This is Orange's modern rock amp. Clean and lead channel with reverb. Not much more complicated than that. 6V6 tubes and 50 watts. Perfect for gigs. Minimal controls. Not a lot to say here.
I played in a pop rock band for a few years and this is one of the amps I tried during that process. I toured with it and everything. I played a Les Paul Custom into it. My pedal board consisted of a boss delay, a tubescreamer, a fulltone ocd, and some boutique chorus I can't remember. Pretty simple. I originally had an orange 2x12 but I found it too bassy so I started using a Splawn half stack with Vintage 30's.
The clean channel for me was pretty meh to be honest. The reverb is overbearing. On anything higher than 2 it sounds stupid. Just my opinion. I don't really use it anyway. I'm not really sure what label to give the cleans. They aren't vox or fender. Maybe both. They're quite dark and they are usable but in my band we rarely did cleans anyway.
Lead channel through my setup was very very bassy. With the Orange 2x12 is was overkill so I switched to a Splawn cab. That helped a little. Still this amp has a ton of bass. I was shocked. I generally have to run bass at 2 or 3 with everything else past noon. I can't really think of another amp I have to do that to. Tonally, it sounds like a slightly hot rodded JCM800 with more fuzz and thickness in the lower end. That's a simple way of putting it. Maybe it's my rig but I doubt it.
After a few months of touring I finally got tired of the extreme bass on this amp. I got a nice JCM800 which pleased me a lot more. I can't write off the rockerverb though. If you want a bassy marshall, this is the one to get. Simple as that. It sounds awesome for that application.
I had been waiting a while to try out the Orange amps since they claim they are the Marshall killer. I was a Marshall guy so I needed to be convinced what they claim was true. So I went down to the shop to try it out. The first thing I noticed was that it did sound very good. But I thought to myself which Marshall are they claiming to beat....Plexi, 800, 2000, 900....maybe it was the MG series to which I would completely agree with them on. Perhaps they beat the 900 series or maybe even a unmodified 800. Maybe not that far since the 800 is a classic in rock music. Well it did sound very excellent!
The Rockverb coupled with a 4x12 of the same standard had a great grind and distortion to it. The functions can be a little confusing at first since it is in pictures and words, but it is a classic style to Orange amps which I appreciate. It did have a vintage feel and sound to it which was immediately noticeable. The tone was very classic and classic rock proportioned.
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.
I want to say Jimmy Paige was using this amp with the Foo Fighters at Wembly a few year ago...not for certain though. he had a great Orange tone on that dvd.
Fairly simple to use that any one can quickly figure out. The controls reacted very nice to even the slightest twist of the knobs. That to me says they build this with very high standards. It took very little time to get a good grind from this amp. The clean channel was very nice as well and to me sounded much better than a Plexi or 800 clean.
The effects loop was done very well in my opinion. I could easily run delays there with out sounded like my OD lost something.
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.
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.
(NOTE: This is (for the most part), a review I did for Rig-Talk forums a few weeks ago. It is still my own however.)
In a nutshell, this is a 50 watt, dual channel tube amp from Orange Amplifiers. The power section is rather unique in that it runs on four 6V6 power tubes. The vast majority of high gain amp heads seem to run on either 6L6 tubes or EL34 power tubes. For those who don't know, 6L6s are generally described as a very full and rich sounding tube... great for clean tones as well as a nice American sounding high gain. They're generally a very "tight" sounding tube and work very well for a precise sound where clarity of notes is very important. By contrast EL34 power tubes tend to be much looser and rawer. They were the tube of choice for many British amps like Marshalls and they have a very biting, aggressive vibe. The cleans aren't as stellar, but they're not usually used for that application as a first choice. The 6V6 tubes in the RV50 are sort of like a "best of both worlds" type of scenario. They have a very nice American vibe (which allows the cleans to be a bit more sparkly than an EL34 powered amp), but they can get that raw British sound quite easily as well when you dial the amp in for it. I'd always thought of 6V6s as a tube used for cleaner/lower gain tones (IE: older Fender amps), but it does work on a really interesting and unique level for higher gain rhythm and lead sounds as well.
To me, the amp has a very straightforward and simple layout. It is not difficult to figure out the controls on the amp, but rather learning how they interact and react with one another (which I will address in the next column).
The clean channel is very basic and to the point, featuring only a volume control for levels, and a single set of bass and treble controls for the equalization. It reminds me very much of an old tweed Fender or something because of this control layout. I personally wish there was a gain control for the clean channel so that you could control the amount of breakup on the clean channel as compared to volume, but it's certainly usable as is. The dirty channel is laid out much like the clean channel, but it adds gain and middle (midrange) controls to the equation. As far as this channel goes, the only thing I wish they had added would have been a presence control to control those highest peak frequencies that the treble control doesn't deal with. There's also a tube driven reverb (very cavernous - I find it's mostly unusable past about 2), as well as a tube driven effects loop, which I've found is very kind to pedals (specifically time based effects). The only other thing of note is a two way switch on the back panel which reads Output Damping. Basically, what this does is act as sort of a tightness control. In the 'tight' setting, the amp is a bit more responsive to pick attack, and I found that the sound was a little bit cleaner overall. The 'loose' setting was a bit gainer and raunchier than the tight one and worked better for high gain riffage and certain more basic lead things. All in all, it's got a decent set of features but there are definitely things that could better it... (FWIW, some of my gripes were addressed in the RV50 MkII.)
