Vintage Tone Project Citrus Squeeze: This Orange Squeezer clone is, of all the ones I've tried, the closest to the original Armstrong circuit. VTP went to great lengths to use uncommon vintage components throughout the audio path. They worked directly with Dan Armstrong for the last couple years of his life, and finally replaced this model with the "Orange Crusher" under his supervision. It is very similar. Very few of the "Citrus Squeeze" ones were made--in fact, if you see one for sale, it is probably the exact same unit I reviewed back in 2006.
This OS has a furry warm vibe that I just don't hear from the others, with soft subtle distortion almost like a tube amp. It really is a "vintage tone". There is an external bias pot that allows a huge range of usable and unusable settings, including some outright buzzy/gritty distortion at one point, and creamy smoothness at another. Of all the OS clones, this one is the most like an "effect". The tradeoff of the warm fuzziness is that it's not as crisp and bright as the more modern versions.
The housing is the medium size of Barber and Diamond. The construction quality is decent but not amazing. The footswitch is "true bypass". This is definitely my favorite of the Orange Squeezers out there, but it's rare and honestly I'm not sure it would be worth paying a collector price for. I think the best value is to build your own.
Price in USD: $100 used, no longer available new.
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