Are Orange Amps Good?

Anyone who plays the guitar or is just starting will have come across the brand called Orange. They make many kinds of amplifiers for guitar that offer players different sounds and functions.

But are Orange amps good, or are they simply overhyped? Whether you are a beginner looking to purchase your first amp or a semi-pro shopping for your second one, this article will surely help you answer that question.

are orange amps good

Does Orange Make Good Amps?

Orange amps are very good. They’re popular among professional musicians, and they have a reputation for being high quality and reliable. Whether you’re looking for an amp with authentic vintage tones or something more modern sounding like metal or hard rock, there’s sure to be an Orange model made just right for you.

History of Orange Amps

Orange Music Electronic Company was founded in 1968 by Cliff Cooper. He was a musician and electronics designer who first set it up and called it the Orange Shop. At the time, the psychedelic era was emerging, and many famous British bands were going for bold and experimental sounds. 

Cliff realized that no music shops catered to this new style, so he wanted the Orange Shop to be unique, unlike any established shops. Orange amps quickly expanded and became popular among guitar players worldwide because of their high-quality sound, affordability, and portability.

Where Are Orange Amps Made?

Orange amps are made in the UK and China. The Orange TH series amps are made in China, while their other models are made in the UK. Although they moved some production to China, Orange never wanted their amplifiers to be OEM-produced. Instead, they built their factories in China to ensure quality.

When Did Orange Amps Come Out?

Orange amplifiers first came out in late 1968 in London, England. At the time, their striking orange color and picture-frame design were revolutionary. 

When Orange was beginning as a music shop in the late ’60s, no manufacturers wanted to supply Cliff Cooper with new equipment. Because of this, Cliff decided that he would build his own amplifiers.

The decision was fitting, seeing that Cliff studied electronics in college. Soon after, his amplifier manufacturing company got recognized worldwide.

What Are Orange Amps Known for?

Orange amps work for that big, slow, low-end-boost, beefy-mids sound. Their signature sound that we now know today kicked off in 1971 when Orange designed their Graphic ‘Pics Only’ amplifier. This amplifier had a distinctive warm and crunchy sound, designed with unique hieroglyphic symbols.

Orange amps, particularly the Tiny Terror, also achieved cult-classic status in the early 2000s when many players of stoner metal used them. They became very popular with modern hard rock and metal players who wanted to add fizzy high gain sounds to their rig.

What Do Orange Amps Sound Like?

The sound of Orange amps has a very distinct character. Orange makes darker-sounding amps, which means they push lower frequencies more than other brands.

It’s one of the main reasons why people like Orange—the sound has a tight bass and pronounced midrange that listeners can hear over the rest of the band. The tone is also unmistakable when you compare it to other amps.

What Genre Are Orange Amps Good for?

Orange amps are the best choice for modern metal and hard rock. They can also be a good fit if you’re playing in a classic rock or punk band. While you can still use Orange amps in various music styles, they have a distinct sound that makes them great in these genres. 

If you’re looking to play other types of music like jazz, other amplifier brands will suit your needs.

Best Orange Amplifiers

The best Orange amps are the ones that meet your needs. Whether you’re a beginner or professional playing metal, rock, blues, doom, or anything in between, an Orange amp could suit you.  

For Practicing: Orange Crush 12

The Crush 12 is a small and portable amp that beginners can use for practicing anywhere. It has a new CabSim-loaded headphone output. It means playing huge tones at a whisper volume, making this model an ideal practice partner.

Its overdrive control lets you sculpt a wide range of dirty tones, from sweet and crunchy to rich and thick. The newly voiced EQ section also gives you even more control.

(Source: OrangeAmps.com)

Check out our picks for 12 Best Guitar Amps Under $500 here.

For Recording/Gigging: Orange AD30HTC

This two-channel, 30-watt amp is perfect if you’re gigging with a band. The AD30 has a classic clean tone but breaks up great and handles pedals well. Both channels of the AD30 have a similar range of gain. Its EQ is very versatile as well.

The AD30 can produce classic rock tones sought after by guitar players like Jimmy Page of Led Zeppelin. Jimmy first fell in love with the AD30 when he was touring with the Black Crowes in 1999. After that, he got one for his studio and touring rigs, and has been playing them ever since.

(Source: OrangeAmps.com)

Who Uses Orange Amps?

Orange amps are used by famous guitarists who love the classic British sound of rock. Artists like Jimmy Page, Geddy Lee, Steve Harris, Jim Root, and John McVie have all famously used Orange amps at one point or another.

Aside from these famous players using Orange amps for their music projects, many others have also been known to use them. These include bands like:

  • Iron Maiden
  • Slipknot
  • Mastodon
  • Fleetwood Mac
  • Sepultura
  • Polyphia
  • Deftones

Does Orange Sound Like Marshall Amps?

Both Marshall and Orange amps are British, but they are distinct in their style and tone. Marshall’s signature sound is described by sizzling distortion, crunchy gain, and a thick low end. On the other hand, Orange amps offer tons of gain but still maintain incredible clarity and definition. 

If you’re looking for the classic British sound that defined rock in the ’60s, go with a Marshall. An Orange amp might be right up your alley if you’re into heavier sounds like heavy metal or hard rock.

Check out Killer Rig’s full Marshall vs Orange comparison here.

Is Orange Better Than Fender?

Orange amps are louder and more powerful than Fender, making it easier for you to play at high volume. The tone of the Orange amp is also more distinct and unmistakable. So if you like your sound to stand out from others, Orange is probably a good choice for you.

Check out our full Marshall vs Fender comparison here.

Are Orange Amps Worth It?

Orange amps are certainly a big part of the electric guitar scene, but are they worth their price? Let’s take a look at some pros and cons:

Pros

  • The tone of an Orange is bright and punchy, which makes them great for rock music. 
  • Because Orange amps are British, something about their sound makes them stand out from others.
  • They’re not just good sounding. They’re also reasonably affordable compared to other brands that sound just as good.

Cons

  • If you’re doing anything outside of rock and metal music (like jazz), then Orange amps aren’t the best choice. 
  • Orange amps don’t have enough versatility in tone control options and effects processing capabilities compared to other brands.

In the end, Orange amps are worth it if you fit the music style they specialize in. They’re affordable and great-sounding. You just have to find the model that perfectly suits your needs.

Conclusion

In conclusion, Orange amps are good. You just need to know what to pay attention to when buying one. Most of their amps are also very portable, and the tone is pretty good. Orange amps are worth looking into if you’re in the market for a new model.

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Don East

My name is Don East, I'm the editor for Killer Rig. I've been playing guitar for over 20 years and have designed and manufactured products like guitar amps, effects pedals, and more. Over the years I have played in many bands and have a deep love for quality gear. I am an electrical engineer and have a passion for music gear, and now want to share what I know with the community!