I'm starting this thread to demonstrate some mods I'm doing to the Orange Crush 30R and to give info for people searching for Orange Crush 30R. I'm also of the general opinion that it's prolly not worth putting a lot of dough into modding an amp like people do with the Epi Valve Jr, for example. I own, and have owned, various amps, valve and solid state.
My impressions of the stock Crush 30R:
I've had the amp about 6 months now and I've got say I really dig it. I got it for various reasons, not least of which was I really liked the sound of it clean. The amp has a mid heavy voicing, with a punchy top end, similair to valve Oranges. The core tone of the amp can't be dialed out and it will sound different with every guitar and pickup position you try. The EQ, gain and volume controls are all very interactive and do not behave in the way you might expect. It his fairly hard to dial your tone without a lot of trial and error. I'm just about on top of it after 6 months of playing about!
I didn't get this amp for it's overdrive/distortion/fuzz channel! To my ears, in a home practice scenario, the overdrive is far from inspiring bordering on nasty. However, in a band situation a lot of the nastiness is lost and the overdrive sounds pretty rocking for certain flavours of music. Those flavours being Hendrixy blues rock, punk, Sabbath, stoner rock, heavy rock/early metal and lots of alternative stuff. The 10" speaker and the mid heavy cutting voicing coupled with a 'loud' 30 watts rating makes the amp easily heard in a full band jam. The overdrive is actually the worst feature of the amp. The OD level control just appears to be a wet/dry mixer controlling the blend of the clean sound and the same fuzz signal. This does not sound good. It just sounds like the clean channel with some bad buzzy break up. It's only between about 9.5 & 10 on the dial where the clean sound is gone and it sounds like a single overdriven tone. Unfortunately this is coupled with a dramatic drop in bass. The preamp level just controls the amount of gain the fuzz signal has. When the overdrive is switched off and the preamp is cranked the break up isn't very nice.
The amp does not take boost pedals very well, I have tried quite a range and there is always a thinness to the tone. Clean, the amp is rich. Overdriven it becomes flat. The spring reverb sound is a good one and the amp is a loud 30W. In summary, this amp has its own unique tonal character. It does not sound like other solid state amps in the same price bracket. It is not versatile because if you don't like its core tone you will not be able to dial it out even with an external EQ. It is definitely an amp you have to try out with your own axe first or else run the risk of being very dissapointed. If you are wanting to play modern metal then I would say don't get this, you will have much more satisfaction practicing with a modeling amp like VOX, Line 6, VAmp, etc.
OK, that's enough writing for now. I'll starting detailing mods in the next post.
Oh, I suppose I'd better give you a clip. I've been hating on the overdrive, here is an overdriven track! This Iron Maiden cover is the stock Crush 30R boosted with a Rat Clone and recorded with the clip-tie mini condenser mike that comes with an iRiver direct into a PC's onboard soundchip (lol)! The bass is also using the Crush 30R. No EQ
Clip: Running Free - http://www.mp3lizard.com/download.cfm?id=23124