It’s an incredibly simple concept with revolutionary results: go where we’re needed most. Since 1968, Doctors Without Borders (aka MSF/Médecins Sans Frontières) has been tackling one medical crises after another, always remaining impartial and neutral in their treatment methods. The international charitable organization has a rich history of providing medical professions, training, and supplies to war-torn areas and peoples across the globe.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, the work performed by Doctors Without Borders is saving countless lives. The organization has been caring for patients, offering health education and mental health support, and providing training for vital infection control measures in health facilities around the world. This pandemic threatens the lives of people around the world, and presents even greater risks in countries with weak or fragile health systems.
1969 was a big year for Orange Amplifiers. It was when we found our mojo, what we call the Voice of the World.
50 years on we take a look at the world of Orange and how together we’ve shaped the Voice of the World.
Having started by making super clean lead amplifiers Orange soon began to look for ways to increase the ‘perceived’ volume at the request of our customers. Our equipment gave out a true 120 watts RMS but lower-powered models from other manufacturers sounded louder.
The solution came to Orange Amplifiers CEO Cliff Cooper after a meeting with a leading ear specialist in London’s Harley Street.
The brain can register distortion as pain in order to protect the mechanism of the ears. The jagged harmonics produced by the distortion work the ear’s conducting bones harder, and this is perceived by the audio nerves as an increase in sound level. The original Orange amps were especially clean sounding with very little distortion. In order to correct the situation, we gave the amp a lot more gain and modified our circuitry. These changes gave birth to the ‘Orange sound’ – best described as ‘fat’ and ‘warm’ – more musical and richer in harmonics, with a unique saturation in the mids.
Success soon followed with a boom throughout the 1970s, but changes in circumstances meant that by the end of the decade production had almost stopped. Yet Orange Amplifiers remained at large and were gathering an unseen legion of fans.
The Voice of the World was resuscitated in 1997 when Britpop pioneer Noel Galligher visited Cliff Cooper and now Technical Director Adrian Emsley in Denmark Street where Cliff ran a shop. Noel wanted to add more crunch to his vintage OR120, eventually leading to the development of a new amplifier, the OTR. This heralded the second coming of Orange. This was closely followed by the AD series in 1998.
In a world far, far away from Britpop, stoner rockers were also adopting vintage Orange within their wall of sound. The embers of Orange Amplifiers, smouldering in the limelight of yesteryear, went from a flicker to a roaring flame when an Orange OR120 was featured on the album insert of Sleep’s 1998 release ‘Dopesmoker’.
Since the 90s, Orange Amplifiers and the Voice of the World has become synonymous with music from every genre: Country to Metal, World to Jazz. Even from our humble beginnings, Orange has always been a David and Goliath-like story, we’re not just a business full of execs in suits, with Orange it’s personal. We’ve done all the jobs possible: roadie, performer, rigger, producer, repair engineer; in other words, we understand your voice, it sounds a lot like ours.
Shaping the Voice of the World
1. Built to last, our speaker cabinet design went beyond the designs at the time. 18mm birch-faced marine ply, a central baffle post and tough Orange vinyl was the standard we set. It still remains to this day.
3. Orange Amplifiers own our factories, unlike other OEMs who use contractors we’re able to manage every step of the production process in house, irrespective of the country of manufacture.
4. By over-specifying on the transformers, we reduce the amount of heat building up inside your amplifier, meaning longer operational life.
5. Those very transformers prevent the amplifier from throttling the output signal, which means passing the whole frequency spectrum without losses to the top and bottom of the range.
6. Almost all our amplifiers (bar the Terror Bass) feature a tube buffered FX loop ensuring the signal chain isn’t compromised at any stage.
7. Analogue is the standard, that means no digital modelling. Only the highest quality components and that all-analogue design is what brings Orange Amplifiers tone to life
8. We created the first-ever digital amplifier with the OMEC Digital back in 1974.
9. While we launched don’t mess with what’s inside the amp we’ve brought the same commonsense Orange thinking to the digital era with the OMEC Teleport, a latency-free AD/DA converter, marrying up old and new technology and super simple to use.
10. We justify our all analogue circuitry through what makes Orange ‘Orange’. Just switch the amp on and you’ll get what we mean, no tone hunting required. Simply plug and play.
11. Built for international touring artists as well as home use, wattage switching options are designed into many of our amplifiers. Also this feature is ideal for pushing your amp to the edge.
12. Experimentation is our bag, take for instance the Rocker 32 which features a two 10” Voice of the World speakers which can run in mono, stereo or even patched one side wet and the other side dry.
