Bad Cat Cub 3 Vs Matchless Lightning

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by gemckay, Apr 29, 2015.

  1. gemckay

    gemckay Member

    Messages:
    179
    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2009
    Wondering if any one has had the chance to compare these two amps side by side. I live in Canada and can't seem to track down Matchless that easy. There's a shop here where I got to try the bad cat cub 3, I liked the sound of it but am really curious to see how it compares to the lightning.

    Primarily looking to use this as main amp and using the amp for drive tones a lot too. appreciate any input, clean tones, dirty tones etc...

    thanks!
     
  2. gemckay

    gemckay Member

    Messages:
    179
    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2009
  3. SirGilmour

    SirGilmour Supporting Member

    Messages:
    9,893
    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2012
    Location:
    Fort Wayne Indiana
    The Cub sounds bigger and better at any volume probably due the the better master volume and is MUCH more versatile. The Lightning doesnt come to life until its pretty loud which may or may not be an issue for you. Both are built like tanks and will probably last forever.

    Personally, with them being in the same family(literally) I dont see why you would forgo the additional options the Cub offers and take the Lightning. Thats just me though.
     
  4. gemckay

    gemckay Member

    Messages:
    179
    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2009
    That's very helpful thanks! Volume might be an issue in most situations I'm playing in so might be better to look at bad cat. Appreciate anymore input from anyone else!
     
  5. boyce89976

    boyce89976 Supporting Member

    Messages:
    5,804
    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2014
    Location:
    TN
    Very little difference between the two... With the BadCat being slightly more refined. Extra options are nice too.
     
  6. popinvasion

    popinvasion Supporting Member

    Messages:
    7,535
    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2004
    I disagree 100%. Lightning is a better sounding amp.
     
  7. SirGilmour

    SirGilmour Supporting Member

    Messages:
    9,893
    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2012
    Location:
    Fort Wayne Indiana
    Nope. But you are welcome to feel that way! ;)


    Have you actually owned both at the same time? Because I have. Not trying to start anything, just genuinely curious.
     
    Slevin likes this.
  8. hunter_beckgerd

    hunter_beckgerd Member

    Messages:
    360
    Joined:
    May 26, 2012
    Location:
    Murfreesboro, TN
    I just played these two amps side by side today. I had the Badcat and was seeing about trading it for the Lightning (a 2x12 Sampson era combo). Traded the guy for the Lightning.

    I personally think the Matchless sounds better and is much easier to dial in, and it stills sounds great and more clear to me at low volumes.

    The badcat is a great amp but just didn't have the "it" factor to my ears. As soon as I plugged into the Lightning, I loved it.

    Matchless also holds value much much better if you consider resale a factor.
     
    jazzguitar14 likes this.
  9. the iconoclast

    the iconoclast Member

    Messages:
    153
    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2015
    I borrowed and tried both. One each per a four set gig.

    I liked both, but ended up placing an order for a Lightning 112 w/reverb and effects loop. For my ears, the Matchless had better presence, and sat better overall in the din/mix of a full band. I found the Bad Cat a little soft for my taste. Not by much, mind you....still a nice sound.

    Both very good amps, and perhaps the Bad Cat is a better deal economically all things considered.

    To my ears, its very close. They are both good amps.
     
  10. hunter_beckgerd

    hunter_beckgerd Member

    Messages:
    360
    Joined:
    May 26, 2012
    Location:
    Murfreesboro, TN
    I agree as well that it seems the refined character of the Badcat doesnt seem to cut as well to my ears.
     
  11. gemckay

    gemckay Member

    Messages:
    179
    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2009
    Great thoughts guys keep them comin!
     
  12. costerdock

    costerdock Member

    Messages:
    102
    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2014
    Location:
    Prescott AZ
    I researched and bought the Cub III - I absolutely love it - if you cannot make it sound nice - and have rolled in different tubes? Work on your self - it is not the amp - as it is a great sounding amp. Good luck!
     
  13. gemckay

    gemckay Member

    Messages:
    179
    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2009
    Bump for more thoughts
     
  14. BobK

    BobK Member

    Messages:
    1,786
    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2013
    Location:
    Slovenia
    The Twelfth Fret in Toronto has Matchless amps on their website. They had several when I visited them a couple of years ago.
     
  15. popinvasion

    popinvasion Supporting Member

    Messages:
    7,535
    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2004
    Accurate.
     
  16. Madison

    Madison Supporting Member

    Messages:
    6,731
    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2004
    I realize you can't try the Matchless, but you'll never get anywhere asking about comparing these two on a forum. You can take two of virtually ANYTHING, and you'll have two sides claiming the best within minutes. Only your ears know which is better for you. Still, it's fun reading the comments!
     
  17. voxylady

    voxylady Member

    Messages:
    2,041
    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2011
    I've played both as well, and if don't mind having to open the the matchless pretty far, I'd say it's pretty close. To my ears, the Badcat responded and sounded better at lower volumes.
     
  18. gemckay

    gemckay Member

    Messages:
    179
    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2009
    I hear yah, I just like having other people's input too. It helps to hear other players experience too I enjoy reading the comments.
     
  19. SKYHIGH

    SKYHIGH Member

    Messages:
    1,735
    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2010
    Had both at same time. Altough similar they did not sound the same.

    Lightning to me sounded much better, low or high volume. Only thing Cub had going was versatility.
     
  20. AD1982

    AD1982 Member

    Messages:
    910
    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2015
    Location:
    Waterford, Michigan
    Owned neither, played thru both for a good amount of time. The Lightning was nicer to my ears. I like the Cub III, but it was much stiffer and didn't breakup as nicely. The K Master was a great feature though.
     

Share This Page