Great new MATCHLESS PHALANX in da house!

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by shallbe, Sep 22, 2006.

  1. shallbe

    shallbe Deputy Plankspanker Gold Supporting Member

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    I owned a Matchless Phoenix for a while but had to sell it for Katrina related expenses last year. I really loved the amp, but had an idea for something else. I ran it by Phil Jamison and he said he might build it one day as he had thought of something similar.

    Nearly a year later, he was ready to go. We exchanged a few phone calls and several e-mails about tone, cosmetics and features. It took about three months (Phil wanted it RIGHT), but I received it today.

    Serial number one, the new Matchless Phalanx. It is a 35 watt, dual el34 head, cathode-biased, with an ef86 front end, topped off with reverb and tremelo. The controls are volume, tone (6 position switch), speed, depth,(trem) reverb, cut and a defeatable master. It is tube rectified. Is is not just one side of the Phoenix with verb and trem--Phil spent time getting a unique tone and response for this amp.

    I had to rush home at luchtime just to fire it up. I plugged straight in and played for an hour, with an old and well-worn 58 LP reissue, into a custom vertical Bob Burt 2x12.

    Getting a great tone with this amp is a breeze. I was playing for the last half hour (before hauling-ass back to work), competely happy with the sound, and no knob twiddling. I sounds big and RICH. The amp breaks up wonderfully at useable levels with no pedals needed---I doubt I will ever use the master, unless I really want it gainy. The Phalanx is not overly loud, thankfully, but works well at a level that sounds impressive but never had me reaching for the master or wishing for an attenuator. The clean tones are really sweet, and the amp is very dynamic and articulate. I was looking for versatility with stunning clean and dirty tones in a simple layout, and Phil delivered (country, blues, r&b, funk, classic rock--no problem). The verb is just incredible--silent, never sproingy--even at max settings, and the trem is full and gorgeous. The between clean and mean tones are among the best I've heard. This is a dream gigging amp for me.

    Phil was pretty happy with it. It will probably be introduced at the next NAMM, whenever that is.

    I will take pictures soon (black with a green front, sliver piping and white lighting) and also make clips when a bud can come over and record them. Stay tuned.
     
  2. shallbe

    shallbe Deputy Plankspanker Gold Supporting Member

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    I'm a little surprised there have been no replies to this thread. This is a brand new Matchless model and pretty much unlike anything out there that I know about.

    Anyway, nothing can dampen my enthusiasm. I just finished playing my 54 goldtop RI with P-90s and my Suhr Esquire through the Phalanx. This amp has no pickup bias---everything has sounded really great through it so far. I will be playing a Suhr classic Strat type through it next.

    In the next week or so I will make some clips so you guys can hear it for yourself. This is one satisfying, earthy, rootsy amp with tons of vibe.
     
  3. wheelman

    wheelman Member

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    I've wanted a Matchless for awhile now, but haven't played any of them. Not sure which one is right for me.
     
  4. DannyDay

    DannyDay Member

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    I don't think people are unethusiastic, just waiting for something to try out and some info from Matchless. Sounds good however. How about some clips? :>)

    DD.
     
  5. whoismarykelly

    whoismarykelly Oh look! This is a thing I can change!

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    How is the tremolo and what is the headroom like?
     
  6. shallbe

    shallbe Deputy Plankspanker Gold Supporting Member

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    The tremelo is really, really good. The only thing I've heard on par is the tremelo in my Jamison combo and the one in my Victoria Reverbarato. The Vicky is a different animal (brownface style), but the one in the Phalanx is just as deep and intoxicating. It won't do a hard chop, but it can do a very deep pulse, with wide-ranging speed.

    There is not a lot of headroom, meaning it won't do real loud and squeaky clean at the same time. But it never mushes up or gets congested sounding as the gain increases. Both inputs sound pretty different, and there is more headroom on the lower gain one. The higher gain input is louder and has more upper end slice and dirt. The 6-position tone switch lets you adjust the bigness and midrange response of the amp. Position four is where I'm really loving it with all guitars. My Suhr classic has never sounded this good. Like the Phoenix, this is a killer Strat amp.

    I haven't tried it yet, but I think a good boost pedal is all that would be needed to send this amp into really high gain stuff. What's cool is how rich the amp is--a simple chord sounds complex.
     
  7. illinimax

    illinimax Gold Supporting Member

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    Clips and a pic or two would surely induce a case of g.a.s. :drool
     
  8. Rusty G.

    Rusty G. Member

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    Is it something like the Clubman?
     
  9. Luke Gibson

    Luke Gibson Silver Supporting Member

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    Congrats! ....love to hear some clips.
     
  10. Laroosco!

    Laroosco! Member

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    I officially hate you.(not really) The Phoenix is probably the coolest amp I've ever played, and I can't imagine how cool your new creation must be.

    You're lucky to have it
     
  11. DrJamie

    DrJamie Silver Supporting Member

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    Ah, if only my Cheiftain had tremelo. I wouldn't be drooling over this thread at 7 in the am.
     
  12. riffmeister

    riffmeister Gold Supporting Member

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    sounds like a cool amp!

    I know the title reads "Phalanx" (the Greek phalanx was a column formation of heavy infantry carrying long spears, or pikes, and swords) but for some reason I keep seeing "Phallus".

    :messedup
     
  13. ericb

    ericb Silver Supporting Member

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    Funny ,me too.. I was scared to read the post considering I read it as "Matchless Phallus"... I thought it was like all the damn emails I get! ANyway, congratulations Steve and make good music with it!! Eric
     
  14. hw2nw

    hw2nw Member

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    well, now we gotta see some pics!!! :D
     
  15. teddy boy

    teddy boy Member

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    pics + clips please!
     
  16. Gumby

    Gumby Member

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  17. Gibsonchild

    Gibsonchild Member

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  18. mountain blues

    mountain blues Member

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    Steve - you inspired a new amp from Matchless? Now that is something to celebrate!

    Sure sounds like a beauty. Pics and clips por favor, amigo!
     
  19. kush06

    kush06 Member

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    seriously, I haven't felt this teased since middle school. :jo
    Pics? Clips? Line drawings? Hand shadows? :drool :drool :drool :crazy
     
  20. shallbe

    shallbe Deputy Plankspanker Gold Supporting Member

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    Hey guys, thanks for the replies. I had to go out of town for the weekend and have had no spare time, but I will put up some pics in the next day or so. I'm not exactly sure why Phil named it the Phalanx, bit it looks cool on the amp. He did a real nice job on the control layout and faceplate. Look for an el84 version in the future---it will be called something else and will be very similar (obviously) to the old Matchless JJ30.

    I will try to take pics tomorrow night.
     

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