Anyone Played an Albion by Steve Grindrod of Marshall/Vox? Pr0n

Discussion in 'Other Amps' started by Moose Lewis, Aug 27, 2011.

  1. Moose Lewis

    Moose Lewis Well-Known Member

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    I've been looking around for flexible 30-50 watt alternatives and came across these amps. There doesn't seem to be a lot of videos and reviews on them - but the design, build and features are intriguing to me - particularly on the Albion TCT 50 watt head. It's a two channel all tube amp with independent EQ/tone/gain/drive controls, an FX loop with onboard reverb, and a 3 way footswitch that gives an ABY function. It also has a power switch that goes from 100% to 33% - effectively reducing the 50 watt amp to a 16.5 watt.

    These amps are designed and built by Steve Grindrod, who in 1973 became the “Chief Engineer” and “Director of Research and Development” for “Marshall Amplification” holding this position until 2000 when he became the “Managing Director” and “Chief Designer” for “VOX” where he stayed until 2008. Initially he struck out on his own by entering into a partnership with Wharfedale, but disgruntled about production and design issues regulated by the company he finally broke out entirely on his own and started producing Albion amps in his own factory around two years ago. He claims to manufacture all of his major parts (like transformers). His factory is in China, and he moved next door to keep tabs on QC - so it's a dedicated factory built to his demands.

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    TCT 50
    • Twin channel + MIX Head
    • 50watts RMS into 8 or 16ohm
    • 5x12AX7 – 2x EL34 valves
    • Two discreet channels with Volume, Treble, Middle, Bass, Drive and Gain (Drive & Gain determine type of OD)
    • EQ Shift button (not a cut, but changes mids affected)
    • Smooth and Tight buttons (affects treble and bass)
    • F’BK switch
    • Depth and Edge controls (tweaks the amp to match speaker cab for rumble and cut)
    • Active/Mute switch
    • 100% / 33%” switch
    • 3 way (channel A/B/MIX & Reverb) footswitch included.

    This is a video on the TCT 100, which has the same controls as the 50 and also uses EL34 tubes. Unfortunately, this guy is the only one with any real demos... and it's YouTube. At present most of the names associated with these amps are session men or producers.
    [ame=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dziDhz2KQtE&feature=related]A first look at the Albion TCT-100H 100w head. - YouTube[/ame]​

    If anyone has any first hand experience with these amps, please say what you thought of 'em. I'm GAS'ing and on the fence about going for the 50 watter..... now.
    :cheers: Cheers :hippie:
     
  2. TwinACStacks

    TwinACStacks New Member

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    :) I'm really interested in these as well. I haven't even found a dealer yet.

    :):) TWIN
     
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  3. Moose Lewis

    Moose Lewis Well-Known Member

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    American Musical Supply has them. So does Zzounds. AMS has the wrong pic - they show a dark red face, which got changed to black on the later issues. I guess that's why Zzounds doesn't show a pic.
    Albion TCT50H Guitar Amplifier Head at AmericanMusical.com
    In fact, AMS seems to carry the full line (of the TCT models).

    Wish I could lay hands on one (without buying the cow first, that is).
     
  4. johnfv

    johnfv Well-Known Member

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    That does look and sound very interesting, particularly at that price.
     
  5. TwinACStacks

    TwinACStacks New Member

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    :) This is the man who designed the Mighty DSL, and is responsible for the newer AC30's as well. Trust me, Steve knows his shit. I've talked to him several times on the phone, he is a great guy who took his time to answer guite a few technical questions I had on the DSL, and the Vox.

    :):) TWIN
     
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  6. icedteaburst

    icedteaburst New Member

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    i like to sleep around :)
    hey, they should sound killer, you know you can trust a man named grindrod.
     
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  7. Moose Lewis

    Moose Lewis Well-Known Member

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  8. Moose Lewis

    Moose Lewis Well-Known Member

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    More Pr0n:
    [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]

    I'm not GAS'ing the least bit. ;)
     
  9. jcmjmp

    jcmjmp Well-Known Member

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    Did you take those pics in the US?
     
  10. Moose Lewis

    Moose Lewis Well-Known Member

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    Naw... they're from the NAMM 2011 show. I just keep searchin' these amps and drivin' myself nutz.
     
  11. torbonator

    torbonator New Member

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    Hi I'm from the UK I own the Wharfedale 100 watt head with the 4 x 12 cab, I'm only really a beginner, but I can give you my thoughts even if they are slightly weird.

    This is not entirely accurate, they were just re branded for the US market which meant all the wharedale branded one's were sold off cheap in the UK and strangely south africa

    the half stack it cost me a little over £400 which for a well made half stack is amazing. My Vox 100w valvetronix combo was slightly more expensive and is nothing in comparison.

    bit of background I play in a heavy metal band in drop b flat tuning with an old SG which I slapped some active EMG's on till I can afford a scheter hellraiser. the other guitarist has a epiphone explorer gothic with active EMG's plugged into a 5150+ into a marshall 1960 cab

    First thing I have to say about the amp the clean is so beautiful I am in love with it it just destories the 5150 on all fronts with clean.

    distortian is good but we find there isn't really enough gain to match the 5150 altho when played together the wharfedale adds a good amount of depth and bass to the sound, the one problem I have found is that while muting the wharfedale seems to cut through everything else and sounds a bit off I've put it down to being a 'british' amp but I don't really know.

