Orange Amplifiers Micro Dark 20W Hybrid Head - Long & McQuade Music Educator Site
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Orange Amplifiers Micro Dark 20W Hybrid Head

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Building on the success of the acclaimed Dark Terror and Dual Dark amps, Orange introduces their new pint-sized valve hybrid head - the Micro Dark. The Micro Dark brings the same intuitive Shape control combined with a new 12AX7-driven high gain preamp section which yields 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 disguises 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 pallette 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 matching PPC108 speaker cabinet, the Micro Dark makes for a perfect portable practice rig which also mics up superbly in the studio. To properly shake things up however, plug into a full sized Orange PPC412 and unleash the full potential of this remarkable micro amp head.

Key Features:

VALVE/SOLID STATE HYBRID DESIGN
The Micro Dark sports a new high gain circuit which blends valve and solid state technology. The preamp uses single 12AX7/ECC83 valve and produces a huge range of usable tones with warm cleans, smooth overdrive and fat, singing distortion. Its solid state output section puts out 20 Watts and can be can be paired with any 8 or 16 Ohm cabinet.

SHAPE CONTROL
Orange's exclusive Shape control varies the midrange response while interacting with the bass and treble. Working from the 12 o'clock position, a subtle nudge to the left adds more midrange and smooths the highs. A clockwise notch or two reduces the mids and brightens the tone.

At the extremes the Shape's effect becomes even more pronounced, especially as you begin to push the Gain control. A scooped, thrashy voicing with an aggressive 'smiley face' EQ is easily achieved in the fully clockwise position, while turning fully anticlockwise boosts the mids, for a more classic 'bark'.

BUFFERED EFFECTS LOOP
The Micro Dark's fully buffered, low impedance loop allows for any number of effects and cables to be patched in without sacrificing tone. It's incredibly transparent, meaning your pedal arsenal will perform to its absolute peak.

CABSIM HEADPHONE OUTPUT
A popular feature on Crush Series amps, the headphone output includes the CabSim circuitry which faithfully emulates the sound of a mic'd Orange 412" cabinet loaded with Voice of the World speakers. Use headphones for silent practice or connect to a mixer/recording console to capture huge, authentic Orange tones in the studio.

Specifications:

Features: Single Channel Valve/Solid State Hybrid Amp Head, High Gain Preamp, Shape Control, Fully Buffered Effects Loop and Cavsim-loaded headphone output
Controls (Right to Left): Gain, Shape Volume
Finish Options:Matte Black Finish (Steel chassis)
Ootuput Power: 20 Watts max.
Speaker Output:1 X 8-16 Ohm Cabinet, rated at 20 Watts or greater
Unboxed Dimensions (W X H X D):16.5 13.5 X 9.5 cm (6.50 X 5.31 X 3.74")
Unboxed Weight: 0.78 Kg (1.72 lb)

It's loud!0 of 0 customers found this review helpful

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Closest StoreKingston, Ontario
I purchased this and the 1x8 cab. Very, very loud with high gain/sustain while being around 2lbs.
Posted by Dave on Dec 15, 2020
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A Proper Review4 of 4 customers found this review helpful

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Closest StoreVancouver, British Columbia
This thing is crazy. Through a 2x12 or 4x12 you can get huge rock tones, metal as well, but honestly needs a boost to really scream. Another cool thing is since its just 1 preamp tube, you can experiment freely with tubes. Hot Ax7’s , Gold Pin tubes work killer with this(smooths out the top end), 12at7’s for cleaner and crunch style stuff! Now the headphone jack is cool. Sounds fine , though not amazing, it doesnt sound like crap like someone said, just nothing super amazing. There is no effects loop switch popping sound because there is no fx loop switch, so no idea what that other reviewer is talking about. There is an fx loop though and its great . The think I dont like too much about this amp is using the headphone/emulated cab output for recording. Again its okay and nothing horrible, but would never use for an album or anything. Thats where Orange should have somehow gave an option to turn the cab sim off so you could use your own cab sims. Heres the good news. Since this amp has a Solid State power amp you dont need a load attached, so heres what you can do. Go from the Speaker output into your Interface(line in) and that will give you the raw signal from the preamp and power amp with no cab emulation. Then you can use your own. The downside is you cant mic a cab and record a direct signal (at least not that way) . You could use a line splitter to do it. Also you could then use the headphone output as a direct monitoring solution with 0 latency, but if you wanted the sound of your cab sim in the Daw, that would be just fine and latency shouldnt be an issue. Anyway Ive gigged and recorded with this amp and its a no bull straight up rock machine. Killer for taking on trips or for mobile recording/practicing. Its not a novelty, its kcks serious but. Is it as harmonically rich and nice as.a 4000 dollar tube amp. Maybe not, but its its own sound none the less, and oh ya, its super super loud. Can hang in any band or live situation.. The tone knob is very versatile as well and usuable across the whole range.
Posted by JC on Sep 18, 2020
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Excellent0 of 0 customers found this review helpful

