This is my review of the Orange Super Crush 100 Combo.
The industry standard for most players continues to be tube amplification. The emergence and widespread use of digital modeling, however, has made the situation less straightforward. In this wider range of guitar tones where tubes are no longer necessary, solid-state amplification may be attracting some new fans. Additionally, lightweight, inexpensive options with outstanding sound, like Orange Amplification’s Super Crush 100, can open up even more possibilities.
The Super Crush 100 by Orange Amplification is a 2-channel, 100-watt class A/B amp available in head and 1×12 combo variants. It’s a versatile, two-channel solid-state amp that costs approximately $400 and is modeled after the business’s all-tube Rockerverb.
Let’s look at this amplifier in more detail!
Orange, still a family business, has placed itself in the rock ‘n’ roll gallery of honor among the very best British builders of amplifiers like Vox and Marshall. Cliff Cooper started a store in second-hand musical instruments in the late 1960s under the name Orange Shop. Peter Green, who would later play an important role in the breakthrough of Orange amplifiers with Fleetwood Mac, among others, spent a lot of time in the store. He liked to try out Cliffs amps.
In the early 70s Orange released its legendary “Pics only” amplifiers (the name refers to the pictures on the control panel). With this, Orange immediately put its own stamp on the guitar sound of the time. These amps have always remained a reference point for Orange.
The Orange Rockerverb tube amps have exactly that classic midrange crunch – and more. With the Orange the Super Crush 100, Orange offers an affordable alternative for this without tubes. The Super Crush 100 features an outdoorsy JFET preamp combined with the popular Pedal Baby 100 Class A/B output stage circuit.
- Price indication: $ 700
- Speaker: 1x 12″ Celestion G12H-150
- Power: 100 W
- Weight: 21.5 kg
- Channels: 2, Clean channel and Dirty channel
- Controls: Clean channel: Volume, Bass and Treble, Dirty channel: Volume, Bass, Middle, Treble and Gain, Master: Volume and Reverb
- Connections: Input: 6.3 mm jack, FX send / return: 2x 6.3 mm jack, Connection for footswitch: 6.3 mm jack, CabSim: XLR
- Other: Dimensions (W x D x H): 520 x 365 x 620 mm, Effects: Reverb
Control panel and Connections
Orange Super Crush 100
The Rockerverb and Super Crush 100 amps are very similar. Both have two channels, an effect loop and reverb on board, and they have the same controls. The Super Crush 100’s control panel consists of three different sections: Clean Channel, Dirty Channel and Master.
The instrument input is found near the volume control of the Clean Channel, which is also equipped with a bass and treble control. The Dirty Channel also has these controls and is complemented by a gain and middle knob. Using the switch on the control panel or a footswitch (the Orange FS-1, not included), you can switch between the two channels. The Master section consists of only two controls: volume and reverb, where the reverb can also be controlled with the footswitch. The reverb is the only digital element of the otherwise all-analog amplifier, which should sound as much like a tube amp as possible.
Like the control panels of all Orange amplifiers, the Super Crush 100’s control panel may take some getting used to. While there are no words to define the purpose of each knob, the symbols are pretty straightforward. Comprehending what each knob accomplishes rapidly becomes second nature.
Orange Super Crush 100
The clean channel has two gain stages and sounds warm but not excessively loud. While being balanced and even in the high and low ends, the Orange has the vibrant sensation and sound of an amp that has been pushed to the very brink of distortion. Setting the treble and bass knobs to noon and the channel volume to about three o’clock accomplishes this (and the master volume set more conservatively). The Super Crush 100’s clear channel also offers the ideal pedal base at lower volume settings.
Among other things, you can get the old-fashioned Pics Only sounds of the 1970s by properly setting the gain and midrange controls of the Dirty Channel. Around 11 o’clock on this channel, the amp begins to sound and feel substantially louder, and around 12 o’clock, power chords begin to sound powerful and beefy. The amp is best for crisp rhythm and lead guitar when you turn it up to 3. This amp was designed for rhythmic rock, strong rock soloing, and fluid, practically endless sustain!
The amp sounds snappy and responsive even when there is a lot of gain, and there is a ton of sharp definition and low-end clarity. It is also touch sensitive and has a dynamic range that is greater than what I’ve come to expect from a solid-state amp.
In fact, this amp has the complete range of essential electric guitar sounds. From sparkling clean to crushing overdrive. The Orange Super Crush 100 has very good headroom and more volume than most guitarists will ever need.
The Orange Super Crush 100 also is great at making recording easier. It is simple to lay down tracks and record silently thanks to the XLR and CabSim emulation. The closed back option provides a little bit more low-end.
I just want to start by saying that I’ve never owned a tube amp and I’ve never owned an orange amp. I’ve tried the boss katana, it was good, but there was something about the clean tone that didn’t sit well. I tried the modeler route and was caught in the endless tweaking wormhole. I can say that it was 100% me as I have heard plenty of people who have great tones from them. I was hesitant with this amp also being a solid state. After many outlet reviews and others from YouTube I decided to go for it.
I was so surprised and fell in love with it. I played for 5 hours straight the first night. It felt like 15 minutes. My pedals interacted amazingly with both channels. The reverb was very present and you might want to start from lower settings as it can get very ambient. The gain is very diverse. You can go from a light edge of breakup to some high gain. I can’t remember which channel I got the tip to crank the channel volume before the master volumeto prevent the hiss. I tried it and it worked just fine. The clean was very nice. I was on the fence.
I thought that maybe I should just buy the Marshall DSL 40. Even thought about the PRS Archon, for the more “affordable” prices. Then I thought about the maintenance that I have read about and the tube shortage and decided that this Super Crush was the better option for my needs. I get that this is subjective, so I’m not going to tell you that you have to buy this amp. I’m just sharing my experience and my totally subjective opinion about this amp. It’s a great amp, not just for the money. It looks cool as heck with the orange tolex. It takes pedals great. More importantly, the sound is amazing.
- Great tones with dynamic range and touch sensitivity similar to tubes.
- Easy to use
- XLR out with cab sim
- Footswitch not included
- Channel toggle is a bit close to the power switch
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Verdict Orange Super Crush 100
If you’ve always wanted an Orange Rockerverb but don’t have $2,000 to spare, the Super Crush 100 is an excellent alternative. Despite some tube purists bemoaning the loss of certain glassy tonalities, it offers a ton of low-end power and shines at the high end without sounding brittle.
However, the Super Crush 100’s low maintenance requirements, light weight of under 25 pounds, and exceptional affordability will appeal to many players who place a higher priority on convenience. It is a very versatile amplifier, both for live performances and for use in the studio.