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Orange Micro Terror vs. Micro Dark [Is Aux Input the ONLY Difference?]

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In this guide, we are going to talk about two guitar amp heads, both of which are manufactured by the Orange company. Before we get onto the real thing, let us cover the basics first. 

You’ll be able to make a much more informed purchase decision after knowing the intricacies! So let’s begin.

What is a Guitar Amp Head?

If you are thinking of buying a guitar, let me tell you that a guitar amp head will be the first thing you are going to need because, without an amp head, you will not even be able to hear the sound. 

A guitar amp head is basically a guitar amplifier, but without speakers. You will need to connect this amp head with an independent speaker unit if you want to hear the sound properly.

There is also an alternative to this; these days, guitar amp heads are available with built-in speakers. 

These are more commonly used today because you don’t have to carry extra gadgets with you.

With a combo amp, or a combo (in which the speaker unit and the amplifier are one), all you need to do is connect it with a guitar and start your music. 

The amp head and the speakers of the guitar work in such a way that the amp head contains the electronic parts that are used to amplify the signals that arise when you play your guitar.

The speakers then transform those amplified electric signals into a sound that you hear through your ears. 

What is a Combo?

If you ever have the privilege of going to a music shop, ask the staff to show you a guitar amp head and a combo.

The combo, more commonly known as the combo amplifier, has built-in speakers in them, whereas in the amp heads, there are no speakers.

When you see the two at the musical instruments shop, you will clearly observe that there is a big speaker section in the combo amplifier, and there is only a bar on which there are all controls and knobs in the amp head. 

What is a Cab?

The cab is only short for a guitar speaker cabinet. A cab is basically a unit that contains one or more speakers. You will need a cab if you are using a guitar amp head because you will have no source to hear the actual sound.

However, with a combo amplifier, a separate speaker cabinet is not needed, as the speakers are present by default in a combo.

What is a Stack?

The word ‘stack’ is used when you have a separate guitar amp head and separate speakers. If you have ever heard half-stack in a guitarist’s conversation, it probably means that the amp head is placed on top of one speaker unit.

Similarly, a full stack refers to the placement of an amp head on top of two speaker units. Because the amp head is commonly placed on top of the speakers in most home studios, it is referred to as the stack. 

Now that we have covered most of the basics of the conversation we are heading into let’s look at some of the more specific information.

Both the amp heads in conversation today, the Orange Micro Terror and The Orange Micro Dark, come from the Orange Company.

Before going any further, let us get to know Orange first, as we are going to read a lot about the company later in this article. 

About Orange – the brand

The Orange company is founded by Cliff Cooper. The man himself is an electronics engineer, a bassist, and a guitarist by profession, and his passion for music eventually led him to find the Orange Company in the year 1968.

Cliff Cooper was a member of the band called ‘The Millionaires’. The company recognized a need for a unique design early on in its development.

This thirst for a unique logo that rapidly reminds people of the company led Cliff Cooper to name his corporation as the Orange.

Continuing with his unique style, he further added a striking logo, the basket weave speaker grille, and of course, the dark orange color as some of the main trademarks of the company.

However, just like many other companies have experienced bankruptcy in their lives, so was the fate of the Orange company as well.

The sudden and tragic declaration of bankruptcy by the distribution partners of Orange led to the entire closure of the company in 1979. 

The company once again started operations in the year 1997, after being overtaken by the Gibson Group in the U.S, who once again handed the corporation over to Mr. Cliff Cooper.

Since then, the reputation of this British company has only been burgeoning, and the list of its products has been on the rise. 

Orange Micro Terror

The Orange Micro Terror was developed as a guitar amp head after getting a major chunk of its inspiration from the Tiny Terror, previously launched by the Orange company.

The outstanding features of this amp head are what make it one of the best and the smallest amp heads in the country. It couples a valve preamp to a solid state output section for generating a lot of tones, which is truly the company’s marvel, considering its pint-sized frame. 

The magnificent amp head weighs under 1 kilogram and is the most portable amp head you will see on the market.

If you want a cute-looking, and superbly-working amp head for your guitar, pair it up with its matching PPC108 cabinet, and the Headphone output will make it a dream come true for you.

As it requires the tiniest space in your home studio, you do not have to be worried about saving a lot of space for your next purchase. 

Undoubtedly, size is the only thing that is small about this amp head because the job it does is truly comparable to a giant amp head.

Using state-of-the-art technology, the Micro Terror is equipped with a single ECC83 (12AX7 preamp value), jointed with a solid state power amp.

The body of the Micro Terror is very advanced, with stainless steel casing all over and with high-standard components.

You will be stunned by the depth of sound it amplifies. Want to know more interesting facts about this amp head? It can be used with any 8-16 ohm speaker cabinet. 


For the most part, the construction of this pint-sized amp head is good. The silk-screened metal chassis is one of the hallmarks of the Terror series and gives the users a good sense of familiarity with the company. 