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Closest StoreSydney, Nova Scotia
This amp, like everyone else says in their review, is exceptionally loud. I know for a fact it is loud enough to Use in a live band situation. I use it at home however for practice and it is an excellent pedal platform, as it has a wonderful clean sound. If I wanted to use the amp’s natural distortion at home I would go deaf doing so. So I push it with a overdrive or a big muff pedal. Sounds excellent. What a great amp.
Posted by John on Jul 26, 2020
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Not just for rock (and that's a good thing!)0 of 0 customers found this review helpful

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Closest StoreCalgary Chinook, Alberta
What a killer little amp! If you want to rock, roll and scream, this little guy will do it. I hook it up to a Marshall 4x10, a single 12 Celestion Cab or a custom cab loaded with Celestion Ten Thirties, and it always exudes tons of character and grit. The effects loop makes it really easy to hook up a reverb pedal, just in case you miss the 'verb. But don't stop there! Reduce the gain, turn up the volume and tweak the shape knob, and you can dial in a gorgeous jazz tone. Yes, jazz. Jazz as in Wes/Lenny/Grant smooth, clean, warm lovely jazz. Same cabs with my Eastman archtop and I'm in II-V-I heaven. If I'd spent twice as much I'd be just as happy. By the way, I only gave it 4.5 /5 for features because of the lack of reverb, but that's not really a big deal. Oh, and if you want to have even more fun, undo the four screws that hold the top on and swap the 12AX7 for other varieties of tube.
Posted by Nick Burman on Feb 6, 2020
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Dark Matters2 of 2 customers found this review helpful

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Closest StoreSt. Catharines, Ontario
I like this hybrid head & 1 x 8 ext. cab. This is good enough for my practice sessions in my condo & is a step up from my old Dean Markley K20X.. I just wish it was actually made in the UK.
Posted by H J Mudge on Nov 25, 2019
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Really cool amp1 of 1 customers found this review helpful

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Closest StoreCalgary Royal Vista, Alberta
I've always liked hybrid amps. I was looking for a lighter & less expensive hybrid (or tube) amp-which isn't easy to find. I had considered various Orange models including the Micro Terror & Micro Dark. I liked the Micro Dark better due to the midrange control. It allows me to dial in a variety of usable tones. I played it through the matching cab & through a 4x12--and it sounded great on both. Unlike some other reviews here--I like the headphone sound, but it sounds best through a cab/speaker. It does cost more than the Micro terror, but is worth the extra for the midrange control & if you like an effects loop you get that too. I got mine used so I paid less than a new Micro Terror as well. I would recommend checking it out.
Posted by zontar on Aug 7, 2019
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Pleasantly surprised!2 of 2 customers found this review helpful

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Closest StoreWaterloo, Ontario
Went into the L&M with the intent of buying a Katana 50. Tried the Katana and was "meh"..impressed. Noticed Orange in the corner and decided to try it and wow..I put this through a Marshall 4X121960A and it was just amazing. I also put it through a 2x12 (can't remember the cab) and it was fantastic too. I ended up buying it, without regret or hesitation even though I don't have cab yet :) That should say something...I've always gave the smaller, digital modelling and solid state amps support..but after trying a true tube amp. There is no comparison. 20 years of playing and never having a tube amp, I can honestly say "Yes, tubes are worth it and yes, you will notice a difference." L&M staff were very helpful, as always, assisting me while I tried this through 3 different cabinets (2 different Marshalls). The 1960 sounded..alive and full! There is a reason these are sought after. This amp has basic tone controls which may seem lacking but it really isn't. The tone is pure, simple, and great. You really can achieve a vast variety of sounds using the gain, contour and presence alone. I could get a warm blues tone to a full metal overdrive and then go back to a subtle tube crunch. The tube breaks up when it should and colors the sound so well. In terms of volume: I couldn't believe this small thing put out so much without effort. I had it pushing pretty loud without the volume near 50 percent and there was more room available if needed. Keeping up with a drummer or filling a pub would not be an issue with the right cab. The Headphone output is not a valuable feature to this. It does represent the audible output even close. I'm thinking it may be useful if you want to capture the shaped sound in a DAW and then apply a cabinet I.R. After my test drive, I plugged back into the Katana and now that my eyes and ears have been opened, there is not even a moment of consideration for the Katana at this point.
Posted by René on Jan 14, 2019
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Hits above its weight class0 of 0 customers found this review helpful

