Review: Orange OR100 Valve Head

100 Watts of British beef   21-Jun-13

    MP4 13:14 mins    

The Orange OR100 is the new flagship 100-watt valve amplifier from Orange, and we had the honour of reviewing it.

Honour is the right word here, this is a classic amp of the future, and it was incredible fun to review the Orange OR100.

If you want a big beefy workhorse for regular gigs, and you've got a decent budget to spend, then this should be on our options list. Don't be put off by the 100 watts of valve power, you don't have to play at loud volumes to get high gain on this amp, you can run it on 30 watts, 50 watts, 70 watts or 100 watts, meaning that you can use it in pretty much any venue.



It's very traditional, but at the same time, it has a few little useful switches to make life easier, it's an amp that is very much designed with the valve purist in mind, but will also appeal to players who like their amps loaded with add-ons.

The ability to switch between four different wattages is obviously incredibly helpful, but you can also plug footswitches in to have control over two separate volume boosts.


One footswitch can control the boost purely for the gain channel, and another can control the level of boost for both channels; a universal boost.

Orange aren't exactly famous for having highly effective EQ controls, but the three band EQ on the gain channel is very effective, and the two band EQ on the clean channel gives you plenty of room for tonal maneuver.

And if you're wondering, this amp does have an effects loop, which is powered by a 12AX7. And on the subject of valves, it's packed with five 12AX7s (four preamp valves and one for the effects loop), and four EL34s.


I can't pick any faults with the tone of the amp. It sounds incredible, it's the sort of sound you can actually feel in your chest.

It can go from sparkling cleans, to crunchy blues, right up to heavy metal, and quite literally everything in between.

Listen to the video if you want to hear some of the sounds because it will be much more informative than me trying to describe them, but this is right up there with the likes of the Triple Rec and the Fender Twin, except it can do clean sounds just as well as it can do distortion sounds.

It's a very distinctive tone, you can tell it's a British amp, especially on clean settings. If Marshall amps are a bit too smooth or you, and most Orange amps are bit too rough around the edges, then this one is smack-bang in the middle. It's dark, but it's also extremely refined, and would make a great recording amp.

Build Quality

The amp weighs around 25KG, that's a lorry-load of amplifier, but it does signify incredible build quality. You'd be perfectly happy to take this on tour and hand it over to your roadie.

The only issue with the weight is that it makes it slightly difficult to carry around. You could genuinely put your back out if you don't lift with your knees!

Round Up

Pros: It's the ultimate amp. It's versatile, it's pure valve tone, and it's gutsy enough to put a hole in a brick wall. It's awesome.

Cons: The only drawback is the cost, and that's only a drawback if you can't afford a 100 watt valve amp in the first place. For a 100 watt amp, it's reasonably priced.

Available now: (£1399, $2199)

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