In September 2014 Orange added the LEARN button to its website. It provided guided lessons to anyone who wanted to play guitar AND get an official government qualification. We wanted to increase the chances of customers keeping up their love of playing guitar by helping them get measured results and get paid in a job environment from their new quals.

The course was split into 3 levels: Beginner, Intermediate and Advanced. After a year we had a few thousand guitarists logging into the website Learn area a month. Since Cliff founded Orange in the 60s, he’s always wanted to try different things but he was mainly spurred by the love of music and knowing he’s making a positive impact and so was very happy with what we had created.

In the following years, the amount of students subscribing to the course kept increasing. The course was updated and split into smaller and more manageable segments of lessons and we made it easy to run on any mobile device and not just desktop computers. All this was done with resources, we had it linked to our main website here at orangeamps.com.

Recently, the UK has changed how tax works with European online learning services such as Orange Learn. This means we no longer can maintain Orange Learn on orangeamps.com while running a merchandise store at the same time. So to resolve this, we have cloned our website over to orangelearn.com. Students can continue their studies while giving Orange Learn the ability to expand beyond what our website infrastructure at orangeamps.com was limited to.

On paper, orangelearn.com is a different company but the same team who managed orangeamps.com/learn are behind it and they’re excited to continue Orange Learn. We cloned our website over to orangelearn.com where you’ll find your progress, user, purchased lessons and courses as you left it – although if you progressed in the past week, you might find our copy a bit behind so you will have to cheat and skip a few lessons to get back to where you were.

We are also launching a more bite sized course with the same qualifications as the last one was pretty massive!

When you’re ready to resume your lessons, head over to orangelearn.com. Email us at education@orangeamps.com for any issues you find.

Here’s how the website looked back in 2014 when we first launched Orange Learn.

Our thoughts are with Bruce’s friends, family and everyone at Blackstar Amplification. Another great mind has been taken from the music industry and at a far too young age. We will always have the greatest respect for the innovative and creative work Bruce brought to the UK amplification industry. He will be greatly missed.

– from Cliff Cooper and the rest of the Orange Family.

Below was copied from Blackstar’s Statement posted on their Facebook page on Tuesday 21st September 2021:

https://www.facebook.com/blackstaramps/

On Tuesday the 14th September, Blackstar received the sad news that our co-Founder, technical mentor and friend Bruce Keir passed away. He died peacefully with his family at his side.


Bruce had been ill for some time, suffering from a form of early-onset Alzheimer’s disease. Bruce was born in Singapore on 12 January 1961 to parents Jill and Jock. He is survived by his brother and sister Bill and Jane and his twin children Elly and Archie.

Bruce’s father was a leading BBC radio engineer and growing up on the BBC World News relay station in Malaya afforded Bruce the opportunity (and discarded components) to pursue his passion for electronics from an early age.


Bruce’s early interest in audio and guitar electronics was inspired by his love of rock music and his older brother Bill’s successful rock band, Wolf. He gained his early valve experience working on Bill’s old Marshalls.
Bruce’s formal electronics education took place at Salford University where he would supplement his grant income back home in Cumbria, fixing local bands equipment and designing electronics for handmade bass legends Overwater. He also set up his own company, Excel Electronics Ltd from the loft of his parents’ home in Cumbria.
After graduation, Bruce moved to Milton Keynes commencing work with Marshall Amplification. He started his career as a Design Engineer before progressing to Chief Engineer and then Design Director, working directly with Jim Marshall for several years. During the 80s and 90s he was responsible for many of Marshall’s technological breakthroughs and leading products.


It was at Marshall during the late 90s, that Bruce met Ian Robinson, Paul Hayhoe and Richard Frost (the Four Bald Men) with whom he would eventually form Blackstar Amplification in 2007.


Bruce had an encyclopaedic knowledge of all aspects of electronics that cut across the traditional boundaries of solid state, valve and digital technology. He advocated a “proper engineering approach” that contrasted with the “guruism” that is often prevalent in guitar amp design – Blackstar adhere to these values today.


Bruce was extremely generous with sharing his knowledge and has mentored many up-and-coming electronics engineers including Blackstar M.D, Ian Robinson and Technical Director, Laurent Veignal.


Bruce designed all the original Blackstar products including Artisan, Series One and HT Pedals with me in Ian’s garden shed in Northampton. Bruce was the technical driving force behind all these designs which led to three patents. He also designed the original digital algorithms that became ID:Series and is the foundation of our digital strength today.


Under Bruce’s guidance Blackstar has established a world leading guitar technology R&D facility which invests constantly in researching guitar technology and driving forward innovation.


As well as business partner and mentor, Bruce was also a very close friend and played bass in a band with the founding Blackstar team (including Marketing Director Joel Richardson) for years.

