Price paid: $ 53.07
Purchased from: www.Dolphinmusic.co.uk
Sound — 8
The sound produced by the Micro Crush is not exception to the legacy of Orange's amps. Despite being a tiny 4" amp it's as loud as you'll need from a portable or practice amp, and I would go as far as saying it could be used for small acoustic performances. The only issue is that at high volumes the amplification begins to flatten out and become less noticeable. The tone, on the other hand, is quite peculiar. Turn the volume up high and even on a clean channel you get a very rattly, overdriven sound when playing one than note at the same time; play a single string and it's clean and crisp again. This is perfect, in my opinion, for electric guitar and the overdrive is really obsolete unless you're playing something very very heavy. For more acoustic and clean songs it's horrible. Strangely enough though, if you balance the volume controls on your guitar and the amp correctly you can get a brilliant acoustic tone out of it. Although it does sound great, it's obliviously pretty quiet and is probably equivalent to a proper acoustic guitar (which with good woods is pretty loud; however, it's still good for practice. Finally I tried putting my bass through it, which I suspect isn't too good for the amp seeing as it's active. By contrast, my bass can barely be heard without amplification and even a tamed volume helps a lot. However, because of the nature of basses you can get ever more rattling of the tiny speaker but that's really what you want from a good bass tone.
Overall Impression — 8
I bought this amp because I needed something to practice on whilst my main Marshall resides at my drummer's house: I can't be bothered to haul it up there every time we have a practise. I wanted something versatile to the range of different styles that I play as cheap and reliable as possible and I think I found it. The Micro Crush is a great portable amp, brilliant in fact, but I can't empathise enough how temperamental it can be in terms of features such as the tuner, tone and volume. However, I don't think there's a better mini amp out there: this has been designed from the base up to be a practical and useful amp opposed to a gimmick. Despite this I wouldn't recommend it. Why? Well because unless your situation is like mine where by you have a proper amp and simply need something cheap to practise on, or you specifically need something that is portable and battery powered, combo amps are far more practical. Although I can't commend Orange amps enough, anyone Who's looking for their first guitar amp should go towards the Crush 10 or 15 that are both designed for practise opposed to being portable.
Reliability & Durability — 10
Like Orange' other amps, the Micro Crush looks the part with a woven grill, tiny rubber footstools and the gorgeous Orange finish. Although the controls do seem a little rushed being out of place, they all work fine and along with the headphone and mains ports on the back of the amp are well placed. Most importantly for me, the battery compartment is nicely concealed on the bottom of the amp where it can be easily accessed without being seen all the time. I can only assume it's pretty durable. The main speaker housing is wood and is still intact although it has suffered a few chips where the paint has been scraped away. As a result I wouldn't want to touch the screws on the back because their threading in wood is easily damaged, but there's really no reason for you to go opening it up.
Features — 9
The micro crush is the smallest amp in Orange's combo series and is designed for use in practice or on the road, operating off of either a 9v battery or mains adapter that can be bought separately and offering 6 watts of output. To further its use as a portable amp the Micro Crush has an integrated chromatic tuner, headphone port and overdrive channel on top of standard tone and volume controls. I can't personally think of much more you would need out of a portable practice amp. A few EQ or gain controls would have been nice but impractical on such a compact amp that works well stripped down to its basic components. Although overall the features offer everything you need, there are a couple of issues. Firstly, the built in tuner is very temperamental in the signals it picks up: sometimes you'll be able to tune whilst playing through the amp, other times you have to turn the volume on the amp off before anything will register. Secondly, the 9v supply doesn't last that long: despite being able to use a mains adapter if you have a supply, if you don't powering the amp exclusively off of batteries would be very expensive. Thankfully, it turns itself off unless a guitar jack is plugged in.