Today we’re taking a look at the Orange Amps Crush Mini (2018 version).
Some practice amps are just as they appear – small, and simple, and they serve their one function. But then there’s this little beast – it might look tiny, but like the Tardis from Dr. Who, it’s kind of bigger on the inside. What that really means is that although you can only get so much out of 3 watts when the speaker is only this big, you can get a hell of a lot more when you plug the new speaker out jack into something a bit bigger!
With limited space for controls, Orange has condensed them into just gain, shape, and output volume. The shape knob doesn’t operate like a typical tone knob where it goes from bright to dark, but rather each position on the knob gives you a completely different sound. This makes it easy to dial in a tone while suppressing your urge to tone tweak, so you can get straight to playing. I was actually astonished at how much low end I was able to get from it (check the review video – those are raw tones straight from the mic, no post-processing at all!) considering there’s no way the speaker is more than 3 inches across. Then I plugged the wee bastard into a 212 cab, and was very surprised again as a far more savage sound came roaring out, not all that super loud even dimed, but a very big and cutting tone from such a tiny source.
Maybe the coolest feature is the built-in tuner, which when you’re trying to jam is the last thing you want to have to dig around and find, but it’s the thing you probably need the most to sound good, so having it right there is extremely convenient. Also in the convenience department, it can run on either a 9v battery or a typical 9v center negative pedal power supply.
It’s a no-muss, no fuss, affordable and compact practice amp that will keep you focused on what’s important – practicing – but adds the ability to make way more noise if the need should arise. For around $69 street price, it’s an amp you can play quietly by yourself or pretty loud with some friends and keep yourself in tune without any extra hassle.
It’s going for $69 on Amazon right now.