Aiken Invader = Good bedroom amp?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by bobeau, Nov 20, 2005.

  1. bobeau

    bobeau Member

    Messages:
    416
    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2005
    Location:
    San Diego, CA, USA
    Hey Guys,

    Some of you might remember me from several days ago asking about the Carr Mecury... after a little more research I'm thinking an Aiken Invader Mk II might be a better fit, esp. at roughly the same price. But I'm wondering, does the full attenuation setting allow diming it at maybe slightly above conversation levels? I understand unchained this little beast gets surprisingly loud. - Beau
     
  2. godskid9876

    godskid9876 Member

    Messages:
    61
    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2005
    Location:
    Joshua Tree
    I am a Recording Studio Owner and as such spend a great deal of time buying and tring amps that work well at reasonable volume levels. The Aiken is a Monster. The attenuator works transparently, of course there is a variation in how the speaker interacts with the amp when played quietly. The Aiken sure covers alot of sonic territory depending on how you use it. and it's plenty loud if you want it that way. Anyway IMHO the Aiken is among the finest amps made regardless of $ and no I don't work for Randall.
     
  3. bobeau

    bobeau Member

    Messages:
    416
    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2005
    Location:
    San Diego, CA, USA
    Thanks for the feedback, I've really enjoyed the clips I've heard so far.

    But at the maximum attenuator setting do you think it could qualify as a good bedroom amp? Let me rephrase - it's not really a bedroom per se but a loft with half foot thick concrete walls and an 11' ceiling (also concrete)... so it can definitely withstand more noise than a typical apartment. That said I have a ZVex Nano, and at a half watt that thing can be darn loud - I'd hope I could have a nice mid-crunch at roughly the same volume.

    One other amp I'm thinking about is the upcoming Guytron 20w combo. I understand the master will be exceptionally transparent. But there's not too much info on this yet.
     
  4. edwinhong

    edwinhong Member

    Messages:
    375
    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2005
    Hi Guys
    Is Invader can be sound like Blackface?
    I know it is like Marshall plexi back in 1960.
    where do you get the clips for Invader?
     
  5. gooma

    gooma Member

    Messages:
    451
    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2005
    Location:
    Western Oz
    FWIW I`ve got an Aiken intruder that sounds amazing at bedroom volumes. I`m sure the invader would sound great being that it has the built in Attuenator.

    Brad
     
  6. Wayne

    Wayne Member

    Messages:
    655
    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2003
    Location:
    Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, USA
    I've got the orignial Invader Mk I and I can coax blackface sounds out of it by keeping the volume at or below 11:00 on the Plexi setting and adjusting the EQ. The reverb is fabulous. I really enjoy the clean sounds of this amp although I tend to play it with the volume control at 1:00 so it growls a bit more when I dig in. By the way, the attenuator will take it down to conversation levels.

    One of the beauties of this amp is that it has a speaker emulating, balanced line out that sends a constant level signal regardless of the attenuation settings. In fact, at the highest attenuation you can safely unplug the speaker, silencing the amp and still send a great sounding signal to a recorder or the board.

    There are soundclips of the Invader here:

    Aiken Tube Amplifier Fan Club on Yahoo

    IMHO, the Invader Mk I has the most useful set of features I have ever seen in an all-tube amp. I'm hanging on to mine!

    [​IMG]

    Wayne
     
  7. tuna

    tuna Member

    Messages:
    306
    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2004
    Location:
    Powhatan, Virginia
    I have an Invader MkII with an Aiken 1-12 closed back cabinet. The speaker is Randall's version of a Greenback. I bought it for the very reasons that you are describing. I wanted something to get those old Plexi/Bassman overdriven tones at volume levels that don't shake the rafters loose in your house. The attenuator is very transparent and with the variable control you can dial the amp down to a whisper and still get crunchy tones. The variable setting is the only setting where I feel the attenuator loses its transparency. I normally use the -12db and -9db at home and it sounds great. I also play this amp at my church and use these settings as well. The amp to me has great tonal range even though it has el-84 tubes. What I mean w/o getting flamed, is Fender Tweed, Blackface (it will get nice and jangly close to Blackface, almost there) and Marshall Plexi. And I always thought you couldn't get that tone unless you were running 6L6 or EL-34 tubes. Wonderful clean tones and great overdriven tones .In the manual, Randall describes trying to capture those old PLexi/Bassman tones and he ain't lying. The EQ section responds very well to adjustment and the two knob reverb is great. I don't think you will be disappointed. The Invader has been discontinued, and I think that most folks that have 'em are hanging on to them, so you may want to jump on it. The other amp you may consider if you need more volume(future forward thinking) is the Aiken Intruder- it has 30 watts with what alot of owners describe as the best MV they have ever heard. The tubes are EL-34 with the ability to swap different tubes. Good Luck.

    BTW- if you are looking for clips, try emailing Eddie Berman at Indoor Storm in Raleigh. The clips that he did for the Invader are what confinced me to drive 2.5 hours to check out this amp.
     
  8. Johnnythunders

    Johnnythunders Member

    Messages:
    518
    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2004
    Location:
    Somewhere in the world
    The Invader is awesome as well as the Tomcat which is 12 watts. Ther is an Invader on eBay right now. Midtown music also has some for sale.
     
  9. sws1

    sws1 Member

    Messages:
    8,889
    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2002
    Location:
    East of the west
    The Invader came in both 18 and 30 watt. As did the Intruder.

