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Orange Bass Amp Review and Guide

Orange Bass Amp Review and Guide

In my Orange Bass amp review and guide, you will find everything you need to know about this long-standing, British brand and hopefully find the right Orange amp for you.

Orange amps epitomize all we love about the iconic British guitar tone, and they have been a staple of the ‘big three’ British amp producers since their 1968 beginning. Now, with a varied product range consisting of incredibly powerful combo amps, bass gear, and lunchbox heads, there is a lot to consider when buying an Orange bass amp, which is where I come in!

If you’re just interested in finding out my thoughts on the amps in this guide, without having to read the entire piece, here’s a quick summary:

My Bottom Line Up Front: My favorite amp has to be the Orange Amplifiers Crush Bass 100W 1×15 Bass Combo Amp, and this is due to the affordability, incredible variety and excellent portability. If you want an amp you can really experiment with, then the Orange Amplifiers Rocker 32 30W 2×10 Tube Guitar Combo Amp’s is a also solid choice.

Orange Bass Amp

Image from Flickr

Before I dive into the company, its amps, and my personal recommendations, here are the Orange amps I will be reviewing in full further on in this post:

4 Best Orange Bass Amps

About Orange Amps

Orange Bass Amps

Founded in 1968, Orange amps have grown exponentially in popularity over the previous decades. With humble beginnings in a London store basement, the prodigy of Cliff Cooper is now a household name across the globe.

Orange prides itself on making bass amps of the highest quality. ‘Best of British’ with no unnecessary features, or crazy switches, just the very best components and craftsmanship. The result is an amp and sound that will put many other brands to shame, regardless of the musical genre.

Imagine a tone so great that it could be applied to polar opposite musical genres without the need for major FQ adjustments? This is precisely the versatility you get with an Orange amp.

Finding the Right Orange Bass Amp for you

When looking at how to find the best amp, there’s a plethora of information out there, and so much of it is unnecessary, repeated, or rehashed. Fundamentally, there are a few things to consider that matter most, and I’ll break these down here:

Amp Type

There are three main types of amp: Tube, Solid-State, and Digital. While tube amps are often considered the traditional and ideal choice, today, there are digital and solid-state amps that are a pretty good match for a lot fewer dollars and with fewer maintenance headaches.

If you’re buying an amp online, it’s tough to get a genuine feel for that product, but many video and audio streaming sites will allow you to hear the differences between the three amp types. You can also scan our site for valuable, unbiased information on things such as tube Vs. Solid-state amps.

Amp Size

If you’re in an apartment and need an amp purely for home recording, then a 100-watt stack is going to be overkill. Conversely, a 10-watt combo will be woefully insufficient if you’re playing in a heavy metal band.

The amp must be suitable for your primary application, and it helps if it is versatile for different uses – few musicians stick to one designated area and genre all of the time.

As a general rule of thumb, opting for at least 15-watts of tube power is a cost-effective way of ensuring you have some amp support wherever you need it.

Price

Everyone has a budget when looking to purchase something new, and this is no different when amp shopping. Today, there are some pretty nifty amps out there for well under $100 (see here for our best battery-powered amps recommendations as great examples of this).

You don’t have to spend a lot to gain a lot with an amp anymore, but it is down to you what is considered too much and what will be an investment.

If you’re a professional musician who plays for a living, it makes financial sense to go for the best quality you can afford. However, if you’re just testing the waters, then it may be wise to go with cheap and cheerful while you’re still undecided how far you’ll want to go with your guitar playing.

Additional Features

The foremost considerations will be tone and volume, but it is also advisable to consider what extra features – if any – you want from your amp. For example, built-in effects can be awesome if you want an all-in-one, no-hassle amp, but they may not be as customizable as external effects processors and pedals.

An effect loop can be beneficial for effects like delay and a digital reverb, but could be an unnecessary expense for things you may not use much.

4 Best Orange Bass Amps

Orange Amplifiers Crush Bass 100W 1×15 Bass Combo Amp

 

  • Solid State Amp
  • Built-in FX Loop
  • Built-in Chromatic Tuner
Find it Here
Orange Amplifiers Crush Bass 25W Bass Combo Amp

 

  • Solid State Amp
  • 2 Color Options
  • Smallest Model in the Crush Bass Amp Range
Find it Here
Orange Amplifiers Terror Bass 500W Tube Hybrid Bass Amp Head

 

  • 500W Hybrid Bass Amp
  • Tube Preamp / Solid-state Power Amp
  • Single Input with Switchable Sensitivity for Active or Passive Pickups
Find it Here
Orange Amplifiers Rocker 32 30W 2×10 Tube Guitar Combo Amp

 

  • All-valve Stereo Guitar Amp
  • Compact and Portable
  • 2 Color Options
Find it Here

#1 Orange Amplifiers Crush Bass 100W 1×15 Bass Combo Amp

Orange Amplifiers Crush Bass 100W 1x15 Bass Combo Amp

What makes the Orange Amplifiers Crush Bass 100W 1×15 Bass Combo Amp stand out from many other combo amps is the active EQ circuit, which has been inspired by the EQ in Oranges Stroke Series bass amps. For a brand that focuses on the simple, there is a lot of technology within this amp.

