/13 RSA31 vs. Matchless DC30???

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by localmotion411, Apr 23, 2008.

  1. localmotion411

    localmotion411 Supporting Member

    Feb 1, 2006
    Madison, MS
    Can anyone compare the tones and capabilities of these two amps?

    I've been wanting to try a Matchless ever since I started playing but have never had the chance. Also have the /13 bug really bad.
  2. JKoeth

    JKoeth Supporting Member

    Apr 30, 2005
    Cleveland, OH
    I'm interested too!
  3. ChazMania

    ChazMania Silver Supporting Member

    Aug 19, 2005
    Oceanside, CA
    On a similar note....has anyone heard or played through the newer RSA31 single channel 1x12 combo's with a master volume?
  4. Richards

    Richards Member

    Apr 17, 2005
    Toronto Canada
    Cough Cough!! Localmotion411, just buy my RSA 31 and you can find out!!
  5. mild

    mild Member

    May 11, 2006
    Bottom of the World
  6. rburkard

    rburkard Gold Supporting Member

    May 30, 2007
    Milwaukee, WI
    I have a SC-30 and had an RSA31 which I sold again because it couldn't keep up with the Matchless in terms of sound. Really no match. The Matchless sounds more organic and has more tube mojo. The RSA 31 sounds stiffer and even less Vox like than the Matchless. The Matchless is hard to beat.
  7. ROKY

    ROKY Member

    Mar 2, 2004
    I'd really love to try a DC-30 or a Chief someday ..
  8. ed84246

    ed84246 Member

    Jan 2, 2007
    Not sure if the RSA 23 is basically a lower wattage version of the 31 but I've played both a 23 and a DC-30. First off, the DC-30 doesn't have as much gain capability as the RSA at all. The RSA gets gainier than Matchless's independence. I think the DC-30 just has that beautiful chimey, elastic sweet Matchless tone, a little more loose and I guess the term being thrown around here these days is "chewy" than even an AC-30. The 23 could get into that territory at mid gain and clean, but not quite as three dimensional as the Matchless. But crank the 23 up and to me it was pure Marshall grind with a just a bit of Vox Sparkle. The amp screamed in the dirt channel up on ten and could easily pull off squealing pinched harmonics and that mid-crunching bark cranked plexis are known for. I could get all matter of 80's Lynch/VH/DiMartini out of the 23 cranked, an area the DC-30 could never get close to (and wasn't meant to).
  9. hansoloist

    hansoloist Member

    Feb 5, 2002
    I own the RSA31 1x12 with the master. It has more gain, girth, punch and low end than an SC-30. It holds together tremendously well when dimed, whereas the SC-30 mushes out and sags a lot more. The SC-30 is much woolier and looser sounding, and I found it to have a really sharp high end. The 31's high end is a bit sweeter. They both have lovely, three dimensional cleans. Really, it's a matter of taste. I prefer a heavier, tighter sound, so the 31 works better for me.

  10. riffmeister

    riffmeister Gold Supporting Member

    Jan 4, 2003
    near Philly
    Dang, I knew there was a reason I shouldn't have sold my Matchless..... ;)
  11. Telephile

    Telephile Member

    Sep 28, 2005
    Ft. Worth TX
    I have Ab'd both extensively> First off they are both top notch, major league, pro amps. I could easily have either as my main vox sound. If anything the Matchless is stiffer than the RSA31. I think the RSA31 has more of a classic Vox sound. The matchless is voxy for sure but there is something modern and aggressive about it. It has a steely edge to it. In a good way. The high end is definitely sweeter in the RSA. Flubbiness is not an issue with either. The Matchless may flubb at high volume, but I've never approached it live.
    The Matchless seem a bit more punchy. But once you get the bass on the RSA past noon it starts to punch like the matchless. The RSA may have a bit more control and versatilitry with it's TMB controls. But I've never missed those on the click channel of the Matchless.
    Both are very natural and organic sounding. The RSA may seem a bit more swirly than the Matchless. Something I never thought I would say about any amp. It's hard to say which one likes pedals more. Probabaly the Matchless. The Matchless is absolutely magic live. It always sits in the mix perfectly at any volume with ease. I've only used the RSA31 once live but it was fun. I spent hours with these amps side by side and still haven't made up my mind on which one I want.
    There is no possible way to go wrong with either one. Unless you don't like world class hit making Vox tone.
  12. Sniper-V

    Sniper-V Member

    Aug 30, 2005
    San Antonio, Tx

    Pretty darn close to what I feel on the two...
  13. akim37

    akim37 Member

    Feb 18, 2008
    I actually just traded my /13 RSA31 head and cabinet with two blues for a '94 Matchless DC-30 this afternoon. Already my first impression is that the Matchless is more natural sounding with more chime. The RSA31 sounded dark and muddy to me with just way too much bass response. They break up a little differently but similarly beautiful. I just appreciate the clean sparkle of the DC-30 more than the RSA31. Also both have half power features which is nice, click tone features of channel two and dual inputs for both channels. The low end of the RSA31 seemed to give it more presence whereas the DC-30 is more on the high end. Both are nice amps but I am not regretting my decision of getting the Matchless over the Divided. Truly the Matchless really lives up to its name...well maybe except for a Goodsell. They seem to really be matchless : ]
  14. Sherman

    Sherman Supporting Member

    Jun 4, 2003
    Raleigh, NC
    Not an exact comparison of the thread's intent but I owned both a Bad Cat Black Cat 30 and an RSA31 at one point. Both had that glassy, swirly, reverby thing going on w/the cleans. Both had nice natural distortion. Both could do the crushed glass tone when dialed in. While both were great, I preferred the RSA31 only because it had more tonal options with the mid control. I think the RSA31 sounds best with Scumback/Weber speakers. I never cared for the Celestions in my RSA31 or in my other %13's for that matter. I recently sold my RSA31 due to financial reasons but I hope to pick up another by the end of the year.

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