Who Are Orange Amps?
Founded by Cliff Cooper in a London shop basement, Orange Amps have grown to an exponential size over 50 years. They are a true household name – and colour!
When some of the biggest musicians in the world could have easily flocked to the likes of Marshall or Vox for classic British amp tone, they favoured the plucky Orange instead. Why? Put simply, they sound absolutely incredible.
Orange pride themselves on making amps of the highest quality. No silly switches, no crazy features, just the best components they can get their hands on. One sound that will put others to shame, no matter the musical genre. Imagine if your tone was so good, you could apply it to two polar opposite styles of music without major EQ adjustment. This is what you get from an Orange amp. We interviewed Cliff Cooper and dug into what makes them so great.
You’ll Love Orange Amps If…
...You’re after one of the best amp tones around. Orange are the absolute masters of amp construction and don't resort to packing them with unnecessary features. Contrary to popular belief, Orange amps aren’t just for stoner rock, doom metal or anything fuzzy either.
They're great because you can dial in virtually any type of tone you might not have thought possible. Yes, they do the gritty, sludgy stuff. But they can also tighten up hard for modern rock and metal, and absolutely nail your classic British indie and blues sounds. These are a tone purist’s dream – you just don’t know it yet.
Popular Orange Amps Artists
A plethora of world-renowned guitarists have favoured Orange over the years stretching right back to the early days of the company. The likes of Jimmy Page, Stevie Wonder, Fleetwood Mac and Oasis all worked with founder Cliff Cooper to shape the tones we know and love.
More recently, Orange have released two signature Terror amps for Brent Hinds of Mastodon and Slipknot’s Jim Root, both proving massive hits. They're also played by plenty of current touring musicians from Beyonce, Deftones, Iron Maiden, Foals, and Catfish and The Bottlemen across both guitar and bass ranges.
What are the Best Orange Amps?
Lucky for us, great quality doesn’t equal massive prices. Orange build a varied line-up of amps for a number of uses. You’ve got the portable Terror amp heads, the gig-ready affordable Crush series and the supremely classy Tremlord. Meanwhile, the Rockerverb sits at the top of the tonal tree with the AD series bass amp.
Orange amps are supremely versatile. Big on your heavy metal but like playing the occasional indie tune? The Rocker, Crush and Rockerverb will all work equally well for those aggressive tones and snappy Strat and Tele sounds. There really is something for everyone, whatever music you play. Here’s our complete breakdown of Orange Amps at Andertons…
Naturally, Orange are known for their incredible EL34 all-valve tone. But they’ve been working hard to transfer the characteristics of their most famous amps into the solid-state Crush series. This makes the Crush amps the most affordable Orange make - but that isn’t necessarily a downside. Trust us when we say these amps sound awesome.
The low wattage Crush range make for great practice amps, implementing basic EQ control and a built-in tuner. The last thing you want to do during practice sessions is get sucked into dial fiddling. You can also get your paws on higher wattage models easily capable of producing fantastic live tone.
An absolute staple of the Orange range. The Terror brought Orange into the modern age. Contemporary players are always looking to make life more efficient whilst retaining tube tone. The Terror fills both roles. There’s a wide variety of choice for bassists, guitarists, bedroom jammers and studio recorders alike.
Obviously, the core feature of the Terror is its size. These are truly portable amps you can set up anywhere and take everywhere. Some highlights of the range include the Micro Terror, a miniscule hybrid valve and solid-state amp, the beefy Brent Hinds signature and the pro level Dual Terror.
Great tube tone at solid prices are hard to come by nowadays. Most amps in the Rocker’s price range are of the modelling variety. But the Rocker serves up pure, real bite from the EL84 power amp valves, known to distort quickly because of the low headroom. An even better selection when combined with the attenuator switch to reduce wattage and get a grizzly tone at low volume.
The Rocker is an exclusive combo configuration. And for good reason, because the 2x10 amps are designed as all-stereo beasts - a truly unique trait to mid-priced amps. You can now run your cool stereo pedals how they were intended to sound and in wet/dry setups. Even the 1x10 version handles pedals extremely well. The true definition of a versatile pedal platform amp.
Orange’s Tremlord is a classy, vintage ‘50s style combo with the sweetest valve-powered tremolo effect you will ever hear. Despite its 30 Watts, the Tremlord delivers pristine cleans at an impressive volume, making it great at home, in the studio or played live.
They really did think of everything with the Tremlord. The effects loop enters after the tremolo, so you can use all your ambient style stompboxes without the trem cutting them up. Just like the Rocker, the Tremlord is fully attenable to 15 or 1 Watt levels and houses a beautifully voiced Lavoce speaker. Probably Orange’s most technically comprehensive amp.
An oldie but a goldie from Orange. The AD is available in both AD30 guitar amp and AD200 bass amp forms. The former sports class A twin channels. You can dial in two amazing tones and switch between them on the fly. Channel one is thick, creamy and full of classic vibes, while no.2 is tighter and barks like a bulldog.
The AD200 is bassist heaven. It produces a rich natural tone you genuinely cannot believe until you hear it in the flesh. It retains plenty of clarity and natural dynamics with minute tweaking. And you won’t be doing much, because it only uses a three-band EQ. Great sound out the box on both fronts.
The pinnacle of Orange valve design. Rockerverb amps are made using the best attenuators, incorporate incredibly sensitive EQ settings and are constructed by some of the best amp builder in the UK. This is the kind of amp that can do everything to a ridiculously high standard, without the faff of a million buttons.
With the arrival of the MKIII, the Rockerverb has taken yet another step up in quality. Its simple three-band EQ can handle everything you throw at it, as well as life on the road. Its easy to fix (if ever you need to) and you can mismatch the valves if you’re in a real rush to put together a working live rig.
If there’s one thing orange have covered which other amp manufacturers sometimes neglect, it’s bassists. Orange bass amps are almost as renowned as their guitar counterparts. They follow exactly the same principles; great tone minus the messing about.
Orange cover a wide variety of bass setups, from simple Crush practice combos, onto hybrid Terror territory, OB1 solid state rackmount designs and right up to the full fledged AD200 tube bass head. Features across the board include Pad switches to accommodate active and passive pickups and nifty ‘Clean’ switch fitted to the Terror, which brushes off some of the tonal grit. At their core, these are simply great sounding amps.
You’ll need a top speaker cab to match your shiny new Orange head amp. Luckily, Orange make a ton of these, in both senses of the word. Orange cabinet are made of a thick birch ply to get the most out of the housed high-end speakers. They’re a little heavier than your standard cabs, but totally worth it.
You’ll find both straight and angled variations, plenty of different sizes, closed and open back configurations and a plethora of speakers to choose from for bass and guitar. Some contain the likes of the direct sounding Celestion Vintage 30s, others use Orange’s custom-made speakers. If you’re rocking a matching head, you’re bound to get a carefully crafted tone.
Orange Amps make guitar pedals too! And they’re not going to cost the earth either. These handy stompboxes stretch from vintage compressor effects to classic Orange fuzz and beyond.
The Bangeetar is a full-on preamp style pedal capable of adding new dynamics to your amp sound. Meanwhile, the Two Stroke hybrid boost and EQ will bump up specific frequencies exactly how you like. Orange tone in a box? You can’t go wrong.
The Pedal Baby power amplifier is yet another highlight of the range and a genuine travel solution for touring musicians. Most venues already provide an Orange or Marshall cab, and you probably have a modelling amp or preamp. So all you need to bring is an amp to produce clean headroom and offer a steady platform for your guitar pedals. The Pedal Baby will do all this with aplomb thanks to its 100 watts of class A/B power and portable size.