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Orange Dark Terror 15/7-watt Hi-Gain Tube Head Reviews

5.0 stars based on 19 customer reviews
Questions about the Orange Dark Terror 15/7-watt Hi-Gain Tube Head?

Questions about the Orange Dark Terror 15/7-watt Hi-Gain Tube Head?

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  • from Abilene, TX January 16, 2017Music Background:
    Recreational Home Player

    Don't be fooled by its size, all the tone and volume you'd need in this truly, "Tiny Terror"

    This is the first tube amp I've ever owned. I had a simple 1x12 Ibanez amp that was given to me with my first guitar before that, and I must say, I'm so glad I made it Orange.

    There were a few different models I was debating on, but I chose this one because of the high gain and versatile tone in an apartment and wallet friendly package.

    The tone is exceptional, even for not having a proper 3-band EQ, I absolutely love the tone I can get out of this amp. Closer to 7 o clock will give you much more bass-focused and muddy tones, while closer to the 4 o clock position will give you more punchy and treble-focused tone. Altering the tone knobs on your guitar will give you an even wider range of tone, and I've been very happy with the various ones I can get out of this paired with my Fender Stratocaster.

    As for volume, I live in an apartment. I really can't turn the volume knob more than the slightest turn if the gain is more than half way without irritating my neighbors and getting the landlord called on me.

    I have this amp paired with the Orange 2x12 open back cabinet. This amp is LOUD, even on the 7watt setting the above statement remains true.

    For the price, this amp is absolutely amazing. Every single time I use it I'm more and more impressed with just how great this amp really is. I cannot recommend this amp enough.

  • from New Haven, CT November 15, 2016

    Awesome recording setup

    I use my dark terror primarily in my home studio, coupled with a Mesa Boogie Cab Clone for cabinet simulation. I have A/B tested this against various virtual amp setups and greatly prefer the sound. You don't be disappointed!

  • from Jasper, AL October 19, 2016Music Background:
    Drums, guitar, bass, vocals - hobbyist

    Do yourself a favor...

    Get this amp. If you are a fan of the typical Orange tone, you'll appreciate the extra gain, too. I've been wanting one for years and Tyler Moore, my salesman, gave me a great deal. With 36 month financing, it was a no brainer.

  • from Athens, OH February 13, 2014Music Background:
    Audio Student, Part Time Musician, Hobbyist

    Fantastic Metal Machine

    Let me start off by saying this thing is LOUD. Even at seven watts it still moves quite a bit of air. I am in the process of working on a demo with my band for a recording project and wanted to get a tube head to get that TONE. So I looked at my options, (Orange Tiny Terror, Vox Night Train, and the lunchbox egnaters) and decided that this one fit my needs the best.

    For those wondering about the clean on this amp, it is very good. Very pleasing to my ears anyways. Leave the gain below 9 oclock and crank that volume. Headroom for clean tones is much better than expected. Im sure my neighbors are quite angry. Not sure how it could keep up with heavy hitters, but I am confident that with a DYNAMIC drummer your clean tones will be heard.

    Now the gain, and dear god is there gain. Crank it up to 12 oclock and thats as much as I personally ever want playing groove metal/metalcore. It gets LOUD when you drive it. And if you're looking at this amp you know its got a great drive. For those that find it fizzy try setting your shape knob between 11-3 oclock.

    Overall I am very happy with my purchase. My sales engineer was very helpful and my order arrived very quickly. For 650, I feel like I got an amp at least twice the price. What a deal!

  • from Honolulu, HI December 11, 2012Music Background:
    pro hobbyist/dealer


    Killer tone, ultra portable. Not a one trick pony, but definitely a one trick at a time pony. don't use this head for gigging so that's not a problem for me. First amp I've bought in a while that didn't say Mesa on it, definitely won't be the last orange.

  • from Massachusetts,USA October 11, 2012Music Background:


    This amp will blow you away!I had narrowed my choices to the EVH mini,the Mesa mini Rectifier and this one.It's much less expensive,but only has one channel.Might be a drawback for some,but I just do the old school method of using my guitar's volume control to go from clean to dirty sounds.
    After playing solid state and hybrid amps for years,this was my first all tube amp.To say it has jaw dropping tone would be a severe understatement.It can do anything,from a barely over driven Lynard Skynard sound,to Ac/Dc,to unholy chugging Metallica Ride the lightning fury and beyond.It sunds great at bedroom volume,but get the volume a bit louder and this thing sings!The wattage is deceptive-it is much louder than you'd expect.It can easily keep up with a drummer.The effects loop is a great feature,tone control works well.I leave mine set at about 2:30. I've been playing on and off for nearly 20 years,so I know what good tone is.This amp will not disappoint you if you're into metal.

