amp clone buyer's guide

Discussion in 'Amps/Cabs Tech Corner: Amplifier, Cab & Speakers' started by timeforheroes, May 2, 2008.

  1. timeforheroes

    timeforheroes Member

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    hey there,
    hello to the gear page. i have a quick question that i would really appreciate some advice on. there is an offer to buy a used matchless spitfire clone. i've never had the opportunity to own anything in the spitfire territory, so i was really interested.
    i was just wondering what kind of price you guys would pay for the following amp:

    -matchless spitfire clone....builder and kit supplier (if there is one....) are unknown.
    -chassis comes housed in a vox 2x10 setup. it is loaded with 2 celestion blue bulldogs (10 inch)

    im kinda hesitant cause i cant play it before i buy it and I dont really know who built it. what should I be looking for? is this a stupid purchase?

    any advice would be appreciated

    thanks
     
  2. stuagu

    stuagu Member

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    hi tim,
    you cant try it & you dont know who made it?... it seems to me that youve answered your own question.
    RISKY, but who knows you may love it? as for what i'd pay? ... i wouldnt buy it!
    atb stuagu
     
  3. jay42

    jay42 Member

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    It would almost have to be a Trinity or Ceriatone kit. Is it badged Matchless or something else?
     
  4. timeforheroes

    timeforheroes Member

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    at first i thought it would have to be a ceriatone kit. so when i asked the guy he responded, "i dont think it is a ceriatone kit because the builder gave me different kit options....some of which were not ceriatone..."

    here is something unique.....normal spitfires only have 3 knobs. this one has an added 4th knob that is a "bass" knob. there is no real indicaton that says matchless.....it is housed in a bare chassis and then loaded into a vox combo cabinet.
     
  5. mark norwine

    mark norwine Member

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    When I ran my shop, I had a ton of customers who would bring me their home-made amps when they couldn't get them to run right.

    The things I saw inside these amps were way beyond cringe worthy.

    Personally, with so many unknowns, I wouldn't touch this amp.
     
  6. PRNDL

    PRNDL Member

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    My thoughts exactly.

    The easiest solution is to get a photo of the amp circuit and post it here for a critique.
    It will either be naughty or nice.
     
  7. TheAmpNerd

    TheAmpNerd Member

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    And here I thought someone was going to post all the places where you can buy different kits for their favorite amps.

    Ah yes, what Mark says.

    Plus buying a kit/clone from an unknown source is pretty scary.

    You might just be buying somebody else's problems ; )
     
  8. HipKitty

    HipKitty Silver Supporting Member

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    Amen brother!
     
  9. mbetter

    mbetter Member

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    So who is the builder?

    I have a Matchless Clubman-based amp built by John Martin that is an amazing piece of kit.
     
  10. Rattle&Hum

    Rattle&Hum Supporting Member

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    Hey, timeforheroes... this is woodyjunior from Harmony Central.

    Watts Audio (formerly turretboards.com) also has spitfire kits (http://www.turretboards.com/). I'm not sure of their quality or where they source their parts.

    I'd also like to know about who built it and about their experience and/or credentials.

    Just ask a lot of questions and proceed with caution... if anything smells funny, just ask the forum. I know where you can get an impressively built 18 watt... wink wink... jk :)
     
  11. GearHeadFred

    GearHeadFred Member

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    I would at least take a look at the guts.. I've seen some pretty pro home-built jobs too.
     
  12. Blue Strat

    Blue Strat Member

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    +1000

    Why is the identity of the builder secret? This alone would make me pass on the deal.
     
  13. mark norwine

    mark norwine Member

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    As have I.

    Although several people have agreed with my previous post, in a spirit of fairness, I have to say....some DIYers brought in stuff that was "pure artwork" (and worked / sounded fine).

    They were the minority, though. Maybe one out of ten. But, yes, I saw some nice homemade amps.

    mn
     
  14. Blue Strat

    Blue Strat Member

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    I've worked on several Champ and Tweed Deluxe clones that the home builder couldn't get working. The workmanship wasn't bad to look at either.
     

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