Boss vs Orange Amps: Which are the Best?


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.

FeatureBoss KatanaOrange Crush RTOrange Crush Pro
Combo Wattage50W, 100W20W, 35W60W
Channels522
Effects15ReverbReverb
Head Unit Wattage100WNot available120W
Price Range$240-$480$200-$280$450-$600
Boss Katana vs Orange Crush RT vs Orange Crush Pro. Prices based on Guitar Center at the time of writing.

Boss Katana (image links to Amazon)

Orange Crush 35RT (image links to Amazon)

Orange Crush Pro CR120H Head (image links to Amazon)

  • 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.

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. 

Contents:

  • Solid state combo amps: $100-$900
  • Head units: $200-$2780
  • Valve amps (Orange only) $800-$2350

Solid State Combo Amps

AmplifierWattagePriceSettings 
Orange Crush1212W$1001 channel, 3 band EQ, overdrive, gain 
Orange Crush2020W$1402 channels, dirty, 3 band EQ, gain 
Orange Crush 20RT20W$1902 channels (dual-voice), dirty, 3 band EQ, gain, reverb, tuner 
Boss Katana 5050W$24010 models, gain, 3 band EQ, over 15 effects 
Orange Crush 35RT35W$2602 channels, dirty, 3 band EQ, gain, reverb, tuner 
Boss Cube Street II10W$3507 guitar models, 3 band EQ, gain, reverb, chorus, delay 
Boss Katana 100 1×12100W$37010 models, gain, 3 band EQ, over 15 effects 
Boss Katana 100 2×12100W$48010 models, gain, 3 band EQ, over 15 effects 
Orange Crush Pro CR60C60W$5002 channels, gain, 3 band EQ, reverb 
Boss Nextone Stage40W$5154 models, 3 band EQ, gain, reverb, delay, presence
Boss Katana-Artist100W$60010 models, gain, 3 band EQ, over 15 effects
Boss Nextone Artist80W$7204 models, 3 band EQ, gain, reverb, delay, presence
Boss Nextone Special80W$9002 channels (and 4 models), 3 band EQ, gain, reverb, delay, boost, custom tune, presence
Orange and Boss Solid State Combo Amps Compared.

Key Points:

  • Orange produce cheaper solid state combo amps than Boss
  • Boss produce the highest wattage (100W) solid state combo amps compared to Orange

Head Units

AmplifierWattageTypePriceSettings
Orange Terror Stamp20WHybrid$200Shape, gain
Boss Katana100WSolid State$35010 models, gain, 3 band EQ, over 15 effects
Boss Katana-Air Wireless30WSolid State$41210 models, gain, 3 band EQ, over 15 effects
Orange Crush Pro CR120H120WSolid State$4502 channels, gain, 3 band EQ, reverb
Orange Dark Terror 1515WTube$6502 channels, shape, gain
Orange Rocker 15 Terror15WTube$6502 channels, 3 band EQ, gain
Orange OR15H15WTube$7002 channels, 3 band EQ, gain
Orange Dual Terror30WTube$9002 channels, tone
Orange TH30H30WTube$12002 channels, gain, shape
Orange Rockerverb 5050WTube$12002 channels, 3 band EQ, gain, reverb
Orange Rockerverb 100100WTube£21502 channels, 3 band EQ, gain, reverb
Boss Waza150WSolid State$27802 channels, gain, 3 band EQ, presence, reverb, FX
Orange vs Boss Head Unit Amplifiers

Key Points:

  • 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)

AmplifierWattagePriceSettings
Orange Rocker1515W$8002 channels, gain, 3 band EQ
Orange TremLord-3030W$1300Bass, treble, tremolo, reverb
Orange AD30TC30W$23002 channels, 3 band EQ, gain
Orange Rockerverb 5050W$23502 channels, 3 band EQ, reverb
Orange Valve Combo Amps

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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Heather

Hey, I'm Heather. I started playing an electric guitar when I was given a Squier Strat for my birthday around 15 years ago. I now own an acoustic guitar and several electric guitars including my personal favourite, a PRS SE Custom 24.

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