This amp is quite the specimen. I've been searching for an Orange to purchase for quite some time and found the glory days OR80/120s to be far too loud and unwieldy for smaller venues. Also, they don't mesh well with pedal fx. The rockerverbs and thunderverbs were heavy and dark, but both models' eq sections did not provide me with the ideal dynamic range for my style of music and the excessive gain made the amps difficult and finicky to dial in my choice grit on the fly. The ad series had the hospitable eq and gain, but lacked serious headroom and an effects loop. I'd been eying the OR50, but once again headroom and effects kept me off the beach. This bad boy dropped, so I brought my guitar and pedalboard in for a test drive.
Rarely have I had as much fun windmilling chords and journeying through a brief history of rock in the loud room.
This amp is beefy and nails that signature super middy orange tone. Having owned this amp for a month, now, it is fully gigable in smaller venues despite it's wattage thanks to the output reduction circuits (though let's be real, you'll probably still want to mic that combo instead of lugging a 70 lb head and cab). The cleans are NOT fender cleans, they are not chiming and sparkly but dark and very THICK with lots of mid harmonic resonance. The gain channel has a very dynamic eq with the bass affecting the mid and treble and vice versa. This can make the eq a little difficult to dial in that "perfect" setting on the fly, but on the other hand you cannot make the amp sound thin or tinny and virtually all of the eq settings are well voiced and organic. The gain itself has that orange loose creaminess to it, though I find it rather excessive for my needs after 2 o clock, though this guy can move from Beatles breakup to doom (if you throw a little fuzz on top) across the spectrum. The clean channel is awesome for fx, taking overdrive, distortion, compression, modulation and time effects like a boss. The dirty channel is a little more fussy and sounds quite different with analog and digital effects. The boosts for the amp are surprisingly useful and despite the online demos, far more apparent than they appear on youtube. Amp sounds awesome with humbuckers and single coils, so bring both. I used an American strat, Gibson CS SG, and a home made tele with PAFs (the drop tuna) for my rig in this review.
This is not a Mesa Mark V, it is not a chameleon that can impersonate any amplifier in history. This is a sonically versatile, uniquely voiced amp utilizing el34s for mostly low mids instead of high mids (say Marshall). The amp is monstrously thick and I recommend open back cabs with v30s for a wall of sound.
If you're looking for a single very dark-voiced amplifier with the output versatility to move between any practice and venue setting, look into this amp, though I STRONGLY advise you try it out before you make the purchase, as there is not much to compare this amp to, tonally speaking. Best I can do is, it sounds like a Matamp Green that is less dark, with more fluid gain, and a completely different eq. Haha. Not very much help, is it? Just try one out.