The Orange Rockerverb is definitely an interesting idea. They basically took a very basic Fender layout for the clean channel (think Fender Champ) and combined that with a fairly typical British distortion channel to try and give people a "best of both worlds" kind of amp. The 6V6 tubes in the power section definitely add a character that, to my ears, is like a cross between Fender and Marshall.
However, perhaps it's my cabinet (Haggerty 2x12 loaded with Eminence V12s), my guitar (I was using a Gibson LP with '57 Classics, a Parker Fly Deluxe with DiMarzios, or one of many different Fender Strats, all with SSS pickup configurations), the room I'm in, or SOMETHING, but the amp just did not cut it in a band mix. When I first got the amp, I jammed on it at home for about a week to get a feel for it, and it was great... very rich cleans and a very thick and syrupy distortion sound that just sang with overtones and musical feedback. However, as soon as I got it into a band mix... I could not have been more disappointed. What had sounded great and fat at home levels (probably about 3 or 4 on the dirty channel volume) was not cutting through in the slightest against a drummer, bassist and second guitarist (who runs a 50w Marshall head and a Marshall 2x12 cabinet.) I found that in order to cut through, I had to either dime the amp (yes, that means 10), or turn my middle and treble controls up to levels that had me cutting through in the mix at the levels I needed... but also caused this atrocious high midrange frequency to be the only thing I could hear. Unfortunately this is still true after about four months of working with the amp (I have since traded it.) I tried boosts, swapping tubes, different room placements, etc, but it just did not stack up in a band setting for what I'm doing. I just couldn't find a balance that gets me what I want to hear AND cuts through without turning the amp up to ungodly levels. This applies to both channels. The clean channel is okay (a bit flat sounding for my tastes), but I cannot get good pristine cleans at band levels because they just get lost as well (this might be where a gain control for the clean channel would come in handy.) I also find that the middle and treble controls tend to control very similar frequency ranges... leaving the highest treble and lower midrange frequencies unaffected, and that is definitely not something that I am a fan of.
My biggest gripe is the value for money of the amp. At $2,099 CAD new plus 15% taxes, I feel that this amp is grossly overpriced for the features and tone that you are getting. (The RV50 MkII clocks in at $2,225 CAD + tax). Mind you I got this one used, but my point still stands. When you get to that price point, you're within the territory of amps like the Splawn Quick Rod ($1,850 new... approximately $2,300 CAD after shipping and duties), the Mesa Boogie Mark V ($2,299 CAD + taxes), or even something like a Marshall JVM410H ($1,675 + taxes.) This isn't even taking into account the deals you can find used on much higher end gear like CAE, Bogner, Diezel) even if it costs a little bit more in the long run. That isn't to say the Orange is bad for the price per se, but I feel like there are better amps out there that will be more versatile (IE: Mesa Mark V), or do the British voice one better (IE: Splawn Quick Rod) so at Orange's new prices, I would never even consider one (though honestly Orange's pricing is high as it is, but I won't open that can of worms here.) All in all... unless you REALLY want this specific tone/tolex colour, or get a good deal on one second hand, I wouldn't even bother looking at a Rockerverb.
All in all, I think Orange did a reasonable job with this amp. The concept is really cool, and I think it definitely has some decent tones... but unfortunately the lack of certain features as well as the very high price point really leaves a sour taste in my mouth. However, in closing I want to stress that my gripes with the amp are most likely to do with my own ear. Try one for yourself and form your own opinions is my best advice, but you already knew that.
This is a 2-channel tube amp head in the British tradition, as Orange is known to make. It has one 1/4" input as well as a speaker cable output and an effects loop. In my opinion Orange Amps sound best with Orange cabinets but I'd say overall that you could also use a Marshall cabinet too. There are 50 watts in this amp, which doesn't sound like much but trust me, it's plenty. There are no effects other than reverb which is on both channels. There are volume and EQ controls for both channels, though the dirty channel has a gain knob as well.
Getting a good sound out of this is easy assuming you like the sound of this amp. It's different from most sounds but it has a phenomenal tone. The controls are so simple that dialing in a good sound is pretty basic. I like the EQs because they don't alter the tone too drastically, they must be designed in order to complement, rather than distract from, the sound of the amplifier. In fact, with no EQ at all the amp still sounds great. But anyway, the reverb is also really easy to use. There isn't a master level which is strange but it's nothing I can't get used to.
This amp sounds absolutely phenomenal with my Tele, my Jazzmaster, and a Les Paul. Basically it's great for rocking out, and not in the metal sense. The clean channel is ok, it's not anywhere near as good as a Vox AC30 or a Fender Twin, it's really not anywhere in the ballpark of either of those companies' greatest amps, but I will say that it has a nice character of its own. It's not particularly bright enough for me usually but sometimes it works. The dirty channel, however, is phenomenal. I have a hard time getting dirty tones that are as good as this with almost any other amp. Pedals and Fender Twins just aren't the same. It's got a bright, punchy, singing tone that works great with most rock music, especially the stuff that's not TOO heavy, though with some nasty modern humbuckers like in an ESP you can really crunch this thing to death. And let's not forget the stellar spring reverb which rivals Fender at it's best! It's basically a great addition to the already stellar Orange lineup. Granted, it's older, but it's new to me.
I really liked the dirty channel on this amp. The clean channel was good but not as amazing as the dirty. Overall I'd say if you'd like a pristine, British-style distorted guitar amp, then this is probably your best bet overall. It's certainly expensive but it's pretty reasonable considering the others in its price range from Marshall and Fender and other competitors. The sound is great and it's probably going to work for any rock player who isn't trying to get really really heavy (though again, that is possible). Highly recommended.