Comparisons of the Matchless 15 watters

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by thealmightycapo, Jan 23, 2012.

  1. thealmightycapo

    thealmightycapo Member

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    I know there are many threads on how the Lightning and Nighthawk correspond to the channels on the C30 and also how the Spitfire has nice cleans, but I'd love to hear some good comparisons between the three themselves solely on the basis of the sound that comes out of the speakers. Any info would be great, I'm trying to figure out which one fits my needs the best, which are mainly a great bright, sparkly clean sound with humbuckers that takes overdrives well.
     
  2. thealmightycapo

    thealmightycapo Member

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  3. Guinness Lad

    Guinness Lad Silver Supporting Member

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    Never heard a Nighthawk but owned a SC30 which is the Nighthawk and Lightning in one container. I did own a Spitfire however and it was great, of the three probably the most clean headroom. The Nighthawk would be what they call the gain side of the SC30 and the Lightning would be the clean side.

    What do you want to accomplish other than you mentioned. I would think the Spitfire would stay clean the longest, especially with humbuckers.
     
  4. thealmightycapo

    thealmightycapo Member

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    Well, in particular I'm looking for the one that will allow me to get the most sparkle and chime in my clean sounds, not only the actual headroom. I'm figuring that with the master volume on any of them I can get plenty of volume (I usually mic up) but whichever one delivers the liveliest and brightest cleans would be my preference.
     
  5. 19181911

    19181911 Senior Member

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    Don't forget the SMF 15 Watter, glorious cleans there.
     
  6. 19181911

    19181911 Senior Member

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    That would be the Lightning/Bad Cat Cub (original, not II). The Spitfire is a bit darker overall.
     
  7. thealmightycapo

    thealmightycapo Member

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    Sounds good. So the Lightning has a more extensive tone control set as well as an overall brighter sound. Sounds about like my amp. :cool:
     
  8. thealmightycapo

    thealmightycapo Member

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    Figured I'd bump to see if there are any other nuggets of info...
     
  9. Peppy

    Peppy Member

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    There are also...somewhere...the Hurricane and the Tornado.
     
  10. thealmightycapo

    thealmightycapo Member

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    never heard of those before. Old models I'm guessing?
     
  11. Tonesmiths

    Tonesmiths Member

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    The Lightning and Spitfire are both great options. The main differences being an EF86 vs. a 12AX7 in the preamp section. I find that the EF86 adds a lot more harmonic complexity. Whereas the 12Ax7 is brighter and gainier like a topboost channel.
    You may also want to check out the soon to be released BadCat Unleash. It's a portable unit that goes between the output and the speaker that will allow you to turn these 15 watters all the way up to 100 watts if needed.
     
  12. thealmightycapo

    thealmightycapo Member

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    Spitfire has a 12AX7 preamp doesn't it? Did you mean the Nighthawk?
     
  13. Tonesmiths

    Tonesmiths Member

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    Sorry, brain fart!
     
  14. 19181911

    19181911 Senior Member

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    If you are wanting bright jangly, chimey cleans, you should check out a 65 Amps Lil Elvis.
     
  15. shredtrash

    shredtrash Supporting Member

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    It seems I'm one of the lucky few that has a Nighthawk. Killer amp! I currently use it in my modern country band and it's killer for that style. I've also played rock and rockabilly gigs with it and it was great for those styles as well. I've had a lot of amps and it's the only one I refuse to sell!

    The previous owner described it as a "Vox on crack". That sounds about right to me!
     
  16. thealmightycapo

    thealmightycapo Member

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    I actually heard a video comparing the Matchless Lightning to the Lil' Elvis, and even though they had different speakers, you could still tell they have different personalities. Matchless sounded more like my cup of tea.

    Vox on crack? sounds messy... haha
     
  17. shredtrash

    shredtrash Supporting Member

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    I meant that in the best possible way! LOL!
     
  18. thealmightycapo

    thealmightycapo Member

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  19. joe_k

    joe_k Member

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    i own a spitfire and it is easily the best amp i have ever played. takes dirt pedals amazingly. the fact that there has only one tone knob doesn't make it very versatile but every single point on that knob sounds different and amazing.

    Cleans can be really bright with the tone knob set high but i'm not sure how much headroom will be there with humbuckers as i use a strat.

    you will not be disappointed with it if you grab one.
     

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