Orange Rocker 15 Review: Serious Tube Tone in a Small Package

Finding the right combo amp for practice can be exciting but also excruciatingly hard, given the countless options in the market. However, when you hear the name "Orange," you know we're talking about something that sounds and looks unique and extraordinary.

Orange amps have established the characteristic "Orange sound" that made many guitarists legendary, from Jimmy Page to Omar Rodriguez-Lopez and many more.

And with the Rocker 15, Orange brings the quintessential rock guitar tone to players in small apartments who require a compact guitar amp that can also get loud when needed.

In this review, I'm going to go over some of the basic specs and features of this amp, giving you my expert opinion on everything from the tone, power, build quality, portability, and more.

I'll also provide a few alternative options in case you're not quite totally sold by the end of this article.

Is the Orange Rocker 15 the best low-watt tube amp for you? Let’s find out!

Orange Rocker 15: An Overview

Orange Rocker 15 front view

The Orange Rocker 15 is a 1x10 combo tube amp that delivers the roaring British sound Orange is known for, but in an ultra-portable chassis.

Because of its smaller size, it's ideal to take anywhere from small studios, bedrooms, or intimate stages. And with the versatility to operate at 0.5, 1, 7, or 15 Watts of output, the Rocker 15 is perfect for a wide variety of situations.

This bedroom-to-headroom amp features twin channels for a driven or clean tone. The Rocker 15 includes easy-to-use gain, volume, and three-band EQ controls only for the dirty channel.

Tone-wise, the Rocker 15 can outperform a 50-watt solid-state amp. Considering the amp's miniature footprint and the 10" Voice of the World Gold Label speaker, it can get very loud, and the EL84 valves provide the classic warm, distorted guitar tone Orange is famous for.

So, if you're looking for an easy-to-use and extremely portable combo tube amp that can handle practices, studio recording, and gigging in smaller venues, the Rocker 15 might well be your best option.


  • Amp Type: Tube Combo
  • Features: Valve buffered effects loop, full/half power mode, headroom/bedroom attenuator switch, 3-band EQ (dirty channel only)
  • Number of Channels: 2
  • Controls: Volume (natural channel), gain, bass, middle, treble, volume (dirty channel), channel selector, half/stby,/full power selector, and power switch
  • I/O: 1 x 1/4" (instrument) Footswitch I/O 1/4"
  • Speakers: 1 x 10" Voice of the World Gold Label
  • Output Power: 15, 7, 1, and 0.5 W (with Attenuator switch)
  • Preamp tube: 3 x ECC83 (12Ax7), 1 x ECC81 (12AT7)
  • Power tube: 2 X EL84
  • Dimensions : 47 X 41 X 26 CM (18.50 X 16.14 X 10.24")
  • Weight: 13.6KG (29.98LB)

What I Like It

  • Portable, light, & compact
  • Easy to use
  • Twin channel design
  • Great clean sound
  • Dirty Channel has the classic warm valve vintage Orange sound tone
  • Attenuator switch to toggle the bedroom and headroom power
  • Full/Stby/Half power modes
  • Effects loop
  • Handles pedals with ease

What I Think Could Be Improved

  • I wish it included the channel footswitch.
  • No EQ on the natural channel.
  • It would be nice to have at least reverb.
  • No headphone jack.
  • The plugs for the footswitch, effects loop, and attenuator switch are on the back below the chassis instead of facing out, which is difficult to reach.

Overall Average Rating: 4.5

Orange Rocker 15 Review: Features & Benefits

Orange Rocker 15 top view

100% Tube Driven Tone: 5/5

The Orange Rocker 15 features dual EL84 valves on the power amp, the same valves used in other tube amps such as Vox and Marshall. It also comes with three ECC83 (12Ax7) valves in the preamps.

But that's not all! The Orange Rocker 15 also features a 12AT7 for the effects loops. The all-valve signal path gives off an organic, clean, and pure tone; no matter what effects you add, the warm tone of the valves will sweeten your audience's ears.

Attenuator Switch and Power Modes: 5/5

Image: N Stuff Music

The attenuator switch on the back of the Rocker 15 lets you choose between headroom and bedroom mode. This feature, combined with the full and half power modes, allows you to set your volume switching between 15, 7, 1, and 0.5 watts of output.

In headroom mode, the full/half power outputs 15 and 7 watts, respectively. In bedroom mode, the Orange 15 outputs 1 and 0.5 watts, retaining the properties of valve amps.

The Orange Rocker 15 can rock the stage at relatively high volumes along with your lousy drummer and then have practice in your room quietly. It does not lose the oozing warm valve compression and saturation of the valves, which makes it ideal for low-volume practice.

Twin Channel: 4/5

The Rocker 15 features only two channels: natural and dirty. Despite this seemingly limited selection, the amp proves versatile enough to explore a variety of genres and craft distinctive sounds through its user-friendly layout.

