Rocker 30 Review

manufacturer: Orange date: 03/25/2013 category: Guitar Amplifiers
Orange: Rocker 30
The Rocker 30 is the amplifier that so many have asked for. This amplifier was built to be practical, but to also be the best sounding small combo you've ever played!
 Sound: 9.3
 Overall Impression: 9.3
 Reliability & Durability: 9.7
 Features: 8
 Overall rating:
 Reviewer rating:
 Users rating:
reviews (6) pictures (3) 50 comments vote for this gear:
overall: 9
Rocker 30 Reviewed by: unregistered, on march 05, 2005
7 of 8 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 1190

Purchased from: Guitar Center

Features: Some people may be looking at the price and wondering why is a 30G amp cost 1190 dollars? This is because this amp is tube driven, making it capable of reaching very high volumes. This amp is the coolest looking thing ever, it is covered in Orange vinal. This amp will not reach any death metal, or nu-metal highs in gain, but that doesn't matter to be because I play stuff like Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, Joe Satriani, Steve Vai and Hendrix. This amp is great for blues players. Volume is no issue due to the amps tube driven build. // 8

Sound: I use a Joe Satriani signature guitar with a floyd rose tremelo system and DiMarzio pickups, and as I said before, I play classic rock, shread, and blues. This amp has the most beutiful clean channel I have ever heard, and it is perfect for playing songs such as Little Wing. This amp has a considerable amount of distortion, but if I ever need more, (which I hardly ever do) I'll just hook up my Wylde Overdrive pedal. This amp makes noise only at high volume, as is every amp I have ever played. // 10

Reliability & Durability: I would never head to a gig without a backup, but I can bet that this amp would pull through. It is a great amp for small gigs and venues. Tubes must be replaced every 1 1/2 to 2 years, depending on how much you play it. The amp has never broken down on me, but I am not rough on it anyways. // 8

Overall Impression: I play on this amp with a JS100 and occasionally a Wylde Overdrive pedal, and it has a great tone. I have been playing for 4 years and I am very happy that a 30G amp can pull off such high volumes. If this amp were stolen I would be mad because I cant afford another, but I would save for another. My favorite thing about this amp is the clean channel which I suggest for practicing because distortion covers up mistakes but clean unveils them, the clean is beautiful. I alwways wanted a tube-driven amp that didnt cost a million bucks, and this amp fits the bill perfectly, a must buy for all blues players. // 10

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overall: 9
Rocker 30 Reviewed by: thrashmetal888, on november 12, 2008
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Features: I think this amp was made in 2007-08 not too sure. I play heavy metal (mostly of the 80s) it's great but I'd like it to have a bit more gain, but that's nothing a good OD pedal can't fix! It has two channels clean and dirty. It is pretty basic two volumes, clean volume and dirty volume and hi, low, and mid knobs. I use this amp at my house and at small gigs it's good for both although definitely sounds better cranked as do all tube amps. // 8

Sound: I use a Ibanez RG550 reissue, I'm not sure what the pick ups are but they are 2 humbuckers and a single in the middle. It suits my style(80's metal) pretty well, although sometimes I need to use a tubescreamer or a OD pedal. It isn't noisy at all says clear at high levels. Although, this amp is definitely geared towards classic rock and blues. The clean channel is great and does get some dirt on it at very high levels but for the most part says very pristine clean. // 9

Reliability & Durability: I'd gig without a back up. I haven't changed the tubes since I got it since I hardly play very loud besides Live shows. I take really great care of it also. It seems to be built like a tank, it is very heavy I'm not too sure why but this thing weighs a ton. // 10

Overall Impression: It was a present so I can't complain, when I tweak it right I get the tones I'm looking for. I'd say it's a pretty versatile amp and takes well to pedals and all that. The only thing it can't do well is death metal(Br00t4ls) on it's own. // 9

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overall: 8.5
Rocker 30 Reviewed by: bartdevil_metal, on august 07, 2009
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Price paid: £ 499

