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Orange Tiny Terror Guitar Amp Head Reviews
In a nutshell, this is the best Â£300 amp I have ever played, and by a distance the best sounding Â£300 amp I have ever played.
This amp is very simply all about tone: 15w of all tube tone. And it has its own voice, this is not a pale imitation of anything else. To give you a rough idea of sounds, itâ€™s very much classic British, a little bit Vox, a little bit Marshall - but in the end it has its own voice. The classic tube characteristics are there â€“ this amp gives you clarity â€“ it is very responsive to your playing, picking up all the little characteristics of your picking. Strum a chord and the component notes of it can be clearly picked out. The volume control on your guitar can be used effectively to alter the tone from clean to overdriven. Itâ€™s responsive, natural and just incredibly musical.
There is an impressive amount of clean headroom before the amp will start to break up. And the clean sounds are very good, very much in tune with the British voice of the amp. Translation: these are not Fender cleans â€“ if you want Fender cleans, buy a Fender amp (or a Victoria if you can afford it). If you want high-end, British styled tone, then itâ€™s here. Once the amp starts to break up it really comes into its own. If you are looking for anything from slight bluesy crunch to full blooded rock tones then you are in for a real treat. And while this probably wonâ€™t be a first choice for most pure metal players, there is enough gain to cope with almost any style, in fact I would say that if there isnâ€™t enough gain here for you then you must be in an industrial band.
There is a certain amount of compromise to be made with this amp, which I will come to in a bit, but in terms of tone this amp will go toe-to-toe with amps costing two to three times as much, and it will beat a lot of them. Which is not to say that the tone of this amp is for everyone. If you are married to the Fender clean tone, or if itâ€™s a more American sound youâ€™re after, then arguably youâ€™ll find better options elsewhere. And certainly this doesnâ€™t have the flexibility that digital modelling provides â€“ personally Iâ€™d much rather have 1 great amp than 23 mediocre ones, but again thatâ€™s not everyone. What I would say is that in terms of overall quality of tone, this thing doesnâ€™t just beat the price-point competition - it absolutely slays it.
So to the compromise that you make with this amp: it is very light on features. There is only one channel. There is no effects loop, line in or headphone socket. The tonal control is incredibly basic, one knob that will pile on the bass and roll of the treble to the left, and do the opposite to the right. The latter is relatively easily sorted out â€“ simply run a decent EQ pedal in front of the amp. The first two will present real problems for some guitarists. There are perfectly good reasons for requiring an amp featuring multiple channels and/or an effects loop. If these things are must-haves for you then this amp is probably not for you. On the other hand, if these things are not must-haves, you should give this amp a lot of consideration. Unless you have a much bigger budget than Â£300 then you are trading in a lot of tone quality for those extra features, and that is only ever worth doing if itâ€™s for features you really need.
You may ask yourself whether a 15w amp will be loud enough for you. This is a very loud 15w, rated the old fashioned, British way. In terms of practice, you will easily get above any drummer with this amp. No, it wonâ€™t compete with another guitarist who cranks their 120w head up to the max, but the problem there is their volume level, not the output of this amp. For gigs, this thing is loud enough to play a small, bar-sized venue on its own. If you are playing a venue that is any bigger than that, then this is plenty loud enough assuming the venue has a half decent PA and monitors, and a sensible engineer. When I gig, my volume level is normally slightly lower than my practice volume level. Although I bought this amp mainly/solely for recording, I would gig with it unquestionably; itâ€™s definitely loud enough and the size and portability of it couldnâ€™t be much better.
This amp is amazing, and itâ€™s the future. Digital modelling has come a long way, and certainly it has its place â€“ I use software amps regularly in the studio (AmpliTube), and they are very useful and a very practical solution in the right scenario. But why buy an emulation of something when you can have the real thing for as little as Â£300? Believe the hype. These amps are as good as everyone says.
Well, i\'ve been playing for over 6 years now, many would consider that not much but, that was enough to play quite a few amps. The Tiny Terror for its price is one of the best amps i have ever heard, i play a lot of AC/DC and Bailterspace/Fugazi type stuff, if you are into the british sound and like simplicity and an incredible mind numbing tone well... can\'t really go wrong at all.
The Best make in the World, giving it a go would be ideal but, realistically, it is hard to go wrong with an orange.
If you are doubting it, DON\'T!!!
This is quite possibly one of the best things i have bought, its played through a orange 4x12 and sounds like heaven. Even on 7 watts it will make your neighbours complain! 9 out of ten only because of the lack of full tonal control and reverb/effects loop - but you wont spend a better £300 if you just want full valve tone!
