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Orange Amplifiers Micro Dark 20W Tube Hybrid Amp Head   

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After much player demand, Orange is building on both its diminutive Micro series and high-gain Dark series with the aptly named Micro Dark. It has mo...Read More

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OVERVIEW

Small, dark and totally awesome!

After much player demand, Orange is building on both its diminutive Micro series and high-gain Dark series with the aptly named Micro Dark. It has more gain than the original Micro Terror, and it's smaller than the Dark Terror, an awesomely potent combination. This 20W hybrid head comes loaded with a single 12AX7 preamp tube for authentic tube overdrive, paired with a bullet-proof solid-state power section and stuck in a package that can fit in the glove box of a car. The end result is a deceptively loud head that's bursting forth with high-gain Orange tone.

The controls are simple as can be. With just three knobs - volume, shape and gain - it's unbelievely easy to dial in your tone. The shape control varies the midrange response along with the bass and treble, so rotating it to the left will add mids and smooth the highs, while a twist right will reduce the mids and brighten the tone. And one twist of the gain knob will show that, despite its adorable stature, this thing is no novelty. It cranks out serious, high-gain, face-melting tone at volumes that'll leave you shocked.

Further building on the outstanding Micro platform, the Micro Dark comes equipped with a transparent, fully buffered FX loop, so you can use your favorite pedals with ease. Using the built-in CabSim headphone output - which simulates a 4x12" cab output through headphones or as a direct out - or the optional PPC108 1x8" cab, The Micro Dark is an ideal practice rig. But if you dare to plug it into a full-sized cab, it can turn into a mighty studio weapon.

FEATURES
  • Power: 20W (hybrid)
  • Tube: one 12AX7 (preamp)
  • Single channel
  • Controls: Gain, shape, volume
  • Impedance: 8-16 ohms
  • Transparent FX loop
  • Headphone out with CabSim circuit
  • Carrying handle
  • Dimensions: 6.5 in. x 5.3 in. x 3.74 in.
  • Weight: 1.72 lbs.

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Reviews
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Review Snapshot

by PowerReviews
Orange AmplifiersMicro Dark 20W Tube Hybrid Amp Head
 
4.9

(based on 20 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (19)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (0)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (0)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (1)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (0)

95%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Easy to use (17)
  • Excellent sound (16)
  • Portable (16)
  • Good power output (12)
  • Warm / comfy (10)

Cons

  • Limited functions (3)

Best Uses

  • Home studio (15)
  • Amateur recording (13)
  • Performances (9)
  • Professional recording (8)
  • Outdoor events / games (4)
    • Reviewer Profile:
    • Experienced (15), Professional musician (3)

Most Liked Positive Review

 

My new primary amp

For reference, I play mostly metal and hard rock. This amp is amazing. It has a thick, saturated, high gain tone when the gain knob is cranked. With the gain knob anywhere...Read complete review

For reference, I play mostly metal and hard rock. This amp is amazing. It has a thick, saturated, high gain tone when the gain knob is cranked. With the gain knob anywhere set anywhere lower than at the 3 o'clock position, you can pick lightly for dirty clean sounds (which sound rich and full) and play harder to get the sound to break up and get even dirtier. It has an FX loop, a huge advantage over the Micro Terror (which I also own). Finally, the "shape" knob that controls your EQ provides good, useable tones at all positions (something the Micro Terror lacks). It definitely gets loud enough to practice or gig with.

Definitely plug into a cab with 12" speakers. I own the PPC108 cab with the 8" speaker, the one Orange commonly markets with this amp. It's fine for small spaces, like a studio apartment, but the Micro Terror/Dark sound tiny with the smaller speaker. Cabs with 12" speakers bring this amp to life and unlock the lushness that it can provide.

VS

Most Liked Negative Review

 

Not Good

Was hoping for cool home amp, just poor tone. Harsh on the ears.

Was hoping for cool home amp, just poor tone. Harsh on the ears.

Reviewed by 20 customers

Displaying reviews 1-10

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5.0

mighty mite

By MCL

from longmont

About Me Experienced

Verified Buyer

Pros

  • Easy To Use
  • Excellent Sound
  • Portable

Cons

    Best Uses

    • Amateur Recording
    • Home Studio

    Comments about Orange Amplifiers Micro Dark 20W Tube Hybrid Amp Head:

