Review: Orange Brent Hinds Terror Amp
When it comes to building mini and micro amps, Orange has consistently crushed the competition ever since they introduced their very first Terror model. Over the years, countless companies have joined the war on Terror, but Orange has always stayed one step ahead by introducing a steady stream of new models that expand the Terror-fying sounds and flexibility of their amps.
Orange’s new Brent Hinds Terror amp head is the company’s second artist signature Terror model, featuring a design based on the popular Rocker 15 Terror but with modified gain structure and different EQ voicing. Like the Rocker 15 Terror, the Brent Hinds Terror is an impressively versatile two-channel “lunchbox” amp with high-gain tone that’s certain to please Mastodon fans, but with its expanded tonal palette it’s also an amp that deserves a closer look from guitarists who play almost any style of music.
The Brent Hinds Terror is a 15-watt, all-tube, two-channel head with two EL84 tubes in the power amp section and four 12AX7 tubes for the preamp and effects loop sections. There’s a Natural channel that is just that—the unembellished, natural sound of the power amp itself without any added gain or EQ, bypassing all of the amp’s front-panel controls with the exception of its own separate volume control.
The Natural channel is voiced with more bass than the same channel on the Rocker 15 Terror, resulting in darker, warmer overall tonal character. The Dirty channel kicks in a three-stage gain circuit and provides greater tone-shaping flexibility through the Dirty channel’s own set of three-band EQ, volume and gain controls to the left of the Normal channel’s volume control. Channels are selected via the front-panel toggle switch or with an optional footswitch that plugs into a ¼-inch jack on the rear panel.
A half/full power toggle switch on the front panel selects 15 or 7 watts of output power when the rear-panel bedroom/headroom switch is set to “headroom” or 1 or .5 watts of output when the “bedroom” setting is engaged. The rear-panel also includes a mono effects loop with individual ¼-inch send and return jacks, two ¼-inch 8-ohm speaker output jacks and one ¼-inch 16-ohm speaker output. Like its Terror model predecessors, the amp is housed in an all-metal chassis with a chrome-plated carrying handle on top. A padded black nylon carrying bag is also included. The graphics and “pictograph control markings are the same as that of the Rocker 15 Terror, with the only differences being the product name and Hinds signature and face tattoo graphics rendered in orange paint.
Although the Normal channel has only a solitary volume control, its tone is anything but stripped-down. Providing the shortest possible path between your strings and the power amp, the sound is simply big, rich and fat. The Natural channel is perfect for guitarists who use pedals to shape their tone—it’s like the purest white canvas that soaks up every color in vivid detail. Fully dimed, the Natural channel’s volume control provides a slight amount of overdrive crunch that can be pushed into harmonic bliss with a clean boost pedal.
With the Dirty channel’s treble, midrange and bass controls dialed all the way down, the tone incredibly starts where most mini amps reach their peak. The good news is that the tone only gets better and better from there. The Dirty channel can generate a mammoth amount of bass with more balls than the Denver Nuggets’ equipment manager, and the treble gets progressively more sparkling and crisp without ever sounding harsh, shrill or thin.
STREET PRICE: $749
MANUFACTURER: Orange Amps, orangeamps.com
● Similar in overall design to the Orange Rocker 15 Terror, this model delivers more gain and customized voicing with more bass and more versatile EQ-shaping capabilities.
● The Half/Full and Bedroom/Headroom switches let users select 15, 7, 1 or .5 watts of output to provide full dynamics at volume levels ideal for the stage, recording or practice.
THE BOTTOM LINE
With its pure, unadulterated Natural channel and incredibly massive sounding and versatile Dirty channel, the Brent Hinds Terror is truly a mini amp with bigger balls and more massive tone than many full-size heads.