Orange Crush 12 Amplifier Review

If you’re shopping around for a great practice amplifier with amazing sound and tons of personality, all for a low price, then the Orange Crush 12 might be just what you’re looking for.

It looks and sounds expensive, yet the price tag is a pleasant surprise.

Let’s take a closer look at its sound, styling, story, and specs to see if the Orange Crush has what it takes to be your next amplifier!

Orange Crush 12 Has Great Sound

The sound that comes out of this little Crush is a big surprise.

The power of the amp’s 6” small-but-mighty speaker has earned a lot of respect from both beginner and pro guitarists who don’t expect something so small to sound so big, especially for the price.

But volume isn’t this amp’s only bragging point. 

Because the amplifier has gain and overdrive knobs, a guitar’s sound can be changed dramatically from squeaky clean to grungy distortion and anything in between.

These controls are especially helpful for new guitarists, and it gives them the option to play around with sounds to find what works for them.

Although most people rave about the sound, a few people have complained that the amp’s clean sound loses some of its sparkle once the volume reaches the halfway point. Others have complained about an occasional buzzing sound.

Yet overall, most people say the Crush 12 is among the best and loudest practice amps available, and that it also sounds amazing at low volumes.

One other sound feature that makes this amp truly special is what the Orange company calls a CabSim-loaded headphone output. That means the sound coming through the headphone output sounds rich and full, like it would through a big cabinet speaker.

The Styling

Part of what makes this Crush amplifier so appealing is its unique design. The control panel has picture icons that playfully describe what each knob does. Want to turn the bass up? Just look for the bass clef and the downwards pointing arrow. Want to increase the gain? Reach for the sawtooth wave.

And if you don’t do pictures, the control knobs are also labeled in English and in all caps so you can’t miss what they each do.

The overall styling of this amp also makes it fun to just look at. The front of the amplifier is covered in a tan Rattan-like vinyl weave grill cloth that gives it a vintage look, and the amplifier’s case is the company’s signature orange color.

Many people look at the orange color as a welcome change to the black color of so much sound equipment.

What gives this amp so much personality is the Orange company’s crest and coat of arms because it tells a story.

Take a look at this great and quirky demonstration:

The Story

Since 1970, the Orange company’s crest has been a way to advertise the Orange desire to be the best.

The barrel of overflowing foliage at the top of the shield symbolizes the abundance of quality in every Orange amplifier. On the left outside of the shield sits Pan, the god of nature and one heck of a musician. On the other side sits Britannia herself, the symbol for the company’s home country of England.

The two mythical beings are casting flirtatious looks at each other which may symbolize Britain’s long love affair with music. It also adds a bit of fun, which seems to be a central part of everything Orange does.

Within the shield is a balanced scale floating over water with the sun and moon on either side. This symbol speaks of Orange’s constant international trade, another testament to their great quality and prices.

In the lower right, a lion with a chain around his waist symbolizes the bridled raw potential within every amp while the tools below it means the company is dedicated to quality and craftmanship.

The lower left of the shield shows their world orange tree, which was the company’s first logo, and at the very bottom are the musical symbols for crescendo and diminuendo, a nod to using Orange equipment to amp up or gear down the volume (but mostly amp up!).

In the ribbon at the bottom, Orange reveals its identity as the “Voice of the World,” a name they pass on to the musicians who use their equipment. Together, all of this symbolism shouts, “Looking for the best sound gear on the planet? Here we are!”

Here’s where you can learn more about Orange history, culture, and products.

The Specs

Whoever said good things come in small packages must have been talking about the Orange Crush 12 amplifier. It measures 12 x 11.4 x 6.8” (30.5 × 29 x 17.5cm) and weighs in at a little more than 10 lbs. (4.7 kg).

And although it’s not fully portable (not battery-operated), it is compact and light which makes it really easy to carry from place to place. The size also makes it easier to store when the need arises.

The 12 in Crush 12 stands for the wattage, and it has a single-channel, overdrive and gain controls, and a three-band equalizer. It has one input and one output: a single channel for the guitar and a ¼” headphone jack. That makes it just big enough for one person to spend hours getting good at the guitar.

This British-born cutie also comes with a detachable power cord, which makes storing it flat and making it portable even easier.

Probably the best thing about this amp is its price. The Orange Crush 12 has a $99 price tag, a steal for a quality amp that some players say matches (and even surpasses) practice amps from more widely known sound equipment companies like Marshall and Fender.

Other Uses for Orange Crush 12

The Crush 12 is made for practicing the electric guitar but will work as a practice amp for most any mid- to high-range electric instruments including an electric violin or keyboard. The amp would also add some punch to acoustic-electric ukuleles, violins, banjos, and even harmonicas (with a mic).

In a pinch, this amp will also work to amplify anything you can plug into it like a turn table or MP3 player (if you can find an adapter).

Many musicians say it also works great in the studio for recording.

One thing this little Crush 12 doesn’t do well are low tones. Those tiny 6” speakers just can’t pull them off very well, so trying to use this amp to practice bass would be pretty frustrating if you were looking for a big bottom sound.

Also, if the idea of an amp cabinet made out of solid wood or in England was a big selling point for you, the Crush will fall short on both counts. Some, if not all, of the product is assembled in China now, not England. Also the cabinet is made from MDF as opposed to solid wood.

This may be an issue for some, but both of these factors help control the price, and are way the company can make such quality affordable.

Though there may be other comparable practice amps in the same price range, if sound and style are important to you, then consider the Orange Crush 12.

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