I was mainly motivated to get this little amp as a quality alternative to my Marshall tsl 100, which although being a fantastic amp is just too loud for regular home use and for a devoted fan of \'power valve\' overdrive. I have a 2x12 marshall extension cab with celestion \'vintage\' and \'heritage\' speakers which i reckoned should be a fair partner to the \'terror\'. I\'d considered the little epiphone valve head or maybe an AC15, but the Orange fitted perfectly into my price bracket.
Tranny or hybrid amps were not an option (I\'m a tone snob and unfortunately notice the difference).
The parcel arrived very promptly in Limerick, Ireland (a very positive and pleasant experience with Dolphin music - thanks!) and I must confess some degree of childlike excitement unwrapping the external protective box to unveil the orange coloured product box underneath. Beyond this the amp was already in it\'s padded gigbag, shoulder strap, kettle lead, but no instructions - somehow I doubt many people who will actually buy this amp will need instructions, but any sensible beginners who choose to invest in one may not be completely sure how to connect their cab (or cabs).
I really like the look of it, metal brightly coloured metal case, big vents to look in at those lovely EL84s glowing sweetly, sturdy construction and nice big feet so it can sit comfortably on top of the TSL unobstructed by the carrying handle. An off/standby/on toggle switch beside the 7/15 watts output switch and three smooth action plastic knobs for volume, \'tone\', and gain. I heated the valves for a few minutes and then turned it on.
My initial reaction on plugging in the Orange and using the 15 watt setting was a huge grin, and some surprise at the volume. I believe the designer based his desired sound on the first three AC/DC albums, and with the volume on about 8, tone up full and gain to about 4-5 this indeed is a good approximation of the sound of this amp (Gibson SG of course!). Full bodied and creamy blooming overdrive, with plenty of tooth. The \'tone\' switch I think sounds a little bit like a tone knob on a guitar, in fact with the tone left on full, using the guitars tone knob to bighten/darken things seems to have become a much more frequently done and enjoyable practice I have incorporated into my playing. It is useful when plugging in a tele to tame the top end a little, and something that stands out is how warm the amp sounds with the bridge pickup. when the gain is cleaned up a bit the headroom is very impressive, across all frequency ranges. The more one plays with it and experiments with the gain/master volume relationship, the more one realises that the tone knob isn\'t really that relevant, and i mean that in a good way. The tones available are varied, and most importantly really useable in a live or recording context. In fact I took it up to a friend\'s house over the weekend for a recording session and he was deeply impressed by the clarity of tone and power available. I had it on 7 watts setting for the day and it coped quite easily with the drum kit going good-o. I expect it will perform perfectly well in pub gigs, and I\'m talking about guitar based (loud)rock/60s garage type music, but this little baby has yet to be blooded.
It actually sounds pretty good at lower volumes too. A harder and slightly more brittle sound that\'s eminently useable when recording, but I have to confess that the warmth of perfectly cooked valves is where I\'m happiest.
The gain does get progressively more rock/metal in vibe as it is turned up, lots of harmonically rich feedback, but perhaps a bit squelchier than the high gain rock sounds of marshall/mesa, if you want \'enter sandman\' chug chug riffery then this possibly isn\'t the right choice for you, but for pretty much all other electric guitar styles, you\'d be doing yourself a disservice if you don\'t audition this one.
An absolutely perfect first valve amp, totally pro sounding, and a fine addition to any studio setup.
Although small in size, somewhat odd in appearance (eschewing a wooden casing for a metal one), and low in wattage, the Orange Tiny Terror packs quite a punch. This little amp is perfect for home recording sessions where you want that wonderful overdriven valve sound, but don't want to wake the neighbors. Although 7/15 watts may not sound like much, it's pure tube tone through and through. With the gain dialed back, it's easy to achieve a shimmering clean tone with lots of head room. The real surprise to me came when I cranked the gain and discovered that this amp had some real girth. Though not as dirty as newer Marshall or Mesa amps, the gain would be well suited to recording sessions, easily offering enough distortion to cover any style without getting muddy. Through an Epiphone 4x12 cabinet, the amp had enough volume to be adequate for smaller venues, allowing you to turn up to get that tone only a tube amp at high volumes can produce. For larger venues, this amp may be a bit underpowered unless you mic your cab and run through the PA (which the sound guy will thank you for anyways). So, in closing, unless you crave the power of a wall of 100 watt amps behind you, the Tiny Terror could very well be worth a try. It's at home both in the studio and on a stage, and it won't break your back getting it from one to the other. And with a very reasonable price tag, why not splurge and treat yourself to the sound only a class A tube amp can provide.
Pros: Big sound in a small, easy to transport package. Good for live or studio situations.
Cons: Underpowered for larger venues. Lack of controls (Only 3 knobs; gain, volume, and tone. Good if you love simplicity, bad if you're very picky about every nuance of your tone).
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