The Orange RV100 MkI was the highest wattage version of the Rockerverb line of amps. The Rockerverb in general was meant to be a more modern high gain amp line designed to compete with the high gainers of today. Orange is typically known for their sludgier and meatier amps like the Thunderverbs and OR120s so the RV100 offers a smoother and crisper set of tones. It's a dual channel amp with onboard reverb and an effects loop. The EQ controls are fairly standard British fare. The amp is powered by EL34s and delivers 100 watts of tube glory.
Getting a good sound out of this amp can be a bit more difficult due to the narrow focus of the EQ bands. I find Orange amps to have a bit of an odd and narrow EQ range that can be a bit difficult and annoying to tweak, especially at higher volumes. There isn't a lot of ways to tweak the low end or high end to tighten up the tone... it's really all a variant of midrange tweaking to me, and that makes it a bit more difficult to really dial in effectively, which is frustrating. It's a common complaint I have with British voiced amps, but it's true with Orange to a strong extent.
This amp seems to sound best with humbuckers or P90s. It has a tighter feel to it than the Thunderverbs but it still has a great tone for sludge/doom metal things. The clean channel has a typical British voice that works well for quasi clean tones with a bit of grit. The drive tones are pretty loose and heavy, but still very articulate. It's not a tight or dry amp, not really something I'd use for modern rock or metal, but for that vintage British voice it does a good job for sure.
All in all I think the Orange RV100 is a decent buy for anyone looking for a unique take on the British EL34 powered roar. It's priced kinda high at about $2,300 new but you can find them for less used if you are patient and look. It's not the most versatile amp but it does sound pretty cool for that British vibe. Worth a look if you want that kinda sludgy/doomy vibe but in a more modern package.
Basically the same amp as the Rockverb 50 only doubled the wattage power. You get the same great tone and features but just more power. You will feel a little more headroom in the tone with the added wattage. This means that the tone will be a little more open and airy.
One cool thing that this amp does top any Marshall in the ability to change different power tube from EL34, 6L6s, KT88s, or 6550s which makes this a very cool feature. Being able to tailor your power tube section to your liking is very beneficial. Marshall has dropped the ball on something like this.
CLEAN CHANNEL -
Volume, Bass, Treble.
DIRTY CHANNEL -
Gain, Bass, Niddle, Treble, Volume.
REVERB CONTROL -
For both channels, footswitchable.
Reverb, FX loop, Output value select, Failure fuse
Class A/B 100W (RMS)
Preamp - 4 x ECC83, Output - 4 x EL34, Reverb & FXloop - 2 x ECC81
1 x 16ohms, 2 x 8ohms
(W x H x D) 55 x 24 x 28cm
I used this amp with a Les Paul and a fender Strat. I was able to get some good Zeppelin tones and dial up some Angus Young setting pretty easily. The attack was something I noticed very quickly. It had a touch response similar but more dynamic than a Marshall. It had that midrange but was different in that it felt a little more comfortable if I played sloppy than I would with a Plexi amp. I think it was a little more forgiving and a hair more saggy which would constitute the forgiveness of the amp. I pretty much stayed on the gain channel but occasionally switch over for some smooth warm cleans.
At new this amp come in new at around $2299. I was impressed with this amp. I think it had many attributes that put it above some Marshall amps. I love the vintage vibe it had and the better clean channel than say a JCM 2000. I was able to get a very good tone that could play in a band setting very well or record with.
I would recommend this amp to anyone looking for something different than a Marshall that wants to get a good OD channel and a smooth clean channel all in one amp. It is priced a bit high for where i think it is worth, but then so is a reissue JCM 800. I would pick this amp up on the used market since they hold a good value and seem very road worthy.
Orange Rockerverb 100 features include:
Power: 100 watts
Channel Configuration Clean / Dirty
Footswitch Function Channel / Reverb
Preamp Tubes 4 X 12AX7
Power Tubes 4 X EL34 / 6L6GC / KT88 / 6550
Reverb and FX Loop Tube Driven Both
Tube Failure Protection
Interchangeable Power Tubes
Nothing is easier!
The basic sound (EQ neutral) is simply enormous ... the clean sound is clear lol (only downside, no adjustment medium for this channel). Sound distortion is a marvel, a Gibson top and the metal you can play! The grain is Surprisingly ... and crunch ... well, that's between the two, powerful, great presence, a real dynamic.
I play pop rock progressive. This means that sometimes I need a big distortion, sometimes clear sound, a sound sometimes mixed. In short, I need a versatile amp.
We can say it's a vintage amp (must be the color), I find it very versatile. I remember especially a dynamic breath ... assured presence in concert.
Finished the description, nothing beats qq excerpts: