The Orange VT1000 is the world’s first fully automatic, portable, digital valve tester. That’s rad because valve testers used to look like this:

This looks like the control panel for something that launches humans into space

It takes the VT1000 about 2 minutes to test a preamp or power valve and get a rating of good, worn, or fail. You can also use the 1 through 10 rating system to more accurately match your valves.

Since we released the VT1000 it’s ended up in the hands of some of the most high-profile guitar techs in the world. They love how easy it is to use and how well it fits into their work boxes. In fact, they love the VT1000 so much that they filled our email inboxes with pictures and quotes about it. Let’s play a game to see if you can tell which quotes about the VT1000 are real and which are made up (answers at the end).

1. Drew Foppe – Tech for Fleetwood Mac, Deftones, Smashing Pumpkins

“The VT1000 is my favorite electronic device to come out in a very long time and it has already paid for itself in tube matching fees and tubes that I would have simply ended up getting rid of because I didn’t know if they were any good or not.”

2. Steve Smithson – Tech for Sweatpants Boner

“I’ve never worn underwear before, but now I do. The VT1000 is the reason. It makes me poo my pants every time I use it. That’s how exciting it is.”

3. Skully – Tech for Geddy Lee

“An essential tool for the touring amp tech. How many classic valves have been lost due to ‘shotgun’ amp re-tubing? Now you can really know what you are dealing with, and in a portable and simple-to-understand package that heretofore was just not possible.”

4. Bill McLaddyburg – Tech for John 5’s brother

“The Orange VT1000 solved my cousin’s murder. It did what the cops told us was impossible. If you want vigilante justice served ice-cold, the VT1000 is what you need.”

5. Matt Straw – Tech for Robert Plant

“I love my vintage Knight tube tester but the Orange VT1000 is a game changer. No more carrying around a piece of luggage, no more knobs, switches and levers to press. The VT1000 is small, reliable and easy to use. An essential piece of kit.”

6. Gregorious Gravy – Tech for Gov. Mike Huckabee’s Capitol Offense

“I can’t believe how crappy Mike Huckabee’s band is. Why the f*ck am I teching for this dude? The VT1000 is pretty rad though.”

7. Michael Kaye – Tech for Shania Twain, The Who, Paul Simon

“The Orange VT1000 Tube/ Valve Tester paid for itself on day one- I was able to select tubes from new and old batches for current use- and go through the boxes of pulled tubes accumulated over the years.”

8. Sarah Connor – Tech for the Terminator Band

“The VT1000’s rose from the ashes of the nuclear fire. Their war to exterminate mankind has raged for decades, but the final battle would not be fought in the future. It would be fought here, in our present.”

9. Mark Lubetski – Tech for Marilyn Manson

“I’ve been fixing amps on the road for years. For all those years, I wish I had the VT-1000. Knowing if the tubes were good or bad, was always guessing game. Put this one in, take this one out. Not anymore! The VT-1000 does the hard work for me!”

10. Tim Timley – Tech for Dinosaur Senior

“I’m the kind of guy who hates streamlined processes and anything that makes life easier. With that said, the VT1000 is the biggest piece of sh*t I’ve ever used. Only buy one if you love convenience.”

Answers: 1. Real, 2. Fake, 3. Real, 4. Fake, 5. …. We don’t really need to do this, do we? 

For more about the VT1000 Valve Tester Go to Our Website

For the second year ever, Orange is teaming up with Firestone in their search for the best new up and coming music, with Firestone’s Road to the Main Stage.

With Road to the Main Stage, Firestone are encouraging unsigned bands and artists across every genre from blues to pop, and rock to hip hop, to participate in the competition and be in with the chance of winning some of the sweetest things a band just starting their career could ever think of, such as, of course, pride, fame and fortune, obviously, but also your own Orange amps, studio time, a slot at one of the UK’s biggest music festivals and what else… oh, just a van for the band to use as they please for the next year. Doesn’t sound too bad now, does it?

At last week’s VIP launch of 2018’s Road to the Main Stage, we had a chat to last year’s winners, Fire Fences, to see what they’ve been up to ever since winning the jackpot and sealing the deal mid-December last year.

“With the help from Firestone, we were able to record our upcoming EP at Northstone Studios in Wales, a studio we wouldn’t have been able to afford had it not been for their support. The EP is due out within the next couple of months, and we can’t wait! We didn’t get the van but we wouldn’t be completely opposed to it if they wanted to get us one now… As far as gigging goes, we were also lucky enough to play All Points East festival earlier this summer where we all of a sudden found ourselves drinking beer with some of our favourite bands and artists, as if our Spotify playlist somehow came to life and they all just stepped into the room. Tonight is also our first night of playing five gigs in London five nights in a row, with our first ever London headline show at Camden’s The Dublin Castle Thursday 6th of September.”

The ambassador of this year’s competition is country and pop singer Jade Helliwell, who at the age of 18 taught herself how to play the guitar, all along while writing her own lyrics and songs. As faith had it, it wasn’t until a few years later that on a night out with friends, Jade tuned in and started singing with a busker on the street covering Buckley’s version of Cohen’s Hallelujah, which her friend filmed and put on YouTube. Days later, Jade had 21million views and was a star. Having had a lucky draw with her own kick-started success, as well as knowing how hard it is for aspiring bands to find time, money and equipment to get started playing, gigging and recording, she is excited to be a part of the competition and support those entering on their own journeys.

This year as last, Road to the Main Stage is being presented by BBC radio music presenter Abbie McCarthy, who is currently hosting BBC Introducing in Kent, a radio show which is highly thought of amongst industry people as she’s discovered a number of great acts, as well as her own likeable persona and contagious sense of humour. Due to her experience and keen interest in searching for new and exciting music, while at the same time being a keen supporter of independent and grassroots music, Abbie’s involvement in the competition seems obvious.

As far as 2018’s competition is going, we have opened for entries via Road to the Main Stage’s website where you can easily enter as a band, solo artist or group. As mentioned above, the competition is open for everyone no matter where they are (where they are in the UK, that is…), who they are and what they are, as long as they are unsigned and passionate about their music and what they do.

Enter here.

The distinctive British tones of Orange Amplification are coveted across the globe. Musical groups including Grateful Dead, Tyler Bryant and The Shakedown, and Marcus King Band, are delighted to join the prestigious ranks of Orange Ambassadors.

Tyler Bryant and the Shakedown band are known for their electrifying classic rock revivalism and have performed alongside AC DC, Aerosmith, B.B. King, Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck and  ZZ Top. They are currently supporting Guns N’ Roses on the Not In This Lifetime world tour. Orange recently caught up with the band and you can see front man and killer guitarist Tyler Bryant talking about his Rockerverb MKIII 100 here. Fellow bandmate and guitarist, the fleet fingered Graham Whitford uses a Dual Dark 50 which you can see here and the bands talented bassist Noah Denney talks about his AD200 MK3 here.

Also, joining Orange’s highly respected list of Ambassadors is guitar phenomenon Marcus King and fellow bandmate, bassist Stephen Campbell,of the Marcus King Band. Marcus is poised to be one of music’s great guitarists; with his remarkable virtuoso talent, he can play blues, rock, R&B, country, soul and more. So he and the Rockerverb MKIII and PPC412 cabinet are ideally suited. Meanwhile Stephen is using Orange AD200 MK3 with OBC810 cabinet to hold down the bands sweet groove. The Marcus King Band is currently touring across the USA.

Another new Ambassador, Bob Weir is appreciating the sounds of his Orange Rocker 15. He describes it as ‘a fun, really flexible little amp for low-volume situations like playin’ electric along with acoustic instruments….’. Bob has been described as the harmonic engine of the Grateful Dead and Dead & Company, with his original ability to make the guitar sound huge. He is currently touring with Dead & Company across the USA.

Whether it’s rock, blues psychedelia, Americana, folk or other music genre, Orange Amplifications clean sounds will appeal to guitarists and bassists alike.

Firestone Tyres’ annual search for the best new music is back and Orange Amps are proud to support them.

Firestone’s Road to the Main Stage celebrates originality, providing a life changing opportunity for emerging artists and musicians from all genres.

Firestone, the iconic tyre brand, is building on its long-standing commitment to grassroots music, giving talented up-and-coming artists and groups the chance to compete in their Road to the Main Stage competition and win a life changing prize. Hosted by DJ and new music expert Abbie McCarthy and featuring internet sensation and award-winning country music star, Jade Helliwell, as ambassador, Road to the Main Stage gives unsigned bands and musicians from every genre the chance to get noticed by influential industry figures and the music loving public alike.

Partnering with Orange Amplification, Professional Music Technology and BIMM, unsigned bands and artists have the opportunity to win a prize package in value of £25k. The prize includes the chance to play at a top UK music festival, as well as two more high profile live slots at Good Karma Club and the Orange Amplification Anniversary, a VW Transporter for a year, equipment and studio time, all to help artists on their road to the main stage.

Country star and ambassador, Jade Helliwell, understands the obstacles on the road to success and the difference one opportunity can make. Jade rose to fame when a video of her singing ‘Hallelujah’ alongside busker David Esial on a night out in Leeds went viral and received 21 million views. From this, her album Forget The Night, hit number 1 in UK iTunes Country charts and number 8 in the UK iTunes Album charts. Jade has also been tipped as the UK’s answer to Taylor Swift, won the British Country Music Award Female Vocalist Of The Year 2017 and has been nominated for four further awards this year.

Talking about Road to the Main Stage, Jade said: “As emerging artists we’re all facing the same battles. We’re all trying to get gigs, raise enough money for equipment and get transport. So, no matter what genre you are, this competition is an incredible opportunity and right for you”.

 

Officially launched on September 3rd, entries for Road to the Main Stage run through to October 4th. Partners will then select six acts to go forward as spotlighted artists, with the public vote to decide which three make it to the Road to the Main Stage final open between October 29th and November 11th. The final itself will be held on November 22nd at the John Henry’s in London, with the three finalists performing in front of four judges who will decide on the winner that evening.

 

As longstanding supporters of authentic grassroots music, Stuart Attfield, Regional Brand Manager, from Firestone said: “Part of Firestone Live’s all-round music programme, Firestone’s Road to the Main Stage, is all about championing new music and new artists, giving the opportunity to emerging artists across all genres to have their music heard by industry professionals and the public. Last year’s success with Fire Fences, who were able to go on and play at All Points East, is exactly the kind of thing Firestone wants to offer new artists on their road to the main stage, building on our strong music heritage.”

 

To enter Firestone Road to the Main Stage. Follow this link: firestone.roadtothemainstage.co.uk

Yo, its Tyler from Tyler Bryant and the Shakedown and I play Orange Amps.

So I heard the music of Elvis Presley when i was in first grade and that was that pivotal moment where I became obsessed with music. When I was eleven I went into a guitar shop and I heard this guy called Roosevelt Twitty playing and he asked me if I liked the blues and I said “what’s the blues?”. He said; “it’s what I’m playing” and I said; “well then I love the blues!” I ran into him again and again, long story short, I put a dirtbike that I had on layaway and got an electric guitar and it’s been downhill ever since!

Blues lead me to guys like Johnny Winter and Jimi Hendrix, which lead me to the Black Crowes and Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers. So the blues led me to Rock n Roll which inspired me to get out of high school when I was seventeen and move to Nashville. There I started focusing on songwriting and forming a band, and I ended up with a band called the Shakedown. That’s kind of how it all played out.

I was actually riding around Nashville, with Graham Whitford who is also in the Shakedown and he said i’m going to stop into the Orange amps office and try some amps. So I said I will go with you and plugged into a Rockerverb. I wanted something I could get a lot of sustain out of and I tried the Rockerverb and got one, I loved it so much. I just use one channel on the Rockerverb, the clean channel and I drive it hard and I use the attenuator to set the volume and its as simple as that. I just love how much sustain I can get out of that amp. I just happened to rolling around with Graham in Nashville and played one and here we are.

So I always want an amp that has a good clean channel but also sounds big, if I don’t have a pedal on. But I don’t want an amp that is so distorted that I can’t have some control at my pedal board. So it’s this fine balance of an amp that’s big and full and that’s almost on the edge of being crunchy but still clean and precise. I like to hear, it’s hard to explain, I want the amp to sound glassy, like I want to hear the tubes and feel that play between the guitar and the amp.

 

 

Hey this is Graham Whitford with Tyler Bryant and the Shakedown.

I just kind of naturally started picking up the guitar, I don’t know what exactly it was but I just started looking at them and I kind of went that thing looks kind of cool, maybe I should play that. I started picking it up and just naturally started practicing all the time. Any time there is a guitar in the room or a drum set for that matter, I still have the horrible “Oh god, I need to play that right now!” It’s like I’m an addict or something!

Well Orange I actually started playing pretty recently, within the last year. I plugged into the Dual Dark 50 and I was blown away by how good it sounded. It had this really beautiful mid range, punchy, fat sound to it.

I just love the sound of tube saturation and a little bit of gain but not too much gain, just enough. I’ve always been fascinated by that bell tone that you get, Orange does that great. They are workhorses, they are really sturdy, we haven’t had any problems with them breaking down, that happens on the road when you are moving around so much.

I would say tone, first and foremost but also reliability, cuz they are really reliable, they are built like tanks. They sound really good, i’ve always heard about Orange over the years but never got a chance to really check one out and especially check one out in a live setting. They just sound really good and they look cool!

I’m Noah Denney bass player and singer of all the high parts in Tyler Bryant and the Shakedown.

It was about a year ago we did Ramblin’ Man Fair, for that particular festival they had Orange amps available, I had a pair of Orange AD200 and a pair of 8×10’s. I had actually never played them before and I said I would love to try those out. I loved them! It was awesome, I plugged them in and turned them on, I didn’t have to fiddle with any of the EQ it just sounded good right off the bat. It was kind of like  “Man this is like how easy I wish every bass amp would be”, I just plugged it in and sounded great, I didn’t have to do anything.

I’d say probably a tie between reliability and tone are what’s most important to me. In order to stay up there with the two guitar players in the band,  I’ve got to ride the amps pretty hard. I need something that can take a beating, I’ve pretty much destroyed lots and lots of amplifiers over the past six or seven years. I have never had a single problem with the Orange, another reason I love it they are built like tanks. They can take everything I throw at it and like I said that tone, it’s there I didn’t even have to look for it, I turned it on and it sounded great.

Its really cool to have the support of Orange amps, with everybody that’s made their name playing with those right behind them. I never really expected it to be something that happened to me, its an honour to have such a renowned brand be into what we are doing and supporting us. We are very grateful of that.

 

Alex here. I was too busy doing a video shoot to add any bands to this month’s roundup. Dan’s picks are below. I had to do SO MUCH grammatical editing and there’s only like 10 sentences. DAN: Turn on your auto-correct in Word.

The Beths – Little Death

The Beths are a band from Auckland, New Zealand who have a knack for writing great songs. The band’s power pop harmonies are all over their debut album “Future Me Hates Me”. The single I chose was “Little Death” as its slow start builds to pounding verse and chorus which sticks in the memory.

Anna Calvi- Don’t beat the girl out of my boy

Anna Calvi is just about to release her third album and if this song is anything to go by then we are in for another amazing set of songs. If you haven’t seen Anna live, you don’t know what you are missing! Her guitar playing is second to none and its one of the most intense shows I have ever seen.

The Fever 333 – Made An America

Seeing these guys play the Heavy Music awards was an event! The band consists of members of Letlive, The Chariot and Night Verses. They released an EP called “Made An America” with this single. The band’s shows are manic and I can’t wait to hear more music from them.

Hey it’s Becky from Milk Teeth, I play bass and sing.

I used to go to Hevy Fest a lot, that was one of my first “ins”. I always loved the gear, I like the classic way that it looks, you know an Orange from a mile off, you could be stood at the back of crowd and you will know the cab.

I want something that has the basics, you have good tone, tone is really essential. Does like a decent job but at the same time I like to have some versatility so you can change your sound and stuff. I tend to play quite bass heavy, a little bit of treble, I just like something punchy.

My current rig is the OB1 head by Orange and i’ve got the 8×10 cab which is great, it weighs more than i do, I googled it! I’m not using much gain on it, as I tend to get most of my gain from the RAT pedal. I tend to use it more as a clean, like I said I have the bass really high, I like it to sound deep and bassy. The mids are like eleven o’clock, the treble is actually down I used to turn it up but it’s now down a bit. Its more like ten o’clock but I think it sounds great as it is.

I’m after the next amp up, the AD200 thats on the wish list. But I think for the money the OB1 series is great, it’s just as good, it sounds way more expensive than it is.

Its really cool that Orange has taken me on as part of the roster. I think its really great that someone has put faith in a girl playing bass because some companies not all may be a bit wary, so that is refreshing. I’m surrounded by a host of other great musicians, its just really nice, I mean we are out with Good Charlotte at the moment and they are also playing Orange. So that’s cool, we are matching!

 

For the second year, Orange Amps have been proud to sponsor and supply equipment and prizes to the British Institute of Modern Music (BIMM) who run a range summer schools at their venues around the UK aimed at musicians aged 11-17 looking to develop their technique, their confidence as live performers or simply to just have fun.

Each Summer School run a five-day week and consists of dedicated tuition for the student’s chosen instrument, a live performance workshop on stage every afternoon to hone their performance skills, along with a different special guest each day. On the last day, they get to form a band and rehearse their favourite track of the week in preparation for an afternoon performance for all their friends and family.

Orange Amps have a tradition of supporting the best new music and we are honoured to support these young people in their chosen World of Music.