Life as a gigging guitarist often features elements of uncertainty and randomness – sometimes the only thing we can rely on is our sound. In an attempt to maintain this precious tonal consistency, many of us have painstakingly dialled in our pedalboard settings, only to suffer the indignity of having that same gorgeous, pedal-driven tone rendered unrecognisable by sterile-sounding backline.
Orange designer Ade Emsley’s answer is the Pedal Baby 100, a single-ended solid-state head, featuring a Class A preamp and Class A/B power-amp configuration, great portability and reliable build quality.
The Pedal Baby 100 is simplicity itself to set up, the only controls being the on/off switch, a master volume, bass and treble knobs. All three knobs feel smooth and sturdy. This stripped-back approach is reassuring and reinforces the concept of the amp being as user-friendly as possible. There are two output jacks on the back for your speaker cables (never guitar leads!) and a voltage switch, which is covered with a clear plastic safety guard. This is a lightweight, good-looking head with the silk-screened Orange logo on the top adding zest.
Orange claims that with the Pedal Baby 100 set on 8 ohms, you can squeeze out an impressive 100 real watts of power, so grabbing our latest pedalboard iteration and some ear defenders, we drive to a local rehearsal studio to unleash the beast.
We’re confronted with the Pedal Baby 100’s primary raison d’etre – a beauty-pageant selection of unfamiliar cabs. Plugging in to an angled Marshall 4×12, we set the EQ knobs to 12 o’clock and gently roll the volume up from zero, as the manual suggests. Set completely clean like this, we’re rewarded with a warm, dynamic response which sounds beautiful for jazz and makes us wish we’d brought a guitar with flatwound strings.
As we engage our pedalboard, things start to get lively. The sounds produced are full and musical and – importantly – feel and sound familiar and ‘right’. The next half hour involves hitting the Pedal Baby 100 with everything from evil stuttering fuzzes to high gain walls of distortion via a selection of phase and ring modulator pedals that can be relied upon to push any amp to its limits.
The Pedal Baby 100 handles everything with poise and, when the occasion demands, trouser-flapping volume. The Pedal Baby 100 will find most favour with stompbox-loving gigging guitarists looking to shift air; and a chat with London session player, Mike Mayfield, confirms a niche for it in use with profiling amps such as the Kemper, too. This is an impressive piece of kit and may prove as much of a gamechanger as the Tiny Terror before it.
- PRICE £299
- DESCRIPTION Single-ended 100W solid-state, Class A/B compact head. Made in China
- POWER RATING 100W at 8 ohms
- VALVES N/A
- CONTROL PANEL Bass, treble, volume, on/off switch
- REAR PANEL 2x speaker outs
- SPEAKER N/A
- DIMENSIONS 300mm x 77mm x 195mm
- WEIGHT 3.2kg/7.05lbs
- CONTACT OMEC orangeamps.com