The Orange Amplification festive tradition of granting Christmas Wishes launches today. For the 2023 giveaway, expect the biggest and best prize range ever and it’s free to enter!
For many years it has been the custom to place an orange in Christmas stockings because they were considered a rare treat and the juicy segments could easily be shared. So in keeping with tradition, Orange Amps would like to share its products with their many followers and put an Orange in the bottom of Christmas stockings across the globe.
Anyone can make a wish, however big or small, by commenting with their preferred Orange product on any Wish Granted themed post on any Orange Amps social media platforms –Instagram, Facebook, orYouTube – using the hashtag #orangewishgranted. You can also enter the competition via the form on the Orange Amps website.
Entrants can state their wishes on any #orangewishgranted post starting on the 15th November 2023. Entries close at 8.00am GMT on the 23rd December 2023. Winners will be announced daily from the 12th to 23rd December onhttps://orangeamps.com/.
Orange Amps will grant more than hundredChristmas Wishes with a prize value in excess of $25000. Up for grabs are amplifiers, guitars, speaker cabinets, pedals, merchandise, headphones and new for 2023 the Orange BOX’s. All shipping and customs charges will be covered by the company.
‘To me Christmas is a time of giving and sharing,’ said Cliff Cooper, CEO and founder of Orange Amplification, ‘I have fond memories of finding an orange at the bottom of my Christmas stocking.’
The Orange Box and Box-L will be available June 1st 12PM (UK time) direct from orangeamps.com
“One of the biggest things that you learn from 50-odd years of experience,” begins Cliff Cooper, founder and CEO of Orange Amps, “is the ability to listen to something and just say no to a sound—and to keep saying no until you can truthfully say yes.” Although that seems, on the face of it, like a fairly simple requirement, Cooper, who started Orange Amps in 1968 with modest means and an exacting personality, is only too aware of the pratfalls of such pickiness: “But the problem with saying no to a sound or a product is that it costs time and money”, he explains. “Each time, you’ve got to work out why you’re saying no, and go back to the drawing board to fix it—and that’s the difficult part.”
That iterative loop—of listening and tweaking, pouring over schematics and components, then listening again, each time getting slightly closer to that resounding “yes”—has been a pattern played out throughout Orange’s history, and is perhaps the cornerstone of its success, with musicians returning again and again for the past five decades, knowing they’re going to get a piece of equipment that sounds perfect and is built to last.
Today, however, for the first time in the company’s history, Cooper is explaining that development process not in the context of a new guitar amp or effects pedal, but of a product built for both musicians and non-musicians alike: a premium Bluetooth wireless speaker called the Orange Box, which is also an Orange first—specifically, the first consumer-facing product designed entirely in house by Orange’s engineering wizards, from the ground up.
Since the initial blueprints were drawn up back in 2017, Cooper and the team have said “no” to a lot of Orange Box sounds. Now, however, they’ve given it a yes, and the Orange Box is available from tomorrow, starting a new chapter in the history of Orange Amps. Accordingly, this is a story of how over half a century of guitar-amp expertise can be adapted to something more universal; a story of trial, error, patience and success; and a story of what Cooper describes as one of the most important products Orange has ever made.
“When we had the first prototype back for testing,” recalls Cooper of the early days of Orange Box development, “it just wasn’t better than anything else. It was fine—good, even—but it just didn’t stand out, and one of the things Orange has always been proud of is that anything we do has to be better than what’s already out there.
“So that’s why it took so long,” he continues, with a wry smile, knowing not only how six years stretches out in the world of research and development, but also knowing now that the Orange Box really does stand out. And it was clearly time well spent: listening to that initial prototype—then nicknamed the Juicebox—at Orange’s development laboratory is simultaneously a revelatory and lacklustre experience, with test songs of various genres selected for this article to put the unit through its paces sounding tepid and distant. Only Madonna’s ‘Hung Up’ has the faintest flicker of life (Bowie’s ‘Modern Love’ and Led Zep’s ‘Black Dog’ are pale imitations of their true selves), but the reality is that this particular Juicebox contained a far-too-diluted, watery recipe.
The second and third versions fared slightly better. For these, the R&D team experimented with weight-saving neodymium speakers and a more lozenge-shaped form-factor, and as a result, all three songs started to resemble their imperious selves. There was still something off, though—a sort of drab fizziness, like day-old soda water, with strangely scooped mids and muffled bass.
Thankfully, the fix was at hand: “After several prototypes,” explains Cooper, “we decided that the only way to improve the sound was to use active electronic crossovers, which our previous prototypes didn’t have.”
