Price paid: $ 1900
Purchased from: Guitar Center
Features: First off, when I saw an amplifier that was Orange I knew it had to be from the critically acclaimed Orange amplifiers, and I immediately knew this was going to be in my possession, no matter what I had to give.
I wanted an amp that would be all tubes and give a great mix of warm cleans and dirty yet clean bluesy tones. This amp seemed to work well enough for that, having a main channel with a foot switch to give it a tad bit more gain. The Orange Retro 50 is perfect for blues and more classical rock players, with not any sight of complexity that most amps do have. There is no effects loop at all, just a input jack with a foot switch jack. There are two different loudness settings on the amp, and these are the 30 watt or the 50 watt switch that is found on the backside of the amp. The tubes for the power amp are EL-34's and man, are they durable! // 9
Sound: The sound out of this amp is beautiful when it comes to the warmth of the tones out of the clean channel. As you get more and more gain piled up, if becomes a tad bit more muffly, that being because it was not generally made for metal or hard hard rock. This problem can be fixed if you look into a good equalizer and turn the level high, but that would make it a pedal and that just gets too complicated, lets keep it simple and use it for what it is, a beautifully sounding clean amplifier with Orange rims and a white display. I run a Schecter S1 Elite with a Seymour Duncan 59 in the neck pickup and an Seymour Duncan Invader in the bridge. The 59 gives such a warm and smooth clean tone, it is literally ridiculous. The invader spices it up with some more distorted clean tones even with little gain, which can make it perfect if looking for a funky tone to add to the amp. The clean channel does get a little too distorted for my tastes with a high gain and a high master volume, but that can always be changed with the gain setting. The only flaw seems to be the fuzzy and muffled higher gained channel and the fact metal is not made for this amp. // 7
Reliability & Durability: I have used this amp without a backup and it is perfect, the tubes have been solid for about 2 years and have not lost too much power. I play with this amplifier on a significantly loud setting and the sound seems to never fade. No reason to neglect it with its awesome looks and virtually jaw dropping sound! // 10
Overall Impression: Overall, how can someone not want to have this or another one of Orange's amplifiers in their house? The Retro 50 is easily one of the least complex amps I have ever played, and this makes it easy to bring from place to place without any trouble. The 3 setting equalizer may not be the best way to match the tone of your dreams, but with the great tubes and overall great sound, how can it not come close? Again, the only problem is to get that metal tone you do need an outside pedal to kick it up a notch, but that just brings more excess hum than needed, which is another reason to love this amp, it is quiet when nothing is being played and the guitar is at rest. Overall, a classical rock, folky, funky, or even bluesy player would love to have this in their repertoire. // 9
- Sean Michael Gonzalez (c) 2010