  • from LA, CA September 29, 2012Music Background:
    Frequent Performer

    Best of the TT series.

    The Dark Terror does everything your Tiny Terror does....AND MORE. Let me be clear: a one trick pony metal amp this is not, but if you want that extra hutzpah, it sure is there. I don't think Orange makes a higher gain model, to be honest. You get every Orange tone you cold want (even when dialed into clean, though the headroom isn't anything special -- not that its that kind of amp) and then it goes into monstrous 4-stage gain that can get everything from Kyuss to High on Fire to Dimebag's screeching, crunchy scooped pummeling sound. I had a Mesa single Recto and it hardly performed this well for high gain tones with a clean attack. Also great for Grunge -- I'm a big Smashing Pumpkins fan and it does everything Billy's JMP-1 that he used live circa '94 does. At low gain levels you can get a great blues lead tone, though its not the first amp I'd reach for if I was only doing blues. I would have like a 3-band eq, but the shape knob gives me the tone I want, so whatevs. The carrying case has made my life so much easier (no more lugging around a 50-pound marshall head and -- god forbid -- a 4X12). Run this baddie through a 1x12 with a vintage 30 or a GH12 and it adds a good amount of low end. MASSIVE TONE! 2 EL34s, 3 12ax7 and one 12at7 for the effects loop. That is a LOT of tubes for an amp this size.

    I prefer oranges, so I have a good sense of their product line, and this amp lives up to their standard and provides a new voice for the company. Most portable gear couldn't hold a candle to this bad boy. A $5-700 head that sounds like something twice as expensive: what do you have to lose?

  • from Seattle, WA September 22, 2012Music Background:

    First Tube Amp

    This amp is stupid loud! I have a Marshall MG 100w half stack and the dark terror is packing much more heat! The tone goes for days. The only thing that is a down side is that it's only one channel. Amazing amp. Again only thing that would top it would be a clean channel. Then it would be unstoppable! Thank you Orange and sweetwater which has best customer service in the biz.

  • from Merrill, WI July 25, 2012Music Background:
    Gigging Band and home studio enthusiast

    Small Packages myth confirmed

    Got this little demon as a practice amp/talking piece and boy was I surprised at the pure metal tones and raw power of this amp. The great sound mixed with it's no nonsense controls and portability have had me reaching for it as my live rig. Not only am I impressed but everyone else that plugs into this bad boy goes from skepticism to true believer in one chord. If your on the fence you really need to hear this amp for yourself. Once you do you had better have the money to buy it because your gonna want it.

  • from Portland Oregon July 5, 2012Music Background:
    Giutar, Drums, Singer, Local band

    Dark Terror = Awesome!

    I recently purchased the Dark Terror amp. This is the first Orange product for me but I have heard their amps with touring bands and have really liked the sound. This amp will not let you down. At full volume and gain you can hold a note forever. It is amazing, great distortion and clean sounds come out of this little guy. I have tried it through a 4x12 16 Ohm cab with 2 Swamp Thing and 2 Texas Heat Eminence speakers and it sounds great. Note: You will not be able to get the volume to play over drums and other band mates for metal at higher volumes unless you mic your cab and run it through a PA. This is a wonderful amp for recording too. Get loads out of the tubes without blowing the walls out. I use a 2x12 cab at home for practice and use in future recordings playing through a Emperor (Check them out if you want the best) 2x12 cab with Weber 65 speakers.

    Also of note;
    The customer service at Sweetwater is the best I have found anywhere. I love the chance to order from this company because you really get that one to one personal touch. If there is ever a problem or question they take care of it fast and make sure that everything is right. I will not shop anywhere else at this point as the Sweetwater prices match or beat guitar center or musicians friend.

  • from Detroit, MI USA February 18, 2012Music Background:
    Hobbyist, Home Recording

    Amazing little amp

    I really am blown away by this amp. Raising the gain knob you get everything from edgy cleans with a bit of breakup, classic rock tone that cleans up nicely with the guitars volume, and full on british roar at the other end. Sounds great even at bedroom volume, not fizzy at all (some vids can make it sound that way, but it isn't.)

    The tube driven effects loop is a nice plus, I threw a delay and reverb pedal in the loop, and it sounds so much better than when in front of an amp, like my old practice amp. And no need to run a boost pedal in front of this amp, it has plenty of gain even for a metal head like me.