The treble EQ provides up to 20dB of boost, while the middle and bass EQ controls offer 15dB. A parametric frequency sweep from 300Hz to 2.7kHz from the midrange EQ gives precise control of a remarkable range of valuable bass textures and tones. The Blend control lets you dial in bi-amped tones, with distorted grit omitted from the Gain control.

Additional professional-quality features included a built-in chromatic tuner, EQ output, -6dB input pad switch, reflex port which enhances the low-end response, and an optional footswitch (sold separately here). More basic features include a standard headphone output jack and ⅛-in auxiliary input.

When first plugging into this amp, one thing is immediately apparent – the Orange Amp Crush Bass 100W Combo is loud! I discovered that it is simple to dial in any tone you could ever possibly want, with this cabinet being perfectly tuned to provide articulate yet powerful tones across the genres.

I found that when using the Blend and Gain control simultaneously, there are two distinct layers of distorted and clean tones that sound pretty fantastic.

Pros

  • Lightweight and Portable (53.46 lbs – 24.24 kg)
  • Valuable Features
  • Excellent Sound for all Genres
  • Easy to Operate
  • Good Price

Cons

  • Footswitch not Included
  • Some Players Wanted More Volume

#2 Orange Amplifiers Crush Bass 25W Bass Combo Amp

Orange Amplifiers Crush Bass 25W Bass Combo Amp

Like the rest of the amps in the series, the best quality materials and workmanship are evident with the Orange Amplifiers Crush Bass 25W Bass Combo Amp. Although this amp is the smallest in the range, its features are impressive, especially the sweepable, semi-parametric Middle and Bass EQ.

With the built-in tuner, headphone socket, and Aux-in, this affordable Orange amp is an excellent choice for those looking for a practice amp. After all, this amp has been designed with high-tonal-quality home practice in mind. It’s a little too large for a desktop but perfect for an unused corner or generous shelf; weight: 18.26 lbs / 8.28 kg.

Due to the 8-in speaker, there are obviously some limitations in terms of volume predominantly. However, there is a much deeper and larger sound than you may imagine given the compact size of the Orange 25W Combo – dimensions: 12.8 in. x 14.37 in. x 9.25 in – and it is perfectly adequate for small-venue jamming sessions.

There isn’t a distortion circuit, but the boom is helped via the rear port, and it has the same replete with programmable midrange, EQ, and a chromatic tuner. Moreover, there isn’t an effects loop, but I presume this would be surplus to requirements given the size of the amp.

The Orange 25W Combo emits a focused, clean tone, and while it is unreasonable to expect an amp of this size to produce room-shaking lows, there is ample bass that results in a balanced, well-rounded sound.

Pros

  • Highly Affordable
  • Perfect for High-Tonal-Quality Home Practice
  • Surprisingly Deep, Full Sound (given the size)
  • Compact and Portable
  • Expert Craftsmanship; Durable, Reliable

Cons

  • Won’t Fill a Large Room/Venue

#3 Orange Amplifiers Terror Bass 500W Tube Hybrid Bass Amp Head

Orange Amplifiers Terror Bass 500W Tube Hybrid Bass Amp Head

Redesigned, on fans’ request in 2018, the Orange Amplifiers Terror Bass 500W Tube Hybrid Bass Amp Head has retained many of its original features when it was the original Orange Terror Bass Amp. A few notable upgrades include the tonal color and more grind.

I love the vintage aesthetics of the metal ‘lunchbox’ style, which, as well as looking classic, also makes this amp head one of the most robust out there. Encased in strong metal, with a hard-wearing carry case and durable handle, it is perfect for players on the road – its weight is just 9.9 lb / 4.4 kg, so transportation is not an issue.

The Orange Terror Base 500W Hybrid is based on the AD200 amp, utilizing a 12AT7 vale for the FX loop and Send output and a 12AX7 valve in the preamp stage. The return input has a solid-state Class D output stage and solid-state stage. I noted how efficient the ventilation system is, ensuring the top and sides of the chassis remain cool at all times.

Each side of the unit has inputs, outputs, selector switches, and controls, giving the player as much flexibility as possible. However, this is by no means a cluttered amp.

On the front control panel, you will find the basic controls; three-band EQ, a Clean switch for non-distorted operation, Gain and Volume controls, a -6dB Pad switch for active basses, and a Standby option.

