Since the first Orange amps were designed in the late 1960s, they have maintained their place at the forefront of rock music. The instantly recognizable design coupled with the unmistakable Orange crunch makes them the first choice for guitarists and bassists globally.
Unlike many amp manufacturers, the range produced by Orange is diverse. With so many quality options, it can be hard to decide between them. This list of the best orange amps available will give you all the information you need to make a calculated decision.
6 Best Orange Amplifiers for Guitar
Table of Contents
- 6 Best Orange Amplifiers for Guitar
- Orange Amps: Tube vs Solid State
- What to Look For When Choosing an Orange Amp
Starting off our list of the best orange amps, we have the affordable Crush 35 RT. With two separate channels that can be activated using a footswitch and a detailed 4-stage preamp, it’s a quality option at a very fair price.
The versatile range of tones that the Crush 35 RT is capable of producing is arguably its best quality. You get the crisp and punchy mids that Orange amps are known for, with warm overdrive and detailed saturation.
For straight-up rock n' roll tones, this amp is ideal. It sounds like an old-school analog amplifier and has power in abundance. There's a 3-band EQ that can be used to add or remove some of the treble, mid, or bass-tones from the output.
The "dirty" parameter gives you access to a range of saturated sounds. You can set it to produce smooth, clean tones or completely obliterate your guitar by cranking the knob up.
Thanks to the handy addition of Orange’s praiseworthy CabSim circuitry, this amplifier can convincingly emulate an orange 4 x 12" cab when playing through the headphone output. A reverb channel and onboard tuner cap off this impressive model.
The Orange Rocker 15 is the result of over a decade of tweaking the highly popular Rockerverb amplifier series from the early 00s. With dedicated clean and dirty channels, this amp provides you with heavy metal distortion, British saturation, and everything in between.
The Rocker 15 offers plenty of headroom. When playing through the clean channel, you can use the singular volume knob to highlight the character of your chosen guitar. Switch over to the dirty channel and you've entered into a world of high-gain crunch.
This 15-watt tube amp is ideal for playing gigs. The only issue is that its power may be overwhelming in a practice environment. To combat this, you can adjust the power scaling to from 15 watts, to 7, 1, or 0.5 watts when you are rehearsing.
Not only does the Rocker 15 have tubes in the power and preamp sections, but the onboard effects loop is also powered by 12AT7 tubes. There's a variety of processing options including reverb, compression, and chorus.
The Orange Micro Dark amp is a perfect option for guitarists who don't want to spend a fortune on an amplifier but still desire that classic Orange tone. This hybrid amp head produces an array of gain-draped tones in mobile and lightweight housing.
Inspired by their popular series of Dark amplifiers, Orange designed the Micro Dark to provide the versatility needed for all styles of rock music. Incredibly, there are 20 watts of power encased in this minute amp head.
Indeed, the minimalist design of the Micro Dark makes it easy to operate. Positioned on the face are three adjustable parameters – Volume, Shape, and Gain. By tweaking these three, you can create multiple tones ranging from slightly warm to scalding overdrive.
There’s an onboard headphone output for practice purposes, and the addition of a useful carry handle on the top of the amp makes it even easier to transport. The 12AX7 tubes give the amp plenty of bite and warmth.
At the rear of the amplifier, there is a dedicated buffered effects loop. This is great for conjuring up unique tones, using the classic Orange sound as a foundation, and adding your colors through processing.
Next up is the Rocker Terror 15 watt head. With a total output varying from clean and detailed to fuzzy and gain-heavy, this amp is the perfect blank canvas to paint with your chosen guitar and effects pedals.
The onboard dirty channel produces vintage tones that are full of gain and saturation and can be adjusted using the master volume and 3-band EQ controls. If you're looking for a classic gritty British tone, the Rocker Terror will suffice.
There's the useful option of switching the amp from 15, 7, 1, or 0.5 watts depending on the setting that you're playing in. This dynamic versatility means the amp is equally suited to a large venue or a small home studio.
To add the finishing touches to the Rocker Terror, Orange installed its classic valve-buffered effects loop so you can switch between several signature tones with ease. It's the perfect example of why Orange has been so popular for so many years.
