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Have you ever felt completely overwhelmed when browsing guitar amps to purchase? I sure have – it doesn’t matter whether you are a new guitarist starting their musical journey or a seasoned shredder, guitar amplifiers are always needed.
Every amp has its idiosyncrasies and this can make it an incredibly difficult purchasing decision, but a product range that I have always found myself going back to is the Orange Crush amp series.
If you’ve never heard of these amplifiers, you have probably at least seen them. They are absolute staples of the guitar community, found all over the world from in band practice rooms to the home studios of famous guitarists.
However, the range features several different variations of the signature ‘Orange Crush’ amp, so how are you supposed to know which one is the best for you?
This is a great question and one that I struggled with for several years before eventually biting the bullet. I learned a lot throughout that time, so I’ve decided to aggregate all of the knowledge I gained along the way to help you figure it out and save you time on research. Read on to find out more!
Bottom Line Up Front: Orange has provided a vast range of fantastic amps in different shapes and sizes for its Orange Crush series, with options such as the Orange Crush 12 and 35RT being fantastic for beginners on a budget and with volume limitations.
However, if you’re looking for something loud and proud for band practices and gigs, the Orange Super Crush 100 has to be the best option.
What are Orange Crush Amps?
Before we investigate further into the different Orange Crush amps that are available, let’s provide a little bit of context. Orange Amps is a fantastic amplifier company based in the British City of London, and they have been producing some of the highest quality amplifiers on the market for the last half-decade.
Everyone from Jimmy Page to Jim Root has put their faith in the tones of these amps, with many favoring them for their unmatchable tones, orange aesthetic, and minimalistic functionality.
However, Orange don’t just produce one type of amp, they’ve released all sorts of product ranges over the years. These vary from the Orange Terror amp heads to the Tremlord combo amps and Orange Bass amps, carefully designing different amplification solutions for different purposes.
However, perhaps the most popular range from this company is the Orange Crush series.
So, what makes Orange Crush stand out from the other options? Well, Orange Crush amplifiers are essentially Orange’s entry-level option, focused on providing affordable and excellent value-for-money amplifiers that are portable and not too loud.
The amps have been designed like this to be ideal as a practice amp, providing a seriously high-quality tone without you having to crank the volume up to 100.
This makes Orange Crush amps excellent options for beginners and experts alike – everyone needs to sit down in their bedroom and practice the guitar or learn a riff, but big volumes and clunky amps can get in the way of this.
It’s essentially the most accessible, convenient, and affordable product range that Orange produces, and the sound of them is fantastic.
Why Should You Consider Orange Crush Amps?
With Orange offering so many fantastic guitar amplifier ranges, it can be difficult to know which one you should go for. I’ve known many people that have assumed that the most expensive option would be best, heading straight for the Orange Rocker, Tremlord, or Rockerverb series.
There’s no denying that these are all fantastic options and provide a much louder and fuller sound than Orange Crush amps.
However, several of the people I know who own these amps have regretted their purchase and wished they instead just went for something in the Orange Crush series. Why was this exactly? Let’s take a look at the main reasons.
Size and Portability
Out of everyone I know who bought Orange amps and regretted their purchase, the most common reason had nothing to do with the quality of the amp, but its size and portability.
I don’t think there’s a single amplifier that Orange produce that doesn’t sound incredible, but they come in a large variety of sizes, and some are simply too big to be practical.
Sure, if you’re a professional guitarist on tour, then you’re going to want to go for one of the larger stack amp options. However, if you’re looking for something to use in your bedroom or easily transport to band practice rooms, these are simply going to be impractical.
I will always remember joining my first blues band – me and some guys I’d met were going to meet up for a quick jam to share some ideas.
However, half the practice was used up by us having to help the rhythm guitars lug his enormous Orange cabinet from a car down the road. I couldn’t help but wonder why he didn’t just bring an Orange Crush, it would have been more than enough.
Orange Crush amps are the smallest in the ranges that Orange provides, and this makes them extremely easy to transport. They have handles to make this even easier, and moving them around is a one-person job.
It’s not just about transporting it though – even if you are going to leave your amp in one place, Orange Crush amps are great for conserving space. We’ve all been there when the guitarist’s cabinet takes up half the space of the practice room – it’s just unnecessary!
The next thing to consider when buying an Orange Crush amp is the fact that they are the lowest volume amps in Orange’s inventory. Initially, this may sound like a bad thing – after all, isn’t rock ‘n’ roll all about turning that volume up to eleven!?
Sure, there is some truth to this, there’s no better feeling than craning a guitar amp up to full volume and ripping out a huge power chord. However, is it always necessary to do that? Absolutely not.
