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Orange Dark Terror
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Orange Dark Terror

Tube Guitar Amp Head from Orange belonging to the Terror series.

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Mi(ni)me Mi(ni)me

« Dark Terrorize me! »

Published on 08/31/14 at 13:08
* The most practical thing about this head are its size and weight. Perfect to rehearse without breaking your back. The speaker that comes with it, the orange 2X12 celestion vintage 30, is also very light (after having used a 2x12 Engl, so I know what I'm talking about!).

* It features a switch to select the power: 7 or 15 watts, up to you. The 7-watt mode is enough to play with my band, more than enough to play along with a drummer and the rest of the band. It's worth noting that you need to really crank the volume on a tube amp to get its best sound: 7 watts with the volume halfway or 3/4 up (distortion 3/4 up as well, it increases the volume) and you can make yourself heard.
The 15-watt mode is better to play clean and use overdrives/distortion from a pedalboard.

* Effects loop for modulation effects (chorus, delay, reverb and whatnot).

UTILIZATION

* Dialing it in couldn't be easier. One volume, one tone (for the mids) and one gain control.

* The famous switch to toggle between 7 and 15 watts output power. Enough to play in a band. Live, amps are usually miked so there's no need for excessive output power. Anyway, this head delivers enough power for small gigs.

* There's a manual for people who have no intuition ;)

SOUNDS

* With the gain cranked all the way up or set to 3/4, you get a nice distortion. The Orange sound remains fat, it's a matter of taste and colors. It can be a bit muddy, not very precise nor well-defined. If you use a pedalboard, it will be easier to get a biting distortion with more precision.

* With an EMG 81/85 (standard tuning or down-tuned a whole step or even in drop C) it sounds good. With Dimarzios and drop B (which starts to be low) it sounds fine, too, but it has less the Orange spirit, less adapted to the amp's style because it turns into a mush when it's too low ;)

* The clean distorts pretty fast, it crunches as soon as you touch the gain.

* The tone control acts on the mids. At the center, it has no impact on sound, I think. Turning it left you get a rock sound, a "British" sound. On the contrary, to the right it's an "American" sound with scooped mids, it's resolutely metal. My favorite setting is to turn this pot to 10/11. I think you can find this type of controls on Blackstar gear!

OVERALL OPINION

* One year of loyal service, always with its orange 2x12 speaker. I used to play with line6 valve combos, which are a good compromise between "tube" and modeling sounds, all-in-one gear. I chose this head to avoid electronic problems (the motherboard on the line6 breaks down once a year, so even if they are versatile, the constant repairs make them a real pain). Switching to the Orange forced me to get a pedalboard, going from digital to analog you have more pro gear and customization :)

* I tested the Jim Root (Slipknot) signature model. I didn't like it as much and, strangely enough, the distortion seemed less vicious.

+ : Reduced size and weight, transportation ease, its looks, the brand, the simplicity!
- : I would've loved to have classic EQ controls, bass/mids/treble, which work really well!

Note: There is the Orange dual terror for people who want two channels. But a two-channel Dark terror would be awesome (just in case the guys at Orange read this review!) !
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