    If you play blues this amp is perfect in my opinion.

    I've been looking around the internet with other people with the same amp and trying to find their impressions of it but I haven't had much luck
     
  12. solarburnDSL50

    solarburnDSL50 Well-Known Member Platinum Supporting Member

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    Doesn't do much for me. Seems to lack balls. Kinda limp especially solo riffs and lines. Missing that Plexi bloom to the notes. Maybe because its at low volume. It was ok I guess.

    Course the recording could be a contributor to why I think its lacking.
     
  13. thetragichero

    thetragichero Well-Known Member

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    only think i have an issue with is the phase switch on the head...
     
  14. Moose Lewis

    Moose Lewis Well-Known Member

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    That's part of my hesitation, and why I had hoped to hear from someone who had actually plugged up to one of these. YouTube videos rarely tell the story, and Ant Glynne (who has played with a laundry list of artists and has a great rep) is not my first choice for a demo guy since most of what I have heard him do with groups like Rick Wakeman had a more compressed, less lively sound than I'm looking for... and he used to play a JMP.

    For this go 'round, I'm gonna pass. It looks like I will be acquiring an Egnater Tweaker 40 though. I got to play one recently through a 4x12 cab and heard a lot of possibilities for that amp. Versatile. Dynamic. Like it.
    :cheers:
     
  15. big dooley

    big dooley Well-Known Member VIP Member

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    +1 doesn't do it for me either
     
  16. darkhorse

    darkhorse New Member

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    I am gearing up to buy a 50 watter twin from Albion for a 2nd amp to run some stereo effect panning. Seems like a killer amp and reasonably priced to me. I am looking at these as I can get 4 payments on one from zZounds.com rather than save up for my usual amp buys from Carvin which I happen to just love.
    The Albion seems to have some excellent features and quality build, I do not expect to be let down and I look forward to reviewing it.
    The notion the designer is an ex Marshall and Vox guy only further adds to my present analysis of a decent amp.
     
  17. grimlyflick

    grimlyflick Active Member

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    These amps are literally just rebranded Wharfdale amps that were sold in the UK. They look exactly the same as the Wharfdale amps apart from the front part of the box which was red and was branded Wharfdale, as opposed to the black/Albion front you see here.

    Almost the whole shipment of them was bought on the cheap by PMT music in the UK and sold off VERY cheap.

    Tonewise they do the job but are very nondescript and lacking in character. I know alot of Marshall guys find this characteristic with Blackstar amps and you'll find this more so with these Albion amps, although they are very well engineered.

    Didn't Steve Grindrod have a large part in designing the DSL?

    :cheers:
     
  18. THRAKD

    THRAKD New Member

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    I own the Albion tct 50 Head and matching 4x12 cabinet. I have had it about six months now. I am more that pleased with it. I am play a lot of classic hard rock and metal. I play a few different guitars through it. I love the ability to go from 33% power to 100% w the flip of a switch. The el34 tubes make for a warmer tone which I prefer. I am planning on getting a hot plate to get the sweet spots without having the police on my doorstep. The cleans are AMAZING! The gain is modest. Not a metal amp by nature. Boosted it would do metal like a champ. I have played and owned several different amps over the years. Fender, Marshall, Surpro, Line 6,etc. I know good tone when I hear it. This amp has it. For the price point, it is amazing. I almost bought the Egnater Renegade. But I got such a sweet deal on this rig,being a floor model it was a no brainer. I will say that I was not impressed with the combo amps. I think it was the 35 watter that I tried out. I was blown away with the tone of the 4x12 setup. I had no intentions of a 4x12 rig. But when I played through it, I found what I was looking for. Give this amp a try. You won't be sorry.
     
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  19. demonufo

    demonufo New Member

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    Yes. And was responsible for the 2203/2204, and just about everything in between I suspect. Came out with early PPIMV designs on certain amps too (2150 for instance). Brilliant man. And of course, brought us the Park Rock Head too.:dude:
     
  20. p94932

    p94932 New Member

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    I own the albion tct50c amp and its totally badass. absolutely chimey, smooth, buttery all the marshall & vox mojo is in there: trust me on this. for the prices of these amps nobody can beat them for what you get. Built solid, great look, and very smooth controls, and responsive are just some hilights. Ive never heard of albion speakers which are loaded into the 50 watt combo, but after gigging awhile with this unit they sound fabulous. They do seem to have some type of celestion dna in them to a point, but there is something else to that gives them a special sound, just have to hear them.

    Service from Albion is PREMIERE, and I mean PREMIERE. They will talk to you, they will help you, and Rich Onori is fabulous in helping customers!

    In my professional opinion, albion amps are worth the money, and any working guitarist would be well served to check them out.

    s u p e r b ! ! !
     

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