How much tone comes from the cab?


Senior Member
Last night I played a Matchless Lightning. I have played it a few times before and have been able to compare it to my amps and my neighbors’ collection. This includes a Bandmaster, a Mesa Maverick, a Top Hat Club Deluxe, and a Maz 18 Jr.

The Lightning does not keep up -it flat out kills, no - slays all the rest IMHO.

I am completely enamored with this little 1x12 combo.

Question: how much of the throaty, woody tone comes from the cab?

I have a very nice 2x12 cab and wonder if a head would lose all of the mojo? Will it retain that hollow mid range that I hear? I seem to "hear" the cab and wonder how much of what I like comes from the wood and the baffle or if it is from the amps circuit?

NONE of the other amps has that glorious tone (though some have the same speaker). I will try to run the amp through something else next time.

What is the baffle of a lightning made of?

Guinness Lad

Take your amp to the store and play through 3 different cabs if possible,. Each cab should have the same stuff in it(speakers and ohmage).

1. open back
2. closed back
3. ported (closed back with a small port on the front or rear)

After you do this you will know immediately what cabinets do. I personally like ported the best followed by open then closed, but I grew up playing combos so I am probably more used to an open cabinet sound.

Groove tubes made some kick ass cabinets a while back (4 to 5 years) which allowed you to remove part of the back section. This allowed you to voice it how you wanted. These cabinets and the bogner 1x12 and the Dr.Z are well worth the money. For your needs I'd get the Z best 2x12 with the V30 and G12H30 speakers.


Senior Member
I have played these and have acces to both open back and closed cabs. But THAT combo had a uniqe sound. And I thought it killed the Z. I just don't know how much of it is the cabinet or how much of it is the lightnings desighn.

I would like a head but not if it looses that throat and woody-ness.

dewey decibel

…no, but I play one on TGP
Silver Supporting Member
Hey Boogie, here's my experience.

A cab will not give you that sound on it's own, but it can accentuate it. So if you already have a throaty amp/speaker, a cab may help bring that out more. A taller and wider cab (well, I mostly mean a taller and wider baffle) will even the sound out more. A deeper cab might add some bass, but I think it will still be very throaty.

A tweed Champ is a very throaty amp, but when you plug it into a 4x12 you loose a lot of that. But you can still hear that sound in there, it's just not as pronounced.

So, try it and see. I don't think the Lightnings' speakers are hardwired -run it through a different cab and see if enough of that sound is still there.

Trevor Bond

my Mesa 2x12 is much brighter...

my V4 cab is woofier and darker...

for chugging the Mesa... for cleaner lighter distortions the V4...

both with V30s


Senior Member
I hear ya.
The deluxe is a good example. The circuit, speaker and cab all work together for that trademarked sound. I think I will miss some of what I liking about the lightning in a head format.

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