Got me one of them Aiken's

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by worlez, May 5, 2005.

  1. worlez

    worlez Member

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    An emerald green Aiken Intruder 30watt (el34) arrived in a big brown box this morning. Got it from Woodshed Vintage Guitars in Columbia for about £760 shipped - avoiding the VAT charge as well :)

    So far it sounds like it could be really cool - going from my Cornford with a gain, volume, and 2 band eq to a full marshall tonestack with two different gain conrols is a bit tricky, and I'm struggling to dial it in so far. But it seems to respond exactly the way my old 800 combo did, so I reckon I just need to fiddle with it. Anyone got any tips in that respect?

    It doesn't seem that loud either - in my room I run it with the master at 12 o clock, which is like my Cornford with the master on 9 o clock.

    Anyone else ever played these Aikens? I reckon it could be a winner :) I could use some help dialling it in though - I am really going for Angus Youngs live tone.

    Cheers

    Al
     
  2. nsriley

    nsriley Member

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    I used to have an Aiken Invader 18 watt combo, lovely amp, that I gave up in a trade in a huge downsizing thing I did. It was a sweet amp. I started by putting all the tone controls at 12 o'clock and going from there. Honestly I couldn't get a bad tone no matter what I did! Does yours have the plexi/alum switch? I found my LP's worked the best on alum setting and single coil guitars on the plexi setting. Play around and have fun, they are great amps!!!!

    -peace
    -nate
     
  3. worlez

    worlez Member

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    I'm still struggling a bit. Im playing through a Cornford 2x12 with a V30 and an H30, Gibson LP standard with burstbuckers - leaving most things flat apart from boosting the bass slightly and cutting the presence, volume 1 on 3 o clock and volume 2 on 11 o clock - ali setting. However, it still sounds a bit fizzy and dry, and a bit muddy also. Anyone got any tips?

    Also, with my sparkledrive, I just get this awful harsh buzz, rather than a nice overdrive :confused:

    Cheers for the help

    Al
     
  4. clarkram

    clarkram Member

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    Al, I have a 30w Intruder. You will find (actually you have already found) that the master has a very gradual taper. You get the best chunk and thump with the master between1 and 3 o'clock with 3 o'clock being pretty much full output.

    Running in plexi mode will be darker, thicker and ali will be brighter. Blending the 2 volumes controls will give a wide variety of tones. Try volume 2 (dark) at 11 o'clock and volume 1 at 9 o'clock for starters. This should get you to generic marshall land. I have found that the bass/tone controls do not have a large impact, they seem to operate in a fairly narrow range.

    Twist the knobs and enjoy. Its a great amp.

    Clark
     
  5. tedwoods

    tedwoods Member

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    Aiken amps are very open and revealing of any mismatches or "inferior" gear anywhere along the line.

    My guess is,since the Cornford cab is both front loaded and has a V30-the one speaker the amp simply won't tolerate-that the problem lies there.

    Also,a booster instead of an overdrive would react better.The amp has a pretty distinctive overdrive character to begin with,so the pedal mars it to some extent...and you can hear that.
    If you intend to use the amp with pedals though,try maxing the master and limiting the preamp volumes.This way your amp becomes a BIG "monitor"amp.

    The master on the Aiken is really great...but that,by master greatness standards,means that it doesn't colour the sound or eat up frequencies.It doesn't cater for-nor does any master for that matter-for the added response and compression of a hard working power amp.

    When I want to practice with the Intruder 30,I still use the Weber mini Mass-straight or parallel-and turn the master really high...all the way actually ,so it's out of the circuit.The meanest crunch in my life instantly appears and when you step on a booster...beware!

    Now all that would apply,assuming the amp runs as it was supposed to run...Have you checked the bias?

    Lastly,tube selection,especially the output tubes,play an ever important role in the final outcome.If the amp is equipped with Svetlanas(or winged C's)you might find "them" a little harsh.Many people do,although these particular tubes exhibit other desirable traits.You might then want to try JJ's or another variant and also experiment with the preamp tubes.The JJ's that are in there, assuming the amp is stock,become slightly darker and smooth out-compress when driven hard only(short plates).

    Best of luck!

    Ted
     
  6. reaiken

    reaiken Member

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    Hi, Al,

    First of all, I'm sorry you are not happy with the amp. I've not heard Intruders described as fizzy or quiet, especially the 30W models, as they can get very loud.

    One thing to check: the Intruder uses a standard Marshall-style Cliff jack for the effects loop. It has switching contacts that turn the loop off when nothing is plugged in. I recently had an amp returned for repair that sounded thin and low volume, sort of like a transistor radio. It turned out to be a bad jack - the shorting connection was a bit out of kilter, and was barely making connection. Replacing the jack fixed the problem. You might try plugging a cable into the effects loop jack and removing it to see if that joggles anything (or, if you have a stereo cable, plug it in and short the tip/ring together to see if that improves anything.

    Another thing - use of Vintage 30's with any Aiken amp voids the warranty. :) Actually, they do tend to sound harsh to my ears. The best speaker is a Greenback. If you have any way to try the amp though a cab with Greenbacks, you should be able to tell whether it sounds properly "Marshally".

    Another problem could be the tubes - if you have a set that you can swap out, give that a try.

    If all else fails, you can send it to me and I'll be glad to look it over at no charge and ship it back to you.

    Thanks,

    Randall Aiken
     
  7. Sonic Reducer

    Sonic Reducer Member

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    Plug it into a 2x12 with greenbacks, forget the pedals because the amps natural overdrive is good on its own, and crank it up.

