Hiwatt or Matchless?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by sants, Jan 18, 2015.

  1. sants

    sants Supporting Member

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    I've been through a bunch of amps. Had most fenders and already had two chieftains which I really liked. Got rid of them because I wasn't playing out. Now I'm in two bands. One is jammy rock band (Dead, phish, umprhy's, reggae) and the others is like a gritty 60's Rock and folk Rock act. Rolling Stones, the animals, Bob Dylan, the birds, the Beatles, and velvet underground. Clean to mean.

    Right now I have a drri and hot rodded super reverb clone. I dig the fenders but in the second band Im longing for a little more bite and personality.

    I know the chieftain would be good for this. I've been looking for a 210 version. I'd love an sc/dc but a little more expensive.

    I've never played a Hiwatt but from those who have I've heard great things.

    So here are what I've narrowed it down to. Some headroom is a must.

    Matchless chieftain - 2x10. Made in 96 with road case.
    Lightning reverb- 1x12 made in the last few years.
    Hiwatt Custom 50 - 1x12 combo. Made in 79. Hylight era with fane, two inputs, partridge transformers and still handwired. With road case for $1900. Is this a decent price? I posted in some Hiwatt forums but they are not the most visited sites out there.

    If anyone has experience with these I could use the help. I'd like to use these in both bands.


    I did play a 210 chieftain and liked it more than my 212 and 112 combos.
     
  2. Stormin

    Stormin Supporting Member

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    What about a Matchless Clubman? It's very Hiwatt flavored.
     
  3. sants

    sants Supporting Member

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    I was thinking of the clubman reverb as well. I'd really like a combo though.
     
  4. Coldacre

    Coldacre Supporting Member

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    neither. get an AC30 and do all of the above.
     
  5. davebc

    davebc Member

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    Are you kidding?? It's a no brainer!!!
    The answer is.....drum roll....96' 2-10 MATCHLESS CHIEFTAIN with the road case!!!

    It's a no brainer!

    (You'll never get the headroom out of that Lightning compared to everything else on that list)
     
  6. sants

    sants Supporting Member

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    I'm more between the Chieftain and the Hiwatt at this point. The Chieftain is about $500 more and Hiwatt also has a case. I know both will be awesome
     
  7. neville5000

    neville5000 Supporting Member

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    For myself I've realized that a mid control is clutch. For that reason alone I go Hiwatt in your situation. I did own a Clubman and thought it was great, but it needed better control over the mids.

    The only Matchless that interests me at this point is the Chieftain, or better yet, a Chief. I've been wanting to check out a Hiwatt though so I would go that route.
     
  8. kennybro

    kennybro Member

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    Totally agree. I've owned a few Matchless from the 90's, and sold them all because I couldn't get the mids bite I was looking for.
     
  9. GCKelloch

    GCKelloch Member

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    These are supposed to be improved Hiwatts: http://www.reevesamps.com/
    There are several models to choose from as well. I had a Custom 100 1 x 12" Fane combo back in the late 70's. Broke my back, but sounded great cranked, like diesel train bearing down on you. Hiwatts have a certain bass drive that's more meaty than an old Marshall SL100 with KT66 tubes. The Hiwatt was a better/more versatile amp, but I prefer the sound of those old Marshalls. I'd be curious how a Hiwatt would be with KT66's. I like the way they break up more than anything. The 'Space Cowboy' model seems to be that sort of ideal with its KT77 tubes. Sounds like it breaks up very evenly with thicker mids. It's touted as a great pedal platform, so great headroom. If you are spending ~$2k, you should look into Pritchard SS amps. You will not believe what they can do.
     
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2015
  10. Guinness Lad

    Guinness Lad Silver Supporting Member

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    Have to agree, any amp w/o a mid control or a bright switch will be avoided. Chieftain's are nice.
     

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