    Only downsides I could see would be if a person wanted 2 channels for on the fly switching, and a cab emulated or headphone out. This amp also will not do really clean, clear cleans, but this is a rock amp, so clean and pristine isn't it's game.
    For me though, this is just about the perfect amp. Simple controls that can get a wide range of tones, no fussing around finding the sweet spots. Sounds good at bedroom level or cranked, handy effects loop, and simple, useful controls. The shape knob is great, can get a lot of great sounds unlike a normal bass, mid, treb stack where there are only a few sweet spots.
    This amp rocks. Everything I wanted in a home/studio amp, nothing I didn't, and amazing tone.

  • from Harrisburg, PA October 17, 2011Music Background:
    Home Studio Nerd

    Scary, but has a soft side.

    I got the Dark Terror to compliment my Dual Terror in the studio. For this, it is everything I wanted. I use my Dual Terror for my standard overdrive tones, but the Dark Terror to get some alternate sounds that the Dual can't do. The shape knob on the Dark Terror covers a lot of ground; all the way to the left, you get a cocked wah type of sound; all the way to the right, you get a really thin sound that can make humbuckers sound like single coils. In between you get all your normal sounds from pronounced lower mids, to scooped mids, to pronounced upper mids.

    All of these tonal options are great when you're using a lot of gain, but that isn't why I bought this amp. All of the reviews and videos online talk about what a monster this amp is with the gain turned up, but let me assure you that it can do everything from clean to all out roar with just a twist of the volume and gain knobs. Shockingly, with the volume maxed out, the shape knob between 3 and 4 o'clock and the gain down around 9 o'clock, you get a beautiful sparkling clean from the Dark Terror.

    The tube driven FX loop found in the Dark Terror is the best I've used. It is noiseless, doesn't change your volume and leaves you with quite useable high gain sounds. You do loose a little low end when using the FX loop, but that may or may not have been my pedals.

    Finally, some popular questions answered... Can it hang with a drummer? I'm running it through a Orange PPC212OB and I'd say it can definitely hang with a drummer when overdriven... No if you're running it clean. When overdriven, this seems as loud as my Dual Terror on its 30 watt setting. What tubes does it ship with? Mine came with JJs in all 6 tube positions. These sound nice, but new produciton Mullards in the power section and Tung-Sols in the preamp made it thicker, smoother and sweeter.

  • from Georgia August 31, 2011Music Background:
    Semi-Pro Musician/Producer

    Dark Terror Amp by Orange

    I have had this amp for a couple weeks now and let me tell you it is great. I also own the Tiny Terror. The new amp is everything that I wanted when I bought the Tiny Terror. The Dark Terror has much more gain to it. You do not need to use a distortion pedal with it, it has all the gain you need in the amp. You can also tell when you switch from 7 watts to 15 watts, as the 15 watt settiing is quite a bit louder than the 7 watt. This is an amp made for Heavier styles fo music, yea that is a no brainer........It also seems louder that Tiny Terror, I think this is because of the extra preamp tube and gain stages. I have been using mine in stereo with my Tiny Terror through a Line 6 M13. The 2 together in stereo makes some sweet music.

  • from Washington DC November 7, 2016Music Background:
    Semi Pro/Music Teacher

    Anything Orange

    So for starters I love this amp. It has amazing range. I bought it to do metal/hard rock at a level that will not my my wife leave me and it certainly excels at that. It has tremendous low end for such a small head and amazing note clarity all the way across the neck. Beyond that it has a great rock and roll tone. I bought it for home use but will certainly be using it with my rock band as well. The shape knob is basically a smiling EQ (boosted mids with highs and lows cut all the way to scooped) and can be a bit limiting but it makes tons of useful tones and makes it fairly easy to dial in an appealing sound. This amp definitely changes a lot with whatever cab you use so if you're like me and have multiple cabs it can give you even more versatility.

    Only things keeping this from being a 5 out of 5 is it is only a single channel and while the shape knob works great, having more control over your tone is great too. That said, I'm a simple man and I used to own a mini rec and I will take the orange every time. Very easy to get great tones.

    Bottom line is if you need a practice amp or something for small/medium gigs its worth a look. Even if you're not into metal, unless you're looking for something completely vintage voiced you owe it to yourself to check this one out.

  • from June 22, 2016Music Background:
    Intermediate Bedroom Player

    Surprisingly Versatile, yet simple Metal/Rock amplifier

    Before I start with this review, you'll need to know the circumstances that I have when using this amp: 1) I've only been a bedroom player and have never gigged with this amp. 2) This is my first and only tube amp so far, previous amp was a Line 6 Spider IV 30, 3) I've been using this amp for 15 months with a PPC112 4) I've never used any pedals with this amp nor have any

    When I bought this amp, I was skeptical about the lack of a 3 band EQ, but then realized how powerful and much more practical it is when using it. It's very easy to get a variety of tones, and I'm a guy who loves to tweak the amplifier constantly. The gain is also highly versatile, though past 2 o'clock may be too fizzy/saturated for some people, but it's nice to know that there's more gain in this amp than you'll probably ever need.