13. Speaking of those Voice of the World speakers. What makes them unique is a very fast and tight bottom end that speeds up with more overdrive, alongside a vintage sounding top end.
14. Our flagship Rockerverb MkIII is built on three generations of development based on user feedback, featuring a four-stage ‘dirty’ channel that gives mid-range crunch the more you crank it.
15. We’ve also led the revolution of lunchbox proportions with our now discontinued Tiny Terror heralded as “the most important guitar product in the last 30 years” – Guitarist Magazine. Although you can’t buy the original anymore, we now do a 30-watt version, doubling the power!
16. Innovation is something we’re proud of, and we’re keen to support innovators too such as Kelby Ray of The Cadillac Three. His lap steel rig brings out both the highs and the lows taking the grit of the AD200-MK3, and the crunch and full-bodied mid-range of the AD30HTC and OR15H.
17. It’s not just Kelby who’s at it with innovation. Tom Petersson of Cheap Trick’s monster rig features both Orange bass and guitar amps pushed to their limit, Petersson’s sound comes from when the amp is “about ready to blow up”, but they don’t blow up…
18. See number 5.
19. Orange Amplifiers, valve or solid-state, are made to bring out the expression in your playing, offering a dynamic low-end with a focused mid-range and harmonics that are present across the full frequency spectrum.
20. Most amps are black. We can do black, we prefer Orange though.
21. Our solid-state amplifiers are based on achieving that classic British Orange valve tone, only much lighter.
22. We might over-engineer our equipment, but that’s why we’re on the rig list for most major equipment hire companies.
23. One example of why is that we lay extra-thick PCB traces (Rock and Roll, I know!) to prevent impedance from building up unwanted heat.
24. Alongside the lunchbox design, we also recognised that people are using pedals more and more. So we created the Pedal Baby 100 which gives you all that Orange clean tone in a portable unit, leaving you to add whatever you need on top.
25. It’s as much the genius that creates our technology as it is people we learn from that makes Orange Amplifiers the Voice of the World.
Orange amps has often been associated with heavy slow riffs, the type that knock the filings from your teeth and would blow the speakers in your car. This has always been something we have been very proud of, we make loud amps and we think they sound great. Our amps are perfect for a genre that spans from classic metal such as Led Zeppelin and Black Sabbath all the way through to the new boys of djent and progressive metal. But which amp works for each sub genre of metal? Well we are here to help!
It feels a bit wrong to call bands like Sabbath and Zeppelin ‘classic metal’ but this is a way to show their older statesmen role in the genre. Basically if these guys had chosen another calling we all wouldn’t have a job or a record collection. So if you want to play like Jimmy Page, Orange has the amp for you, in fact he uses an Orange… see what we did!
The AD30 was used at the Led Zeppelin reunion show in 2007 (they were the single channel versions.) The current AD30 has two channels, channel one is cleaner, with channel two being the heavier channel, use this one for Page riffs!
Heavily influenced by Black Sabbath, sludge metal came about through bands mixing elements of doom metal and hardcore punk. What came from these two joining forces was heavily detuned guitars, lots of distortion and tempos switching from slow grooves to punk styled riffs. If this sounds like your thing then the Crush Pro 120 would be the perfect amp for you, none other than Kirk from Sludge Metal legends Crowbar uses it to create a wall of sound.
Taking inspiration from the Rockerverb 100, the Crush Pro 120 head is a solid state amplifier which delivers warm, rich analogue tone. Kirk started using one on the road and it has taken the place of an amplifier metal great Dimebag Darrell gave him. If this doesn’t make it the perfect amplifier for all those low tuned riffs, then we don’t know what will!
In the late 90’s and early 2000’s this was the genre in rock, behemoths like Slipknot, Linkin Park, Korn and Limp Bizkit all came to the forefront of the music scene. Mixing rap, rock and metal elements they forged their own path, recently these bands have established themselves as some of the biggest rock acts in the world. Headlining every major festival Slipknot have become giants of the genre and Jim Root uses a Rockerverb to achieve his distinct, signature sound.
The Rockerverb was designed to be an amp for all genres and has been used by so many different players across its over ten year history. With two channels and four stages of gain it has become perfect for this genre. Not only does Jim Root trust the Rockerverb every night on stage but legendary guitarist Head from Korn calls the clean channel ‘buttery’.
