At last, a product is on the horizon which combines two of my passions - playing guitar and fiddling with computers. Renowned amplification specialist Orange Amps has just announced the forthcoming availability of its OPC. Users will not only get a genuine 15W per channel stereo Orange guitar amplifier, but also a fully working personal computer running Windows 7, with some top music software thrown in for good measure.
The computer part of the OPC is powered by an Intel Pentium E5400 processor running at 2.7GHz, supported by 4GB DDR2 system memory. NVIDIA's GeForce 9300 takes care of the graphics, which can be sent out to up to three monitors at once thanks to the inclusion of HDMI, VGA and DVI ports. There's also onboard 5.1 high definition audio available via stereo mini jacks, and optical and coaxial S/PDIF outputs.
802.11g wireless connectivity is given a helping hand courtesy of that antenna you see on top, and while your attention is focused up there you may also like to note the top loading DVD burner. The OPC sports no less than seven USB 2.0 ports and an eSATA port.
As well as running on the 64-bit version of Windows 7, the OPC will come bundled with over GBP700/US$860/EUR714 of free digital recording music software, handpicked by Orange Amps. Amongst other things, users can expect to find Presonus Studio Orange Custom Edition - pro-level recording software, Acoustica Mixcraft - multi-track studio software, IK Multimedia Amplitube 3 - guitar/bass tone modeling software, Toontracks EZ Drummer Lite - for those all important percussive accompaniments, and Licklibrary - exclusive guitar lessons.
To take advantage of all that free software, users will need to plug a guitar into either of the two independent switchable and attenuated line-in sockets, to the top of the device. Users can expect 15 watt RMS per channel stereo output with EQ from the amplifier itself through a couple of JBL 6.5 inch 55 Watt RMS Dual Concentric Speakers. All of the electronics are mounted into the specially optimized vinyl-covered wooden cabinet with an all-aluminum powder-coated chassis. A stereo line-in port means that the OPC can also be used as an amplifier or speaker for microphones or media players.
Designed and built in the UK, the OPC will initially be available direct from Orange outlets in the US and the UK or via the Orange website from August 2010. It will cost GBP1199, US$1499 or EUR1225, depending on where you're located.