One of the biggest problems with high wattage amplifiers is that they need to be played at full volume to maximize the tonal quality. If you’re using a huge Orange stack amp but only have it on volume level one, you are only going to hear a skeleton of what the amp can truly produce.
However, if you go for a lower wattage option such as those in the Orange Crush range, you can instead play the amplifier at the highest volume and know that you are hearing exactly what the full potential of the amp sounds like.
Once again, if you are a professional guitarist who is looking for a stage amp, none of this is going to apply to you. You are going to want an amp that outputs as high volume as possible, and you’ll be playing it with full gain – that’s fair enough.
Small amps such as Orange Crush weren’t too much of a trouble, but I certainly was never able to bust out my stack amp during the day!
Overall, Orange Crush amps are the lowest wattage option in the Orange amplifier range, and that’s not a bad thing. It makes it perfect for learning the guitar and practicing songs as a band without driving the neighbors crazy. If this means that you get more opportunities to practice the guitar, then I’d say go for it!
Ah, tone – the universal word used to describe the sonic output of a guitar amplifier. It doesn’t matter how big or how many features your guitar amplifier has because if the tone sounds like trash, it’s a waste of money!
As I mentioned earlier, people often associate guitar tone with having enormous and expensive guitar amps, and in the past, this may have been the case. However, Orange has done a fantastic job at ensuring that all of its amplifier ranges have excellent tonal profiles.
The Orange Crush range is no exception to this rule. You will likely notice that when you are browsing similarly sized and wattage amplifiers from different brands, they will be significantly cheaper.
This all comes down to the magic word once again – tone. Orange has designed the Orange Crush amps specifically to deliver the powerful high-quality tones of stack amps, within a significantly smaller package.
This doesn’t make the Orange Crush series superior to other ranges in terms of tone – it just means it is as good. Ultimately, that means that you don’t have to spend thousands of dollars to get an excellent tone out of your Orange amp.
If you’re happy with lower volumes and size, then I am sure that you are going to get all the tonal qualities that you require out of the Orange Crush amp series.
Value for Money
The final thing that you should consider when purchasing Orange Crush amps is an amalgamation of the previous three points – value for money. Whenever you are purchasing any form of music equipment, this is the first thing that you should consider.
There’s no denying that guitar gear can get very expensive, particularly when searching for high-quality upgrades. Spending some additional money can make a huge difference in terms of quality and features.
Whilst this is often the case, it isn’t always. Sometimes, spending significant amounts of money on a product can be completely counterproductive. A prime example of this throughout my musical career related not to amplifiers but guitars.
I’d been learning the guitar for a couple of years and I decided that I was ready for a huge upgrade, to that of an eight-stringed electric guitar. At the time, this felt like a great decision and I was willing to pay a lot of money to provide myself with the freedom of having an additional two strings.
However, upon receiving the guitar, I quickly released that I didn’t need those additional strings. The frets of the additional two strings quickly began to gather dust, and all that money that I saved up quickly began to feel wasteful.
The point I am getting at is that Orange Crush amps are simplistic, low-wattage, and small in size, and they are priced accordingly. Sure, you could purchase an Orange amplifier that is much louder, has more settings, and is richer in tone, but do you need that? Perhaps you do or perhaps you don’t, but it’s a very important question to ask yourself.
There’s no denying that all Orange amplifiers are of excellent value for money, but that is completely dependent on what you wish to get out of the amps.
Don’t go buying a huge Orange stack amp if you’re just looking to practice the guitar in your bedroom. Now that would be a real waste of money when an amp in the Crush series would cost you a fraction of the price whilst delivering exactly what you need.
Alternative Orange Amplifier Ranges
If you read the last few sections and found yourself thinking “hmm, this doesn’t sound like something I’m looking for”, you might want to consider an alternative Orange series to the Crush.
Perhaps you are looking for a stage amp over a practice amp, or perhaps you are looking for the perfect amp head to optimize your tone. Luckily, Orange has got you covered with all manner of different amp series.
Firstly, it’s worth investigating the Orange Rocker amp series – these are combination amps that are not too big or small, providing the biting tones associated with stack amps without relying on an amp head to produce it.
There are head and stack alternatives in this range, but the Rocker combos come highly recommended by me if you’re looking for something similar to the Orange Crush series, but bigger and louder.
If you already own a stack amp and you’re looking to provide it with some fresh juice through an amp head, look no further than the Orange Terror series. I’m a huge fan of the aesthetic of this series ranging from white and orange to sheer black, but that’s not why I’m recommending you check them out.
The tones produced by these amp heads are insane, and that is particularly the case considering their low price. Don’t make the classic mistake of purchasing one of these without having a cabinet to back it up!
That brings me to my final alternative recommendation – the Orange Speaker Cabinet series. These do what they say on the tin, providing massive volume and powerful tones when combined with an amp head.
