Price paid: € 200
Purchased from: Music Maker Dublin
Features — 9
Comes with the typical Orange Tolex with the orange logo mounted middle of the speaker grille. Has black metal bump protectors on all corners, and four stubby rubber feet along with a nice firm handle, all standard stuff.
Mine was an display model which had been on the shop floor for 3-4 days max, so I got a nice discount on it (normally €230~240. It came with just a power lead and nothing else. It has controls for Lows, Mids, and Highs, along with a Master Volume, an OD knob, an OD toggle button, a Gain control, a tuner, an effect selector knob, and an effect level knob.
There's 16 effects built in, 4 reverbs, a hall reverb + delay, 4 separate delays ranging from 100 to 650ms, and a fast and slow version of a chorus, flanger, and tremolo effect, and lastly a vibrato. I avoid the delays as while they sound good, you can't adjust the rate. The modulation effects are fun to play with to get some funky sounds from, but I mostly just use some light reverb when I'm playing. All the effects can have their mix increased or decreased with the effect control knob.
The connections on the top are Headphone Out for quiet practicing, a Footswitch socket for connecting a footswitch using a 6.35mm lead to toggle the OD setting, a Line Out socket to plug directly into any line level equipment like audio mixers or interfaces, an Aux In so you can play music or backing tracks through the amp (keep in mind it won't sound great as the speaker isn't optimised for anything other than a guitar), and the input jack. I recommend getting a footswitch (as far as I can tell, any latching footswitch will work) for cheap because it does make it far easier to toggle the OD settings while playing.
Sound — 9
My first and only amp, though I don't think I'll need a second any time soon. The first thing that comes across with this amp is how clear and crisp the cleans are. The 10" speaker is really doing a great job here. You can crank it up without any loss of clarity, meaning it's a great starting point for someone looking to use a few effects.
That's not to say it doesn't start to break up nicely as you crank the gain, it goes from very subtle overdrive to some pretty nice distortion without ever getting muddy, and it can get VERY loud. I bought the optional footswitch which can be used to toggle on and off the inbuilt overdrive, which I then combine with a separate OD pedal (Joyo Vintage OD, clone of the classic tubescreamer) so I can go between light overdrive and some heavier vintage tones just by clicking the amp OD on while playing.
I haven't found a sound this amp can't do, from crystal cleans to heavy overdrive (with a pedal) to crazy noise with a distortion pedal on max paired with the in-built OD. It handles distorted wah well with no signs of struggling.
Considering it's an electric amp, it handles my DIY electro-acoustic very well with some EQ adjustments. It won't be as good as a dedicated acoustic amp, but it will definitely get you by.
Reliability & Durability — 9
The amp is tough as nails, and would probably withstand the apocalypse. The wood frame is thick, heavy, and seems extremely durable. The Tolex covering is plenty thick to avoid anything damaging the wood underneath, and all corners have metal guards on them to prevent any of the corners breaking off or coming apart. I had to carry it home from the store and I can tell you it's a very solid and heavy amp. This is great because you needn't worry about it breaking, but it's also a pain to move around. Orange have made a name for themselves, so you can expect reliability. It's not the type of amp to blow up the first time you try to crank the gain on it.
Overall Impression — 9
Playing anything from Damien Rice to The Killers, Foals to Two Door Cinema Club, Hozier to Muse, this amp seems to be able to handle anything I throw at it.
Because it's not a modelling amp like many other alternatives at this price range (Fender Mustang II, Roland Cube 40GX), it doesn't feel like some sort of knockoff, or cheap attempt at recreating a more expensive amp. It carves out it's own beautiful sound, while still providing a great starting point for effects. It is it's own amp, and it's all the better for it.
I've been playing acoustic for 5 or 6 years now, and I've had my '50s CV Tele for over a year now, and even though I still suck at electric, this amp makes me want to play, because the sounds I can get out of it give me confidence. I never find myself trying to fine tune the controls too much to get a sound I like. Most of the time, you can set the EQ to fairly balanced, stick the gain up a little, and just play, and whatever sound comes out is almost guaranteed to be a good one.
I was recommended to get this over a modelling amp by a friend, and I'd now suggest the same to anyone looking to get a new amp. Having played modelling amps in stores and at other friend's houses, it was definitely the right call to get something which wasn't trying to imitate, but was trying to provide you with a great sound all its own.