Crush CR120C review by Orange

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  • Features: 9
  • Sound: 8
  • Reliability & Durability: 9
  • Overall Impression: 8
  • Reviewer's score: 8.5 Superb
  • Users' score: 9.2 (5 votes)
Orange: Crush CR120C

Price paid: C$ 875

Purchased from: Local store

Features — 9
The Orange CR120C is a 120 watts solid state combo amp with 2 channels (clean and dirty) with separate EQs. It also features a digitel reverb with Plain, Hall and Spring settings. The clean channel has volume, bass and treble knobs while the dirty channel has gain, bass, middle, treble and volume knobs. It also has a reverb knob and a master volume knob. The speakers are 2 x 12", 60 Watts, 8 Ohm Voice of the World. Introduced in 2013, the Crush Pro series, consisting of the CR60C, the CR120C and the CR120H, is pretty much the newset amp line that Orange offers to guitar players. It does not include a footswitch though, you need to buy separately, which is pretty much the only downside in this category.

Sound — 8
Well, it's an Orange amp. I wasn't really expecting it to suit my heavier style (death metal, black metal, deathcore, etc.) but I wanted to try it because I also love rock, blues, jazz, punk and hard rock. But this amp is ferocious. For an Orange amp, it offers A LOT of gain, and the exact tone I was searching for my deathcore band. I always used my father's Peavey Solo Series Special 150 with my DigiTech RP500 because I never bothered to buy my own amp. But since I'm moving away to study music in college, I needed an amp of my own other than my practice Marshall MG15CFX amp. But with this amp, I don't even feel the need to use my DigiTech RP500 because it produces the exact tones I want out of it: a bone-crushing high-distortion sound for my deathcore band, a softer distortion/crunch for my noise rock solo project and an amazing jazz clean tone.

Another strong point of this amp is the reverb. While I do not care that much for the plain and spring settings, the hall setting sounds extremely rich. The amp can be a bit noisy when you use a turd-load of gain while standing close to it, but nothing that can't be fixed with a little noise gate. Which is pretty much the only pedal I'd use with this amp, excluding the Orange FS-2 footswitch to switch channels and to activate the reverb.

The con of this amp is that the amp EQ doesn't change the sound that much. Well, it does change how it feels by a good bit, but, and that is in my opinion, I don't feel like you can explore many different sounds, it still has the same overall tone. Which isn't really a problem for me because it pretty much is the perfect tone for me but can be a con for other players. Another con is that when you put the volume knob of the clean channel over 12 o'clock, it begins to distort a little, leaving you with a small crunch tone. It can be perfect for some rock bands, if you want to have a totally clean tone, you have to put it under 12 o'clock for it to be totally clean. Which means, you have to lower your dirty channel's volume to be able to switch between the 2 channels and still have the same volume.

Reliability & Durability — 9
This thing is built like a tank. I've only owned it for a couple of hours though, so I did not have the chance to gig with it but I will fairly soon. But it is strong enough to be used in a live environment. Ii features what looks like iron switches for the channels and power switches, and the knobs are, after having a little durability test with them, pretty solid too. It also features two iron (again I guess it is iron) handles on the side of the amp to facilitate transportation. Though I haven't owned it for long enough to exploit it's full potential in this category, I am going to leave it with a 9 because it does actually look really sturdy, but not unbreakable.

Overall Impression — 8
It is the first "real" amp I've bought (the other being a practice amp), though I have tried quite a few amps. At first, I wanted to buy an EVH 5150 III Combo amp, but I found this CR120C in the local music shop in town and soon forgot about the higher-priced EVH after playing a few notes with it. The owner of the store also had what I think is a really good deal for this amp (875$ CAD taxes included instead of 1085$ CAD taxes excluded). It has the exact tone I was searching for for my deathcore band, my noise rock solo project and for jazz and blues. If it was ever stolen, well, read some Cannibal Corpse lyrics. These things would happen to the stealer. The only thing I wish it had more is the footswich included. But it is a very small con, and the pros of this amp overweight the cons by A LOT. As I said higher, I own a DigiTech RP500 which I used with my father's Peavey Solo Series Special 150, and I don't even feel the need to use it at all with this amp, if anything, I'd use a noise gate and that's it.

4 comments sorted by best / new / date

    If it was ever stolen, well, read some Cannibal Corpse lyrics. Nice By the way, very good review!
    Thank you very much! After owning it for a few months now, I still agree with what I've said. After using it in a recording environement, I can say that it sounds great with a good mic in front of it. It packs quite a punch
    The Crush pro CR120c is a great SS app. I owned one and there is no doubt that it is by far the best SS amp out there. I now own a Rockerverb 50mkii 112 combo. I love it! As some have said it has the cleanest channel I have ever heard. It let's the sound of the pickups shine through. The dirty channel is just f**king awesome! With the gain on 11, I can play a barre chord and every note rings through. It is muddy at all. This is where the CR120 failed me. The dirty channel was just too muddy. Both are great amps, but the RV sounds better to me. But for the price, you can't go wrong with the CR120.
    So I was in Manson's guitar shop today and the place is lined with Orange amps. I have one of these and now I've got a bit of money behind me I was thinking about upgrading to a rockerverb. I trust my ears, I've been playing for about 7-8 years now and I study music production. I genuinely thought that when A/B'd the crush sounded better than the rockerverb. There were obviously elements of the RV which were sublime, it reacted the dynamics of my playing better, and cleaned up far nicer when rolling back the volume knob than the crush. The clean channel was without doubt the nicest clean I've ever heard, bright and chimney but some how warm... Anyway I digress. I'm not saying this amp is 'better' than a rockerverb. But I was genuinely going into the shop, ready to purchase one and I geuniely found the crush delivered a more satisfying crunch and lead. I actually found the top end of the rockerverb to be a little brittle. Strangely it's much smoother on the crush. Weird.