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Has Ayone Tried Invicta Amps?

Discussion in 'Amp Central Station' started by Cassady, Jun 3, 2008.

  1. Cassady

    Cassady Tele-Afflicted

    Jan 31, 2005
    Lincoln, Nebraska
    I have a serious case of curiosity (it's not GAS, it's not, it's not) about Standel amps--particularly the 25L15.

    The reissue Standels are way out of my price range at $3,400+, but the Invicta amps, made by O.C. Duff (http://invictainstruments.com/) look interseting and they're only (only, he says) about $1,800.

    So, has anyone played through one of the Invictas? How was it?


  2. Gaber_771

    Gaber_771 Tele-Meister

    Jan 8, 2007
    I haven't played through one, but i did see the site e while back and was struck with the same interest... i hope someone has... O.C. Duff, are you on the TDPRI?
  3. honkytonkhank

    honkytonkhank TDPRI Member

    Aug 12, 2010
    I have one. Mine is of poor build quality, maybe they're better now but I've never seen another one. Sounds pretty great when it's not in the shop, but not really Standel. My amp tech (who owns a 25L15 among other Standels) says it's not a true 25L15 circuit, more like a Bassman running class "A" with a Baxendall tone stack. That in itself is pretty cool and does sound very good. The Weber Neo 15" is perfect for this amp. Tolex job is terrible, looks like some kind of spray adhesive was used, is just falling apart! None of my 40-50 year old amps have this problem. This thing has failed on stage multiple times; once the pilot lamp enclosure shorted against the chassis, but the fuse didn't blow. Melted all the wires together in the power tranny, just kept playing until smelled the smoke...
    Both the power and standby switches (mexi Carlings) failed (separate occasions, onstage), amp tech went through all solder joints, said iffy component layout and soldering, arcing problems etc. My final issue with this amp is it appears to be designed for the living room, not the road; the chassis is secured to the cabinet from the top with only one thin bolt on each side. For a boutique amp around $1800.00 I would expect better build quality.
    I still gig it occasionally because of its tone and feel, but mostly just rely on a bulletproof modified silverface Princeton...
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2010
  4. Sugarfoot Rag

    Sugarfoot Rag TDPRI Member

    Nov 21, 2008
    Silicon Valley
    That's unfortunate to hear about about the Invicta. At one point I was considering one, but there are a multitude of vintage "sleepers" out there that can get close to the 25L15 sound. A significant improvement is adding, or swapping to a vintage grey frame JBL D-130 (make sure it has a paper edge cone, NOT a doped surround like a D-130F there's a big difference in "touch sensitivity"). I think Class A + Baxendall Tone Stack + JBL D-130 is a good start for getting that Standel "vibe". The power section of the amp should be running a pair of 6L6s, EL34's or 6V6s and a tube rectifier. You'd be surprised at what mods you can do to any amp to get the sound you're looking for in your head. Some circuits though are limiting....
  5. bluemoondog

    bluemoondog NEW MEMBER!

    Mar 24, 2011
    new orleans
    Invicta Cascade

    i bought an Invicta Cascade amp, which is a take on the Standel amp that Chet Atkins and everyone else uses. I put an Eminence speaker in it. The amp nails that Standel tone. The amp is very sturdy, loud, and has the neatest wiring job you will ever find. Invicta Instruments owner, Owen Duffy asked me what tone i was looking for and built it to my specs. I have used it on approx. 40 gigs in the last year, and it is holding up great. I considered buying a 59 bassman amp from a boutique builder in california, but the guy took a week to email back, and owen built me the best sounding fender bassman copy....To the previous posts on bad builds or poor quality, you won't get a handmade top shelf build for the same price from fender or vox, or you could always buy a new standel for 4000 dollars, from a company who just bought the name. i totally support Owen Duffy and Invicta Instruments and will continue to have him build me guitar amplifiers.
  6. banjovi800

    banjovi800 TDPRI Member

    Jan 29, 2009
    Davenport Ia
    I have been playing Owens pickups for quite a few years and they are in a league of their own. I also own one of his Invicta 1957 Tweed Super clones and it sounds incredible. Great cleans and just a killer natural tube breakup. Owen is an expert at hitting the mark.
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