The active crossover in a unit like the Orange Box splits the incoming audio signal in two based on frequency range, with the different signals being sent to different amplifiers specific to those ranges, and then on to appropriate speakers custom-tuned to those frequencies. An active crossover has the advantage of perfectly matching the respective specialist amplifiers and speakers, making sure all parts of the path work together holistically, and each part of the sound is dealt with by the most appropriate equipment. An active crossover also prevents loss of information in the splitting process, meaning that all the audio in your favourite records is retained, all the way to the speakers’ cones.
Getting that split-point right, however, is always the key, and this is where the expertise that Orange technical director Adrian Emsley, amp-design genius and brains behind virtually every Orange product for the past 25 years, shone through: “Frank and I changed the crossover so that just the amp dealing with the bottom end was Class D,” explains Emsley of his work on the Orange Box, alongside colleague and Cambridge academic Frank Cooke. “Then, the two amps dealing with the midrange and treble, on the left and right, were Class AB, which ends up much more musical in the area it needs to be.”
And musicality is exactly the watchword here. Listening again to those same songs on the first Orange Box prototype to implement such a crossover is a lightbulb moment, like a jump from black and white to colour: suddenly, Bowie’s vocals carry genuine anguish and Jimmy Page’s guitar a tangible bite. The arpeggiating synths on ‘Hung Up’, too, sound almost three-dimensional.
“Unlike a different guitar amp company’s wireless speaker, which is only stereo above around 3 or 4 kHz,” continues Emsley, referring to a frequency range in the very highest octave of a concert piano, “our version is stereo above 300 Hz [the middle of the piano], which works especially well with AC/DC-style guitar music, where Angus is on the left and Malcolm is on the right.
“Those other wireless speakers all sound pretty bad with AC/DC,” adds Emsley, ever the rock purist, “which I think is a very poor result.”
“The other thing, of course,” continues Cooper, “is that we use a wooden box. We could have used a plastic cabinet, to make it a bit more cost-effective, but it would have sounded dreadful. Putting the speakers inside a wooden cabinet would sound much better, and we spent a lot of time making sure that the actual wood resonates correctly given the internal volume. If the cabinet resonates at the wrong frequencies, it just doesn’t sound right, you know.”
This level of perfectionism is evident upon examining the works-in-progress: each rejected test model had a different shape and heft, some including holes covered with rubber plugs, others with curved sides. Myriad porting options were clearly investigated, auditioned and tweaked. Every possibility was covered, it appears, before landing on the finished design. Then, finally, Emsley hit on the idea of making the crossover itself interact with its surroundings: “I put a hole in the active crossover at the frequency of the enclosure,” he reveals. “This ‘de-boxed’ the box, if you like, and gave the whole thing a more balanced frequency response.”
In short, it made you want to play these songs again and again, and this repeat playability—that potential for long-term listening—has become an obsession of Cooper’s over the years: “One thing we kept an ear out for when testing was controlling for ‘listening fatigue’, which is when you listen through a product for a long time, and after a while it just doesn’t sound nice,” he explains. Any music lover will recognise the condition, and although exact causes of listener fatigue are still being explored, the latest research suggests that imperceptible sonic artefacts arising from non-musical aspects of a song’s reproduction, such as compression or artificial spatialisation, can cause listeners to lose interest.
“It’s difficult to design an amplifier or a speaker to control for listening fatigue specifically, because there are so many factors to take into account,” confesses Cooper, “but with the Orange Box you really can play it for ages—I have done!—and it doesn’t grate on your ears to the point where you think, I need to turn that thing off.”
A level of product testing this meticulous and drawn out, coupled with a love of making something that’s built to last, feels familiar to Orange’s approach to amplifier and cabinet design. But Cooper wouldn’t have it any other way: “It’s important that any amplifier we bring out is fully researched by us and at the top of its range, and I think everybody in the company accepts that—Adrian in particular is fussy about everything!” he laughs of his colleague for nearly half of Orange’s entire existence. “It not only has to be really good, but it has to be bulletproof, and everything has to be built to last in terms of the components.”
Indeed, product longevity is another characteristic that Cooper and the team have carried from guitar-amp manufacturing over to the Orange Box: in a Bluetooth speaker marketplace saturated with disposable gadgets destined for landfill before the end of the summer festival season, Cooper was insistent that the Orange Box had to have premium staying power. That means the rechargeable battery had to be replaceable years from now when it naturally degrades (like all lithium-ion batteries), and all components be made available for replacement well into the next decade, therefore also ensuring that the box was as green as it was Orange.
