The Orange Vintage Series Distortion is a high-quality reissue of a vintage and long-discontinued pedal by the UK amp manufacturer, rediscovered thanks to a photo in a message board, together with two other devices.
Unlike the two other designs, this one underwent significant circuit “surgery:” the original’s back-to-back diode design was replaced with an amp circuit and tone stack with a treble control, but the sound remains faithful to the original, with all the bite and growl and warmth and howl of its 1970s forefather. It also has an added LED.
Hear it in action in the videos below.
Orange Amps Distortion, Builder’s Notes
Meet the new Orange Distortion pedal, same as the old Orange Distortion pedal — at least that’s how it seems on the outside. After all, apart from the modern tweaks of an added LED and a 9V DC input, this looks like a straight-up reboot of the 1970s relic, right down to its simple type stencilled onto the classic chunky aluminium shell to ape the original units.
Under the hood, though, it’s a different story: the circuitry of the new Orange Distortion has been rebuilt from the ground up, ditching the original’s back-to-back diode design and replacing it with an amp circuit including a tone stack, where bass and mids are preset but treble is user-adjustable via a little trimmer inside the casing.
New design doesn’t mean new sound though — this one comes with all the bite and growl and warmth and howl that you need for that classic 70s amp-like distortion, from vintage crunch to full saturation. With only two dials, for level and depth, but huge versatility, the Orange Distortion can set up your sound for everything from a clean boost to warm and fat gravelly textures to red-hot trebly screamers and maximum saturation. There’s a sweet spot for Jimmy Page-style guitar heroics, and another for Nuggets-style garage rock squall: in fact, every shade of grit and dirt is in there, as long as it’s vintage.
Add in a hardwired switch that’s separate from the PCB and therefore super-easy to service, and you’ve got a vintage pedal fit for the modern age. It’s that level of attention to detail, combined with dedication to an era of crunching power chords that makes the pedal a perfect homage to one of rock’s golden ages, ready to be heard again with fresh ears. It might be a new design, but with the Orange Distortion, the song remains the same.
LOW POWER CONSUMPTION
The Orange Distortion draws very little current (only 3 mA), making it easy to slot into your pedal board’s power supply
A high-quality buffer in the signal chain retains tonal integrity. The Orange Distortion’s buffered bypass takes care of this with its low-impedance buffered bypass switching, retaining your guitar’s full tone.
On the amp circuit’s tone stack, the bass and mids are preset, but the treble is adjustable to taste via a little trimmer inside the pedal’s casing. It’s set in the factory to be a third of the way up, but the user can tweak with ease.