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 -