Do you believe that good things come in small packages? In this Orange Micro Terror Review, I’ll tell you why this is one of the best micro-amps in its price range.
If you are looking for an amp that can power anything from an 8-inch speaker to a 4X12 half stack, then here it is!
Keep on reading to see how this amazing little 20 Watt amp can give you the coveted killer “Orange” sound you have been looking for!
What Is The Orange Micro Terror?
The Orange Micro Terror is a hybrid low power output guitar amplifier. Its “hybrid” designation comes from having a tube (valve) preamp stage and a solid-state amp stage.
Guitar amplifiers in this category are often called “micro amps” or “lunchbox amps,” referring to their size, weight, and power output. They have become popular because they are compact and easy to transport.
The amps of this type are often referred to as amplifier “heads” because they need to be connected to an external sound source, either a speaker cabinet or a set of headphones.
Don’t be fooled by this amp’s size or power output, which is where the word “terror” comes into play. It’s one of the loudest 20 Watt amps you’ll ever hear.
Who Is The Orange Micro Terror For?
The Orange Micro Terror is for anyone who wants a portable and low-cost amplifier that can be used in practically any situation.
It’s a great purchase for a beginning guitar student, but you also may need to buy a speaker cabinet.
The amp’s 20 Watt output makes it suitable for practicing or playing in small venues. For performing outdoors or in larger areas, the amp can be mixed into the PA system.
The Orange Micro Terror has a headphone jack that makes it ideal for playing in a bedroom or other low-noise environment.
How The Orange Micro Terror Amp Works
The Orange Micro Terror amp head uses a 12AX7 (ECC83) tube (valve) preamp to drive a solid-state amp. This gives the amp an organic tone that is very responsive to each player’s fingering and picking.
Setup is quick and easy. First, plug the amp into an 8 – 16 Ohm speaker cabinet using the speaker out jack on the back or use the headphone jack. Orange makes the PPC108 cabinet with an 8-inch speaker that pairs beautifully with the amp for both sound and size.
Adjust the volume and gain control knobs to dial in the amount of aggressiveness you need for your sound.
Setting all three control knobs to 12 o’clock gives you the classic Orange sound. Turn the Tone control clockwise to add more treble while filtering out some of the low-end and vice versa.
Does The Orange Micro Terror Need A Cabinet?
With an all-tube amp, it is critical always to have it connected to a speaker load of the proper impedance, but hybrid amps are not as susceptible to tube failure.
The Orange Micro Terror instruction manual says:
“Terminals labeled as “Speaker Outputs” must be connected to a speaker cabinet of the designated load rating using an un-shielded two-conductor cable for speaker use at all times during operation.”
Therefore, you should not power up the amp without a speaker cabinet unless you have a set of headphones plugged into the headphone jack. When the headphone jack is used, the Micro Terror amp’s speaker output is bypassed.
However, I recommend connecting the amp to a speaker cabinet and using the headphones only when necessary. Once you hear the amp cranked through a good speaker cabinet, I’m sure you’ll agree.
Hearing Is Believing
Here is a video on the Micro Terror from Orange, where Doug Doppler demos the amp played clean, with the gain turned up, and with an Analog Man ARDX20 delay pedal.
The amp is simultaneously powering an Orange PPC108 (one 8″ speaker) and an Orange 4×12 cabinet! Check it out!
Features And Benefits
The Orange Micro Terror is designed to be as rugged as their higher-end products. It is basically a scaled-down Orange Tiny Terror amp, which was discontinued.
Orange put the step-down transformer and DC rectifier in an external power adaptor to keep the size of the amp’s casing as small as possible.
To stick with the “smaller is better” concept, use the PPC108 8 inch speaker cabinet. To get a much bigger sound, connect the amp to your favorite 4×12 cabinet.
Other features and benefits include:
- A 3.5mm Auxillary input jack – Very handy for jamming along with MP3 songs, etc.
- High Tensile Steel Casing, which makes it tough and gig-worthy
- Can drive any size speaker cabinet, 8 – 16 Ohms. You’ll be amazed at how much air it moves!
- Easy to transport. Pair the Micro Terror with the PPC108 cabinet and your back will thank you.
What Is The Orange Amplifiers Micro Series Amp Bag?
The Orange Amplifiers Micro Series Amp Bag is designed to hold and protect the Micro Terror amp and make it easy to carry with you to your next gig. It also has room to hold the power adaptor and a few guitar cables.
The amp bag is an optional accessory that will cost you about $30 but I think it’s an excellent investment because it is well-made and will help keep your amp in good and running condition.
What I like About The Orange Micro Terror Amp
I really love the look of this amp. It just screams Orange! The front panel has the familiar company logo with black and orange control icons that make it instantly recognizable and very cool looking!
It has a great compact and rugged-looking appearance with a handle that just says, “what are you waiting for? Take me to your next gig.”
The amp has the classic Orange “growl and bite.” No other amp sounds like an Orange, and they really nailed the sound with the Micro Terror. It responds wonderfully to subtle fingering and picking dynamics.
Harmonics sound excellent, even at a low volume and gain. They just pop off the strings in all registers.
The sound cleans up nicely. Turning down the guitar’s volume just a little has a dramatic effect on the sound. The amp will give you a good rhythm tone, even at higher gain settings, without killing the sound level.
