Boss and Orange produce top of the line amplifiers, but which should you choose? In this article, I’ll compare the signature tones of Boss and Orange, as well as the features and specifications of popular models in each range.
The Quick Answer
Orange amps are known for producing “hairy” distorted tones which sound much looser compared to Boss amps. Boss specialise in solid state amps and have a more limited range compared to Orange which offer both solid state and valve options. However, Boss amps are better if you want more built-in effects.
Comparing the Tones
Boss are known for specialising in solid-state amps, whereas Orange produce both valve and solid state amplifiers. The tone of solid state and valve amps is pretty different, with solid state models often giving you loads of variety, but valve amps sounding more authentic and better quality to a lot of guitarists.
It’s harder to compare the tone of a solid state Boss amp such as the Katana to one of Orange’s valve amps such as the Rocker15. It’s much easier to compare the tones of the Katana to a solid state Orange amp such as the Crush series. I’ll make these distinctions as we go through the rest of the article.
Orange vs Boss Tone
- The Orange distorted tone is “looser” and more “hairy” by comparison to the Boss distorted tone which sound tighter.
- Boss amps have more “headroom” meaning you can increase the volume more before the tone becomes saturated.
- Boss amps have more built-in effects than Orange amps.
Of course it’s hard to discuss the tones without actually hearing them in action. So check out this video comparing the tone of the Boss Katana and Orange Crush solid state amps.
Orange Crush vs Boss Katana
The Orange Crush and the Boss Katana are probably two of the most compared amps by each brand. Both of them are solid-state amps with some interesting features. Let’s first take a look at the specifications.
|Feature||Boss Katana||Orange Crush RT||Orange Crush Pro|
|Combo Wattage||50W, 100W||20W, 35W||60W|
|Head Unit Wattage||100W||Not available||120W|
- The Boss Katana and Orange Crush Pro are available in similar sized head and combo options. The Crush RT is only available in a combo option at a lower wattage compared to the Crush Pro and the Katana.
- The Boss Katana has 15 built in-effects (and the option to access over 60 effects using the Boss Tone Studio Software) than the Orange Crush RT and Pro which only have reverb built-in.
- The Orange Crush range has two channels (clean and dirty), whereas the Boss Katana has 5 channels: acoustic, clean, crunch, lead and brown, and each come with a variation setting to add more brightness to the mode.
- Both the Katana and the Crush range have a gain control and 3 band EQ.
The Boss Katana is a better amplifier than the Orange Crush if you are looking for more effects and channels to help you customise your tone. The Orange Crush series is available in smaller wattages and starts at a lower price compared to the Boss Katana which makes it a great option for beginners.
Check out my comparison between the Boss Katana 50 and 100 to learn more.
Comparing Popular Amp Models
In this next section, I wanted to take a deeper look at the ranges produced by each brand. I have made three tables to summarise the key features of pretty much every currently available Boss and Orange amp in the range. The prices are based on Guitar Center at the time of writing. The tables are ordered by price from low to high, so you can select the best model for your budget.
Guitar Center are always the first place I look at when I’m interested in a new amp because have a huge range of amplifiers for sale and always have some excellent deals on. Here’s a link to take you directly to Guitar Center’s amp range so you can see all the offers available at the moment.
- Solid state combo amps: $100-$900
- Head units: $200-$2780
- Valve amps (Orange only) $800-$2350
Solid State Combo Amps
|Orange Crush12||12W||$100||1 channel, 3 band EQ, overdrive, gain|
|Orange Crush20||20W||$140||2 channels, dirty, 3 band EQ, gain|
|Orange Crush 20RT||20W||$190||2 channels (dual-voice), dirty, 3 band EQ, gain, reverb, tuner|
|Boss Katana 50||50W||$240||10 models, gain, 3 band EQ, over 15 effects|
|Orange Crush 35RT||35W||$260||2 channels, dirty, 3 band EQ, gain, reverb, tuner|
|Boss Cube Street II||10W||$350||7 guitar models, 3 band EQ, gain, reverb, chorus, delay|
|Boss Katana 100 1×12||100W||$370||10 models, gain, 3 band EQ, over 15 effects|
|Boss Katana 100 2×12||100W||$480||10 models, gain, 3 band EQ, over 15 effects|
|Orange Crush Pro CR60C||60W||$500||2 channels, gain, 3 band EQ, reverb|
|Boss Nextone Stage||40W||$515||4 models, 3 band EQ, gain, reverb, delay, presence|
|Boss Katana-Artist||100W||$600||10 models, gain, 3 band EQ, over 15 effects|
|Boss Nextone Artist||80W||$720||4 models, 3 band EQ, gain, reverb, delay, presence|
|Boss Nextone Special||80W||$900||2 channels (and 4 models), 3 band EQ, gain, reverb, delay, boost, custom tune, presence|
- Orange produce cheaper solid state combo amps than Boss
- Boss produce the highest wattage (100W) solid state combo amps compared to Orange
|Orange Terror Stamp||20W||Hybrid||$200||Shape, gain|
|Boss Katana||100W||Solid State||$350||10 models, gain, 3 band EQ, over 15 effects|
|Boss Katana-Air Wireless||30W||Solid State||$412||10 models, gain, 3 band EQ, over 15 effects|
|Orange Crush Pro CR120H||120W||Solid State||$450||2 channels, gain, 3 band EQ, reverb|
|Orange Dark Terror 15||15W||Tube||$650||2 channels, shape, gain|
|Orange Rocker 15 Terror||15W||Tube||$650||2 channels, 3 band EQ, gain|
|Orange OR15H||15W||Tube||$700||2 channels, 3 band EQ, gain|
|Orange Dual Terror||30W||Tube||$900||2 channels, tone|
|Orange TH30H||30W||Tube||$1200||2 channels, gain, shape|
|Orange Rockerverb 50||50W||Tube||$1200||2 channels, 3 band EQ, gain, reverb|
|Orange Rockerverb 100||100W||Tube||£2150||2 channels, 3 band EQ, gain, reverb|
|Boss Waza||150W||Solid State||$2780||2 channels, gain, 3 band EQ, presence, reverb, FX|
- Orange produce a much larger range of head unit amps than Boss
- Boss produce the highest wattage (150W) head unit
- Boss only solid state head units and Orange make mainly tube head units
Valve Combo Amps (Orange only)
|Orange Rocker15||15W||$800||2 channels, gain, 3 band EQ|
|Orange TremLord-30||30W||$1300||Bass, treble, tremolo, reverb|
|Orange AD30TC||30W||$2300||2 channels, 3 band EQ, gain|
|Orange Rockerverb 50||50W||$2350||2 channels, 3 band EQ, reverb|
In the market for a new amplifier? Check out my complete amplifier buyer’s guide to help narrow down your selection and find the perfect amp for you.
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