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Reviews Orange

Orange OR15 Review

With a Strong Fruit Flavor Every day that goes by it is more obvious that the famous Orange Tiny Terror turned the guitar amplification market upside down. It started a trend (a very positive one, if you ask me) for affordable, high-quality and low-power amps. In spite of the huge number of products in this segment, Orange is still the leading player when it comes to low-power tube amps. read more…

Orange Jim Root Terror #4 Review

Orange and Black It might seem incredible but, up to this day, Orange had never offered a signature amp. But now the Jim Root #4 has changed things for good! So it's time for us to put the focus on this small black animal. read more…

Orange OR50H Review

Back To The Future! The OR50H is not a new product. It belongs to the "Pics Only" series launched in 1972. It's a legend in amplification history and its "so British" sound had a great impact in the destiny of the manufacturer. Now Orange has decided to reissue a limited version of the amp for its 40's birthday. The idea was a great success and Orange decided to add this amp indefinitely to its product range. After this short story, it's time to unpack the amp. read more…

User reviews on Orange products

Powerful enough, and with a great sound. (Micro Dark)

By agmt, 23/05/2018
A single channel hybrid mini amp head with a single preamp tube, a 20W solid state poweramp, a headphone out, mono effect loop and 8-ohm output.

I needed a amp with a headphone out, at least one tube and an effect loop which was compatible with the speakers I already owned, so considering all amp heads on the market the Micro Dark was the obvious choice for me (all-tube models with a headphone out are very scarce, except fot a Bugera model which costs 3 to 4 times as much).
Oh, and the sound of course: this one goes from blues to metal in a breeze.

I’ve owned it for a week as of writing this review, and haven’t tried any of its competitors.
Please note that this amp has a rather warm sound in my opinion, it might be powerful enough in rehearsal, especially in overdriven sound or maybe even in a jazz band with a not-so-violent sound.

So, I’ve only used it at home, most often with headphones and the rest of the time plugged into one of the two speakers of my Carlsbro GLX 150 combo – Celestion 12"s, which I consider better for the lower range than the cab which comes with the Micro Dark which is only a 10”.

Soundwise finally, this head certainly gives its all with a cab. The sound of its preamp tube is not a mere myth, having only used solid state amps so far I can clearly tell the difference.
However, my headphones are awful, so it would be worth trying with quality headphones.

As for its controls, except for an on/off switch, you only have 3 knobs left to do the job.
Left from right, you have Volume, Shape and Gain.
No introduction necessary for the first one, the Shape knob controls the tone from the lows on the left to the highs on the right, and the Gain control really rocks as hard as it gets past half its course with the volume cranked up.

The way the contrôle interact with each other is very important with this amp, and those used just like me to put several od/dist pedals in front of it will often have to change the gain depending on whether you use a pedal or not.
Another point to notice it that until half its course, the Gain control works as a volume/boost with the sound remaining clean.
The drive sounds beautiful, with a simple-yet-efficient 70s-rock British sound that reminds of Vox, so it would be a pity to only consider the Micro Dark as a mere base for using pedals, which was how I originally intended to use it.
In the end, I have diminished my number of overdrive/distortion pedals after getting it.

The effect loop beautifully mixes the modulation and delay effects in, which is what I was after.

A little cons though with the lack of compatibility of some pedals, for instance the Voodoo Lab GIGGITY which doesn’t come out well, I still have to figure out why.

In the end, I recommend this excellent Orange Amps product, which features an excellent value for money. I’m happy to have discovered it.

Organic and Authentic Sounding (Acoustic Pre)

By MGR/Brian Johnston, 26/03/2019
The Orange Acoustic Pre is incredibly full-bodied, clear, warm, harmonically rich, organic and with natural compression – unlike many other acoustic preamps that color your sound or add some type of ‘enhanced’ processing.

Focusing on Channel 1 (designed for active and passive instruments), the Gain and Heat knobs work well together by increasing sharpness and vigor in the signal, which is ideal for finger-pickers… or you can dial back these controls to warm up the signal if you’re a flat-picker. The EQ is quite excellent, in that the entire spectrum is not exaggerated, but tailored to work with an acoustic guitar (as well as other instruments) so that a lot of bass, midrange or treble does not sound out of place. Besides indicating how much midrange you want, there is a midrange emphasis or sweep knob that ranges from 180Hz to 1.8kHz for more of a tailored sound. Regardless of where you establish your EQ, the tone is very real and not artificial sounding. Channel B is super clean and clear, with an uncolored and flat frequency (it is not driven by the internal tube). It is meant for a secondary instrument, mic (for singing) or to run a guitar with two internal pickups, all of which can have a mono or a stereo output. In one part of the demo I hooked up a Kiesel guitar that has two such outputs… one for the humbucker pickups and the other for the bridge piezo pickup. Because each channel has its own FX Loop, you can add different effects into each channel, run it in stereo and produce some very unique tones and results (I added the ZVEX Vibrophase to Channel B/Piezo pickup). One other thing I should mention is that the manual suggests running a patch-cable from Channel A’s Send to Channel B’s Return (and then go out in stereo via the two XLRs) to achieve Reverb in stereo, a built-in effect. The demo shows me doing this, although I recorded in Mono. Interestingly enough, the signal not only sounded louder with that patch-cable trick, but the tone sounded fuller and of a higher quality. I’m unsure why that is, but I’m not complaining. I very much like the Heat knob, as increasing ‘heat’ drives the valve a bit harder to add some subtle, fatness, harmonics and modest compression (ideal for finger-style picking, to make the notes pop better, but also to add a punch to flat-picking).

