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Orange AD15/12

Orange Amplification AD15/12

4.4 4.4 out of 5, based on 2 Reviews

Nice amp for recording or small gigs. Has a unique sound on the edge of clean and overdrive.

8th March 2012

Orange Amplification AD15/12 by prontold

  • Sound Quality 4 out of 5
  • Ease of use 5 out of 5
  • Features 4 out of 5
  • Bang for buck 4 out of 5
  • Overall: 4.25

The path I took to buying this amp was a strange and neurotic one, though I can't say I'm sorry for treading it. Essentially I went through a huge Pavement kick a couple of years ago and concurrently became obsessed with getting diverse guitar tones that I liked. One day, I payed extra attention to the intro riffs on the song "Old to Begin" off the so-so album Brighten the Corners, and heard this beautiful shimmering guitar tone. It wasn't distorted in an obvious way, but it was a little more beautiful than any pristine reproduction could be. I found out that Steven Malkmus was using an orange amp, started watching Youtube videos and researching my options, and last fall wound up purchasing this little dealie for a not bad price.

AD15s are discontinued, but can still be found occasionally for 500-800 dollars. They strike a good balance between having some serious tone at a respectable gig volume, and having some serious tone at a home-studio volume.


The amp is a little dark, but the harmonic overtones that the drive adds once you start heading into breakup territory are absolutely gorgeous. My favorite region for tone is with the preamp gain around 1:00-2:00, which lets the clean notes come through unmolested if you pick lightly, but lets you get some very gratifying saturation with a harder attack or bigger chords. This thing can do respectable cleans and good overdrive as well, though it can't get into full-on distortion without some help (granted I use fairly low output guitars, Jazzmaster or lipstick pickups). It seems to take pedals pretty well, although the absence of an effects loop means that you might have to do some careful balancing with overdriving the preamp and using dynamic effects like envelope filters or accumulating delay echoes.

Ease of Use

Good sounds are not too hard to come by with this unit. It's portable and light as well.


You get preamp gain, bass, mid, and treble eq frequencies (passive, I think), and a master volume. The EQ is not ultra-responsive, but some sculpting can be done if you get creative with how you cut bands relative to each other. A lot more sculpting can be done with mic positioning.

Notably absent, and somewhat missed, are any onboard reverb, an effects loop, external speaker outs (though you can still hook up the speaker connections to an external cab), and channel switching. I would like to have an effects loop, and reverb is always a nice option, but otherwise these omissions don't bother me.

Bang for Buck

I got this amp for about $500 including shipping. I'm sure there are better deals out there (some of the blackheart amps look really interesting), and more versatile ones, but this amp has a very unique sound that I wanted to add to my arsenal, and to achieve that at this price is, in my mind, a very worthwhile pursuit.

18th April 2015

Orange Amplification AD15/12 by Onan

  • Sound Quality 5 out of 5
  • Ease of use 5 out of 5
  • Features 3 out of 5
  • Bang for buck 5 out of 5
  • Overall: 4.5

I got my ad15/10" combo used over 10 years ago. (People mention a 12" combo, but mine is a 10" and I thought they all were.). I always loved it as a sparkly clean amp or mildly overdriven crunch, but not so much for heavier distortion. Last year I started running it through 1/2 of a stereo 4x12" cab loaded with alnico speakers I pulled from Hammond L-100 organs. Wow! That cab turned my ad15 into my go-to for all heavier break-up and distortion-pedal driven leads. The bigger, closed back cab lets me get much fuller bottom and the mids are much richer. The eq on the ad15 is really responsive. The amp is no frills, but its tone is beautiful, and that's all I care about. I tried swapping the ad15's speaker for a 10" pulled from a Hammond M-100, and I like it better than the stock speaker, but the 1/2 of the 4x12" is king.

I was using a Mesa SOB to drive the other side of the 4x12" but just got an OR15 instead. OMG it's a perfect duo. The or15 is more 1970's vibe, and together the ad15 and or15 are just plain exciting to hear.

FWIW, to give you a sense of my perspective, I love el84's and el34's, and my other amps currently are a pair of vox ac15's and a matchless chieftain 2x12" combo. I load all my amps and tube pedals with vintage Mullards and RCA black plates to get old-school tone.

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