Orange Micro Dark
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- Guitar Amplifier Heads Ranked #102
- 7 setups using this
- 5 demo videos
Building on the overwhelming success of our acclaimed Dark Terror and Dual Dark amps, we’ve distilled thousands of customer demands into a pint-sized valve hybrid head – the Micro Dark.
The Micro Dark shares the same intuitive Shape control combined with a new ECC83 (12AX7)-driven high gain preamp section, yielding screaming dirty tones that make a mockery of its miniature frame. Like its bigger brothers, however, the Micro Dark’s smoky black chassis and simple layout actually disguise its cunning versatility.
Of course, there’s plenty of gain on tap to satisfy even the most discerning devotee of distortion, but this little beast is by no means just a one-trick Metal monster! Beneath the menacing exterior you’ll find a rich and diverse palette of classy and confident tones. From squeaky clean to brash and mean – whatever your style – you’re gonna love this thing.
Other features include a transparent, fully-buffered effects loop and a headphone output with our popular CabSim circuitry. With the optional PPC108 cabinet, the Micro is an ideal practice rig… Plug into something a little larger, though, and you might find your new secret weapon in the studio!
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Trusted musician and artist reviews for Orange Micro Dark
Based on 25 Reviews and 99 Ratings
Amazing Work by Orange
I picked up an Orange Micro Dark at my local Sam Ash yesterday after being blown away by it's tone. One of the salesman, who I am buddies with, informed me that other salesmen had not been impressed by this tiny beast. Having owned a Micro Terror for a while now, knew exactly why they had not been happy with its tone. They had been playing through the stock 1x6 cabinet that amp comes with. Obviously Orange was not trying to create a great sounding cabinet using a 1x6 cabinet, but rather something that is portable, like the amp itself.
So I set up the Micro Dark on an Orange ppc 2x12 open back cabinet, putting an EHX Cathedral reverb through the FX loop (yes thats right this amp about the size of my iPhone 5 has an FX loop) and let it rip. I couldn't help but laugh because the tones I was getting out of the Micro Dark stopped everyone in the store in their tracks and they came running to see what it was.
This amp sounds nasty. It has awesome bite with a start and snarls like a Rottweiler with a Les Paul. Whats extremely nice is Orange designed this amp with 4 different gain stages. So you can put the gain knob wherever you want and still expect to get great tones out of it. This is a nice feature since the Micro Terror has a few dead spots that don't sound too organic.
This amp is tube hybrid, but is extremely convincing when it comes to tube tone. It has one 12AX7 in the preamp section and the power amp is solid state. The entire head is 20 watts but is way louder than you expect. Another nice feature is it can power normal size cabs, like a 2x12 and 4x12. I will definitely use this amp for practice so I don't have to risk moving my Rocker 30 and dinging its tolex. The Micro Dark also has a line out for headphone or whatever else you'd like to line out, and it supposedly emulates a 4x12 cab, but I have yet to try it. For $189+tax this little thing was well worth my money.
I would give six stars if it would let me!
Absolutely amazing little device; and I use the term "little" very loosely. The power, sound, and overall tone character coming from this thing is anything but little. This is definitely one of those instances where great things come in small packages. From squeaky clean and bright to serious crunch, and everything in between, this thing ain't just a one-trick pony. The tone shape knob is probably one of the most clever controls ever. Some of the cleanest clean tones I've ever heard, and the gain...ohhh...the gain...face melting gain, but still provides amazing articulation even at the highest gain settings. The FX loop is a great feature as well. Works with 8 ohm-16 ohm speakers, and definitely has enough power to rock a 4X12. This thing should be called the Micro Beast! Don't take my word for it, pick one up and check it out!
From Gear Setup:
Size doesn't matter (at least in this case)
Way smaller than I expected and way louder than I hoped for. Don’t be fooled by its size. The Micro Dark is powerful enough to kick a 4x12-cabinet to rehearsal volume level. Soundwise it has in general scooped mids and a very heavy low-end. The highs are a bit fuzzy but acceptable.
The control options are kept very simple but the effects loop in the back makes up for it. To be honest I bought this for the fun of it. In combination with some pedals you can rival bigger (and more expensive) amps for sure.
Small but powerful
When this amp arrived, I was so shocked at how small it is. Don't let it's appearance fool you, it is loud and sounds great. Only downsides are that its kind of a one trick pony but it does it well. High gain can sound a bit loose but putting an overdrive or distortion pedal in front of it tightens it up nicely. Also most of the volume you can get is in the first half of volume knob making it hard to get a quiet sound for home practice, between the 0 and 1 mark on the volume makes the same amount of change as between 1 and 5. However there are lots of great features such as the cabsim on the headphone output and the effects loop.
A massive and powerful beast in a teeny, tiny cage.
Wow, oh my god, what the actual... and other such exclamations.