Purchased from: Music Warehouse, Colchester

Features: Rocker 30 Head >Output: 30w (RMS) Class A >Channels: 2 Channel (Dirty/Clean) >Valves: Preamp - 3 x ECC83, Output 2 x EL34 >Speaker: 1 x 16ohms, 2 x 8ohms >Dimensions: (W x H x D) 55 x 25.5 x 24cm >Weight: 15kg Musician Background I play several different styles, most notably Funk, Rock and Metal. With my band I play a crossover Funk Metal genre and some rock, while on my own I dabble in Blues, Jazz and some Progressive/Post. I gig relatively regularly, and use the Rocker as my primary amp on the stage and in the studio. I've been playing approximately 5 years, and have owned the Rocker for about 18 months. I'm out of the honeymoon period. Amp Versatility As I've said, I play quite a plethora of different styles, and I have to say that for such a simple amp, the Rocker holds up extremely well against my ever changing sound requirements. The lack of an FX Loop is what Hurt me when I bought this amp. After searching for a way around it, I was recommended a technique called reamping by a couple of UG'ers. It's quite technical but a quick overview: Reamping is where you use an attentuator or load box to add a dummy load to connect the head to. You then send the signal out of the load box or attenuator line out into a second power amp, which then amplifies the signal up again to power the speakers. The advantage to this is that you can crank the amp up as loud as you want and get all the good tone, while limiting it with the second power amp and playing physically as quietly as you like. Another advantages is that you have an FX Loop of sorts because you can connect FX in between the load box and second power amp where the signal is line level (not speaker power). So my signal chain goes like this: Guitar->FX->R30->Hotplate->G Sharp MultiFX->Crate Powerblock->PPC212 To be honest, this is quite a complex setup just to get an effects loop, but the added bonus of being able to crank at low volumes makes it worth it. The features on this amp aren't all that impressive compared to others out there; I just prefer the no-nonsense attitude of Orange, sans the lack of an FX Loop. // 7

Sound: This amp is as simple as it can get on the clean channel; one volume knob does all the adjustment you're going to get. It's voiced as a nice dark jazzy sort of clean that begins to break up at around half way on the volume, which is at about gigging volume for me. I get The Feeling that the clean channel brings out the character of your guitar a lot more than other amps I have owned/used, and is dependent on a decent set of pickups to get the tone you are after. I use my Rocker with two guitars, my Jackson DK2M and my Jackson J6 Custom Build, which use Bareknuckle Pickups, the Miracle Man and Nailbomb set respectively. My DK2M is wired for coil split, and with this engaged I can draw some convincing John Mayer tones from the amp, and although not a perfect tonal match by any stretch of the imagination, it is a GOOD tone to use with Mayer-type stuff. I can also get some convincing twangy country cleans and even some Jazzy cleans due to the dark voicing of this amplifier. Crank the clean volume and you get a surprising amount of gain, enough to play the heavy-ish blues rock styles such as Mooney Suzuki and Bonamassa's lighter stuff. All pure power valve overdrive as well I should note that it is largely due to reamping that I can crank the clean channel, it is deafeningly loud otherwise. The Drive channel is more adjustable, featuring a 3 band EQ, Gain and volume controls. This is the real workhouse of the amplifier, being able to go from twangy funk (the Drive channel does overlap with the clean channel; It is almost possible to get a slightly brighter clean tone out of the Drive channel) to thrash metal through the whole turn of the gain dial. When you get to the heavier styles such as thrash you should not be deceived; I'm not talking about the Master of Puppets heavy scooped style but the sound of Kill 'Em All, of Slayer and Early Megadeth. This baby is 80's thrash all the way through when the gain is up there. I have found that (reamped again) the volume sweet spot is around half way up, although the amp opens out nicely when it gets past about 8 o'clock. After 1 o'clock and I find that the added gain from the power valves makes it a bit boomy and hard to handle. I should also note that normally set up, half way up on the volume of the Drive channel would deafen you during prolonged use. No volume issues here. The EQ is a strange beast on the Rocker; I find it hard to get a tone I don't like out of it. I literally tried one day because I was bored. I tried completely scooped (B:10, M:0, T:10) and It still sounded pretty good, I tried maxed out treble (B:0, M:0, T:10) and the essence of the tone was still there. You have probably heard Orange compared with Marshall tonally, and I will say that while in essence that is true you need to think about whether you prefer the bark of a Marshall or the growl of an Orange when choosing between them. Orange are considerably darker. Another thing I have found is that while the R30 has a very middy voicing, they still love the mids to be cranked on the EQ. It is very hard to make one of these sound boxy or too nasaly sounding. Limitations >It can get a bit noisy with the gain cranked and a boost engaged, but that's to be expected. >It CANNOT do heavy metal, death metal, nu-metal. // 9

Reliability & Durability: Even players who say that Orange aren't there cup of tea tonally would agree that they are built to last. As I said earlier I have had this amp for 18 months and literally nothing has gone wrong with it, and I even turned it on without a load attached a couple of times by accident (blush). It's solidly built and I would (and have!) used it on a gig without a backup time and time again. I haven't even changed out the valves yet, but I will soon. // 10

