British guitar amp manufacturer Orange is making official plans to produce a hybrid Windows 7 PC and guitar amp. The company is calling it the OPC, and it's due out in August for a whopping $1,499.
In an era where musicians are increasingly recording their music using computer software and pro-audio-grade sound cards, the idea of plugging an instrument into a computer is nothing new. The OPC simply takes the increasingly computer-assisted home recording rig to it's most absurd (though awesome) conclusion by marrying your guitar amp and computer into a single piece of hardware.
As a computer, the OPC runs an x64-bit version of Windows 7 Home Premium on an Intel Pentium Processor E5400 (2M cache, 2.70GHz, 800MHz FSB). The graphics card is an Nvidia GeForce 9300 overclocked to 580MHz. A 7,200rpm, 500GB hard drive comes standard, along with 4GB or RAM, HDMI/VGA/DVI video output, seven USB 2.0 ports, and one eSATA port. There's also a top-loading DVD±RW and an 802.11g Wi-Fi antenna that sticks out from the top.
Aside from the Wi-Fi antenna, ventilation panels, and glut of PC i/o on the back, the rest of the OPC looks just like a shrunken version of Orange's unmistakable guitar amps and speaker cabinets. Beyond the aesthetics of the orange tolex covering and wheat-colored grille cloth, Orange also went to the trouble of integrating quarter-inch guitar and mic/line inputs in the top, along with knobs for volume, treble, bass, and balance.
As an amp, the OPC kicks out an impressive 30 watts split between two 6.5-inch JBL speakers. Guitar tone is essentially dictated by the bundled software, which includes IK Multimedia Amplitube 3, as well as Presonus Studio Orange recording software, EZ Drummer Lite, Acoustica Mixcraft, and Licklibrary.