Orange announces the US-designed MK Ultra signature amp for Marcus King

The amplifier marries vintage UK and US sounds.

Orange Amplification has announced its first ever US-designed and made amplifier, a signature model for Marcus King entitled the MK Ultra.

Unlike the amplifiers’ namesake – a complicated tale of mind-control, psychoactive drugs and government-backed torture – the unit itself is quite simple. The EQ is incredibly minimalist, with only two controls: Deep and Sing. The two EQ controls operate on different parts of the signal chain, and are organised as such – the Sing control works pre-volume control, adjusting the brightness of the input signal. After the volume control is the Deep knob, which thickens the sound post-volume control.

The two EQ controls and the volume control make for a total of three knobs on the amplifier. The volume control will adjust how saturated the amplifier is, with your guitars’ volume control an essential part of dialling in your sound.

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The amplifier is based around two 12AX7 preamp valves feeding into a dual-6L6 power amplifier stage for a total of 30 watts of output. It’s designed to push the power amplification tubes into break-up, too, at least at higher volumes – given the lack of a master volume control, this is perhaps not the amp for those needing a home practice amp. However, at lower volume settings, Orange states that the amp still has plenty of headroom and a fast response – making it an excellent partner to pedals of your choice.

Construction is ultra-premium – the amp is hand-wired in the US, using custom Heyboer transformers, This is reflected in the price, as the amplifier lists for a rather pocket-threatening £2,499.

King said of the amplifier: “For me to have a signature amp with Orange is just like a childhood dream that’s come true. It’s a uniquely crafted American amplifier by a British company for a uniquely crafted American Man.”

See him demonstrate and discuss his amplifier below.

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