The Rocker 15 allows you to alternate between the channels using a footswitch, but you'll need to buy it separately.

Natural Channel

The natural channel in the Orange Rocker 15 is what we know as the clean channel in other amps. The controls for the natural channel consist of just a single knob for volume, and the sound you get from the natural channel brings to life the pure and raw sound of your guitar and pedals.

With its realistic character, the natural channel sounds ideal for clean recordings with a hollow-body guitar, and Jazz and Blues guitar players will love it, too.

Due to the Orange Rocker 15's minimalist design, the clean channel lacks EQ to shape sounds. However, you can solve this using the tone controls on your guitar or pedals. Speaking of pedals, the Orange Rocker 15 is also a great pedal platform if you're looking for one.

The natural channel may feel bland if you don't have or like using pedals. But then there's the dirty channel to compensate for that.

Dirty Channel

The Dirty Channel delivers the quintessential drive channel sound reminiscent of classic British rock. This is where the Rocker 15 truly shines. The Dirty channel features individual controls for gain, bass, middle, treble, and dirty volume, offering a wide range of tonal shaping capabilities.

By dialing down the gain knob, users can achieve a pristine, clean sound akin to the natural channel while still being able to use the three-band EQ section. Gradually increasing the gain knob introduces a diverse array of tonal variations, especially when paired with effects pedals, bringing a captivating sound to life.

The Dirty Channel is exceptional if you need crunchy, dark, and fuzzy tones, making it perfect for genres such as classic rock and roll, modern rock, and metal.

10” Voice of the World Global Label Speaker: 4/5

Orange Rocker 15 back view

The speaker in the Orange Rocker 15 is a 10” custom Voice of the World Gold Label specifically designed with Orange Amplifiers drivers. It provides the traditional tonal qualities from Orange amps to the Rocker 15.

The 10" speaker in the Rocker 15 has a sensitivity of 101dB and a finely balanced response, covering the highs, mids, and lows with accuracy and strength. It helps accentuate the Rocker 15's natural tones, resulting in a pleasant warmth and punchy sound.

The 10" Voice of the World speaker is capable of handling the higher volumes produced by the Rocker 15, despite its compact size. However, for those who are not fond of the characteristic Orange sound, swapping out the 10" Voice speaker might help them shape the amp's sound signature.

Speaker Outputs: 5/5

Besides the 10" built-in speaker, the Orange Rocker 15 allows you to connect to an external speaker cabinet. With two 8-ohm and one 16-ohm speaker output, you have more flexibility to set up your amp for live performance or in the studios.

Effects Loop: 5/5

The Orange Rocker 15 features an FX loop, a useful addition that increases its versatility and performance. If you're a guitar player who uses plenty of effects pedals, you will love the effects loop send and return option.

If you’re not an avid effect pedal guitarist, this may be your opportunity to enter that world and enhance your sound. The most interesting thing about the effects loop is that it is valve-driven, which means you can get the sound from your pedals with the tonality of the Rocker 15 valves.

Design: 3/5

Close up view of Orange Rocker 15 buttons
Image Courtesy of Guitar and Bass

The Orange Rocker 15 is a guitar amp in the combo factor, with the amp head and speaker in a single cabinet. At around 30 lbs. and roughly the size of a shopping bag, the Rocker 15 feels compact and portable. It is easy to carry and set up on the road and only takes up a little space at home.

On the top of the Rocker 15, you have the channel single volume control, the three-band EQ, the channel switch, the power mode selector, and the power switch.

On the rear, you can find the attenuator switch, the speaker outputs, the FX loop send and return, the channel footswitch, and the AC plugs. Personally, I don't like where it is located; sometimes, you need to turn the Rocker 15 over to connect your pedals, which is not ideal, especially when you're on stage.

Another part of the design that may draw back a few guitar players is the glyphs used for the controls. But once you figure them out, you'll be fine.

Build Quality: 5/5

The Orange amp is built in a sturdy 18mm plywood cabinet in the characteristic brilliant orange color (a black version is also available if you prefer subtle colors). Orange employs hardwood feet beneath the amp rather than rubber ones, which helps enhance projection and the bottom end, common on valve bases.

The Rocker 15 has the same transformers used in the Terror Series. It uses hand-soldered flying leads instead of ribbon cables and plastic connector blocks. So, you can expect the same tone and durability from their Premium valve amps.

Things to Consider When Buying a Guitar Combo Amp

Combo amps deliver great tones for your guitar. They are small and lightweight, with the amp head and speaker on a single small, portable unit. They're ideal for guitarists looking for something small to fit in their car, easy to carry for small gigs, studio time, and band practices without sacrificing sound quality and volume.

The combo amp might not suit you if you're touring in bigger venues with more professional audio equipment and already have cabinets and other heads. You could buy head amps to mount your rack with your cabinets and speakers.

Here's a list of what guitar players ask when looking for in a guitar combo amp. It will help you clarify some of the specifications you read on these types of guitar amps.

