Orange Dark Terror (Jim Root Edition) Review

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Original author: Todd Simpson

Weapon: Amp

Make: Orange

Model: Dark Terror (Jim Root Edition)

Price: $699

Orange Dark Terror (Jim Root Edition) Review

Having had this Orange Jim Root Dark Terror sitting on top of my VETTA and switching between them I can safely say I'm shocked, SHOCKED I SAY, and amazed just how different two amps can be.

It seems blatantly obvious sonically that the sheer, cahones of deep/rumbling/thumping/body/etc. of the Orange Tube just can't be denied and I was a skeptic. WOW this thing is MEAN. Size of a shoe box and accidently deafened myself when I forgot about the STANDBY switch. Oops.

The sonic character seems most apparent at mid gain. This is where the orange really does shine. Even delicate strikes are articulate and full bodied. Power chords are almost too big and need to be restrained. EVen an open G chords just feels deep and HUGE. That kind of body on the high strings, in the low mid seems to be something tube amps like this one really shine at.

The only fault I can find so far, and it's pretty minor, is that by itself, it's really, really, really hard to get the Terror to CHUNK/GRIND in a Metallic/Gears Grinding way. Not to say it isn't heavy. It's just not the amp for MESHUGGAH. Palm muted triplets are not really it's cup of tea IMHO. But it was never really designed for that. So for pretty much anything you throw at it, just rolling back the gain a bit or tweaking the EQ yields vastly different tones. Almost sounds like a different amp. Very flexible. But DimeBag Darrell, or Chuck Schuldiner would need to keep looking. It's got a HUGE DEEP Black Sabbath vibe that tones down to be a killer blues, rock, lead, rythm, amp.

I played the MESA MINI and it has COMPLETELY different character. MUCH more Bite, Grind, bit hotter on leads. However, rolling the gain back didn't do the same thing as it does on the orange. It seems the ORANGE is nearly a different amp at each point on the gain/eq dial. Vast differences in tone from little tweaks. The MESA was WAAAAAYYYY more METAL, but the Orange did seem more versatile. I hate to say it you need both.

About Cabs

One thing with the ORANGE AMP from what I've read since getting this head, they behave best with an ORANGE CAB. I've got a RANDALL cab it's hooked to now which evidently is not a great pairing. When I tried this head in the Demo Room at orange on an Orange 4x12 closed back cab, it nearly melted my face. I was honestly blown away. The articulation of each notes was just amazing.

On my Randall, it just sounds a bit too bassy even with the bass turned all the way down. The cab starts to frap a bit. With the line 6 Vetta, or even with my old gnx3 and a clean power amp, the Randall cab sounds amazing.

I really didn't think cabs could be this different given that they are somewhat similar in design/speakers/wattage, etc.

I have seen some Metal guys using an Orange cab with a Mesa Head which always seemed odd as MESA makes killer cabs. Come to find out, the orange cab is really well suited to detuned work


Most cabinets are 14 inches deep. ORANGE cabs are 15 inches deep which allows more sound pressure to build internally which is then ported out the front center and evidently couples with frequencies from the speakers making the cab seem much louder at any given wattage. They use really hard woods then port all that out the front .

My Randal cab is smaller than a standard cab and not as wide as the line 6 vetta that sits on top. I can honestly say it sounds vastly different and not in a good way to the orange cab.

In addition to the depth/woods/porting design, the 'Picture Frame" design of front of the cab acts almost like a wave guide focusing sound forward compared to flat edge designs. Again, not trying to say these are "superior" to anything. Just pointing out how different it sounded and sharing what I found upon researching it.

Here is a link to an article about the history of orange and their amps/cabs that really spells it out.

So in short, I'd suggest pairing an orange head with an orange cab if you plan on getting an orange head smile.gif They really are designed as a system. But also, they match well with Mesa Heads. But then again, so do Mesa Cabs user posted image