On top of that, the Orange Box comes with an audio-safety feature from designed to lengthen the lifespan of the product: a tiny circuit between the crossover and the amps continuously monitors the volume of the signal going in, prompting a small LED to light up whenever the speakers are being driven too hard and potentially harming them. “It’s there to tell you when you should back off the volume so you don’t damage it, sure,” acknowledges Cooper, “but it’s also there to improve sound quality, to help you listen without any distortion, which in turn lessens listener fatigue.”
This audio-limiter light is a simple innovation from yesteryear that will keep the Orange Box in its prime for years, but it’s also a dead giveaway of a product designed not with the bottom line in mind, but with a genuine and enduring love for music, and for building tools for spreading that love. After all, no one would ask for such an attentive add-on, but plenty will be grateful once it’s there.
It’s a feeling that sums up Cooper’s attitude, too: “Within the company,” he explains, “there’s an old-fashioned need to do things properly that’s run for 50 years, and if we can put it over to consumers that when they buy something with the Orange brand on it, it’s going to sound good, then that’s an achievement, and I think the Orange Box can do exactly that.
“After all, we don’t have any shareholders or venture capitalists to answer to,” he continues, proudly. “I’m the only shareholder! so any money that we earn goes straight back into developing new products—and I love doing that.”
It’s an approach that’s stood Cooper, and Orange Amps, in excellent stead since the 1960s, with countless iconic guitar amps—and world-famous fans—to show for it. As the company branches out into the middle of the 21st century, and to music connoisseurs, players and non-players alike, it’s also an approach, you sense, that will future-proof it too.
https://orangeamps.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/05/BOX-Dog-1-1080px-1.jpg10801080Orange Ampshttps://orangeamps.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/Orange-Pics-logo-307px-279x103.pngOrange Amps2023-05-31 11:04:022023-06-26 15:52:16Interview: Cliff Cooper, the Orange Box, and the pursuit of perfection
The “Voice of Rock” for an entire generation of music fans, Hughes was recruited to Deep Purple in 1973 and became the band’s lynchpin bassist and singer until their initial split. Since then, Hughes has pursued a critically acclaimed solo career as well as collaborations with acts as diverse as Black Sabbath, Gary Moore and the 90s acid house group The KLF, before joining The Dead Daisies on bass and lead vocals in 2019.
Radiance is The Dead Daisies’ second album since Hughes joined the group. Described by Razor’s Edge magazine as “an unstoppable force in the world of hard rock” and a “thick and meaty deep-in-the-blues rocker that satisfies on every level” by Metal Injection, the immense bass tones on the album come courtesy of Hughes’ array of Orange Amplification gear, including the OBC810 cab, AD200 MKIII head, Crush Bass 100 combo and, of course, his signature purple Crush Bass 50 combo. Talking about his signature amp, Hughes said: “When you can go in the studio, take that bass combo and make your album with something like that, it’s truly outstanding. It’s gritty, it’s punchy: sustain is so important and it’s certainly got all that.” He added: “Orange all the way… It’s the future, it’s the way to go, you heard it from me!”
Catch rock legend Glenn Hughes fronting The Dead Daisies with his Orange equipment at the following venues this December:
https://orangeamps.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/11/The-Dead-Daisies-Glenn-Hughes-AD200--scaled.jpg20012560Ella Stormarkhttps://orangeamps.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/Orange-Pics-logo-307px-279x103.pngElla Stormark2022-11-14 09:00:002022-11-22 11:16:23Glenn Hughes to tour UK and Ireland fronting hard-rock supergroup The Dead Daisies
Orange Amplification is delighted to welcome JJ Julius Son, frontman and guitarist with the worldwide phenomenon Kaleo, as an ambassador for the company.
Kaleo are one of Iceland’s biggest musical exports. Their breakthrough album, A/B, took their music around the globe with its three hit singles, the Grammy-nominated No Good, All The Pretty Girls and the chart-topping Way Down We Go, which have featured in more than twenty hit TV shows including Suits, Orange Is The New Black and Grey’s Anatomy. The band’s Fight Or Flight tour, supporting the release of their critically acclaimed third album, Surface Sounds, has taken them across the USA, including appearances at Coachella, and seen them opening for the Rolling Stones in Europe.
Jökull Júlíusson, better known as JJ Julius Son, is the frontman and guitarist for Kaleo. As the primary writer for the band, as well as lead singer, guitarist and pianist, he leads the blues-driven group with passion and musical skill. Demonstrating a wide range of musical genres and influences, the diversity of JJ’s music moves from cinematic, classic rock through soft, folksy blues, into hard-hitting stomp rock. JJ appeals to a mainstream audience with his grungy guitar riffs, crying leads and electrifying performances.
