Far from being a practice guitar amp, in this Orange Micro Terror Amp Review, we’ll see how this new Orange head can hold itself comfortably at rehearsal, studio, or stage.
First came the Dual Terror, then the Tiny Terror, and the Dark Terror. And now: The Micro Terror. Reducing the meaning of the word stack (head + baffle) to its minimum expression, Orange produced a true marvel, both sonically and aesthetically. Indeed, the Micro Terror is to be displayed on a shelf. Let’s take a closer look at what this new amp model is all about.
The Orange Micro Terror is a tiny Tiny head with a huge tone. The Micro Terror is a global phenomenon; with Tiny Terror inspiration, this miniature reincarnation couples a valve preamp, which brings enormous tones that have nothing to do with its compact and delicate size.
Weighing in at less than 1 kilo, the Orange Micro Terror is possibly the most portable amp on the market. When combined with its Orange PPC108 display, the Micro Terror’s Aux input and headphone output make it a perfect practice companion, small, and ideal for transporting.
Don’t be fooled by looks because size is the only thing small about this electric guitar head. With a high tensile strength steel housing, the Orange Micro Terror is built to the same Orange standards as the rest of the Terror family and features a single ECC83 valve.
The depth and volume that this little thing puts out is truly amazing, with an orange growl and bite in excess. In addition, the Micro Terror can be used with any 8-16 Ohm Speaker.
Bottom Line Up Top: Given the price point and size, this little hybrid amp head really sounds like a genuine valve amp. You can pair it to a bigger cabinet if you want more punch, but for what it’s worth, I know you can’t go wrong with this amp. It is just simple and straight to the point of getting a nice clean, warm tone, with the possibility of adding some nice crunch to it. Pair it with the Orange PPC 108 8″ cab, and you are set. I love it.
Orange Micro Terror Review
From a broad perspective, the construction is good. We are presented with a well-painted and silkscreened metal chassis for lovers of Orange and specifically of the Terror series; this enlarger will seem a very, very nice toy.
It should be said that all the decoration of the chassis is silkscreened except for the Orange shield, which is a sticker. The buttons on the potentiometers, switches, and jacks are well finished and look well done. The chassis ensures that both the valve and internal circuitry are well protected.
If we remove the screws from the top of the amp body, we find the valve dome exposed and some breathing vents. Inside, there is the preamp valve. It comes standard with a JJ ECC83S.
The circuitry seems to be well finished except for some components that are a bit crooked or not very straight, nothing that may be a deal-breaker, and also, I suppose that depends on the specific model you get.
Usage and Features
The Micro Terror is not an amp that is particularly known for having a lot of knobs or potentiometers. It is a very simple head that can be used immediately. On the front panel, from left to right, there is the ON/OFF switch with its respective yellow LED on top of the lever.
Then we have the output jack to connect headphones. This output is not the best, and the sound loses a lot of quality as soon as we turn up the amplifier’s volume.
It is not particularly suitable for exclusive use with headphones, or at least I do not recommend it for that purpose. It is followed by another 3.5 mm jack to connect an auxiliary output (backing tracks or similar bases from a cell phone or computer).
The knobs are simple, the volume is highly sensitive, and it goes to say that for at-home use, dialing a clean will not exceed mid-settings, and with the maximum gain will not rise much more than six.
The tone is equally sensitive, regulates bass, mid and treble with just this knob, just like the tone knob on the guitar. It plays with a large palette of sounds, and varying it just a few millimeters affects the tone noticeably.
The gain starts off clean and reaches the overdrive about halfway (depending on the type of pickups we use), and from there, it increases until, at maximum, we will have enough distortion for hard rock, but not for heavier styles. Finally, we have the jack for the instrument connection.
As for the rear panel, little to say; here we find the power socket (15V 2A) supplied by the brand and the connection for the external speaker of a minimum 4Ohm.
It is worth mentioning that the power supply cable and transformer of the amplifier do not have high quality or durable feel, although you can always buy another in the future without it being a big fuss.
It is the smallest of the Terror family, and that shows in its small size; in pictures, you can see it on top of a Focusrite Scarlett Solo interface so that you can get an idea of the size. It has 20 watts RMS of power; it is a hybrid amplifier with a tube preamp (ECC83) and a solid-state or transistor stage. The clean headroom is enough to play at home and a little more, but the character and distortion come out quickly as soon as we force it a little. Its forte is the saturated sound.
Do not be fooled by its small size because it sounds very loud. With a good cabinet, it has enough volume to get you kicked out of the house or to rehearse in a small or medium-sized room.
As for its sound, the Micro Terror is capable of rocking to death. Although it does not have the variants in the field of equalization that other larger amps have, it does its job. Thus, the tone control works just like the one on our guitar. Moving on to the volume and gain controls, its balance is the one that will provide different sonorities.
With the gain very low and the volume at 50%, we will get a very clean clean, with character and presence. As the gain goes up, a soft saturation will appear, with a notable increase in volume. Now, if our thing is distortion and sustain, then we set the gain between 8 and 10, and we will regulate the volume until our neighbors come knocking.
