The popular 'Crush' range of bass combos from Orange have been brought bang up to date. They still feature top-notch quality components and materials, but now have even more trick features for us discerning low-enders.
First up is the Crush Bass 25. Like the rest of the amps here, best quality workmanship and materials are evident throughout, and although this is the smallest in the range, the features are impressive with Treble, a sweepable, semi-parametric Middle and Bass EQ. Add to this the Aux in, headphone socket and inbuilt tuner and it's clear that the 25 makes it a great choice for practice partner.
Given the 8" speaker and small amp there are obviously limitations both in terms of low end and outright volume, even with the reflex ported cab design. But careful balancing of the EQ and volume will allow for a much bigger and deeper sound than you'd imagine, given the size of the combo.
Next up is the middle amp in this range: the Crush Bass 50. Although bigger and more powerful than the little 25, you still get all those useful practice-amp features, but here there's also a buffered send/return loop and the brilliant 'Blend' function as featured on the OB1 amp.
To recap, this allows you to replicate the sounds created by some of the pioneering rock bassists of the '60s and '70s who used to split their bass output and send separate signals to bass and guitar amps simultaneously, allowing them to blend the overdriven sound of the guitar amps with the main (clean) bass sound.
The 'Blend' and 'Gain' controls on the Crush Bass 50 allow you to do this from the front panel - easy to use (it can be switched in via a remote footswitch) and very effective.
The larger cabinet and 12" speaker gives you an impressive amount of extended low end and higher volume. It would be quite feasible to use this amp on small gigs or perhaps as a backline monitor if it were mic'd up and put through the PA. There's no dedicated DI, but an output can be taken either from effects send or headphone jack, which features 'CABSIM' output circuitry, emulating the sound of an OBC bass speaker rig.
Finally on to the big 100-watter. The control panel shares all the trick features of the smaller amps but the 100 also benefits from a separate Volume control allowing for an extra level of control over the clean and gain/blend overdriven sounds.
Just like the other amps here, the EQ owes much to the design of Orange's 'Four Stroke' series, with its parametric mid. You also get big side-mounted handles and a dedicated balanced line DI out, further enhancing the big amp's gigging credentials.
Plug in and there's plenty of headroom here for small and medium gigs and rehearsals. In terms of tone, there's still that distinctively gritty 'Brit rock' sound that's been a feature of the whole Crush range. But here, the big 15" speaker and large, ported cabinet turn out the full X-rated version and the natural sound of the amp and all-analogue signal path seem to really suit the bigger driver.