The 3 Monkeys Amps Orangutan is a powerful amp that serves up a serious dose of classic 70s rock tones. While it’s not a super high-gain amp, it gives a really diverse range of overdriven to clean tones. It definitely has a vintage sound but with it's very own distinctive character, and it’s both great for playing gigs and for recording. The Orangutan is powered by four 6V6 tubes that produce between 30 and 36 watts. There are three ECC83 preamp tubes in the amp. The transformers are all custom-wound and are designed by 3 Monkeys Amps to specifically work with their amps. The sockets, jacks, pots, poweramp, and preamp are also all hand-wired.
One of the unique controls on the Orangutan is the six position voice switch. This switch changes the gain structure and the tone of the amp. This is really where magic happens with this amp as the voice switch interacts with the volume control to create smooth overdrives and shimmering cleans. The treble control acts like a cut, while the bass functions like a global low frequency control. Using the lift switch will disable the bass control and give you more clarity and boost. Then there’s the room control, which acts as a focused reverb. The reverb on this amp is perfect for rock, in that it's really subtle and kind of trails off behind the notes rather than watering down the overdrive.
The Orangutan is fit in a solid birch ply cabinet that is a little different than most—it’s not just another square amp. Instead, it tapers towards the bottom. The faceplate is crushed glass with industrial silkscreening. All Orangutans are hand-made in the U.S. and weight about 34 pounds. The amp retails for $1,999, or a 2x12 cab is available for $899.
3 Monkey Amps began when Brad Whitford of Aerosmith, Ossie Ahsen of Blockhead Amps, and Greg Howard, Brad’s tech decided to create a company to produce original amps with sounds rooted in classic rock. Unlike the Fender, Marshall, Vox or Dumble clones, they wanted an amp that was simply unlike anything else in production. The amp was thoroughly vetted by a wide range of pro players, who provided enough feedback to refine the test models into an amp that sounded amazing while still being affordable. They created a 30 watt head with four 6V6's, built with an interesting six voicing toggle to tweak the gain and resonant peaks.
Current Production Models
The 3 Monkeys Orangutan is an incredibly dynamic amp that features a six position rotary voice switch. This lets you change the gain structure and the tone. Changes to the volume control interact with the rotary voice for shimmering cleans and smooth tube overdrive. Just toggle through the voices for a huge range of sounds. The amp features Four 6V6 Power Tubes and Three ECC83 Preamp Tubes and comes with a foot switchable boost switch. The 3 Monkeys Orangutan is inspired by the tones of classic 70's rock, while still having its own distinctive sound.
The 3 Monkeys Grease Monkey amp, on the other hand, specializes in high gain and a more aggressive sound. However, it is still super touch sensitive and has a nice dynamic range. This 30-watt amp features four EL84 tubes in the power section and three 12AX7 preamp tubes. It's a rare amp that roars like a Marshall but cleans up like a Fender, and that's one of the features that makes this amp so special. It also features a "cut control" switch that varies the amount of presence in the power amp section of the amp as well as Treble, Bass and Volume knobs. The volume controls the level of loudness and gain from the preamp. This amp kills it for slide - check out the demo video below.
The innovative features of these two amps make it clear that 3 Monkeys Amps is just getting started, and many players are anxiously awaiting future offerings.