With the sounds of this Orange, lovers of classic rock like Zeppelin, Guns N’Roses, AC/DC, and even Oasis will be delighted. Please note that the PPC108 comes with an 8″ driver; its range prioritizes mids above all the rest. So if we really want to rock, we can connect a 2 x 12″ or even a 4 x 12″ speaker, and the Micro Terror will not let you down.
Pair it with the Orange PPC 108, and you’ll have yourself the perfect combo.
Most retailers, including Thomann, sell them both as a bundle, which comes out to just over 200€. From the sturdiness of the construction (which was already assumed considering the brand) to the sound quality (likewise) and even the special touch that the eight inches give it, this is a creamy sounding cabinet in most conditions.
For those who wonder, this “micro-stack” can hit small stages, and it is more than enough, besides being fully flourished in the search for that characteristic “brit” sound that can always be squeezed a little more from blues to rock and even a “dirty” and warm metal.
I often have other options to offer when it comes to reviews, but this time around, this for me is pretty spot on. Of course, if you want to play the Micro Terror through a 12″ Celestion vintage speaker cab, you will notice the difference. In that case, I would suggest upgrading to:
Kemper has opted for a passive system that can work as a flat response speaker or transform like a chameleon into different loudspeakers responding to the simulations or profiles generated from the Kemper Profiler.
To do this, new software that is still in a prototype stage will enable an option whereby we can use the Kemper speaker simulations as before, and then the Kabinet will behave like a flat response cab (allowing us to imbue it with that Micro Terror juice).
Or if we switch it off using the Kemper Profiler’s Monitor CabOff function, it will mimic to respond with the characteristics of up to 16 different guitar speakers (Vintage 30, Greenbacks, Electro-Voice EVM12L, Jensen, etc.).
This makes the Kemper Kabinet worth its 400€ price tag and an exciting option even if you are considering upgrading your Micro Terror further along.
Pros and Cons
- Form factor. It is really rugged, lightweight, and small.
- It gives you a little taste of valve-sounding amps without the price.
- The fact it combines so well with the PPC 108 also gives you peace of mind knowing that it has a cab intended for getting all that orange juice. (how is this the first time I’ve said that?).
- The biggest pro is the sound. For god’s sake, the sound is as creamy as you can get for around 200€.
- You might prefer the Dark Terror’s 12 AX7 to an ECC83 valve.
- Lack of effects. Not even a little reverb.
- No three-way EQ.
Other Small Hybrid Amp Heads
This curious little piece is a good amp to let rip your guitar skills at home, cheap, and with exceptional portability. Its sound is really up to the level of much more expensive amps, but the few equalization options play against it.
Its 20 watts can drive a 4×12 at a volume sufficient for virtually any scenario, so I think you’re not going to fall short on power, but then again, it depends on what you mix it with.
I would bet that if you listen to it without knowing what amp it is, you would think it is a higher-end amp.
The iconic look of the 1960s Vox stack combines with newly redesigned analog technology to create the Mini Superbeetle. Powered by Nutube technology, the Vox MBSB25 offers an excellent response with the legendary tonality of Vox’s AC30.
There are also digital reverb and traditional tremolo effects onboard, providing you with the ability to add another dimension to your sound.
The Mini Superbeetle is equipped with an open back cabinet with a 10″ Celestion speaker for added projection. There is also the option to add an additional extension speaker cabinet for even higher performance or connect headphones for quiet practice.
This would be the main competitor for the Mini Terror stack and might sound slightly beefier because of the 10″ speaker, but it still doesn’t give you the bite and crunch the Orange Micro Terror does in most scenarios.
FAQs About the Orange Micro Terror Amp
Question: Is the Orange Micro Terror a Tube Amp?
Answer: The Micro Terror is neither a solid-state amp nor a complete tube amp. It’s a “hybrid” amp, which mixes the signal through an ECC83 valve in the preamp. It does sound terrific, all things said.
Question: Can You Use the Micro Terror Without a Cab?
Answer: Since it’s a “solid-state” amp with a tube in the preamp part, you can indeed. If it were an all-valve amp, you would have to run it through a cab.
Question: Does the Micro Terror Come With Reverb?
Answer: The Orange Micro Terror has no onboard effects. If you want some reverb, you’ll have to get a pedal or send it to a DAW.
Question: What Tube Comes With the Orange Micro Dark?
Answer: The Orange Micro Dark comes with a 12AX7 preamp tube instead of an ECC83 like the Micro Terror.
Orange Micro Terror Amp – Final Thoughts
Despite its size and thanks to its incredible volume, the Micro Terror is a head that packs enough volume for most scenarios. In addition, if we use only one sound register, we can set it with distortion and clean up the sound by lowering the volume of our guitar.
On top of that, the cost of the amp plus the baffle is only 25% more than a good delay pedal. So, both cosmetically and sonically, the Orange Micro Terror is a winner by any measure.
Overall the sound of this amplifier is good, but if we take into account that it costs about 140 euros at the moment, then the sound is very good. I’m happy to say it’s not a toy, even though it may look like one. It has the Orange tone well achieved.
It is unthinkable that it could sound like a Rockerverb, but the Micro Terror holds itself very well in this aspect. The beauty of the sound it has is to be aware of what it offers for the price it has. It is not just a mini head that looks nice anywhere in the room. It is practical and sounds good.