Speed. Lack of kick. Reliability (when properly lubed). Weight/dimensions.
Regulators need reset every time an air source is applied.
First and foremost... That framed picture is NOT an Infamous Intimidator, it's an Empire 2 Intimidator. Yeah, so, right. NOTE: This is more of a review on Intimidator v. Intimidator basis; it is to help maybe learn why this is a better Timmy.
Although I personally own only one 2006 Timmy, this review is for all three Generation 4 Intimidators (Empire 2, Infamous, and Ripper 3) because they have the same specs (except the board; earlier runs of the Gen4 Timmies used an Empire 1.5 board, and even that had no discernable difference from the Frenzy 127). Essentially, the latest generation of Intimidators has undergone a HUGE overhaul in milling and valve construction. This has resulted in an Intimidator with the smallest dimensions, lowest weight, fastest cycling and most efficient valve. The already impeccable line of markers has been heralded into undying fame by the wicked speed and incredible versatility of the Intimidator. Bob Long has built on this popularity by bringing out yet another unbelievable series of markers.
All Intimidators use a valve which functions off a sliding mass propelled by the solenoid. When that mass comes into contact with a small piece of metal known as the poppet, the valve opens and air is released through the breech to propel the ball. This concept is familar on many markers, including Egos, Cyborgs, Vikings, and many more. However, Bob Long revolutionized that idea by delivering what is commonly referred to as a pressure-balanced valve. Essentially, a redesigned poppet allows for a similar amount of pressure from both sides of the poppet, meaning that the operational pressure can be as low as the solenoid can take it. Earlier models required a differential in pressure to open and close the poppet, so they tended to necessitate larger pressures to fully close or open it. In this manner, Bob was able to reduce the amount of energy required to expend into the expulsion of a paintball, i.e. MUCH better efficiency.
Moreover, this newly designed valve was recessed into the body more, allowing the bolt, ram, and thus the cycling mass to be drastically lower than prior generations. This reduced cycling mass means for a much smoother and precise ride. I cannot assert that it is less than a Matrix or Shocker, but the kick on this newest line is infinitesimal compared to any other high-end poppet valve. The kick on prior Intimidators was a propellant to purchasing a new ram or ram kit. Not so with the Gen4 Timmy. In addition, the bolt is much softer on paint due to the lower operating pressure, and with a stock adjustable ram cap, you can put it where your loader will not push paint past the detents or allow for a misfeed.
Although the board did not exactly impress me, it was well suited to the job and it fit inside the frame nicely, with additional room for a radio frequency chip (if you have a Pulse). Again, the clamshell frame provides a way to play in absence of grips, and the LCD-in-frame gives you a nice display reminiscent of older Angels. A remilled body gives you the optimum protection with a weight that won't drag you down, and a new, lower twist-lock feedneck is as short as a No-Rise clamping or other such feedneck. The new Humphrey solenoid (present in Alias-style Intimidators as well) is the fastest Timmy noid ever, capable of 100+ CPS (cycles per second). Of course, no current feed system can keep up with that. Even with all great markers, there is a downside.
As aforementioned, the regulators need to be reset every time you attach an air current to your Intimidator. With the advent of new technology come new problems, and the Gen4 poppet is no exception. Its ultra-low operating pressure means that the seal o-ring, located where the cupseal normally is, is rather susceptible to "blowing off" erratically during the gassing-up stage. Normally, one or two shots is enough to reseat the o-ring, but this is not always the case. If you apply pressure how most markers accept it, all that high-pressure air will slam into the poppet and quite potentially disturb the seal o-ring. You must take the regulators in slowly so as to acclimate the poppet to such large forces. Aside from normal maintenance and regular lubrication, there is nothing to prevent a Generation 4 Intimidator from performing superbly.
Bob Long has been revered for his outstanding vision and engineering in paintball, and the Generation 4 Intimidator is an extension of that pioneering spirit. With a good price (under $600 new) and the best goddamn customer service on the planet, the Gen4 Timmy is a great buy, and it can keep up with the best markers on the field.
10 out of 10
Last edited on Saturday, July 14th, 2007 at 8:49 pm PST