DESIGNING THE CABINET
“When I first noticed the Marshall 4 x 12, I thought it was made of very thick plywood. But then when I looked more closely, it wasn’t as thick as it looked –it had an extra wooden frame border fixed inside the front rim of the cabinet to create the illusion of thicker wood. I had the idea of having a pictureframe rather than a rim on our own 4×12 cabs. That design was a first for us, and has been much imitated by other manufacturers since. It made Orange cabs and amp heads look very unique. Its design back then was almost the same design it is today. The 4×12 was built to be very strong and featured a baffle centre post, 16-ply birch-faced marine plywood and a tough orange vinyl cloth covering called Rexine. The use of Basketweave really helped to define the ‘Orange sound’. Instead of fitting plastic feet, or castors which we found tended to rattle, we came up with the idea of having tough wooden runners – which we called skids. This was originally done with durability in mind, but as it turned out, the skids dramatically improved the sound by acoustically coupling the cabinets to the stage.”
– Cliff Cooper, Orange Amplification Founder and CEO
Orange’s Director of Research and Development (R&D), Mick Dines, was a young bass guitarist who understood how equipment could be mistreated on the road. In 1968, he was looking to make Orange the most solid speaker cabinets available. So when it came to choosing front cloth material, his priority was durability. Mick chose a tough material called Basketweave. Orange speaker cabinets could now certainly take the knocks and the roadies loved them. Guitarists loved the ‘thickened’ sound that the Basketweave helped to create. What’s more, the Orange 4 x 12 was 15” deep – 14” was the norm until then. This extra depth also helped to define the distinctive ‘Orange sound’.