Wattage and Power

Understanding how the wattage affects the amp's volume, headroom, and overdrive tones is essential.

Higher-wattage amps are louder and grant more headroom for concerts and live performances. Lower-wattage amps are more suitable for the studio and home. Consider whether the amp features power settings to switch between high and low power output.

Tube vs. Solid-state vs. Digital

There are different types of amps, such as tube, solid-state, and digital, with various tones and responses. Tube amps use vacuum tubes such as the EL84, and guitarists prefer them for their warmer and fuzzy distortion sound.

Solid-state amps utilize transistors and capacitors to amplify the sound. This is what jazz players usually prefer.

Digital amps are programmed to simulate the sound of tube amps, speakers, and cabinets. They allow for a wider tonal range.

Size and Portability

One of the perks of combo amps is their small size, which means they take up less space than separate amplifier heads and speaker cabinets. A lightweight, small amp is easily transported anywhere and stored in limited spaces or performance areas.

Built-in effects

Search for built-in effects. Some combo amps offer at least reverb, but others can include delay, chorus, overdrive, distortion, phaser, and more. This may be a must-have for beginner guitarists who don't use pedal effects yet.

Tone Controls

Check which controls the amp includes. You will usually find volume, gain, bass, mid and treble knobs. Ensure the amplifier you choose has enough controls to get the sound you want.

Number of Channels

Most amps feature a couple of channels. Usually, they have a clean and gain channel for different effects and playing various genres.

Inputs and Outputs

Pay attention to the amp's inputs and outputs. Not all amps feature a headphone jack, speaker outputs, or switchfoot inputs. Check for compatibility to connect more instruments and AUX for backtracks.

Design and Construction

Look for an amp with a design that makes everything you need reachable and well-placed so you can connect everything easily. Also, check for durable and reliable build quality that allows you to carry it.

Ease of Use

Sometimes, less is more. A simple amp with a single channel and a few controls can feel more comfortable than one with full features but confusing controls and directions. If you're a beginner, aim for simplicity and intuitive controls.


If you're after a portable amp you can keep at home or take with you when you travel, look for one that can serve multiple purposes. Also, consider what sounds and tones you can get from it. Is it suitable for various genres?


Price might be the number one thing to consider. Start by looking at amps within your budget and see if they offer good value for the price. Remember the considerations listed above and list the most important things in a guitar combo amp according to your needs.

Alternatives to the Orange Rocker 15

Tube guitar combos are for guitarists who want an old-school, velvety, and mellow sound. But the Orange Rocker 15 may not be the only solution. These Rocker 15 alternatives fall into the same price range and have similar features.

Orange Rocker 15 vs Marshall DSL20CR

The Marshall DSL20CR is a 20-watt 2-channel combo amp with gain and volume per channel and reverb. This amp includes a 2-button footswitch to use with your effects loop and to switch the channels. 

The specs are pretty comparable to the Rocker 15, albeit with a bit more power and oomph. Whether you choose Orange or Marshall might just come down to personal preference.

[Check out the full Marshall Vs. Orange amps shootout]

Orange Rocker 15 vs Fender Blues Junior IV

This small 15-watt amp has a compact size and big volume. It has a single channel, spring reverb, and easy-to-use 3-band EQ. It supports a Fat switch, which is included with the amp.

If you're interested in mellower styles like blues and jazz, the Rocker 15 might be overkill in the overdrive department. The Blues Junior, on the other hand, is perfectly suited for, well, blues.

[Check out our full Fender Blues Junior IV review]

Orange Rocker 15 vs Vox AC15

Groundbreaker of the British sound, the Vox AC15 features built-in tremolo and spring reverb, a 2-band EQ, and two channels: normal and top boost. The top boost will greatly enhance your guitar's high end.

While these are both British tube amps with additional overdrive channels, the Rocker 15 has a fatter, heavier sound compared to the Vox, which can be described as jangly or chimney. If you're a hard rocker, opt for the Rocker. Vox amps are better suited for British Invasion-inspired garage and punk rock.

[Check out our full Vox AC15 review]

Orange Rocker 15 vs Blackstar HT-5R MkII

The Blackstar HT-5R is a great little amp that is perfect for practice. It features the exclusive Blackstar Infinite Shape feature, two voice switches, and digital reverb. The emulated output speaker, USB output, and MP3/line-in input are other standout features. The footswitch is included with the amp.

If you aren't a pedal user and would rather have tons of onboard tone-shaping options, the Blackstar might be a better choice than the relatively bare-bones Rocker.

[Check out our full Blackstar ID:CORE V4 review]


The Orange Rocker 15 is the perfect companion for every bedroom guitar player. It offers good audio quality, portability, the versatility to play at different volumes, and an all-valve signal path for that unique, colorful, and saturated sound.

If you're looking for a rich tube combo amp that's the perfect size for practice, you won't regret getting the shape-shifting Rocker 15.

Have fun!

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