TH100 review by Orange

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  • Features: 7
  • Sound: 8
  • Reliability & Durability: 10
  • Overall Impression: 9
  • Reviewer's score: 8.5 Superb
  • Users' score: 9 (2 votes)
Orange: TH100
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Purchased from: Red Dog Music

Features — 7
I've always had a rule that my rig should be as simple as possible. I have always been a less is more kind of guy to the point where the only pedals I use are a noise gate (My guitars always feedback without one regardless of my amp of choice) and a tuner. My rig has been simplified even further by replacing my Marshall Mode Four with the TH100. This is the most bare bones amplifier I have ever tried but allows you to achieve a large amount of tones with a small amount of features. The features include: - 100 Watt - Four 12AX7 Preamp Valves - EL34 Power Output Valves - Clean Channel with Volume Treble and Bass controls - Dirty Channel with Volume Shape and Gain controls - Full and Half power modes - Ability to switch between using 2 or 4 power output tubes - 12AT7 Valve driven effects Loop - 1 - 16 ohm Speaker out - 2 - 8 ohm Speaker outs The way power switching works on this amp is a little different from most modern amps. There is the standard full and half power modes but it comes with an additional option. You can also choose to shut off two of the power output tubes. This has a much more dramatic effect on the tone compared to most methods of power dampening. The power dampening doesn't seem to affect the volume much. More just when break up occurs and how saturated the Dirty channel gets. The footswitch is usually sold separately but the manager of the store threw it in for free (top guy). Until I tried it I wasn't sure about the lack of EQ. After using this amp live for the last 10 months I absolutely love it. The only thing that I would like on this amp would be reverb on the clean channel which does loose it a few marks.

Sound — 8
I'm a metal guy in all it's shapes and forms. Mainly stoner bands like Mastodon, High On Fire, The Sword, Electric Wizard and Stoned Jesus. The amp suits my style perfectly. As I said I don't use pedals (well nothing that affects the sound anyway) so I can't share an opinion on the loop but I'll give you a run down of the two channels. Clean: The Clean channel on this amp is beautifully voiced. The EQ controls are very responsive but never make the tone unusable. You dial in all of the bass and none of the treble and find that the tone has drastically changed but is still usable and not a bass ridden mess. There is a tonne of head room so there's no need to worry about break up. If however you need it to break up then just simply lower the power output by putting it into half power or by taking out two of the preamp tubes. If you need really early break up then just do both! It's a seriously fantastic clean channel that I can imagine would be very popular with Jazz players. Again though, it seriously lacks reverb. Dirty: One thing that I have always found with high gain amps is that when you turn the gain down it always sounds terrible. It never reaches the crunchy region you feel it should when the gain is that low. It's this channel that really got me to buy this amp. This channel features a "Shape" knob which works sort of like an EQ shift. The more you turn it it changes through various EQ parameters. It sounds like a feature that wouldn't give you much variety but in truth you can find a wide range of tones very quickly. Turn the gain to about 10 o'clock and the Shape to about 8 o'clock and you have tones of classic Led Zep. Turn the gain to 3 o'clock and the shape to 1 or 2 o'clock and you are swimming in Mastodon fuzz. Max the gain and turn the Shape to 10 or 11 o'clock and you've got your early Death Metal sounds. Dial in next to no gain and set the shape anywhere and you have a second clean channel at your disposal. Do you see where I'm going with this? It covers pretty much all the bases you need or at least all the bases I do. A lot of people seem to be really bothered by the lack of EQ. If you set the Shape knob to 12 o'clock you have a completely flat EQ. A friend and I tried sticking his MXR 10-band EQ in the loop and managed to have a lot of fun with it. It works in that respect just like any other amp with an EQ. If the lack of EQ bothers you then don't write off this amp I'd strongly recommend using the amp this way as an option (although I haven't tried it in a gigging capacity like this). The amp is pretty perfect. It looses 2 points here for the lack of reverb on the clean once again but aside from that I'm pretty happy.

Reliability & Durability — 10
The amp is built like a tank! This thing feels absolutely solid. The knobs are extremely securely attached and the tolex doesn't seem like it will scratch or tear very easily. Even the footswitch is made to appear indestructible. Not much more I can really say on the subject aside from that. Definitely worthy of a 10 in this department.

Overall Impression — 9
I've been playing for 10 years and since my first amp this is the first amp I've ever had and thought I don't need another amp. I love the Dirty Channel and especially the Shape knob. The lack of EQ was something I was originally very worried but now that I have used it I am completely converted. If it were lost or stolen I would definitely either buy this again or look into buy it's big brother the Thunderverb 50. The only thing I really wish it had was reverb on the clean channel like I said above but aside from that I'm really happy to recommend it to you.

8 comments sorted by best / new / date

    gay4slipknot
    I own the TH30 and don't feel like I have any useable tones left of 12 o'clock. I think the bass is a little unbalanced too until you're really cranking the amp loud.
    negativefx
    I have the TH30 and the UK-made close-back 4x12. I *don't* play metal and it took a few tube swaps to tame the beast's gain down a tad... I was finding nothing usable after around 1 o'clock on the gain knob. After finding the right tube combo, this amp sounds great! I do find it a bit upsetting that the clean channel volume needs to be about 20% higher than the dirt channel to get the same output but I guess I shouldn't be running the dirt channel dimed anyway. Love the amp, the shape knob does the job just fine and I would recommend anyone interested in a nice metal amp not to overlook this one because of the lack of EQ. I've gotten plenty of tones out of it with the shape knob + my tone control. Never needed an EQ pedal for it but it would certainly open the door to more tones. If you need a reverb, you'll unfortunately have to spring for the Rockerverb 50 or 100 which are quite a bit more expensive but UK-made. TH models are China but I've seen zero build issues with mine and I've had it for over 2 years.
    M3AK
    You could also spring for the rocker series which is also Chinese made. I don't want to sound rude but if you don't play metal why the hell did you buy this amp? It's being marketed as the highest gain amp that orange makes and specifically at metal dudes. Did you not try it out before buying?
    damillion
    I love the fact that Orange make really simple, high quality amps. I've tried the TH30, and at least that was a beast! It provided som really amazing sludge metal-tones. "Mastodon Fuzz" indeed!
    jaybrink10101
    I should start off by pointing out that I've never, ever heard an Orange amp in person. All I do know is that some of the best studio recordings I've ever heard have been done on Orange amps (along with MESA, Diezel, Bogner and ENGL - the usual suspects) playing anything from low-gainy stuff to real heavy metal. The Guitar Rig 5 Orange patch sounds like balls. Is there a quirk with EQing these amps or...just digital.
    crazyfingers378
    This amp is the most amazing and simple to use I have ever owned out of about every mesa boogie known to man, engl's,Blackstar's,marshall's,peaveys,soldono and for an amazing price this amp has everything and has the same choke transformer as the rockerverbs they just wanted to make it cheaper so they took production to china you get alot of amp for your money and the quality control is awesome I play anything from blues jazz prog rock heavy rock classic rock to a variety of metal tones and this amp covers them all so well the power scaling is really cool it can be run in class ab-1 (closest to class a) or class ab-2 for more power depending on the wattage you select this amp is not just for metal heads its extremly versitile although it is oranges highest gain amp but it is responsive to pickups and guitars and playing styles so that is a factor. if you use your volume knob it cleans up amazingly and the dirt channel can be an alternate darker clean channel. 9/10