If you’ve got cash to splash and are aiming toward performing as a professional guitarist, I’d highly recommend pairing this up with a head from the Orange Terror or Ad series. These cabinets come in various sizes which is yet another sign of Orange’s versatility as a company, but the Orange PPC212-V is easily the best available.
The Best Orange Crush Amps
Now that we’ve taken a look at why you should consider Orange Crush amps and their various alternatives, let’s get down to the details of which amps stand out within the Crush series. I’ve made sure to cover a variety of price ranges and sizes, so I’m sure there’ll be something here for you!
Orange Crush 12
I thought I’d begin my recommendations with an amp that I believe summarizes the benefits of the Orange Crush series – the Orange Crush 12. This fantastic little combo amp is one of the smallest and cheapest amps that Orange produces, but don’t let that put you off.
It’s a fantastic little amp for practicing the guitar in your bedroom when there are volume restrictions, and the tone that it produces is immense considering the size and price. Its analog tone is complemented by a 3-band EQ, overdrive controls, and 12 watts of output.
Don’t worry if this is still too loud though, because it comes with a handy headphones output, meaning that you can continue practicing through the night without bothering anyone.
- One of the most affordable Orange amplifiers at well under $150
- Perfect for practicing in places with noise constraints
- Includes a headphone output for particularly silent situations
- Three-band EQ and overdrive controls
- 12 watts is plenty for bedroom practicing, but won’t be enough for band practices
- An even smaller, cheaper, and quieter option is available – the Orange Crush Mini 3W
Orange Crush 35RT
If that last amplifier felt a little bit too small and quiet for you, the next option might be more appropriate – the Orange Crush 35RT. As the name suggests, this amp provides a wattage of almost three times the amount of the Orange Crush 12, allowing it to pack much more of a punch.
It features everything that its little brother includes in addition to a reverb feature and tuner, whilst also providing significantly higher volume making it a lot more versatile. It’s still portable and small enough to use in just about every musical situation, yet the added volume allows it to stand out in louder environments.
This means that it’s a more suitable option for band practices, making it my top recommendation for beginners. You won’t have to compromise at all with this amp – you can practice with it quietly in your bedroom (with or without headphones), but you’ll still be able to use it in the practice room.
- 35 watts, making it almost three times louder than the Orange Crush 12
- Ideal for guitarists looking to practice at home as well as in the presence of a loud drummer
- 3 Band EQ, Reverb, Chromatic Tuner, and Gain controls
- Still very portable
- Significantly more expensive than similarly sized amps from other brands
- Still not loud enough to be used in live settings
Orange Super Crush 100
My final Orange Crush combination amp recommendation takes a significant step up in terms of volume, but beware because the price matches this. This amp is none other than the Orange Super Crush 100, and as the name suggests, it provides a whopping 100 watts of volume.
This is perhaps the most common Orange Crush amplifier to see in the inventory of an intermediate guitarist. It is more than loud enough for band practices and most live events, aside from large-scale halls and stadiums of course!
The tone is fantastic on its own, but can also be paired with an Orange Crush amp head providing ultimate versatility, and features everything that the previous two suggest having in terms of features.
However, it also features two channels for quick tonal switching, XLR output for studio recording, and headroom that is unmatched by other amps in the series.
There’s no denying that it is significantly more expensive than other options in the series, but if you’re looking for the versatility and accessibility of the Crush series whilst still being able to perform in high-volume situations, the Orange Super Crush 100 is the way to go!
- A massive 100 watts of output
- Ideal for home practice, band practices, and live performances
- Tone that is unmatched within the Crush series
- Two channels, making for seamless switches between clean and overdriven sounds
- The most expensive combination amp in the series
We’ve covered a ton of information regarding Orange Crush amps throughout this guide, so what better way to round it all off than with a classic FAQ? I’ve had these questions asked to me countless times, so hopefully, the answers will help you as much as they have helped everyone else!
Answer: Orange Crush Amps are a series of amplifiers produced by Orange to cater to guitarists looking for small and practical amp solutions for guitar practicing and performance.
Answer: The volume of Orange Crush amps ranges from as low as 3 watts to 100 watts.
Answer: Absolutely not – whilst Orange Crush provides various amp solutions for beginners on a budget, the series also includes larger amps for professional performance, in addition to amp head options.
Well, that brings us to the end of this guide to the best Orange Crush guitar amps! We’ve covered everything from when to consider this range, why they can be better options than other Orange series, and my top three recommendations within the series!
If you’re a
Whichever amp you choose, I’m sure you will be as happy as I am with amps from Orange. This brand has a fantastic reputation for emulating the sound of huge amp stacks in significantly smaller packages, and the tonal qualities and aesthetic are second to none. Good luck on your journey!