I initially swerved the Micro Dark and bought the Micro Terror instead. I thought the Dark would be a bit too much “PRAISE HAIL SATAN” for me really, though I do listen to that kind of thing on occasion; I never play it. Maybe I should? It can and does chug, I know it.
What changed my mind was the FX loop and especially the CabSim circuitry which “faithfully emulates the sound of a mic’d Orange 4×12″ cabinet loaded with their flagship Voice of the World speakers” which really does sound... well... massive!
If it’s not big it’s rubbish, it’s for practicing in your bedroom when your mum won’t complain or it’s for beginners.
I think not. And you will too. Go on... do it.
I’ve paired the Micro Terror and the Micro Dark to the PPC108 which is an insanely small package that packs such an impressive and, quite frankly; astonishing punch that you find yourself actually spouting the words “... what the...” in amazement.
My mum will probably complain when I play this in my bedroom, I’m in my 40’s and she’s about 50 miles away. But I can almost believe she’d be able to hear this. Maybe.
Plugging headphones into the Micro Terror sounds good but the Micro Dark sounds incredible, it’s mind blowing how good this little head is through a cab or through decent headphones. In headphones with the CabSim it’s just plain awesome. Massive. It’s massive.
Be mindful that in headphones only you can hear this, playing your most massive thrash anthem will probably sound like a children’s TV theme for the people who cannot hear the mighty behemoth you’re enjoying. Just saying. You’ll look mad. Mad!!
Paired with something like the PPC112 or PPC212, as others will tell you, makes this little monster a rampant, roaring beast. I am yet to do this myself but I’ve heard of people doing smaller gigs with this sort of setup. Madness but believable and totally understandable.
I bet my mum would hear it then
“Paul... Turn that bloody noise down!!”
I don’t miss that. I really don’t.
Having said that, about the difference I mean; you can easily dial back the darkness to make this almost as clean as the Micro Terror to a point. They really are very similar and very different at the same time.
If you could choose only one, choose the Dark as you get way more features for epic practice sessions - sure, there’s no aux in (why?!?!) like the Micro Terror has but you can easily fashion a splitter cable for your headphones or adapt something before plugging into the cab so it’s not a deal breaker, albeit annoying and a bit weird given the features included.
The Dark can be tamed a little as well so you’re still good for some more mellow sounds but beware! Once you try it, you’ll most likely want both. Though the Micro Terror does seem a little outdated now next to the Dark, it’s more than worthy of being in your collection as well.
Drink this Michael, be one of us...
From Gear Setup:
Looks can be deceiving
This small amp puts out 20w of solid state power with a 12AX7 tube in the pre amp. As small as it is, this thing gets loud when put through a 2x12. It has more gain than anyone would ever need. I found the sweet spot to be volume (10 o clock), shape (11 o clock), and gain (just a hair behind noon). This setting is probably quieter than what would be required for rehearsal or gigging, but tonally, it's very suiting. It has some breakup with the guitar volume gunned. I've paired it with my boss blues driver with the setting pretty much all set at noon and it gets some cool Marshall-ish tones. The effects loop is the reason why I got the micro dark rather than the white micro terror. I've run the effects send into the effects return of my Bugera V22, which results in a full tube amp. The tone comes from the Orange and the power comes from the Bugera. This also sounds great. I've done the same technique using my Behringer bass amp and it sounds better than plugging straight into it. The one issue I've found doing this was it's tough to get a clean bass tone. Overall, this head is awesome as is and takes pedals well. Paired with a 2x12 or 4x12, it's definitely up to the task of gigging.
Awesome, just awesome.
I fail to understand the negative reviews of this for outlandish reasons. Of course it is not a good country amp. The clean sounds can be thin, or early to break. Yep. And if you bought it for those reasons your are stupid and unfit for reviews. It rocks. It rocks even for 2x the money. I run it through a 1x8 and it is a fun practice amp with a better sound than my solid state practice amp. I also run it a 2x12 and it is just what I want -- a fracking awesome amp. Great gain sound, less mid range honk than other oranges. When I push a TS (well, I prefer the OT-OD but that is crazy man) and it is a tight beast with fantastic responsive. Go buy it.
Super Awesome Practice Head
This little guy is the shit. Worth every penny. Great for practice and jamming at home. I use this with either a 1x12 Peavey cab or my 4x12 Peavey Valveking cab.
Don’t let it’s size deceive you, it can power a 4x12 like a champ and gets super loud. I’m not sure if it’s “drummer” loud, but it’s definitely loud.
It’s small size makes it super easy to take to a buddy’s house or a studio to jam out.
Everything I want from that Orange tone, in a nice small AFFORDABLE package.
6 Community Gear Photos
Loading an Eminence Wizard 12" into an empty cab like a Seismic and stacking the Orange Micro Dark on top has never let me down. I can roll back for excellent cleans or get some really doomy sounds out of this setup.