Orion Constellation: 2x6L6 & 2x6V6 Tubes, 75 Watts to 1/4 Watt Output, Reverb, FX Loop, Duel EQ, Duel Boost
Orion Rocket: 2xEL34 Power Tubes, 50 Watts to 1/4 Watt Output, Overdrive, FX Loop, Duel EQ, Boost
Orion Nebula: 2x6V6 Tubes, 25 Watts to 1/4 Watt Output, Reverb, FX Loop, Duel EQ, Duel Boost
Orion HorseHead: 2xEL-84 & 2x6V6 Tubes, 40 Watts to 1/4 Watt Output, Reverb, FX Loop, Duel EQ, Duel Boost
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Orion Amplifiers Features:
Orion uses London Power's Power Scaling which lets the player have the cranked sound of the amp at loudness levels the player can safely listen to all day. Suppose you want to be at the cusp of compression. Normally this would be at the power limit of the amp blasting through the speaker - which is really loud! - but now we can get that sound at really quiet levels. Simply turn the Power Scale and Master Volume down by about the same amount and the amp will provide output tube compression at any loudness down to a whisper.
You'll notice that turning the Power Scale down on its own that there is no loudness change until you get to the power level you are actually using, which is quite a bit lower than what most players think. This is because guitar speakers are extremely efficient, producing a lot of sound for very little power input. In actual numbers, a typical guitar speaker will produce 100 decibels of sound for just 1-watt of power. This is so loud that you have to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with your buddy and shout to each other to be heard. So, it is easy to see (or hear) that to achieve truly quiet loudness, the power must be able to go down to extremely low fractions of a watt. Power Scaling lets you dial down to zero output, so you can decide how quiet "quiet" is.
When you dial Power Scale on its own, once you get to the power you are using, going lower will reduce the loudness and will gradually increase distortion. The output tubes will go right to hard clipping and you can get a fuzz sound this way. This is all-power-tube distortion and it is up to you to decide how much to use.
Similarly, you can dial just the Master Volume down, leaving Power Scale at full power. Dialing the Master Volume will give a volume change over its full sweep and this lets you hear the distortion from just the preamp. In this mode, the Preamp Volume or Poweramp Thrust and /or AfterBurner has to be set higher to achieve a thick or saturated distortion, but the Master Volume allows high preamp gain settings at listen-able loudness. The Master Volume is specially set up to be more transparent in what it does than a typical Master.
So, between the Power Scale control and the Master Volume, there are four ways to operate the amp. One is true Power Scaling; one provides just Power Tube Distortion or Compression; one provides just Preamp Distortion or Compression; one provides Distortion or Compression from both ends of the amp, and of course there is the nice clean sound from everything running clean.
Apart from the major benefits of Power Scaling that it protects the player's hearing and maintains the amp tone at all loudness levels when used correctly, Power Scaling will extend the life of everything in the amp by greatly reducing the heat produced by the tubes in the dialed-down settings. You can operate the amp forever like this.
Simply put, Power Scaling is keeping the transfer function of the amp constant while dialing down the power produced. If you only need 3W the amp only produces 3W; if you only need a half-watt, it only produces a half-watt. In all cases, the amp can interact with the speaker as stock"
The transfer function is just the relationship between the output and the input of the amp.
Effects (FX) loops can make or break an amp. You either love them or hate them.
Orion's loop is based on "The Best All-Tube Effects Loop" designed by Kevin O'Connor. I tried all kinds of loops and found this to be the best, which wasn't surprising since Kevin designed this to be the most neutral "Hi-Fi" loop one can make with one dual-triode tube. We retained all the features allowing the player to use pedals or processors with equal ease just by flipping the 0dB/-20dB switch. The Send control assures that the effect is not over-driven and the Return control assures that the loop is not over-driven.
The loop features a True Bypass. The signal is routed completely around the FX loop when engaged.
Orion's effects loop can be set for "series" or "parallel". In the series mode, the whole signal leaves the amp, goes through the effect and comes back. In the parallel-mode, just a part of the signal leaves the amp and goes through the effect and is then mixed back in with the preamp signal and fed to the power amp. Parallel mode is great with processors, especially delays, where the effect can be set to 100% wet. This means that it only sends back the echoes, say, while the original sound stays inside the amp. When you change the patch on the processor there can be a small drop-out of the sound, but since the sound from the preamp is still playing through the loop, there is no drop-out of the whole sound - just the echoes fall away and the next effect comes up. Cool! Just like in a pro studio.
Orion's Thrust control lets you take the amp from Clean to Overdrive at any Volume setting. Turn it up to add Preamp gain into the signal. (Imagine adjustable pressure setting on your shower head)
Turn it down and the sound stays clean and rich all the way through. The Thrust Control is unique to Orion Amplifiers. It's a Preamp governor for the amount of signal (Gain, Distortion) that enters the Poweramp. It's not a Master Volume; more like a Ratio control with very little volume swing with the rotation of the dial. It adds or removes gain/signal pressure from the Preamp. Use in conjunction with the Volume to dial in just the right amount of Preamp tube saturation you desire.
Orion's unique AfterBurner control lets you dial in how much negative feedback a.k.a Body, Resonance, Meat/Balls (whatever you want to call it) into your sound. Less, the sound stays lighter longer. More, the sound gets darker sooner. In other words, the AfterBurner controls the Depth (lows) of the signal like the Presence does for the highs.
The user has four ways to control the overall gain structure of any Orion amp. Use the Volume control for a straight ahead approach. Add some Thrust then some AfterBurner to set the mood. Flip the Aphelion/Perihelion switch. Top it off with some Boost, Deep and Heavy. Now your rolling and I know thats more than four ways....but who's counting.
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