Let's talk about Matchless!

Unburst

Member
Messages
4,215
Don't hear too much about them here, though I know a few guys have/had them.

Interested in the HC-30. Cheiftan and Clubman.

Whos has them, what do you like/not like about them?
 

parker

Member
Messages
3,489
I have the original Chieftain prototype, the amp I've owned the longest, quite simply the sweetest, juiciest plexi tones in 35 watts, I love Matchless amps:cool:
 

riffmeister

Member
Messages
16,596
Originally posted by Unburst
Don't hear too much about them here....
I did a search on 'Matchless'.......and the the result did not come up matchless (heh heh).......15 pages of topics. ;)


I had a DC30 for a couple of years. Never heard another amp quite like it. Defines the sound of "Chime and Grind" to me. There is no better amp for edgy pop music, IMO.
 

DrJamie

Member
Messages
1,522
I've had my Chieftain since new in '96. I bought the head, and 2x12 cab. I love this amp for it's cleans with single coils, and thick crunch with humbuckers. It can get flubby turned all the way up, on thebass end, but it gets plenty loud before that becomes an issue for me. It takes pedals well. You can read an endless amount info/reviews on these. I think the Matchless sound really rewards good players, with good guitars. I had and sold my HC-30. I didn't think it had the 3 D sound of the Chieftain. The Clubman has it's own personality too, less refined than the Chieftain. I'd love to own one some day. I was lucky enough to find another favorite in that vein, a Tremcat (Bad Cat) head and 2x12 cab. The combos sound great but are too heavy for me to lug around. That's the best el 84 amp I've heard. There's so much great new stuff out there, I just don't think there's the buzz anymore. I know the Matchless players are happier making music, than writing about it.
 

Laroosco!

Member
Messages
2,604
I owned a Clubman.

Great amp. Beautiful loud crispy cleans and screaming ragin Plexi tones with a Les Paul. Takes pedals great IMO. LOUD as hell.
 

Dave Orban

Member
Messages
16,866
I have a Chieftain 1x12 combo that I picked up a couple of years ago from Steve Whaley (TNJ)

Great amp! :dude :dude :dude
 

mprvise

Member
Messages
6,404
I've had a JJ-30 for almost 10 years. It's been used extensively on everything from country to jam to jazz fusion. It is now retired from gig duty, but I still fire it up at the house. There's not really a bad tone in this amp. A bit on the bright side, especially with the Tele, even with the cut almost dimed. Very loud too! Also contains one of the best in amp trems I've ever heard! Definitely a keeper. :dude
 

Dave Orban

Member
Messages
16,866
Originally posted by Unburst
Thanks for the info guys.

Anyone use a Matchless with an attenuator?
Haven't really had to... the MV on the Chieftain is pretty good, so I just use that.
 

NyteOwl

Member
Messages
2,645
I use a `95 2x10 Chieftain combo w/Celestions and have the same amp in a head version as well. My bandmate uses a `96 2x10 combo, which he got from me. I was a real Chieftain slut for a little while...:rolleyes:

I can't think of another amp I've ever owned (and I've owned my share) that sounds this good and the only thing I don't like about it is how much it weighs, but that's what the hand truck is for.
 

Laroosco!

Member
Messages
2,604
Originally posted by NyteOwl
I use a `95 2x10 Chieftain combo w/Celestions and have the same amp in a head version as well. My bandmate uses a `96 2x10 combo, which he got from me. I was a real Chieftain slut for a little while...:rolleyes:

I can't think of another amp I've ever owned (and I've owned my share) that sounds this good and the only thing I don't like about it is how much it weighs, but that's what the hand truck is for.
That was one thing about my Clubman. It weighed over 50lbs...and it was a head
 

NyteOwl

Member
Messages
2,645
I hear ya!! The Chieftain head is no lightweight, either. I think it weighs more than my Shiva head...
 

celestion101

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
1,838
Having the luxury of speaker options is good!:D



Being a working player (about 3 nights a week), I have the same concerns......I just loaded two Century Vintage's (neo) into my Chieftain 2x12 combo and used it at a gig last week. I shaved a lot of weight and didn't sacrifice tone. This could come off as a sales pitch, but that's not the intention. I was honestly curious to try them (I had not used the Century in a gig situation) and thought I'd share the results. :dude
 

tedwoods

Member
Messages
680
I've had many Matchless models over the years.
2 Clubman heads(all pentode & EF86),a 2x12 Chieftain combo,a Spitfire(first batch)1x12 combo and the DC30.

I still have the DC30.It's avery special amp for me because most of my repertoire was originally recorded with that amp and it's essential for these tones but also because after all these years it still sounds fresh and exciting to play with.

All Matchless models have some toneful twist to them and if at the time I was more aware of certain pedal/amp combinations I would propably have kept one of the EL34 amps as well,the Clubman most likely although it's almost a toss with the Chieftain.In the Chieftain I wasn't particularly charmed by the reverb but in general I'm not really a reverb guy...so the Chieftain without it is as cool as the Clubman,with it...so-so.

Using the Matchless amps with attenuators always robbed some of the amps' characteristic chime and swirlyness so I gave up on that direction pretty soon.A nice OD pedal that mates well with the amps is still my preference for higher gain tones with these amps(the EL34 ones).The DC30's lead channel is great on its own though...

The weight is indeed a problem.I've actually developed a minor back problem from carrying the DC30 around(no roadies!)but the full 3D effect of the amp is better realised through the dedicated speakers.Actually, the ESD cabs sound great with just about everything!

The key to approaching most amps ,Matchless is no exception I guess,is not to expect an amp to do everything under the sun.Many people who are "disatisfied"with the Matchless sound are either because their musical influences did not include these tones in the doses required for them to appreciate and keep an amp or they were expecting to hear a different,elusive, amp especially with the hype that surrounded the Matchless name in its beginning,something ofcourse that could not be blamed on either Matchless or the excited players that spread it.

There are certainly some other superb choices today but Matchless still offers something special.

Ted
 




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