The toy-like appearance is too good not to fall for at first glance. The entire decoration of the chassis is silk-screened; however, the only thing that’s not is the orange shield, which comes in the form of a sticker.

The primary purpose of the silk-screened chassis is to keep the amp valve and the internal circuit components well protected from dirt and moisture. 

The control buttons of the potentiometers, the switches, and the jacks are well-constructed, which will put you in awe if you think about how the manufacturers have managed to incorporate such extensive controls on such a tiny display size. 

Enough talk about the outside of the amp head that is. Now, let’s look into what’s inside.

If you want to take a closer look at the inside construction of the Orange Micro Terror, the easiest thing to do is to simply unscrew the top, and you will be able to lift the upper body up. Doing this exposes the valve dome. 

Inside, you will see some breathing vents in which there is a preamp value with a standard JJ ECC83S. The distribution of the circuits inside the amp head is well-managed and tidy.

Usage and Features

Apart from the tiny portable size, another good thing about the Orange Micro Terror is that it is incredibly easy to use. I can guarantee with the display style the Orange company offers you, you can never go wrong while using it.

It does not have a lot of knobs or potentiometers, which makes navigating the buttons and understanding the usage of the head more convenient.

If you see the front panel, you will see an On and off switch that extends from the left to the right, with a yellow LED light that turns on when you press the on the button and goes off when you press the off button, respectively. 

Upon investigating the amp head even further, you will find an output jack using which you can connect your headphones. Now, the thing with this amp head is that it does not work well, particularly with headphones.

You will notice that the sound will echo more and more as you increase the amplifier’s volume, which is why the Micro Terror may not give you the best experience when used with headphones.

Another 3.5mm jack is provided to connect an auxiliary output. This will be helpful if you want to connect backing tracks or some bases from a cell phone or your PC. 

The knobs on display and very easy to navigate, and therefore, you should not have a problem dialing a clean that does not exceed mid-settings. This should be enough if you are mixing music in a home studio and not a commercial one.  

The volume and the tone are both very sensitive. The tone regulates the bass, mid, and treble in the same way as that of a tone knob commonly found on a guitar.

The tone is capable of manipulating a myriad of sounds, and you will find a huge difference, even by moving it just a few millimeters. 

The gain of the amp head starts off very neat and reaches overdrive. From there, it goes on until you have enough distortion for hard rock. Another jack is given to connect the instrument, such as your guitar, with the amp head. 

If we talk about the rear panel, there is literally not much to discuss. The brand’s own power socket is given on the rear panel that supports 15V 2A. Also, a connection for an external speaker with a minimum 4Ohm is given. 

About the power supply cable and the transformer that comes naturally with the Orange Micro Terror, I must mention that it will wear over time.

Since the quality is not durable enough to last a lifetime, you may have to purchase another to keep your amplifier going.

This should not be a big problem, as good quality second-hand power supply cables and transformers are available in abundance. 

If you haven’t had the chance to see this amp head in person, you can see it in the pictures where it is placed on top of the Focusrite Scarlett Solo interface. This will give you a perfect idea as to how tiny this amp head really is.

With a 20 watts RMS of power, a tube preamp (ECC83), and a transistor stage, this tiny piece really is a hybrid amplifier.

If you are playing it in your home studio, there will be just enough headroom for the sound, but it may distort a little if you push the sound too much. 

Pair the Orange Micro Terror with a good-quality speaker cabinet, and you can do wonders with it. The volume is good for beginners and professionals alike.


Let’s get right into the sound of the Orange Micro Terror. Although the equalization variants in the amp head are not comparable to the ones in the larger and more expensive amp heads, the Micro Terror is incredibly good at its job.

The tone options work more or less in the same way as they do on a guitar. To tackle the volume and gain controls, here are a few tips. 

If you keep the gain extremely low and the volume at around 50%, you will get a reasonably good sound. If you want to get the gain higher, you will notice a soft saturation in the sound, and the volume will also go up.

Now, if you want to experiment with distortion and sustain both, you are going to have to set the gain around 8 or 10.

After you have done that, you can keep regulating the volume until it makes you comfortable or your neighbors uncomfortable. 

To maximize your experience with the Orange Micro Terror, we suggest pairing it up with a PPC108, which comes with an in-built 8″ driver.

Even the fans of rock music such as Zepellin and Oasis will not be disappointed with this combo of PPC108 and the Orange Micro Terror. 

Now that we have seen all the aspects of the orange Micro Terror let us now know all there is to know about the Orange Micro Dark.

I am sure by now you have a clear understanding of the pros and cons of the Orange Micro Terror. Read on to learn about the Orange Micro Dark, and the ball will finally be in your court to decide which one to buy.

What is Orange Micro Dark

Let me give you a good summary of the Orange Micro Dark before we get into more specifics.

In the Orange Micro Dark, a 20-watt transistor power stage is given that offers an impeccably flexible sound from soft and crunch to higher rocky metal tones.