    Cleans: I love the cleans on this amplifier. With the shape knob past 12 o'clock, the amp is very warm and deep with a bright top end. Even fully scooped mids on cleans sound very well. Before 12 o'clock is a great tone for clean rock sounds though I rarely use them. What sucks about cleans is that it's not very loud. I can maximize the volume and put the gain at 9 o'clock on the amp and, yes it's loud in a bedroom setting, but it's not so loud that you're neighbors will call the cops on you. Your neighbors will hear you, but it won't bother them too much (I think).

    Crunch: This amp has a great variety of crunch sounds, from AC/DC to heavy rock crunch sounds. The crunch sounds from this amp sound very thick and beefy, so palm muting power chords sound and feel great. With the neck pick up, the tone becomes smoother which is great for blues soloing. I know the crunch on this channel is great for rock and blues, I can't say much for other styles as I haven't tried nor know much about them (like country).

    High Gain: This is where this amp shines the most. The best part of this amp is that even with scooped mid range settings, the amp still retains enough mid range. Pinch harmonics feel great and the amp still remains dynamic in the high gain setting. The bass end can feel tight or loose, depending on how you play. If you palm mute hard and pick hard, it's tight, but if you palm mute softly it can sound very 'sludgy', very thick and heavy, especially with a scooped mid range setting. It's also great for soloing using either neck or bridge pick ups. Shredding with a high gain tone is very easy and it sounds very articulate. Using a mid range boost setting during the high gain is not so great though because it sounds very fizzy and garbled. You need to either use flat EQ or scooped mids if you want to use lots of gain. If you need a tighter bass response, I guess a clean boost will do but I've never tried it. For me, though, I never really felt like I needed it. I'd also recommend not putting too much gain because the saturation becomes so much that if you're playing 32nd notes while palm muting, you won't be able to hear each individual note. The notes will bleed into the next one and it just loses it's articulation. Another plus about the amp is that it doesn't hiss a lot.

    Summary: A great, simple amplifier that can cover many styles. This amp is great for players at any skill level looking for a great rock/metal amplifier. This amp is definitely loud enough to gig with (can't speak much for cleans though) AND it still sounds wonderful with bedroom volumes. I mainly keep the volume less than 8 o'clock when practicing and it sounds great.

    P.S. Make sure you buy an orange cab with this amp because orange cabs have these black bars under them that allows them to 'attach' itself to the floor, creating more low end. One time, I angled the cab upwards so that the cabinet was standing on one of it's edges and the tone became a lot more thin and sounded like a tin can full of wasps. I don't see other cabinets that have that black bar under them.

  • from Inez, KY April 27, 2012Music Background:
    Aspiring Musician.

    An Orange Of Perfection

    This tiny orange amp is truly stunning. The different sounds you can obtain through the Orange Dark Terror is simply stupid. You get anything from fat country tones, to that awesome mid-scooped metal sound. With only three adjusting knobs dialing in a sound of your choice and very easily done, The knobs are also very sensitive allowing many different sound options. The loop in the back also works nicely with and pedals you would want to throw on it. The only negative part about this amp is that its only one choice. Still, its perfect for the young and touring musician

  • from DFW, Texas March 9, 2012Music Background:
    professional player & recording engineer

    An Amazing Design!

    The Orange Dark Terror really does deliver a great "Driven" sound. Although not for the clean sound player, this amp will give you what you need from the 80's hair sounds to some good scooped metal tones.
    Ive got to say The Sweetwater always delivers for me. I buy alot of gear in my business, and the people at Sweetwater always go above and beyond for me.

  • from Kalamazoo April 20, 2016Music Background:
    artist of the craft

    Dark Terror

    Great amp, seriously, for the loot. When cranked however it shows its solid stateness, the breakup is chunky and no longer saturated. If you keep it lower volume for recording your good, but you may be upset when the saturation dies after 4-5 o'clock.

  • from Ct March 26, 2015Music Background:
    Active musician

    Not for metal only

    I loved the tiny terror but really needed and effects loop for my style of playing.
    This did the job. I'm not a high gain player and this amp sounds great it it's lower gain/clean tones also. Kind of nice to be able to go high gain for some fun or to record a solo.
    Great quality , nice sounding amp. Very happy with my purchase.

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