Orange (Orange Music Electronic Company) started its life actually as a studio and second hand music gear shop sometime in 1968. The company started producing amplifiers due to difficulties in getting sale stock. For this Orange's founder, Clifford Cooper, collaborated with the company Radio Craft, owned by Mat Mathias. Radio Craft produced the first Orange amplifiers based on Clifford's designs. Often people think that the first Orange amplifiers were actually co-built by Orange and Matamp (Matthias own amplifiers company), that is not the case.
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By the mid '70s Orange became one of the main amplifier manufacturers. The company continued to innovate the amplifier world and even released, together with designer Peter Hamilton a computerised amp which used logic chips. This amp was so ahead of its time, it did not succeed.
In the mid '90s the Orange name was licensed to Gibson, who produced reissues of the Graphic 120, Overdrive 120, Graphic 80, Overdrive 80 and the Super Bass 120 models. These reissues differed from the originals amplifiers and were not considered a big success, this led to the licensing agreement to not be renewed. the Orange name was back with Clifford. Clifford wanted to give the name the glory it used to have and decided, together with his then new technical director, Adrian Emsley, to approach working guitarists that use Orange amplifiers and get their feedback on what can be done better. One example is Noel Gallagher of Oasis. Gallagher was using an Orange Overdrive which he required more crunch from. Orange made changes to the Overdrive circuit based on Gallagher's input, these changes were later the basis of the Orange OTR amplifier (Oscillatory Transition Return).
Orange's entry to the "hall of fame" of guitar amplifiers came with the 1998 release of the AD series. The series received a lot of positive attention and attracted major guitar players like Jimmy Page of Led Zeppelin. One of the amplifiers in this series, the AD15, was the first UK amp ever to be selected as the editor's pick by the US Guitar Player Magazine.
In the last years Orange also started manufacturing and selling their own line of pedal effects. These pedal effects constantly receive more and more recognition.
Today you will find Orange amplifiers in almost every guitar store, stage and studio. Orange is without a doubt one of the most important amplifier manufacturers in the industry.