Aiken Amp Pics!

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by Drowned Rabbit, Jun 13, 2008.

  1. Drowned Rabbit

    Drowned Rabbit Black Beauty Beats Burst

    Messages:
    2,550
    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2007
    Location:
    San Francisco
    I'm a big fan of Aiken amps. To my ears, they are the best
    Marshall style amps available. By being ever vigilant in the
    amp emporium, I've been fortunate enough to get my hands
    on three of them and they are not going anywhere.

    [​IMG]


    Up top is Tomcat #10. This is actually the one used on the
    Tomcat clips off the Aiken webpage. Randall has since added
    the Bass Mod and it sounds even better now.

    [​IMG]

    Sabre #11 in the middle here. This channel switcher is really
    Randall's masterpiece (so far). The clean side is very full and
    Fender-y and the gain side is like the hot-rod Marshall of my
    dreams. Cool loop in back and the best Master volume ever!

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Invader Mk II 18watt 1x12 on the bottom. The internally
    jumpered inputs on this one are what make it special. Loves
    any guitar you throw at it and, like the Tomcat, has Randall's
    famous built-in attenuator. Chewy distortion and very touch
    sensitive. Might be my favorite, but it's hard to say.

    [​IMG]


    Any other Aiken fans? Please post your pics and comments.
    Here's my guitar thread if anyone's interested, it has some
    cool stuff and lots of pics too. http://www.thegearpage.net/board/showthread.php?t=395313&highlight=magical+mystery
    Up next: My Belov Rally-Sport Prototype #2, Swart AST head
    and matching 2x12 cab, and Stark Sex Amp! Stay tuned.........
     
  2. mlongano

    mlongano Member

    Messages:
    1,818
    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2006
    Location:
    The Triangle
    I am interested in hearing more about the new Sabre Randall has been working on.

    Nice collection by the way!!
     
  3. Andre357

    Andre357 Member

    Messages:
    3,214
    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2007
    Hey nice amps.......

    But I love your choice of Sci Fi !!!

    Dan Simmons Hyperion Series were some of the greatest books I've ever read !! I got through the whole series and loved every page....
     
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2008
  4. JPenn

    JPenn Member

    Messages:
    1,780
    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2002
    Location:
    Blytheville, AR
    Me too!!
     
  5. jamison162

    jamison162 Supporting Member

    Messages:
    7,778
    Joined:
    May 15, 2006
    Location:
    FL
    Man, I've been lurking around waiting on Randall to get the new Sabre's going for about two years now.
     
  6. sickboy79

    sickboy79 Member

    Messages:
    10,416
    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2006
    Location:
    Chicago
    Very nice collection!
     
  7. skeeterbuck

    skeeterbuck Member

    Messages:
    1,533
    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2004
    Hey rabbit, I just received my tomcat combo yesterday from a fellow forum member. I still an getting used to it but from what I hear the tones are just great.

    What the story on the Bass mod on your tomcat? Is that what the extra mini toggle is for as I don't have this on mine? Also, mine currently has all JJ tubes installed. Have you found or used any others you liked better?

    Thanks!
     
  8. PaulE

    PaulE Supporting Member

    Messages:
    1,238
    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2003
    Location:
    NY
    I used to own that sabre-shoulda kept it- great amp.
    I had a 30 watt intruder too also great.
    Love Randall's work,I'll own another.
     
  9. Drowned Rabbit

    Drowned Rabbit Black Beauty Beats Burst

    Messages:
    2,550
    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2007
    Location:
    San Francisco
    Me three! I spoke with Randall on the phone recently
    about this very thing. It is pretty commonly known
    that the hold-up is due mostly to European restrictions
    on the use of lead in anything be imported there. He
    declined to give a ballpark date, but was adamant that
    it would, at some point, get done.

    I understand that Randall is revising the
    Sabre into practically a whole new amp!
     
  10. Drowned Rabbit

    Drowned Rabbit Black Beauty Beats Burst

    Messages:
    2,550
    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2007
    Location:
    San Francisco
    Welcome to the club!

    Hmmm.... well, to be honest, I don't know for sure how
    the Bass Mod came about. It works extremely well though.
    It is indeed the extra mini toogle you see. It might be very
    worthwhile to phone Aiken and get the scoop on this. he is
    a friendly dude and will happily talk to about his amps all
    day long. I'd bet anything that he would install the Bass Mod
    on your Tomcat. It is definitely worth the time and the hassle.

    I can't remember what tubes are in there, sorry.
     
  11. Drowned Rabbit

    Drowned Rabbit Black Beauty Beats Burst

    Messages:
    2,550
    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2007
    Location:
    San Francisco
    That's a good stretch,
    Keep The Faith
     
  12. Drowned Rabbit

    Drowned Rabbit Black Beauty Beats Burst

    Messages:
    2,550
    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2007
    Location:
    San Francisco
    INDEED! Awesome books. Have you tried
    Gene Wolfe's "The Book Of The New Sun"
    at all? Those are my favorites right now.
     
