1. The Rules have been updated regarding posting as a business on TGP. Thread with details here: Thread Here
    Dismiss Notice

Does a Matchless DC30 and a Vox AC30 sound alike?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by Sonic Reducer, Aug 18, 2005.

  1. Sonic Reducer

    Sonic Reducer Member

    Messages:
    1,566
    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2003
  2. wsaraceni

    wsaraceni Member

    Messages:
    7,143
    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2003
    not really. i'll probably get flamed but i happen to like the matchless a lot more. i might not have played "the" right vox though yet
     
  3. rawkguitarist

    rawkguitarist Member

    Messages:
    8,314
    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2004
    Location:
    Oceania
    A Matchless DC-30 is one of the coolest amps...

    EVER! PERIOD!

    I like them better than all the Vox's I've heard too.
     
  4. Steve Dallas

    Steve Dallas Supporting Member

    Messages:
    8,205
    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2005
    Location:
    Surrounded by Idiots
    Most of the Matchless amps are basically hot-rodded Voxes. If you look at the phase inverter and power amp, they are identical except for 2 minor capacitor changes.

    The preamps are where the differences may be found. Again, there are many similarities between Vox and Matchless, but Matchless introduced some very interesting features (plus a good amount of gain).

    Matchless is like an evolution of Vox--and a good one at that. A very refined amp with an attitude. What's not to love?
     
  5. riffmeister

    riffmeister Gold Supporting Member

    Messages:
    16,493
    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2003
    Location:
    near Philly
    Agreed. I had a DC30 for a couple of years......fantastic response for edgy rock tunes. One thing, though......it is one LOUD mofo, even in 1/2 power mode with twin 5V4 rectifiers. I never liked the sound of the amp with the MV engaged.....too thin sounding. Mine was a '94.
     
  6. Steve Dallas

    Steve Dallas Supporting Member

    Messages:
    8,205
    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2005
    Location:
    Surrounded by Idiots
    Ah, but if you can live without the pentode channel, the Lightning is way cool too. It has been my go-to amp for about a year now. It's still freakin' loud, but at least bearable at 15 (very loud) watts.
     
  7. riffmeister

    riffmeister Gold Supporting Member

    Messages:
    16,493
    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2003
    Location:
    near Philly
    use your Lehle to switch to a Nighthawk and you'll have the whole DC30 (but at 15 watts instead of 30 watts)! :D
     
  8. Scott_F

    Scott_F Member

    Messages:
    2,980
    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2003
    Location:
    College Station, Tejas
    I've been starting a build on a 30 watt version of the lightning. I guess it's pretty close to the 12AX7 channel on the DC30, but that's only on paper.

    I'm hoping to squeeze out just a little more headroom. The trannies are just monsters.
     
  9. Steve Dallas

    Steve Dallas Supporting Member

    Messages:
    8,205
    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2005
    Location:
    Surrounded by Idiots
    You should get exactly what you want with that, Scott. You will basically have the triode channel of the DC30 with more clean headroom than the Lightning. That will be hard to beat.

    Truth be told, my favorite Lightning is one I built for myself... Many times, clones can sound better than originals--especially if the parts are premium and the attention to detail is where the focus is.

    Good luck and let us know how it turns out!

    BTW, don't you live somewhere in my neck of the woods?
     
  10. Scott_F

    Scott_F Member

    Messages:
    2,980
    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2003
    Location:
    College Station, Tejas
    3 hours south of you...
     
  11. Kiwi

    Kiwi Silver Supporting Member

    Messages:
    3,799
    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2002
    Location:
    In a white room
    Do a Matchless DC30 and a Vox AC30 sound alike?


    As noted above, the DC-30's clean channel uses the AC30 as a starting point.

    The DC-30 then adds an EF86-driven gain channel (and how!) and a half power switch and a MV. A DC-30 on half power is the loudest 15 watt amp on Planet Earth. I, too, never use the MV. It's got the trademark Matchless voicing.

    Part of the magic of the DC30 (2x12 combo) is the speaker array: Mismatched speakers wired to 4 ohms, give a jangle, swirl and 3-D depth that is addictive. It really matters.

    If you're interested in Voc AC30 alternatives, also check out the Top Hat King Royale. Also starts with the AC30 thing, then adds a second channel and some really useful switches up front to make it a two-channel amp with an A/B/Y box.

    They are evolutions of the AC30, not clones.

    Kiwi
     
  12. Tag

    Tag Gold Supporting Member

    Messages:
    31,888
    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2002
    Location:
    New Jersey
    Not at all to me. I MUCH prefer the Vox. The matchless farting on the low end I just can not put up with. the Vox is also much smoother and rubbery sounding. the matchless shoots out notes like a firehose.
     
  13. riffmeister

    riffmeister Gold Supporting Member

    Messages:
    16,493
    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2003
    Location:
    near Philly
    Yup, those firemen have a real ear for good tone. I guess that's why they are always gushing. :D
     
  14. Timmo

    Timmo Member

    Messages:
    3,550
    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2004
    Well.........the short answer is NO!
    I used to own both and side by side the original AC/30 was just more dimensional with more push.
    Another thing I remember was the headroom.
    The Matchless 'farted-out' if really pushed and the AC/30 just got better and better with more volume.
    Sadly, I own neither today....................:jo
     
  15. LSchefman

    LSchefman Member

    Messages:
    13,448
    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2002
    >>The Matchless 'farted-out' if really pushed and the AC/30 just got better and better with more volume<<

    It had GAS. :)
     
  16. Timmo

    Timmo Member

    Messages:
    3,550
    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2004
  17. slider313

    slider313 Silver Supporting Member

    Messages:
    7,396
    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2005
    Location:
    NC

    Anyone try the Dr. Z Maz Sr.? Where does it fall in comparison to the AC 30?
     
  18. drbob1

    drbob1 Silver Supporting Member

    Messages:
    21,752
    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2004
    Mine isn't as loud as the DC30, has more traditional EQ and reverb so it's easier for a beginner to dial in, and is much lighter. I'd be hard pressed to say which I like better, they're just different. I guess I'd say the Z is more a Fender sound with EL84s.
     
  19. jeffhef

    jeffhef Member

    Messages:
    1,012
    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2003
    Location:
    In the space between
    I don't have either. But I play with someone who has a sweet AC30. I DO mean sweet. When you jump the channels and crank it...it's hard to beat. But in my opinion it needs to be cranked to get the sweet sound. And it is EXTREMELY loud.

    jeffhef
     

Share This Page