Overall Impression: Like I said, I play many different styles and the Orange stands up to 90% of them. I've played through a lot of different amps, and I own a Peavey Valveking, Marshall VS8080 and a Roland Cube in addition to this. This amp is actually louder than the VK! I love my other amps, but it beats them all in almost every category (the heavier styles category is dominated by the Marshall and I don't see that changing haha). I wish it had an FX Loop like it's bigger brother, but my favourite feature is it's simplicity and ease of use. Antithesis huh? If it were stolen I think I would probably save for it's bigger brother ('Verb 50), but I could never be sure. I love the tone out of this product. // 8

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overall: 9
Rocker 30 Reviewed by: lunchboxattacks, on july 27, 2010
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Price paid: € 722

Purchased from:

Features: Made in England in 2009. This is a 30 watt valve amplifier and was one of the more popular members of the Orange valve line until it was put out of production this year in order to make way for their new Thunder 30 which will be a 30 watt addition to the Thunderverb section of the Orange valve range. The amp is completely no frills. It's got two channels, a clean (called "natural") and dirty. Both channels have a seperate volume and the dirty channel has a gain control. The clean channel has no EQ so the preamp section is pretty much bypassed and it's straight into the dual EL34 power section. The dirty channel has your standard three band EQ and you can Switch between it and the clean using a clean/dirty toggle Switch on the top panel or with a footswitch but that is not supplied. There is also an off/standby/on to be found on the top panel of the amp as well. All in all from what I can gather it's a very simple amp circuit although it lacks an FX loop. It is however a PCB circuit that is made in China, the amp is only assembled in England from what I gather. As far as power, well whenever I've had the amp aimed correctly (tilted back), I've not needed it much beyond two on the dirty channel (gain at 6) and about 7 on the natural channel. Also this amp has one of the sturdiest looking cabinets I've seen in a combo and is housing a nice Vintage 30 speaker. However, because of the lack of FX loop and no supplied footswitch, I'll give this an eight. // 8

Sound: The guitar I use with this amp for gigs is a 2006 Les Paul so it's your typical humbucker guitar. The amp is not noisy by itself but it can become noise from a long pedal chain going into the amp's frontend. There's a good sweep of gain to be found on the amp from cleaner than the clean channel to a wet fuzzy type of gain. Alot of people say stonery/doom in describing the more extreme end of this amp's gain spectrum and I agree but you can roll off your guitars volume and have yourself a nice chunky rhythym sound and then roll it back up if you wanna do some leads. Clean goes from clean and plinky to growly to AC/DC rhythm with feedback on sustained chords. Turned up and in a live situation like a club with alot of bare surfaces, the amp has a sharp sound. Some people don't like the Vintage 30 in the amp, they say it sounds too aggressive and I don't like that aspect of it but it also has a tight bass response and that is something I like alot. I never recommend winding up the gain on any amp in a band situation, though because the sound of your guitar can become lost. One of the great pleasures of this amp and all other valve amps of quality is getting that power section going. So what I do is wind the master volume up on the gain channel and then use the gain knob to achieve the volume I want and if it's too clean, I roll the master back and put up the gain until find the sweet spot where it's crunchy enough for thick rhythm and then use another pedal if I want to boost it for leads. Between the clean/dirty channels plus a tubescreamer type pedal you can cover quite alot of ground. You could, with the right array of guitars go from county to grindcore but that would be an odd gig. It's a workhorse amp and that's what I wanted. // 9

Reliability & Durability: The amp is built like a tank and it's a great thing. It also weighs about 55 pounds so lugging it up stairs can be a bit of a pain. With *any* amp you can never be sure if it will go kaput so bring a second amp/floor pod/DI box just in case. A neat feature of this amp is that the power valves do not need to be re-biased everytime you put a new set in so you don't have to lug it down to the guitar shop and pay a technician to do so. In the handfull of gigs I have played with this amp so far, it's given me no trouble (touch wood). It's gotten a bit hot but that's normal. // 10

Overall Impression: It's a versitile amp and will give you enough oomph to be heard in most bands unmiked. What I like about the amp is the simplicity of it. Somebody once said that all an amp needs is a volume and tone and this amp is nearer to that philosophy than my previous amps. I would rather have an amp that is simple and has a high build quality than a mass produced modeller with two dozen knobs and switches but then only has about two settings that you find work for you. If it were stolen of lost, I would like another one but they would be harder to find because they are no longer in production so it would be on EBay I suppose. Wish it had a reverb and/or an FX loop but then again I'm not a big FX guy so it's all good. Recommended. // 9

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overall: 9.8
Rocker 30 Reviewed by: metal jello, on august 19, 2010
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 1000

