NAMM 2017: Orange Rocker 15 & 30 Amps
by Richard Blenkinsop. Posted on 2017-01-19 12:22:10
Compact, lightweight and punchy with some really neat little tricks hidden up their sleeves.
The Orange Rocker 15 and Rocker 32 are twin channel valve amps, with a few extra features that the previous generation of Rockers didn't have. The Rocker 15 can be attenuated all the way down to 0.5 watts and the Rocker 32 has a really cool stereo effects loop. As you might expect, the Rocker 32 is double (or thereabouts) the power of the 15 and has a very similar valve setup. However, both amps have some VERY nice features that help set them apart not only from each other, but from most other amps on the market. Both amps available in orange and black and are really well priced - the Rocker 15 is £599 and the Rocker 32 is £829.
Both Orange Rockers share the same clean, or Natural channel. This is controlled with just a single volume knob, which if you turn up some, delivers lovely, bluesy natural overdrive. It's extremely transparent making it a great option for pedal lovers. The other channel has a three band EQ, gain control and volume control - this is voiced in the classic Orange way - expect British sounding overdrives - from subtle crunch, all the way up to saturated metal tones. It's also worth noting how compact the amps are - the Rocker 15 has a 10" speaker, the Rocker 30 has two. Using 10" speakers instead of 12 means they're a bit smaller, but still keep a beefy bottom end, plus they have a touch more chime.
So we know the Orange Rocker 15 is a 15 watt twin channel valve amp with a single 10" speaker but what else is special about it? Well, it's not just a 15W amp - you can halve the power to give out around 7 watts. But wait, there's more! There's a headroom/bedroom switch that lets you knock the amp down to 1 watt, or even 0.5 watt - this means you can drive the natural channel to get that organic overdrive that only comes from a cranked valve amp, without earning complaints from the neighbours.
The Orange Rocker 15 is a great all rounder. If you want a really nice sounding bedroom practice amp, you've got the option of a lower output to still make the most of a valve amp. However, with 15 watts at your disposal, it's still powerful enough for the studio and even smallish gigs.
This, I'm VERY excited about. It's the same great sounding amp as the 15 however its unique feature is its stereo effects loop. There is one send jack output and two returns - this means you can use your stereo reverbs/delays/mods - whatever you've got to their full potential, without the need for two amps. The amp splits at the FX loop and uses the two 10" speakers a bit like two separate amps so you can get amazing wide, stereo sounds with a really small footprint. You can of course use the loop in the Rocker 32 as a regular one if you so wish, but you can also use it in such a way that one speaker gives you your dry signal, and the other with your effects through it - very cool.
Even if you ignore the stereo effects loop (but seriously, why would you??), the Orange Rocker 32 is still an absolutely cracking amp and it does of course, run in mono if you want it to. The Natural channel has plenty of clean headroom for gigs, though can break up wonderfully if you want it to. The other channel gives you the blues, rock and metal side of things. With so many people using a wide range of pedals nowadays, the Orange Rocker 32 is the perfect amp to take them. The stereo effects loop and dry/wet speakers features are such neat things to add to make it stand out from other amps on the market.
By Richard Blenkinsop for Reidys. Posted on 2017-01-19 12:22:10