    So far, I'm super happy with the micro dark. When I first got it, i did not think it would be loud enough to keep up with the guys I jam with. I was wrong. It has enough power to be heard. I've played it with two different drummers, one being a more artistic and quiet player, the other is just an animal, loud and straight forward. Micro dark could be heard over both. Our other guitar player likes his rig distorted and gainy, micro dark kept up. It sounds great with no effects, I find the controls to be quite versatile, but I use it with my pedal board and it sounds good, even though I go through the front. I actually like that better with my gear than using the effects loop. I have been playing through two different cabinets that I made myself. One is a 112 loaded with a WGS reaper 50w hd. The second is a 212 loaded with WGS invader 50w and a WGS reaper 50w hd. It sounds frickin awesome through either one. The best sound though, is when I play it in tandem with my other amps, one is a fender champ 100 the other is a matchless clubman 35 going through a matchless ESD 212, the micro dark has its own tone and is very complimentary with either of those two amps. Overall, I'm very pleased with the micro, it's light, small, and powerful, with what I consider to be awesome tone. Just what the doctor ordered, and really made me rethink what I believed. Awesome amps DO NOT have to be crazy heavy and bulky. I doubt I would ever use it for a big show, but to practice and have a good time, this sucker rocks!

     
    5.0

    Orange you glad you bought this?

    By Kaiceratops

    from Tacoma, WA

    About Me Experienced

    Verified Buyer

    Pros

    • Easy To Use
    • Portable

    Cons

      Best Uses

      • Amateur Recording
      • practice at home

      Comments about Orange Amplifiers Micro Dark 20W Tube Hybrid Amp Head:

      I bought the micro dark primarily because of the headphone out. I recently moved, 90% of my gear is 3000 miles away, and I just needed something to plug into and jam. This is doing the job so far. I've dialed in a pretty decent spot on the tone knob... still working on finding a sweet spot with the gain. I haven't had a chance to plug into a cab, since all my stuff is far away, so I can't really speak on that end of things. I did look up a few videos on youtube, and this little guy seems to be able to push a 4x12 cab pretty decently.
      Also, if you're an apartment dweller like me and don't want to bug your neighbors (but do want something that'll be useful for gigs later on), this seems like a pretty solid head.
      I chose the dark over the terror because it had a little more of a meaty sound to it, if that makes sense.

      (3 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

       
      5.0

      Mirco Dark 20W Amp Head

      By Ken

      from Abq. N.M.

      About Me Experienced

      Verified Buyer

      Pros

      • Easy To Use
      • Excellent Sound
      • Good Warmth
      • Portable
      • Powerful

      Cons

        Best Uses

        • Amateur Recording
        • Home Studio

        Comments about Orange Amplifiers Micro Dark 20W Tube Hybrid Amp Head:

        The Orange Micro Dark 20W head lives up to the hype.
        I was excited to plug in and see how it sounded. Even with limited tone options, it's still amazing!
        I am running it with a Orange 2x12 cab, sounds great! You can't go wrong with this little guy.

        (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

         
        5.0

        update

        By Bruce Kerr

        from Vandalia, Illinois

        About Me Experienced

        Pros

        • Easy To Use
        • Excellent Sound
        • Good Warmth
        • Portable
        • Powerful

        Cons

          Best Uses

          • Amateur Recording
          • Events
          • Home Studio
          • Performances
          • Professional Recording

          Comments about Orange Amplifiers Micro Dark 20W Tube Hybrid Amp Head:

          I just received my new Jet City 2x12 cab today and plugged the Micro dark into it and felt I should update what I previously stated. Through the Jet city it sounds different in that it sounds great on the middle pickup as well as the bridge. Turned the volume up all the way with a little gain and my Zoom cdr multistomp pedal in the effects loop it's perfect. Of course being a single channel amp you'll have to change your settings for high gain or use your pedalboard etc. That's it! Hope this helps!

          (4 of 4 customers found this review helpful)

           
          5.0

          Mighty Mouse!!!

          By Bruce Kerr

          from Vandalia, Illinois

          About Me Experienced

          Pros

          • Easy To Use
          • Excellent Sound
          • Good Warmth
          • Portable
          • Powerful

          Cons

            Best Uses

            • Events
            • good backup
            • Home Studio
            • Performances

            Comments about Orange Amplifiers Micro Dark 20W Tube Hybrid Amp Head:

            I purchased this for a backup for my Mesa Dual Rec combo for out of town gigs. It is loud and proud! Not a thick wall of sound but still amazing! I think it's important to mention that I think it sounds best if I leave my prs guitar on the bridge pickup when using this single channel amp. It just doesn't sound good anywhere else, but i don't mean this to criticize. I love the Micro Dark! Nice effects loop, line out, 8 or 16 ohm spkr out. I'm using a zoom cdr in the loop on stomp delay. Imho the dirty cleans and superb overdrive are fantastic, allowing me to achieve alot of sounds that heretofor have been difficult to do with other rigs. Playing music is very theraputic and has been a lifelong treasure for me! Part timer out!

