Orange Retro 50: Handwired British Crunch From The @Orange Amps Custom Shop!

So...I've teased you with a few photos of this beauty. Now it's time to hear it roar!

In my video last week, I showed you an Ashdown Fallen Angel 180 half-stack that I'd owned for about 10 years but rarely used, and said that I was part-exchanging it for a new amp the following day...which is exactly what I did. I drove the Ashdown nearly 200 miles up to a guitar shop in Sheffield, and 15 minutes later drove back - a few £ lighter(!) - with this: an @Orange Amps Retro 50 Custom Shop head. (And yes...the 6-hour and near-400 mile round trip without stopping at any service stations did nearly kill me!)

This is an amp I became interested in after having my interest piqued by a very expensive Orange Custom Shop amp on the @Peach Guitars website and - not having £4000 to spare(!) - I began to search for a more affordable equivalent. The Retro 50 is based on the original circuits of the old 'Pics Only' amps from the early 1970s - so it's very vintage-voiced and definitely a British EL34 classic-rocker, rather than being anywhere near the more modern high-gain metal Orange sound. It's switchable between 30 Watts Class A and 50 Watts Class A/B for a slightly different feel/voicing/response, and it also lets you use an Orange footswitch to drop the tone stack out for more volume & gain, and a huge middley racket (in the best possible way!)

Orange made the Retro 50's between 2002-13, and during that time only built a few hundred of them (I emailed Orange to ask and they themselves didn't know an exact number!) This is Serial No. 125 and - having taken it apart - I know its exact birthday: 21 April 2008. It's all point-to-point handwired on terminal board in the Orange Custom Shop, it really is 'my' sort of amp, and it's a real pleasure to finally welcome an Orange to the channel! You're going to be hearing it a lot from here on in.

What do you think? More old-school than a dusty old school? Or would you want more functionality? Comment below!

Guitars are:
- Fender Strat w/ Fralin Real '54s
- Gibson Les Paul Junior w/ Monty's '54 P90
- Gibson Les Paul Standard w/ OX4 Beanos
- Fender Tele w/ Monty's '53 bridge & Bare Knuckle Flat '50 neck
- Gibson SG Standard w/ OX4 Alnico IV PAFs

Orange Retro 50 head recorded through a Zilla Studio Pro 2x12 Cabinet running closed backed; with Fane Ascension F70 and Warehouse Invader 50 ceramic speakers; mic'ed with an Aston Spirit Condenser, '70s Sennheiser MD441 and sE RNR1 ribbon, with a Schoeps CMC6 room mic.

0:00 Intro
8:27 Strat
11:34 LP Junior
14:03 Les Paul
17:34 Tele
20:22 Gibson SG
23:01 Outro

#orange #retro50 #customshop
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