The Crush Pro 120 is a very powerful amp with an array of sound-sculpting parameters. With 120 watts of signature Orange crunch, this amp head leaves no stone unturned when it comes to the tones it produces.
There are two switchable channels on the Crush Pro 120 – clean and dirty. The clean channel pays homage to classic rock guitar tones of bygone years, with sparkling highs and warm crunchy undertones.
The dirty channel, on the other hand, is an absolute powerhouse. You can dial up the gain to access screaming blues tones ideal for flashy solos, or take it one step further and step into heavy-metal distortion territory.
As with most Orange amplifiers, the onboard effects loop is of the highest quality. There's a variety of reverbs including spring, hall, and plate, and the analog dry-through maintains your guitar's original tone without compromising any aspects of it.
If you’re looking for classic 60s style British tones, I’d highly recommend the TremLord 30. This combo amp has a dual-spring reverb tank and a tube-powered tremolo, delivering all of the tones from rock n’ roll’s glory days.
Inside the TremLord 30 is a custom 12-inch speaker designed by Italian experts Lavoce. This speaker provides you with lots of headroom and a smooth, pristine top-end. It’s ideal for playing soaring melodies or jangly chords.
A notable feature of this Orange amp is its ability to switch between power modes. If you’re playing in a large space to a crowd, you can keep it at the maximum setting of 30 watts. However, for smaller rooms, you can dial it down to 15 watts.
As you can see by the name, this amplifier focuses largely on tremolo. Playing through a tube tremolo is a brilliant experience, with all the warmth and authenticity that you can imagine. It’s positioned before the effects loop so you can integrate pedals easily.
Orange Amps: Tube vs Solid State
Orange produces a vast number of amplifiers that are either tube or solid-state (there are some hybrid models too). There are distinct advantages and disadvantages to both of these types, and it boils down to what tones you would like to produce, and what options you would like to have at your disposal.
Orange Tube Amps
The range of tube-driven amplifiers produced by Orange over the past half-century is the main reason that they're so loved as a brand by so many guitarists all over the globe. Their range of tube amps produces a vintage, warm sound that is full of power. Here’s a breakdown of their characteristics:
- Natural overdriven sound
- Warm & smooth tones
- Commonly have two channels
- Built-in spring reverb & tremolo
- Adjustable wattage
Orange Solid-State Amps
Digital amplifiers provide guitarists with a cheaper option and usually have more onboard effects than their tube counterparts. Although purists would argue that their overall sound is less authentic, they are still capable of producing classic Orange tones. Here's a summary of their attributes:
- Loaded with onboard effects
- Sound is more compressed
- Less natural breakup than a tube amp
- Better suited to practice rooms
- Versatile selection of tones
What to Look For When Choosing an Orange Amp
Although the individual models do vary in terms of their sonic outputs and features, several core qualities underline every Orange amplifier.
Here’s a breakdown of the main reasons this British manufacturer has enjoyed long-lasting popularity.
Classic/Hard Rock Tones
There’s a certain grittiness to the tone of an Orange amplifier, which sounds incredible when used in a live band. Historically, they’ve been a favorite of heavy rock guitarists looking to cut through the mix and play with high intensity.
In terms of their voicings, Orange amps tend to be slightly darker sounding than Fender or Vox amplifiers. They offer ample headroom and often need to be played at loud volumes to create saturation.
One feature which is commonly included on Orange amps is an effects loop. Due to the pristine Orange clean tone, their amps blend very well with a wide range of pedals, and therefore the effects loop can be very useful.
This allows you to isolate a selection of pedals and send them directly to the Orange amplifier so that they don’t suffer from any tonal degradation or loss of signal strength,
Exceptional Build Quality
There’s no questioning the tonal and sonic quality of Orange amps, but their physical makeup is equally as impressive. They’re built like a tank, and that’s why there are so many vintage models from decades ago still working perfectly today.
If you're reading this list, you've got great taste in amplifiers. There's an option included for everyone, whether you're on a budget or don't mind splashing out. I wish you many happy hours enjoying the legendary Orange tone!