Over the years, Bruce has been an inspiration to many, many people and those who met him will remember the warmth, humour and gravitas of a truly unique individual. Blackstar will make sure his legacy is remembered, protected and strengthened.

Bruce’s family and Blackstar have requested no flowers, but have set up a Just Giving page for donations to the Alzheimer’s society.

Please donate through this link: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/brucekeir

You can leave your tributes, stories and experiences of your time spent with Bruce here: https://www.mykeeper.com/profile/BruceKeir/

Ever since he founded Orange back in 1968, Cliff Cooper has always believed that no other company could have cared more than us about innovation in guitar valve amplifier design and sound technology. However, it’s not just about design, it’s about how the sound is perceived – something that Cliff has always thought of as ‘the sound of the sound‘… it’s about the physical pleasure that the sound of an amp gives a guitarist as he plays. That is what really matters.

I’ll share some of my favourite ‘Orange Sound‘ devices that I use in my studio, live shows, demos, etc.

For example, let’s talk about the Kongpressor pedal, an analogue Class A compression pedal with an organic three dimensional quality.

Credit: Musicradar

Kongpressor’s effect is transparent at lower compression levels, but somehow fattening, adding mojo and a glossy sheen to your core tone that you’ll truly miss when it’s bypassed. Even at extreme settings, the tone always remains musical with great feel under the fingers. Outstanding for crystal clean country pickin’, but maintaining the bottom end that seems to get lost in many compression pedals, behaving impeccably with overdrive pedals or the lead channel of your amplifier, adding fullness and sustain.

Oooooooor, what about the PPC212, a closed-back 2×12″ featuring two Celestion Vintage 30 speakers, the PPC212 is in essence our classic 4×12 slashed in half, ideal for players looking for the the fattest possible tone when a 4×12″ would be too large.

Finished in our legendary 1968 livery, basket weave vinyl, woven speaker grille cloth, signature ‘picture frame’ edging and 18mm Birch ply construction… what a cab !! As Devon Allman described it “This ain’t your Daddy’s blues. It’s the next generation. It gets airborne. It’s fueled by Orange.”

I’ll keep picking favourites and bringing them to you, to maybe give you a new idea for your rig, an obscure gadget you should discover or the next classic to be Orange product.

“… we can always learn new skills and improve, we will also continue with our search for perfection.” – Cliff Cooper

We asked you to share your favourite riffs with us and we’ve now compiled them into a playlist, no surprise here that Black Sabbath’s the king of the castle, with about half of you saying’Into the Void’ is the best riff ever. Listen below, or by finding us on Spotify under ‘orangeamplifiers‘ and give us a follow to be kept in the loop of new playlists. Happy Easter!

Question: What if Ghostbusters was like, still about blasting ghosts, but instead of using proton packs they used Orange amps strapped to their backs and the guns were guitars?

I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately. The Ghostbusters are some of my favorite people. They’re all laid back and cool, but at the end of the day they’re action stars, superstars even. They saved the f*cking world. They’re pretty ugly guys but that’s what makes them endearing. I mean, look at country music icon Conway Twitty:

Conway Twitty came from a time when you could be ugly as sin but still be a music superstar. We called it the 70’s. That dude was beating off women with a stick.  

The Ghostbusters have proton packs which, according to the definition I found in my sock drawer, have “the power of 1,000 suns harnessed into a backpack that could potentially malfunction causing the end of the universe as we know it.” That’s a whole lot of power for these men to wield.

In fact, we should fear the Ghostbusters. They’re basically gods. Which is why I don’t understand how a guy like Martin Peck, representing a governmental organization like the EPA, would think it’s even in his wheelhouse to try and tell these guys what to do. Put them on their pedestal and give them their gold medal because nobody is worthy of their greatness.

And so that’s why I think they’re basically the same as Matt Pike.

Hear me out.

The Ghostbusters have technology capable of tearing holes in the space-time continuum. Matt Pike has a wall of Orange amps. That’s pretty much the same thing. Also, the Ghostbusters shoot beams of energy (music) at ghosts (their audience). Then they capture the ghosts (the audience’s attention) and transport them to an otherworldly holding chamber which is essentially purgatory (the merch line).

See? Doesn’t that make sense?

It doesn’t? You’re upset you even started reading this opinion piece? Fine, no worries. The whole point of this was to show a picture of a Ghostbuster with an Orange cab strapped to his back.

Yeah, that’s pretty badass.

With Christmas coming up we’ve put together list of ideas for what to get the zest lovin’ citrus slinger in your life. Alternatively, enter our #WishGranted competition and you might just get your hands on one of them for free..

Crush Mini

The Orange Crush Mini is designed to give you classic Orange tone in a small, lightweight package. Whether you’re jamming in your bedroom or warning up backstage, the Crush Mini is the perfect companion.