Finally if you want to sound like a rock behemoth, then progressive metal is where it is all going off. Titans of the genre are Tool, Opeth, Rush and Mastodon and Orange has so many amplifiers that are perfect. The Brent Hinds Terror was built by men in mountains with googles (as told by Mastodon’s Brent Hinds) so it is the perfect fit for this genre.
The Brent Hinds Terror is a two channel, all valve, lunch box amplifier which was designed specifically to play Mastodon riffs loud. The bedroom/headroom switch makes bedroom practice a simple click of a switch, so nothing will get in the way of thundering riffs!
https://orangeamps.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/10/Voice-of-METAL-Which-Amp-1920x1080.jpg10801920Orange Ampshttps://orangeamps.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/Orange-Pics-logo-307px.pngOrange Amps2019-10-24 15:04:462019-11-30 16:51:51Which Orange amp is good for metal?
Orange Amplification ambassadors, leading indie rock band Foals and the up and coming Black Midi have both been nominated for the prestigious 2019 Mercury Prize ‘Albums of the Year’ . The Mercury Prize recognises and celebrates artistic achievement and provides a snapshot of the year in music to help introduce new albums from a range of music genres to a wider audience. Previous winners and nominees include Orange Ambassadors Wolf Alice and Everything Everything.
Festival headliners, Foals album nomination is for Everything Not Saved Will Be Lost Part 1 released in March this year. Part 2 is due to be released on the 18th October 2019. Described by critics as the ultimate Foals album Everything Not Saved Will Be Lost Part 1 represents a new start for the band musically and showcases their prowess admirably. Guitarist Jimmy Smith uses a Rockerverb 100 head with a PPC412 and touring bassist Jeremy Pritchard uses an OBC810 with an AD200. Talking about what influenced his choice of Orange Gear Jeremy said, ‘the actual look of the cabinet design and the head design is so distinctive, so you always knew if you were watching someone playing Orange. I used to go to see bands like SUNN 0))) and Sleep, really heavy stoner doom bands and they would always have these very distinctive cabinets and heads on stage. And a lot of those bands, that I was really into and still am, used Orange.’
Newcomers, Black Midi, have been nominated for their debut album Schlagenheim released in June this year. A rough translation of the German title means ‘to hit home’, and it certainly has with critics, being described as close to genius. Guitarists Geordie Greep and Matt Kwasniewski-Kelvin use a TH30 Combo, an AD30HTC and a PPC212. Speaking about his Orange kit Geordie said ‘the AD30HTC is one of the most versatile, dynamic and reactive amps I’ve come across so far, the two channel design allows me to set two different tone settings to suit two different guitars if needed. This head also gives me freedom to apply as much drive to the clean, which sets for some really gritty tones which I favour. This amp also projects its lows and mids whilst emitting high treble, resulting in a gargantuan sound. Great amp.’
‘We wish Foals and Black Midi every success in the 2019 Mercury Awards’ said Daniel Darby, Orange Artist Relations, ‘Orange have always endorsed both established festival headliners as well as the best up and coming bands from different music genres. These nominations are testimony to this.’
https://orangeamps.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/Jimmy-Foals.jpg600480Neil Mitchellhttps://orangeamps.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/Orange-Pics-logo-307px.pngNeil Mitchell2019-09-10 13:58:062020-03-24 16:10:29Orange Ambassadors Foals And Black Midi Nominated For Mercury Prize
Once upon a time, when guitars ampliﬁers needed batteries to operate…
For most of us today, the concept of life without guitar ampliﬁers seems like ancient folklore. In reality, there are people alive today that lived through the invention of the guitar amp. Long before Les Paul created the electric guitar, a world existed where, if you wanted to hear sound ampliﬁed, you would go to a movie theatre or public address to hear sound through large and expensive sound systems. It wasn’t until 1927 (according to Wikipedia) that the portable PA and Speakers became available for musicians.
It’s all in the tone It wasn’t until the 1930’s that amps had an acceptable form of volume and tone control. Some of these early invention had deadly voltage issues and while I haven’t found any stories about musicians getting killed by their ampliﬁers, you can sense the poetic irony in the thought alone. By the 1950’s the kinks seemed to be getting worked out and vibrato and reverb became a standard.
The truth gets distorted Distortion was the tone that seemed to change the game for the popularity of the electric guitar. In the 1950s guitarists like Chuck Berry began experimenting with the distortion. Once Dick Dale worked with Fender to help design the ﬁrst 100 watt ampliﬁer, the door opened to the world of ampliﬁcation that came to the forefront of music in the 1960s. With pioneering musicians like Jimmy Hendrix and Dave Davies of The Kinks, the leash was taken oﬀ and the way ampliﬁers were being used in the process of creating eﬀects and distortions created an extra sense of purpose to the ampliﬁer.
