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I started a quest to find terrific blues music and incredible musicianship when I was just a little kid. I also have a tremendous appreciation of fine musical instruments and equipment. One of my greatest joys all of my life was sharing my finds with my friends. I'm now publishing my journey. I hope that you come along!

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Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Bman's Exclusive Interview with Albion Amps - Richie Onori

I was able to catch up with Richie Onori, musician and associate with Albion Amps. I wanted to get a few words on these new amps which have been making their own mark on the music scene:

 Bman: Hi Richie. How did you get involved with Albion Amplification?

 Richie: Actually quite simply I was at the Hilton bar after one night at the 2012 Anaheim NAMM show and I bumped into one the bass player from the group “ASIA” and he introduced me to a chap that had ties to the company. The next day I had a visit at my booth from Steve Grindrod. I quickly learned that Steve was the chief engineer and head of R&D for Marshall from 1973 to 2000 and then he told me he designed the Vox reissues amp from 2000 to 2008. I realized rather quickly that he one of a very few designers that have earned the title “Legendary AMP Guru” He was the man behind the curtain who is responsible for the guitar tone for thousands of ground breaking albums over the decades. Albion is his swan song and I am proud to be part of his incredible line.

 Bman: We all know that there are only a few basic circuits that are the basis for all of the amplifiers on the market. What are your amps designed around.

 Richie: Each model have different components depending on the wattage however for instance the ever popular TCT35-Combo has two 6L6 power tubes that run at high voltages, resulting in deep tones even at extremely low volumes. If 35 watts is too much power, a front-panel switch drops the output to 33 percent. There's also a switch that alters the negative feedback loop from open to closed: open provides a looser feel and raw tonality, while the closed loop is tighter and more narrowly focused. Highs from the power amp are controlled with the edge knob, and a master volume sets the amp's overall level have preferred separate reverb controls for each channel, the global control's keen circuit integration does an excellent job of expanding the amp's acoustic bounce without affecting attack and projection. Both preamp sections have identical controls for gain, drive, bass, middle, treble and volume. The gain knob dictates the first gain-stage's level of aggression, while the adjacent drive control adjusts the second and third gain-stage levels, providing the user with absolute control over how the amp creates preamp gain and making it possible to achieve endless textures of overdrive and distortion.

 Bman: It appears that you have three basic series of amplifiers in your product lines. How are they different?

 Richie: The TCT series are all tube when the lower end AG series are solid state amps which is designed with tube module that makes this economical a hybrid. The third is the new GulfStream series has just been unveiled which are the lower wattage 15W and 30W with tone varibles that mimic and create whole new horizons for the Guitarist - Amazing! Richie Sambora just made a guest appearance and used the Albion Gulfstream 15W on my groups “ Heaven & Earth” new album and soon to be released record “Dig” He loved it!

Bman: What makes Albion amps different than the other similar product on the market?

 Richie: It has a tone all to itself however it has that familiar British sound with new innovation that is incomparable.

 Bman: Are you working with any specific supplier for speakers and transformers?

 Richie: No- All the components are manufactured at the factory where Steve Grindrod resides. Yes it a compound that enables Steve to oversee everything. Bman: How about capacitors? I know a lot of builders are really particular about the type of caps they use.

 Richie: Like everything about Albion- Top Shelf-

 Bman: What is new for Albion this year?

 Richie: The Gulfstream series, new Bass amp and there is talk that we will be unveiling a 200W metal amp at NAMM 2013 the January.

 Bman: Is there anything else that you'd like to tell me about Albion?

 Richie:Coming out with a new line of AMP’s in the middle of a recession has been a challenge but one thing for sure as many agree – Albion has everything you could possibly want for the casual gigger to the seasoned pro- Check out the site to learn more-

  If you support live Blues acts, up and coming Blues talents and want to learn more about Blues news and Fathers of the Blues, ”LIKE” ---Bman’s Blues Report--- Facebook Page! I’m looking for great talent and trying to grow the audience for your favorite band!

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