Orange and Glenn Hughes have been a match made in heaven for over 10 years – and this new GH signature bass amp combo gives the Orange Crush Bass 50 a purple makeover, with an improved speaker in the rear-ported cabinet and a simple but versatile front end.
It’s said to deliver smooth clean lows and biting mid-range, alongside a spiky top end... let’s find out.
Built in China, the Purple Crush bears all the hallmarks that you might expect of an Orange bass combo. The well-built chassis is covered with the obligatory vinyl – in purple, tipping the hat to Hughes’s time with Deep Purple, in case that needs explaining – with black piping trim.
The cabinet corners are fitted with metal corner covers for added protection, while the rear of the cabinet features a rear port for an improved spread of the bass frequencies.
Although it’s not the lightest combo around, the well-placed top handle makes carrying the unit around fairly easy, while the unit’s dimensions are such that transporting it isn’t a problem. The cloth speaker cover gives the unit a vintage vibe, while the metal ‘Limited Edition’ plate, sporting Glenn’s signature, is a slick touch.
The control panel is quick and easy to get to grips with. Bells and whistles aren’t required to coax immense bass tones out of this combo.
For those wishing to use a bass with active electronics, a -6dB pad can be called into play; after that, we’re presented with Gain – used to control the level of clean or dirt in your signal – and Blend, for adding in the Gain level and upper harmonic range to the clean signal.
There’s a three-band EQ with mid-frequency selection and overall volume, and a chromatic tuner, making on-the-fly tuning simple.
The combo comes with headphone and aux-in sockets, both essential for home practice, while the rear sports Send/Return FX sockets and a footswitchable Blend socket, allowing the player to switch the Blend control in and out as required.
There is no facility for adding extra cabinets to this combo, so at 50 watts, its full capabilities are clear for all to hear. Although an XLR DI connection isn’t provided, should you wish to send a signal to a mixer or interface, you can obtain a feed via the headphone out or the Send FX socket. The headphone socket also utilizes a cabinet simulator to create a warmer bass signal. When this socket is in use, the speaker is muted.
Orange amplifiers have a reputation for a distinctive tonal character, and the Purple Crush combo maintains that reputation, delivering a warm, rounded clean tone, no matter what type of bass you present it with. The 12” speaker suits this unit extremely well, providing a powerful but warm delivery, with plenty of punch in the mid-range where it matters, and detailed clarity that doesn’t grate on the ears.
Let’s be honest, though: you wouldn’t buy this amp just for its clean tone – the fun and games are saved for the abrasive distortion. This combo delivers on that promise in spades, and accessing the colorfully distorted tones couldn’t be any simpler.
Experimenting with the Gain and Blend controls will highlight the tones on offer, and then it’s merely a case of finding the sweet spot that suits your bass and your playing style. Add your output volume to the recipe, and the Purple Crush delivers. Rock players will find much to enjoy with the tones on offer and how the amp delivers them.
Considering the dimensions of this combo, it puts in a storming performance: loud, punchy, and formidable. The EQ section offers a usable array of tones, so if a clanky sound isn’t what you want but a smooth drive is, that can be delivered.
At this price, it won’t break the bank, and although you can’t add additional cabinets to this setup, it’s more than capable of putting in a stellar performance when mic’ed up or with a feed sent to the PA system.
- PRICE: $299
- MADE IN: China
- POWER: 50 watts RMS
- FEATURES: Pad (-6dB) switch, gain, blend, bass (+/-15dB), mid-frequency (300Hz 2.7kHz), middle (+/-15dB), treble (+/-20dB), volume
- SPEAKERS: 1 x 12” speaker and reflex port
- DIMENSIONS: | 490 (H) x 425 (W) x 275mm (D)
- CONNECTIONS: 1/4” input (0/-6dB), 3.5mm auxiliary input, 1/4” headphones output, 1/4” Send/Return FX loop, 1/4” jack Blend input (footswitchable)
- WEIGHT: 32 lbs
- CONTACT: Orange Amps