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Orange Super Crush 100 Combo review

An affordable solid-state amp that will give a fair few tube combos a run for their money

Orange Super Crush 100 Combo
(Image: © Phil Barker/Future)

Our Verdict

A nicely priced, gig-ready combo from the iconic British company that does an excellent job of squeezing tube-like tones from a solid-state design.

For

  • Tube-like response from solid-state.
  • Excellent headroom.
  • Wide range of tones.
  • Classic Orange look and build quality.

Against

  • Pics-only control panel may take some getting used to for newcomers.

Guitar World Verdict

A nicely priced, gig-ready combo from the iconic British company that does an excellent job of squeezing tube-like tones from a solid-state design.

Pros

  • +

    Tube-like response from solid-state.

  • +

    Excellent headroom.

  • +

    Wide range of tones.

  • +

    Classic Orange look and build quality.

Cons

  • -

    Pics-only control panel may take some getting used to for newcomers.

You have to love Orange. Firmly seated in the rock ’n’ roll pantheon of Great British amp builders alongside Marshall and Vox, it remains a family-run business after all these years. The roots of Orange were laid down in London’s West End during the late '60s when CEO Cliff Cooper set up his secondhand musical instrument store, the Orange Shop. Regular punters would hang out, play some cool guitars, and check out Cliff’s guitar amps – including a young Peter Green, whose band Fleetwood Mac helped launch Orange amplifiers. 

Orange put its own stamp on guitar tone when they released the legendary ‘Pics Only’ amps in the early '70s (the name refers to the now iconic road sign-inspired graphics on the control panel). These seminal Pics Only amplifiers have remained a reference point for Orange ever since. Indeed, the firm’s “king of the jungle” Rockerverb valve amps capture their classic midrange crunch very nicely (and some!). 

Keenly aware the flagship Rockerverbs may be out of many people’s price range, however, Orange have developed a high-quality solid state alternative – the Super Crush 100 – using a valve-like two-channel JFET preamp design in tandem with the popular Pedal Baby 100 class A/B power amp circuit.

The Rockerverb and Super Crush 100 amps are similar in several ways. While both of these two-channel designs feature onboard reverb and an effects loop they also sport the same control knobs. The control panel of the Super Crush 100 is divided up into three distinct sections: Clean Channel, Dirty Channel, and Master. 

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Orange Super Crush 100

(Image credit: Orange)
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Orange Super Crush 100

(Image credit: Orange)
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Orange Super Crush 100

(Image credit: Orange)

The unit’s single instrument input is located adjacent to the Volume control of the Clean Channel, which also features Bass and Treble knobs. Ditto the Dirty Channel, albeit with Gain and Middle knobs also. Switching between the two channels is achieved either by flicking a two-way switch on the control panel or via a latching footswitch such as the Orange FS-1 (not included). 

The two-knob Master section simply features Volume and Reverb controls. As above, the Reverb can be turned on and off using a footswitch. The onboard reverb is the only digital element to an otherwise all-analogue amplifier, which has been designed to sound as valve-like as possible. Orange has gone for vintage-style realism here and you can most certainly dial into good, old-fashioned Pics Only territory using the Dirty Channel Gain and Middle controls. But that’s only part of the story. 

There is so much more to the Super Crush 100 than '70s-style overdrive. Far from being a one trick pony, it does the full gamut of essential electric guitar tones very well from sparkling cleans to crushing distortion. Quiet in operation, tons of headroom, and with more than enough volume to serve most player’s needs the Super Crush 100 is a highly versatile amp for both stage and studio.

Specs

  • TYPE: Solid-state 100-watt combo amp 
  • OUTPUT: 2-channel JFET preamp, 100-watt class A/B power amp
  • CONTROLS: Clean Channel: Volume, Bass, Treble; Dirty Channel: Gain, Bass, Middle, Treble, Volume; Master: Reverb, Volume; Dirty/Clean Channel switch; Open/Closed Cab. Back switch (analogue D.I.)
  • SOCKETS: Single input; balanced (XLR) D.I.; FX Loop Send/Return; Clean/Dirty Channel & Reverb on/off footswitches; speaker output (8 ohms)
  • WEIGHT: 18.1kg 
  • DIMENSIONS: [HxWxD] 450 x 550 x 290mm 
  • FINISH: Orange or Black vinyl; basketweave grill cloth front 
  • ALSO AVAILABLE: Super Crush 100 Head
  • CONTACT: Orange Amps
Rod Brakes

Rod Brakes is a music writer with an expertise in all things guitar-related. Having spent many years at the coalface as a guitar dealer and tech, Rod's more recent work as a journalist covering artists, industry pros, and gear includes writing hundreds of articles and features for the likes of Guitarist magazine, MusicRadar, and Guitar World, as well as contributions for specialist books and blogs. He is also a lifelong musician.