Orange Crush 20 Amplifier Review: Best Compact Amp?

Orange Crush 20 Amplifier Review

It goes without saying that Orange is a company that know what they are doing when it comes to guitar amplifiers. With over fifty years in the business every musician knows an iconic Orange amp when they see one. Orange as a company is constantly innovating and releasing new products, and the Orange Crush 20 amplifier is a new version of the classic amp design that began in 2000, helping musicians to fill the air with a wall of that ironically gritty “Orange Sound”.

Touted by some as “the best compact amp under $150”, is the Orange Crush 20 worth your time and money? Is it the practice amp you have been searching for all of these years? Read on in this Orange Crush 20 Amplifier review to find out more!

Basic Overview

The Orange Crush 20 is an impressive amp that is absolutely perfect for practice sessions. A twin channel solid state combo amp, the Orange Crush 20 boasts a compact, portable design and is very easy to use. The Orange Crush 20 has both Clean and Dirty channels which can be easily changed with an additional Orange foot switch (or just with the switch on the amp itself), 3 band EQ (treble, middle and bass) and a new high gain, four stage preamp. The Orange Crush 20 has a good range of tonal options to play around with. It also features an 8” Voice of the World speaker, with 20 watts of output, a CabSim-loaded headphone output and an aux input for backing tracks played off of your phone or tablet.

As previously mentioned, the Orange Crush 20 is a great choice for portability. The amp weighs 7.15kg (15.9lb) unboxed, and its dimensions are 37.5 x 32.5 x 19.7cm (14.67 x 12.8 x 7.75″). Finally, there are two stylish finish options for the Orange Crush 20: orange or black basketweave vinyl.

As of 2021, the Orange Crush 20 is retailing for around $130 USD.

Sound

Put simply, the Orange Crush 20 sounds fantastic. Cranked up to full volume (and this amp can get pretty loud if you want it to – do not let its size fool you) the Orange Crush 20 will reward you with that classic, massive wall of “Orange Sound”, but it also sounds great at low volumes too, which is a plus. This means that if you are in a place where you have to keep your practice sessions as unobtrusive as possible that you will not have to sacrifice any of the sound quality.  Now you can practice in your apartment as much as you like without the neighbours banging down the walls.

The Orange Crush 20 has two channels that both provide a rich, good-quality sound at any volume. The Clean channel is, as the name would imply, going to give you a clean, clear sound, and the Orange Crush 20 delivers on this in spades. However, the Orange Crush 20’s Dirty channel is where the amp really excels; the sound is rich, powerful and full of crunch. The amp produces absolutely fantastic overdrive and dirty sounds despite it being so affordable. As mentioned, the amp’s gain control has four preamp stages, with each one having different characteristics. As you go up, the sound starts to break up more and more, with a really rich, chuggy quality to the sound. The sound quality is powerful, and it is easy to distinguish each individual note of a chord, like a little harmony. The Orange Crush 20 is not just for rock songs, either. Metal sounds great on this amp, as the fluffiness of the sound can be easily tightened. Pedals can also be easily added.

One drawback that the Orange Crush 20 does have, though, is a limitation on the amount of tones you can get from it. The amount of clean tones and distortions you can get with the amp are pretty small. Another limitation is that the amp has no effects such as reverb unless you have an effects pedal – but that would probably go way beyond the scope of what you would be using a cheaper amp for anyway. Obviously, someone starting out playing guitar and using this amp is probably not as interested in the full range of effects that a different amp or an effects pedalboard could bring, and there are also many experienced players who are just not that interested in effects anyway, but it is something to note and probably the most significant drawback of the Orange Crush 20. These problems are not deal-breakers, as most songs can be played quite competently with the Orange Crush 20, but it does set it back from other amps that offer these features and makes it less of a desirable choice for those who need more variety.

Quality of Construction

The Orange Crush 20 may be a relatively inexpensive amp option, but that does not mean that any short-cuts have been taken in its manufacture. There are no cheap, plastic-y components to it, and because it is a solid-state amp that means there are no tubes that will need replacing. The amp is sturdy and well-made and is a solid investment that should reward you with years of use.

The Orange Crush 20 is also a good-looking amp – in its signature orange colour it is a bright addition to any room. The Orange Crush 20 has a clean, easy-to-use control panel that is stylish in its simplicity, and features the Orange brand’s iconic hieroglyphics. The Orange Crush 20 also differs from some other amps in that instead of numbers for its settings, it has hash marks. This obviously has no effect on the amp’s sound quality but is an interesting little design detail adding to the overall attractiveness of the amp.

Usefulness

Because the Orange Crush 20 is so compact and portable, it makes it a perfect amp to use in a small space like a bedroom, where it can be easily packed away in a cupboard and brought out when it is practice time. The Orange Crush 20’s status as a perfect practice amp is further cemented by its ability to maintain its great sound quality even when used at a lower volume, and the fact that it has a cabinet simulator (CabSim) output for headphones. That means that you can practice for as long as you want without anybody else in the house hearing a sound. Because the amp is small and lightweight, it is also a great amp to use in situations where you need to be moving from place to place – you will not have to worry about lugging some massive amp with you if you have the Orange Crush 20. Whilst it obviously is not a great choice for bigger shows, some musicians have been using the Orange Crush 20 amp for their smaller gigs.

Orange Crush 20 Amplifier Review – Final Words

So, is the Orange Crush 20 really the “best compact amp under $150” after all? Well, it is safe to say that this amp is certainly up there with the greatest. Easy-to-use and portable, the Orange Crush 20 is the perfect practice amp for small spaces and those on-the-move. It may be small, but its sound quality is massive, and the Dirty channel in particular is impressive for its gritty, fuzzy sound. Whilst it is missing some features that you can get on other cheap amps of its ilk, such as the ability to do different effects, these are not enough to lessen this recommendation of it. If you are looking for a great cheap amp without having to sacrifice the classic “Orange sound”, the Orange Crush 20 is the amp for you.

We hope that this Orange Crush 20 Amplifier review has been helpful. If you enjoy it and want to see more Orange amp reviews be sure to check out the amps page of our site!

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