Orange Distortion review

After putting out a successful call for examples of rare 1970s originals, Orange has reissued its Distortion for the modern market – with heaps of retro cool

Orange Distortion
(Image: © Future / Phil Barker)

Guitar World Verdict

Orange has done a great job of delivering a pedal with the look of the original while bringing it right up to date with features that current pedal users would expect as standard.


  • +

    Welcome revival of a forgotten pedal.

  • +

    Ease of use.

  • +

    Modern features and design paired with excellent voicing.


  • -

    Size still could be an issue for some with less ’board space. Minimalist controls mean this pedal is a bit limited for on-the-fly adjustment.

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One of the great British amplification brands, Orange has a practical modern range of pedals including the Fur Coat, Two Stroke and others. But what is perhaps less well known is the fact that the company had a series of pedals way back in the 1970s – the Phazer, Sustain and Distortion. 

These units weren’t produced in large quantities and are now very rare. Roll on to a couple of years ago and some photos of these turned up in online message boards, prompting something of a clamour on Orange’s Facebook pages for them to be reissued. 

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Trevor Curwen

Trevor Curwen has played guitar for several decades – he's also mimed it on the UK's Top of the Pops. Much of his working life, though, has been spent behind the mixing desk, during which time he has built up a solid collection of the guitars, amps and pedals needed to cover just about any studio session. He writes pedal reviews for Guitarist and has contributed to Total Guitar, MusicRadar and Future Music among others.