Cover your frequencies As would be expected, competition between amp manufactures pushed the purpose of the ampliﬁer to suit the needs for an increasingly electriﬁed world. The needs of electric piano, bass guitars, synthesizers and organs, made the expansion of frequency and tonal range inevitable. In came the subwoofers!
Tube, Solid State, Current State As speciﬁcations changed and got more focused, ampliﬁers were oﬀered in diﬀerent conﬁgurations. Ampliﬁers made use of vacuum tubes or solid state transistors, sometimes both. Really, it was and is all about the desired tone. Each type of semi-conductor, be it tube or transistor, have a their own vibes. A guitarist like Jimmy Page of Led Zeppelin might want one tone, while Bob Weir of The Grateful Dead will want another. In addition to that, the ampliﬁers became optional to have separate then the speaker cabinet, allowing the musicians to pair the ampliﬁers they like the best with their favorite speaker cabinet. Fortunately, for musicians from the beginner guitarist to Geddy Lee of Rush, the options are expansive, with a high range of options in everything from tone and look, to weight and price.
Looking into the future While the trends are looking like ampliﬁers are getting lighter and smaller and packing the same, if not better punch than ever before, there is a creative element to the music experience that will keep the ampliﬁer as an important part of the musical experience. As a musician, I can attest that people pay attention to the look of gear as much as they do to the sound. The classic look of a well designed guitar or bass amp will never go out of style. If anything, the popularity of ampliﬁers like Orange Amps, shows just how much a musician takes pride in having gear that stand out both visually and audibly. If I had to predict the future, something that I foresee, or maybe would just like to see, is the increase of modular capabilities built into ampliﬁers. Imagine Jimi Hendrix holding his guitar up to his amp and getting a distorted arpeggiator eﬀect!!
https://orangeamps.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/06/02212018-evolution.jpg528677Neil Mitchellhttps://orangeamps.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/Orange-Pics-logo-307px.pngNeil Mitchell2019-06-29 09:13:232020-03-24 16:56:12The Evolution of the Amplifier
I recently wrote an article entitled “A Choice, Not a Compromise: The Case for the Rocker 15.” In that article I cited the reasons why someone might prefer the Rocker 15 Combo over the larger Rocker 32 Combo. It’s more portable, it’s being used mainly for practice or recording, and it doesn’t have a stereo FX loop (which adds to the cost and probably isn’t necessary for most players).
Now I need you to forget what I said and consider the reasons why the Rocker 32 the perfect combo for your needs.
Reason #1 – You Want A Combo With A Stereo FX Loop
There aren’t many amps on the market that feature stereo FX loops. So, in the true spirit of Orange’s “make what we want” attitude, Lead Designer Ade Emsley added one to the Rocker 32. It’s valve-buffered and 100% true stereo, which makes it the perfect combo for exploring the possibilities of your pedalboard. You’ll never want to use a delay pedal in mono again once you’ve heard the soundscape you can create in stereo.
Or, try it the “old school” way by patching your pedals in wet/dry mode. One speaker has the effects while the other speaker has the clean tone from the amp. You’ll be amazed at the separation and clarity. While the stereo FX loop has a ton of live applications, just imagine what you can do with it in the studio! (Warning: Do not play with the stereo FX loop while drunk…it’s so much fun you may never want to sober up)
Reason #2 – You Need More Power
While the Rocker 15 has some unique power-switching options (15, 7, 1, and .5 watts) that make it awesome for both the bedroom and the studio, the Rocker 32 kicks up the power to 30 watts so you can get the volume you need for full-band scenarios. Also, with that extra 15 watts of power you’ll get the benefits of added clean headroom and extra saturation when you’re using lots of gain on the dirty channel. Don’t need the full 30 watts? Cut the power in half with the “full/half power” switch and you’ll be sitting at a neighbor-friendly 15 watts.
Reason #3 – Tonal Versatility
In many ways the Rocker 32 is Orange’s answer to more “American-sounding” combos. It’s a direct competitor to the Fender Twin Reverb (of course the Rocker 32 doesn’t have reverb, but that’s not the point). At the same time it’s a combo that can stand up to British amps like the Vox AC30. What we’ve created is an amp that sits perfectly in-between British and American tones. If the Twin Reverb is shimmering and metallic sounding, then the Rocker 32 is shimmering but smooth.