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Closest StoreWaterloo, Ontario
This little amp is likely the best value in the lunchbox category. Sounds great clean (dial the gain down, and volume up). Lots of crunch on tap when you start turning the gain up. I've used this to drive both the 8" and 12" cabinets. Surprisingly loud for its size!
Posted by Marc on Sep 13, 2018
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Amazing!0 of 0 customers found this review helpful

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Closest StoreSudbury, Ontario
Played this little amp in store and was blown away by its tone and volume. I run it through an old marshall 4x12 cab and I run pedals through it on a cleaner setting. Played a small basement gig the other day and it kept up with my buddy's 30w crate amp. The effects loop and headphone jacks are a nice bonus. This little amp is great for metal and nicer on the ears than the micro terror. If you're on a budget and can't afford a 1000$ amp , buy this thing you won't regret it!!!
Posted by Nat on Aug 26, 2018
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best $$ ever spent2 of 2 customers found this review helpful

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Closest StoreEdmonton North, Alberta
this is the greatest little amp I've even had and the best value I've ever spent in my life, on Anything. all I really wanted was a preamp 'pedal' for feeding the guitar to the PA. this little guy has an emulated DI built into the headphone jack, so I figured.. why not? I was so impressed I bought a 1x12 cabinet to go with it. the clean tones are amazing, and the dirty tone is phat and juicy. what more could you want? dual channels and a footswitch? (yeah.. sure.. ok).. but for the money? this is the single best amp on the market. hands down.
Posted by anonymous on Jul 27, 2017
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AMAZING LITTLE HEAD!1 of 1 customers found this review helpful

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Closest StoreLondon North, Ontario
I have the Micro Terror and got this as an extra mostly due to the effects loop feature. Amazing tones and huge sounding. I play this through a 2x12 cab and it can hold it's own with a drummer and for small to medium live gigs. A must buy!
Posted by Matthew on Sep 26, 2016
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Honestly an amazing amp2 of 2 customers found this review helpful

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Closest StoreSt. Catharines, Ontario
FIRST OF ALL I do have to mention something about the amp. IF you prefer using an FX Loop instead of running pedals to the front of the amp then you should use buffered pedals OR have the first pedal in the path be a buffered pedal. Otherwise you will get that horrible popping sound some others have mentioned. Other than that slight issue the amp is great! It has gotten me over a drummer and cuts through a mix pretty well. It can do some really sweet cleans and some really nasty aggressive metal tones without getting muddy and flubby in the low end when you set the tone control right. It currently is my main amp because I really only play at home or at a small venue such as a bar so I dont need anything big. If you are gigging at any larger of a venue then you may want a different amp, but this definitely will give you more than what you need if you only play small shows.
Posted by Blake on Sep 16, 2016
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Orange Micro Dark4 of 6 customers found this review helpful

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Closest StoreLondon South, Ontario
I gotta agree with the other reviewer on this one. This amp good, but not great compared to the other amps in this series. The headphone option is very disappointing, it`s one the reasons I bought it. This amp doesn`t even compare to the Micro Terror, that thing is a freak. I also own the Dark Terror and doesn`t come close to it either. It does sound pretty good through a Mesa 1x2 cab and it sounds great through a Marshall 4x12 cab.
Posted by anonymous on Jan 30, 2016
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Sounds great, but......5 of 8 customers found this review helpful

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Closest StoreSaint John, New Brunswick
I just picked this up to take with me when I visit family out of province. It really does sound great through a cab with good speakers, and it's loud if you need it to be. I put a BBE Sonic Stomp, TC HOF reverb, TC Corona Chorus, and an MXR 10 band in the loop and it takes the amp to a new level. However when I switch the loop effects on/off there is a POPPING sound that's very annoying. Also the headphone jack sounds like ass! Very harsh. If that is what an Orange 412 cab is suppose to sound like I would never buy one.lol. Could be my headphones, but they sounded great when used with a Line6 PODXT pedal. Overall, it's a great sounding little amp when used with a good cab, but due to the issues with the loop and headphone quality I have to say it's not worth the money I paid for it (just over $300 with tax).
Posted by Kent Doucette on Dec 4, 2015
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Orange Micro Dark Guitar Amplifier Head - Product Video