This is my Orange Distortion Pedal Review.
Orange recently re-released its Distorion, Sustain and Phaser pedals. They are originals from the 1970s, in a modern twist just like that. Let’s take a closer look at the Distortion Pedal.
Overview – Orange Vintage Pedals
You probably know Orange mostly from their orange amps. You might also remember their modern effect pedals, such as the Fur Coat and the Two Stroke. But did you know that Orange also marketed Distortion, Phaser and Sustain pedals in the 1970s? Because they were produced in small quantities, it is now difficult to find those originals. Following photos of these pedals on social media, Orange was asked if the company could remanufacture these effect pedals.
The pedals were so rare that Orange only had the original drawings left, nothing more. So Orange asked for help from the guitar-loving public on the Internet. They shared their experiences with the original effects with Orange designer Ade Emsley. It led to the reissue of the pedals, with the same names, colors and typography of the time.
But note that these pedals are upgrades to the vintage examples, they have the same functions but feature modern components such as LEDs and the ability to be powered via a 9-volt power supply. So don’t let their appearance fool you into thinking you’re dealing with reissues.
The UK-made pedals are very solid. The footswitches are attached directly to the chassis and not to the circuit board. This allows them to be easily replaced in the future, should the need arise.
Orange Distortion Pedal Review
- Price indication: $ 250
- Type: New edition of the vintage ’70s Orange distortion pedal
- Power: 9 V DC power supply
- Size (W*H*D): 187 mm x 112 mm x 141 mm
- Weight: 0.4 kg
- Circuit: Revised and improved
- Controls: Level and Depth, Sounds from crunch to distortion adjustable, Treble level adjustable via small trim control in the housing
- Other: Buffered bypass
- Lovely British-sounding amp overdrive sounds.
- Perfectly adapted to modern times.
- Some guitarists may find the pedal a bit too large.
- An external tone knob is missing; adjustment is via an internal trim pot.
The circuit of this pedal includes a newly designed amplifier scaling with preset lows and mids. In doing so, you can adjust the strength of the high frequencies via a controller located inside the housing. When you turn on the control, the pedal takes some of the low out of your sound and (with the default setting) adds some more high.
If you want a clean boost to your sound, keep the depth knob at 0 and set the level knob above unity gain (set the control to two o’clock). The more depth you give it, the more British-sounding amp overdrive you get back. That runs from a raw edge to a mild crunch, to a solo sound that blows the whole room away.
The Distortion’s internal trim pot might be a bit laborious. An external tone control would fit this pedal just fine. But then again, once you’ve set up your ideal sound, you don’t really need to touch this.
These are pedals with the looks of the originals, equipped with the modern features of our time. A large group of guitarists will be very charmed by the retro look. But perhaps the box is a little too big for some, now that we have become desirable to the small units of today. That’s mostly a matter of personal taste and preference. Let’s welcome these almost forgotten pedals from the 70s into the modern era!