The Rocker 32 is currently on stage or in the studio with bands as diverse as The Weeknd, Guided By Voices, Primus, Gene Evaro Jr, and Rival Sons. It’s picking up steam with jazz, gospel, and even country acts as well. If you’re looking for an amp that encompasses a “little bit of everything Orange,” look no further than the Orange Rocker 32 Combo.
https://orangeamps.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/Orange-Rocker-32-6-e1522249438500.jpg15001500alexhttps://orangeamps.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/Orange-Pics-logo-307px.pngalex2018-03-28 14:28:112018-03-28 15:08:10The Case For The Rocker 32 Combo
You just finished touring with Slayer and Anthrax – how was that? Maciek: It’s been really fucking cool, and kind of a milestone as they’re bands we all look up to. Definitely something to tick off our list.
How long have you been using Orange? Vidar: We’ve been using Orange for long time, since before we started recording. Bjarte’s been using Orange for as long as I can remember. I had an old vintage Marshall amp that caught fire, and after that I swapped to Orange. Maciek: I’ve got the TH30, Rockerverb and Thunderverb, and they just always deliver and they’re very reliable. And it looks fucking cool.
Do you have any specific pedals you feel work well with the amps? Maciek: Well, yeah, there’s quite a few, but Orange sounds really good on it’s own. It’s a really good base, and then you can have fun with some pedals on top. I always use my Echoplex Preamp from Dunlop. Since we’ve got three guitars we all have to be on different levels, and I think it works really well with that one. Vidar: I try to use as few pedals as possible, if it was up to me I’d just plug it straight into the amp and go, but obviously I do use some, I’ve had a Big Muff for a while and that works well, but then again, all my pedals works well with Orange.
Do you remember the first time you saw an Orange amp? Vidar: I think it was Hellacopters, in the Toys and Flavours video. Maciek: Not really, but I remember that when we started in 2009 Norway got kind of like an Orange boom, because I cant really think of any other Norwegian bands besides us having used Orange..? Vidar: I’m sure there are a few, I just can’t think of them.
You’re one of few bands with Norwegian lyrics to have made it outside of Norway, was there ever any doubt, or moments when you considered English lyrics? Vidar: We’ve actually never had a proper conversation about it. There’s been a few people saying we’d get further if we did, but I guess we kind of just proved them wrong. Maciek: It’s a part of our sound as well, we’d sound completely different if our songs were in English. We’ve got one English verse, that’ll do. And to be fair, I don’t really know how much of a difference it would have made if our songs were in English, we’re doing really well as it is. It’s pretty cool doing gigs outside of Norway when you see people singing along, trying to get the Norwegian words right. It’s almost tempting to stop and ask them what they’re actually singing.
What kind of music did you listen to growing up? Was there anyone in specific that got you into music? Vidar: Whatever my parents were listening to, so a mix between Dire Straits and Abba, but I guess what kind of sold music to me was when I got a Guns N’ Roses cassette. Maciek: I’ve always liked music. I used to be really into skateboarding and listened to a lot of punk. It wasn’t until a bit later I got unto metal. Death was one of the bands that made me want to be good, but I guess it was mostly punk that got me started.
What are you currently listening to? Maciek: I listen to quite a lot of hip hop, there’s been a lot of Lars Vaular lately, and Yelawolf. Vidar: There’s a Finnish band called ‘Vasas Flora och Fauna’, which is kind of folk music. While touring with bands such as Slayer and Anthrax and listening to metal non-stop, it’s nice to unwind with something completely different.
Norwegian hip hop and Finnish folk music, I can imagine a few people will find that quite surprising! Maciek: I listen to a fair bit of Hawaii music as well, like Johnny Pineapple. Vidar: We’ve been playing Scorpions in our tour bus, which I never knew I liked. Maciek: Erlend’s got Hellbillies backstage playlist, which consists of a bunch of bands that sounds just like Hellbillies. We’ve listened to that a lot.
Since I founded Orange back in 1968, I have always believed that no other company could have cared more than us about innovation in guitar valve amplifier design and sound technology. Our latest amplifier designs still reflect this approach, and I am especially pleased with recent innovations made by Orange in the field of transformer design. To reach these achievements, we spent years studying, experimenting and testing in order to improve on the best. However, it’s not just about transformers, valves and circuit design. It’s about how the sound is perceived – something that I have 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. The ‘Orange Sound‘ didn’t just happen, it has taken many years to perfect and fine tune. In the same way that guitarists – no matter how good they may be – can always learn new skills and improve, we will also continue with our search for perfection.