There are three controls; shape, volume, and gain, which help the users to rapidly dial in the tone that they are seeking without much hassle.

 The display is pretty straightforward, and a series effects loop is also given in the display, using which you can customize your favorite effects.

The best part? You don’t need to connect speakers when you are recording directly, as the amp head offers a combined headphone and line out jack with the cabinet stimulation circuitry. 


Ever wondered how is the Orange Micro Dark so incredibly small and still does a wonderful job? Well, that’s because it is dependent upon an external source of power.

It is a small laptop-style brick that offers 15 volts to the amp head. Apart from this only external source, everything else is incorporated into the display panel of the Orange Micro Dark. 

The build of this pretty and portable amp head is quite simple. Controls for volume, gain, and shape are given on the front panel.

A much-needed headphone output is provided on the front panel too, which offers the company’s original CabSim speaker emulation.

Usage and Features

The flexibility and the tone-shaping capabilities of the Orange Micro Dark are enormous; enough to put you in wonderment about its tiny size. With plenty of gains, you can dial in almost every type of music that you wish for.

The Shape control is one of the main features of the Micro Dark, which replaces the traditional EQ section found previously in some amp head models. 

With even the slightest change in the adjustment of the shape control section, you will notice a subtle change in the music you are producing.

As said earlier, the capabilities are enormous, so you should not be judging the book by its cover only; this tiny amp head has a treasure hidden, just waiting to be explored. It is enough to support you in a home studio as well as on a small stage. 

If we talk about who it is good for (the newbies or the more professional ones), I must say that it is a good choice and beginners and pros alike.

While the highly affordable price of the amp head makes it a good choice for beginners who are just getting into music and want to experiment with the wide range of tones and sounds, the highly versatile range of options is something that professionals are always looking for. 

Whether you are using it in your house, a stage, or in a studio, some of its features are needed everywhere, such as the effects loop and the combined headphone/recording output.

The portable size allows you to take it anywhere without having to worry about carrying a lot of weight, as it literally weighs less than even a kilogram. 

An authentic and unfirm sound is always guaranteed with the Orange Micro Dark. No matter if you are using it with a small-sized speaker or a large speaker cabinet, the sound will always be enough to satisfy a small group of friends as well as a large crowd of fans.

Despite having only one channel, this amp produces an authentic-sounding tube tone.  


Plugged into a Vintage 30-loaded 4×12, an impressive volume range is one of the initial things you are going to notice about this amp. With only power of 20 watts, the dynamic range of this amp truly is outstanding. 

You can get fairly near to the Class A shine of the AD30R by adjusting the gain and shape controls combined, and there is enough room for some modestly driven classic-rock sounds.

The Dark Terror’s monstrous overdrive is unleashed when the gain is increased to the final third of its range, providing more than enough distortion for satisfyingly thick current rock and metal sounds.

Conclusively, the capabilities of this small amp head are worthy of some great praise because it is almost impossible to instill such great sounds in such a small-sized amp that you can fit even in the smallest of your gig bags.

With a 4×12 or 2×12 speaker, you are definitely going to enjoy the sound thoroughly. Moreover, the affordable price of this amp head makes it all the more accessible and desirable for even the dilettantes in the guitar world. 

Frequently Asked Questions

What Is The Orange Amplifiers Micro Series Amp Bag?

The Orange Company launched amp bags, particularly for use with Micro Series Amps.

Whether you are carrying Micro Terror or Micro Dark, this bag has ample space to carry not only your amp head but also some of your guitar cables and power adapters. The bag is constructed in such a way that it protects your delicate amp from damage and keeps it entrenched in the bag.

How much does the Micro Series Amp Bag cost?

Although the amp bag is not mandatory, we suggest you buy it as it is a really good investment if you want to keep your amp safe.

If you want to buy it, you should be able to purchase it from any music store for around $30 without much negotiation.

Who Is The Orange Micro Terror For?

The Orange Micro Terror is truly for anyone who wants to buy an affordable and good-quality amplifier and experiment a great deal with it. The cost is very reasonable, and the amp is also portable, which gives the users absolute liberty over where they want to take their amp.

The 20-watt output is sufficient enough for use in small as well as moderately large spaces and produces a good sound. If you want to use it in smaller environments such as a bedroom or a small music studio, you can use the headphone jack available on the front panel.

What Is The Orange Micro Terror?

The Orange Micro Terror amp is a hybrid amp head belonging to the Micro Amp series of the Orange company. The reason this amp is called a hybrid amp is that it offers a tube preamp and a solid-state amp stage combined. 

Orange Micro Terror is one of the many amps that have been known as lunchbox amps, owing to their extremely small size. Where many amplifiers commonly available in the market require a lot of space and contain a lot of weight, these lunchbox amps can be placed on top of a small speaker cabinet and weigh literally less than a kilogram.
While the word ‘Micro’ indicates the portable and tiny size of the amp hand, the word ‘Terror’ truly does justice to the impeccable capabilities of the amp head in terms of sound and flexibility.