The New Orange TH30 – A Killer Combo (that might make your wallet a little blue)

The New Orange TH30 – A Killer Combo (that might make your wallet a little blue)

By Aubrey Singer for

Thanks to the nice folks at Orange, The Tone King was among the first, repeat, first to get our eager little hands on this brand new addition to the Orange line up – the gorgeous TH30 Combo.

When Orange introduced The Tiny Terror, TTK became an instant evangelist for the Orange brand among those of us in the hard rock and heavy metal camps. Let’s face it; Orange pretty much invented a new category of subcompact amps, influencing the amp market the same way Volkswagen and Toyota influenced Detroit. Of course, like their automotive counterparts, Orange had been downsizing the looks while upsizing the quality for years over in the UK, only to have us heathen expats finally catch the drift of what we’ve been missing years after the fact.

With the quality mandate intact, Orange continues the tradition with the TH30 that comes in both a 30-watt head and combo version. When you view The Tone King’s demo, you’ll notice that like all Orange gear, the first thing to command attention is the most obvious thing – its looks.  The bright orange combo is built like a tank with beveled edges around the controls and speaker cab, hinting at what’s to come – heavy-duty tone with lots of shape.

Like its head counterpart, the combo is packed with four EL84s, and two channels – clean & dirty that are foot switch-able. You can also attenuate the tubes to half power (so you only get evicted from the neighborhood, not the state). Everyone at loves the sound of this thing, especially the familiar Orange dirty tone – saturated, buttery gain that never turns to mush under the load. As with other Orange heads, you can access a usable range of tones without all the knob-turning that usually comes with it. So if you’re a tweaker (of knobs), you’ll be a harder sell. If you’d rather just turn on the amp and – bingo – instant killer tone, then this could be your baby.

Instead of a multi-band EQ, all it takes is a simple turn of the “Shape” knob to go from yawling, harmonic-rich mids to a more nu-metal, scooped sound. On the clean channel, you get a two-band EQ of bass and treble with plenty of well-rounded mids already intact, so a pristine tone is instantly accessible with the tap of a foot-switch. Turn her around, and you’ve got the choice between two or four tubes, two speaker outputs, FX loop, and again, rock-solid construction housing a single 12” Celestion G12H30 that captures the immediacy of the gain – essential for a lower wattage combo.

Comparatively speaking, the TH30 will replace the more streamlined Rockerverb 30 and is positioned for those who crave Orange tone, but can’t afford a UK-made Thunderverb or Rockerverb. It’s also interesting to note that while the TH30 is Chinese-made, it still sports quite a hefty price tag when likened to pretty much everything else that’s made in China (i.e. “on the cheap.”) We’re talking in the neighborhood of $1,200 for a 30-watt combo, which is approaching the big league of amp heads like Mesa Boogie and the Peavey 6505 (AKA 5150) that Van Halen made famous prior to his departure. So you can either perceive this as a piece of marketing incongruity that may not find a receptive audience. Or, as evidence that “made-in-China” doesn’t always mean “made poorly.” We’re in the latter camp. The speed of progress that China represents is a good reminder that “made-in-Japan” once carried a lot of unfortunate baggage, too. Now it commands top-dollar on eBay. Things change. And no brand has changed things faster in the amp world than Orange.

Click here to watch The Tone King demo the sound & features of the new TH30


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