I could not get the sound I wanted in my acoustic recordings, and so, I didn’t bother with the medium much… until now. Although I still need some engineering/mixing experience in that regard, the Orange Acoustic Pre, the world’s first stereo valve acoustic preamp/active DI, produces an outcome that is both realistic and encouraging. With its tube-driven technology (12AX7/ECC83), this preamp produces warm and natural sounds that can be boosted via its HEAT knob, to drive the tube gain even harder. What this does is produce a sharper attack for finger-pickers, or simply dial back the preamp’s Heat for a warmer attack and for flat-pickers. Moreover, the valve circuitry was designed to amplify a much wider frequency range in order to project those subtle details inherent in acoustic instruments. Beyond its great sound, you can add a mic or second instrument to Channel B (which does not have a heat knob and produces a flatter response) or run your guitar in stereo (ideal for instruments with two pickup sources). The Orange Acoustic Pre also includes a built-in Reverb, which sounds very natural and ambient, and if you run a patch cable from Channel A’s Send to Channel B’s Return (fx loops) you can run the Reverb in stereo. There are several other features, including regular lines in/out, but also balanced XLR in/outs (for that stereo effect), Phase Inversion switches for both channels, ground lifts and a Mute switch (a separate on/off foot switch can be included via the rear of the unit). Although the Orange Acoustic Pre has a few short-comings, such as Channel A having an 18dB boost, whereas Channel B has +/- 12dB, no notch filter, boost switch or tuner output, this unit still delivers in sound quality that will match what can be found in quality studios. In fact, the Orange Acoustic Pre was designed for live and in-studio use with the assistance of Harpejji and fingerstyle jazz guitarist Martin Taylor (guitarist for Stevie Wonder).

Somewhat easy to use, depending on the complexity of your setup, the Orange Acoustic Pre takes little time to get to know. To look at it from a simple perspective, there is a quarter-inch line in and out, which is true of both channels, although most mono players would use Channel A only. That channel has both a Gain and Heat knob. Gain adjusts the level input, whereas Heat alters the level of valve gain in the upper frequencies (adding compression and harmonics), which helps keep the signal sparkly and punchy for finger-pickers, whereas flat-pickers will experience better results by keeping the Heat down (unless you want a sharp attack). The EQ is straight forward, in that you can mix as much bass, treble and midrange as desired, whereas the midrange also has a sweepable Frequency knob to select the center frequency from 180Hz – 1.8kHz, a feature that really adds to tonal shaping. Channel A is very warm and organic sounding, whereas Channel B has a flatter response not driven by the internal 12AX7/ECC83 tube (meant as a very clean channel for a mic or secondary guitar input, e.g., a guitar with two pickup outputs). Channel B has the same EQ controls with a Gain control. Both Channels are affected by a Line Volume control, but also a Main Volume (which affects the XLR outputs). There also is a 48V phantom power that you can switch on for Channel B’s XLR input (if you choose to use that input, although that channel also has a quarter-inch input). Both channels have a Phase Inversion switch, which reverses the audio waveform, ideal if a guitar with two pickup sources run out of phase. However, when flipping this switch with a regular guitar you do get a more ‘pinpoint’ or dynamically narrow tone (if that’s what you like). Both channel XLR outputs have a ground lift, to reduce any background noise/hum. A cool feature is that both channels has its own FX Loop, which means you can add a phaser or flange to one channel, whereas the other could have a delay or tremolo, making for a lot of different hookup possibilities and sounds. Finally, there is a built-in reverb, which is very natural and quite good in its own right, affecting both channels concurrently.

A beast of a pedal, the Orange Acoustic Pre measures 11.4 (l) x 5.9 (w) x 3.5 (h) inches (29 x 15 x 9 cm) and weighs 5.5 lbs (2.5 kg). Its solid-steel chassis with rack mount handles has a power-coated paintjob and was built for rigorous road use. Although it may seem large and heavy, it is meant for acoustic instruments, and so most acoustic-based musicians will not have large pedalboards that are common among electric players. Therefore, having the Orange Acoustic Pre on a pedalboard, along with a handful of modulation/delay pedals certainly would not be out of place or excessively heavy/large. There are no foot switches, and turning the unit on and off is controlled either by a toggle switch (Mute) or via a separate foot pedal (that connects to the back of the unit). There are fourteen control knobs, all of which are of good quality and the pots turn with a solid and smooth feel. There are six toggle switches that control mute, ground lift, phase inversion and +48V boost (XLR Channel 2) that all produce a solid click, located at the top of the unit. All cable (including power) inputs/outputs are located in the back for tidiness and to keep any cables out of the way. The LED is a large high-quality crystal-type light. The Orange Acoustic Pre also comes with a 12V 1.25A power supply with interchangeable plug ends (to accommodate various countries). Overall, this ‘tank’ will provide years of service, whether in studio or on the road.

News Orange

[NAMM] Orange presents ‘O’ Edition Headphones

Published on 01/25/16
During the NAMM Show, Orange Amplification has introduced the ‘O’ Edition Headphones.

[NAMM] Orange's Tiny Terror turns 10

Published on 01/21/16

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