Orange amps have made quite the name for themselves in the amp space. Their small form Micro series is especially well regarded as some of the best tiny amps around. The two stand outs in this series are the Micro Terror and Micro Dark.
“But aren’t they just the same amps?” you might be asking. Well, let us take a look at how these amps compare. How are they similar and how they differ.
There isn’t much to say when it comes to the build quality of these amps. Orange amps are always well built and very solid.
Both amps are made from high tensile steel. That means that you can pretty much throw these things around and they wont even feel a thing.
They are also both super small. These types of amps are often referred to as “lunchbox amps”. They are designed to be small enough to fit in a backpack for easy transport.
At first glance, yes, these two amps look identical apart from the Terror being white and the Dark being black. The Dark is also slightly bigger, but slightly lighter than the Terror. They even share similar features.
Both amps have a Volume, Tone, and Gain control. Both have an input, phones out, and speaker out.
But there are two features that are unique to each amp. The Terror has an Aux input, and the Dark has an FX loop. So, you wont be able to jam along with MP3s on the Dark, and effects aren’t going to sound as great as they can with the Terror.
Both amps are 20 watts. This means that they are packing some serious volume for their small sizes.
This is where you start to notice the differences between these two amps.
The cleans are fairly similar. Both amps have a very pleasant, delicate clean tone. The Dark, ironically, does sound slightly brighter to me. The Terror is warmer and a bit more rounded, but I certainly noticed a touch more shine with the Dark.
Adding some gain, the Dark still has a bit more brightness and even some extra crispness to its sound. The Terror is still a bit darker and warmer.
Turning up the gain further, things start to become quite interesting. The first thing I noticed was the difference in volume.
At about half gain, the Terror starts to become noticeably louder than the Dark. It is almost like they swapped volumes.
The Terror also becomes a bit richer. It has this very nice crunch to it, while the Dark is a bit fuzzier.
Pushing the gain all the way, I realize what these amps are meant for. The Terror has a great, overdriven rock tone. The Dark, on the other hand, is much more distorted and clearly leans more toward a metal sound.
I also noticed that their volumes seemed to balance out again with the gain turned up all the way. The Terror is still slightly louder, but the Dark does catch up again and I needed to only turn its volume up a touch to match the Terror.
The tone control also seems to be very different between these two amps. On the Terror, you are getting a pretty straightforward tone control.
This pretty much just lets you determine how much low, mid, or high frequencies you want in your tone. The Dark has a tone shape.
This changes the actual tone instead of just cutting certain frequencies. This means that you are getting a much more gradual change as you adjust the knob. This gives the Dark a wider range of tones, making it more versatile.
Overall, the Terror has much more of a midrange, crunchy tone to it. The Dark is much fuller, fatter, and darker.
Which is Better?
Honestly, I don’t really know. Both, neither?
This is one of the toughest comparisons I have ever had to make. Both amps are just so similar while also being very different.
If you want something that is a bit crunchier, then the Terror will likely be more up your alley. If you are looking for a powerful little metal amp, then the Dark will be more your style.
Choosing between the Micro Terror and the Micro Dark is going to be tough for any guitarist. These amps are just so fantastic in their own right.
Regardless of your choice, if you are looking for a powerful, great sounding amp that you can throw in a backpack, you won’t go wrong with either one.