one we’re going to pass up.
New Orange Amps!
First up is rather dashing Orange Crush 20 50th Anniversary model. The eagle-eyed among you will note that the Orange Amp isn’t actually Orange. Nope, to mark it out as a special limited edition they’ve gone for a rather regal looking white finish, with a fancy-looking gold plaque on top commemorating the anniversary.
Under the bonnet it’s a standard Crush 20; itself a brilliant amp for either home, recording or practice. This two-channel amp switches effortlessly between clean and gain sounds, and benefits from a full three-band EQ section to finetune your tone. An auxiliary in jack means you can connect up an external device so you can play along, while the headphone out actually doubles as a cab simulator if you’re using it to record with. It’s a great deal of amplifier for not a lot of money. And, if the colour-way interests you, you may need to move quickly as there were only 2,000 of them made. Get a move on!
We were also introduced to a fantastic pair of new models for bass players. The Terror series has, over time, been expanded out to include bass amps, and the new Orange Terror Bass head is the next chapter. Operating at a full 500w (4 ohms) or 250w (8 ohms), this valve/solid-state hybrid is perfect for live performance. The valve pre-amp colours the tone nicely, while the Class D power amp stage ensures the tone your audience hears is exactly the way you intended it, no matter the volume. Pair the Terror Bass with the new Orange OBC112 Bass Cabinet and you’re good to go for small to medium-sized venues.
Looking at the wider range or Orange Amps highlights a number of options for tone-hungry players looking for something with a bit of character. The Crush series, for starters, is Orange’s range of solid-state, affordable amps. These offer a way into the Orange family which deliver a cost-effective combination of portability, performance, and punch.
Orange’s gain channels are the stuff of legend, delivering a throaty, mid-range growl that sounds quite unlike any other amp manufacturer. Where once this suited blues playing – think Peter Green – as times changed and demand for more aggressive tones grew, so did the colossal bark an Orange could throw out. While this tone is the staple diet of high-wattage valve amps, it took a while before solid-states could offer the same sonic threat.
The newer Crush models, however, do just that. Combining the reliability and performance of solid-state technology with a tone that wouldn’t sound out of place on a multiple-gain-stage valve amp proved a masterstroke and the modern Crush amps have grown to be wildly popular.
It’s not often a brand can claim to have launched an entire sub-genre of products, but with the Terror series, Orange did exactly that. Launched in the early 2000’s, the Orange Tiny Terror was a full-fat, 15w valve head, offering all of the benefits of valve tone (harmonics! gain!) in a package the size of one of those old metal lunchboxes after which the genre was named.
As they grew in popularity, so too did the size of the range. Before long we had the metal-focused Dark Terror, which to this day is one of the finest sounding portable metal amps on the market. The series was then shrunken down in the form of the Micro Terror, which combined a valve pre-amp with a solid-state power amp. Seeing one of these powering an oversized 4×12 cabinet always brought a smile to the face.
The range expanded further with the introduction of signature models for Jim Root (Slipknot) and Brent Hinds (Mastodon), but the ethos of offering a pure, valve-driven experience in a small-wattage head had soon cemented its place in guitar history. A range of Terror bass amps followed the same tonal lineage and gave a low-end sound drenched in that same unique Orange flavour.
Rocker (and Thunder) Series
Like brothers from another mother, the Rocker and Thunder series both provided the flagship amp experience at the top-end of Orange’s roster. The Thunder series, which spawned the TH30 and Thunderverb, were both models in versatility. The TH30, for example, was at the same time Orange’s cleanest and its heaviest amp, while the Thunderverb models came in at a whopping 200w, and were designed to operate equally as well with either guitar or bass.
The Rocker series, on the other hand, is the purists’ dream. Offering total, unadulterated valve tone, the Rocker and Rockerverb models all deliver that quintessential British sound.
See our full range of Orange Amps here.
Journalist, PR and multimedia specialist. Write professionally on subjects ranging from musical instruments to industrial technology.