Gear Review: Orange Amps Crushes It

Videos by American Songwriter

Videos by American Songwriter

It’s amazing what incredible tools some industrious builders are creating without using real tubes these days. This is not the time for bias against the lack of real tubes but rather revel in the choices available and the huge array of tones.

In the latest line of Crush amps from Orange comes the Super Crush 100 head and Super Crush 100 combo amp. Both have 100 watts of power and the combo comes with a 150-watt speaker built-in. Way more power than you’re going to probably need for pretty much any situation you can find yourself in. Both roll off beautifully with the volume knob on your guitar so you can actually leave the amps fairly high on the gain knob and go old-school to control your overdriven sound, no pedals required.

Check out videos online of Ty Tabor (Kings X) demonstrating this. It’s his main amp both in the studio and live, and he actually prefers non-tube amps.

The amps are remarkably smooth at noon on all the dials and you’d be hard-pressed to tell that these are transistor-based solid-state amplifiers. Truly. The gain, which can go quite high, never sounds like some phony emulation or brittle. It sits perfectly in the classic-rock arena and beyond. I found them to be quite authentic and impressive actually and I would have no hesitation using them in any situation I would normally use
my higher-priced, custom-made vacuum tube amps. They are truly that good and convincing.
The Super Crush 100 effectively mimics the huge, rich, and responsive tone of the Orange flagship Rockerverb amps. It uses the same 100 Watt Class A/B power amp as the Pedal Baby and combined with the 2-channel JFET preamp design, it provides masses of authority and musicality which will have guitarists swearing they are hearing a real tube amp. An on-board digital 24-bit reverb module provides a lush, spring reverb ambiance and the fully-buffered, ultra-transparent, series FX Loop takes care of all effects you could possibly want to isolate there.  You really aren’t sacrificing anything
in these two offerings from Orange that you wouldn’t get in their flagship line of tube amps.

Two completely independent, all-analog preamp channels give instant access to a whole spectrum of warm, tube-like tones. From high-headroom clean to high-gain metal, every sound ever needed is dialed in with ease, thanks to a versatile circuit and intuitive simple control layout. The Dirty Channel boasts four cascading stages of proper Orange gain and the Clean Channel is a bright, vintage-flavored, two-stage design with plenty of headroom, keeping clean tones shimmering and clear at any level.

The Super Crush 100 features a balanced XLR output with Orange’s CabSim speaker emulation technology giving instant access to great D.I. guitar tone, straight into the P.A. or recording interface. The additional rear Cab Back switch offers the choice of an open or closed back sounding cab. The compact 1×12 combo boasts a Celestion G12H-150 speaker giving it a hard-hitting, classically British voice.

Another great application for these amps would be for small to medium-sized clubs as their “cub amps” to have on hand for artists and bands who are traveling or don’t want to carry their larger gear.  Low maintenance, easy setup, great, no-fuss sound.

To find out more about the Super Crush 100 head/combo and other Orange products please go to

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