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Orange Tiny Terror Combo Review

The Tiny Terror Combo has headroom, but not in spades. The design is very sensitive to the guitar’s output—which is also one of the amp’s best features. A Telecaster will certainly cut more than a Les Paul, but with the Tiny Terror the differences are even more noticeable. With a 1978 set-neck Ibanez Iceman running through it, the inherent upper midrange of the guitar pushed right through, providing a very pleasing growl. The gain doesn’t need to be set very high to get a nice, raunchy tone, either. The Tiny Terror has plenty of it, to the point where some players might want to change out the ECC83 in the first stage with a lower-gain tube, such as an ECC81/12AT7.

Celestion’s G12H-30 70th Anniversary speaker surely handles the output well, but at times sounds a little thin and nasally. This might be due to the stiffness of the new speaker, because when a well-worn Marshall 1x12 with the same speaker was plugged into one of the speaker outs, the thinness subsided somewhat. Either way, the tone itself was fantastic: that fat, killer midrange that Orange is known for is present, combined with that loose, liquidy feel of a small-wattage tube amp. With the preamp gain at 10 o’clock, tone at 11 o’clock, and master volume at a hair past 2 o’clock, the Tiny Terror Combo produced a great, completely usable classic rock tone that was a blast to play. On top of it all, the amp exhibits another famous Orange trait: it cleans up very well when rolling down the volume knob.

The Tiny Terror Combo is a great… no scratch that, an excellent resource for the recording musician. Playing small shows with it is also certainly feasible (and encouraged), and larger gigs if it’s mic’d up. It’s a great representation of what made the original low-wattage tube amps classics; their inherent simplicity in design allowed for great tone and feel. Some players might want to try a tube change, as the Tiny Terror has a massive amount of gain on tap. Some might want to try a different speaker setup. Orange made the potential weakness of putting the Tiny Terror in a combo a strength by leaving the multiple speaker outs. Combined with impressive tone at low and moderate volumes, and great input sensitivity makes it highly recommended as a tool for recording studios everywhere. In the case of the Tiny Terror Combo, less is certainly more.

Buy if...
You want a simple, vintage-looking alternative to mic'ing a raging loud amp to get great tone.
Skip if...
You need multiple channels, an effects loop, 3-band EQ and other amenities.

MSRP $819 - Orange Amplification -
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