You know how it is – you scroll through the market when searching for the product you need and all you see is the cluster of the same names coming up over and over again. You might feel that is due to a good marketing policy, however, the reason why certain brands dominate is the quality behind their electronic devices. The more good products they bring out, the higher the demand gets. One of the names we see recurrently is Orange. Their tube and solid-state amplifiers are equally famous among musicians. And their bass line is not bad either. Today we are going to discuss a small member of this huge family, namely, Orange Crush Bass 50. This small fella accommodates the needs of every bassist, giving them a lot to experiment and practice with. If you want to get yourself a reliable bass amplifier but have not made up your mind yet, stay with me as I help you in that process a bit.
When we talk about the Orange, one thing cannot be skipped or neglected – the designs of their amplifiers. Crush Bass 50 if featured in a traditional orange leather chassis with black basketweave vinyl, which catches your eye right away. Its look forces you to stand there and stare at the unit interminably. But then the urge to explore awakens and you start figuring out all of its features. This bad boy can create the output of 50 watts and deliver it through a single 12” speaker. Even though this is not that much, this amp is still enough for smaller venues and is excellent for practices. Additionally, Crush Bass 50 has a three band active equalizer with a parametric mid, which allows you to take a full control over your tone. This parameter was present in 4 Strokes series and is implemented in here as well. Another feature that is replicated from previous models (namely OB1 series) is the combination of interactive Bass and Gain controls (more on that later). This bi-amped setup enables you to blend guitar and bass tone and maybe even some distortion. Even though these are taken from earlier series, they are not just copied. Still they are modified in a way that suits the bass tone perfectly. More importantly, Crush Bass 50 has an all-analog circuitry, which is the main constituent of its organic and authentic sound. It also has an on-board tuner to keep your instrument in shape. And to enhance the versatility even further, it has a single input for your bass, an auxiliary input for external audio sources, headphone output for silent practicing and recording, send and return sockets for an effects loop, as well as an input for the latching footswitch that activates the Blend and gain feature.
The control panel of the Crush Bass 50 features the classic Orange design. All black section has orange accents and huge knobs mounted on the surface are labeled in white. Each encoder has a complementary doodle, which makes the design even more unique.
The front panel starts with a Volume knob, which adjusts the level of the output. Treble offers the cut or boost up to 20dB, Freq sets the frequency range of the Middle control shifting from 300Hz to 2.7kHz, while Middle modifies the effect of the Freq encoder and boosts or cuts the signal up to 15dB. Bass adjusts the low-end frequencies with up to 15dB boost or cut. Then we have interactive Gain and Blend knobs. The former modifies the amount of gain added to the higher frequencies and adds harmonics to your sound (and even distorts it at higher settings), while the latter mixes the clean signal with the affected (by Gain) one. Later on we have the PAD switch that reduces the signal by 6dB and tailors the amplifier to the instrument plugged in. Last but definitely not the least, we have the Tuner button that triggers the in-built tuner. It has the LEDs that light up according to the string you play and the indicator, which displays whether they are sharp or not.
If you have ever played with an Orange amplifier, you know their output level is always way more in reality than on paper. The same goes with the Crush Bass 50, which has only 50 watts but as you turn it on and start playing, you will see immediately how loud it is. Before I get to discussing the rest, I want to mention the CABSIM functionality. It emulates the sound of the OBC bass speaker rig and allows you to receive those tones with a headphone or other units connected to the phones output. Moving on to more interesting stuff, Crush Bass 50 can create clean tones that are extremely pristine. The capacities of the speaker leave room for a tighter response and can accentuate the character of low frequencies. As you turn up the treble, you are left with a more aggressive feel. And the interminable possibilities that the meticulous mids provide you with, add up to the rest and deliver a punchy, well-defined tone. When you enter the distortion territory, you end up with great deal of versatility which ranges from smooth break-up to a full-on crunch. All in all, Crush Bass 50 is an amazing amplifier for rehearsals, for the road and occasional smaller gigs.
In conclusion, Crush Bass 50 has outstanding bass response which suits your sound perfectly. It has all the features needed to nail those lower frequencies and pair them with uniformed mids and trebles. Though you will not find an extensive set of audio effects, this little fella has an effects loop so that you can jam in your favorite pedals and experiment with various sonic options. And the in-built tuner makes this amplifier even more convenient. Good luck!
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