In the wake of Orange Amplification’s flagship OB-1 and 4 Stroke bass amps, it’s to the company’s credit that a thought has been spared for those on a more modest budget. And with 50 watts of power, a built-in chromatic tuner and a parametric EQ, the Orange Crush 50 looks like an good all-rounder. The range of features is impressive for the price, yet this combo retains an air of straightforward functionality that will appeal to many bass players. The top panel features several controls laid out in a very logical way. A row of icons denotes the functions of each of the controls. Starting from the left, the master volume knob is indicated by a blaring speaker. Next come the EQ controls – treble (a treble clef and up arrow), middle (a small circle with arrows pointing inwards) and bass (a bass clef and down arrow). And finally, the blend and gain controls represented by a blender and a zig zag line with an arrow through it, the symbol for a variable resistor. A handy -6db pad switch, headphone socket, aux input and jack input complete the list of control panel features. The Crush Bass 50 (25 watt and 100 watt versions are also available) houses a 12-inch speaker with a reflex port that’s designed for improved low-end response.
Approaching the Crush Bass 50 for the very first time, we are immediately impressed by the ease with which you can simply plug in and generate a nicely balanced, rich bass sound. With the EQ controls set flat, the amp seems to have been voiced to deliver a thick, solid tone, but engaging the EQ and pushing the treble control up a little easily accesses a brighter sound. At the centre of the EQ is a parametric mid band, which has been designed to offer a much greater degree of control than a traditional EQ. It covers a range from 300Hz (fully counter-clockwise) to 2.7kHz (fully clockwise). The active circuitry allows for up to 15dB of boost or cut on the bass and middle frequencies, and up to 20dB on the treble side. Lifted straight from the popular OB-1 Series amps, the blend and gain controls can be used to create a ‘bi-amped’ effect, adding a vintage voice to the tone at lower gain settings, right up to all-out modern drive. These controls can also be engaged remotely with the optional FS-1 footswitch. So you could say that this combo has something of a split personality, nevertheless, all of these sounds are delivered with conviction and are difficult to fault. It’s ideal for practice, rehearsing or recording – even small to medium gigs. Add to that the option of adding an extension speaker, and we can see this combo meeting the gigging needs of many bass players. For more info visit www.orangeamps.com