Its very hard to review this amp...... mainly because i specified everything i wanted to get from it so it would reflect badly on me if it was crap when it turned up.......Spoiler --- it definitely wasn't.<
Anyway i'll start with the ordering process, i have to say it felt like i was a star buying an amp from howard dumble. thats not to say martin is a recluse or rotund, he is neither of those two attributes. What he is though is a decent bloke with an encyclopaedic understanding of amplifiers. For me i wanted the holy grail, fender cleans (more tweedy than blackface), marshall drive (jtm45/plexi) and a soldano inspired boost channel. It had to be purple and it had to be a 2x12.
so the specs were fixed as:2x12 combo
2 channel amp with separate EQ's
2nd channel would have an underboost (i.e. wired for soldano then a preamp tube removed from the circuit to give the default drive)
4xKT66 delivering 50 Watts.Switchable channels with a compact footswitch using din and...... parallel TRS option for an external switch controller.
salt/Pepper cloth purple jewel light
white chicken heads.
Metal side grab handles.
So, the build progressed and i received awesome pics along the way, the most exciting of which for me was the gutshot. Clean wiring with an immaculate layout.... shortly after the amp was finished and martin delivered it to my house in swindon. This was a nice touch and as he said, worked out cheaper and safer than trusting it to the delivery monkeys.
Once id had a thorough run though of the specs it was time for a business lunch and then time to rock the amp solo. I spent the next couple of weeks, testing the amp, with pedals, without pedals. at loud and quiet volume. over this time it became well broken in and was ready for the Guitar show as the platform i would have my pedals running though.
I think as a test for an amps solidity the Guitarshow is pretty damn brutal. 0930-1700 for two days at a moderate volume would be enough to make most amps cry, however the Orion did @martinw
proud and was still sounding tremendous at the end of the weekend, albeit hot!!!
So, if you fancy having a kickass amp, then give @martinw
a call and treat yourself to a bespoke tonal monster.