Orange AD30TC
Orange AD30TC

AD30TC, Tube Combo Guitar Amp from Orange in the AD series.

King Loudness 12/17/2011

Orange AD30TC : King Loudness's user review

« Fly the union.... orange? »

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The Orange AD30 is a combo built by the British company to capture a different share of their market. The AD30 is a 30 watt dual channel combo with two identical looking channels. Each channel is equipped with gain, volume, bass, middle and treble controls. Though the channels are identical, the bottom channel is voiced much hotter and is intended to be the amp's drive channel, whereas the top channel is voiced for a cleaner sound. The amp has no reverb or effects loop, keeping it in the fairly old school camp. It puts out 30 watts of power, runs on EL84 power tubes (a different characteristic to the standard EL34) and is a 2x12 combo with Celestion Vintage 30 speakers.


Getting a good sound out of this amp is a little bit more difficult than I would've expected from such a simple looking design. The tones are really quite loose and can get muddy easily if you dial it in the wrong way. The controls react fairly effectively to tweaking, but the amp has an inherent loose and bassy quality that is tougher to dial out. As a result the amp sounds a bit undefined at times and not articulate enough for the more standard hard rock styles that I generally put all high gainers through.


When this amp IS finally dialed in the sounds are actually quite cool. I owned a Rockerverb 50 at the time that I was considering this amp as well and noted that this amp sounded looser, more vintage, had much less gain (using that control on full with the AD30 was equal to about 1/2 gain on my RV). It's not quite what I'd call a modern sounding amp, but it definitely does have a cool gain voicing that works well for more classic styles. The clean channel has a nice Class A chime. It's a bit grittier than a typical clean, but it does have a certain cool bite to it that really stands apart. The drive channel is a fairly loose and very raunchy drive tone; not a lot of gain but a certain menacing quality that just works very well for '70s type rock. It doesn't have enough gain or tightness for modern music, but that wasn't the intent for the design.


All in all I think the Orange AD30 is a decent amp for someone looking for a more vintage style Orange amp in a not too complex package. The two channels sound great when you dial them both in and the lack of superfluous features gives a nice purity of sound. At $2,000 new this amp isn't the cheapest in the stable, but if you're looking for a cool vintage amp that will give you a different take on that British roar, this one might be work a look.