            (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

             
            5.0

            GAS Got Me, But I am Keeping It

            By Scott L.

            from Harrisburg, PA

            About Me Experienced

            Ask me a question

            Verified Reviewer

            Pros

            • Excellent Sound
            • Portable
            • Powerful

            Cons

              Best Uses

              • Amateur Recording
              • Home Studio
              • Performances
              • Professional Recording

              Comments about Orange Amplifiers Micro Dark 20W Tube Hybrid Amp Head:

              I'm not sure why I bought this amp - mainly just GAS (gear acquisition syndrome), but I am glad that I did. I am a Marshall guy and I guess I wanted to try something different. When I plug into the Micro Dark, it inspires me to break out of the genres I normally play, which is great for creativity and versatility. It's a very quiet amp, even with gain cranked. To those who say it won't do clean, you are doing it wrong. Master volume all the way up and then just a little bit on the gain knob and you can get very nice clean tone. Having the effects loop makes adding reverb or time based pedals a nice option, but I haven't tried it yet. I am running the head into a Marshall micro stack (ported) cabinet with a Celestion G10 Vintage speaker, which sounds pretty killer for a very compact package. The amp sounds great from bedroom volume on up, so for home use, recording, or as a grab and go jam amp, I think it is a nice option.

              (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

               
              5.0

              Metal things DO come in small packages!!

              By Dan

              from undisclosed

              Verified Buyer

              Comments about Orange Amplifiers Micro Dark 20W Tube Hybrid Amp Head:

              Played it through my beater Ibanez 7 string. Used a Peavey modeling amp previously. Awsome little amp for 7 string Metal guitar! Drop the gain and you could definitely get a blues tone out of it too. One thing you won't get (without plugging "help" into the effects loop) is a Fender style clean, but even that comes close W/O effects help. Just overall totally impressed. For the price you can't go wrong. Go for it and shred the day away!! \m/ \m/

              (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

               
              5.0

              The Little Amp That Could

              By Howie

              from IL

              About Me Experienced

              Pros

              • Easy To Use
              • Excellent Sound
              • Good Warmth
              • Portable
              • Powerful

              Cons

                Best Uses

                • Amateur Recording
                • Events
                • Home Studio
                • Performances
                • Professional Recording

                Comments about Orange Amplifiers Micro Dark 20W Tube Hybrid Amp Head:

                Bought this amp at a local music store. Had been researching and reading reviews and was going to get the regular micro terror but read that the Micro Dark had an effect loop. Had emailed local music store owner and he said that he had both the Micro and the Micro Dark in stock so I took a little trip to go try both of them out. This Little Beast is AWESOME! If you think that it sounds too thin, you can always put an eq pedal through the effects loop. I test drove it against an Ibanez TSA 15 combo and the Micro Terror. I probably played the TSA 15 the longest of all 3 but walked out with the Micro Dark in the end and at about 1/3 of the price. Be sure to print the manual off of the Orange website. They suggest to run (Reverb, Delay, and Chorus) effects through effects loop. Effects such as (Distortion, Wah Pedals, Boost Pedals, etc.) should be ran through the front input jack. FYI - be careful not to plug your guitar into the headphone jack. Most amps have the input jack on the left side and this one is on the right. I power (2) Jet City 1X12 cabs with this Micro Dark and it can get loud. To my ears, it has great tone for such a small package. It seems to take regular pedals and multi-effect pedals well and sounds good on its own also if you prefer not using effects. If you are looking for a very portable amp with a tube preamp, try out this one. I was very happy with my purchase decision and I think you owe it to yourself to try one. ROCK ON ORANGE!!!

                (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

                 
                5.0

                Blown Away

                By FruitLuip

                from Lacey, WA

                About Me Experienced

                Pros

                • Easy To Use
                • Excellent Sound
                • Good Warmth
                • Portable
                • Powerful

                Cons

                • Limited Functions

                Best Uses

                • Amateur Recording
                • Home Studio
                • Professional Recording

                Comments about Orange Amplifiers Micro Dark 20W Tube Hybrid Amp Head:

                Definitely a loud amp. I turned the volume knob all the way thinking "How loud could it be?". I could not hear for a solid 5 minutes. Without a doubt it could be heard over a drummer with a 4x12 or maybe even a 1x12

                (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

                 
                5.0

                Nice little amp

                By Tony V

                from Utica Michigan

                About Me Professional Musician

                Verified Buyer

                Pros

                • Could probably play out with this, good backup a

                Cons

                  Best Uses

                    Comments about Orange Amplifiers Micro Dark 20W Tube Hybrid Amp Head:

                    Cool Unit

                    Displaying reviews 1-10

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