Aiken Appreciation Thread

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by Jarrett, Nov 28, 2004.


  1. Jarrett

    Jarrett Member

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    I don't see a lot of people talking about Aiken amps these days, so I thought I would throw this out there.

    After finally pulling the trigger on an Aiken 18 watt Invader combo, I am just amazed at this little amp. I've had it for about a month and a half now and it continues to impress. Just like Dave Leslie says, it has a sweetness to it that I haven't heard in other amps. I literally can't find a bad sound on this thing. I ran it through a new cab yesterday and found all new cool tones. I was surprised how it tightened up running though an Avatar 2x12 loaded with Tonkers. People say it's the best of Marshall in a portable package. I dunno enough Marshall to say that, but I do know I really dig the amp.

    I also recently owned an Aiken Sabre. Also a very cool amp in it's own right. If I hadn't just discovered the Invader, this amp would have probably been a keeper for me as well. While I prefer the Invader cleans, the boosted Lead channel on the Sabre sounds great and has sent me on a high gain hunt. This makes me interested in the Corsair, but I can't find it on the website anymore.

    I had a Tomcat on the way to check out, but FedEx lost it for me. The seller is doing a great job working with FedEx to recover the insurance on it and I appreciate it a lot.

    Top off all these cool amps with one of the coolest builders/customer service in the biz and you have a pretty freaking good amp company.

    So if you have or have had an Aiken amp that you dig, let's hear about it.
     
  2. riffmeister

    riffmeister Gold Supporting Member

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    Agreed.......Randall & Company are great people to deal with and deliver Top Notch products.

    Jarret, you are the one who started me on them with your 30 Invader....... :D
     
  3. Tag

    Tag Gold Supporting Member

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    I have never played one, but have really liked the clips of them I have heard. If I were ever in the position to need a Marshall style of amp with some additional features, Aitken would be one of the first I would check out. :)
     
  4. Leonc

    Leonc Wild Gear Hearder Gold Supporting Member

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    Agreed. Randall is a great guy to deal with. Such a straight shooter. Man, in an industry with perhaps more than its share of BS artists and fakers, makes you wonder if he's in the wrong business, hehehe. But his amp really epitomize some of the best things that Marshall's done, and do it at a very reasonable price point.
     
  5. Kenster

    Kenster Member

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    I've had my MkI 18 for 3 years now and it still puts a smile on my face. :D Randall and his crew deserve many accolades putting out a product like this as well as being fanatastic to deal with.

    Cheers
    K
     
  6. clarkram

    clarkram Member

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    ditto...Randall & company are great guys to deal with. I stopped by the shop one day to demo some stuff and they were VERY generous with their time..I've had an Intruder 30w w/2x12 cab for 8 months now and it hasn't dissapointed me yet.

    Clark
     
  7. Dave Orban

    Dave Orban Gold Supporting Member

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    Yep... my Aiken 18-watt 2x12 Invader combo is an awesome gigging amp.

    And Randall is a top-notch guy, to boot! :dude
     
  8. JES1680

    JES1680 Silver Supporting Member

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    Love my 18watt Invader. There is that sweet something that is hard to define. Never had the pleasure of dealing with Randall, but hear nothing but good things.
     
  9. dbeeman

    dbeeman Gold Supporting Member

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    Randall knows his stuff too. He understands the engineering and the music. He is the "automotive engineer/designer" among more than a few "shade tree mechanics" in the amp business.

    And, he was smart enough to get Minton to handle a lot of the business end for him.
     
  10. fullerplast

    fullerplast Senior Member

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    Aiken amps are some of the best engineered, best built, and best sounding amps being made today. :dude
     
  11. Frankenstrat2

    Frankenstrat2 Member

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    Still dig the hell out of my Intruder30w
     
  12. carlygtr56

    carlygtr56 Guest


    Great amp. I enjoyed playing thru it and would love to own one one day. Quite the looker as well in white tolex:)
     
  13. Killcrop

    Killcrop Supporting Member

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    My only real complaint against Aiken Amps is they don't have a Michigan dealer.

    I think that Randy makes soulfull amps that always have utility in mind. He doesn't just make a great sounding amp he makes one that can be used in many different situations. His amps are at home on the stage or in the basement.
    All his amps are bomb proof and look great as well.
    What more could you ask for? Aiken amps back their products 100%.
     
  14. Jarrett

    Jarrett Member

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    Yeah, we need an Aiken dealer in Dallas too... ::cough::charley's::cough::
     
  15. Badger71

    Badger71 Member

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    I was in Tone Merchants last weekend and had the opportunity to play a few Aiken amps....Tomcat and Invader?...maybe it was the Intruder....both awesome and versatile....the Tomcat would suit my needs more as a home/small club amp without PA...but the other sounded great also....it's definitely on my Santa list....For what it's worth, the Cornfords were also awesome.
     
  16. psyandy

    psyandy Member

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    I can't even begin to say how appreciative I am of Randall's products. I've owned most of them and am still waiting on the Europa to save me ;)....

    Randall is a phenomenally nice man...and one of the most brilliant builders of our time....

    Andy
     
  17. cr8z4life

    cr8z4life Silver Supporting Member

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    I'll second that! Stopped at Indoor Storm this weekend while visiting family and plugged into the Tomcat, and a new Sabre.....along with the 30W Intruder.....All great but I am glad I followed Barrys lead on the Intruder......my favorite! They all do something different.....If you like the Tomcat but also want cleans you gotta check out the Sabre......awesome channel switcher. The cleans are outstanding and the bright switch on the cleans gives that chimey twangy tone......and the gain channel gives you the Tomcat and then some!!
     
  18. Jarrett

    Jarrett Member

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    While awaiting the long anticipated Splawn (Pro Mod 100) delivery, I have been jamming my Aiken 18 watt Invader combo some more this morning. Trying new settings and stuff. I have come to the conclusion that it is impossible to dial a bad sound on this amp. You can close your eyes and roll the knobs and It just sounds good everywhere.

    Also, I think I like the amp dimed/no attenuator/guitar volume rolled back cleans better than the amp set clean/dimed guitar cleans. Big/Fat/Chimey/Bright/Chewy/Dark/Crushed Glassy/Edge of EL84 breakup... All the normal tonal adjectives apply here on the cleans. Between the Ali & Plexi switch I can get everything I want. This amp has kind of soured Blackface cleans for me now, which is a big statement for me if you know my history with amps.

    Then when you crank it... Man that's a nice tone. Whether attentuated or not, it just friggin' rocks. I don't know old Marshall well enough to say its definitely old Marshall, but it sounds like the best of old Marshall to me :) Medium spanky SRV gain or kinda chimey EL84 gain all the way to what seems like just beyond cranked Ali/Plexi is there. It doesn't scratch my high gain itch, but it scratches the hell out of everything else.

    Basically this amp impresses me more everytime I plug into it. So before the Splawn gets here and I start possibly gushing over it for a week or so, I wanted to get one more shout out to my Invader. It's one cool little amp, no doubt. I can't imagine finding an amp that would make me want to sell it at this point. It's just a great amp and I would recommend everyone to give it a throrough try if you get a chance.
     
  19. Jarrett

    Jarrett Member

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    A question. Someone in another thread equated the Tomcat's level of gain to the Sabre's level of gain. Can anyone confirm/deny this? I really liked the sound/gain of Sabre's boosted OD channel and would love to have that in a smaller package. Is that what the Tomcat is? I was under the impression it wasn't that gainy.
     
  20. Killcrop

    Killcrop Supporting Member

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    I think it was the voicing of the overdrive. The Tomcat doesn't have the gain level of the Sabre.
     

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