As seen in Guitar Girl Magazine Issue 7
Let me preface this review by saying that I am in no way, shape or form a gearhead. I’ve been playing guitar for over 20 years, and I’ve always been a “plug and play” kind of person. Does it sound good? Will it hold up on the road? Great. Simply put, I like to keep it simple.
Queue Orange Amplification’s incredibly versatile and easy to use Rocker 32, which proves the “big things come in small packages” adage. If you’re looking for an uncomplicated, solid, and great sounding amp, then this one is right up your alley.
I gave the Rocker 32 a whirl using my favorite Airline guitar from Eastwood Guitars, and I was instantly wowed by how thick and powerful this amp truly is. Normally, I play through a VOX AC30 with 2 x 12s, but the Rocker 32, at 22.83 in. x 18.11 in. x 11.42 in. is a fraction of the size and packs just as impressive of a punch. As much as I love my AC30, I’ve had to change out my tubes a number of times because it’s gotten a bit jangled from being in transit so often. I really don’t think I’d have to worry with the Rocker 32, which is built like a tank. Despite its small size, it’s really quite heavy (in both weight and tone). As far as specs, the Rocker 32 boasts 2 x 10 in. speakers, a valve buffered mono/stereo effects loop and half power mode. As far as wattage goes, it’s 15W/30W (15W-A-Side or 7.5W-A-Side), and it’s switchable.
Because I’m in a rock band, I naturally went right for the amp distortion, and I was taken aback by how crunchy and full it can get. The natural tone is also very clean and really cuts. This amp has absolutely no problem competing with a drummer, as I found out when I jammed with my bandmate, who is very heavy handed.
Some really cool highlights would be the half/standby/full power selector. Half mode puts each speaker at 7.5 watts (for 15 watts total), and full power at 15 watts (for 30 watts total). This is great if you’re looking for a differently voiced clean tone, for example. You can add a bit of grit to a natural tone by switching to half mode, dropping down the volume, and cranking the amp distortion.
Another great and unique feature would be the tube buffered stereo effects loop. I’d use this personally for a wet/dry setup. Your left speaker would operate as your dry (natural) signal and the right speaker your wet (effects) signal. This eliminates the need to use two different amps as each speaker has only one job.
My only complaint, if any, would be Orange’s use of pictograms instead of actual written descriptions for each knob. My drummer and I had a heck of a time figuring out some of the amp’s functions because we’re not hip to the Orange lingo. It’s not to say that I can’t learn what each knob does, but it did create an extra step that didn’t need to be there (at least for me). That being said, this amp scored exceptionally well with me, and I think it’s safe to say that I’ve been officially converted.
Editor’s Note: Since the publishing of this article in the magazine, Calise has been endorsed by Orange Amps.