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Orange Rocker 30 Amplifier Head Review

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Orange Rocker 30 Amplifier Head Review

This review was submitted by Guitar Jar contributor: SlackDogDay

I bought the Orange Rocker 30 Head four years ago, special order through Guitar Guitar in Edinburgh, Scotland. I was looking for a top class tube head to use in my 5 piece blues and rock band.

…personally, I think the Orange Rocker 30 will be a classic of the future, so pick one up while you can…

I tried out a number of Orange products including the Tiny Terror, the AD30TC and the Rockerverb 50. Settling on the Rocker 30 was a no brainer; it ticked all the boxes for quality, tone, power and ease of use.
Orange Rocker 30 Head

Features:

The Rocker 30 is a 30 watt RMS, twin channel guitar amp. It uses three ECC83 pre amp tubes and two EL34 power tubes. Standard power switching with Standby and On. Two channels as mentioned, Natural and Dirty.

The clean channel features only a volume control, no EQ. The Dirty channel features Master Volume and Gain, with Bass, Mid and Hi EQ.

There is no effects loop, no reverb, and the channels are panel switch or footswitch controlled. Outputs are 8 or 16 ohm.

Ease of use:

The Rocker 30 could not be easier to use; switch it on, choose your channel, tweak the settings and play – nothing difficult at all.

Sound Quality:

The sound quality will of course depend on the speakers you hook up. I use a PPC212 2 x 12 cabinet loaded with Celestion Vintage 30 drivers, which come as standard.
Through this cab the rocker tone is just awesome; middly with plenty bottom end and sweet highs.

It’s definitely a blues/rock amp rather than a shredding amp. There is plenty gain on tap on the dirty channel, but it just aint a shredding tone…

Volume wise it is a surprising little beastie. Whilst the natural channel is a good deal quieter than the dirty channel, when it is cooking it can kick out enough noise to easily cut through the mix in a 500 seater un-miced, and the power tube breakup at high volumes sounds fabulous.

The dirty channel is another animal again. VERY loud, in fact the loudest 30 watter I have ever played… and the tones can range from sweet crunchy blues through to pure rock power.

Sadly, there are no real comparisons on the market. I suppose it is a compliment to Orange to say it has the ‘Orange’ sound, much as it is to say the ‘Marshall‘ sound. Whilst the Rocker 30 does not cover all tone bases, it is pretty versatile tonally. No Fender chiming cleans, but hey, if you want that sound, buy a Fender.

Humbucker fitted guitars sound pretty dark through the Rocker. Single coils sound sweet and bright, depending on which tubes you are using. I recommend Svetlana Winged C’s in the power stage. They brighten up humbuckers a bit.

In summary, a specialist tone, but truly awesome.

Reliability:

I’ve had the amp 4 years and apart from tube changes, I’ve never had to touch it.

Overall Rating:

The Rocker 30 is well built, of extremely high quality, very reliable and it sounds fantastic. I would never sell mine, partly because they are now discontinued, so if you want one, it will have to be the second hand market. Personally, I think the Rocker 30 will be a classic of the future, so pick one up while you can.

This review was submitted by Guitar Jar contributor: SlackDogDay

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2 Comments

  • Great sounding amp!

  • I have one too. Great amp for purists.
    Very cool tones… and it’s fun to play!

    Only downside? Not a good pedal platform if you ask me!

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