JJ Julius Son uses an Orange AD30 on tour, in the studio and at home. Speaking about the amp, he said ‘the Orange AD30 is the only amp I’ve found that can handle the wide variety of tones and instruments that I use in a single show’.
The Orange AD30 is a one-stop shop for all shades of pure British chime and crunch. From shimmering cleans, edge-of-break-up jangle or fire-splitting classic crunch, this amp has it all, in a simple, road-proven package.Check out orangeamps.com for an interview with JJ Julius Son coming soon.
Today, Orange Amplification announces the return of three iconic effects pedals — the Orange Phaser, Orange Sustain and Orange Distortion — with the trio’s vintage characteristics reworked for the present day.
The modern story of these classic units starts in 2019, when an Orange message board went crazy for a photo of the long-discontinued Sustain pedal from the early 1970s, with its outsized form-factor and art nouveau typography. Not long after, a hand-drawn schematic diagram, complete with teacup ring marks, scribbled-out Biro and wobbly writing, emerged following an online call for help about what was inside the sturdy orange box.
The rest of the story writes itself: as more evidence was unearthed about the Sustain and its two brothers the Distortion and Phaser, the wizards in the Orange workshop set about remaking these beasts, retaining their most-loved qualities and incorporating the contemporary features — LEDs, DC inputs etc — expected on 21st-century effects pedals. The result is three seasoned UK-made pros retuned and ready for the modern age.
First up is the Orange Sustain, which smooths and regulates guitar sounds, acting like an overdrive for clean tones with added chime and warmth. Boosting volume without scuffing purity, and making soft parts louder and loud parts softer, it offers an expressive, nuanced and three-dimensional take on the sustain/compressor effect.
Then there’s the Orange Phaser, the most elegantly simple of the reboots, with just one knob and one job: to bring sweet psychedelic swirl to any rig, its dial modulating guitar tones from woozy sweeps to choppy stabs via kaleidoscopic insistent, whirling pulses. With four-stage circuitry rebirthed from the original schematics combined with modern techniques inside the box to reduce the noise floor, the Orange Phaser adds maximum spin with minimum fuss.
And finally there’s the Orange Distortion, with vintage appearance up top but all-new circuitry below deck, replacing the original’s back-to-back diode design with an amp circuit and tone stack with a user-adjustable treble. New design doesn’t mean new sound though — the Orange Distortion retains all the bite and growl and warmth and howl of its 1970s forefather, from fat gravelly textures to red-hot screamers and maximum saturation.
That’s quite the box set: together, they make up a trio of effects pedals that’s not just a perfect homage to one of rock’s golden ages, but also ripe for any modern set-up. With a large-footprint, tank-strength aluminium chassis and classic looks, a mere glance at the pedals will offer a 50-year-back teleportation. Then, stomping on the footswitches completes the time-travel: these might be new for 2022, but with the Orange vintage pedals, the song remains the same.
Contributing to environmental conservation and restoration across the globe
London, UK, 31st May 2022 – Orange Learn (part of Orange Amplification), a global music education provider leading the way in the use of sustainable learning and assessment methods, has today announced a partnership with One Tree Planted, who are working to restore forests and rebuild habitat globally. For every course purchased, Orange Learn will plant one tree.
“Sustainability and environmental awareness is at the very heart of what we do at Orange Learn. Our revolutionary approach to learning music and taking exams online was deliberately developed to help reduce carbon emissions and paper wastage. We are always looking for ways to deepen our commitment to sustainability and our partnership with One Tree Planted is one of many ways we plan to join the global effort to protect our planet.” [Cliff Cooper, Founder, Orange Amplification]
The objectives of this new partnership include:
· Raising awareness of deforestation and habitat loss
· Supporting a key global reforestation initiative
· Giving our customers an opportunity to further contribute to sustainability as they learn
This partnership is designed to make it easy for customers to contribute to global reforestation and a sustainable future. For every music course purchased from Orange Learn’s website, Orange Learn will donate $1 to “One Tree Planted” to plant one tree. The trees are planted by local partner organisations and community volunteers in areas where there has been deforestation. To learn more about this partnership, please visit https://www.orangelearn.com/one-tree-planted/
https://orangeamps.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/06/Peru_Credit_Ben_Hemmings-scaled.jpg25601707Ella Stormarkhttps://orangeamps.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/Orange-Pics-logo-307px-279x103.pngElla Stormark2022-06-07 05:17:402022-06-15 13:52:06Orange Learn partners with Global Reforestation Initiative “One Tree Planted”
Orange Amplification is delighted to add VENOM INC and former ATOMKRAFT frontman TONY “THE DEMOLITION MAN” DOLAN to its artist roster. Dolan recently announced a new album with VENOM Inc, due on 23 September 2022 through Nuclear Blast Records.
