If you’re thinking about getting a new combo and you don’t want to spend thousands of dollars on a high-end tube amp, perhaps Orange Crush 20 will be a good fit for you. I recently had the pleasure to test it out and after a few days I can admit that it’s a very cool piece of gear.
The Crush 20 has pretty much everything that you need from an amp of that size and level. Relatively low price, great sound, two channels and a lot of punch. That’s all that really matters. Worth every cent, no doubt!
Since I recently wrote about the Crush 12 (which is basically a smaller version of that amp), it’s time to have a very close look on the 20-watt version. I even recorded a few sound samples and recorded a video review for you, so you can be sure that this amp was tested by an actual human.
Let’s start with a quick sound demo (yes, I love reverb)!
About Orange Crush 20
This is probably one of the most popular solid-state amps made by Orange. Why? The reason is pretty simple. It’s suitable for both beginners and intermediate players.
So whether you’re a guitar noob or a passionate guitar nerd, there is a high chance that you’ll find this combo useful. 20 watts means A LOT of punch. You can definitely annoy your neighbors with that one! Especially with the overdrive and distortion.
I think that its versatility is its biggest advantage. Surely, there are a lot of similar amps out there. But after checking out all the Fenders and Marshalls (which you can see on my YouTube channel), it seems clear that this one is actually quite special.
There is a few things that differentiate that model from the rest. That includes:
- a custom Voice of the World speaker which sounds awesome
- a four-stage preamp which gives you awesome (almost tube-like) overdrive
- two separate channels
- CabSim-loaded headphone output which is ideal for those who want to play quietly
- an AUX inxput that allows you to play some backing tracks
As you can see on the photos, it looks cool as well. I always loved the classic aesthetic of Orange gear! These little icons above controls make it even cooler.
I think that these two channels are the most important feature. Each of these has their own control (Dirty or Clean), so you can easily spice up your tone with just a single switch. This is awesome, because not all amps of that size have that!
It’s not ideal though. There is a few things that could be better. But we’ll get into that in a minute!
The overall build quality of that combo feels really good. It’s quite heavy and sturdy, so it will be difficult to break it. As long as you won’t throw it around your rooms, it will probably last you for years to come.
That orange material is also solid and the grip handle is quite comfortable. So even if you’ll have to carry it around (for example for a rehearsal or something), it shouldn’t be a huge problem.
Although Orange is a British brand, they usually manufacture their gear in Asia. But don’t be afraid – it doesn’t mean that it sucks. I can totally confirm that the quality control in their factories is on a high level. There’s just nothing to complain about!
I also need to point out that the knobs feel nice too. I’ve seen a lot of cheap amps in my life and it certainly isn’t one of them. Also everything is very simple to use, so even if you’re a complete idiot (I’m sure you’re not), you won’t have problems with using it.
No matter what kind of music you want to play, you’ll probably be happy with the sound that the Crush 20 produces. I’m heavily into indie and alternative rock and for me, this model was perfect.
But even if you’re into other genres like classic rock or blues, you’ll be happy too. I’m not really into that kind of music, but for sure this amp will give you access to a nice clean tone, a powerful and punchy overdrive and a fantastic distortion.
It may not sound as good as a high-end tube beast, but for that amount of money, it’s probably one of the best amps out there. You get what you pay for. Or let me rephrase that. You get even more than what you pay for.
Time for a sound demo! I recorded a few samples for you to hear. It’s all pretty basic, but it should give you an idea of what you can expect. So if you want to hear some tones, you know what to do!
Sample 1 – Clean Tone
Sample 2 – Chorus Pedal
Sample 3 – Reverb Pedal
If you want to check out the full video review of that amp recorded by me, have a look at the video below.
Pros & Cons
It’s hard to expect that the Crush 20 is flawless – in the end, it’s still a relatively cheap amplifier. So I came up with a list of pros and cons that you have to consider prior to your purchase.
- Sounds similar to a tube amp
- 3-band EQ gives you a lot of control over shaping your tone
- it looks great in real life
- Powerful, but not huge, so it doesn’t that that much space
- No built-in effects included
- It seems to be a bit more expensive than similar 20-Watt Marshalls or Fenders
Personally, I think that it’s all really subjective. The effects aren’t necessary, but I wish it had at least some kind of reverb of chorus. It’s not a huge problem though.
When it comes to prices, I think that it can definitely be seen as one of the cheaper amps out there. But it’s not the cheapest amp out there, if you know what I mean. So if you just want to practice at home, perhaps choosing the cheaper Orange Crush 12 will be a better idea.
If you’re the kind of person who absolutely needs to know all the boring details, here’s a table with full specs. I have to say that I’m that kind of guy, so I’m sure that some of you will enjoy that kind of information.
|Channels||Two (Clean & Dirty)|
|Footswitch||Not Included, but it works|
|Construction material||Birch plywood with Orange Tolex|
|Dimensions||12.8″ x 14.67″ x 7.75″|
|Weight||15.8 lbs / around 7.1 kg|
Who should get it?
Some people say that amps from the Crush series are designed only for beginners, but I don’t agree with that. In my opinion, this combo is suitable for pretty much any guitarist out there.
You’re into clean tones? This model will work. Want to play with overdrive and distortion? Gotcha. Home practice? Yeah! Rehearsals and small gigs? Absolutely.
All of that makes that amp appealing for the vast majority of guitar players. I guess that’s one of the biggest reasons why it’s so popular.
But if you’re a complete amateur and you’re thinking about getting your first amp, this model will work well for you as well. Personally, I’d choose the Crush 12 if I were you, but this one will be more than enough for you too.
Orange Crush 20 vs 12
The difference between these combos is pretty clear. That means:
- 12-Watt version is a bit cheaper, but it’s less powerful
- 20-Watt version has two channels, while the smaller one has only one channel
- 6″ speaker in Crush 12 sounds pretty good, but it’s not as good as the 8″ speaker in Crush 20
Choosing between these amps may not be easy, but in the end, it all depends on what you’re looking for. If you need some extra power and punch, grab the 20-Watt version. If you just want to play at home and practice in your room, you should be fine with the 12-Watts.
Personally, I’d stick to the Crush 20 though. It’s all because of these two channels. In Crush 12 you have to manually adjust the settings if you want to go from clean to overdrive. And unforunately, that can be quite annoying.
If you want to learn more about the 12-Watt version, have a look on my video review below.
As I mentioned before, the Crush 12 is probably the best alternative option for those who want to save up a bit of money. It’s ideal for home use, but it will definitely give you less punch than the 20-Watt version.
You can also consider getting a portable amp such as Blackstar Fly 3 Mini. I recently tested it out and it’s probably one of the best battery-powered amps that I had. It’s way smaller and less punchy (only 3 watts of power), but you can take it with you pretty much everywhere.
Obviously, you can also have a look at all the 20-Watt amps made by Marshall, Fender or VOX. But in the segment of solid-state combos of that size, the Crush 20 is probably one of the best ones out there. Just saying!
I recorded quite a lot of video reviews of amps for my YouTube channel, so if you want to have a look, go for it.
Whether you end up with this combo in your bedroom or not, I want to thank you for reading this article! I hope that you checked out the sound samples and you found it all helpful.
Overall, I can definitely admit that this is a very good and functional piece of gear. It has pretty much everything you need – it’s not expensive, it sounds awesome and it looks cool too. Isn’t it all that really matters?
If you end up buying it, leave a comment under this post and share your thoughts with me and my readers! I’m sure that others would love to hear what you think about it 🙂