Nowadays, in the world of guitar amplifiers, the choice is so wide to offer any kind of configuration for every need.
But it also creates a lot of confusion in the minds of those who, not keeping a clear head, try to step into the world of guitars or already venturing for some time.
This is not just about the kind of sound you want to get, just for this reason we could write entire treatises of philosophy just trying to get close to give an answer to the question “Where’s the tone stored?”.
But let’s leave this topic aside and talk about the means that allow us to have a “sound”. Beautiful or ugly it may be.
As already mentioned, today’s sound sources for a more than decent guitar sound are countless. Starting from tube amplifiers, solid-state amplifiers, hybrids, modeling amp, digital pedalboards, or VST plugins like Guitar Rig, Amplitube, or Bias amp, to name a few.
In times of Covid, where live performances are very limited, the need to own a bulky and heavy stack, unless you have a studio large enough to exploit it, are less and less urgent.
So, let’s live aside the world of our favorite rock stars moving their instruments from one end of the world to another with caravans of trucks… Today a band must move fast and agile.
You will agree with me that it is better to move with a case and a briefcase rather than a case, an 18kg tube head, and a 20Kg cab… if you’re lucky.
But, you know, we still are demanding. We don’t want a simulated sound. No, we don’t, it is not enough.
We are lovers of the “legendary tone” and we live to get it. So here come many solutions on the market that try to give us a bit of the legend that we longed for, enclosing in the size of a pedal.
In the jungle of power amps Pedals, one screams louder than many others.
Today we will test it live and see if the premises will be supported by the facts.
Okay, let’s start.
In addition to the 2 separate volumes selectable via footswitch, there are only two knobs available to sculpt your sound, Shape and, Gain.
Shape: Adjusts the tonal response. Turning clockwise reduces mids and produces brighter tones. Turning fully clockwise ‘scoops’ the mids entirely. Turning anticlockwise increases the mids and smooths the treble.
Gain: allows us to go from a clean tone to a heavily distorted one, passing through a pretty wide range of crunch distortions.
The clean sound, depending on the PU used, is more than satisfactory. Clear and crystalline or increasingly closed and gloomy depending on how you will adjust the “Shape” control. This makes the sound range quite versatile.
To the highest gain, this small box roars surprisingly, even without the use of booster pedals or overdrive to increase its “evilness”. The test carried out was made with the standard preamp tube. If you are a geek, replacing the JJ-electronic supplied with a more valuable one, will not be difficult.
The distortion is quite “fuzzy” and at a high level can be solid and aggressive with a full-bodied and effective sound. Rock-blues, Hard Rock, and Metal are territories he knows like the back of his hand but, in my opinion, Doom and Stoner are definitely his home.
If I ever find a flaw in this little girl, it’s a slight lack of dynamic. It is not very easy to get a light crunch from the gain set to the maximum using only the PU volume.
The clean sounds you will hear are more than satisfactory but if you want to do a live performance without touching the pedal settings, you need to have an external distortion to be able to switch from a clean tone to extreme distortion with your feet.
After all, it is a one channel amp.
The loop effects section works great without giving any kind of problem on all types of modulation and ambiance effects pedals that you want to plug into.
Now I’d like to let her do the talking.
All the recorded tracks are raw, no compression, eq, noise suppression, or reverb added, just the guitars and a cable plugged in.
Fender Telecaster: Lollar Special T (bridge) + Seymour Duncan STR-3 (neck).
Cab: DIY 2×12 Jensen C12K2
Mic: Shure SM57
So, this small and lightweight pedal does its job very well, perfect for recording in the studio or playing at home.
Thanks to the Cab simulator output, it will not be necessary to mic any speaker to have a satisfactory starting sound from which to begin the sound sculpting work in the mix phase.
In the rehearsal room or live it the Orange Terror Stamp maintains high standards and the price is definitely affordable.