Wireless Crest Edition Headphones

Our wireless Crest Edition Headphones last for up to 27 hours on a single charge, and has a built in microphone for video/phone calls, along with support for Google Assistant & Apple Siri.

Terror Stamp & Cable

For years, our Terror series amps have proven that the biggest sounds can come in the tiniest packages. Taking our pocket-sized powerhouse concept one step further, we’ve brought you the Terror Stamp. Packing all of the punch of the minuscule Micro Terror and Micro Dark amps into an even smaller pedal format, this Valve/Solid State hybrid amp brings 20 Watts of killer Orange tone right onto your pedalboard.

The Terror Stamp Cable is a 20ft speaker cable. Perfect for giving you extra range from your speaker cabinet when used on a pedal board.

Coffee Mug

Want some Orange heritage in your caffeinated beverage? Add some decibels to your drinks receptacle with the Orange Coffee Mug!

FS 1 Mini

Our heavy duty footswitches are perfect for all of your Orange switching needs! The FS1 mini comes with a sticker sheet and has a a smooth action footswitch.

Crush Cables

Orange Crush Cables are manufactured using the finest components available, including the highest grade oxygen-free copper for optimum signal clarity and articulation.

Crest T-Shirt

The Re-Stoned, by Rodinaat Photo.

This logo is found on all our ‘Pics Only’ amps from the 1970s to the present day and features artwork used in our first Orange Records leaflet. Celebrate the Orange heritage in style!

OMEC Teleport

The OMEC Teleport interface is a universal connection device (IOS, Android, Mac, PC) without any specific drivers or software requirements. The Teleport allows you to convert analog audio signals to digital, to be processed with the many apps and software available, and digital audio signals to analog to be reproduced through mixers, D.I. boxes, amplifiers, etc. 

Chocolate Fountain Mini Stack

If your certain someone’s got a sweet tooth.

Rockerverb 100 MKIII

Nick Johnston by Grant Cooper

If you REALLY love someone, get them a Rockerverb.

Photo by Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

Celebrating Jimi’s life and legacy on the 50th anniversary of his death, we’ve asked you to share your favourite Jimi jams with us for a Jimi playlist. Listen below, and find us and follow us on Spotify under ‘orangeamplifiers.

Help Orange Amps Find Rare 1970s Effect Pedals

Orange Amplification manufactured the popular Phazer, Sustain and Distortion pedals at their UK Bexleyheath factory between 1977 to 1979. Probably one of the coolest things around at the time, these first ever Orange effects pedals are now very rare.

After seeing Orange users share images of various pedals, fans over at Orange’s Facebook page have requested Orange reissue these. During the COVID-19, like many people, Orange has been doing some housework; decluttering, sorting out, tidying up, clearing out. Mick Dines, who has been with the company since the early 70s, found the original, tea stained, schematics for the Phazer, Sustain and Distortion pedals and passed those onto the company’s current designer, Ade Emsley. However Orange have not been able to find the actual physical pedals and need help to get these reissues right.

The company is looking to reissue the iconic 1970’s pedals, with upgraded internals, but they need to find examples of the actual pedals to gather information about the exact size and dimensions of the original pedals and learn from the owners what made this special to them.

Is there anyone out there who owns and still uses a much loved 1970’s Orange Amps’ Phazer, Sustain or Distortion effect pedals? If yes, please contact Orange via Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or email them through their website https://orangeamps.com/contact/. Orange would love to talk to you.

Bill Ward by Colin Fuller

We’re all probably going bat shit crazy at the moments, and while we’ve been catering for our string playing friends in the form of practice amps to play at home, we can only imagine what our drummer compadres are going through, locked up and most of them unable to play as, let’s face it, drums aren’t exactly welcome in densely populated areas and cities. So, to shine a light on our drummer friends who are currently held up at home with an abundance of excess energy, we decided to ask a few drummers to share some of the songs that inspired them to start playing.

Massive thanks to Joey Castillo of The Bronx, Tomas Järmyr of Motorpsycho, Michael Amster of Nebula & Mondo Generator, Tom Marsh of Haggard Cat, Ken Pustelnik of The Groundhogs, Adam Bulgasem of Dommengang & Black Mountain, Thomas DiBendetto of Sacri Monti, Robby Staebler of All Them Witches, Rich Noakes of Derelics and Marco Ninni of Swedish Death Candy for contributing. Full playlist & artist overview of who picked which song below.