    I'm sure it will be fine.
     
  8. worlez

    worlez Member

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    Randall,

    Thanks a lot for your response. I reckon its a cool idea that you post on forums like this - really cool way of contacting customers and getting yours/their input.

    I dont think its a problem with the amp per se - I think its more to do with the way I'm dialling it in. I definately agree with the Vintage 30 comments - they are a match made in heaven for Cornford, but I dont think they work with marshally amps at all, hence I'm gonna grab a second H30 or try a greenie.

    Any thoughts on the boost pedal situation?

    Thanks a lot for your advice.

    Al
     
  9. worlez

    worlez Member

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    The pedal thing is so that I can have a nice crunchy Angus Young type rythym sound, and then I can whack the pedal on for a mid/gain/cut boost.

    Al
     
  10. big hair

    big hair Member

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    I'll bring my greenback loaded 4x12 round to yours soon so we can test the thing out. :)
     
  11. worlez

    worlez Member

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    Well, after disconnecting the V30 in my cab and running with just an H30, the tone did get better and lost a lot of the fizz, but there is still some there. Its like the high end is very focused and bright, and I can't put my finger on why. I wonder if a greenback would smooth it out enough, or should I go for a pair of greenbacks?

    Cheers

    Al
     
  12. reaiken

    reaiken Member

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    The presence control on that amp is actually a cut control, like on a Vox, but voiced a bit higher in frequency. You should be able to get it rather dark by turning it all the way anti-clockwise. Did you guy the amp new or used? I think the first few had the original style presence control and we changed to the cut control to improve the tone.

    Greenbacks are definitely smoother in the high end than G12H30's, particularly if they are later model Chinese ones, at least, in my experience (I quit using them because they started to sound harsh).

    Randall Aiken
     
  13. worlez

    worlez Member

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    Well I was under the impression that it was used, but when I got it this morning it is absolutely spotless - it still smells of factory, the tubes had that new smell, and it is just completely flawless.

    It's serial number 00006.

    The harshness I'm getting is almost like fret buzz, but on the very high end, like a completely distorted singlecoil almost.

    Havin said that though Randall - you dont arf build one hell of an amp!:D

    Cheers

    Al:)
     
  14. worlez

    worlez Member

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    Bump :)

    Any info on the presence control Randall?

    Im considering speakers atm - I'm thinking about either a pair of greenbacks in my 2x12, or one greenback and one H30, or a Marshall 4x12 with greenbacks (but I'd rather stay with the 2x12 if I can). Any thoughts?

    Cheers for your excellent help!

    Al
     
  15. sws1

    sws1 Member

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    Do you get the harshness when both volumes are at 9am? Is it only when the amp is crunching up?

    Sounds to me like some sort of tube issue.
     
  16. worlez

    worlez Member

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    The cleans are a bit on the jangly side, but not harsh per se - certainly nothing like the high end 'scratch' or 'grit' that I get when I knock the volumes up. Also - maxing out the gain on either volume yields this awful fizzy shite, almost like a 50 watt marshall under full attenuation.

    I'll have a go with swapping the preamp tubes with the ones from me cornford.

    Cheers

    Al
     
  17. reaiken

    reaiken Member

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    Number 0006 should have it. In fact, I think they all did except for number 0001 that got stolen at NAMM, but I could be wrong (my memory isn't what it used to be!). It's easy enough to tell, though - open it up, look at the back of the presence control pot and check it's value. If it is a 5K pot, it's the original presence control, if it is a 1Meg pot, it is the new one. Also, if you like, you can email me a picture of the inside and I can tell you if it is right. Again, if not, I'll be glad to mod it at no charge to you.

    Thanks,

    Randall Aiken
     
  18. worlez

    worlez Member

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    Ok, I'll do that. Should I get this nasty high end that I'm experiencing though?

    Also, any thoughts on speakers/tubes etc? I swapped out all the preamp tubes and didn't really get much change.

    Cheers

    Al
     
  19. nolenuttt

    nolenuttt Gold Supporting Member

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    I own 3 Aikens-A Tomcat, a 30 watt Intruder, and a Sabre-Simply amazing amps, and Randall Aiken is a true Gentleman-Keep playing with the controls-It's well worth it-I love all of mine-Try your Intruder with 2 Blues in an oversized 2x12 cab-Incredible tone!!
     
  20. worlez

    worlez Member

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    Randall, reading through the thread again there were some comments from you that I missed.

    Since I'm in the UK, shipping the amp back to you would be a bit of a bugger, what with shipping costs and taxes and whatnot, but I really appreciate the offer, so thanks a lot. I'm well impressed with your customer service. I also dont think the amp is faulty, I think its how I'm dialling it in and the way I'm playing it. I'm not knocking it at all, on the contrary I really like its vibe and think it's a FANTASTIC, and I know that when I get these little bugs ironed out it will be EXACTLY what I've been after. I'ts also built better than my Cornford, I must say!:dude

    I checked the FX loop jack trick, and when I put a mono cable in (which I presume lifts the ground?) I got the effect you described - as soon as I took it out it was normal. I think what I meant by being quiet is that I was surprised at the taper of the master volume, but as I started notching it up it jumped up quickly. I really like it actually - it means I've got a lot more room to play with when I'm fine tuning a lower volume situation.

    Thanks a lot for all your help so far, I really appreciate it.

    Al
     

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