Orange Jim Root Terror #4 Review
Orange and Black
It might seem incredible but, up to this day, Orange had never offered a signature amp. But now the Jim Root #4 has changed things for good! So it's time for us to put the focus on this small black animal.
In distortion mode, the amp really seduced me. To record the samples, I connected the Jim Root Terror to the speaker of my Orange Rockerverb 50 combo. I played my '82 Fender Telecaster and my '74 SG, and I'm sure both of them loved it… I placed an SM57 in front of the speaker and connected the mic to my soundcard without processing. I played in 7-watt mode without cranking the distortion but changing the EQ settings depending on the takes. Switching to 15-watt operation increases the loudness without changing the sound noticeably.
The clean sound is much less sexy! You get clean sound through the first quarter of the volume or gain knob, but to be honest, this amp wasn't conceived for clean sounds, at least not for full chords. The Jim Root has a good dynamic response making it very valuable for dry and funky styles, especially when playing single notes. And as soon as the amp crunches a bit, the sound turns monstrously punchy!
I See Life in Orange
Are we facing the demise of the rock myth that stated that "only bulky and heavy gear is high-quality gear"? For rehearsals and live gigs in medium-sized clubs (up to 200 persons), 15-watt tube amp heads are loud enough, even if not miked... Small but powerful! We can even assert that most guitar players who own a 100-watt head rarely have the opportunity to crank it up. And let's not mention the price of a 100-watt head, the space you need to stock and transport it and, last but not least, its weight, because playing live gigs also means carrying a lot of gear... For someone like me who spends a lot of time on the road, such small amps are becoming very appealing, especially considering the sound quality of the last Tiny Terror. I'm not a fan of signature amps nor Slipknot, but this amp really turned me on!
You could argue that it lacks a second channel, a footswitch and a small reverb, but that would be missing the point... This amp is more expensive than the other members of its family (Dark Terror and Tiny Terror), but to me it is definitely worth the difference.