Purchased from: Craigslist

Features: The Orange Rocker 30 is a two channel, 30 watt Class A valve head. The Natural channel has a master volume and that's it. The Dirty channel features a master volume, gain, and 3 control EQ. Classic Orange graphics for every function. No effects loop, but that makes the circuit simpler and more direct. Highly versatile, everything from blues to classic rock to 80's thrash to hardcore. 30 watts in Class A is loud and powerful. This amp has 2 EL34 tubes, and due to the nature of Class A amps, they are self-biasing. No adjustments to bias necessary. This amp is all about simplicity. // 9

Sound: I play a Gibson Explorer (57 Classic pickups) and I run this head through an Orange PPC412. I play in two bands, one is old school metal/southernrock/punk/hardcore/experimental, and my other band is more progressive/experimental/post-hardcore/jazz. The Dirty channel is warm and thick, with a huge midrange and responsive clarity. Old-school poweramp overdrive with some serious punch. I run the EQ flat and the gain at 8. The Natural channel is as simple as it gets, it keeps the identity of your instrument. Extremely clean and responsive. Crank the volume and it gets fat and crunchy with warm EL34 overdrive. // 10

Reliability & Durability: Built like a tank. This amp seems sturdy enough to stand abuse. I would gig without a backup amp. I plan on it. I'll take a set of backup tubes though, just for peace of mind. Since it's Class A all you have to do is crack open the back and change the tubes yourself. No biasing necessary. I haven't had any problems yet, and I honestly don't expect anything major to ever come up. Construction is solid and clean. // 10

Overall Impression: If you're looking for warm, thick, cranked British tone with some huge midrange punch and responsive clarity, this is the amp for you. I've been playing for 5 or 6 years now, and I'm in multiple bands. This amp is solid and handles everything I throw at it. I'll be using it for gigging and recording very very soon. I can't think of anything I don't like about it. Its simple, sounds amazing, and even looks great. I don't see myself playing anything else. // 10

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overall: 9.3
Rocker 30 Reviewed by: z.c.1293, on march 25, 2013
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Price paid: C$ 1400

Purchased from: tom lee

Features: 2 channels: A clean and a dirty. Dirty channel has treble, bass and mid. Clean channel has just a volume control. Optional foot switch available, but not included. 2 EL34's for output and 3 12AX7's in the pre amp. All built in London England. Attention to detail quite apparent. This amp is 30 watts, all tube and VERY simple to use. It has a very usable EQ for the dirty channel but has none for the clean channel. Its not a huge deal for me because I believe in simplicity, but some form of EQ for the clean would be nice. The amp isn't very versatile in my opinion. Its got your classic British rock sounds that can be pushed into the metal region if desired but that's really it. It won't clean up like a Fender amp will. The tone always feels like a rock n roll tone just with different gain amounts. I'm sure if you had a wide variety of guitars to use on this amp you could get more versatility. Overall, if its classic to hard rock tones you desire then this is the tool for you. // 8

Sound: A very unique crunchy tone. With the right guitar this amp has a great, Vintage style rock tone at mid gain levels, that really benefits from a pedal to boost your sound slightly during lead. It also cleans up quite nicely, still keeping a little bit of grit. When the gain knob is cranked the tone gets a bit to heavy for my taste so I don't recommend it, but the low end and sustain gets huge (for those metal guys). This amp is very chunky and has a lot of low end. I recommend keeping the bass down turning the treble and mids higher to keep it from sounding too heavy and muddy. All in all great Vintage style rock tone with the right EQ settings, sounds a lot better than the majority of its similar sounding competitors. // 9

Reliability & Durability: I have had this amp head for a few years now and never head a problem. The build quality is substantially better than most other amps I've had the opportunity to try. I have been playing this amp for a solid 4 years at fairly low volumes and have not needed to change the tubes yet. The construction feels very solid, like any amp head in the price range should feel, but not all do. I just don't see this amp breaking down any time soon. I play it through a straight 4 speaker Orange cabinet (PPC-412). The cabinets take the same exceptional build quality and take it to the next level. That cabinet is a tank! Everything from the thick birch wood frame to the woven grille is absolutely perfect as far as quality and finish. // 10

Overall Impression: Well... Its huge and its Orange. I have never had anyone over who didn't think it looked sweet. It stands out way more than any of my other gear and is always a conversation piece even with people who don't play or know anything about guitar. Every time I have had a lady friend over she has stopped and looked at and complemented on how cool it looks. As far as tone I would say this amp comes very close to your typical Marshall and box sounds. All of which being being British amps, with the same or very similar tubes. I find this amp is a good mix of the both. A chunkier and more unique sounding distortion than the typical Marshall. This amp is perfect for its genre and if you want to have a big variety of sounds for all kinds of genres then buy a few different amps and use them for different things because none of those amps with the numerous bells and whistles will give you a pure Vintage inspired rock tone that this machine will give you. // 10

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