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Orange Crush Acoustic 30 review

Orange puts a little color in acoustic players' cheeks with a very smart amp you can take anywhere

(Image: © Future / Olly Curtis)

Our Verdict

For a small but perfectly formed acoustic combo for solo performances, the Orange Crush Acoustic 30 offers a very respectable performance.

For

  • Angled cabinet with good build.
  • Good EQ.
  • It's as portable as it gets.
  • Effects loop plays nice with your pedalboard.

Against

  • Wireless operation is hard on batteries.
  • Reverb and chorus can't be run simultaneously.

When you think of Orange Amplification, the word ‘acoustic’ isn’t usually anywhere in sight. But here we are in an unexpected chapter for the British icon; an Orange acoustic amp, and the latest addition to its hugely successful Crush range of practice amps.  

We say practice, but this is designed for performing outside of the home, too. Literally outside; as well as mains power it can be battery powered for five hours at 50% volume and eight hours at low volume. 

But this Orange needs a lot of juice for that – 10 AA batteries. So obviously we’d recommend an investment in rechargeables or you’ll be busking for battery money...

The power unit is also external here rather than the much more universal ‘kettle lead’ IEC variety, so don’t lose it! The controls are marked by icons rather than words, and will be a head scratcher to Orange newbies. The manual explains all and they’re part of Orange identity – you’ll soon learn the Bass, Treble, Mid and Gain, etc.  

We’re fans of angled combos and if anything we think the wedge here could be steeper, but it’s combined with neat and portable dimensions and the usual high standard of Orange build quality.  

On the rear of the amp you'll find an XLR out with ground lift, a 1/4" line out and an effects loop.

On the rear of the amp you'll find an XLR out with ground lift, a 1/4" line out and an effects loop. (Image credit: Future / Olly Curtis)

Channel 1 is focussed on a wider range of guitar EQ options while Channel 2 is for mics. A reverb and chorus control can also be applied to both channels or individually with the blend control. But you have to choose between the effects; you can’t have both at the same time for your guitar tone, which is a shame.

Reverb is the side most players will come back to and the scope moves from plate to a lusher hall-type, but there’s Leslie-esque fun to be found at the extremes of chorus, too.

We found the Crush Acoustic 30 to be loud for such a compact combo. Testing with both a an electro with a Fishman piezo system and another with an active magnetic soundhole pickup, the EQ is highly responsive.

The control panel features a Colour switch [top right], offering an instant alternate EQ to boost presence and cut the midrange slightly, while the Pad switch reduces the input signal of higher output pickups by 10db. (Image credit: Future / Olly Curtis)

It’s worth spending extra time with it to dial in to suit your instrument and tastes, especially with the Gain and Mid controls. We ended up dialling back more with the magnetic pickup guitar to scoop the mids for a more organic sound, hardly surprising with the metallic character of a soundhole pickup.

The Crush 30 is in a tricky spot; the £320 price point puts it up against strong 60-watt fare like the Fishman Loudbox Mini and Sonnet from Blackstar that also have Bluetooth connectivity (this doesn’t) at levels you can play in a band situation if needed.

But if you’re specifically after battery-powered options that are compact and offer mic input for solo performances, this is a good option.

Specs

  • PRICE: $399 / £319
  • TYPE: Acoustic combo amp with optional battery power
  • OUTPUT: 30 watts
  • CONTROLS: Channel 1: Pas switch, Colour Switch, Gain, Treble, Middle, Bass Channel 2: Phantom power switch, Mic/Line switch, Gain, Treble, Bass
  • MASTER: Notch Frequency, Volume
  • EFFECTS: Effect select, Blend, Level
  • SOCKETS: Balanced XLR out, Ground Lift switch, ¼ inch Line Out, FX Loop, DC 19V power input
  • DIMENSIONS: [HxWxD] 260mm x 320mm x 220mm
  • WEIGHT: 6.12kg
  • CONTACT: Orange Amplification