Joey Castillo, The Bronx, formerly of QOTSA

Circle Jerks – Red Tape
Motörhead – Motörhead
DEVO – Satisfaction
Led Zeppelin – Misty Mountain Hop
Fear – Camarillo

Tomas Järmyr, Motorpsycho

Meshuggga – Spasm
Cult of Luna – Finland
The Dillinger Escape Plan – 43% Burnt
Switchblade – 19:30
Tool – Schism

Michael Amster, Nebula & Mondo Generator

The Melvins – Honey Bucket 
Thin Lizzy – Massacre (LIVE) 
Poison Idea – Deep Sleep
Black Flag – The Bars (Live ’84-Live) 
Russian Circles – 309 

Ken Pustelnik, The Groundhogs

When asked about his top 5, Ken had this to say:

“This is tricky since I’ve spent my entire career trying to avoid listening to “just” the drumming for its merit alone. Why have I done that? Simply because I have attempted not to be influenced by other players so that I can preserve any natural originality in my own playing. Saying all that, here are 5 songs I have enjoyed today.”

The Who – Won’t Get Fooled Again
Mahavishnu Orchestra – Meeting of the Spirits
King Crimson – Starless (Live with 3 drummers)
Spirit – Fresh Garbage
Santana – Soul Sacrifice
Dave Brubeck – Take Five

Tom Marsh, Haggard Cat

Issac Hayes – Run Fay Run
The Mars Volta – Roulette Dares (The Haunt Of)
The Locust – Hot Tubs Full Of Brand New Fuel
Zach Hill – Face Tat
Lightning Bolt – 2 Towers 

Adam Bulgasem, Dommengang & Black Mountain

CAN – Pinch
The Police – Next to You
Mahavishnu Orchestra – One Word
Slayer – Jesus Saves
John Coltrane – A Love Supreme, PT, III

Thomas Dibendetto, Sacri Monti

Colosseum – The Kettle
Mahavishnu Orchestra – Vital Transformation
Dust – Chasin’ Ladies
Captain Beyond – Mesmerization Eclipse
Beck, Bogart, Appice – Lady

Robby Staebler, All Them Witches

Pink Floyd – Echoes
Led Zeppelin – Whole Lotta Love
Sun Ra – Dance of the Cosmos Aliens
Bill Frisell – Big Shoe
Miles Davis ‘Agharta’ full album

Rich Noakes, Derelics

Jimi Hendrix – Fire live at Woodstock (It has to be the Woodstock version) 
Jeff Beck – Led Boots
Dhaffer Youssef – Odd Elegy 
Mars Volta – Take the Veil Cerpin Taxt
Antibalas Afrobeat Orchestra – Dirt and blood 

Marco Ninni, Swedish Death Candy

Black Sabbath – War Pigs
Deep Purple – Speed King
Queens of the Stone Age – Sick Sick Sick
Sleep – Dragonaut
The Claypool Lennon Delirium – Boomerang Baby

Follow us on Spotify for monthly playlists.

Aaaaalright then, time for another Ramble On. This one’s been particularly hard to write, seeing as I’ve been self isolation with my cat for a whole month, and I’m severely lacking in the human interaction and social stimulation. I’ve always thought that if I was stuck somewhere with nothing to do, my creativity would blossom, lyrics and words would roll outta my head, into my hands and onto paper, I’d create from what was around me and learn new skills, but man, was I wrong. One month into solitary confinement and my creativity and focus is at an all time low, and me trying to fill this page with something meaningful and interesting seems like a battle bigger than the global one we’re all currently fighting.

So, instead of me forcing down a handful of bummed out paragraphs lacking in inspiration, I’m gonna share my current top 10 songs, my lockdown favourites.

Titanic – One Night in Eagle Rock

Titanic’s an old Norwegian band my Dad just told me about, and they rip – perfect if you’re into the Uriah Heep / Deep Purple heavy organ kinda vibe.

Flower Travellin’ Band – Shadows of Lost Days

I’m already seeing a pattern here, another heavy organ beauty; Shadows of Lost Days’ by Flower Travellin’ Band.

Tim Buckley – Get on Top

A bit of feel good funk with Tim Buckley’s ‘Get on Top’ – my cat sees me dance around to this on my own on a daily basis.

Funkadelic – Standing on the verge of getting it on

What would we do without George Clinton in a time of international crisis?

Cher – I Walk on Gilded Splinters

There’s a lot more to Cher than her 1998 hit single ‘Believe’, which I absolutely hate, so do dig deeper if that’s all you know, as you’ve been missing out. Her cover of Dr. John’s ‘Walk on Gilded Splinters’ is proof enough on it’s own.

Black Sabbath – Swinging the Chain

Absolute banger from ‘Never Say Die’ with Bill Ward killing it on vocals.

Blue Cheer – Black Sun

Can’t have the lockdown blues without Blue Cheer’s ‘Black Sun’.

Granicus – Taste of Love

Perfect sleaze from the lost days of Granicus – recorded in 1974, released in 2010.

Goliath – Dead Drunk Screamin’

More sleaze: Dead Drunk Screamin’ (that will be all of us soon…) from Goliath’s ‘Hot Rock & Thunder’ album.

Budgie – Breadfan

Budgie’s ‘Breadfan’ is a classic – the kinda song you turn up loud and drink beer to.