    I have an 18-watt invader combo. Depending on your idea of bedroom volume, it can be done. I tend to play it at pretty loud bedroom volume with the attenuator off and the volumes around 11 oclock.

    Surprisingly, it does NOT need to be dimed to get distorted. With a humbucker guitar, by the time the vols are around 10olock, it's distorting. By noon, it is very distorted. Any time I put it up at max, it was way too distorted for my taste.
     
  10. voodoochile

    voodoochile Supporting Member

    Messages:
    595
    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2005
    Location:
    St Louis, MO
    I just bought an Aiken Invader Mk II about a month ago from Midtown Music.

    The thing is awesome. The attenuator works really well, and to answer your questions, YES, it can get low enough in volume for the situation you describe. I put my lids to bed in the next room about 30' away and it does not bother tham at all.

    Of course, this baby deserves to spread her wings every now and then. It is the loudest damned 18 watts I have heard when you open it up. You don't need to have it opened up to sound good though. At my normal playing volume, I keep it on the most attenuated setting, but the variable volume up.

    This is a cool feature. When it is at full attenuation, that kicks in a circuit that let's you use the variable volume so you can bring it down to talking levels if desired.

    I love the Aiken- best sounding amp I ever had.

    I had questions when I first bought it. Randall himself spoke to me and was VERY cool. He was out of the office and actually gave me his cell phone number if I needed to try another option, because he did not want me to have to wait all weekend for a solution on Monday. Now- THAT is service.

    My other amp option was the TopHat Emplexador- another beautiful piece of equipment. I got the Aiken because I was too impatient to wait for a tophat on ebay. I am not disappointed, though.

    I shouldn't even have to say this, but no, I don't work for Midtown, Top Hat or Aiken. wish I did, though.
     
  11. Lerxst2112

    Lerxst2112 Member

    Messages:
    472
    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2005
    I'm an Invader fanatic. As someone said earlier, it is a LOUD 18 watts!!! However, the attenuator is awesome. I use mine on the VAR setting and the volume all the way up with no problems. Sounds absolutely jaw-dropping...
     
  12. bobeau

    bobeau Member

    Messages:
    416
    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2005
    Location:
    San Diego, CA, USA
    Hey guys, thanks so much for the comments. I can see this guy builds amps that spark true passion, and I can see here even at the reasonable levels I'm looking for. Also in my research as was noted many Aiken owners hold onto their amps for years; that says a ton.

    I already talked to Midtown Music last week regarding the purple combo - so, uh, dibs! :) I'll be purchasing it Tues. I also saw the one on eBay but really like the purple, though the one at Midtown has some scuffage and the eBay one sounds immaculate.

    I welcome the scufface as I will be moving into small downtown loft in a few months and plan to start a band... as with most lofts storage space is pretty much nonexistant so it's nice that this may be a great amp to use at home as well as the various small clubs within walking distance.
     
  13. Dave Orban

    Dave Orban Gold Supporting Member

    Messages:
    16,859
    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2002
    Location:
    Trenton, NJ
    +1

    I had one as my primary gigging amp for well over 2 years, and it worked well in ANY size room, including bedroom/basement rehearsals.

    Plus, Randall is a real sweetheart! :dude
     
  14. bobeau

    bobeau Member

    Messages:
    416
    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2005
    Location:
    San Diego, CA, USA
    Dave,

    Why isn't it listed in your sig?

    FWIW I have Chieftain I'm unloading on eBay (and a Maz Jr soon to follow), this amp will be taking its place. I love the Chieftain but it's really heavy and really loud.
     
  15. Dave Orban

    Dave Orban Gold Supporting Member

    Messages:
    16,859
    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2002
    Location:
    Trenton, NJ
    I've been out of work for nearly a year now, and have had to unload a LOT of gear.

    Not pleasant, to say the least...
     
  16. godskid9876

    godskid9876 Member

    Messages:
    61
    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2005
    Location:
    Joshua Tree
    PM'ed you.

    Invader clips at http://aikenamps.com go to the artist page there are all kinds of clips there.
     
  17. edwinhong

    edwinhong Member

    Messages:
    375
    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2005

    Hey
    I just learn about this MERCURY amp
    It is very nice blues machine & can be good bedroom amp.
    http://www.carramps.com/mercury.html
     
  18. wax

    wax Member

    Messages:
    160
    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2005
    I have an Invader Mk II 30 Watt combo, and yes you can get bedroom level volumes with great tone with the attenuator...it's a shame to have to use it that way though. I love mine...it's an awesome amp. It's serial #2, so yeah I'll hang on to it.
     
  19. voodoochile

    voodoochile Supporting Member

    Messages:
    595
    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2005
    Location:
    St Louis, MO
    bobeau- I will try and record some clips to send you over the holidays. I always like to hear clips from lots of people, good or bad, because it halps to identify different sounds.

    I go on the Bogner site and LOVE anything done by Greg V. I think he could saw a live cat in half and make it sound good.

    So... the more clips the better I say.
     
  20. sssmile

    sssmile Member

    Messages:
    280
    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2005
    The Invader MK11 is the most amazing amp ever. The 18 watt is loud enough for any situation but is great for bedroom play. I would suggest the head over the combo. The combo I had was a little noisy at times the head is silent. Fantastic amps built to perfection. I have 2 aikens right now, if I could buy another Invader I would jump on it. Future classics for sure, maybe the next dumble:dude
     

Share This Page