For players looking for a portable, low-cost amplifier that provides a wide array of sounds in a small package, the Orange Dual Terror Head is definitely worth a look.
The Orange Dual Terror head from Orange Amplification is the company’s entry in the so-called “lunchbox amp” market, which are low-wattage amp heads that focus on portability as well as tone. For gigs or recording sessions where a 100 watt amp and 4×12 cabinet would be overkill, a low watt head such as the Orange Dual Terror can be a life saver, particularly if you don’t have a team of roadies carting your gear around for you. Let’s look and see what has made the Dual Terror such a popular amp.
The Dual Terror is a 30 watt head capable of also running at either 15 or 7 watts for even more low-volume saturation. There are, of course, two channels (Fat and Tiny Terror), each with independent volume, gain, and tone controls. The amp is powered by 4 x 12AX7 (ECC83) preamp tubes and 4 x EL84 power amp tubes. Two 8 ohm and one 16 ohm output are standard, as is a padded gig bag for transport. I tested the amplifier with a PRS McCarty and Fender American Deluxe Telecaster. Cabinets were an Orange 1×12 and a Mesa/Boogie Rectifier 4×12.
The original Tiny Terror amp has built up such a following, it was interesting to see how Orange would approach a two channel version. They have opted for the second channel to be a “fatter” version of the original. The Fat channel offers more sustain and a thicker sound than the Tiny Terror voicing, though the two are still quite similar. It has the characteristic British crunch. Think of it as a tiny modified Marshall. At first, I was wary of having a lack of control via the single tone knob, but honestly there’s not a bad sound to be found here. It sounds good enough with the Orange 1×12 cabinet, but it was really incredibly how, well, fat this channel sounded through the Mesa 4×12. Depending upon your cabinet choice, this is a thirty watts than can put your drummer in his place.
With so much emphasis on the new Fat channel, it’s easy to see how the original Tiny Terror sound mind get shortchanged, but that would be selling this channel short. You can get everything from clean to dirty on this channel, though you have to be patient when you reconfigure it for different sounds. It’s not a “Fenderish” clean, though, since the amp does favor more distorted sounds, but I personally think the clean sounds are very happening, though it’s not a “Fender Twin” kind of clean. Think of channel 2 as the “clean-dirty” channel. If you use your guitar’s volume knob judiciously, you can get a variety of usable clean sounds as well as classic Orange crunch.
With a street price of less than $900, there’s not much to not love about the Orange Amplification Dual Terror. While it’s not an amp that has a ton of bells and whistles, for players looking for a portable, low-cost amplifier that provides a wide array of sounds in a small package, the Orange Dual Terror is definitely worth a look.
Name of Gear: Orange Dual Terror
List Price: $859.00
Manufacturer Info: Orange Music Electronic Company, Ltd., orangeamps.com
Pros: Portable; Amazing Array of Sounds; Variable Power
Cons: No Effects Loop