There is an impedance switch and Speakon outputs on the rear, with a voltage switch located on one side. The opposite side hosts the FX loop, Ground/Lift switch, and the XLR DI.

As you’d expect from the brand, the unit is eye-catching and feels of high quality. But, to play devil’s advocate, I do feel like the front panel, in particular, is a little ‘plasticky’ and somewhat slippy to operate. I found that the controls can turn a bit too smoothly, with little resistance, so it is easy to overdo things.

Pros

  • Iconic Rich Orange Tone
  • Good Power Output
  • Highly Versatile
  • Vintage, Classic Aesthetics
  • Outstanding Sound

Cons

  • Underwhelming Front Panel
  • Highly Sensitive Knobs
  • Currently Only Available to Pre Order
  • Large Financial Layout for an Amp Head

#4 Orange Amplifiers Rocker 32 30W 2×10 Tube Guitar Combo Amp

Orange Amplifiers Rocker 32 30W 2x10 Tube Guitar Combo Amp

The Orange Amplifiers Rocker 32 30W 2×10 Tube Guitar Combo Amp is built to typical Orange standards with a heavy-duty steel chassis, tough basketweave grilles, and chunky ply cabinets. It feels strong and durable, and previous users speak of its excellent longevity.

The wiring and components inside the unit all appear to be first class. The electronics are PCB-based, and there is one large board that holds most of the elements, including the valve sockets and front panel controls.

The Orange Rocker 32 powers up smoothly, with little-to-no humming. While the natural channel only has one volume control, it is dialed perfectly to compliment any guitar; sounding wonderful with a glassy treble rising to a captivating chime at increased volume levels.

Many consumers, and I agree, find the overall sound remarkably reminiscent of the EL84-powered AD30R, one of the most sought-after Orange amps after its relaunch in the late 1990s. I was particularly impressed with the gain control on the Dirty channel and its extensive range, which optimizes everything from Brit rock to modern metal.

Pros

  • True Stereo Capability
  • Incredible Sound
  • Fun and Easy to Use
  • Compliment any Guitar
  • Excellent Longevity

Cons

  • At 20kg it’s Hefty to Lug Around
  • Pretty Expensive

Frequently Asked Questions

Question: Which Musicians are Using Orange Bass Amps?

Answer: Some of the world’s biggest musicians are keen fans of the brand, choosing their incredible sound and iconic color over the likes of Fender and Marshall.

Over the years, not only have major, international musicians used Orange amps, they’ve also worked alongside the brand to create signature amps. Today, the amps are beloved by superstars such as Slipknot’s Jim Root, Iron Maiden, Oasis, and even Beyonce.

Question: Should I Pay More for Amps With Extra Features and Technology?

Answer: You shouldn’t be paying for additional features that you’ll never use – and this is why Orange is such a good brand, there are no gimmicks, add-ons, innovative technology, and sometimes basic is fantastic. However, if you’re well into your technology, here’s a guide to our favorite amps with Bluetooth that may interest you.

Question: How are Orange Bass Amps Different from Marshall Amps?

Answer: While both brands produce amps that can certainly play a wide range of genres, there are some subtle differences between the two. Predominantly, Orange amps tend to sound more boomy and fuzzy, making them ideal for metal, while Marshall amps have a crunchier tone which is more appropriate for rock and roll.

Orange Bass Amp; Which is Best for You?

What makes the best amp for you will depend on various things. To finish this piece, I will sum up the amps reviewed above to help narrow down your choice.

With the Orange Amplifiers Crush Bass 100W 1×15 Bass Combo Amp, you get incredible variety, excellent performance, and valuable features in a portable all-in-one design that will easily fit into any trunk. The price point is within the affordable range, and most feedback for the Orange Bass 100W Combo is good-to-excellent, with very little in the form of criticism.

As with all amps in this series, the Orange Amplifiers Crush Bass 25W Bass Combo Amp emphasis is on practical sounds; there’s nothing synthetic or weak, despite the excellent affordability and compact size of the 25W Combo. I fully back this amp and have found little-to-no drawbacks to it for the home musician or casual hobbyist player.

The Orange Amplifiers Terror Bass 500W Tube Hybrid Bass Amp Head is undoubtedly a powerful little unit when it comes to sound. There’s plenty of body and a warm tone, especially when playing with a pick where you’ll instantly experience a true rock tone, with the perfect blend of distortion and crispiness. Overall, a very impressive amp head that we hope to remain back with us for some time!

The Orange Amplifiers Rocker 32 30W 2×10 Tube Guitar Combo Amp’s most irresistible aspect is its stereo capability; producing a clean, unaffected sound with complete ease is pretty special. By spending time experimenting with this amp and its capabilities, you will continue to be amazed at how much it can do.