Says Dolan: “I use my Bo-El Big Generator basses which are pure power with the right touch of finesse but as I’m the Demolition Man I need that overwhelming punch that only the combination of Orange and my Bo-El can deliver… To become a proud Orange artist is beyond my words except to say I’m honoured to represent old-school & new-school values wrapped in the harmonious and sustainable weight and power torque of Orange! The skies are now literally not the limit!”
Says Orange: ‘Tony recently joined the Orange roster as an official ambassador, and we are thrilled to be working with him and supporting him and VENOM INC both on the road and in the studio.’ – Orange Global A&R Manager Ella Stormark
Tony is using the AD200 & OBC810, and you can find his artist profile here. Full press release via Lords of Metal can be foundhere.
https://orangeamps.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/05/Tony-Demolition-Man-Dolan-Venom-INC-AD200-OBC810--rotated.jpg640480Ella Stormarkhttps://orangeamps.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/Orange-Pics-logo-307px-279x103.pngElla Stormark2022-05-31 13:25:362022-05-31 15:52:06Via Lords of Metal: VENOM INC frontman TONY ‘DEMOLITION MAN’ DOLAN is announced as new Orange Ambassador
Orange Amplification introduces the Guitar Butler, a complete guitar rig in a pedal. Like its hugely successful sibling, The Bass Butler, this dual channel guitar pre is intuitive to use and covers a musician for as many situations as possible; gigging, playing at home, recording, touring, as a back-up, for use with a PA or DAW and much more.
Designed to give guitarists a comprehensive service to their signal chain, The Guitar Butler can be used either as a stand-alone or as part of a rig. It is perfect for musicians looking to get preamp tones from their pedalboard straight into either a power amp / speaker cabinet combination or into a PA system.
The vintage-voiced Guitar Butler has been created to make it easy to place pedals up front, it has top mid and front controls in its tone stack and the precise control offered by its sweeping E.Q adds further warmth to humbuckers and brings out the sparkle in your single coil pickups.
The JFET circuitry of the classic overdrive Dirty Channel means it behaves in a similar manner to a valve amp. Push the volume and the resulting sound has the same dynamic feel usually associated with valve rectifiers. The controls for this channel are volume x 2, treble, middle, bass and gain. The gain is like a classic amp, bright and tight, not totally clean like a Rockerverb. It just saturates and gets fatter the more it is turned up.
Like all great butlers, The Guitar Butler has an array of connections: The Buffered FX loop allows time effects like modulation, delay and reverb to be added after the preamp. There is an Amp Out without Cab Sim and a Balance Out with it, plus a Ground Lift switch to stop any earth loops. Guitar Butler manages all a guitarist’s tonal affairs.
Orange Amplification extends its Crush amps series with the launch of the Super Crush 100 head and combo, taking the now classic Crush Pro and moving it a big step further toward a more valve-like tone. The completely new design is more than just an upgrade. It delivers all the immediacy, definition and character expected from any of Orange’s top-of-the-range valve amps. See Ty Tabor (Kings X) talking about the Super Crush 100 here.
The Super Crush 100 effectively mimics the huge, rich and responsive tone of the Orange flagship Rockerverb amps. It uses the same 100 Watt Class A/B power amp asthe Pedal Baby and combined with the 2-channel JFET preamp design, it provides masses of authority and musicality which will have guitarists swearing there are valves inside! An on-board digital 24 bit reverb module provides a lush, spring reverb ambience and the fully-buffered, ultra-transparent, series FX Loop takes care of all effects needs.
Two completely independent, all-analogue preamp channels give instant access to a whole spectrum of warm, valve-like tones. From high-headroom clean to high-gain metal, every sound ever needed is dialled in with ease, thanks to a versatile circuit and intuitive simple control layout. The Dirty Channel boasts four cascading stages of proper Orange gain and the Clean Channel is a bright, vintage-flavoured, two-stage design with plenty of headroom, keeping clean tones shimmering and clear at any level.
The Super Crush 100 features a balanced XLR output with Orange’s CabSim speaker emulation technology
giving instant access to great D.I. guitar tone, straight into the P.A. or recording interface. The additional rear Cab Back switch offers the choice of an open or closed back sounding cab. The compact 1×12 combo boasts a Celestion G12H-150 speaker giving it a hard-hitting, classically British voice.Ty Tabor (Kings X) commented on the Super Crush 100 “This Is the very best transistor amp made… period. It’s my No 1. Amp for live and in the studio”.