Just got my Orange Rockerverb 50 head today...... Special thanks to forumite 46and2 for taking such good care of it and packaging it so well for shipment to me. Initial impressions: I A/B'd it with my buddie's Mesa Rectoverb head (I just sold a Rectoverb combo). It's a bit taller and deeper than the Recto head, but narrower... and heavier. (still lighter than the Recto combo though. ) Clean channel isnt' quite Fender sparkley, but a bit warmer and rounder than the Mesa clean. Only downside is that Treble and Bass are the only controls. Mesa has Bass, Mid, Treble and Prescence. Reverb is WAY more lush than the Mesa reverb. Anything past 9:00 is echo-ey room type. Now the Dirty Channel. First off, I would say this is a HEAVY ROCK amp... not a "Brutalz Metalz" amp. The Mesa is a bit more aggressive, but tougher to dial back to a blues or classic rock sound. Dialed back half way on the gain is like vintage Van Halen. The Orange makes you dial the gain up a bit higher for the heavier stuff, but it's much more versatile all the way around. You can get great blues crunch, through classic rock, up into the more molten realm (think Gary Moore on full gain). There's definitely a difference between GAIN and DISTORTION. I would say dialing up the Mesa's gain adds more distortion. More hair, but can get a bit tubby so you need restraint if you don't want your chords to mush together. The Orange pours on GAIN as you dial it up. It never gets too ratty, boomy, or out of hand. It grits it's teeth and then lets notes sustaaaaaiiiiiin.... The Mesa could probably get a bit brighter, but is also capable of getting ice picky if you go crazy on the upper controls. It's pretty difficult to dial in a bad tone with the Orange. As you roll through the possibilities, they're all different without any being bad. Once I found my favorite ranges, I just noodled for about 40 minutes straight. Overall... It's an incredibly musical amp and I'm looking forward to exploring the sounds it can make.