When Orange released its adorable Tiny Terror head a few years ago, guitarists were giddy with the lunchbox sized tube-powered tone machine. The amp’s combination of portability, hip aesthetics, and big sound made the Tiny Terror a modern classic. So much so, Orange has spun-off the Tiny Terror franchise into a 1x12 combo version and a high-powered take dubbed the Dual Terror amp. Orange’s latest twist, the Tiny Terror Hard Wired Edition, is basically a boutique version of the original model as it sports a tidy point-to-point circuit as well as cork-snifferapproved appointments such as carbon-comp resistors and “mustard” capacitors.
The well ventilated metal chassis flaunts a smooth and shiny white enamel that reeks of class, and the chrome handle just adds to the tough-yet-regal construction of this lil’ sucker. Under the hood, all of the pots, switches, and tube sockets are securely fixed to the chassis. I tested the TTHWE through an open-back Fender 2x12 and 1x10 as well as a Marshall 4x12 with a variety of Fender Telecasters and Gibson SGs.
To say the Tiny Terror Hard Wired Edition is an aggressive-sounding amp would be an understatement—it can get downright severe. With all of controls halfway up on my Tele, the Orange snarled and barked with fierce midrange bite, tight low end, and searing treble response—as well as a lot of grind. When I backed off my guitar’s volume control, the TTHWE responded well, delivering a shimmering clean tone that sparkled mightily with single-coils, provided the Gain control wasn’t much past 12 o’clock.
The TTHWE is a decidedly modern amp with lots of gain on tap. With single-coils, high Gain settings tended to get a little splatty, but backing the Gain off easily mitigated this. Also, cranking the Volume and backing down the Gain proved to be the ticket for more muscular-sounding power tube raunch. Running through an open-back cab, I rolled off the TTHWE’s Tone control completely, but with the closed-back cabinet the Tone control became a bit more useable. Through a 1x10, the amount of bass knock the Orange churns out is very impressive. Even at whisper volumes, the thump is still there to give power chord riffing some extra oomph. With humbucker-equipped guitars, higher Gain settings work much better, and the TTHWE kept its nasty, surly demeanor intact. This amp sounds like it wants humbuckers, as they seem to revel in the extended treble response and hyper-gain capabilities the TTHWE has to offer. The half-power switch is plenty effective at giving you some power tube grind at slightly lower volumes, but if you’re thinking you can crank the Volume in your bedroom or apartment, you’re going to be disappointed because this amp is loud. And running at full power, it’s plenty for small clubs if your band plays with any type of dynamics. The Tiny Terror Hard Wired Edition offers a lot in a small, extremely portable package. If you’re looking for an amazingly constructed, fierce sounding blues/rock machine that can even get into metal territory, you may want to consider harboring this tone terrorist.
CONTACT Orange Amplifiers, orangeamps.com
MODEL Tiny Terror Hard Wired Edition
PRICE $1,149 retail/Street price N/A
CONTROLS Volume, Tone, Gain
TUBES Two EL84 power tubes, two12AX7 preamp tubes.
POWER 15 watts/7 watts
EXTRAS Half-power switch, two 8Ωspeaker jacks and one 16Ωspeaker jack
WEIGHT 12 lbs
KUDOS Loud and powerful molten rock tones in a bite-size package. Killer construction.
CONCERNS Not very friendly to single-coils in higher gain settings.
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