Price paid: $ 500
Purchased from: Guitar Center
Sound — 10
Playing through a Les Paul as well as a super strat with humbuckers (super 3's). I play straight through from guitar to amp to an open back 2x12 cab loaded with Celestion Vintage 30's. Suits my style of music perfectly. The gain on the amp is GORGEOUS and HEAVY. I also have a Peavey 6505, and I'll tell you, the gain on this amp is much better than that to my ears. There's much more gain than you could use, but it is completely unreal sounding. Huge 3-D tone, harmonics fly off the fretboard anytime you want, great note separation, and just mean-sounding chords. Contrary to the name of the amp, it is not a dark-sounding amp. The amp is perfect for blues rock and hard rock (between 11-1 o'clock on the gain) and shredding and metal (anything after 1 o'clock). The 7 watt option gives you a lot of power amp distortion at lower volumes, but the 15 watt is where it really opens up tonally. Put Tung Sol 12AX7 in the V1 slot and keep the rest JJ's. I've found this combination sounds absolutely unreal. Knocks shredding tones out of the freaking ball park. This is a true guitarist's amp. I give it a 10 on sound... Possibly one of the best-sounding amps I've ever played. Puts amps three times its price to shame if you're only judging tone and not options. It's the non-rich man's boutique metal amp as far as sound goes. This is the only amp I can play completely dry with no reverb, delay, eq, etc. And still can't wait to pick up my guitar.
Overall Impression — 10
What I hate about this product is it makes my 6505 and my JVM sound like over-priced purchases. I still like those amps, but the difference in price is just unjustifiable. The Orange Dark Terror is now my go-to amp and my go-to sound and has been for a few months. Everyone that hears it can't believe it and wants one within playing just a few chords and scale patterns. One more thing, you will be very surprised how loud this amp can actually get. This amp is tonal perfection. If it had two channels instead of one it would be complete perfection.
Reliability & Durability — 10
Very dependable so far... perfect. Never broken down. Orange is known for making quality products, so I don't hesitate to gig with it. It's loud enough for smaller gigs, and the bigger ones usually have a p.a. system anyway. Always get compliments on the tone. The metal housing is rugged, and the construction appears to be top-notch. I would be surprised if anyone encountered any problems with it. The amp comes with a full complement of JJ's, but like I said, replace the V1 with a Tung Sol 12x7.
Features — 9
This is a 15 watt (switchable to 7 watts) amp head. It's pretty straight-forward... Has a volume knob, shape knob, and gain knob. It has a tube-driven effects loop. The controls are very easy to use... And, it's all this amp really needs. You can get a real loose Eddie Van Halen sound, turn a little bit and get a Metallica sound, turn a little bit more and get a great scooped sound for modern metal. It really does create tons of different tonal options. And, believe it or not, with no gain and the volume up, you can roll back your volume on your guitar and get a great sounding clean. Tube complement is 3 12ax7's in the preamp and 2 EL84's in the power section... Also an additional tube for the effects loop. It also has a 16 ohm and two 8 ohm jacks for a speaker cabinet of your choice.