Orange Amplifiers has become a name synonymous with quality. When you buy their amps, you expect nothing but the best. However, the main question is whether this type of reputation also applies to Orange Amplifiers’ most affordable products? We are about to see as we take a closer look at Orange Crush12. All things considered, this little box promises to be one of the best choices when it comes to budget amps.
Dialing up a great tone on Crush12 is pretty easy. One of the best things about smaller amps is just how simple and basic their control interface is. We see that same type of approach on this model as well. Controls are located on the top portion of the amp and feature a three-band EQ section, a volume knob, an overdrive knob and a gain knob. This being a single channel amp, that overdrive knob is the only thing you will have available if you want to get some growl. Just like it is the case with other Orange amps, using the controls is pretty intuitive, with everything marked clearly and with labels that make perfect sense.
One glance at the Crush12 will let you know exactly what this amp was designed for. Its small form factor makes it all too perfect for home and practice use. Now, the 6-inch speaker you get with this combo is nothing to joke about, especially since Orange spiced it up with their CabSim tech. This technology shapes the speaker so it sounds like one of their 4×12 cabs. Along the same lines, 12 Watts of power is a bit limiting, however the fact that you can’t hook this amp up to a cabinet is what really prevents it from being anything but a practice amp. Aside from that little flaw, this thing is built pretty well.
The whole single channel thing is a bit misleading. Sure, you can’t switch from clean to overdrive with a push of a button, but you still get a pretty great sounding dirty tone. As usual, when everything is set for a clean tone, you get that decent Orange performance. Their cleans are definitely not what this brand is known for, especially in the affordable range. On the other hand, once you start increasing the overdrive levels, things get pretty wild. Whether you are going for that bluesy growl or a full on rock overdrive, this little amp will deliver. With 12 Watts of power, there is a lot more
volume available than you would expect. However, not enough for gigging, unfortunately.
While it does bring a fair amount of compromises, Orange Crush12 is definitely a great little practice amp. On top of that, it is priced more than reasonably well, which makes it a serious contender to all the other budget models on the market. One great thing about Crush12 is that you’re not only getting a good performance for your money, but you also get that Orange tone and reliability as well.