Celebrating its 10th anniversary last year, the Rockerverb Series demonstrates better than anything else that a workhorse amp can be a master of all trades. This version of the Rockerverb 50 MKIII head combines over a decade of user feedback with a number of new details and improvements. The original Rockerverb was Orange's first ever ˜high gain™ amplifier, with a unique voice that quickly became a firm favorite amongst the heavy crowd. However, its supreme versatility and dependability meant the series has been a mainstay for touring artists and session aces, both on the road and in the studio.
In a first for the Rockerverb Series, the MKIIIs include selectable output power options to manipulate headroom and volume, with the 50W version switching down to 25W. The MKIII also features the same footswitchable attenuator that has been so popular with users of Orange' Thunderverb and Dual Dark Series amps.
The Clean channel has been revoiced on the new MKIIIs for a more œchimey response. The clean side now has even greater headroom than previous models, while still retaining the warmth and vintage character of a non-master volume design. Also, the valve-driven spring reverb now has a more extensive range with a brighter trail. Add to this a host of other hidden refinements and you have the finest sounding, and most feature-laden, Rockerverb to date.
The original Rockerverb gained a cult following on account of its iconic high-gain tones. The MKIII continues this tradition, but these amps are immensely flexible. The Dirty channel goes anywhere from classic British crunch to the very heaviest modern genres, and always maintains outstanding clarity. The non-master-volume Clean channel has been re-engineered to take on a more "sparkly" and "crisp" nature but with greater control through a revoiced two-band EQ section. The MKIIIs have even greater headroom and volume in full power mode, should you need it, but this can now be manipulated with the amp' output power and Attenuator controls.
The Attenuator circuit is located after the master volume controls and determines when and how the amp distorts after the preamp stage. This means the overall volume level can be reduced, while keeping control over the amp' output clipping characteristics. Unlike a loadbox, Orange' design ensures the all-important relationship between the output transformer and the speaker remains intact, so, even at very low volumes, the amp remains springy and responsive. Turning the Attenuator control clockwise reduces the overall output level (i.e. increases the attenuation), which can be remotely defeated via a footswitch for a volume boost on either channel for lead lines.
Switchable Output Power
Switching the amp's output power allows for more control over the headroom and breakup from the output valves. Reduce the output for greater output valve clipping and saturation at lower volume levels. The Rockerverb 50 MKIII features a "half-power" mode which drops the plate voltage on the output valves, reducing the output power to 25 watts.
Driven by a single 12AT7/ECC81 valve and a custom transformer, the spring reverb circuit in the MKIII has undergone significant upgrades. It is our richest sounding spring reverb design to date, with a more intuitive and usable sweep, ranging from subtle œair to full-on surf.
Valve-Buffered FX Loop
For the purists who love their pedals, Orange' highly transparent effects loop is buffered by a single 12AT7/ECC81, ensuring an all-valve signal path from input to output.
Select orange or black from the drop-down menu.
Maximum wattage: 26W“50W; 50W
Tube or solid state: Tube/valve
Number of preamp tubes: 4
Preamp tube type: 12AX7/ECC83
Number of power tubes: 2
Power tube type: EL34
Power attenuation: Yes Half-power switch and attenuation knob
Impedance: 8, 16 ohms
Number of channels: 2
Number of inputs: 1
Number of modes: 1
Channel 1: Three-band EQ, plus gain and volume
Channel 2: Two-band EQ and volume
Channel 3: Not applicable
Channel 4: Not applicable
Master volume: No
Voicing control: No
MIDI control: No
Footswitch included: No
Effects loop: Yes
External speaker output: Yes
Headphone output: No
Direct output: No
AUX input: No
USB connectivity: No
Built-in tuner: No
Weight: 45.75 lb.
Country of origin: England
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Because this amp is so new to the market, I had to buy it in a brick-and-mortar store, and not from MF, simply because I wanted to A/B it with a Mk II. But, because there's not much out there on it yet, and because MF has been so good to me over the years, I feel that I owe it to everyone here to give this review.
The Rockerverb 50 Mk. III is an instant classic. It's amazing. Every difference between it and the Mk II is a marked (pun intended) improvement. And we all know the Mk. II is a brilliant amp. I have it as a head with a closed back Orange 1x12 cab, and I've already gibed with it.
The revoiced clean channel is classic Orange. No mid nob is needed, as the 2-band EQ easily shapes the kids you're looking for. The clean is awesome, btw, and the non-MV format gives you smooth break up the higher it goes - especially in half-power. I like the cleans on the Mk. better than those of the Mk II.
This gain channel is EXACTLY what you're looking at an Orange amp for (except the hidden secret that Oranges have some of the sweetest, full, and chimey cleans of any amps out there...). Gains that are warm and massive, and harmonically rich.
To be frank, there's no setting on either channel of this amplifier that ISN'T three-dimensional, harmonic, and usable. This amp is unbelievably versatile, which is exactly what I needed it to be. It takes pedals really well - ODs, boosts, compressor, etc. The FX loop is a great feature, especially for time-based and reverb junkies (like me lol).
The reverb is very usable. Very. I like it better than that of the Fender spring reverbs. That's what you need to know. Throw a tremolo pedal in front of this thing, and you can achieve vintage blackface. Only better, because it's an Orange lol.
The attenuator is totally awesome. I love this feature. Because it is foot-switchable (not included, but get one!), too, you can, use it as a solo boost (Bam!). Also...I have three young kids, and I managed to dime the gain at full power while they were sleeping a few feet down the hall. All the tone and \m/ you need...with sleeping kids a room away. No joke. That's what you need to know. ;)
Folks, this amp is stunning. It sounds amazing in all applications.
So if you are, like I was, wondering how this amp compares to the Mk II, it does - and then some. IMHO, this amp is likely to be a classic. It's just a great workhorse.
Thanks, MF, for being so good to me as a customer over the years. And thanks to those who write the reviews I've come to rely on. Hopefully I'm adding something useful to all you rock stars out there!
Orange Amplifiers Rockerverb 50 MKIII 50W Tube Guitar Amp Head Black