  13. Drowned Rabbit

    Drowned Rabbit Black Beauty Beats Burst

    Messages:
    2,550
    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2007
    Location:
    San Francisco
    The Intruder is the one I don't have :(
    I believe that model is the only one
    currently in production. The one that's
    making me drool with anticipation is
    the Corsair. A single-channel high gain
    amp that Randall said he was really
    excited about getting out when I spoke
    with him.
     
  14. pureoldsound

    pureoldsound Member

    Messages:
    749
    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2004
  15. Drowned Rabbit

    Drowned Rabbit Black Beauty Beats Burst

    Messages:
    2,550
    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2007
    Location:
    San Francisco

    [​IMG]
     
  16. Pa'ani

    Pa'ani Supporting Member

    Messages:
    11,481
    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2006
    Location:
    So. Cal
    Great Collection of Aiken Amps.
     
  17. ripoffriffs

    ripoffriffs Supporting Member

    Messages:
    2,876
    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2004
    Location:
    Indianapolis, IN
    Or soon to be former owner.

    I'ev played the Invader MkII for close to 3 years now. And the Mk 1 before that. I love the built-in attenuator. I'm sure the attenuator was tweaked for the amp's circuit cause it is way better than any after market attenuator being used on a Marshall non-master 4-input amp. After I got the Invader Mk II my GAS stropped completely! I no longer felt needing another amp to buy & try. And I tried many before that. I used Weber MASS with the non-master 4-input amp for years before I discovered Aiken. I even stopped going to this website for more than a year. And of course constant playing of the amp meant replacing the power tubes twice/year! Okay, since there are only 2 EL-84's which are cheaper than EL-34's.

    Then I started hearing/reading more and more about Power Scaling!. The fact that an amp's power tubes can be overdriven without attenuators and therefore not burn out was big. After getting the Reeves Custom Lead, which is a Marshall 1987 clone, I was sold. Power Scaling works way better than attenuators! At bedroom/basement levels, it is still a natural overdriven tone from the power tubes! Something attenuators cannot do. Although, the Aiken does it better than any after-market attenuator. And the money saved on buying tubes can get me an extra tank of gas!

    So the Aiken Invader Mk II has a pending sale. I don't know if Power Scaling will ever be adopted by mainstream amp makers (Marshall, Boogie, Peavey, Fender). If it does, I may just start collecting amps.
     
  18. reaiken

    reaiken Member

    Messages:
    1,798
    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2002
    Location:
    Greenwood, SC

    A bit of clarification: the new designs are indeed going slowly due to having to find all RoHS-compliant parts and getting/filing documentation from all the manufacturers of those parts (which you have to keep on file for every part in the entire amp).

    However, the main reason for the delay is more a result of my own blend of procrastination and perfectionism, a deadly combination! I actually have redesigned the new Sabre countless times, and when I thought I was done and everything looked good on paper, I got my new CNC cabinet shop guy to make up a run of headshells, and when they arrived, they looked huge! A full-size Marshall-style head, but too deep - it would have been a beast. I tolexed one up in orange, and it quickly got the nickname "the Great Pumpkin", so I scrapped that idea and went back to the drawing board to see if I could make it in a smaller headshell. (Anyone want to buy a bunch of fine birch-ply firewood?)

    The other reason for the delay is my other company, which does consulting engineering design. I am currently spending a lot of time down in Pensacola, FL, designing avionics LCD displays, cockpit video/audio recorders, and other devices for military and law enforcement aircraft and helicopters. While not as much fun as building amps, it tends to pay a hell of a lot better, so I have to give it priority!

    The new amps will be ready only when I'm 100% satisfied with them. I will post pictures and details on the website as soon as I feel they are ready to ship. I will never promise delivery dates on non-existent products, and I will never accept advance payments or deposits for amps in development. This is a good way to go out of business and make a lot of people mad. I'd rather have people mad at me for taking my time to develop a world-class product than for making delivery promises I can't keep! Trust me, these new amps will be worth the wait...

    Thanks!

    Randall Aiken
     
  19. reaiken

    reaiken Member

    Messages:
    1,798
    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2002
    Location:
    Greenwood, SC
    The mini-toggle switch was a one-off mod made for Leon Chalnick. It was a switchable bass-boost that started the whole "bass mod" fiasco. All the later tomcats had a fixed internal bass mod that was not switchable.

    Randall Aiken
     
  20. leftyaxeslinger

    leftyaxeslinger Supporting Member

    Messages:
    1,144
    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2006
    Here's is my MK1 Invader. 2 EL84s and a killer reverb

    Awesome amp. I love it.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     

Share This Page