The amp takes pedals well on the front-end. It was designed to play nice with all types of effects pedals. Just add your favorite pedalboard, and away you go!
It is amazingly loud for a micro-amp. Don’t let the amp’s size fool you. Crank the volume and the gain and stand back. It’s 20 of the loudest Watts you’ll ever hear!
All in all, I love the amp, and the price is right for all that you get!
What I Don’t Like About The Orange Micro Terror Amp
The amp does have some limitations, but at less than $150, you really get a lot for your money.
Here are some of the things that could be an issue, depending on your particular needs.
First of all, and most importantly, there is no effects loop! This is the amp’s biggest limitation, in my opinion. An effects loop would have made this unit totally awesome.
Maybe they will include it in a future version. However, if you really need an effects loop, consider buying the Orange Micro Dark Amp instead.
Also, the headphone jack is not cabinet simulated, while the Micro Dark model has a “CABSIM” headphone jack to make it sound more realistic.
One complaint is that the amp can be noisy at high gain settings. This is not unusual with low-power adjustable gain amps, especially if you are using single-coil pickups. It’s just something to be aware of. It could be a problem if you are recording.
There is only 1 EQ for adjusting bass and treble. The lack of a 2-band EQ does limit the control you have over dialing in your tone. A separate treble and bass control would have been nice, but with an amp this size, something would have to go to make room, like the headphone or auxiliary jack or both.
The amp may not be adequate for playing in large or outdoor spaces. If you’re planning to play an arena, then you will need a bigger rig. If you’re really in love with the amp, you can always mic it through the PA system.
Here is a comparison of the Orange Micro Terror and its counterpart, the Orange Micro Dark amp.
|Specification||Micro Terror Amp||Micro Dark Amp|
|Control Knobs||Volume, Tone, Gain||Volume, Shape, Gain|
|Preamp||Tube (Valve) Preamp|
Uses One 12AX7 (ECC83)
Has Two Gain Stages
|High Gain Tube (Valve) Preamp |
Uses One 12AX7 (ECC83)
Has Four Gain Stages
|Amp||Solid State||Solid State|
|Power Output||20 Watts RMS||20 Watts RMS|
|Speaker Output||One (8 Ohm Minimum)||One (8 Ohm Minimum)|
|Headphone Jack||Yes, but not cabinet-simulated||Yes, with cabinet-simulation|
|15 Volt DC, 2 Amp|
(2.1mm Center Positive)
|15 Volt DC, 2 Amp|
(2.1mm Center Positive)
W X H X D
|6.5″ × 5.31″ × 3.7″|
(16.5cm × 13.5cm × 9.5cm)
|6.5″ × 5.31″ × 3.7″|
(16.5cm × 13.5cm × 9.5cm)
|Amp Price||$149 (Street)||$189 (Street)|
|Orange Amp Bag|
|$29.99 (Street)||$29.99 (Street)|
Is Micro Terror Better Than Micro Dark?
When you compare the Orange Micro Terror against the Micro Dark there is no clear winner. It really depends on the individual guitar player, the kind of music each guitarist plays, and which guitar is plugged into the amp.
Each amplifier has its strengths and weaknesses but in the end, it all comes down to individual preferences and tastes.
If you want an amp that can cover the most types of music then you may be better off with the Micro Terror, which is a lower gain amp than the Micro Dark but it has somewhat of a more diverse tonal range. You can always add an overdrive or distortion pedal if you need more gain. It might also be a better practice amp if you play along with MP3 songs because it has an auxiliary-in jack.
For those of you who are play more aggressive rock or metal, the Micro Dark could be your best bet. It is a higher gain amp than the Micro Terror and it can give your more of a scooped midrange sound with more accentuated bass. The Micro Dark also has a buffered effects loop and a CABSIM headphone output that sounds more like a real Orange amp.
If I had to choose between the two amps, I would go with the Micro Dark because I am a pedal guy and I couldn’t live without the effects loop.
Final Thoughts On The Orange Micro Terror Review
The Orange Micro Terror guitar amp is a 20 Watt RMS “lunchbox” amp that will deliver you the “Orange sound” with power to spare. It is a great-looking amp, packaged in a sturdy housing that is easy to take to all your practice sessions and gigs.
Plug the amp into the Orange PPC108 cabinet to have the ultimate in a rig that is small enough to take anywhere without breaking your back or your piggy bank. It will happily handle any speaker cabinet rated at 8 to 16 Ohms and sounds breathtaking with a 4×12 half-stack.
Don’t be fooled by the size of this little monster. The Orange Micro Terror 20 watt head can fill a large-size room with glorious sound and easily cut through the mix or overpower an aggressive drummer.
The simplicity of the front panel controls makes it quick and easy to dial in your sound. It works great with humbucking and single-coil pickups. It’s a hard amp to power down and just the thing to keep you motivated to play!
For more info, see How To Stay Motivated To Learn Guitar – Top Tips For Success.
Tell Me What You Think About The Orange Micro Terror Amp
Please leave a comment below if you enjoyed this (add product name here) review, have any questions about this product, or want to leave your own personal review. I will be happy to help you.
- Do you own an Orange Micro Terror or a different Orange amp? How do you like it?
- What do you think about the look and the control layout of the amp?
- Is this amp adequate for your needs? What kind of speaker cabinet would you connect it to?
- Would you buy this amp after reading this review?