In one form or another, Orange amps have been around for a very long time. They used to be a part of the company, Matamp, where they went through stages of being Orange Matamp, Green Matamp, and just plain Matamp, which is what they are today. The similarities in tone, looks and prices have been pretty similar throughout the years, but there are differences.

To begin, Orange amps aren't custom amps. Matamp are. Orange have a lot more preamp gain than Matamp, making them ideal for metal players. The general consensus of both Matamp and Orange users (including myself at one point) is they are awesome amps for stoner rock, doom metal and sludge. Bands like High on Fire, Jimmy Page, Clutch, Boris, The Sword, etc. all have been known to use Orange in one way or another. Check out the extensive list here.

The tone is darker and drier than most other high-gain amps, and often demands poweramp overdrive to hit the 'sweet-spot' in the gain stages. For a bedroom guitarist, something like the Rockerverb 100, Orange's second flagship amp, without an attenuator, would be a bad idea. The Thunderverb, Orange's other flagship, has it's own built-in attenuator. It works very well indeed, allowing power-valve break-up, compression and warmth. And that is the crux of Orange tone: warmth and bassy compression.

There is this definite 'wholly' character to the tone, where the notes bloom and feels squishy and smooth, with a dry bite at the same time, depending on what guitar you're using or how hard you're picking. Most people buy Orange amps for live use (excluding the Tiny Terror, Rocker 30 and possibly Thunderverb 50) because they sound so great at gigging levels, cut through the mix of a band very well, and sound so thick. Bands like The Mars Volta rely on that 'wall of sound' feeling to keep up with all that is going on on stage.

In comparison to amps like Bugera, ENGL, Peavey, Mesa Boogie, etc., they don't have very much gain. In fact, many people have bought the Tiny Terror in the hope that they would have a huge metal-machine for their deathcore, but at much lower volumes - and they are sorely broken when they realise it sounds completely wrong for the genre. Orange amps, except the Rockerverb, in my opinion, don't suit the more extreme genres of metal, like nu-metal, death metal, metalcore, etc. They belong in thrash, stoner metal, doom, classic metal, punk, Indie, alternative. That kind of thing.

Think Sabbath. Think Led Zeppelin. Think Nine Black Alps. Think Converge. Think Jimmy Eat world, and you're on a winner.