If you have to have that cutting and passionate lead tone, this is your amp. Using a beautiful Classic Lead 80 speaker, you will get a smooth and balanced tone excellent for raw power. The Aviator Open Twelve is great for lead work and capable of huge volume.
The Aviator Gen 1 Twelve has a traditional control layout and is easy to set up. It’s very light, especially compared to similar-sized tube amplifiers. Channel 1, the clean channel has a single tone control than sounds better than I expected, I’d still rather have TMB controls. Channel 2, the distortion channel (my name for it) offers good, but not great, sounding distortion tones. If it sounded as good as the lead channel in my Quilter OD200, it would probably still be my main gigging amp. I used if for about 100 gigs before buying an OD200. The Reverb sounds good to me, I only use a little. The Classic 80 speaker sounds good to me, but maybe it’s not quite crisp-sounding enough sometimes. If I hadn’t switched to an OD200, I would have tried some crisper and of course lighter NEO speakers. The cabinet is a little wider than necessary for me. I’d be happy if the amp had the look of the Aviator 8, scaled for a 12” speaker. It would weigh a little less, would fit in my car better and fit better on small stages. Maybe it wouldn’t sound as good, hard to say. It’s a solid amp and I still use it sometimes even though it’s my backup amp. I gave it a score of 4 because of the distortion, it’s really more of a 4.5. If Quilter came out with a Gen 2 version of the Aviator, I’d definitely check one out in a store.